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History of Lisbon, Ohio

Excerpt from History of Columbiana County, Ohio by Harold B. Barth, Historical Publishing Company; Topeka, Indianapolis; 1926

Lisbon, the county seat of Columbiana County, is located in Center Township, ten miles south of Salem, eighteen miles north of East Liverpool and sixteen miles north of Wellsville. It lies in a beautiful valley, surrounded by partially wooded hills and is drained by the middle fork of Beaver Creek.

The town was originally settled by Lewis Kinney early in the nineteenth century. He built a cabin where the Arter tannery was afterwards erected and proceeded to found the village which he named New Lisbon on Feb. 16, 1803.

In the fall of that year he donated lots for county buildings, erected a log court house and jail for which he received the sum of $150. In 1805 he sold the plot on which he had first settled to Jahn Arter. The latter became major of the First Battalion of Columbiana County Militia, which was first mustered in 1806, and served in the State Senate from 1808 to 1813. He later removed to Missouri.

The log court house was used until 1816 when a brick edifice replaced it. In 1871 the present brick and stone structure was built and used for some time before the second one utilized was razed.

In 1808 William Slater, who lived east of New Lisbon and operated a powder mill, purchased a part of the Kinney tract and proceeded to lay out an addition of out lots on the west of the town's original plat. Thus its growth was slow, but steady. In 1809 the place contained more than 60 houses, a number being of brick and stone. The population consisted of thrifty, law abiding citizens who emanated from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Among the early settlers were General Rezin Beall, William and Daniel Harbaugh, John Artery, Jacob Shawke, Dr. Horace Potter, Fisher A. Blockson, Jacob Hostetter, John Watson, the Smalls, Thompsons, Indleys, Springers, Holland Green, George Crowl, Martin Heiman, Rev. Clement Vallandingham, the Richardsons, Briggses and others whose descendants are or have been residents of the city.

General Reasin Beall became recorder or clerk and treasurer on July 26, 1803 and clerk of courts in 1810. He commanded the Second Brigade of the Ohio Militia. In 1815 he removed to Wooster, Ohio, where he represented the district in the 13th Congress of the United States.

Daniel Harbaugh established the first tannery in the village in 1804 with John Arter buying the same in 1805; Jacob Shawke was the first village blacksmith within its confines; Dr. Horace Patter qualified as the initial physician in the new town and Fisher A. Blocksom was the original lawyer to practice in it. He came to Lisbon on horseback through the forest, served for several years as prosecuting attorney, was representative to the General Assembly from 1826 to 1828 inclusive and again from 1831 to 1833. He was State Senator from 1847 to 1851 and practiced his profession until 1852. He remained a resident of the town until Dec. 14, 1876 when he passed away at more than ninety five years of age.

Jacob Hostetter, of Switzerland, engaged first in clock and watch making in 1805. David Hostetter the following year opened the first tavern in the town. John Small, in 1806, was the first gun maker. The first county sheriff was Jacob Watson, Jr., son of Jacob Watson, Sr. Michael Stock pioneered in wagon making and Rev. Clement Vallandingham became the first minister in the corporate limits, he settling in the town immediately after his marriage in May of 1807 and being ordained and installed as pastor of the Presbyterian Church on June 24 of that year which position he held until his demise on October 21, 1839.

In 1808 William D. Lepper settled in the town and established the first newspaper in the county, The Ohio Patriot. Gideon Hughes, arriving the same year, erected an iron furnace, northwest of the town which was the first in the state and pioneered an industry which has given employment to thousands and caused an investment of millions of dollars. The ruins of this plant are still visible.

In 1810 William Clapsaddle became the town's first tinner which ultimately paved the way for the mammoth tin mill later operated in the community.

The first dry goods merchants in the town were Joseph Stibbs, David Graham and Thomas Cox, who transacted business at near what is now the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets. In early days Indians blockaded the section near these early store houses. Other early merchants were Martin and William Heiman, George Endley, Holland Green, Benjamin Hanna, John Briggs, Joseph Richardson and others. The town being on the state road running west and those leading to Salem, Steubenville, East Liverpool and Canfield to the north and south, it became an important busy center during the old wagoning days.

