The methods of eating mush and milk were various.  Some would sit around the pot, and
every one take therefrom for himself.  Some would set a table and each have his tin-cup
of milk, and with a pewter spoon take just as much mush fiom the dish or the pot, if it
was on the table, as he thought would fill his mouth or throat, then lowering it into the
milk would take some to wash it down. This method kept the milk cool, and by frequent
repetitions the pioneers would contract a faculty of correctly estimating the proper
amount of each.  Others would mix mush and milk together. . . . . 
To get grinding done was often a great difficulty, by reason of the scarcity of mills, the
freezes in winter and droughts in summer. We had often to manufacture meal (when we
had corn) in any way we could get the corn to pieces. We soaked and pounded
it, we shaved it, we planed it, and, at the proper season, grated it.  When one of our
neighbors got a hand-mill it was  thought quite an acquisition to the neighborhood.  In
after years, when in time of freezing or drought, we could get grinding by waiting for our
turn no more than one day and a night at a horse-mill we thought ourselves happy.  To
save meal we often made pumpkin bread, in which when meal was scarce the pumpkin
would so predonimate as to render it next to impossible to tell our bread from that article,
either by taste, looks, or the amount of nutriment it contained.  Salt was five dollars a
bushel, and we used none in our corn bread, which we soon liked as well without it. 
Often has sweat ran into my mouth, which tasted as fresh and flat as distilled water. 
What meat we had at first was fresh, and but little of that, for had we been hunters we
had no time to practice it.
We had no candles, and cared but little about them except for summer use.  In Carolina
we had the real fat light-wood, not merely pine knots, but the fat straight pine.  This,
from the brilliancy of our parlor, of winter evemngs, might be supposed to put, not only
candles, lamps, camphine, Greenough's chemical oil, but even gas itself, to the blush.  In
the West we had not this, but my business was to ramble the woods every evening for
seasoned sticks, or the bark of the shelly hickory, for light.  'Tis true that our light was not
as good as even candles, but we got along without fretting, for we depended more upon
the goodness of our eves than we did upon the brilliancy of the light.

The Poor Man's Railroad. - The initial letters of the name of a railway terminating at
Bellaire are “B. Z. & C."  Ask people on that line “What B. Z. & C. stand for?"  With a
quizzical smile they will often answer "badly zigzag and crooked;" having just come over
it I can say that exactly describes it.  Its name, hlowever, is Bellaire, Zanesville &
Cincinnati.  Its projector and builder of that part within this county was Col. John H.
Sullivan, Bellaire; a calm, dignified gentleman, clear and careful in his statements, whom
it did me good to meet.
It was impracticable to build an ordinary railroad through the rough wild country of the
Ohio river hills of Belmont and Monroe counties, so the colonel planned a narrow gauge
with steep grades and sharp curves, and he called it “Poor Man's Railroad."  From
Woodsfield, county-seat of Monroe, to Bellaire, a distance of forty-two miles, on which
passenger trains go about sixteen miles an hour, it cost but $1 l,500 per mile, a miracle of
cheapness.  This includes land, grading, bridges. tracks, everything exclusive of rolling
stock.  It was finished to Woodsfield in 1877, and all by private subscription.  It is of
incalculable benefit to the farmers of the Ohio river hills, for the cost of good wagon
roads among them is enormous and a serious drawback to the development of the
A large part of the road is a succession of curves, trestle work and steep grades.  In places
the road rises over 130 feet to the mile, and some of the curves have a radius of but 400
feet; at one spot there is a reverse curve on a trestle. Where curves are so sharp the outer
rail is placed three inches the highest to hold the cars on the track; but the friction
occasions a horrid screeching of the wheels. The Colorado Central, like this, is a narrow
gauge.  It leads from the Union Pacific to the mining regions of Colorado.  Its extreme
grade is more than twice that of this, 275 feet to the mile.  Some gentlemen riding over it
on a platform car to see the country said such was the irregularity of the motion that they
were obliged to cling "for dear life" to the sides of the car to prevent being jerked off.
