Butler County is full of rich history.  We have historical markers all over the county that teaches us about our past. Explore your home and find a new place on the Butler County Historic Markers Trail.

Pictures provided by the taxpayer funded Ohio History Connection.  Learn more here.

Click the map markers to find the Butler County historical markers near you.

The Miami Canal

Miami Canal Butler CountyWhere: 5701 Reigart Rd, Hamilton, OH 45011
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Construction began in 1825 on the 20-mile segment of the Miami Canal from two miles north of Middletown to the head of Mill Creek. Canal boats were operating from Hartwell’s Basin near Cincinnati to Middletown by Nov. 28, 1827. This early link in what became the Miami and Erie Canal joining in 1845 Toledo and Cincinnati by water was restored in 1971 by the Butler County Park district. Back Text: The dimensions of the canal channel were 26 feet wide at the bottom and 40 feet wide at the top. The depth of the canal averaged four and one-half feet. The 12 locks were 80 feet long with 14-foot wide interior chambers which could accommodate boats up to 80 tons. The canal from Middletown to Cincinnati was 42 miles, cost about $10,400 per mile to build, and had a speed limit of four miles per hour.
Back Text: The dimensions of the canal channel were 26 feet wide at the bottom and 40 feet wide at the top. The depth of the canal averaged four and one-half feet. The 12 locks were 80 feet long with 14-foot wide interior chambers which could accommodate boats up to 80 tons. The canal from Middletown to Cincinnati was 42 miles, cost about $10,400 per mile to build, and had a speed limit of four miles per hour.

Bethel Chapel

Bethel Chapel Butler County Historical MarkerWhere: 4025 Reily Millville Road Hamilton, OH 44423
What does the marker teach us?
William Holmes McGuffey, author of the Eclectic Series of Readers, was ordained a Presbyterian minister in a log meeting house on this site in 1829. The ordination was performed by Robert Bishop, President of Miami University, and other ministers from the Oxford Presbytery. McGuffey’s Christian character is an example and model for all teachers and students in America.

Village of Miltonville

Village of Miltonville Butler County Historical Marker
Village of Miltonville Butler County Historical Marker

Where: 4398 Elk Creek Road, Madison Township
What does the marker teach us?
The village of Miltonville, located along the banks of Elk Creek, was platted in 1816 by George Bennett, Theophilus Eaglesfield, and Richard V. V. Crane. The creek served two grist mills, one built around 1804 and operated by a free black, Bambo Harris, and the second was built by George Bennett in 1815. An Indian burial ground was located on the east bank of Elk Creek near the site of Huff’s Ferry. Eagle Tavern, the area’s first three-story brick inn, was a stopover for stagecoach lines traveling the Miltonville-Trenton Turnpike. The village was known for pottery factories, vineyards and wineries, and Frisch’s brickyard, established in 1880. The United Brethren Church, organized in 1811, and Miltonville Cemetery were the sites of church conferences and celebrations. The Miltonville School operated from the 1800s to 1936, and the local post office was in service during the years 1889-1904.

Woodsdale  and Chrisholm

Chrisholm Woodsdale Butler County Historical MarkerWhere: 2070 Woodsdale Road Woodsdale, OH 45067
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Woodsdale – This hamlet, located one mile southwest from here, was never platted, but was named after William Woods, president of the three-story brick Woodsdale paper mill constructed in 1867. Flanking the mill were the company office and store and several workers’ houses. Previous to this, the area flourished from the presence of two grist mills on the Great Miami River and from the Miami & Erie Canal. Additional enterprises such as a stone quarry, ice cutting company, and grain elevator operated here during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Woodsdale was also known for the Woodsdale Island Amusement Park and the LC&D Railroad depot. The park, established on an island between the Miami & Erie Canal and the Great Miami River in 1891, was the site of picnics, political rallies, a large dance hall, and amusement rides–including a beautiful swan boat. The great flood of 1913 completely destroyed the park.
Chrisholm: This farm, Chrisholm (German for home farm of Christian Augspurger), was established in 1830 by Christian Augspurger (1782-1848), leader of the Amish Mennonite settlement in Butler County. The Amish selected this area because of rich, fertile farmland and proximity to the Great Miami River. Christian’s son, Samuel, inherited the farm and lived there with his wife, Eliza Holly, and their seven children. The large, two-story farmhouse was built in 1874 and after fire destroyed the original 1830 stone house. It typifies the stark simplicity and balanced building style of Amish Mennonite settlements in Ohio. The property also features a large bank barn with a stone foundation. Samuel Augspurger (1825-1900) was an innovative entrepreneur responsible for Woodsdale’s industrial growth. Among other things, he directed the construction of Woodsdale’s first bridge over the Great Miami River, served as director of three turnpikes, and oversaw grist and saw mills. An incorporator of the paper company, he was also instrumental in establishing the Woodsdale school and post office.

