Archive for August, 2014

Capt Thomas Potts

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Cat Thomas Potts (Beaver Valley Times, Oct 24, 1973

A short history written by Gladys L Hoover in 1973 contains invaluable local history of Georgetown and its two churches:  St Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Both faiths have changed their original affiliations since Capt Thomas Potts’ time due to the many splits and mergers in the Methodist and Episcopal Churches.     The wife of Capt Thomas Potts according to this newspaper article, raised a considerable sum of money in 1877 for the building fund of the new Methodist Church.





Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved.

Georgetown Landing 1935

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

From my research the ferry at Georgetown had been in operation from 1794 to 1949.  The militia from Burgettstown marched along the Catfish Camp Trail and crossed the Ohio River at Georgetown on Dawson’s Ferry. The militia was joining Gen Anthony Wayne in the campaign of 1794.  Other references to the crossing at Georgetown, such as the Moravian missionaries who crossed the river as early as 1772, did  not include the word “ferry”.    The ferry ceased operation due to a fatal accident in 1949.



Georgetown Landing 1935 (Anna L and John F Nash Collection)


The name of the ferry or operating company has changed through the years.  The name changed from Dawson to Smith and back again a few times.  According to the writing on this image, the William M Semple Ferry Company was the operator in 1935.

The home on the bluff was built by the Thomas Poe, sold to Robert D Laughlin in the 1870’s.   




Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved


CivWar Pension Request

Monday, August 18th, 2014


Civil war Pension Request by Jacob Poe (Anna L and John F Nash Collection))

On 4 Apr 1881 Capt Jacob Poe penned a letter to Hon CC Townsend requesting that he be awarded a pension for his service during the Civil War.  In support of his request he has enclosed with his letter a newspaper clipping from a Pittsburgh paper indicating that two pilots, Sylvester and Harry Doss, received pensions.  Each Doss received a pension of $15 per month along with back pay of $7,500 (?).


The letter by Jacob Poe was written on the letterhead of his son’s livery service. 





Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved.

CivWar150 13 Aug 1864

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

One hundred-fifty years ago today, the str Clara Poe was attacked by a rebel force along the Ohio River about 4 miles south of Shawneetown, IL.  The harrowing escape of the str Clara Poe was published in the NY Times on 19 Aug 1864.



Although the news article does not identify the captain nor the pilot of the steamer, Jacob Poe was probably the pilot who executed the escape maneuvers.   My presumption is based on the correspondence of Jacob Poe after the war.


The NY Times article is loaded on page – NY Times 15 Aug 1864.  A fun read.







Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved.

Local History at the Hookstown Fair

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Mr Myron Elliot recently visited me in Carlisle, PA.  He was “walking Gettysburg” yet took some time to visit me.  He wanted to use some of the Georgetown local history on this site at the community tent at the Hookstown Fair.   The 2014 fair will run from 19-23 Aug.


The rich early history of the south side of the Ohio River is based largely on eye witness accounts described in letters, journals, and a few books.  The stories are fantastic.  Most of the original documents have been lost forever or are maintained in private collections.  Either way original sources are scattered and hard to come by.


If you are in the area, make time to visit the Hoookkstown Fair and its Historic Village.






Copyright © 2014 Francis W Nash
All Rights Reserved