Tragedy struck and Stephen Delano the father of Mary, Alvira and Almira Delano was found dead in 1818. They were just babies when their father was killed. He would have been about 43 years old at the time of his death.
There was an article about his death on the internet at the Inquisitor & Cincinnati Advertiser. This was retyped and not the actual newspaper. It does not appear to be there anymore and this link doesn’t work. I downloaded this on 11/14/2004:
14 July 1818
As Mr. Lewis Bland of Columbus, (says the Ohio Monitor of the 2d inst.) was seeking his horse in the Indian lands, on the Norton Road, leading from Delaware to Sandusky, at the crossing of the Little Scioto, on Wednesday the 24th .. he discovered a dead body in the water, lying face downward, less than twenty yards from the bridge; which, on examination, proved to be the body of Stephen Delano, Jr. son of Mr. Stephen Delano, of Clinton township, in this county, as was ascertained by his papers. His head on the right side was lacerated with a wound, which one of the spectators said had fractured his skull, and the eye on the left side was started from the socket; his throat was cut, although the gash had not affected the wind pipe. His clothes were found in the much the same state as when he was last seen. It is conjectured that this murder was perpetrated by the Indians, though not certain.
GenealogyBank.com (subscription) has several other newspapers in Ohio that report this murder, much to my delight.
The Canton Repository (Canton,Ohio), Friday, July 17, 1818, pg 3, under The Repository has a version of this article which was cut off on the left side, therefore, the missing words:
As Mr. Lewis Bland of Columbus seeking horses on the Indian lands at the crossing ____ at the Little Scioto, on 24th ult …discovered the dead body of a man…proved to be the body of Stephen Delano, Jr. His scull was fractured and throat was cut, besides which there were other wounds. It is supposed was murdered by the Indians, as it ______that Mr. Delano had been accused ____some who were in a drunken frolick of ____their property a day or two previous.
The Weekly Recorder (Chillicothe, Ohio) July 24, 1818, Volume IV, Issue 51, Page 406, Horrid Deeds – here is additional information.
“On the 24th ult. the body of a Mr. Stephen Delano, jun. was found in the Little Scioto…He was supposed to be murder by the Indians, who had accused him of stealing.”
Genealogy.bank’s holdings for northeastern Ohio are just not there yet. So who knows if they keep adding we might find more information in time.
At the Columbia Metropolitan Library in Columbus, Ohio, genealogical section, the librarian and I poured over atlas’, old and new maps to see if we could figure out from the location in the first news article where they found Stephen Delano’s body. The librarian a resident of Ohio and having a better knowledge of the area than myself pulled old maps to try to help me.
He found a website, HMdb.org The Historical Marker Database, that talked about the Harrison Military Road Makers and a description of the Norton Road was there, just scroll down to side B. So we used US 23 and 423 as markers.
We transferred our findings to a modern map. Using a Marion Co. Ohio Highway Map, 2008 we decided that this was about were the murder took place. See the arrow pointing to Hwy 23 in Grand Prairie Twp., Marion Co., Ohio. Remember this is 1818 in Ohio and this area was very wild and the river could have changed course.
Armed with this information I tried to locate an obituary notice in the newspapers and/or mention of a coroner’s inquest on my trip to Ohio in 2011. The newspapers in the early years of Ohio are very spotty with the issues of the newspaper and I did the initial research at the Ohio Historical Society. I did find mention of another coroner’s inquest about the same time of 1818 in the Franklin newspaper that confirmed for me that there might have been more information about Stephen’s death, but I was not finding it.
I had been studying Franklin County cemeteries but added Marion County now that I had some idea of where he may have died. No luck. Please realize that the area we are discussing was very wild back in 1818 and was considered Indian land. It is possible he is buried at the place he fell? I will share more about the cemeteries in Franklin County in a later post.
The other fact is that Marion County was not established until 1820 and its parent county was Delaware County. I have not done research in Delaware County, Ohio. To date, my searches have been Knox, and Franklin County, Ohio, perhaps a wider net is needed. In those searches for more information on Stephen Delano (Jr.) I did not find any deeds, patents, court records, probate and very little in newspapers.