Lane-Hooven House

Lane Hooven House Butler County Historical MarkerWhere: 319 N. Third Street Hamilton, OH 45011
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text:  James Elrick, a local carpenter, built the Lane-Hooven House in 1863 for Clark Lane (1823-1907), a Hamilton industrialist and philanthropist. Lane, who first came to the area at age twenty-one as a blacksmith, resided in the house for more than eleven years. In 1866, Lane built the library, also originally an octagon, across the street. In 1868, he conveyed the library to the city. The C. Earl Hooven family resided in the house from 1895 to 1942. In 1943, Bertrand Kahn purchased the residence and presented it to the community for civic and charitable uses. It was donated as a memorial to his father, Lazard Kahn, a Hamilton industrialist and civic leader. The Lane-Hooven House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Back Text: The Lane-Hooven house has eleven rooms and was built in the Gothic Revival architectural style, which was popular in Ohio from approximately 1835 to 1870. Accordingly, the house features a sharply pitched roof and decorative bargeboard under the eaves. Exterior features also included a greenhouse, formerly on the south side of the house; and on the front lawn, a fountain believed to be the first in Hamilton. The plan of the dwelling, an octagon, made its appearance in Ohio in the 1850s and was intended to advance house design by centralizing household activities and improving heating, lighting, and ventilation. Inside, a circular open stairwell extends from the basement to the third-floor turret. Other highlights of the house include a cast-iron fence with a stone base, a Tudor-style entrance with carved wooden doors framed by stained glass, and ornamental cast-iron balconies.

Freedom Summer 1964

Freedom Summer 1964 Butler County Historical MarkerWhere: Miami University, Western Campus located next to Coomler Chapel
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: In what was called the “Freedom Summer” of 1964, more than 800 volunteers, most of them college students, gathered at the Western College for Women (now Western Campus of Miami University) to prepare for African-American voter registration in the South. Three of the volunteers – James Chaney of Mississippi, and Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner of New York – disappeared on June 21, 1964, in rural Mississippi mere days after leaving Oxford, Ohio. Their bodies were discovered forty-four days later, buried in an earthen dam. Ku Klux Klan members were later convicted on federal conspiracy charges. Erected in 1999, this outdoor amphitheater is a memorial to the slain activists, other volunteers, and ideals of the Freedom Summer movement.

Rossville Historic District

Rossville Historic District Butler County Historic MarkerWhere: Ross Avenue & South “B” Street in Hamilton
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Rossville was settled in April 1801 shortly after the U.S. Government initiated land sales west of the Great Miami River. Its original proprietors–John Sutherland, Henry Brown, Jacob Burnet, James Smith and William Ruffin–named the town in honor of Pennsylvania Senator James Ross (1762-1847), who favored Ohio statehood and advocated free navigation of inland rivers. These founders envisioned Rossville as a shipping port for the rapidly growing population of farmers settling west of the Great Miami. The most practical outlet for their products was by flatboat down the Great Miami, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. The town of Rossville was founded in 1804, the year after the Louisiana Purchase, which made the Mississippi River a United States possession.
Back Text: The first Rossville post office opened in December 1819 in a store at the northwest corner of Main and B streets. From about 1805 ferries connected Rossville and Hamilton on the river’s east bank. The first bridge, the privately built Miami Bridge, opened in 1819. This 380-foot “double-barrel” covered bridge, designed by James McBride, washed away in a flood in September 1866. In the 1850 census, Hamilton counted 3,210 inhabitants and Rossville 1,447. Voters in the two towns approved their union in April 1854, and the merger was completed in February 1855. In October 1975 the Rossville Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Black (Pugh’s Mill) Covered Bridge

