Walhonding Valley Historical Society

P.O. Box 199, Warsaw, Ohio 43844


"Preserving the history of western Coshocton County, through its people, its artifacts and its historical sites."

Note: Pictured here is the current home of the Walhonding Valley Historical Society Museum.

Main Street, Warsaw, Ohio



1750 Native American Days

Wig-wamWalhonding River is said to have been an Indian name for white woman. The river was named the “White Woman River” on early surveyor maps Gist 1752 and Hitchens 1764. That came about because the first White woman to live in the area was Mary Harris. She married Chief Eagle Feather. Their village was behind River View Junior High along the Killbuck Creek. They were the Delaware tribe.

1806 First Pioneers

  • The Robert Darlings with wife and twelve children were the first family to settle in Jefferson Township.
  • The Same year the John Elder came with wife and family.
  • Abner Meredith became a leading scout, hunter, and trapper of the day.
  • Joseph Butler and his family arrived in the county in the year 1806.
  • Then the Treadways, Col. Simmons, Givens and Severns arrived shortly thereafter.

Jefferson Township 1826

The Township was named Jefferson in honor of our second president 1826. Some parts of Jefferson Township are called military lands and others as congressional lands. Military lands were those tracts given to individuals to compensate them for military services rendered. The later sold to individuals by the national government.

Village of Warsaw 1834

"Our Village of Warsaw was laid out in 1834 and was named after the Polish capital, a country then endeavoring to secure her independence." The village is among the youngest in Coshocton County.

1836-1896 Walhonding Canal

  • Ohio-Erie Canal was built in 1825.
  • The Walhonding Canal was a feeder canal off the Ohio–Erie that was completed in 1842. This canal ran for twenty-five miles up to Rochester (Half mile south of present day Cavallo where a feeder dam was built then canal boats used slack water to go to Rochester). The builders wanted to make the canal go to Brinkhaven. At Walhonding it would branch off west toward Millwood but this never happened. The grand scheme was to go to Mr. Vernon.
  • It is said canal aqueducts had no walk on the side for the horse to walk. They unhooked, poled the boat, either lead the horse across or had others on the other side.
  • Hoggie's (Drivers) traveled on one bank of the towpath. The word “Hoggie” probably came from the fact that in many cases, they were rough outfits. They would “hog” the road and Hog the locks ahead of other boats.
  • Canal ticket $1.75 to $2.00 four day ticket one way, 300 miles from Cleveland to Portsmouth unclaimed meals.
  • Walhonding canal about 25 miles long. Built 1836-1842; abandoned in 1896; cost around $24,000 a mile from Roscoe to Rochester or Wintergreen (Cavallo).
  • Edmond Hicks of Warsaw owned the “Liza Jane” (Carpenter 1872).
  • Nathan Ricketts owned the Minniehaha then sold to Michael Schutts.
  • Eagle Packet, a passenger and freight boat with a restaurant and bar aboard; Os Richardson, Warsaw was last owner.
  • State Boat captained by Ben Richards.
  • Charles Geidel was superintendent of Walhonding Canal 17 years.
  • Charles Senft was lock tender from Warsaw to Rochester for over 40 years he bought the Minniehaha at sheriff’s sale...
  • Conrad Miller and John Ammos followed later, all of Warsaw.
  • Brad Voshell captained last canal boat entered Warsaw in 1892.
  • The canal was in tack until 1913, at that time Ohio legislators had proposed to make the canal a recreational canal, but then the flood devastated the canal.
  • Later in 1920 the canal was in Warsaw in bits and pieces (bridges filled in), water filled the canal from Railroad Street to the present location of today’s fire station.

Grist Mills 1870

The map of Warsaw 1870 shows two mills the P. Darling Mill, (Warsaw Milling Co.) later known as Beck’s Mill, and the second mill belonged to Christian Strome where the present community park entrance is today.

The Strome Mill was a flower mill then later converted to a sawmill. The creek in that area was dammed up making a pond north of the mill. This pond covered a fifteen-acre area. The mill was fed from the canal when flour was ground. The pond was used to hold logs (assumed).

