General George Armstrong Custer Birthplace
Born in New Rumley in northern Harrison County on December 5, 1839, George
Armstrong Custer became one of the most controversial military leaders in our
country's history. Following his graduation from West Point, Custer served the
Union Army in the Civil War, rapidly rising in rank, attaining the rank of
Brevet General. Following the war, he served throughout the west, meeting his
death at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. A statue and
historical markers are located in a park dedicated to Custer in New Rumley.
The Custer Memorial Association holds several events annually, including
Custer days in June and a celebration of General Custer's birthday.
Clark Gable Birthplace and Museum
Clark Gable, the King of Hollywood, was born in Cadiz, the Harrison County
seat. The Gable Foundation has acquired the site of Mr. Gable's birth and has
reconstructed the home where he and his parents resided. The building is
operated as a museum and gift shop. The exhibit includes many items of Gable
memorabilia, including items donated by his fans. The collection has grown with
the donation of a large collection of items belonging to his wife, actress Carol
The foundation holds several events throughout the year, but the highlight is
the annual birthday celebration held on the Friday and Saturday closest to
February 1, Mr. Gable's birthday. Information is available at 740-942-GWTW or at
the foundation's website at
Franklin College, located in new Athens, was a hotbed of abolitionist
sentiment and teaching during the years leading up to the Civil War. Reverend
John Walker, a Presbyterian minister and staunch abolitionist, founded Alma
College in 1818, and changed the name to Franklin College in 1826. In 1919 the
college became a part of Muskingum College, located in nearby New Concord.
Walker and his faculty taught the abolitionist doctrine and many of the
graduates carried the message forward in their careers as ministers, teachers,
or attorneys. Graduates of this small institution included eight United States
Senators, nine Members of Congress, several governors, and twenty state
Titus Basfield, a former slave and one of the first African Americans to
graduate from college in Ohio, was a Franklin College graduate. His classmate
and friend, John A. Bingham, went on to become a Member of Congress and served
as Floor Manager for the legislation that gave rise to the Fourteenth Amendment
to the United States Constitution. Correspondence from Congressman Bingham to
Reverend Basfield states that the Congressman ensured the inclusion of the Equal
Protection Clause with Reverend Basfield and his family in mind. This clause is
the basis for much of the civil rights progress achieved in this country over
the past century and a half.
Franklin Museum is staffed by volunteers and open during limited hours and by
appointment at other times. Please call 740-968-1042 or 740-968-4066. Additional
information is available on the Franklin Museum website at
History of Coal Museum
Late in the 19th Century, Harrison County's agricultural economy
was forever changed by the discovery of large deposits of coal beneath the
earth's surface. The next century was a booming time for the region, as coal was
extracted from underground mines and from strip mining operations, where the
earth is removed from the coal, enabling the reserves to be extracted at the
The History of Coal Museum provides exhibits explaining and detailing the
mining processes and the many uses of the coal extracted from the ground. During
this time, many immigrants from Europe came to the area to work in the mines,
and the museum highlights the rich cultural heritage which they brought to the
area. Photographs of mining operations fill the walls, and there is a large
collection of equipment used in the mines.
The museum is located on the lower level of the Puskarich Public Library, at
200 East Market Street in Cadiz. More information is available by calling
740-942-2623 or by visiting the website at www.harrisoncountyohio.org/coalmuseum/
Mining and Reclamation Museum
Coal mining requires large machinery, especially in surface mining
operations. The Mining and Reclamation Museum is an open air exhibit which
features mining equipment, as well as detailed information on the surface mining
process. The exhibit offers an interesting glimpse into coal mining operations
and is a major attraction for children interested in earth moving and
The museum committee is hopeful that it will be able to raise funds
sufficient to purchase the Silver Spade when its mining operations cease in the
next few years. The Silver Spade is the last of the giant earth moving shovels
mining coal in eastern Ohio. "The Spade" as it is known locally, currently is
mining in the southern portion of Harrison County. If successful in its efforts
to acquire the shovel, it will become the centerpiece of the outdoor mining
Built in 1873, Ourant School is a one room school house which was renovated a
few years ago, as a joint effort led by local residents and coordinated by
Crossroads Resource Conservation and Development District.
Several events are held at the school annually, including a cake walk and a
reunion. But the highlight of the year takes place in the spring, when each of
the second grade classes from the various Harrison Hills elementary schools
spends a day as students in a one room school house.