From my experience I think the 'Badly Zigzag and Crooked" but a trifle less shaky.  I
extract from my note book:  
Bellaire Friday evening, May 28. - Left Woodsfield early this morning and got on the
train for Bellaire; only a single passenger car with a few men aboard, but no women!  I
felt sorry; I always like to see 'em about.  Their presence "sort o" sanctifies things.  Away
we went on this little baby railroad, the “Badly Zigzag and Crooked."  The town I had left
behind, placed high up in the hills, was quite primitive; it had scarcely changed since my
first visit, in 1846.  In a few minutes we were zigzagging, twisting down a little run in a
winding chasm among the hills wooded to their summits, the scenery very wild, every
moment the cars changing their direction and shaking us about with their constant jar and
grind, and wabbling now to one side and then to the other.  In twenty minutes I was
peeping through charming vistas into a wild valley.  In a few more minutes and we were
in it; crossed a little bridge some six rods wide and paused at the farther side, by a little
cottage in its aspect domestic and un-railroad-like, notwithstanding its sign "Sunfish
The Pretty Sunfish - Yes, this little, romantic stream was the Sunfish.  I looked down the
valley, a deep chasm, narrow, tortuous with its wood-clad hills, the lights and shades on
the scene all glorious in the early morning light. What a pretty name - "Sunfish !"  
instinctively the mind takes in the little creature that dwells in the freedom of the waters
and darts around clad in its beauty spots of crimson and gold, down there where
everything is so clean and pure.
How I longed to get out of the cars and follow this winding little stream until it was lost
in the Ohio, some twenty miles away; to feast my eyes with its hidden beauties, all
unknown to the great outside world - beauties of sparkling cascades and laughing waters,
and smooth, silent, dark reaches, where frowning cliffs and dense foliage and summer
clouds seem as sleeping down below.
They tell me that the Ohio State Fish Commission in 1885 put into the Sunfish half a
million of California trout and salmon; the stream naturally abounds in yellow perch.  At
Sunfish Station a woman, humbly clad, with children and bundles, came aboard, when
out of respect to the sex out spake the conductor; when out went through the window a
vile Wheeling stogie - the poor man's cigar.  It is said that city turns out annually tens of
millions, and all this part of the country smoke them - the millions.
Then up out of the chasm our train went, again twisting, wabbling, squeaking, screeching
with the same deafening, infernal grind, the engine one moment poking its nose this way
and then that, like Bruno or Snow Flake searching for a bone.  We were going up to the
birthplace of a mountain rill that was on its way rejoicing to help along the pretty sunfish.
A Future Jay Gould. - After a little my attention was caught by a living object.  On a
cleared space of a quarter of an acre, ten rods away in a cleft in the hillside it was, stood
a miserable log-hut without a door or a window in sigli~ By it was a single living object:
a boy in a single garment, about six years old, gazing upon us.  It would have been worth
a plum to have known the mental status of that child as he looked out upon our train.
To be interested in motion is a grand human instinct.  A great divine said to me once,
"From my study window I get just a glimpse of the top of the smoke-stack of the
locomotive on the railroad thirty rods away; but no matter how absorbing my study, I
invariably look up at every passing train."  This was the late Leonard Bacon, the identical
person to whose pungent writings Abraham Lincoln ascribed his first insight of the wrong
of slavery.
As I looked upon this child I felt an inward respect for his possibilities;  felt like taking
off my hat to him; a human being anyway, is a big thing.  He may be the Jay Gould of
1930.   Certainly to be born poor and among the hills, seems to be no barrier to an
eventual grasp of the money bags or, what is better than a grasp simply of externals, the
highest, purest, noblest development of one's self.
Beautiful Belmont. - A little later we were in the open, elevated country of beautiful
Belmont county.  It seemed as though we were on the roof of the world. No forests in
sight, but huge, round, grassy hills, on which sheep were grazing, and a vast, boundless
prospect stretching like a billowy ocean of green all around, with here and there warm,
red-hued patches-ploughed fields.  We could see white farm-houses glistening in the
morning sun, miles on miles away.  Henry Stanberry, once riding in a stage-coach on the
National road through this region, said: "I should have liked to have been born in
Belmont county."   "Why?" inquired a companion.  "Because people born in a country of
marked features have marked features themselves."
The Valley of the Captina was reached from the table-lands by a rapid descent, when we
stopped a few moments at a mining point - Captina Station Bridge.  It was just long
enough for me to sketch from the car windows a row of miners' cottages, and from
which the inmates go forth every morning to their work, descending a perpendicular hole
in the ground seventy-three feet. To strike the same vein, "The Pittsburg vein," at
Steubenville, in the county north, they descend from 225 to 261 feet, being about the
deepest shafts in the State.
A mining experience was mine on the 13th day of July, l843.  On that day I got into a
basket suspended over the Midlothian coal mine near Richmond, Va., and descended
perpendicularly, by steam, 625 feet.  Then, being put in charge of the overseer, I went
down ladders and slopes so that I attained a depth of about 1,000 feet from the surface.  
The overseer took me everywhere, exploring, as he said, about four miles.  It was noon
when I entered the pit, and when I came out above ground and got out of the basket what
was my astonishment to find the twilight of a summer evening pervading the landscape. 
