Allen County firsts


From the Allen County Historical Society



Isabel Sunderland Russell gave birth to the first pioneer child born in the county. She and her husband were living at Fort Amanda at the time.

Isabel Sunderland Russell gave birth to the first pioneer child born in the county. She and her husband were living at Fort Amanda at the time.


Allen County Historical Society

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Read more about the 200th anniversary of Allen County at LimaOhio.com/tag/200.

Here is a selection of interesting “firsts” in Lima and Allen County:

• First death of a white man in what was to become Allen County was that of Capt. Jacob Dawson, a Pennsylvania soldier serving there under Col. Pogue in the War of 1812. Capt. Dawson, whose tombstone incorrectly reads Capt. Enoch Dawson, was killed at Fort Amanda by Native Americans while gathering grapes there in October 1812.

• First white child born in what was to become Allen County was Susannah Russell, daughter of Andrew and Isabel Sunderland Russell, born at the Fort Amanda settlement on July 13, 1817. She would marry later Charles C. Marshall.

• The first township was Amanda Township. The bounds of the township included all of what was then Allen County.

• First white child born in Sugar Creek settlement was Elizabeth Wood, daughter of Joseph F. and Martha Ann Wood, in 1825. The family later moved to Fulton County, Indiana. Joseph was the eldest son of Christopher Stark Wood.

• Lima’s first merchant, the Frenchman James Peltier, arrived in 1828 and built a log cabin near the corner of East Market Street and the bridge. He later moved to the northwest corner of the square before selling to Henry Lippincott and moving to Sugar Creek.

• Dr. William Cunningham brought his family to Lima in January 1831, when the only families here were those of Absolem Brown, John Mark, Henry Napier and John P. Mitchell. Cunningham was the first physician in Lima, and he built a log cabin on the southeast corner of the square. Cunningham died of typhoid in 1842, but his family remained in Lima as permanent residents.

• The first county commissioners meeting was held June 6, 1831. Henry Lippincott was appointed the first sheriff. On that date, the first township formed under Allen County’s organization was Jackson Township, followed by Sciota (which later moved to Auglaize County).

• The first marriage recorded in Allen County was of David Bailey of Champaign County to Rhoda Daniels of Allen County on June 23, 1831, by Baptist minister Isaac McHenry.

• The first log house (vs. “cabin”) erected in Lima was built by shoemaker John Marks on the south side of West Market Street in the 100 block, where the Stamets Block later stood. The Marks family left Ohio by 1850 for the West, with members ending up in Wabash County, Indiana, and later in Iowa, California and Oregon.

• Lima’s first hotel was on the southeast corner of Main and Market streets. It was built in 1832 by John Porter Mitchell, who also operated it.

• The first white child born in Lima was Mariah Mitchell Brown, daughter of Absalom and Abia Woods Brown, Lima’s first white citizens, on Feb. 5, 1832. Mariah was named after Maria(h) (Bently) Mitchell, wife of Lima’s tavernkeeper, John Porter Mitchell. Mrs. Mitchell may have helped with the birthing.

• The first frame house in Lima was built in 1832 by Charles Baker in the southwest corner of the square adjoining what became known as the Cole Block. Baker was the son of Eber Baker, founder of Marion, Ohio, and an abolitionist who became a Lima postmaster.

• The first courthouse was a log house built in 1832 on the east side of South Main Street, south of the Square.

• The first Black resident arrived in Allen County in 1837, locating in Bath Township. His name was James Robison/Robinson, and he had come from Virginia. On July 2, 1840, he married Jane/Martha Payne in Allen County. She was also from Virginia. They established a residence north of Lima on the Upper Sandusky Road and raised a large family. James died in Lima on Dec. 18, 1885, and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.

• The first Lima council meeting was held March 29, 1842. The ill-fated Henry DeVilliers Williams was elected mayor, and Amos Clutter was elected the first town marshal.

• The first brick house in Lima was built in 1847 by Levi Saint (who died in 1856) and stood at the northeast corner of East Spring and South Union streets. It was later purchased by the Lima Machine Co.’s John Carnes. Saint had come to Lima in the mid-1830s and started a tannery and hide business, later building a brick business block in the southeast corner of South Main Street and the Square. This block was the scene of a disastrous fire in 1865 which birthed the Lima Fire Department.

Isabel Sunderland Russell gave birth to the first pioneer child born in the county. She and her husband were living at Fort Amanda at the time.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/09/web1_SunderlandIsabelle2.jpgIsabel Sunderland Russell gave birth to the first pioneer child born in the county. She and her husband were living at Fort Amanda at the time. Allen County Historical Society

From the Allen County Historical Society

ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

Read more about the 200th anniversary of Allen County at LimaOhio.com/tag/200.

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