Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jonah's Run 175th Anniversary

This year is 175th anniversary of Jonah’s Run Baptist Church, started by Collett’s. Including Collett, McKay, McCune, and Doster stories, I am writing stories about various other of our family members as they related to the church, including how Quaker Daniel Underwood, my mother’s father, never a Baptist, came to a Jonah’s Run Box Social where he bought Wilhelmina Hahn’s box. She was the new teacher at the Collett school south of Katy’s Lane, and she was staying with Collett “girls”. Anyway, Dan and Wilhelmina soon married.
If Jane Desotelle sends me more info about her, I want to include some stories about Matilda Downing Underwood. Her first Underwood husband built her the Tower House to the east of Jonah’s Run. Her second Underwood husband owned the rest of the land adjacent to JR on the north side of SR 73. She was a recorded Quaker minister, a temperance and women suffrage leader.
I’ve just discovered that second generation Daniel Collett, one of the founders, bought 4+ acres, on both sides of the then Waynesville to Wilmington State Road, that apparently included the future site of Jonah’s Run church and cemetery, from Levi Lukens, the first Quaker to come here from Northern VA in 1802 or so, in 1839, just after the church was founded. In 1907, his two surviving daughters sold the 1+ acres on the north side of the road-where the church was built in 1839 and the cemetery was almost full before 1870 when the Collett’s quit burying there -of his 1839 purchase to the Jonah’s Run Baptist Trustees for $1.00.
My brother, John Doster, is working with others to clean up the cemetery again. After looking at grave markers and at the Howard Collett blueprint, I drew the following possible conclusions: I concluded why Revolutionary Daniel Collett, never a Quaker, was buried at Caesar Creek Quaker Meeting Cemetery (a mile east of where I’m writing this at, now, our Moses McKay House). The reason? He had six Quaker daughter-in-laws, including a granddaughter-in-law. Some were members at Caesar Creek. Daniel died in 1835. In 1839, some of those Quaker daughter-in-laws persuaded their Collett husbands to put two Quaker-style front doors on their new Jonah’s Run Baptist Church.
Where was Quaker Mary Haines Collett, Revolutionary Daniel’s wife, buried in 1826? Her sister-in-law, Sarah Collett Ashby, died in 1824. She was buried on the farm, and then her body was moved to Springfield Quaker Meeting cemetery, 1+ miles SE of the SE corner of the original Collett land. I’ve not found Mary’s name listed in any cemetery records in Clinton, Warren, or Greene Counties. I wonder if her body was buried a half mile west of Jonah’s Run, on Hatton’s Hill, 300 feet north of now SR 73, in the SW corner of Survey 770. Mom told me she used to pick wild flowers there while her father, Daniel Underwood, mowed that cemetery.
About 1821, neighbors, likely including Collett’s, built a public meeting house there, “so Betsy Gaddis could have a Presbyterian service”. The Gaddis family had bought the SW corner of that survey 770 in 1816 from Abijah O’Neal, the first Quaker to come to SW Ohio in 1797 or so, from SC. (The land became my grandfather Underwood’s farm.) When the chimney fell down on some kids in 1835, the public meeting house was closed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Jonah's Run Cemetery

About ten years ago, after Mom gave money for Jonah’s Run to get five acres of former Zephaniah/Matilda land, I tried, unsuccessfully, to expand the cemetery. Mom had picked out the spot, which I marked-fourteen 15-inch rows north of the seventh row of present tombstones. After church one Sunday, I put a white bucket on a steel fence post at the spot. She and I then went over to, now, Grismer’s, and sat on the front porch where many of you have seen us sit. It’s where she and Dad were married, in the house where she and her father were born.

She again looked to the SE where the Bullskin Trail ran, where the 1822 Public Meeting House was built with a cemetery on the SE corner of Underwood land where she used to pick wildflowers while Grandpapa cut the grass. Once, when I asked how her father cut it, she responded, “With a scythe, of course.” She noted where the Hatton House was, saying Dr. Hatton called it “Pleasant View” Farm. She again said that was because they looked down on four Underwood girls. She noted the Martin House. She pointed out where Ruth Sullivan, Charles Ellison’s mother, lived and remembered they walked to Jonah’s Run and to Haines School together, saying Ruth was her oldest friend. (Charles and I started to school together.)

She said she and her sisters watched out the front porch door for two older Doster boys to drive down Collett Road in their horse-drawn school wagon to pick them up on their way to Kingman School. She remembered that Aunt Sara used to wrap yarn around my Uncle Charles’ ear as he drove the horses. She pointed out the site of the Collett Blacksmith Shop, and said Kathleen Graham rode her dad’s farm team over there to get the horses’ hooves shod. She remembered the McCoy House on the corner-now the Collett House at Pioneer Village. And, she told more stories about Underwood involvement at Jonah’s Run-which I’ll add later. Then, she looked SE to the apple storage she said her father built at Zephaniah’s place, and on to the Tower House, where she remembered taking her first bath in an inside bathtub-saying Matilda built the first house in the county with an inside tub, but not with an inside toilet, because that was not considered to be clean.

After I pointed out the white bucket on the post behind the church, Mom again said, “This is the one spot in the world where everything is in the right place”. I agree. Perhaps we’ll figure out how to end a story on our Jonah’s Run website this way. Son, Dave, has reserved both .org and .com, and I plan to write articles this year for the local paper and the website regarding the 175th anniversary of JR. I will include some stuff that is in this doc .

Of course, I’m still thinking of how/when/where to increase the JR cemetery, including into the now Grismer Farm where I was born. Currently, I’m looking for an opportunity to interest Grismer’s to sell maybe two acres just west of the present cemetery, so as to extend now Collett Road north. Someday, SR 73 will be made four lane limited access, and I’d like to have that access be from an extended Collett Road.