Adams [Township] June 2d, 1806
We the undersigned agree to pay into the hands of Wm. Stacy the several sums anex’d to each of our names in produce deliver’d in December next for the purpose of hiring Benjamin Baker Jnr. Boarded at some house near to the school house, or those of us that live contiguous to the school house to board him the No. of weeks anex’d to each of our names as he is a Cripple & unable to travel from his Father’s to the school daily without great fatigue
Names of Subscribers – Sums in Produce or No. of weeks
Israel Stone – 1.00
Augustus Stone – 0.50
Joseph Wood – 2 weeks
Oliver W. Fuller – 1.00
Joseph Stacy - .50
Sardine Stone - .50
William Stacy – 2 weeks
Andw. Lake – 0.50
Thomas Lake – 2 weeks
John Lake - .50
Benjamin Baker – 3.50
No person has refused to throw in their mites for the Assistance of an unfortunate fellow creature (the little Cripple named within) who has had the opportunity of signing except that liberal Public spirited benevolent & humane saint E. Nye who of his abundance has nothing to give to the lame.
This document suggests that early settlers along the Muskingum River were supportive of education for all children and were willing to provide financial assistance from their own pockets to those who needed it. Many of these people had benefited from a New England education, and although they were now living in a wilderness, they wanted their own children to be educated, as well. The first school houses were built about the time the first cabins were completed. School was kept about three months each year, and children attended when they could be spared from their chores at home.
Although this document’s source is noted as Adams Township, the names that appear on the list indicate that it probably originated on the west side of the Muskingum River in what later became Muskingum Township, Washington County, Ohio. Benjamin Baker, Jr., the “little Cripple named within,” was the son of Benjamin Baker, Sr., and his wife Sarah (Newton) Baker. Benjamin, Sr., was born in Connecticut about 1768, and came to Marietta about 20 years later as a bound servant of Colonel Thomas Lord. On September 1, 1791, he was married to Sarah Newton in Marietta, Ohio. Benjamin drew a 100-acre lot in the Donation Tract, and the family had moved up the Muskingum to Adams [now Muskingum] Township by the time the 1800 census was taken. Benjamin Baker’s name also appears in the Adams Township enumeration of free white males in 1807. The Bakers moved to Barlow Township in 1818, where both Benjamin, Sr., and his wife Sarah, died in 1839. Benjamin Baker, Jr., married Polly Gard, January 1, 1827, and moved his family to Illinois about 1845. They appear on the 1860 census in Henry County, with Benjamin’s occupation listed as tailor.
The other name so conspicuously called to attention in the document is that of E. Nye. This almost certainly refers to Ebenezer Nye, who is also listed in the Adams Township census in 1800, as well as the enumeration of free white males in 1807. Nye was born in Connecticut in 1750, and in 1790 traded his farm there for a share in the Ohio Company’s purchase. He arrived in Marietta that fall, and stayed at Campus Martius until the end of the Indian war. Nye drew a lot in the Rainbow Creek Allotment of the Donation Tract, situated opposite the mouth of March Run in Adams (now Muskingum) Township and built a cabin there. Nye’s first wife, Desire Sawyer, died about 1800, and in 1802 he married Silence Gardner, the widow (ex-wife?) of Benoni Gardner. Ebenezer Nye died on his farm in 1823. Whatever his reasons for failing to contribute to the support of Benjamin Baker, Jr.’s education, a sketch of Nye’s life that appeared in a newspaper in 1879 described him as “a man of strict integrity of character . . . liberal and free from intolerance, and had the entire confidence of neighbors and friends.”
History of Washington County, Ohio, With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches. H. Z. Williams & Bro., publishers. Cleveland: 1881.
Palmer, Lydia. Untitled article on history of Palmer Township. Part of an unpublished manuscript entitled “Historical Sketches, Genealogical Notes Prepared in 1887,” prepared by S. J. Hathaway. Transcribed in 1969.