OLD SETTLER’S MEETING
Held in July, 1873
From; The New Castle Democrat
At a meeting of The Old Settlers an organization of Veteran Pioneers, started some time around 1857, interrupted by the Civil War and renewed about 1871. They would talk about ‘the good old days’. This article covers the talk given by Asahel Woodward, one of the earliest settlers of Henry County: *Asahel Woodward was born in Rockingham County, Virginia 24 March 1791. He emigrated to Kentucky at the age of twelve, and thence, when sixteen to Ohio. In 1815 he married Catharine Hollett, who died in 1871. In April, 1815, Mr. Woodward moved to the present county of Henry, and erected a cabin north of the town of New Castle. He resided on this land he had selected as his home until the day of his death, 19 Mar 1875. *From Inter-State, History of Henry County - 1884
Asahel Woodward remarked that he did not think he could make a speech, though he knew something about the settlement of this county but he did not know all. There are not many people who know everything . "I am almost as old as this Government and have watched the doings of the Government and the people for three-fourths of a century, I was at Cincinnati when it was a small village, in 1806 came West from Kentucky, helped to plant the first corn West of Preble county, Ohio. At that day the customs of the people were different from now, there was more equality. In 1815 I came to this town, the Indians had reserved the land for three years, there were no roads, nothing but Indiana trails. After looking around for a few days I started back to Connersville, when I came to Flat Rock, I found the waters high, the horse fell and pitched me over it’s head into the creek, which made me feel very cheap although there was not a white man within twenty miles that I knew of, I went on and attended to business. When I came back I brought out seed corn, found and old Indian house that had been covered with bark which had rotted off. I went to work and made some boards and covered it, put in poles and split boards for a floor and made the floor high to prevent the rattlesnakes from getting in the house, as there were large numbers of them in this county at that time. In that day the nearest mill was on White Water. I had but one horse and there being no roads, nothing but Indian trails. Everything was moved in what is termed a pack-saddle. I had a sack that held from five bushels in which I carried all of the bread-stuff from the mills for many years. My horse became so well acquainted with the path that it knew just as well how to walk around trees and bushes when loaded with a pack as I did myself. When I came out I brought a few hogs along with me but they soon ran off, some of them going back to Ohio, others got down to Connersville and were put up at the distillery. I traded the hogs for whiskey and brought it home with me. It was soon known among the Indians and whites that Woodward had whiskey. Soon I found that it would not suit me to keep whiskey and when the first was gone I did not get anymore whiskey." Mr. Woodward related several other instances of his early life in connection with the first settling of this county but we did not get them in shape for publication.
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