Early History of the County, Part 3


“Thou soft-flowing Ohio, by thy silvery stream
of things more than mortal the Warsawian would dream;
The faries by moonlight dance round his green bed,
For hallow'd the turf is which pillowed his head.”

To a homeless man, who has no spot on this wide world which he can truly call his own, there is a momentary feeling of something like independence and terre tarial [?] consequence when after weeks of searching he pitches his tent up on the spot of soil that he expects to become his home.  Of such was the feeling of a camping of pioneers who floated down the Ohio from the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania to the present site of Warsaw to establish a settlement, just why they stopped on this particular point is lost in oblivion.

In the early spring of 1803, there floated down stream from Pittsburg seven crude crafts or barges.  These came from Pittsburg and were met by four more floating out of the mouth of the Kanawha, this raft floated down the river bringing Virginians to the Ohio, day-time, and at night, tied up along the bank.

The Ohio with its tributaries carried thousands of settlers to the western countries as this region was at that time called.  The name of the largest boat was christened the “Pioneer,” the rafts were lashed together and conveyed and conveyed several families from Pennsylvania and Virginia to settlements along the Ohio.  Each raft was about eighty feet long, with a small house erected on it; and on each was a stack of cane, around which several horses and cows were feeding, which formed the paraphernalia of a farm yard, the plows, oxcarts, pigs, children and poultry, carelessly distributed, gave to the whole more the appearance of a permanent residence than a caravan of adventurers seeking a new home.  In this manner these people traveled at little expense.  They brought their own provisions; their rafts floated with the current; and on their arrival they stopped on shore with their houses and businesses with them.  They depended on their trust rifle largely.  Their farming implements were crude, their home a log cabin.

The first settlers later gave way to another type of people.  These are called in history pioneers and the second class emigrants.  This second class of settlers came much the same way except that a number of them came b way of Cumberland Gap from Virginia and the Carolinas.  They differed somewhat in that they built roads, churches, schools and crude bridges across the streams, added field to field, cleared out roads, erected crude hewn log houses with glass windows and chimneys of stone, planted orchards, and built mills, erected public buildings, etc.  This class came about four years later, bringing with them various trades and of many races of people.

Among them were Thomas Guinea whose son, Robert, was to become on of Warsaw's prominent citizens, also Joe Greggs, the Craigs, Campbells, Browns, (from Virginia), Savages, Jones, Gibson, etc.  The town was built entirely under the hill.  They were scattered here and there, not until 1810 was it given much consideration, as a small hamlet.

The first boat built and launched was during the summer of 1809, and was named “The Frederick” in honor of its builder.  The next year another voting precinct was established, or moved rather from “The Eagle” precinct at the “Old Stone House” at Sanders, known as the Nathaniel Sanders stone house where the early settlers had voted for a while, to the village on the Ohio river, that had no other name than The Ohio River Landing.

After some discussion it was decided that the town should receive the name of Fredericksburg in honor of its enterprising citizen Adolphus Frederic [sic - no “k”], who was still a middle aged man in his prime.  We are indebted to Uncle Milton Carver for much of this information who has pointed out the spot where the dock was erected, and as late as 1846, the old posts which were a part of the construction still stood as a silent reminder of one of Warsaw's early industries that gave fame to the place.

By this time the houses were made of hewn logs, sometimes double were erected consisting of two such buildings, with a space of ten or twelve feet between, over which the roof extended,  Some of these houses were covered with shingles and the chimneys were made of stone or brick.  They had windows and tight floors some were plastered within.  It was at this period that a dockyard was established by Adolphus Frederick, a Pennsylvania Dutchman, for the purpose of building keelboats, barges and such crafts as were being used at this time.  He built his yard along the brink of the hill above the present site of the Gallatin County Bank.


March 29, 1929, from the Gallatin County News