Window to the Past

Life on the Canal


Delphos Herald, June 20, 1872
On Sunday last, a row took place on the boat "Doyle", between two of the hands. One Jerome Morehead, being thoroughly soaked in "Sidewalk Monopolizer," fancied himself insulted and proceeded to repair his damaged dignity by throwing an ax at the object of his revenge. Missing his mark, he tried a hammer, and then resorted to "arms," and no doubt would have made bad work but for the presence of mind of the cook who threw the ammunition into the canal.

Morehead is now "playing checkers with his nose" at the Korst House, under recognizance of $500.

It is said that Morehead's brother killed a man at Hamer, last Friday by chopping him literally in two with an ax. Bad family!

From the Defiance Examiner.

Delphos Herald, July 22, 1872
Two brothers of Sam Morehead, who was shot last week, are in jail. One of them for killing John Turner, at Hamer, a few weeks ago, is in the Paulding County jail; the other in the Defiance jail for assaulting a boy in that place. Jerome, the youngest, has declared his intentions to quit the canal, settle down, and become a "peaceable" citizen.

Delphos Herald, June 13, 1872
A storm at Toledo crashed into the Canal Collector's office building killing L.J. Cooper, of Delphos, bowman on the canal boat GEO. R. RICKETS. The stout frame of the building enabled Collector Abner Guilteau, his clerk and several boatman who had taken refuge from the rain in the corner of the warehouse, to escape. A younger brother of Mr. Guilteau, standing within a few feet of Cooper when the latter was killed, received severe injuries. Wm. Black of Hayward Mills, Michigan was know to be in the building, and as nothing has been heard from him, he is supposed to still be under the ruins; but up to two o'clock his remains had not been recovered. This morning the body of Cooper was taken in charge by his brother and conveyed to his home for interment.

Delphos Herald, Aug. 8, 1872
Taken from the Hunter boat of Lye and Walsh's Warehouse on Wednesday May 15th, a Six-Shooting Rifle, Warner's patent, shoot round barrel from 18 to 20 inches in length, walnut stock, round cap box on stock. Any person returning the same to the undersigned or the above named warehouse will be liberally rewarded and no questions asked.
    J.W. Wagoner

Delphos Herald, Sept. 19, 1872
All the inventors in the county, says the New York Journal of Commerce, are racking their brains to take the prize of $100,000 (this was in 1872, a huge sum at that time) offered by the New York Legislative for a steam canal boat which could be run more cheaply than the horse-powered arrangement, at a speed of not less than three miles per hour. Economy of working is its chief desideratum. Speed is an object too, but only a subordinate one, for the greater the speed, the more liable are the banks to be worn away. Three miles an hour, however, is a greater speed than that of the present horse-boats. If it were possible to invent some motor that would save the trouble of towing, and the many difficulties incident to the use of horses, and could be worked at the same cost as the horse-power, the bargain would be cheap at $100,000.

(To be continued)

Canal Lock

Compiled by Robert Holdgreve
Delphos Historical Society

February 26, 2000 Delphos Herald Newspaper

Life On The Canal

(continued from the Feb. 26 story, "Life on the Canal")

From Delphos Herald Oct. 30, 1873
In reference to the trial of canal steamboats competing for the $100,000 prize, the New York Evening Post says;

The trial of the steam canal boats, begun last Wednesday, has shown that none of them come up to the requirements. It is probable that the O.O. Pope comes nearer to the requirements than any other, although its speed falls short of three miles an hour, and the amount of coal consumed is about 500 pounds more than that used by the Baxteo.

The Syracuse Journal, given the following conclusions, drawn from the remarks made by several commissioners;

1. That it is quite impossible to invent any machinery that will propel a boat carrying 200 tons at a less cost than when moved by horse-power, with the present dimensions of the canal.

2. That boats as now constructed, are too large for the capacity of the canal.

3. That as the law requires that inventions shall be practical for superseding horse-power, and award is not likely to follow.

4. The law requires a speed of at least three miles an hour, and as none of the boats made that time, an award cannot be legally made.