Ourant School is located on Route 328 in Nottingham Township, east of
Scio Historical Museum
The Scio Historical Museum, a vintage, yellow brick home on Main and Carrollton Streets in the center of the village is maintained and sponsored by the Scio Development Committee, Inc., a non-profit community improvement organization. The museum houses collections and memorabilia from the 1889 oil boom, Scio College, Scio Pottery, Scio High School, and Scio American Legion. A collection of first edition books on General George Custer is displayed along with other Custer pictures and various Civil War items. Upstairs rooms featuring vintage clothing, village flags, banners, and quilts recently have been opened.
The museum is open to the public at no charge on the fourth Sunday of each month from May to September. It also is open during the four day Fall Festival each August. The museum can been seen at other times by appointment by calling 740-945-2172 or 740-945-5561.
www.harrisoncountyohio.org/sciomuseum/ for more information.
Harrison Hills Cottage Industries
Harrison Hills Cottage Industries serves as an outlet for the sale of the
works of more than 60 artisans from Harrison County and the surrounding area.
This collaborative effort began in the mid 1980s and has grown steadily ever
Harrison Hills Cottage Industries is located in Cadiz, at 142 East Warren
Street. For additional information call 740-942-2582, or visit the website at www.cottagefolkcrafts.org.
Edwin M. Stanton
Born in nearby Steubenville, Edwin M. Stanton served as Harrison County
Prosecutor, practiced law in Cadiz, and taught law at Franklin College in New
Athens. Stanton later served as United States Attorney General and was best
known for his service as President Lincoln's Secretary of War during the Civil
War. He later was appointed to the United States Supreme Court, but died before
he could serve on the bench.
John A. Bingham
John A. Bingham was an attorney and Congressman who served as one of the
prosecutors of Lincoln's assassins. Congressman Bingham served as Floor Manager
in the House of Representatives for the legislation which gave rise to the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
General Thomas Vincent
Harrison County resident General Thomas Vincent served as a coordinator of
the recruitment efforts of the Union Army during the Civil War. General Vincent
attended to President Lincoln on his deathbed.
Bishop Mathew Simpson
Bishop Mathew Simpson served as President Lincoln's
spiritual advisor. A bishop in the Methodist Church, he gave the funeral
oration at President Lincoln's entombment in Springfield, Illinois. Bishop
Simpson, a Harrison County native, is reported to have strongly influenced
President Lincoln's decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
Thomas Custer, brother of General George Armstrong Custer, served and died at
his brother's side. He is one of fewer than two dozen individuals to receive the
Congressional Medal of honor twice.
Moses Fleetwood Walker
Moses Fleetwood ("Fleet") Walker was born in 1857, the son of parents of
mixed race, which automatically classified him as "African American" for legal
and social purposes. His father was a blacksmith in Mt. Pleasant who later moved
to Steubenville, trained as a physician, and became a respected practitioner.
After practicing in Steubenville for a number of years, Dr. Walker became a
minister and moved his family to Oberlin, Ohio, which enabled his sons Moses and
Weldy to attend Oberlin College, one of the few institutions of higher education
at the time which admitted African American students. The Walker brothers
excelled at baseball and played on the college baseball team while attending
In 1883, Fleet Walker played baseball professionally with the Toledo Blue
Stockings (forerunner of the Mud Hens), in order to make money to pay for his
law school tuition at the University of Michigan. In 1884, the Blue Stockings
joined the Major League sanctioned American Association, making Mr. Walker the
first African American to play in the Major Leagues. Mr. Walker played until
1889, for teams in Cleveland, Waterbury, Syracuse, and Newark. Several other
African Americans, including Fleet Walker's brother, Weldy, played Major League
baseball during this time frame, in the face of mounting sentiment that Major
League baseball should be open only to white players. By 1889, Fleet Walker was
the only remaining African American Major League player. When he left the game
during that season, an unwritten agreement among owners and players resulted in
an absence of African American players in the Major Leagues until Jackie
Robinson broke the "color line" in 1947.
Following his baseball career, Mr. Walker lived in Syracuse, Cleveland, and
Steubenville, where he worked as a postal clerk and as a hotel operator. He also
became an inventor and received patents for an exploding artillery shell in
1891. Mr. Walker and his brother Weldy published The Equator, a newspaper
dedicated to African American issues and causes while residing in Steubenville
in the first few years of the Twentieth Century.
