Have you ever come across a fairly recent newspaper article that wasn’t a family genealogy but contained family information dating back to the late 1700s? That was my case when I was searching newspapers for ‘Foster Family’. One of the articles I found was about the restoration of a cabin built “prior to 1835 when Joseph Foster and his bride Catherine Bothwell ‘went to housekeeping’ there.” Included in the article is information about the original FOSTER land transactions and a few details about their journey from Maryland to Ohio.
Chillicothe Gazette (Chillicothe, OH)
2 Jul 1981
Restoration Gives New Life to Historic Cabin
By Barbara B. Kalfs
Gazette staff writer
The history of early Scioto Valley families is logged in a recently restored cabin in on the Barnhart-Cryder Farms near Hopetown.
John Haynes Barnhart of 1 Bellcrest Lane has realized a dream in seeing salvageable materials from a Pike County ancestral home provide a Ross County Scioto riverside “fun place.” the logs formerly were part of the two-story Foster house on the west bank of the Scioto in Jackson Township (originally Pike County).
The house most recently was owned by his mother, Mrs. Robert A. Barnhart (Elizabeth Evans) of Grand Avenue. The land on which it stood near Omega was sold to Power Cooperatives Inc for part of a proposed electric power plantsite.
The ravages of wind and time had virtually razed the house. Barnhart was determined to save what he could. The “new” 15 by 15 foot cabin contains original oak and walnut logs, braces and chimney. The doors and windows are new, but approximate to the destroyed originals. The door is wood-hinged with clothes pegs affixed in pioneer style.
One brick in the interior chimney used now for a wood-burning stove bears the name of the brickmaker, “Thomas.” Above the mantel is a wood slab inscribed “Barnhart-Foster. 1835.”
“Bud” Tackett, a local contractor, joined in Barnhart’s plans and resurrected the cabin. The siding of the old house was saved for future use. There is only a sleeping loft as there was not enough left to rebuild the two stories.
“The roof caused us the most trouble as we had to find new shakes,” Barnhart says. “We moved everything savable last year. Bud moved the good stuff to the cabin site. Because of weather, we had to wait until after December to put up the chimney and do the chinking.”
Since the old house was on the west bank of the river, Barnhard selected a similarly isolated riverbank site for the cabin. The acres sold to the power company were partially acquired Sept. 19, 1799, in a sale from Nathaniel Massie to John Foster Sr. The family has records which note that for 180 pounds current Kentucky money, 300 acres were sold, being part of a 1,500 acre tract made in the name of Horatio Gates and granted by U.S. Patent assigned to James Murray. This was Virginia Military District land.
Another record states Nathaniel Barwell by attorney Nathaniel Massie of Adams County, Territory of the U.S. North West of the Ohio River, deeded, for 250 pounds in current Kentucky money, to John Foster of Ross County 250 acres, part of 1,000 acres granted to Barwell. Thomas Foster, a son of John Foster I, gave 500 pounds current Kentucky money for another 250 acres.
The cabins’ familial pioneer connections, through Barnhart’s maternal and paternal sides, include such prominent pioneer surnames as Barnhart, Bothwell, Chenoweth, Cryder, Evans, Foster, Haynes, Koehne, Lewis, Platter, Potter, Prather, Rittenour and Thompson.
The original log house which had a later addition was built prior to 1835 when Joseph Foster and his bride Catherine Bothwell “went to housekeeping” there. They lived there until 18785 when they moved to 322 Church St. in this city.
Barnhart’s maternal grandmother, the late Mrs. C.C. (Maude Koehne) Evans, kept a family record elegant in its simplicity.
The Potter family roots were traced to John Potter, born in 1748 in Essex County, N.J., who was a captain in Col. Moses Jaquich’s 1st Regiment. He married Rachael Thompson and they lived on (General) Braddock’s Road near Uniontown, Pa.
Their daughter, Charlotte, married James Bothwell, who emigrated from Scotland to Virginia to Chillicothe. Their daughter, Catherine, was born in McArthur and married Joseph Foster Jr.
On the Foster side, the Rev. John Foster I moved from near Cumberland, Md. to what is now Pike County in 1799. The family traveled down to the Ohio to the mouth of the Scioto and poled flatboats upriver.
Foster, Barnhart’s antecedent, died in 1800 and is buried on the old Barger Farm off Ohio 335 in Pike County. After having served in the Revolutionary War as a private, he became a Methodist minister and preached for 35 years. His last sermon was delivered near Pee Pee Prairie between Piketon and Waverly at the Snowden Sargent home.