I found the owner had never ventured into his own mine, and I learn it is often the same
with owners in Ohio.   I am glad I ventured, yet it was not an experience that I care to
repeat; but the music of the sweet singers that evening, at the mansion of the gentleman,
the owner, whose guest I was, rested me after my toil, and lingers in memory.
From Captina we soon descended into a narrow valley, passing by some small, neat,
white cottages with long porches, and poultry trotting around in side yards, and then
suddenly burst into view the broad valley of the Ohio and, following the river banks,
were soon in that hive of industry and glass - Bellaire.
BELLAIRE, 120 miles east of Columbus and 5 miles below Wheeling, on the Ohio river,
is on the B. & O., B. Z. & C., and C. & P. Railroads.  It is an important manufacturing
town; its manufactories are supplied with natural gas, and it has ten coal mines, water
works, paved streets and street railway.
Newspapers: Herald, Democratic, E. M. Lockwood, editor; Independent, Republican, J.
F. Anderson, editor; Tribune, Republican, C. L. Poorman & Co., editors.  Churches: 2
Methodist Episcopal, 1 Colored Methodist Episcopal, 2 Presbyterian, 1 United
Presbyterian, 1 Disciples, 1 Episcopal, 1 German Reformed, 1 Church of God and 1
Catholic. Bank: First National, J. T. Mercer, president, A. P. Tallman, cashier.
Manufactures and Employees. - Lantern Globe Co., 95 hands; Crystal Window Glass Co.,
61; Bellaire Steel and Nail Works, 650; Union Window Glass Works, 63; DuBois &
McCoy, doors, sash, etc., 27; Bellaire Bottle Co., 130; Belmont Glass Works, 240;
Bellaire Barrel Works, 16; James Fitton, gas fitting, 13; Ohio Lantern Co., 83; Bellaire
Stamping Co., metal specialties, 210; Bellaire Goblet Co., 285; Enterprise Window Glass
Co., 59; Bellaire Window Glass Works, 106; Ohio Valley Foundry Co., stoves, etc., 45;
Rodefer Bros., lamp globes, 125; AEtna Foundry &, Machine Shop, repair shop, etc., 13;
AEtna Glass Manufacturing Co., 245. - State Report 1887. Population in 1880, 8,205;
school census in 1886, 3,381 ; Benj. T. Jones, superintendent.
The river plateau at Bellaire is about a third of a mile wide; upon it are the industries and
most of the residences.  The streets are broad and airy.  The ascent of the river hills is
easy, with the homes of the working people pleasantly perched thereon.  The Baltimore
and Ohio railroad follows the valley of McMahon's creek, a stream about six rods wide
and entering the Ohio in the southern part of the town.  The road crosses the Ohio by an
iron bridge and across the town by a stone arcade of forty-three arches, rising and passing
over several of the main streets at a height of thirty-five feet; it is a very picturesque
feature of the city.  The two, bridge and arcade unitedly, it is said, are about a mile long
and cost over a million and a half of dollars.
The valley of the Ohio, taking both sides for seven miles, is a great mannfacturing region
and owes its prosperity primarily to the inexhaustible beds of coal in the valley hills, with 
limestone, building stone and fire-clay.  On the West Virginia side is the city of
Wheeling, with its 35,000 people, and suburb of Benwood directly opposite Bellaire.  On
the Ohio side is a line of towns for seven miles, beginning with Bellaire and continuing
with Bridgeport and Martin's Ferry, bringing up the total population to 60,000 souls.  So
near are they that one may in a certain sense call it a single city with the Ohio dividing it.
In the hills at Bellaire ten large coal mines are worked.  On the Ohio side the dip of the
coal is towards the mouth of the mines, thus giving the advantage of a natural drainage. 
At Bellaire the vein, "The Pittsburg," is 125 feet above the river at low stage and is
worked from the surface.  The inclination of the vein is twenty-two feet to the mile.  The
coal is discharged over screens into railroad cars drawn by mules.  The dumping places
are termed "tipples."  The mines have two tipples each, one at the mouth of the mine and
the other at the river bank so called because the coal cars are there tipped and emptied.
Lombardy populars are a feature in the river towns of the upper Ohio, for which the soil
and climate appear to be well adapted.  Mingled with the rounding forms of the other
trees and projected against the soft curves of distant hills, or standing on their slopes and
summits, they dignify and greatly enhance the charms of a landscape.   Their towering
forms affect one with the same sombre emotion as the spires and pinnacles of Gothic
architecture.  The tree grows with great rapidity; its entire life only about forty years. 
