Monday, February 3, 2003

Ohio Bicentennial Moment

Quakers found home in Waynesville village

On Feb. 3, 1796, John Cleves Symmes of North Bend sold 43 sections of his property between the Miami rivers in the Northwest Territory to John Smith, Samuel Heighway and Evan Banes. That month, the three laid out the village of Waynesville, in what would be part of Warren County.

The town was composed of 11 four-acre squares that each contained eight inlots and 19 outlots. The first house in Waynesville was a log cabin built for Heighway the following year.

Two years later, two Quaker families arrived in Waynesville from South Carolina. They chose to migrate to the Northwest Territory because there was no slavery there.

By 1800 there were 800 Quakers living in Ohio. That number quickly grew to 18,000. The Quakers built a meeting house and started the first circulating library in the area.

Warren County was established by the General Assembly in March 1803, after which Waynesville became part of the newly created Wayne Township, one of four original townships in the county.

- Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments will appear here daily during 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at or (513) 768-8361.

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