church, but it is ascertained that he was of the Babtist
A church at Darlington was completed, in a rough manner, and made quite convenient and comfortable. The first minister was Rev. -- Hobbs, of the Babtist persuasion, from Kentucky. He was a good man and very popular with his hearers. The next regular ordained minister who engaged in the spiritual welfare of the people thereabouts, was Rev. -- Veatch, father of the present Gen. Veatch. He was regarded as a man of good talent, great piety, and a highly esteemed citizen.
About the year 1825 a Mr. Youngblood built a Methodist church near Darlington, and from that time may be dated the formal introduction of the creed of this denomination of Christians into this section of country, though long before this they had established and carried on in their private houses, meetings for divine worship in accordance with the teachings of their own peculiar rites. From this period on, for several years, the places and conveniences for public worship increased rapidly. It were well to remark that from the stepping of the first foot upon the shores of the river in this wilderness country, to the present time, the inhabitants have ever been truly devotional, and always kept in view, and zealously adhered to the teachings of the Christian religion.
Next to their devotion to religion the people of those times deemed the education of their offspring the most important; and although the country was so sparsely settled that the raising of money for the erection of school houses would have been futile, yet they never ceased in their endeavors to employ teachers and open schools in some vacant out-house in the summer season, and in a private dwelling in the winter. Thus they struggled on from year to year, and every recurring season developed the fact that they had made rapid strides toward clearing the forest, erecting school houses, churches, roads, mills, mechanics' shops, &c; and even now there are many octo-
genearians living who delight to sit around the social hearth and
recount to admiring listeners their feats of hardships and tales of
woeful endurance. It is proper to state that no small part of the
prosperity and thrift which succeeded the settlement of these emigrants
among the forest is attributable to the sterling worth and indominitable
spirit of the noble women who left their abodes of comfort and ease in
the east to encounter the perils and vicissitudes of a wilderness life.
If they did not bring with them so many accomplishments and so much
refinement as are to be found now in our midst, they brought with them
what was far more valuable - virtue and intelligence; and with their
husbands and fathers they sought no other end than to inenleate virtue,
disseminate true principles, and taught all to drink freely at the pure
and inexhaustible fountain of knowledge - even to those who were under
the smoky rafters and upon the earthen floors of the hovels of the poor.
It was not unfrequently that the maids and matrons of those times were
left alone for days to take care of the little ones and the homestead
while the father and son made excursions into Kentucky, or into the
interior to procure the grinding of a bushel or two of corn in to hominy
or coarse meal to assuage the gnawing of hunger, and prevent, perhaps,
the famishing of the mother and little ones.
Among those that came here first was Mr. Daniel Bates, who now resides with his son in Newburgh. He first arrived by himself in 1815, and landed from a trading boat at Darlington. After prospecting awhile he paid a man $160 for his claim to a piece of land which he lad entered and returned to Rhode Island for his family. There being neither railroads nor steamboats, Mr. B. fitted out wagons, and putting all the plunder he had, with his family on board, set out for Pittsburg. Arriving at Pittsburg in due time, he purchased a small flat-boat, and em-
barking all his horses, wagons, furniture and family, he soon reached
his place of destination. Once here he commenced a small clearing and
erected a log cabin, and, like others, he soon had quite a farm under
cultivation; but high waters and fierce storms of wind and rain
frequently destroyed their crops, and it was by the strictest economy
and most prudent husbandry that they were enabled to sustain themselves
thought these unfortunate times. There was no fruit, except wild
berries, to be had, and the people of Darlington were compelled even to
go to Mr. Vannada's farm, some distance across the river into Kentucky,
to get their corn ground, by a hand mill, and sometimes even to Panther
Creek, Ky., for the same purpose. The next year, however, there was a
horse mill erected on this side of the river up in the territory that
now composers Spencer county. When this was accomplished it afforded
great relief to the inhabitants for many miles around, and great was the
rejoicing occasioned by it.
