Solomon Goss’s role in the settlement of Dayton, Ohio — 1796…

Solomon Goss left Huntington Twp., Luzerne Co., Ohio about 1792 or thereabouts. Solomon and his family spent a season in West Liberty which is northeast of Wheeling, Virginia or now West Virginia. Wheeling is right on the Ohio River and was a crossroads for pioneers heading west.

By 1795 Solomon Goss and family were in Cincinnati. It was called Losantville at the beginning till the Governor of the Northwest Territories, Arthur St. Clair, renamed it in 1790 to Cincinnati in honor of the Society of Cincinnati.

This is the oldest drawing I can find of Cincinnati dated 1802 so it is about 10 years beyond Solomon’s time there.

Cincinnati in 1802

Cincinnati in 1802

In 1795 Solomon Goss and wife were listed on a deed selling land to Obadiah Scott, Jr. They were living in the Co. of Hamilton, State of Miami. Obadiah Scott had not yet made the move to Ohio and he was still in Huntington Twp., Luzerne Co., Ohio.

Source: Deed Book #4, Luzerne Co., Courthouse, Wilkes Barre, PA. (There is no Hamilton Co. in Pennsylvania). Hamilton is the 2nd county to be erected in Ohio in the old Northwest Territory (Jan. 2, 1790.) 

Update 12/16/2019:  I was able to obtain a better copy of this deed. This is a court clerk copy but it is still amazing to see that Olive was involved.  We also have witnesses a Jesse Scott, another brother to Olive, and their daughter Elizabeth Gofs.  The Goss name was written Gofs with the f representing an old version of the s.

Solomon Gofs To Obadiah Scott Junr.))) To all people to whom these presents may come Greeting know ye that I Solomon Gofs of the County of Hambleton State of Miamy for good reason and for the consideration of twenty two pounds two half pence (added) Lawful money of Pennsylvania have remised released and  do forever Quit Claim and by those presents do for myself and my heirs fully clearly and absolutely quit claim unto Obadiah Scott Junr of the Town of Huntington County of Luzerne State of Pennsylvania his heirs assigns forever such lands namely No. [129/29] of second division and Number of 4 of 3rd Division originating from No. 28 of first division. To have and to hold the said Obadiah Scott Jr. his heirs and assigns To have and to hold forever. In Witnefs whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal the thirteenth day of November  one thousand seven hundred and ninety five.            Signed Solomon Gofs and Olive X Gofs (her mark) Seal. Hamilton ss
In the presence of Jesse Scott and Elizabeth Gofs

Before me Aron Cadwell one of the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas in the said County came personally the within named Solomon Gofs and acknowledged the within Instrument of writing to be his hand and seal his act and Deed for the use and purposes therein mentioned acknowledged before me the 16th day of Nov. 1795, Recorded Apl. 5, 1796.  Exam’d Aron Cadwell.

Deed Bk 4 pg 166 Solomon Goss & Olive to Ob. Scott Jr. 1795 and updated cleaner copy

Solomon Goss  left letters at the post office in Cincinnati along with many others. This was in the Sentinel of the North-Western Territory page 15, Volume II, Number 95, Saturday 12, September 1795. The minutes of the legislature mention Gov. St. Clair and Judge Turner. A list of letters left. There is a really long list of people along with Solomon Goss.  Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to see those letters and read them.  Sigh…!  Google News has some issues of this newspaper, except, of course, September 1795.

Source: Pioneer Ohio Newspapers, 1793-1810 Genealogical and Historical Abstracts, the Centinel of the Northwestern Territory, Nov. 1793 to June 1796, The Frontier Press, 1986 by Karen Mauer Green.

Based on the deed and the letters left, we know that Solomon Goss and family were in Cincinnati by 1795. This would put them in the right place to become part of the initial settlement of Dayton, Ohio.

Henry Howe wrote about the founding of Dayton, Ohio giving the following accounts.

pg. 274: Journey by Land to Dayton – describes the journey of the first settler parties to Dayton. Voyage up the Miami to Dayton – describes one of the party’s journey by boat up the Miami. Arrival at Dayton – Describes the journey from Cincinnati to Dayton by these 1st settlers.

pg. 279: Bottom of the page: Soon after Wayne’s Treaty (Indian settlement), in 1795, a new company, composed of Generals Jonathan Dayton, Arthur St. Clair, James Wilkinson and Col. Israel Ludlow, purchased the lands between the Miamis, around the mouth of the Mad river, of Judge Symmes, and on the 4th of November laid out the town. Arrangements were made for its settlement in the ensuing spring, and donations of lots were offered, with other privileges, to actual settlers.