The Black (Pugh's Mill) Covered BridgeWhere: Corso Road off St Rt 732
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: One of the few remaining covered bridges in southwestern Ohio and the only one in Butler County on its original site, this bridge was built in 1868-1869 to give access to a saw and grist mill owned by James B. Pugh on Four Mile (Tallawanda) Creek. The wooden frame three-story mill had a 16-foot overshot water wheel to power it. Pugh’s Mill ceased operation after two decades. The name of the span gradually changed to Black Bridge, likely because there was a white covered bridge downstream near present State Route 73. The Oxford Museum Association assumed stewardship of the Black Bridge in 1976 as part of the American Bicentennial celebration. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, it was restored and rededicated in 2000.
Back Text: One of the longest and most impressive of Ohio’s covered bridges, the Black (Pugh’s Mill) Bridge was built in 1868-1869 by master builders Bandin, Butin, and Bowman. It is unique for its combination of two truss types “Childs and Long” within a single structure. Originally a cambered (arched) single span of 209 feet with a roadway width of 18 feet, it was modified in 1869 with the inclusion of a central pier under it for additional support. The trusses were then remodeled by replacing some of the wooden diagonals with iron rods to enable the builders to lower the bridge down onto the pier by backing off the nuts on the ends of the rods, thus eliminating the chamber and forming two spans instead of one.

The DeWitt Log Homestead

DeWitt Log Homestead Butler County Historic MarkerWhere: State Route 73, 1/4 mile E of Oxford
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Zachariah Price DeWitt was born of a Dutch family in New Jersey in 1768. With brothers Jacob and Peter, he migrated to Kentucky where, in 1790, he married Elizabeth Teets, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1774. By 1805 all three brothers had settled in Ohio near Four Mile (Talawanda) Creek. Here Zachariah and Elizabeth raised corn, hogs, and eventually, nine children. Zachariah became a prominent community leader, operating a sawmill, building houses in Oxford, serving as Masonic Lodge secretary, and commanding a rifle company during the War of 1812. Tradition has it that Elizabeth wore a black sunbonnet to cover a scar from having been scalped as a child in Kentucky. Elizabeth died in 1843, followed by Zachariah in 1851. Both are buried in Darrtown Cemetery.
Back Text: Completed in 1805 by Zachariah DeWitt, this two-story log homestead is the oldest building in Oxford Township and one of the oldest remaining log structures in Ohio. On Miami University land and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it has been under the care of the Oxford Museum Association since 1973. Constructed of hewn logs, the four-room house (with attic) has floors of ash and ceilings of tulip poplar and walnut. Its rafters are pegged, not nailed. A smokehouse still remains nearby. Visited in late March 1810 by Miami trustees looking for a site to build the university, it is believed that Zachariah DeWitt suggested the crest of the hill just west of his home. And that is where the university was built.

William Holmes McGuffey House

Where: 410 E. Spring Street Oxford, OH 45056
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873) was a Miami University faculty member in 1836 when he compiled the first edition of the McGuffey Eclectic Reader in this house. His Reader taught lessons in reading, spelling, and civic education by using memorable stories of honesty, hard work, thrift, personal respect, and moral and ethical standards alongside illustrative selections from literary works. The six-edition series increased in difficulty and was developed with the help of his brother Alexander Hamilton McGuffey. After the Civil War the Readers were the basic schoolbooks in thirty-seven states and by 1920 sold an estimated 122 million copies, reshaping American public school curriculum and becoming one of the nation’s most influential publications.
Back Text: McGuffey lived at this site in a small frame house in 1828, and in 1833 built this brick home in the Federal vernacular style common to the area. The west wing was added about 1860 in the first of a series of renovations typical of nineteenth-century domestic architecture in the Miami Valley. From the 1850s to 1958 several Oxford families owned the property. At the Miami University Sesquicentennial in 1958, the University purchased the house from the Wallace P. Roudebush family, and it was endowed by Emma Gould Blocker to serve as a museum of University history in honor of McGuffey’s legacy. The museum opened to the public in 1960 and the house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. It exhibits such unique artifacts as the octagonal table upon which the McGuffey Eclectic Reader was designed and the lectern McGuffey used as professor of Ancient Languages and Literature and University Librarian.

Langstroth Cottage

Where: 303 Patterson Avenue Oxford, OH 45056
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth, renowned as “The Father of American Beekeeping,” lived in this simple two-story, eight-room house with his wife, Anne, and their three children from 1858 to 1887. Unchanged externally, the Greek Revival cottage features brick pilasters and pediments and a fan-shaped front window. In his garden workshop, Langstroth made experimental beehives, established an apiary, and on the ten acres that surrounded his home, grew buckwheat, clover, an apple orchard, and a “honey garden” of flowers. He imported Italian queen bees in efforts to improve native bees and shipped his queens to keepers across the United States and around the world. The Langstroth Cottage was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982.
Back Text: Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth was born in Philadelphia on December 25, 1810. Although educated at Yale to be a clergyman and teacher, he achieved international fame as an inventor and author. Fascinated from childhood by the intricate and orderly kingdom of honeybees, he discovered “bee space,” an open space of not more than three-eighths of an inch which bees would not fill to bond their combs to hives. From this came the world’s first moveable frame beehive, patented in 1852, which revolutionized beekeeping and the honey industry. His book, Langstroth on the Hive and Honeybee (1853) provided practical advice of bee management and is still in use. Langstroth died on October 6, 1895 in Dayton, Ohio. Appropriately, his tombstone in Woodlawn Cemetery reads “The Father of American Beekeeping.”