Delphos Herald Oct. 10, 1872.
Never in the history of the oldest inhabitant has the canal been known to be so slow as at the present time. The water is down in all the reservoirs, below the feeding gauge, and in the main channel there is not an average of two and one-half feet. In consequence, navigation is about closed for the season, and there is scarcely any water enough to run the mills and factories. Some of the mills have been closed for several days, and the proprietors are sending to foreign markets for flour to supply the demands of their customers. We hope this state of affairs will not be of long duration. A flood, something like that in 1966, would be hailed as a great blessing.

Delphos Herald March 13, 1873
Saw-mill, water power. One mile from Delphos on Miami and Erie Canal.

Delphos Herald March 27, 1873
Railroads should be able to carry freight at one cent per mile, per ton, profitably, when built with economy and well managed, though boatmen on the Miami and Erie Canal fail to make money at double that rate.

Delphos Herald July 31, 1873.
On the night of the July 16, T.J. Tabler, living about five miles from Wapakoneta, had a valuable horse stolen from his pasture. Suspicion at once rested upon a young man by the name of Fought, from Paulding County who had some time previously been in the employ of Tabler. Mr. Tabler tracked the horse to the toll gate on the plank road, near St. Marys, where he learned a man answering the description of Fought, riding a horse, had passed through the gate about 3 a.m. on the 17th. Tabler immediately, in company with H. Althausen, gave chase to the thief following the canal, and at Delphos he found his horse in the livery stable of J.H. Ward. The thief arrived in Delphos about two hours before Tabler and Althausen, and had traded the horse to Mr. Ward. He gave his name as John Fought. He then preceded to a barber shop to get shaved. The news spread all over town, that a horse thief had been captured and the horse recovered, and Fought hearing the crowd discussing the matter, got up from the chair and "lit." Mr. Tabler procured a warrant and handed it to Sheriff Dickman, and on Saturday last, he went up to Hamer, in Paulding County, where he got on the track of Fought. On Sunday, the sheriff nabbed him at church about three miles from Hamer, where he was attending a singing school. He was brought back to Wapakoneta and yesterday he was brought before J.S. Williams, Esq. for a hearing and was committed to jail in default of $1,500 bond.

Sheriff Dickman has shown by his energy and perseverance in the pursuit of this man, as in many other cases, that the trusts reposed in him, are in competent hands. The Commissioners should give him a liberal reward for capturing this thief. This is the proper way to encourage efficient officers. -WAPAKONETA DEMOCRAT.

Delphos Herald Oct. 23, 1873.
- It may not be known that the large, beautiful pond lily growing in the inlet from the Maumee River between the Iron Works and Presque Isle is the same plant as the famous Lotus of Egypt. There are only two or three places in this country where this particular species can be found, of these are certain localities on the Maumee River and marshy ground near the upper end of Lake Erie. Formerly, the flower was growing profusely all along the Maumee River where our docks are now, and where the Island House stands was a solid mass of them of the size of an ordinary dinner plate, with leaves, denominated pads in the botania, fully two feet across. - TOLEDO JOURNAL

Compiled by Robert Holdgreve
Delphos Historical Society

March 18, 2000 Delphos Herald Newspaper

Life On The Canal


Delphos Herald, June 10, 1873
Constable's Sale - By virtue of an order of Sale to me directed, I will on Monday, the 23rd of June, 1873, at 10 o'clock A.M. offer for sale at the town of Delphos, Allen County, Ohio, the following goods and chattels to wit: One Canal Boat, (Wabash No.2) all mules and harness, furniture and equipment of said boat, Wabash No.2, at the suit of Philip King vs Canal Boat Wabash No.2.
     Pat McRedmond, Constable

Delphos Herald, July 31, 1873
Parties who have been in the habit of bathing in the canal within the incorporate limits of the town, will take notice that there is an ordinance prohibiting it, and the City Marshal has received instructions to arrest any person found violating the same. The offenders, if arrested, may expect the fullest penalty of the law.

Delphos Herald, Oct. 23, 1873
By the resolution of Council, the old building on the canal opposite the Commercial House, and the collection of sawdust of Brown's mill, have been declared nuisance and their removal demanded.