The same map notes a machine shop close to the river south of Mill Street. This was probably done for the established mechanical business located during the early 1900’s.

The Shaw Wire Fence Company also known as the Warsaw Fence Company was located along Railroad street. The 1913 flood devastated this business since all their stock was stored outside. The machinery was very intricate having to be sold after flood damage.

Warsaw Lumber Company was a lumberyard was established in early history. At this same period there was a planning mill in a three story building on Beaver Street. This was later moved to Warsaw lumberyard. Herman Kaser removed the first floor making the building a two-story structure. This structure was the main office and mill up to 1952. Bakers’ are the present owners, who built a new structure facing perpendicular to Railroad Street with living quarters on the second floor. Mrs. Joe Baker lives there today. This structure houses the hardware, paint, and office. This was the location of Herman’s cider mill, which was in operation until mid 1950’s.

Warsaw Tile and Brick Company located at the corner of Fifth and Railroad Street. The hotel block was fabricated by this company. Some houses were made from the glazed block as well as foundations. This material was not stable and did not prove to be a very good foundation material. The kilns for the brick were unearthed in 2000 east side of the above intersection. The kiln was a bee-hive affair with the top even with ground level.

1872-Warsaw Business Directory

  • Blackman, Physician and Surgeon.
  • R. Darling and Sons, prop. Of Warsaw Milling Co., dealers in flour feed and cash paid for grain.
  • Shoffer Bros., dealers in dry goods, groceries, ready-made clothing, boots, shoes, hats, caps, and queens ware, also grain and wool dealers.
  • D. J. Hogan, dealer in groceries and all kinds of provisions.
  • Joseph Frew, farmer and livestock dealer, half-mile west of Warsaw.
  • Wm. McCarkey, blacksmith, horse shoeing and “repairing promptly attended to! “
  • Nathan Bucklew, farmer and stock dealer;
  • Foster and Bros. dealers in dry goods, groceries, cutlery, hats, caps, boots, shoes and ready-made clothing. “Our stock complete and sold at moderate prices.”
  • J.W. Stanton, farmer and stock dealer;
  • Edmond Hicks, carpenter and joiner;
  • Samuel Neldon, Justice of the Peace of Bethlehem twp.

1875 Walhonding Valley

  • Darling Sons came first to prepare homestead for family July 17, 1875.
  • Kokosing River Valley was favorite area of Indians May 25, 1875.
  • Village of Warsaw started out as hard drinking town (seven taverns?).

1876 Walhonding Valley

  • Tunnel Hill February 15, 1876.
  • Metham was short-lived community February 29, 1876.

1880 Stories about the Canal

There was a swing bridge across the canal for people to walk near the Mill. One evening, John Bumgardner, an old man with a long white beard was carrying a sack of flour. As he started to cross the bridge, some ornery boys swung the bridge with him half way, thus throwing him in the water. As he was to fall into the canal he yelled “Yah” then landed in the middle of the canal.

There were five taverns on the south side during canal days. Rum and other spirits in those days were Last Boat to Load in 1892 served with your meal. There were no streetlights in those days. It was not safe for women to walk on that side. Ruffians were everywhere spitting and cursing in front and beside or between the buildings. The canal ran behind the buildings.

Last boat to load 1892

The covered bridge crossed the river was at the end of these establishments. Then too there was a swinging bridge over the canal in front of the covered bridge. This bridge was actually a pivot bridge.

Main Street 1920s

An incident happened in one of these taverns across the street from present day Granny’s Kitchen Restaurant in this 1910 picture. This restaurant was a long room affair with the counter near the back of Main Street Warsaw 1920'sthe room. An old long bearded gentleman who walk from across the river to Warsaw for his daily downing of spirits. He was a cantankerous type, nobody liked him. After downing a few, he headed out the back door for home.

A couple patrons went around behind the buildings to the swinging bridge and swung it to its mid-position. This old gentleman fell into the canal where the bridge was supposes to be. Then the next night, as the pranksters were sharing their laughter with others, suddenly the front door swung open in rolled across the floor was a homemade bomb. It was one of those round types like a canon ball. All the patrons ran out the back door into the canal.