Elisha Morgan Farm Mansion

Elisha Morgan Farm MansionWhere: 6181 Ross Road Fairfield, OH 45014
What does the marker teach us?
Elisha Morgan purchased 48.6 acres in Fairfield Township, part of the Symmes Purchase, in 1817. The Farm Mansion was built shortly after he settled the land. The house incorporates two prevalent architectural styles in southwest Ohio in the nineteenth century. The original front portion is an example of Federal style architecture while the 1858 rear addition represents the Greek Revival style. Built earlier than most farmsteads in the township, the Mansion is a rare example of an early farmhouse that has survived despite suburban development. The Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Paddy’s Run

Where:4751 Cincinnati Brookville Rd Shandon
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: The foundation for the first Welsh settlement in Ohio was laid on June 29, 1801, when William and Morgan Gwilym purchased land in what is now Morgan Township at the Cincinnati Land Office. The Welsh, who settled in Pennsylvania beginning in the late eighteenth century, moved westward and settled here in 1802. This area was also the major terminus for the 1818 migration from Montgomeryshire and Cardiganshire in Wales. In 1803 a Congregational Church was organized and services were held in members’ homes or outdoors. A brick Meetinghouse, complete with a Welsh death door leading to the cemetery, was constructed in 1824. The building now serves as the Community House. The present brick church was built in 1854. For many years, the library, formed in 1852, was housed in the New London Special School District building that stood on this site.
Back Text: A post office, established in 1831, was named for a nearby stream called Paddy’s Run, the local name of New London having been rejected by the Postmaster General. Objecting to being called “Paddies” outside the community, younger residents lobbied for a name change. The community became Glendower in 1886 and again Paddy’s Run in 1888 after citizens staged a boycott of the Post Office in 1887. As a compromise, the name was changed to Shandon in 1893. From this first Welsh settlement came Gomer and Venedocia in northwest Ohio and communities in northeastern Indiana. Welsh communities located in east Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin can trace their roots back to Paddy’s Run. Paddy’s Run was the birthplace of influential Ohioans including Murat Halstead, journalist and editor well-known as a war correspondent; Albert Shaw, editor of the Review of Reviews; Dr. Mark Francis, pioneer in the field of veterinary medicine; and Dr. Edward Francis, researcher with the U.S. Public Health Service.

The Village of Trenton

Where: 1 S. Main Street Trenton, OH 45067
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Trenton’s founder, Michael Pearce, came to the area in 1801. The original village of 33 lots was named Bloomfield. When the post office was established in 1820, it was named Trenton to honor the founder’s home state of New Jersey. Pearce’s son-in-law, Squier Littell, was the first resident doctor in Butler County. Originally settled by the English, Trenton saw a migration of Germans by 1840. By 1851, the farming community became a grain center with the introduction of the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad. Further development occurred when a franchise was granted to operate interurban electric traction cars through the village in 1896. Early commercial endeavors were Dietz, Good & Company grain elevator, Trenton Foundry, and Magnode Corporation. By 1991, the largest industries were Miller Brewing Company and Cinergy/Cincinnati Gas & Electric.
Back Text: Elder Stephen Gard, Michael Pearce’s son-in-law, organized Trenton’s first church, Elk Creek Baptist, in 1802. It was the earliest church organized in Butler County. Deacon Michael Pearce, founder of Trenton, donated ground for both the church and cemetery. The first burial was that of Phebe Gard, Stephen Gard’s sister, in 1804. Both Michael Pearce and his wife Phebe Pearce are buried there. Elder Gard was the pastor for 39 years and went on to found many of the Baptist churches in the Miami Valley. The cemetery is now called the Pioneer Cemetery and is no longer used for burials. In the beginning, a log building served the small congregation. By 1820, the log building was replaced with a brick structure, which was forty feet wide and sixty feet long and accommodated 250 people. The congregation disbanded circa 1900. In 1924, the building was demolished.

