Friday, September 30, 2011

Jeremiah Stansell

Jeremiah Stansell was four months old in 1802 when his parents, Henry and Elizabeth Allen Stansell, moved from Kentucky to present day Washington Township in Montgomery County.

Their new residence was a log house, constructed the year before by Henry. The floor joists were four inches thick and floorboards fourteen inches wide. All were hand hewn. The cellar had a brick floor and a spring which ran through the basement. A channel around the edge of the brick floor directed the water flow out through a hole in the basement wall to a springhouse. The stone springhouse was south of the house. These structures, located on what is now Sheehan Road, were recently demolished to make way for a housing plat.

Jeremiah married Nancy Gregg in 1823. They had twelve children, six reached adulthood.

Nancy’s brother, Samuel H. Gregg, Jr., was Jeremiah’s business partner. They operated a large business in Springboro called Stansell and Gregg, established about 1833. The Stansel’s house was located on the north east corner of Main and Factory Streets. The general store was north of the residence. Their major competitor was Mahlon and Josiah Wright’s firm, M & J Wright.

Stansell and Gregg also exported products produced in the area. They owned large warehouses in both Springboro and Cincinnati. The company hauled man made merchandise; leather, tanned hides, and homespun material as well as natural produce; grain, maple syrup, feathers, beeswax, dried apples, jars of butter, barrels of pork and beef, by wagon to Cincinnati. At busy times of the year the wagon trains south were a quarter of a mile long. From Cincinnati the products were shipped by steam boat to far away markets, among them New Orleans and the West Indies.

Dr. Aron Wright has been quoted as saying Samuel Gregg Jr. was the greatest financier ever born in the Springboro country. Unfortunately, many of the Gregg family died in a typhoid fever epidemic in 1844. Samuel was among them.

Stansell’s son, Hiram Gregg then joined his father in the business.

Besides being a business man, Jeremiah served the community as a Postmaster, a Justice of the Peace, and Treasurer of the school-land funds.

He also owned Washington Hall, a hotel built about 1837 at forty South Main Street. When he sold it, in 1852, it was renamed “The Morton House”. It was a stage coach stop for travelers from Cincinnati to Dayton. Alcohol could be served there because it was just north of the Springboro village limits. Jonathan Wright had forbidden alcoholic beverages within the village.

Jeremiah died in 1868 and Nancy in 1875. They are buried in the Springboro Cemetery.

Note: I discovered an alternate spelling for Jeremiah, Jerimiah, on a large stained glass window pane in the “Old Stone Church”, the former Universalist church building at 300 South Main in Springboro. His business competitor, Mahlon Wright, has his name on another window of the same size.

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