Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Vienna Ohio History

This information is Google's cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Jun 17, 2010 11:01:39 GMT. Currently (9/11/10) this site says PAGE NOT FOUND

[Thought I'd post this since it doesn't seem to be easily available (or at least searchable) on the  New Vienna website anymore.  Possibly the information is being updated?]

According to Gretchen Huffman, native of New Vienna:
New Vienna is one of the earliest communities in Clinton County. It began as an agricultural community and quickly grew. While the surrounding area supported many large and productive farms, the village attracted its share of industrious, enterprising people. At one time there were several doctors, dentists, lawyers, mercantile stores and other businesses. There were lumber yards, saw mills, a flour mill, a tile and brick company and more. Many churches were established and life was good in the village ofNew Vienna.

With the influx of industry in the surrounding areas, New Vienna now serves mostly as a bedroom community for Wilmington, the County Seat of Clinton County, and for Hillsboro, county seat of Highland County. Many of its residents are employed at the area’s largest employer, ABX, located at the former air base near Wilmington. Recently, DHL, owners of the ground operations at the airpark, announced an expansion of their operations in Wilmington, creating upwards of 900 new jobs.  [Obviously this is dated information, as on 12/19/2008 USA Today reported that 7,500 employees were being laid off by ABX/DHL.]

The old tree-lined streets in New Vienna still showcase beautiful old homes, most in good repair, which hearken back to a peaceful earlier time. Children can play safely in the yards and on the streets where horses and buggies used to travel, and ice cream socials were held on summer evenings. The building still stands where movies used to be shown on the outside wall, to families who had come with their lawn chairs for an evening of socializing and entertainment. One of the biggest days of the year was Memorial Day, when the high school band would march and children would carry bouquets of fresh flowers to the cemetery, where they were placed on the graves of veterans. That tradition continues today with a parade and service at the cemetery. Much of the town’s social life centered around the school where all twelve grades attended. The whole community flocked to graduations, school plays and especially, to basketball games. For some years, we had a newspaper, published by the Leesburg Citizen, but we hardly needed one; news traveled fast in those days, and most of it was good news. We all knew if someone was seriously ill or needed help, and help came. The meaning of neighborliness may have been invented by those straightforward, honest, hard-working people who called New Viennahome. In that regard, not much has changed.

Saturday nights in my childhood, especially in the summer, were exciting. When the 7:00 movie at the Avon Theater dispersed, the sidewalks were filled with friendly folks who often stopped in at Pete’s or the KenConnie Inn for a dish of ice cream and to visit with friends and neighbors. We all knew each other, and more importantly, we all cared about each other.

Travel back in time with me to early Clinton County, a picture I have gleaned from earlier records of this idyllic little village in the bounteous state of Ohio:

[Pictures unavailable]

By the time Clinton County was organized in 1810, Green Township was already two or three years into their record-keeping, hence these notations from History of Clinton County Ohio - Its People, Industries and Institutions: (1) October 28, 1809, William Noble’s ear mark of his hogs, sheep and cattle is a crop and under-slit in the right ear and a hole in the left.”

It is also a matter of record that the early citizens of this township paid tax as citizens of Green Township, Highland County. Two of the tax receipts are given as evidence of the fact: “Tax receipt, October 6, 1807. Received of Micajah Nordyke $2.65 of land and county tax for the year. Received by B.W. Johnson.” “November 9, 1809. received Micajah Nordyke his state and county tax: state tax $2.25, county tax 45 cents; 300 acres of land, No. 4,397.” Therefore, we can safely draw the conclusion that this township was formed as early as 1809.

Green Township lies in the southeast part of Clinton County. It is bounded on the southeast by Highland County; on the west by Clark, Washington and Union Townships; on the north by Union and Wayne Townships and on the northeast by Wayne Township. This township contains about forty-three square miles of land, or twenty-seven thousand five hundred and twenty acres.

The white man evidently made his first appearance in this township about the year 1800. The first settlers to take out land with the intention of making this their permanent home were Joseph Anthony, who came here from Virginia; Abner Van Meter and Samuel Clevenger and Morgan Van Meter, who was a native of Morgantown, Virginia, and who settled in the vicinity of Snow Hill in the year 1800. Van Meter purchased two hundred acres of land, on which he erected a double log house - the first log cabin erected in the township.

It is thought by older inhabitants that the first settlement was made a little southwest of the center of the township on the East fork of the Little Miami river. Micajah Nordyke was among the first settlers. He came here from North Carolina in 1804. He and a brother purchased land for two dollars and fifty cents an acre of Col. A. Buford, who then owned a large tract of this region. This small settlement attracted others, such as Stephen Hussey in 1806-07, who purchased land which is now a portion of the town of New Vienna. Other early settlers were Joseph Anthony, William Noble, Sr., Aaron Cox and Eliha Noble. Charles Harris built the “Snow Hill house”, and opened a tavern there, probably the first opened in the county. Mr. Harris’s brother-in-law, Samuel Wasson, built a house about the same time and near the Snow Hill house and commenced to entertain travelers. By 1820 the population had increased until practically all of the lands were occupied.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Dad reports that Gretchen Huffman is Dr. Fullerton's middle daughter and has been quite active in community affairs. She graduated from NVHS in 1950 in a class of 18 with Hoyt Penn and Donald McKamey.

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