The next important enterprise in this line was the erection of a flouring mill in Henderson, Ky. The farmers about Darlington had, by this time, raised some wheat, and many of them joined together and carried seventy-five bushels of it in canoes to Henderson and got it ground. After this, bread from wheaten flour was more plentiful, but previously it was very seldom that a morsel of wheat bread could be had.. On one occasion, about a year and a half previous, a trading craft came down the river which had upon it, among other articles of traffic, some thirty or forty barrels of flour. The owner of the flour offered it for sale, but money being scarce it did not go off very rapidly, although he offered it reasonably low. He would trade it for most anything except for corn or corn meal. He finally discovered that there were a goodly number of chickens in the neighborhood, and offered, for every three dozen of chickens that anybody would give him, one barrel of flour. The consequence was that he soon disposed of nearly his
entire stock of flour for chickens. The people in a settlement which
had been made near the present site of Boonville, hearing of this
favorable opportunity to procure a little of the "staff of life,"
immediately collected six dozens of chickens and sent them down and
procured two barrels of flour. A friend informs us that although these
two barrels of flour was divided among the eight or ten families, yet so
precious did they esteem it that the last of it was not consumed for
more than two years subsequently.
In 1818 the first coal mine was opened and worked, but not to any great profit. This mine was located on Pigeon Creek, about two miles from the Ohio River,, on land now owned by James Horton but, as intimated it resulted in no pecuniary benefit to those engaged in it and therefore abandoned. Soon after this another vein was opened on the same tract of land which yielded some profit to the undertakers, but it was so far from the river that the coal could not be got out or made available except during a high stage of water in the river, which frequently backed up Pigeon so as to make it boatable. From this time on other banks were continually being opened, and coal became a staple article of commerce - the producers frequently shipping boat loads of it down the river. In 1850 the first shaft was sunk on the bank of the Ohio River. It was what is known as "Phelp's Bank," and now leased by Mr. Wm. Love. Then followed the "Roberts Bank," in 1852, the "Hutchinson" in 1856, and the "Hazen" in 1865; all of which have produced, and are still producing, the valuable commodity in great abundance. It is estimated that 500,000 bushels are now annually shipped and sold from this portion of the county, and will, in a few years, perhaps, be the main source of wealth to the citizens. The quality of coal produced by these mines is good, and is liberally used by steamboatmen, as well as by all who need fuel for any purpose. Besides the veins
and mines along the Ohio River bank, extensive seams are worked back
in the interior. Mr. Isaac Miller, near Millersburgh, formerly worked a
vein from which he could annually produce 100,000 bushels. So abundant
is this commodity that at these mines in the interior the owners and
operators of them haul it several miles to market, in wagons, and sell
it for ten cents per bushel, making a reasonable profit on it. It
requires no prophetic eye to discern that in a few years a great portion
of the country along the river bank will be completely undermined, and
while there are only hundreds of men now working in the subterranean
passages there will be thousands, and while only thousands of dollars
are now yielded, hundreds of thousands will be forthcoming to reward the
owners and operators of these enterprises.
In 1814 a party of men commenced boring for salt on Cyprus Creek some two or thre miles from the Ohio River. The enterprise was undertaken under rather unfavorable circumstances, but it is still thought that, with proper means and efforts, it could be made profitable. Mr. Hubbard Taylor now owns the lad whereon these wells were commenced, and the evidences of salt being near at hand are still visible - the lickings of deer and other animals.
At the mouth of Cyprus Creek a boring for coal was commenced three or fours years since. After going to the depth of 349 feet, water came forth which was highly impregnated with salt, but on account of the overflows from the river and other unforeseen causes this project was abandoned for a time.
It is deemed highly probable by Geologist and other men of science that both salt and oil can be obtained in paying quantities along the meanderings of Cyprus and other small streams within the county limits. The evidences of this fact make the inducements to capitalists to invest therein very inviting.
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