Tuscarawas County Stories

A variety of stories from the long history of Tuscarawas County, Ohio.


William Watson, Gold Mining, and a California Tragedy

While recently writing about a Murder in Klondike, it got me wondering if there were any people from the Tuscarawas County area that decided to try and find riches in the gold fields of the American West. In doing so, I stumbled upon the sad story of William Watson. A note: Names are often misspelled…

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A Murder in Klondike

Many immigrants arrived in Tuscarawas County at the turn of the 20th century to work in the industries that dominated the local economy at the time. Among them were coal miners who came to work the county’s numerous coal mines, leading to the creation of “company towns” like Klondike. Many of the stories of these…

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Decapitated and Burned: Explosion at the Stone House Mine

Recently I posted an image of a Bureau of Mines Mine Rescue Car that visited the mining town of Roswell in 1923. That image, and a comment from someone who saw it, led me to examine a tragic incident from 1927 that occurred at a local Tuscarawas County coal mine outside of Mineral City. Two…

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Mine Rescue Car Visits Roswell

My neighbor gave me a panoramic image taken in December 1923 titled “Department of Interior, Bureau of Mines, Car #5, at Roswell, Ohio, December 1923” that shows the miners of that community and even lists some of their names. Recognize anyone? During the first few decades of the 20th century nearly a million people worked…

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“Murder in Colorado”: The Death of Dyas Mills

After the death of their father two brothers made the move from Tuscarawas County to the Great Plains. One of those brothers would lose his life at the hands of another man on New Years Eve in a remote town in the middle of the Colorado Territory. Jonathan Winn Mills (1813-1869) was born in Virginia…

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A Local Tragedy on the Cleveland & Pittsburgh Railroad

Five local railroad workers boarded their train in New Philadelphia early on a Saturday morning in October 1910 for a routine trip to Cleveland and back. Only two of the men would return home alive. The Cleveland & Pittsburgh train crew gathered in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 8, 1910 for a freight…

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New Philadelphia Carriage Maker Charles Houpt

There was once a busy carriage making shop founded by a Pennsylvania-born blacksmith on what is today 2nd Street SW that manufactured and repaired carriages, buggies and wagons for over twenty-years. Today the site is occupied by a nondescript office building. Charles Houpt (1833-1921) was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1833 to farmer Philip Houpt…

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The New Philadelphia Agricultural Works of English & Dixon

While the buildings that once housed the New Philadelphia Agricultural Works of English & Dixon no longer stand, the ongoing development of the site that once hosted it gives the opportunity to examine one of the city’s earliest industrial efforts. The location on South Broadway that once housed the Howden-Buffalo manufacturing plant has, for over…

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“Six Cents and a Muskrat Tail”: Ohio Hatter John Scroggs

It happens. Sometimes when I am researching one subject I come across something that I can’t resist looking into further. In this case it was an advertisement for a runaway apprentice hatter that took me down, fittingly, a rabbit hole and into the life of an early 19th century Ohio tradesman. When his father Allen…

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The “Black Hand” in Tuscarawas County

During the early 1900s, the burgeoning Italian immigrant community in Tuscarawas County watched with trepidation as the local newspaper carried stories of the extortion of their fellow countrymen in cities like New York and Pittsburgh by a shadowy group referred to as the “Black Hand Society”. It would not be long before the “hand” appeared…

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© Noel B. Poirier, 2023.

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