Forty-six persons entered into engagements to remove from Cincinnati to Dayton, but during the winter most of them scattered in different directions and only nineteen fulfilled their engagements. The first families who made a permanent residence in the place arrived on the 1st day of April, 1796. The first nineteen settlers of Dayton were William Gahagan, Samuel Thomson, Benj. Van Cleve, William Van Cleve, Solomon Goss, Thomas Davis, John Davis, James McClure, John McClure, Daniel Ferrell, William Hamer, Solomon Hamer, Thomas Hamer, Abraham Glassmire, John Dorough, William Chenoweth, James Morris, William Newcom, and George Newcom, the last of whom is still ….of the place and the only survivor of the whole number.

Pge. 280 – Judge Symmes was unable to complete his payments for all the lands he had agreed to purchase of the government, and those lying about Dayton reverted to the US, by which the settlers were left without titles to their lots. Congress passed a pre-emption law, under which those who had contracted for lands with Symmes and his associates had a right to enter their lots, and obtained titles directly from the US…etc.

Source: Historical collections of Ohio … an encyclopedia of the state : history both general and local, geography … sketches of eminent and interesting characters, etc., with notes of a tour over it in 1886, Henry Howe, Vol. II, pp. 274 and 279, Norwalk OH : Published by the State of Ohio, 1907. There are Indexes to this book. 

Solomon Goss was part of the party of George Newcomb that migrated up the Miami River to the location of Dayton, Ohio and in the following we learn more about what may have taken place:

On November 1 a lottery was held, and each one present drew lots for himself or others who intended to settle in the new town. Each of the settlers received a donation of an in lot and an outlot.

In addition, each of them had the privilege of purchasing one hundred and sixty acres at a French crown, or about one dollar and thirteen cents, per acre. The proprietors hoped by offering these inducements to attract settlers to the place.

Forty-six men had agreed to remove from Cincinnati to Dayton, but only nineteen came. The following men and about seventeen women and children were the original settlers of Dayton: William Hamer, Solomon Hamer, Thomas Hamer, George Newcom, William Newcom, Abraham Glassmire, Thomas Davis, John Davis, John Dorough, William Chenoweth, James Morris, Daniel Ferrell, Samuel Thompson, Benjamin Van Cleve, James McClure, John McClure, William Gahagan, Solomon Goss, William Van Cleve.

In March 1796, they left Cincinnati in three parties, led by William Hamer, George Newcom, and Samuel Thompson. Hamers party was the first to start; the other two companies left on Monday, March 21, one by land the other by water. Hamer’s party came in a two-horse wagon over the road begun, but only partially cut through the woods, by Cooper in the fall of 1795. The company consisted of Mr. and Mrs. William Hamer and their children Solomon, Thomas, Nancy, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Polly, and Jonathan and Edward Mercer. They were delayed, and had a long, cold and uncomfortable journey.

In the other party that traveled by land were Mr. and Mrs. George Newcom and their brother William, James Morris, John Dorough and family, Daniel Farrell and family, Solomon Goss and family, John Davis, Abraham Glassmire, and William Van Cleve, who drove Mr. Thompson’s cow, which was with the cattle belonging to the Newcom division of the colonists.

By 1799 when they took a survey of the settlers this is what they reported:

pg. 23…. Little is known of Solomon Goss, Thomas Davis, William Chenoweth, James Morris and Daniel Farrell.  

Source: Early Dayton with important Facts and Incidents from the Founding of the City of Dayton, Ohio to the Hundredth Anniversary 1796-1896, Robert W. Steele and Mary Davies Steele, W. J. Shuey, 1896. A copy of this book is at Internet Archive online.

Paul H. Goss writes to Flora Osborne in a letter dated 13 February, 1941.