The town's first school house was of logs with clapboard roof and erected on the North Market Street hill, then a beautiful grove of white oak saplings. David Wilson was the first teacher. He died of fever in 1808. Reuben P. McNamee succeeded him. He later became County Commissioner. Rev. Thomas Rigdon, a Baptist preacher, and later county representative, also taught the school which later was supplanted by a hewed log school building. In this structure John Whitacre, DeLorma Brooks, Thomas Morrel and David McKinley, grandfather of President McKinley also taught. Robert Whitacre and John G. Williard, both later county officials, were numbered among the teachers. The last teacher in the old building was David Anderson who for 37 years served Lisbon residents as an instructor of their youths. In September, 1840, the hewed log room was abandoned and a building on West Walnut Street rented for school purposes.

Among other eminent teachers and superintendents of the Lisbon schools were: William Travis, Reuben McMillan, Henry C. McCook, T. M. T. McCoy, L P. Hole and R. W. Taylor.

In 1814 John Weistling, a German, established the first drug store in the town; the first grocery establishment was conducted by George Graham at an early date. The first bank was the Columbiana bank, its directors being elected on March 7, 1814. Martin Holman was appointed president; Elderkin Potter, cashier and Fisher A. Blocksom, attorney.

The New Lisbon postoffice was established in 1809 with William Harbaugh as postmaster. He maintained it in his saddler shop. He was succeeded by his partner, Capt. Thomas Rowland, who gave way in 1812, when he joined the army, to Fisher A. Blocksom. George Endley became postmaster in 1815 and was followed by David Begges.

Published first in 1808 as a German newspaper by William D. Lepper, a native of Hanover, Germany, The Ohio Patriot appeared as an English periodical in 1809. Mr. Lepper continued its issue until 1833. But a four column sheet at the outset it was increased to five by the time it was sold to Joseph Cabe11, who further enlarged it. Messers Hertzell and Gregg owned and issued it from 1835 to 1839. Then it was purchased by William D. Morgan, who was its editor and publisher until 1852 when William H. Gill attained it and added to its size. Matthew Johnson became the owner in 1857 and was succeeded the following year by Thomas S. Woods, who conducted it until his death in 1867 when his brother, Robert G. Woods continued its publication until his own passing in 1873. For a year or two George H. Vallandingham and others had it in charge when it became the property of William S. Potts.

In later years it was published by Paul Crawford and others. On or about Sept. 1, 1923 the plant was sold to a stock company of Columbiana County citizens and the paper made over into a daily with James White, of Pittsburg, Pa., but originally of East Liverpool, as editor and manager. The departure was unsuccessful, however, and the paper, one of the oldest in Ohio, was discontinued in the summer of 1924.

By 1926 Lisbon had but two papers: The semi weekly Buckeye State with D. H. Frew as editor and general manager and the Evening Journal which for several years was published as a daily under the same management.

The New Lisbon Gazette was Lisbon's second paper. It was first issued in 1826 by Robert Fee. It existed but six months.

The Columbiana County American and New Lisbon Free Press was the third paper brought out in the county seat. Its initial issue was in June, 1827. It was owned by William Campbell. In 1827 Daniel Harbaugh became the owner with John Watt as editor. The paper's name was changed to The Western Palladium. In 1835 Nathaniel Mitchell purchased the paper. In 1839 G. W. Harper and S. Corbett became its owners. In 1842 they disposed of it to Joseph Wilkinson who issued it until 1854 when it was absorbed by The Buckeye State.

In 1848 The Ocean Wave, a temperance paper, was published for six months by H. C. Trunick. In March, 1832, The Aurora an anti slavery and temperance paper, was presented by John Frost, but it was discontinued in 1856.

In 1852 a young lawyer, R. D. Hartshorn, began the publication of The Buckeye State. Two years later he purchased The Western Palladium and merged it with The Buckeye State. He sold it in 1856 to Robert C. Wilson. After his death in 1863 his son, James Wilson, carried on until he also died in 1866. G. I. Young then became the owner until his passing while a member of the State Legislature in 1871. His widow was the publisher for the ensuing few years when she disposed of it to Ed. F. Moore and P. C. Young. The former took over the latter's interests in 1875 and continued its publication until The Buckeye Publishing Company purchased it in 1901.