1887 T. W. V. & O. Railroad the demise of the Canal

This is the year the Wally Flyer railroad was completed in the valley. The Toledo, Walhonding Valley, & Ohio line carried and immense traffic in coal from the Cambridge coalfields to Toledo and lake ports

1893 The C. A. & C. Railroad

This was called the Dresden branch connecting at Trinway with the Pan Handle and Muskingum Valley main line of the Cleveland, Akron, & Columbus line at Killbuck, provided a short line from the coal fields south of Zanesville and the brick and pottery industries in and around Crooksville to Cleveland and the Great Lakes. .Later the sand pits of Blissfield area for steel mills in Cleveland iron molds.

Warsaw -Coshocton, April 1, 1898

  • Terrible Floodwater reached 32” higher than ever before 6 mile dam broke. “Between Warsaw and Coshocton not a big enuf dry spot to put the foot of a rabbit.” No trains ran for 24 hours.

Warsaw, April 8, 1898

  • John Elder came in 1804 with 19 children lived until winter on one sack of corn meal and wild game.
  • J. L. Myers had enough names to have a grange organization.
  • Howard Bucklew building a new house.
  • Joe Beck of Beck Bros. & Strome, dry goods, has moved to new home on farm recently purchased from Henry Carroll.
  • Adam Strome of Strome Bros. Hardware sent to Toledo by businessman as delegate to retail, merchants business association February 24, 1899.
  • Warsaw Commencement May 5, 1899, one graduate, Clinton Laughlin.
  • Small Pox on Pin Feather Ridge, Bethlehem Township, May 5, 1899.
  • Married, Baggage Master H. A. Stamm T. W. V. & O. RR and Mildred L. Lyons, Newcomerstown, Sept. 15, 1899.
  • Warsaw Milling operated 14 years by Robert Darling & Sons powered by canal water. Robert and his wife had 12 children, Jacob, James, Isaac, Thomas, Robert, Mary, Sophia and Rebecca. Jacob Darling operated mercantile; Thomas a farmer, (William and Jonathon joined the war of 1812 first came to Walhonding River Valley, assumed brother’s of Robert?).

1905-1969 Warsaw

  • Franklin Fischer, born in 1890, area funeral director started working for Urey Bros when he was 15 years old. That was in 1905 when he was 15. This is where he started into the funeral director occupation. He built the Fischer Funeral home from a house removed from Helmick area.
  • North Snider died in 1969. He ran the filling station east of town then moved to the west end of town and built a weld shop. His filling station was also a weld shop and garage. The first fires trucks were stored there
  • Wilbur Joe “Dynamite” Knuckle had a garage in Warsaw from 1940’s to 1960’s?
  • 1900’s a swing bridge still over the canal when John Baumgartner, old man, carrying a sack of flour fell into the canal after some boys made the bridge sway. Before he took the plunge he yelled, “Yah!”
  • First wooden bridge was built across Walhonding River at in 1854.
  • West Bedford in 1838 Dr. William Stanton then moved to Warsaw. 1849 ceased.

1838-1983 Warsaw’s Doctors

  • Dr. William Stanton 1838
  • Dr. J. A. Honabarger 1898, 23 years.
  • Dr. Blackman several years after West Bedford then Warsaw.
  • Dr. Newton Calhoun.
  • Dr. P. M. Moore died in practice.
  • Dr. Meredith many years.
  • Dr. Dillon short time.
  • Dr. E. M. Wright eighteen years.
  • Dr... J. T. Martin 1934.
  • Dr. W. J. Lawson, first dentist.
  • Dr. L. D. Lebold 1931 - 1973 (42 years)
  • Dr. James Walker, D. M. V. 1957
  • Dr. Dan E. Wilson, D. D. S. 1983

Warsaw Milling Co. 1896

Warsaw Milling Co. 1896

Sources: “Wakatomika Creek” by William Horn 1969,
Local history by Nancy (Lowe) Lonsinger, and a series of articles written in
The Tribune 1948-1949 by Tom Fast
Walhonding Valley Historical Society
Written and compiled by D. Snyder, 2004


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