Delphos Herald, Oct. 16, 1873
A correspondent, signing himself, Paulding County, writes to the St. Marys Courant as follows: I have for some time past noticed a growing interest in our Miami and Erie Canal. I have been informed that efforts are being made, looking toward a greater supply of water northward from St. Marys. As things exist at present, there can only be laid up for use, three and a half feet of water in the Mercer County reservoir, above the level of the canal at St. Marys. The banks of the reservoir were originally constructed so as to allow 8 or 10 feet depth of water, and could that amount be laid up, there could be water sufficient to afford at each lock, DOUBLE the amount of water power now in use, and would allow THREE THOUSAND CUBIC FEET per minute to be taken to Defiance and used on a fall of 35 feet. The power from St. Marys to Defiance, is estimated at not less than 180 run of mill-stones. The State of Ohio expended over $600,000 in constructing one of the finest reservoirs in the world,. covering 170,000 acres of land, capable of holding water sufficient to allow 9,000 cubic feet per minute, to be drawn therefrom for the use of navigation, and said water in passing the numerous locks, would operate a vast amount of machinery. Now, the north eastern part of Ohio has no reliable amount of permanent power, other than that furnished by the Miami and Erie Canal. If by good management in laying up in our vast reservoir, near St. Marys, we can be enabled to double the power used at every lock, north of St. Marys, how greatly would it increase the prosperity of Northwest Ohio, by promoting manufacturies, and adding greatly to the business of the canal.

Delphos Herald, June 29, 1876
Wednesday, June 21st, the longest day of the year, was chosen by the pleasure seekers of St. Marys and Delphos, on which to hold a joint picnic. The commodious little boat belonging to Lye and Zimmerle left the wharf at half past ten, a.m. with its throng of pleasure seekers crowding the deck and cabins. The trip from here to Deep Cut was made in about three hours, during which the party amused themselves by singing, dancing, talking and laughing. Arriving at Deep Cut they found the St. Marys party awaiting their arrival, and was received with three cheers. Then began greetings and introductions, mingled with shouts of joy. A sumptuous dinner was served, and from then until the shades of evening drew on, was one continual round of pleasure. As night approached, both parties returned to the boats and transferred the scene of their merrymaking to the large hall belonging to Mr. George Meihls of Spencerville, where they finished the bounteous supply of provisions that was furnished by the ladies of the party. Then until 11 p.m., the two parties chased the glowing hours with flying feet. The party broke up with kind adieus and expressions of pleasure and hope that they might have many such happy times in the future. The Delphos folks speak highly of the efforts of the St. Marys party to make everything go off pleasantly and smoothly, and they all join heartily in wishing for a continuance of the acquaintance so pleasantly began on that occasion.

Delphos Herald, Feb. 1, 1877
F.B. Dewitt of Paulding, is circulating a petition among the voters and tax-payers of Paulding County, to be presented to the Legislature of Ohio, asking them to vacate and abolish the Paulding reservoir, and that portion of the Wabash and Erie Canal passing through Paulding County and turn said canal into a ditch, all of which is proper and Christian like, as we have too much water in Paulding County, and not enough ditches. Besides, if it is possible in the line of our religious duties, to drain the reservoir, about 4,000 acres of as good land as we have in the State of Ohio, now covered by the waters of the reservoir, will be brought into immediate cultivation; and ten times that amount of land lying south and south-west of the reservoir will be comatable without boats, rubber boots, or the danger of loosing our lives when we go into that vicinity and having the horrible obituary notice following the, "He came to his death by drowning." Let us get rid of this canal and reservoir, and commence improvement in the right way.
     Paulding Democrat

Delphos Herald, May 3, 1877
The frequency of accidents occurring on the steep approach to the canal bridge on South Main Street (now Second Street) should lead the authorities to adopt some protection. Only last week, a wagon and pair of horses were precipitated down the embankment, the driver narrowly escaping severe injury.

Delphos Herald, June 14, 1877
A burglar entered the sleeping apartment of Thos. Webb on Sunday night, and was making way with a gold watch and some valuable diamonds when Thomas was awakened by the heavy tread of the escaping thief. A "leaden messenger of death" discharged from a convenient revolver unfortunately missed its mark, but so frightened the burglar that he dropped the coveted property and fled through the window. He was followed to the canal, where he leaped on to a passing boat and eluded further attempts at his capture.

Compiled by Robert Holdgreve
Delphos Historical Society

March 25, 2000 Delphos Herald Newspaper

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