In 1865 J. D. Briggs founded The Merchants' Journal, but it soon suspended. James K. Frew launched the New Lisbon Journal in April, 1867, and successfully conducted for many yens. He was finally succeeded by his son, D. Howard Frew, who afterwards sold it to Messers. Hinchliffe and Moffatt. Moffatt soon purchased Hinchcliffe's interest and in turn sold back to D. H. Frew. The Journal was finally consolidated with The Buckeye State.

In 1898 The Republican Leader was discontinued by George Redway, who purchased it from John Kirk and others who established it in 1892.

Edmund Hays operated the town's first grist mill. It was destroyed by fire in 1845 while owned by Daniel Harbaugh.

The town had a band in 1813 which was composed of the following musicians: William Hellman and John Clapsaddle, violinists; John Crafts, flutist while William D. Lepper played the piccola and Dr. John D. Gloss the triangle. The second band was formed in 1832 with Joseph Way, clarinet and leader; David Schultz, C. F. Heiman, A. J. Begges, William Collier, John Beaumont and Hiram Medial, clarinets; Ed. F. Lepper and Frank Richardson, bugles; Robert Hanna, Jacob Ewing, Adam Endley and Edward Collier, flutes; James McElroy and J. Casper, bassoons; William A. Hoover and Matthias Nace, violins; Thomas Small and Thomas Beaumont, French horns; William Trill, trombone; Samuel J. Hoover, ophicleide and Patrick Murphy, bass drum. The first elephant that was ever seen in the town arrived during 1820. The early settlers were principally Presbyterians and German Lutherans. In the former faith the first baptism was noted, that of James, son of Davidson and Agnes Filson. The first Presbyterian Church was erected in 1814, just west of the present jail. In 1841 a new edifice was erected on the site of the present church which was built as the result of a fire damaging the second structure.

Not until 1833 did the German Lutherans erect a house of worship. Before that they attended worship in the old courthouse. Then a brick structure was erected on Washington Street.

After three years of worship in various homes the Society of Friends built a small meeting house on Jefferson Street. They became inactive years ago, however.

In 1812 the Cavanistic Baptist Church was formed and a frame meeting house was built at High and Jefferson streets in 1815. The Baptist Society ceased to exist in 1827 and the members merged with the Deciples. Another church was built by the latter in 1841.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Lisbon in 1822 it was recognized by the Beaver circuit three years previously. The place of meeting was a small frame house west of the Arter's tannery. In 1826 a brick building was erected on the hill east of Market Street which was replaced by a building on the southwest corner of the square. Then was erected in later years the present church building used by the denomination.

In an old log house five United Presbyterians worshipped in 1829. On April 28, 1839 the brick Methodist Church on High Street was purchased by the organization. On Jan. 1, 1860 the Walnut Street Church was built. The congregation has steadily grown with the years and been a strong factor in the religious life of the city.

The Methodist Protestant Church began activities in the village in 1831. A Chestnut street house was first used. The White Church on the square was built in 1837, but in 1848 the organization became extinct as did the Wesleyan Methodists in 1842 after a brief period of activity.

Though services were held intermittently from 1847 on, no organization was affected by the Protestant Episcopal Church until 1863. The meetings were first held in the German Church and then in the courthouse until 1876. Then a neat chapel was erected on Walnut Street.

The Roman Catholics erected a building for worship on West Chestnut Street though there were a few members of the denomination in the city for a long time previously.

Among the noted divines who have preached in New Lisbon was the eminent but eccentric Lorenzo Dow, who, in 1817, held forth eloquently to vast audiences in a beautiful grove of sugar trees at the foot of Market Street.

Religious life in Lisbon has steadily developed in later years until its churches, members and ministers in all denominations have a firm and compelling stand as outstanding and useful parts of the various denominations in which they are numbered.

