Saturday, July 31, 2010


In 1950 Irvina Dearth wrote History of Red Lion Warren County, Ohio. In the book she has much information about early settlers of the area. One such man was Edward Dearth. She says Edward Dearth and his brothers were born in Maryland and served in the militia of Maryland during the American Revolutionary War. They later moved to Pennsylvania.

In 1797 Edward came to the Northwest Territory looking for land. He bought 1400 acres from General Schenck. This land was a part of the Symmes purchase and Dearth later had to buy it again from the U.S. government. The property was northwest of the village of Red Lion. After buying the land, Edward returned to Pennsylvania and prepared his family to move.

His family consisted of his wife Elizabeth and five sons: Basil, James E., Asael, Isaac, and Samuel and one daughter, Priscilla. The couple had eleven children but five had died at a young age.

In a file, at the Warren County History Center in Lebanon, I found a single sheet of paper on which Minnie M. Booz had documented some stories told to her by her Grandmother, Elizabeth Greene Ritter. Ritter was the daughter of Priscilla Dearth Greene. Booz told how Edward and Elizabeth met. One morning the Dearth family in western Pennsylvania found their horses were missing and saw a trail of hoof prints. A search party was gathered and Edward Dearth joined the group. It took all day and the party was in Maryland by the time they found the horses at the cabin of a Mr. Roberts. The Dearth party spent the night and then started back home with their horses. But, Edward had developed an interest in Mr. Roberts' daughter, Elizabeth. A courtship and marriage followed.

In the spring of 1798 Edward built a flat boat and the family floated on it down the Ohio River. They landed in Cincinnati on April 16, came through the wilderness on the Wayne's Military Road to Clear Creek, and then up Gander Run in present day Warren County. They built a log cabin which was replaced in about 1833 by a brick house.

In the Red Lion book Dearth recorded a story told by Newton Dearth, a grandson of Samuel, about the dogs on this early farm. A lane led from the house to the road. There were bars across the lane at the road and also near the house. At night the dogs put their paws on the bars by the house and waited for the wolves to come out of the woods. The dogs then chased the wolves to the set of bars at the road. The wolves then turned and chased the dogs back to the house. Dearth said they played like this for hours.

As to personality, Booz describes Edward as "pious and of quiet temperament" and of Elizabeth she writes "Some other accounts of a stormy temper, and a red head were told".

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