First Jain Temple in Ohio

Where:6798 Cincinnati Dayton Road, Liberty Township
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: The Jain Center of Cincinnati and Dayton was established on April 22, 1979 as a non-profit tax-exempt organization under the laws of the United States and the State of Ohio. The foundation stone of the Jain temple, the first of its kind in Ohio, was laid down on August 21-22, 1994. The temple was dedicated on September 2 – 4, 1995 when more than one thousand people from all over Ohio and many other states participated in holy rituals to install three idols of Jinas (Gods). The Jain Center is a place for the teaching of non-violence, reverence for life, and compassion for all beings. The center was the home of the twelfth biennial convention for the Federation of Jain Associations in North America, which was held on July 3 – 6, 2003.
Back Text: Shri Virchand Raghavji Gandhi, a disciple of Acharya Vijayanandsuriji (Atmaramji) Maharaj, introduced the Jain religion to North America during the Parliament of the World’s Religions, which was held in Chicago on September 11-27, 1893. A year later, on September 18, 1894, he introduced Jainism to Ohio during a visit to Cleveland. The Jain religion and its teachings of universal love are eternal and the faith recognizes twenty-four Tirthankaras (prophets) during the present era. The twenty-fourth and the last Tirthankara was Lord Mahavira (599 – 527 BCE). Lord Mahavira once said, “In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own.” Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (chastity), and Aparigraha (non-materialism) are the basic principles of Jainism. Its motto is “live and let live and help others to live.”

Butler County Courthouse

Butler County CourthouseWhere:  101 High Street Hamilton, OH 45011
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Butler County was created on March 24, 1803, about three weeks after Ohio became a state. Hamilton won the competition for the county seat, thanks to Israel Ludlow, Hamilton’s founder. Ludlow’s donation of the public square secured the county seat. The first Butler County trial court met in July 1803 in a tavern before moving to a two-story military building located at what had been Fort Hamilton (1791-1796). The county built the first courthouse on this public square in 1810. The two-story stone building contained a jail on the first floor and a courtroom on the upper level. A new brick two-story courthouse was built on this square in 1817 at a cost of $10,000. A four-sided clock was added to the top of the building in 1837.
Back Text: A cupola topped the 1817 courthouse, giving the building a total height of 110 feet. A bell inside the cupola signaled the start of court and public occasions and warned of emergencies. The courthouse was used until 1885 when it was demolished to make way for the present courthouse, the third on this site. Its cornerstone was placed on October 29, 1885. The $305,000 four-story structure, with a similar four-sided clock that had been on the former courthouse, was completed and occupied on February 4, 1889. The courthouse, which has experienced several cosmetic alterations, has survived fire, flood, and many storms. Three Hamilton firefighters died in a fire in the tower on March 14, 1912. The courthouse was a temporary morgue when more than 200 people died in the area in the 1913 flood, March 25-26.

The Voice of American Bethany Station

Where:  8070 Tylersville Road West Chester, OH 45069
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: During the height of World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt turned to the innovative engineers of the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation to build powerful short wave radio transmitters capable of delivering broadcasts overseas. On farm fields near Crosley’s WLW facility, six 200 kilowatt transmitters and 24 directional reentrant rhombic antennas were built and on September 23, 1944, the Voice of America Bethany Station was dedicated. The first broadcast was directed at Nazi Germany and began with, “We shall speak to you about America and the war. The news may be good or it may be bad, but we will tell you the truth.” For more than fifty years, the Voice of America Bethany Station delivered “truthful news” to the people of Europe, Africa, South America, and parts of Asia, despite some like Adolf Hitler who referred to the VOA as those “Cincinnati Liars.” New technology and budget cuts resulted in the silencing of the Bethany Station in 1994.

The Restoration Movement

Where: 6924 Brown Rd, Oxford, OH 45056
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: In the early years of the nineteenth century, a religious unrest known as the Second Great Awakening spread across much of the American frontier. Among the most influential of the evolving religious organizations were the Campbellites, or Disciples of Christ, founded in the 1820s by Thomas and Alexander Campbell. The Campbellite movement sought to “restore” New Testament Christianity by calling for a return to the primitive church revealed in the gospels. Campbellites denied creeds and oath-taking and rejected sectarianism. They believed in baptism by immersion and communion on Sundays. Followers also dealt with problems and transgressions of members within the church and did not use civil courts. They held a millennial view that professed human happiness and the belief that Christ would reign on earth for a thousand years. Believers spread this word to the pioneers of the Doty Settlement and elsewhere. By 1850, there were ninety Campbellite Churches in Ohio.
Back Text: In 1844, one acre of land in the Doty Settlement was given by Job Smith to the First Congregation of Christian Disciples (Campbellites) of Oxford Township for church and burial purposes. A 24 by 36 foot frame meeting house was constructed, but the inside was never completed. Over a period spanning nearly 100 years, numerous burials occurred in the cemetery. Some graves were marked, and others were not. The Smith, Morris, and Doty families were the first in the settlement to embrace the Campbellite faith, and some family members were buried here. The Moore family came into the church after 1850, as did some Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian families. The Doty Settlement church was dissolved by 1905, and the cemetery was abandoned by the mid-20th century.