The Sandy and Beaver Canal Company was incorporated on Jan. 11, 1826 and amended on March 9, 1830. Work on the project which was to have connected the mouth of Little Beaver, on the Ohio River with Bolivar on the Ohio canal, thus making a connection with Portsmouth and intervening points on the south and Cleveland and intermediate sections on the north was begun on Nov. 24, 1834 when Attorney Elderkin Potter turned over with his own hands the initial earth and later delivered an address in which he pictured the potentialities of the departure of the waterway of sixty miles that would link points 45 miles apart on a straight line.

The panic of 1837 caused a cessation of the labor thus initiated and the completion was not reached until 1846, twenty years after the incorporation was made. On Oct. 24 of that year the first boat was run over it and reached New Lisbon under the command of Captain Dunn. Great rejoicing followed. Its early failure was a disastrous blow to the town, particularly since it had refused connection with the later C. & P. railway which, after touching Wellsville, was afterwards continued through East Liverpool to Pittsburg.


Retarded progress and lethargy marked the town until after the Civil War when the Niles and New Lisbon railway was constructed. It was opened in 1866. Then began the operation of factories in which the native clays were utilized. A cement plant was built, extensive stone quarry operations begun and the opening of many small coal mines started. Later was built the Pittsburg, Marion and Chicago, afterwards known as the Pittsburg, Lisbon and Western railroad which became a part of the Wabash system. It stimulated industrial activities in all lines and the town grew and prospered. In 1894 a bonus of $50,000 was raised among the citizens which brought to the community a large tin mill. Then followed the erection of a pottery, the Thomas Knob Works, manufacturers of porcelain, and gradually the town took on with constant business additions its present commercial dimensions.

On Jan. 17, 1895 the citizens agreed to file an application with the Common Pleas court for a change in the name of the city to Lisbon which was done, the prefix "New" being dropped after a century's use.

Lisbon has turned out more than its share of men who have become prominent nationally for their capabilities in various lines. Though his parents lived in the town President William McKinley was born just without the county in Niles, Ohio. Opposite the grandstand of the old baseball park on East Walnut Street was the home of his mother, Nancy Allison. It was built of logs in 1808, but later was covered with weather boarding. The home of his parents and the iron furnace which his father operated were situated on the Little Beaver Creek and along the Sandy and Beaver Canal.

Marcus Alonzo Hanna was born in New Lisbon on Sept. 24, 1837. He attended its public schools until the age of 15 when he accompanied his father, Dr. Leonard Hanna to Cleveland where he soon began the industrial and political activity that made his name a household word throughout the country until his passing away in 1904.

Justice John H. Clark, who succeeded Charles Evans Hughes on the Supreme Court bench when the latter was nominated for the presidency in 1916 was born in New Lisbon in 1857 and with the. late C. S. Speaker, who also made a notable record as lawyer within the county, shared the distinction of being bachelors. Justice Clark, though he has resigned from the bench, is still active in his labors for world peace in the interest of which he recently began a tour around the world.

Judge Robert W. Taylor, though he was born in Youngstown, lived the greater portion of his life in Lisbon. As a resident he was for years representative of his district in Congress, making a record there that was in keeping with the high standard which his eminent predecessor had made before becoming governor of Ohio and president of the United States.

During the Civil War the name of Clement Laird Vallandingham was known throughout the north and the south. In the former it was execrated as that of a traitor and in the latter extolled as a friend of constitutional liberty as represented in the doctrine of states' rights. He was born in New Lisbon, July 29, 1820. He had been educated in Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pa., and, in 1845, was the youngest member of the Ohio legislature, a boy of 25. He easily became the Democratic leader of the body. In 1847 he removed to Dayton and became part owner and editor of the Western Empire; while also practising law he served from 1858 to 1863 in Congress. He returned to Ohio and following bold utterances against the actions of the government was deported to the south. He later found safety in Canada from where he consented, in the fall of 1863 to run for governor of Ohio against John Brough who defeated him decisively. The war over he returned to the practice of law and was accidently, but fatally, wounded in the court room at Lebanon, Ohio, in 1871 as he was demonstrating during a trial the use of the gun that had been used in the murder that was being considered.

