Get To Know
Each week on Facebook and Instagram we feature a different person, place or event that you should "get to know". On this page you can learn more about the people, places, and events that make Belmont County unique. These are just some of the stories of local and national history you can learn by visiting the Belmont County Heritage Musem.
Get to Know . . . Betty Zane
Born: 1766 Berkeley County, WV
Died: 1831 (buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery, Martins Ferry, Ohio)
Why You Should Know Betty Zane: According to legend, she was the heroine of Fort Henry for her brave action of dashing 50 yards (each way) to retrieve gun powder during a battle with the British and Native Americans in 1782.
Fun Tidbit: Fortune favors the bold. Betty's actions at Fort Henry have earned her a place in history, however, it was not the first time the young woman took matters into her own hands. She was sent to live with her brother in the first place because, at the age of 13 (and small for her age), she stole horses from British troops and gave them to General George Washington's army. Fearing for her safety if the British soldiers ever figured out they had been out-witted by a 13-year-old girl, her family gave her permission to go to Fort Henry.
Learn more about Betty and the Zane family at the Belmont County Heritage Museum.
Get to know . . . William Boyd
Born: June 5, 1895 in Hendrysburg, Ohio
Died: Sept. 12, 1972
Why you should know William Boyd: As cowboy star "Hopalong Cassidy", Boyd starred in over 60 motion pictures. Never in Hollywood history had one man played the same character in as many features. Boyd bought the rights to the movies and syndicated them for TV. The merchandising of over 2,400 "Hoppy" items from wallpaper to milk cartons made Boyd famous.
Fun tidbit: Legend has it that Boyd helped another Ohio native get his first break. Clark Gable got his first role in the "talkies" (The Painted Desert) with help from Boyd
Get to Know . . . Judge Isaac Parker
Born: October 15, 1838, Barnesville, OH
Died: November 17, 1896, Fort Smith, AR
Nickname: Hanging Judge
Why you should know Isaac Parker: Known as the hanging judge, he was Ironically opposed to capital punishment.
He was appointed by Ulysses S. Grant to Fort Smith in 1875. Parker tried 13,490 cases with 9,954 of them resulting in convictions. Despite thousands of convictions, he only sentenced 160 people to death which included four women. Of those, 79 men were executed on the gallows. His jurisdiction included the entire Indian territory, over 74,00 miles.
Fun tidbit: The University of Arkansas School of Journalism recently made a documentary about Parker called “Indians, Outlaws, Marshals and the Hanging Judge”. https://www.judgeparkerfilm.com
Get to Know . . . Ruth Brant Maguire
Born: May 3, 1900
Died: March 6, 1986
Why you should know Ruth Maguire: In 1925, Ruth organized the Martins Ferry Hospital School of Nursing, which was later named in her honor. The school graduated more than 500 nurses before its doors closed in 1965.
Fun tidbit: Items from the school once housed in the basement of EORH are now on display at the Heritage Museum.
Get to know . . . Benjamin Lundy
Born - Jan.4, 1789
Died -Aug. 22, 1839
Why you should know Benjamin Lundy- Quaker Benjamin Lundy was one of the first Abolitionists in the country. His advocacy began in Wheeling upon witnessing a slave auction. He moved to St. Clairsville where in 1815 he, along with five others, established an anti-slavery association called the Union Humane Society. In a short amount of time the society grew to 500 members that included prominent people of that time period: Charles Hammond, James Wilson (grandfather to President Woodrow Wilson), and Joseph Howells.
Fun tidbit - Lundy would eventually travel around the country setting up groups and giving lectures. He is said to have logged tens of thousands of miles on foot. #strongrootsbrightfutures #abolitionist #stclairsvillehistory #localhistory #gettoknow
Get to Know . . . The Legend of Lady Bend Hill
Why you should know The Legend of Lady Bend Hill - Local lore has it that in 1833 a young lady from a wealthy Wheeling family, who had been courting a younger man of lesser means from Fairview, stole away in the night from her parents’ home in a coach with a particularly energetic horse. She headed for the Guernsey County town on what was known at the time as Zane's Trace to steal away with her lover. On the third bend from the top of this hill west of Morristown, a sudden bolt of lightning spooked the horse, forcing the coach to slide and ejecting the young lady from it and breaking her neck. Afterward, the horse ran aimlessly around for three days until it was finally corralled. Like many legends and ghost stories, the details vary. It is said that even today on very stormy nights, the apparition of a headless young lady astride a spirited steed can be seen riding recklessly up and down the hill. Even in the daytime there is something spooky about this stretch of road.
Fun Tidbit - This is just one legend associated with Egypt Valley. Hear the Legend of Lady Bend Hill and the tragic tale of the murder of Louiza Fox at "Spooky Tales of Local History" on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Heritage Museum.
Get to Know . . . Joseph Warren Yost
Born - 1847 in Clarington, OH
Died - Nov. 2, 1923 in Avalon, PA
Why You Should Know J.W. Yost: A noted architect, he designed the Belmont County Sheriff's Residence (now the Belmont County Heritage Museum) in the Victorian Richardson Romanesque architectural style. It matches the style of the attached jail and the adjacent Belmont County Courthouse, both of which he also designed. He also designed the Belmont County Children’s Home and the Guernsey County Courthouse. Yost was from Clarington and started his own architectural firm in Bellaire, later moving it to Columbus. Fun tidbit - He was instrumental in organizing the Association of Ohio Architects in 1885 (still operating today) and had the distinction of being named a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1889. He moved to New York City in 1900. A number of his works are listed for their architecture in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Get to Know . . . Kathryn Crumbley
Born - March 8, 1946 in Bellaire
Died - June 5, 2011
Why You Should Know Kathy Crumbley - In 1976 she was elected Belmont County Sheriff on a contested ballot after being nominated by a political party. Because of her stature (she was over 6 feet tall and weighed 275 pounds) and personality, Crumbley became a "pop culture icon" appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson three times, the Mike Douglas Show, and Hee Haw. Crumbley was not the first female sheriff of Belmont County. That was Mary K. Dunfee who served out her husband's term from 1926-1927 when he was killed in the line of duty (as was customary). Nor was she the first to be elected in the state, however, at the time that person (Vinton County's Maude Collins) had been largely forgotten outside of that county and Crumbley was lauded for her accomplishment.
Fun tidbit - A song, "The Lady Sheriff of Belmont County" was written and recorded about her and a TV Show was proposed (for which she was hired as a consultant) tentatively called "Walking Broad".
Get to Know . . . Gov. Wilson Shannon
Born - Feb. 24, 1802 near Barnesville
Died - Aug. 30, 1877
Fun tidbit - Before running for governor, Shannon participated in the California Gold Rush. His elder brother, Thomas Shannon, served a partial term in the United States House of Representatives from 1826–1827. His oldest brother, George Shannon, was the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. His nephew, Isaac Parker, gained fame as the "hanging judge" of the old west. (See above).