Stillwell’s Corners

Where: 2100 Oxford-Millville Road Oxford, OH 45056
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: A cemetery was established on the site in 1811 and became the final resting place for many of the area’s early pioneer families. The Hanover Township Trustees obtained title to the land in 1823 from John and Anna Farnsworth, and it was expanded for additional plots in 1879. Unfortunately many burials remain unmarked or can be located only by primitive limestone markers above them. The oldest readable headstone is dated 1816.
Back Text:  The small hamlet of Stillwell’s Corners was located south of the cemetery at the junction of two roads, one leading to the state line and the other to Oxford. As with most pioneer communities, it had mills, still houses, taverns, and stores. Stillwell Post Office operated in the area from 1831 to 1859. The office was moved to McGonigle’s Station with the arrival of the Junction Railroad. That office closed in 1905.

Birthplace of William Bebb

Where: 1 South Monument Avenue
Okeana, OH 45003
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Edward Bebb, father of William Bebb and first Welshman to settle in Paddy’s Run, Morgan Township, Butler County purchased this cabin in 1801. Originally the cabin stood four miles southeast of this site on the Dry Fork of the Whitewater River. It was here that William Bebb was born on December 8, 1802, the first white child born in Butler County west of the Great Miami River. At the age of twenty, after attending district schools, William Bebb became a teacher. In 1826 he became the first teacher at Paddy’s Run School. Two years later Bebb and his wife opened a boarding school on his father’s farm. While teaching school he began the study of law and in 1831 passed the state bar examination. A year later he began to practice law in Hamilton, where he soon became an active politician. In 1840 he stumped the state for Harrison and Tyler and in 1846 he was nominated for Governor by the Whig party. He was elected on the slogan “Wm. Bebb and a Home Currency against David Tod and Pot Metal.” After his term as governor, Bebb served in a number of government positions until his retirement to his farm near Rockford, Illinois. He died on October 23, 1873.

Soldiers, Sailors, and Pioneers Monument

Where: 1 South Monument Avenue
Hamilton, OH 45011
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: The Soldiers, Sailors, and Pioneers Monument was planned and promoted by Butler County Civil War veterans and financed by a county levy in 1899. The monument, built of Indiana Limestone, is near the center of the site of Fort Hamilton, built in 1791 and named in honor of Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury in President George Washington’s cabinet. Featured, are two large, colorful windows that recognize the contributions of Butler County women during the Civil War. Featured speaker at the July 4, 1906, dedication was Governor Andrew L. Harris, a Butler County native and Civil War veteran. His name is one of the more than 4,300 carved into the interior marble walls.
Back Text: The statue atop the monument is officially entitled “Victory, the Jewel of the Soul,” but is better known as “Billy Yank,” the name given the common Union soldier during the Civil War (1861-1865). The 17-foot, 3,500-pound bronze figure is the work of Rudolph Thiem, a local artist whose design was selected in national competition. The soldier’s informal pose represents his reaction to victory and peace at the end of the Civil War. His right foot is on an unexploded shell, while his right hand clasps his musket. His cap is uplifted in his left hand. His mouth is open as he shouts “Hurrah!” at the realization that fighting has ended. The statue was placed on the Monument in December 1904.

1858 Morgan Township House

Where: 6461 Okeana Drewersburg Rd
Okeana, Ohio
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: On April 20, 1857, the trustees of Morgan Township met in Okeana to obtain a lot for the township house. From a quarter mill tax levy, $850 was budgeted for a house and lot. Money expended on the project included $50 for the lot, $650 for the construction of the building, $41 for fencing, $12.60 for twelve chairs, and $10.25 for a table. Since its completion in 1858, this meeting house has been used for trustee meetings, a voting precinct, village singing schools and concerts, public school, bank, and township garage. The trustees moved to a new building across the street in 1972 and into their Chapel Road complex in 2000.
Back Text: By the early summer of 1863, many Ohioans had become dissatisfied with what seemed a protracted Civil War. They opposed the administration of President Abraham Lincoln and the policy of a national military draft and were alarmed by what they saw as an invasion of their civil liberties. This was in part fueled by the arrest of Clement Vallandigham, future Democratic candidate for Governor, for publicly criticizing the war. He was convicted of sedition by a military commission and exiled by the President. On July 17, 1863, those unfriendly to the Civil War (Copperheads) from Morgan, Ross, Reily, and Hanover townships met at the Morgan Township House to organize the Butler County Mutual Protection Company. Copperheads from Franklin County, Indiana, joined the company to protest the draft and the president’s handling of the war. The company was short-lived, however, as similar antiwar organizations flourished in the region.

