Augusta Township

Carroll County Historical Society

Unique History

Augusta During Civil War Time

Augusta Township has been represented in all of the major conflicts of our country, from the American Revolution to the present time.

During the great Civil War many Augusta boys answered their country's call and were mustered into the service. There were two companies recruited from the village and township, Company F. of the 126h O. V. I. and Company F. of the 32nd Ohio, the latter one later becoming the 26th Ohio Battery. Thomas Hendricks was the first of these soldier boys to be killed, falling at Cheat Mountain, from a shot, the remains resting in the little cemetery of his boyhood home. His mother gave a white vest he had to B. T. Norris, a comrade boy, Mr. Norris retaining the garment as a treasured keepsake.

Another reminiscence of Civil War days at Augusta and a stirring one was that of the memorable Morgan's Raid in July 1863. Morgan had passed up from what is now Bergholz to Norristown and Salineville. At Salineville, being driven back again toward Norristown, owing to close pursuit by Union soldiers and the home guard, several of Morgan's men were taken prisoner near Norristown. The captives, or at least a number of them, were taken to Augusta and held in an empty room of a building used by B. T. Norris, prior to the war as a meat market. There were 15 of these men and all wrote their names and other bits of army lore upon the walls, Mr. Norris never erasing them. These names remained there as a memento of a historic event until the building changed hands. The men were taken from Augusta to Columbus as prisoners of war.

A story in connection with the capture and holding of the prisoners at Augusta is told. Joshua Rawlins, a man of the village, had previously been captured and held a prisoner for a time by Morgan's men in Kentucky. At the capture of the men and incarceration at Augusta, Rawlins in a spirit of revenge, was outspoken for their summary execution and desired to obtain firearms himself for the purpose. He was however; convinced that such treatment would not be justifiable or considered. Morgan and his men took several horses while on the raid through the community, and the citizens turned out to aid in his capture, guns, corn cutters, clubs, or any available bludgeon carried as an implement of warfare.

Another story is told of one of the boys who joined the posse when they went to try to capture Morgan and his raiders. When he got back home, he found his gun was not loaded.

When Morgan and his men passed through the vicinity of Norristown, a prominent citizen of that locality by the name of Shaw, had one of his best horses stolen by one of Morgan's scouts. Prior to this he had been a southern sympathizer. After that he had very little to say on this.

James Crawford, a resident of Upper Muddyfork Valley at the beginning of the Civil War, and later in Stillfork Valley, purchased horses for the United States Army, during the Civil War.

Railroad

It was a great time for the people of Stillfork Valley and the entire township when the railroad was built, providing transportation much greater than they had before. It was also a financial help by the provision of jobs and tax money. In late 1882, the right of way was given to the Cleveland, Youngstown and Pittsburgh Company and a railroad was built in 1883. In July of 1886, the railroad was sold to a committee of creditors. On January 28, 1887, a new board of directors was appointed and the name of the company was changed to Lake Erie, Alliance and Southern. They operated under that name for a time. Later, they were in operation under the name Lake Erie, Alliance and Wheeling. Shortly, thereafter, it was changed to Lake Shore, Michigan and Southern and still later to New York Central.

Afterleaving Minerva, the first stop in Stillfork Valley was at Catfish Pond, where a station and warehouse were located.  Story of Catfish Pond

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The next stop was at Pattersonville and was called Augusta Station by the railroad company. The building was a small building and was replaced in 1902 with a new, larger passenger and freight depot, which was placed on the opposite side of the public road. A lot of freight passed through this station before cars and trucks were common. A siding was built from which railroad cars were loaded and unloaded. Fertilizer, lime, feed, ashes and a great deal of coal were incoming and large amounts of hay, straw, grain, native rough lumber, fruit and potatoes were shipped out. Stock yards were built along the siding and scales were installed, making it possible to ship out many carloads of livestock. (Some years there were as many as 100 cars.) A warehouse was built next to the siding, which continued to operate until June 1959 when the warehouse and feed mill were destroyed by fire.

Wathey’s Crossing was the next stop where a small station was built. A siding was putin where railroad cars were A052023loaded and unloaded. Fertilizer, lime and coal came in and hay, straw and charcoal went out. Stock pens and scales were installed and livestock was shipped.  A051074Brick kilns were built a short distance away from bricks that were made nearby. Burning wood in these ovens with a little access of air, using native trees, made wood charcoal. Willow wood was used to make the finer grades of charcoal, which they used to make gunpowder. In 1902, a new passenger and freight depot replaced the old station. Wathey’s Station was moved to the Algonquin Mill complex in Petersburg by the Historical Society June of 1976 for preservation.

At Hewitt’s Crossing, about a mile further east, William F. Specht built a small building near the railroad where he had a Post Office and General Store.

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Telephone

The Carroll County Telephone Company was formed shortly before January 14, 1898. They decided to extend their lines throughout the county. They planned to complete the line to Carrollton and a line to Canton by way of Minerva and Malvern. It was said that the Bell Telephone Company took possession of the Carroll County Telephone lines April 7, 1899. A line was built from Augusta to Specht in early 1901. (At approximately the same time they were prospecting for gas and oil near Specht.)

In the early 1900’s, the telephone came into use in Augusta Township, beginning with an experimental line or two and then connecting with the Bergholz Company. A main line was built from East Rochester to Augusta by the Eastern Ohio Company, and then branched out from this line, charging each subscriber $1.00 a month. About the same time, the Farmers line was organized with each party building and maintaining his own line. Their office was in Pattersonville. An exchange was set up in Augusta and was located in the stone house on the square after they became associated with the Bergholz Company.

The writer, born in early 1938, remembers the days when phones rang into six or eight homes in the neighborhood and with entertainment somewhat lacking, trying to divert mom’s attention while picking up the phone to try to find out what was exciting in the neighborhood. Never, in our wildest imaginations, could we have guessed what phones would be like in 2010, with no cords, only one on the line, caller ID and seeing the person on the other end on computer screens!

Amish

Since 1981, when the first Amish arrived in Carroll County from Geauga County, they have purchased several farms and residences in the Augusta area and have begun several small family businesses. They have opened Country Stores and sell local made wooden items, groceries, maple syrup and various things needed by the Amish and their country neighbors.

The Amish meet in a different family home each Sunday for a worship service and enjoy the rest of the day with family. Their Sabbath is a “day of rest”
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