Presumably then our Solomon Goss proceeded on up the Mad River (Miami) to Mercer’s Station 8 miles N.E. of Dayton into what is now Bathe Twp., Green Co., and then because of Indian troubles or the hardship of that early pioneering returned or removed with his family back to Washington County where his life and record was completed. Be advised that Greene Co. did not exist till 1803.

Trying to pin down where the Mad River settlement at Mercer Station was and where settlers like William Hamer migrated to has not been easy.  We know it from the description that it was 8 miles further up the Mad River. The problem in pinning down this location changed over the years and places were renamed so in various history books they use different names to identify the same area.  In this case, Hamer Hill was later called Tate’s Point aka Mercer Station?

At the website Daytonology there is a great article that helps to clarify the location of Mercer Station. Here is the link to maps and photos about the area. I suggest you go and look because this might go away.

Source: Tuesday December 2, 2008 East Dayton Farmhouses: Surveys, Early Settlers and Tates Point.

Even Paul H. Goss had trouble getting an exact location of Mercer Station. Below is a letter from a Mr. Rainey dated 1941.  Unfortunately we do not have the letter that Paul H. Goss mailed to Mr. Rainey, so we don’t know what Paul requested of this man.  From the way the letter reads I get the impression that Mr. Rainey was grasping.  Based on a comment Paul made to Flora in one of their many letters to each other, I think Paul was disappointed with the results. I share it with you because it does have some interesting historical comments.


 Jan 31, 1941

Mr. Paul H. Goss, 163 Cypress Street, Chula Vista, Cal.

Re:  Solomon Goss

Dear Mr. Goss: Since receiving your Dec 14th letter I have been trying to find some information regarding your ancestor that would be of value to you, but so far without success.  I appreciate what the librarian of the Wm L. Clements Library had to say but it so happens that all my studies of Stations and blockhouses have to do with Cincinnati and Hamilton County. —You really did not give me enough information regarding Col Newcomb and his party and some approximate date as to when Solomon left Dayton to locate on the Mad River.  Mad river as you know is part of the Great Miami River and does not flow anywhere near the present town of mercer in Mercer County, so if Solomon located on that river the settlement must have been under some other name.  It is possible of course that the first station could have been called Mercer Station after Mr Mercer, and for some reason or other been abandoned and moved to the present town of Mercer and given the same name.  This was often done as you probably know, as is evidenced by the great duplication of names that appear in our Ohio history, there are at least a half a dozen Chillicothe’s with no relation to each other.—-There is one thing that stands out that may be helpful to you in your future search, and that is to remember that Cincinnati was the chief port of entry into the vast Northwest Territory, and that all expeditions into the north country for the purpose of settlement or fighting in the Indians left from this city.  Also the early settlers that came to Cincinnati were mostly from new Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.  Of course there were quite a few settlers from Virginia and the southeast.  Do you know from what state Solomon migrated?  I mention the above for the fact that he probably stopped in Cincinnati and may have lived here for a while before joining the expedition to Dayton.  It is easy to get a line on anyone who purchased land in the Miami Purchased owned by John Cleves Symmes, as these records are still in the Hamilton County recorders office.  I do not believe however that the Miami Purchase included any of the Mad River district.  Do you know whether Solomon was a Revolutionary soldier if so you may get some information as to where he is buried and other pertinent facts from the U.S. States Graves Registration records that has just been completed for the State of Ohio, the records being in the county recorders office of each county.—You seemed to be confused as to Wayne County, Courts of Justice etc., I would suggest that you read a book prepared by Cist and called “Cincinnati in 1859” which give the best description of conditions in this entire district and how the government was formed for the territory.  You will find that the first county formed by Gov St. Clair was Hamilton and that it contained all the territory west of the Muskingum River and form the Ohio River to way above Detroit, this was later cut up into more counties.  The court of justice was never in Wayne County or Detroit it has always been in Hamilton County and remains so today particularly for the U.S. Courts. — Marietta had the first Ohio Land office but one was also established in Cincinnati, which was the first capital of the Northwest Territory as you may not know.  Marietta was the first seat of government of the Northwest Territory, but Cincinnati was the first capital under an elective form of government.  Cincinnati was still the capitol of the new Northwest Territory after the first legislature meeting at Cincinnati decided to split up the territory into the Indiana Territory and the Northwest Territory.  This condition obtained for about a year when it was moved to Chillicothe and later to Columbus.  A land office was established at both these points and I think you might get some information on this subject form the city officials or some historical society at Chillicothe as soon as you get some more information on Solomon.  I cannot see how Wayne County, Ohio could have anything to do with Hamilton County, Ohio, this may be confused with Wayne County, Michigan, which was undoubtedly carved from the original Hamilton County I mentioned above.— I am sorry I cannot be of more help to you, knowing full well what you are up against, but if you every run across anything further that I can look up for you locally please do not hesitate to call no me.     Yours truly Signature of Mr. Rainey — L.T. Rainey  LTR:R