Fleet Walker and his wife Ednah moved to Cadiz in 1904. They took over
operation of an opera house which was located in the building which still stands
today in the 100 block of West Market Street, across from the Harrison County
Courthouse. They resided in an apartment on the upper floors of the building.
In 1920 Ednah Walker passed away, and in 1922 Mr. Walker sold the opera house
and moved to Cleveland, where he resided until his death on May 11, 1924. Moses
Fleetwood Walker is buried in Union Cemetery, Steubenville, Ohio.
Moses Fleetwood Walker
1883 Toledo Blue Stockings
(Courtesy National Baseball Hall of Fame Library
Opera House in Cadiz operated by the Walkers
(building to the right of Gulf station)
Located in Hopedale, Delaney House is a farm homestead which is documented to
have served as a "stop" on the Underground Railroad. The building contains a dry
cistern, which is connected to the main house by a tunnel. The cistern served as
a hiding place for runaway slaves, and the tunnel provided access from the main
house without the need to go above ground and risk capture. Given eastern Ohio's
proximity to the Ohio River and local Quaker and Presbyterian influences, this
region was an important stop on the route to freedom.
Delaney House was purchased several years ago by a local
resident. Members of the Friends of Freedom are
dedicated to the preservation of Delaney House.
Civil War in Eastern Ohio
When we consider Civil War history, we immediately think of the
battlefields of the south, or possibly Gettysburg. Most people do not
consider the vast body of Civil War history in eastern Ohio. An effort is
underway to inventory this legacy and publicize the points of historic interest in Harrison County and the
other eastern Ohio counties of Jefferson, Carroll, Columbiana, and Belmont.
Nearly two dozen sites and points of interest have been identified in the
five county area; perfect for a day or two of exploring the importance of
eastern Ohio in the Civil War. Harrison County sites include Franklin Museum,
General Custer birthplace and monument, Morgan's Raid route, and the walking
tour of Cadiz, which includes sites related to former residents Edwin M. Stanton
(Lincoln's Secretary of War), John A. Bingham (Prosecutor of Lincoln's
assassins), Bishop Mathew Simpson (Lincoln's spiritual advisor), and General
Thomas Vincent (coordinated Union Army recruitment efforts and attended to
Lincoln on his deathbed).
Morgan's Raid Trail
In July 1863, Confederate John Hunt Morgan led the deepest incursion into
Union territory during the Civil War. Morgan's raid followed a route through the
southern tier of Harrison County. Morgan and his men entered the county near
Smyrna and traveled through Moorefield and Harrisville in their search for a
point where they could cross the Ohio River and escape their pursuers. Morgan
was captured near East Liverpool, in Columbiana County, ending a ride which
began in Tennessee.
Funding has been secured to establish Morgan's Raid Trail, a driving tour
which follows the route of General Morgan from Tennessee to his capture in Ohio.
Several markers will be erected in Harrison County as a part of this effort.
Harrison County Historical Society
The Harrison County Historical Society serves as a resource on the history of
Cadiz and Harrison County. Displays include local artifacts, photographs, and
historical accounts of the area.
The Society is located at 168 East Market Street, Cadiz. Please call
740-942-3900 for information.
Harrison County Genealogical Society
Many Harrison County residents take a keen interest in their genealogical
heritage, with many of the families who settled the area two centuries ago still
present in the community. The Harrison County Genealogical Society provide
excellent resources for researching your family history and also provides
programs to teach the skills required for conducting research.
The Society is located on the second floor of the Historical Society
building, at 168 East Market Street in Cadiz.
Numerous historical markers are situated throughout Harrison County. They
identify important sites related to the county's industry, favorite sons, and
events of importance. Please check this site for an update, including images of
Harrison County markers.
Proudest Small Town in America
In 1938, Cadiz was proclaimed "The Proudest Small Town in America." A
monument on the grounds of the Harrison County Courthouse commemorates the
Tappan-Moravian Trail Ohio Scenic Byway
The Tappan-Moravian Trail Ohio Scenic Byway is a designated route passing
through the lake region and northern portions of the county. The route loops
around Tappan Lake, passing through Deersville and Feed Springs, where two
historic markers were installed recently. From the Tappan Lake area one branch
of the byway follows Route 21 and Route 799 through the Clendening Lake region.
Another branch follows Route 646 to Scio and New Rumley, before following Route
9 to Jewett and Route 151 back to Scio.
For more information visit any of the following:
Walking Tour of Historic Cadiz
Harrison County Barns Driving Tour