History of Fayette County

From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County


In the winter of 1790, Nathaniel Massie, in order to be in the center of his surveying operations, determined to make a settlement within the reservation. Accordingly, he offered each of the first twenty-five families in Kentucky, one in and one out lot, and one hundred acres of land, provided they would settle in a town he intended laying off. To this proposition more than thirty families acceded. After some consultation, the bottom on the Ohio, opposite the lower of the Three Islands, was chosen, the station fixed and laid off into lots, which is now known as Manchester, in Adams County, about twelve miles above Maysville, Kentucky. The only neighboring settlements at this time were Columbia, below the mouth of the Little Miami, eight miles from Cincinnati, and the French settlement of Gallipolis, near the mouth of the Great Kanawha.

In the spring of 1795 an abortive attempt to locate a town in this valley, was made by Nathaniel Massie. In March, 1796, another party, under the same leader—some going by way of the Ohio, and up the Scioto in boats, while others went by land—met at what is since known as Dutch Station, at the mouth of Paint Creek, and, and on the first of April they began to erect cabins and plant their crops. In the meantime, Massie had selected a location for the town on a large tract of land owned by himself, and containing two hundred and eighty-seven in and one hundred and sixty-nine out lots. After the boundaries of the lots, streets, and alleys were defined by blazing the trees, the embryo city was named Chillicothe.

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