No less prominent than his son was Mr. Vallandingham's father, the Rev. Clement Vallandingham, who settled in New Lisbon in 1808. He immediately took charge of the Presbyterian activities in the town and vicinity. For years he and the Rev. Mr. Hughes had charge of the church at Calcutta also. The former was said to be a minister for saints and the latter for the sinners. Later, Rev. Vallandingham founded the Presbyterian Church in Salem. He was ever given to punctuality in his labors and frequently swam his horse through streams in order to make his appointments on time.

Gen. Anson G. McCook, member of the The Fighting McCooks who later removed to New York City, sereved several years in Congress as a representative from one of its districts and was also for a time secretary of the United States Senate.

The McCook family were on intimate terms with Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, of Steubenville.

Another of the Dr. John McCook branch of this notable family was Maj. Gen. Edward Moody McCook. He was born in New Lisbon on June 15, 1833. He went to the Pike's Peak region to practice law, was in the Kansas legislature before the division of the territory. He resigned from the army to become minister from the United States to the Sandwich Islands. He was subsequently twice appointed governor of Colorado territory by President Grant.

Another son, Rev. Henry C. McCook was born in New Lisbon on July 3, 1837, became a private soldier and chaplain, but faunally returned to his church in Clinton, Ill. He subsequently became a great naturalist, being an authority on ants and spiders which gave him European standing and acclaim. He was also the author of "The Latimers," a book based on pioneer life in Western Pennsylvania during the period of "The Whiskey Rebellion."

Commander Roderick Sheldon McCook, U. S. N., was born in New Lisbon, March 10, 1839. He graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1859. He brought home a prize slaver that had been captured and performed meritorious service during the Civil War.

John James McCook, born in New Lisbon on February 4, 1843, served as a lieutenant in the First Virginia Regiment during the Civil War. Though educated as a physician he became an Episcopal minister and as such was long professor of modern languages in Trinity College of Hartford, Conn.

Of the Major Daniel McCook branch of this illustrious family he himself did yeoman service in enlisting men for the Civil War and subsequently lost his life in the Battle of Buffington Island when an attempt was made to stop the rebel raider, Gen. John Morgan. Of his several sons, Gen. Robert Latimer McCook was born in New Lisbon, Dec. 28, 1827. After a notable service he was slain by guerillas while he was in a hospital van suffering from a wound. His assassination aroused the North greatly. Maj. Gen. Alex Dowell McCook was born on a farm near New Lisbon, April 22, 1831. He commanded the Twentieth Army Corps and the right wing of the Army of the Cumberland. He later served in the regular army and was stationed at Denver, Ca Other members of this family were born in Carrollton, Ohio.

Major J. H. Wallace, a notable lawyer of the city, was declared the winner over Major William McKinley for Congress in 1882. The Garretson family were also leading residents of the city. Hiram Garretson, following his removal to Cleveland, became the American representative to the Vienna Exposition when he accompanied the crowned heads of Europe in a special inspection thereof. The London Times, in describing this pageant declared that "The American Commissioner was the most kingly looking man in the procession." His son, Gen. George Garretson, served with distinction in the Spanish-American War and had a fine record as a business man.

John J. Morgan, who practised law in Lisbon for a period following 1840, later represented this country in Brazil; after nine years of legal activity in the town, 1830 to 1839, E. T. Merrick removed to Louisiana where he served with distinction on the supreme court bench of that state. Andrew W. Loomis practiced law in the town from 1825 for several years when he removed to Pittsburg and became one of the Smoky City's leading lawyers. As such he was chosen to deliver the oration on the one hundredth anniversary of Braddock's defeat on Nov. 25, 1858. Previous to his removal he served the district in Congress. Charles D. Coffin filled the unexpired term of Loomis when the latter resigned. He subsequently removed to Cincinnati where he was elevated to the bench.

In the pioneer days, George Graham located in New Lisbon in 1807, he coming from New York. One of his sons was prominently connected in later years with the American Bible Society. In the third generation, William T. Graham became head of the American Tin Plate Company and Rev. Joseph P. Graham, a missionary to India.

Lisbon's population in 1920 was 3,113.

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