Abraham Lincoln’s 1859 Hamilton Speech

Where: One Renaissance Center, 345 High St
Hamilton, OH 45011
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Abraham Lincoln spoke from the rear of a Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad passenger train on Saturday, September 17, 1859, to about 1000 people at South Fourth and Ludlow streets (about 785 feet south of here). Lincoln, elected president of the United States a year later, made five Ohio speeches, considered an extension of his 1858 debates with Stephen A. Douglas while they competed for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. After Douglas defeated Lincoln, he toured Ohio supporting 1859 Democratic candidates. The Republican response was to ask Lincoln to do the same for his party. He spoke twice in Columbus on September 16, and in Dayton, Hamilton, and Cincinnati the next day. Later, Republicans swept the 1859 elections, selecting William Dennison Jr., an 1835 Miami University graduate, as governor and winning majorities in the legislature. When Lincoln became president, he appointed Dennison postmaster general in 1864.
Back Text: Abraham Lincoln was accompanied to Ohio by his wife Mary and son Tad. His host on the trip was John A. Gurley, a Cincinnati congressman. Lincoln and Gurley together on the speech platform caused some laughter. At six feet four inches, Lincoln towered over Gurley. Lincoln took note, saying “My friends, this is the long of it,” pointing to himself, “and this is the short of it,” placing a hand on Gurley’s head. But turning to the seriousness of the slavery issue, he observed that “this beautiful and far-famed Miami Valley is the garden spot of the world.” He then said, “your sons may desire to locate in the West; you don’t want them to settle in a territory like Kansas, with the curse of slavery hanging over it. They desire the blessing of freedom, so dearly purchased by our Revolutionary forefathers.” Lincoln won the Republican presidential nomination eight months later.

Oxford Female Institute

Where: 10 South College Ave Oxford, OH
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: Chartered in 1849, the Institute was the first of three women’s colleges established in Oxford. The original brick building was completed in 1850, and forms the core structure. The Reverend John Witherspoon Scott, a member of Miami University’s early faculty, headed the Institute. In 1867, the Institute merged with Oxford Female College and later became the Oxford College for Women. Miami University acquired the building in 1928; in 1930 the Daughters of the American Revolution rededicated it as the “Caroline Scott Harrison Memorial.” From 1929-1998 it served as a Miami dormitory, nicknamed “Ox College.” Since 2003, the three-story building has housed the Oxford Community Arts Center. The structure is the oldest extant women’s college building in Ohio. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Back Text: Born in 1832 four blocks east of here in her parents’ home, Caroline Scott completed her education at the Oxford Female Institute. It was headed by her father, Reverend John Witherspoon Scott, formerly a professor at Miami University and a strong advocate for women’s education. In 1853, Caroline Scott married Benjamin Harrison, a Miami University graduate, in her parents’ home directly across the street. After leaving Oxford, Harrison, as an active First Lady during most of her husband’s presidency from 1889-1893, oversaw renovation of the White House and became the first President General of the Daughters of the American Revolution. An accomplished artist, she was instrumental in designing Harrison’s presidential china. She died in the White House in 1892 and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

Charles F. Richter

Where: Hamilton Trenton Road, near Busenbark Rd.
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: In 1833, Robert Busenbark deeded land to the directors of School District No. 6 for Busenbark School. Twenty years later, Robert and son David granted a right-of-way on their property for a station on the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad (CH&D). One of eleven depots in Butler County, Busenbark station attracted the Kinsinger-Augspurger Warehouse and the Kennel Grain Elevator to the area in the 1860s. The railroad also enabled the cross-roads settlement to host an American championship prize fight in 1867. Fighting with bare knuckles in an outdoor ring, Mike McCoole bested Aaron Jones in a match seen by thousands. The Busenbark generating station supplied power to interurban lines until 1912 and later furnished electricity to local residents. Farmers and the Miami Poultry Yards depended on the trains and interurban to ship produce. The railroad depot disappeared between 1914 and 1916; the school closed after 1937; interurban service ended in 1939. All that remains of Busenbark is Busenbark Road, which was established in 1858.
Back Text: Charles F. Richter was born approximately one mile from Busenbark at Sunnyside Farm on Wehr Road, Overpeck. In 1909, his family moved to California. In 1928, Richter received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology and began work at the Seismology Laboratory. That same year, he married Lillian Brand, a creative writing teacher. Working with Beno Gutenberg, Richter developed a means to measure the magnitude of earthquakes, which was published as the Richter Scale in 1935. Richter also helped to establish the Southern California Seismic Array, a network of instruments that tracks the origin and intensity of earthquakes. He knew seven languages, authored textbooks, and devoted his life to seismology.

