Springfield, Ohio

History and Genealogy



A Daily Mail


From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 464


By Oscar T. Martin


The diffusion of intelligence from the seat of Government and the East had hitherto depended upon a weekly mail, which was carried on horseback. The arrival of this mail was the day of the week, and was called "mail-day." An innovation was made in 1828 in this arrangement, which was gladly welcomed. It provided for a daily mail, carried by a four-horse coach. The current news was thus brought here from Washington and the Eastern cities within five days after its publication in those places.


Societies


The benevolent and literary societies which had been formed from time to time lacked elements of stability. Feeble attempts to resuscitate and re-organize repeated failures were made, but, judging from an article from the caustic pen of Rev. Saul Henkle, then editor of the Western Pioneer, dated February 14, 1829, all these efforts had been unsuccessful. This article, here given, details, in very sarcastic language, the birth and death of the different literary, musical, religious and colonization societies:


"A sort of fatality seems to attend the benevolent and literary societies which have been gotten up in this good town of Springfield. We leave it with our readers to determine the cause of their failure; or, if thought more appropriate, we would refer the subject to a council of physicians, to report the nature and causes of the distemper to which this general mortality is attributed.

"1. A Literary Society, formed in December, 1815, of about thirty-five respectable members, died, say May, 1816, from want of attention on the part of its parents, aged about six months.

"2. A Library Society, formed in 1816, was soon threatened with death by starvation, and, by the overseers of the poor, was sold out, but soon after died, in a state of feeble childhood.

"3. A Library Society, brother and successor to the above, formed, say 1820 or 1821. It has been nearly frozen to death in an empty case, but of late has got into its trousers, but is still very delicate.

"4. A Bible Society, formed September, 1822, for awhile promised to be strong and healthy, but, having been dieted for several years chiefly on 'Annual Reports,' grew very sickly; of late, however, it has gained a little strength, and may possibly live to years of maturity, though efforts are now making to effect its death by poison.

"5. A Missionary Society, formed in November, 1826, has disappeared in a mysterious way, and has not since been heard of. Some suppose it has been Morganized.

"6. 'A Tyro's Club,' formed in July, 1856, was very sprightly and active for a few months, but, in the absence of its parents, was taken suddenly ill, and died for want of suitable attendance, at the age of about five months.

"7. A Colonization Society, formed November 1, 1826, is still living, but, from neglect and abuse, has been kept so feeble that it has not been seen abroad more than two or three times.

"8. In the same year, a Society for the Encouragement of Instrumental Music was formed, but, from the miserable condition of the instruments, the exertion of blowing brought on a decay of the lungs, by which it was carried off in a few months.

"9. In 1826, a Vocal Music Society was formed, but, soon taking the influenza, lingered awhile and died.

"10. A Literary Society, formed in November, 1828, gave hopeful promise of a better fate, but was found dead a few evenings since, in the Brick Academy. Some attributed its death to strangulation, but the Coroner's inquest seemed to think it occasioned by dropsy on the brain.

"11. A Reading Room Society, formed a few evenings since, is only kept from freezing by having some eight or ten newspapers wrapped about it. If it can be gotten through this winter, we hope to see it in a more growing and prosperous state.

"12. A Temperance Society, just formed, will hardly live through the winter without the application of active stimulants.

"13. To these may be added a society proposed to be formed for the promotion of Christian charity. This cannot be organized at all, in our opinion, as it requires a commodity (charity) very rarely to be met with in this market, and, besides this, no man here has any idea that he stands in need of the article in quesiton, each supposing himself abundantly supplied."


The Market House


A long, wooden structure, with two rows of stalls, side tables, and a pavement walk between, for the building of which proposals had been received by the Town Council July 1, 1829, was finished in 1830, and dignified with the title of Market House. The Council, by ordinance, provided that the Market House, now erected on West street and South street, be and the same is declared a public market. The same ordinance also provided that Wednesday and Saturday of each week should be market days, from the 20th of March to the 20th of September.


A Visit from Henry Clay


The eloquent "Harry" Clay, the pet and pride of the West, honored the town with a visit on the 24th day of July, 1830. He was en route for Columbus, and, due notice of his approach from Yellow Springs having been given, a large concourse of citizens, on horseback and in carriages, met him about six miles from town, and, with enthusiastic hurrahs, escorted him to Col. Hunt's tavern, where he took dinner and made a short speech in reply to a flattering toast.