SUTTON TOWNSHIP — Bob Beegle continued his telling of Tales and Tidbits Sutton with a focus on Syracuse.
According to Hardesty’s Historical and Geographical Encyclopedia (1883) Syracuse’s prosperity was dependent on “the mining of coal and the manufacturing of salt.”
Beegle said that there was a Syracuse Coal and Salt Company located there, with John Blair as superintendent, later followed by L.H. Bridgman
“Before the roller dam was built in Gallipolis in 1938, Ambrose Flannagan had a beach in Syracuse that was very popular. The building of the dam and the dredging of the river to make it wider for river traffic put an end to the beach.”
“Major League Baseball catcher Ralston “Rollie” Burdett Hemsley was born and raised in Syracuse, Ohio. Before becoming a professional baseball player, Hemsley is remembered as has having played many games at King Field in Syracuse.”
Hemsley’s career spanned 19 seasons (1928-1947) with the following teams: Pittsburg Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies.
“Ben Quesinberry should be mentioned; from 1938 to 1982 he owned the Safely Tag Company that made dog tags among other things, and he was a shoe cobbler, something you don’t see anymore.”
Beegle asked the audience how many knew what a shoe cobbler was, and chuckled when only those over 50 raised their hands.
“Another important person in Syracuse history was Issac Carlton. He was a big man, weighing over 400 pounds. He and his father came from Ireland. He donated land and 200,000 bricks to build a school. That school became Carleton College.”
“Many teachers in the area were taught at that school, including Edgar Ervin who became a judge and author of “The Pioneer History of Meigs County.”
“The school still has a legacy in Meigs County. Today, the Carleton School and Meigs Industries sits on the ground where Carleton College once stood.”
· Known as a wealthy land owner in Syracuse, Carleton came to the U.S. in 1820. It was reported he was well liked, and helped many of the widows of the Civil War soldiers. Although not in the U.S. Military, Carleton joined an independent company of militia formed in Syracuse. The Militia later joined up with the Mason, VA militia and became Company E. of the 4th WV. In donating the land and bricks, Carleton stipulated that Veterans of the Civil War, orphans, members of the Board of Trustees, and members of the Carleton family would receive free tuition.
· A trolley car system that ran from Racine to Pomeroy had a stop in Syracuse.
· Trains also ran through the village, and there were numerous schools, churches, stores and businesses in the town.
If you have Tales or Tidbits you would like to share about Syracuse or other places in Meigs County, please send them to L.Faudree.Hart@gmail.com.