Retyped by Bonnie Jean MacDonald, 2004. Goss Files, Special Collections of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society, Boston, MA. 

Paul H. Goss discusses Solomon’s involvement in the Dayton settlement, in his Philip Goss 4 of Brookfield Manuscript and it appears this information was taken from the Michael Shoemaker book.

He was “of the County of Hambleton, State of Miamy,” (Hamilton County, Ohio), Nov. 16, 1795 at which time he sold his land to Obadiah Scott, Jr., “of the town of Huntington, County of Luzerne, State of Pennsylvania….

During the winter of 1795/6 Solomon Goss and his family joined the Col. George Newcomb party at Cincinnati, Ohio to settle at Dayton and in the nearby vicinity.  The first families who made a permanent residence there arrived on 1 April 1796 and the Solomon Goss Family were among the first nineteen settlers.  In the Biographical sketches of those who were the founders of Dayton, Ohio we find this entry on page. 274: 

            “Solomon Goss with his family, moved further up the Miami.”

Further evidence indicates that he located his family somewhere near “Mercer’s Station” in Bathe Twp., at what is now probably Fairfield, Greene County, but because of the early hardships and Indian troubles removed to Washington County where he purchased large tracts of land and where he died in Fearing Twp., on 1 July 1825…

Source: Goss family Townships, Luzerne County, Penn. Mayflower ancestry. : Philip (4) Goss Sr., called “of Brookfield, Mass.”, and some of his descendants. Pioneer, proprietor, patriot of Plymouth & Huntington, by Paul Henry Goss, 1949, FHL Film #942004, Item 6, page 93.

This is one of the manuscripts I suggested you download, see the page at the top of this blog under Researchers of the Past and part of Paul H. Goss’ information:

Source:  The Michael Shoemaker book (Schumacher), by Wm. T. Blair, Printed by J.I. Shoemaker, Wyoming PA., Reprinted by International Textbook Press, Scranton, PA 1924, pages 23, 32, 94, 494, 509, 609, 639, 654, 662-663, 814 Covers Seward and Goss families and be sure to check the footnotes as well. This book is online at Internet Archive. As always, keep and open mind about written books, they can have mistakes.

In summary, we know that Solomon Goss and family were involved with the very beginnings of the settlement of Dayton, Ohio.  We also know that he left about 1797 and had not settled either in Dayton or Mercer Station.  We know that he shows up in Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio when his daughter Elizabeth Goss marries to Andrew Lake in 1798. We know that Judge Symmes failed to handle the land properly and this meant that Solomon Goss would probably have to pay again for his land. We know that the Indian troubles had not been resolved.  According to Solomon Goss’ grandson Solomon Goss Spracklin’s the mother Lydia Goss, youngest daughter of Solomon and Olive Goss, was the first child born in Dayton, Ohio.  The history books claim it was a boy.  (See Solomon Goss Spracklin’s posts written on this blog for more information about this claim.)

Now the settlers of Dayton didn’t just accept the situation and they sent a petition for help to the legislature.  I will present that petition in the next post.

About BJ MacDonald

Interested in travel, really into genealogy and researching my family history, classic novels and movies, fantasy and science fiction, photography, history and more... Here is a tip. Make sure you are commenting on the blog you were visiting and the post you were interested in. My blogs are listed by hovering over my pictures and clicking. Clicking one of them will take you back to the correct blog. You can try me here:
This entry was posted in Andrew Lake and Elizabeth Goss, Huntington Twp., Luzerne County, Montgomery Co., Obadiah Scott III & Thankful Rood, Olive Scott Goss, The Wife, Pennsylvania, Solomon Goss and Olive (Scott) Goss (Son of Philip & Mary (Kendall) Goss and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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