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The BARTLETTS and COMSTOCKS
of
HAMILTON COUNTY, OH



CROSBY TOWNSHIP

         JOSIAH BARTLETT was a native of the State of Connecticut, but emigrated from New York into Ohio. He settled in Crosby township about the year 1838. In business he was a farmer all his life; as to politics he was a Whig until the Republican party started, after which time he was an active Republican. His religious sympathies were with the Methodist church, of which he was a member. He married Anna LATHAM, a native of Vermont. Six children constitute their family, four sons and two daughters: Sarah, who married Robert BROWN, and is now a resident of New York State; Latham S., who married Nancy COMSTOCK and afterward Hannah MARSH, and is now living in this county; Lucy, who married Abner PHELPS, and has her home in Indiana; William, who married Eliza ANDREWS and then Matilda WINTER, and is a resident of Hamilton county; David married first to Eunice COMSTOCK and afterward to Phoebe ELLSWORTH; and Laurentine, who is also married and living in Indiana. The fourth child, William H., was born in New York in 1806, where he received a common school education. In 1823 he came to Ohio and settled at first in New Haven. The same year he began the study of medicine with Dr. COMSTOCK. He continued his studies four years, and then began the practice of medicine in company with Dr. COMSTOCK. He stayed in New Haven two years, when he went to Miami township, and remained nine years in the same profession. Then he moved to Cheviot, Green township, where he passed another nine years, when he sold his practice to Dr. CRUIKSHANK, and from there he returned to New Haven, where he still resides. In August 1880, he sold his practice to Dr. SHIELDS. While engaged in full duty he had the largest practice of any regular physician in the southwest part of Hamilton county. When he began business he had very little capital, but he has now accumulated a fine fortune. He was an old line Whig until the birth of the Republican party, since which time he has belonged to that organization. His first wife was a native of Ohio. She died in 1835, leaving him three children. His second wife was from the State of New York. His children, Horace B. and Euphemia, are both residents of Hamilton county; Amanda married Nathaniel G. FRENCH and lives in Butler county.

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CROSBY VILLAGE

         Next below Butterfield & Company’s tract, on the west side of the river, a large piece was bought by Joab COMSTOCK the same year. In 1803 he laid out a town site in what appeared to be an eligible place near the Great Miami, below the famous bend, about two miles south of the county line, and gave the new town the name of Crosby, for the reason before given. For a time settlement was attracted thither, and its fortune was decidedly hopeful. A number of cabins and other houses were built; a blacksmith shop and store began operations; other shops were opened; and many lots were sold. The ground selected proved too low, however, for permanent occupation, and the great freshet of 1805 thoroughly inundated the town site and invaded the buildings upon it. After this untoward event the place ran down, and was ultimately vacated altogether, not a single house remaining to mark the spot. In later times the property has been owned by the heirs of Judah WILLEY, son of Noah WILLEY, of the Butterfield Land company.

NEW HAVEN

         Joab COMSTOCK became the chief founder of villages in Crosby township. He was one of the original proprietors of New Haven.
         This village dates from 1815. It was laid off upon twenty acres of a hundred acre tract in the southwest corner of section eleven, bought from Robert BENEFIELD by the proprietors of the new town—our old friend Joab COMSTOCK, Sr., and Major Charles CONE, another old settler in the township. Joseph SATER, another pioneer and father of some of the most prominent citizens of the township and county, served as surveyor, Major CONE carrying the flag-pole and Mr. COMSTOCK himself notching the trees for landmarks. The site was probably determined, in large part, by its natural advantages, it being at the junction of Howard’s creek and the Dry Fork of Whitewater, with a picturesque distribution of high lands in every direction in the near view. It took its name from the birthplace of COMSTOCK in the "land of steady habits." When, however, it became desirable to establish a post office at this point, it was found that there was another New Haven in the State, and accordingly it became necessary to designate this office by another name---that of Preston being selected.
         Main street intersected the town site from east to west. Parallel with it was a street on the south, through which ran the road from New Baltimore to Harrison; and another on the north, which was not opened for a long time. There was also a West street, on which ran the road to the Shakers’ town. A small piece of ground to the north of the plat, and outside of it, was reserved for a burying-ground; but there were no other reservations.
         The progress of the place was slow. Mr. BEYIS says:
         During the ten years following 1815, the proposed village was only made larger about once every six months or one year by the addition of a cabin, ox-shed, or log barn. The first frame building was erected in 1826, eleven years after the town was founded. It is still standing on Main street, second dwelling west of A. T. HAWK’s shop, and was recently occupied by the Rev. Mr. RODEBAUGH. The first log cabin was put up long before, on the north side of Main street, near the centre of the village plat. Mr. BEYIS humorously remarks:
         It would defy the skilled Samuel L. CLEMENS [Mark TWAIN] to tell what New Haven resembled at that early day. Seven or eight log cabins were strewn up and down Main street, without sidewalks and numbers. The fragrant dog-fennel and jimson-weed grew luxuriantly beside the cabin doorstep. Main street and Shaker avenue were soon lost among the paw-paw bushes and Spanish needles a few rods from Dr. George LITTLE’s tavern.
         The first tavern in New Haven was opened by Dr. LITTLE. The first storekeeper had his place alongside of this—Mr. William WAKEFIELD, whose grandson, Amos WAKEFIELD, occupies a store upon nearly the same site. David GOSHOM and Wesley THOMPSON were the first blacksmiths. William MCGUIRE, of whom THOMPSON was a son-in-law, was one of the first school teachers in the place. Mr. William ELLSWORTH, a widower with two daughters, was another professional school-teacher residing in town. Thomas MAKIN, a bachelor, and his two maiden sisters, early opened a dry goods store. Dr. George LITTLE was the first physician. Others among the earliest were Dr. James COMSTOCK, who lived just south of the village; Noah COMSTOCK, his brother; Edmund C. ARCHIBALD, wagon-maker; John SHROZER, cabinet-maker and undertaker; Leonard HATHAWAY, and Latham S. BARTLETT, shoemakers; and Lot DAY, tanner, whose factory was in the southeast corner of the place, near Howard’s creek. Mr. BARTLETT had also an early tannery. Among the younger men were Drs. Hiram and Thomas BALL, students of medicine with Dr. COMSTOCK. This pretty nearly or quite exhausts the list of the earliest settlers.

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         DR. WILLIAM H. BENTLETT [BARTLETT...st*] came from New York State to New Haven, via Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, in 1825. He was then in his twentieth year, and at twenty-three began practice, after a studentship under Dr. COMSTOCK. He has been a practitioner in New Haven for more than half a century, save nine years at Miamitown, and as many at Cheviot.

*See bio of Josiah above.


Ford, Henry A. and Kate B. Ford, History of Hamilton County, OH (Cleveland, OH: L. A. Williams, 1881), pp. 288-290 [excerpts only].

Contributed by Sandra Taylor



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