Champion Hamilton Mill

Where: 601 N. B Street, Hamilton OH 45013
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: The Champion Paper Company began production here April 15, 1894, with nine employees under the direction of Peter G. Thomson (1851-1931), a Cincinnati businessman, who had incorporated the firm in November 1893. Thomson, previously a bookseller and publisher, recognized that recent progress in half-tone printing would increase the demand for coated paper. In 1891 he purchased 187 acres west of the Great Miami River to develop into subdivisions. When a recession contributed to a housing slump, Thomson used some of the land along Seven Mile Pike (now North B Street) to build the plant which coated paper produced by other paper mills in Hamilton. The first coated paper was shipped from the mill May 4, 1894.
Back Text: By 1900, Thomson had doubled the capacity of the original Hamilton plant five times. In June 1902 the company manufactured paper for the first time in Hamilton, opening a new paper mill simultaneously with a rebuilt coating plant. By 1910, the Hamilton mill was regarded as the largest coated-paper mill in the world. During its first 20 years, the mill survived two floods (March 1898 and March 1913), two fires (December 1901 and March 1913), several business cycles, numerous technological advances, and market changes. Under Thomson, the company also opened mills in North Carolina and Texas. As the mill observed its 100th anniversary April 15, 1994, it was part of the Champion International Corporation, a leading paper and wood products manufacturer.

Champion Hamilton Mill

Where: 601 N. B Street, Hamilton OH 45013
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: The Champion Paper Company began production here April 15, 1894, with nine employees under the direction of Peter G. Thomson (1851-1931), a Cincinnati businessman, who had incorporated the firm in November 1893. Thomson, previously a bookseller and publisher, recognized that recent progress in half-tone printing would increase the demand for coated paper. In 1891 he purchased 187 acres west of the Great Miami River to develop into subdivisions. When a recession contributed to a housing slump, Thomson used some of the land along Seven Mile Pike (now North B Street) to build the plant which coated paper produced by other paper mills in Hamilton. The first coated paper was shipped from the mill May 4, 1894.
Back Text: By 1900, Thomson had doubled the capacity of the original Hamilton plant five times. In June 1902 the company manufactured paper for the first time in Hamilton, opening a new paper mill simultaneously with a rebuilt coating plant. By 1910, the Hamilton mill was regarded as the largest coated-paper mill in the world. During its first 20 years, the mill survived two floods (March 1898 and March 1913), two fires (December 1901 and March 1913), several business cycles, numerous technological advances, and market changes. Under Thomson, the company also opened mills in North Carolina and Texas. As the mill observed its 100th anniversary April 15, 1994, it was part of the Champion International Corporation, a leading paper and wood products manufacturer.

Johnny S. Black, Songwriter

Where: 116 Dayton St, Hamilton, OH 45011
What does the marker teach us?
Front Text: John Stewart Black (1891-1936) was a Vaudeville performer and songwriter who penned the classic “Paper Doll.” He is also remembered for “Dardanella,” which he called his “gift to the musical world.” “Dardanella”, recorded by the Ben Selvin Novelty Orchestra, debuted in 1919 and is believed to have sold more than five million copies. In 1942, the Piqua-born Mills Brothers recorded Black’s tune “Paper Doll.” It sold over 6 million records, was number one on the Billboard charts for twelve weeks in 1943 and became one of the most memorable records of the World War II era. Many artists, including Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby, recorded “Paper Doll” and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
Back Text: I’m gonna buy a Paper Doll that I can call my own A doll that other fellows cannot steal And then the flirty, flirty guys with their flirty, flirty eyes Will have to flirt with dollies that are real. When I come home at night she will be waiting She’ll be the truest doll in all this world I’d rather have a Paper Doll to call my own Then have a fickle-minded real live girl… Written by Johnny S. Black, 1915 Recorded by the Mills Brother, 1942 Lyrics used by permission of Edward B. Marks Music Company.