The poplar trees shown in the picture of "The House that Jack Built," twenty-one in
number, were slender saplings about fifteen feet long when set out in 1873, by the
veteran miner; now are all of sixty or seventy feet.  The worms at certain seasons commit
depreciations upon them, when they look as scraggy as poultry divested of feathers.  The
selfish reason given for not planting trees, that one may not live to see them grow, does
not apply to this tree.  Such is the demand hereabouts for poplars that at Moundsville, on
the opposite side of the river, the nursery of Mr. Harris makes a specialty of them.
Decoration Day. - Bellaire has much to interest me.  Saturday, May 29th, dawned in
beauty.  It was Decoration Day, and the people turned out in force; the veterans of the
Grand Army, the children, boys and girls, in white, with music, wound up in long 
procession Cemetery hill, overlooking the city, hearing flags and flowers.  Beautiful is
young life, and never may there be wanting everywhere memorial days of some sort to
feed the fires of patriotism in youthful hearts.
Talk with a Veteran Riverman. - Capt. John Fink in his youthful days arose bright and
early.  He was smart, and so he got to Bellaire long before the town; indeed, officiated at
its birth.  He was born in Pennsylvania in 1805.  Mike Fink, the last and most famous of
the now long extinct race of Ohio and Mississippi river boatmen, was a relative, and he
knew Mike - knew him as a boy knows a man.  "When I was a lad," he told me, "about
ten years of age, our family lived four miles above Wheeling, on the river.  Mike laid up
his boat near us, though he generally had two boats.  This was his last trip, and he went
away to the farther West; the country here was getting too civilized, and he was
disgusted.  This was about 1815.
Mike Fink. - In the management of his business Mike was a rigid disciplinarian; woe to
the man who shirked.  He always had his woman along with him, and would allow no
other man to converse with her.  She was sometimes a subject for his wonderful skill in
marksmanship with the rifle.  He would compel her to hold on the top of her head a tin
cup filled with whiskey, when he would put a bullet through it.  Another of his feats was
to make her hold it between her knees, as in a vice, and then shoot."
Captain Fink's Own History - is a subject more pleasant for contemplation. He is a
thoroughly manly man, and now,at eighty-one years of age, in the full vigor of intellect.  
From ten to twelve years of age he was at work on his uncle's farm, four miles above
Wheeling  from twelve to fifteen on the Wheeling ferry.  Next he was cook on a
keel-boat, where he learned to "push."   He followed "pushing" for three years, first at
thirty-seven and a half cents a day and then fifty cents.  In 1824 he married, his entire
fortune just seventy-five cents. A few days after he tried to get a calico dress for his wife
on credit but failed.
The Early Coal-Trade on the River. - About the year 1830, then twenty-five years of age,
his credit having improved,  Mr. Fink bought on time a piece of land on McMahon's
creek, Bellaire and began mining.  He built a flat-boat, and took a load of coal to
Maysville, which netted him $200.  This, he tells me, was the first load of coal ever
floated any distance on the Ohio. After a little he began a coal-trade with New Orleans.
He carted it to the river bank, put it on board of flat-boats, and floated it down to New
Orleans, a distance of 2,100 miles.  On a good stage of water they went down in about
thirty days; once, on a flood, in nineteen days; half the time did not dare to land. He sold
it to the sugar refineries, and it was very useful, for with wood alone they were unable to
keep up the regular heat, so necessary for good sugar.
They discharged a cargo by carrying it up on their shoulders in barrels.  The way was to
knock the hoops of a flour-barrel together at the ends to strengthen it, bore two holes
through the top, through which a piece of rope was put, and tied as a bale; through this
was thrust a pole, when two men canied it on their shoulders up the river bank;
sometimes the river was higher than the town, then they descended.
Each barrel held two and three-quarter bushels; weight, 220 pounds.  The sugar people
paid him $1.50 a barrel.  During a term of years he sold several hundred thousand
bushels.  In 1833 he went into the steamboat business as captain and owner, and,
amassing a fortune, in 1864, at the age of fifty-nine, he retired from active business.
The Heatheringtons. - In his early mining operations here Capt. Fink found excellent help
in the Heatheringtons, a family of English miners.  They consisted of the father, John,
and his four boys, Jacob, John, Jr., Ralph, Edward, and a John More. They worked in a
coal-bank, in the hill south of McMahon's creek.  They would get to work about
daybreak, bring their coal to the mouth of the pit on wheelbarrows, empty their barrels
over a board screen, and down it would go sliding to a lower level with a tremendous
rattling noise, which travelled over the corn-fields and resounded among the hills around.
At that time Bellaire was only a farming spot, and the farmers complained that the noise
disturbed their morning sleep.  After a while they became reconciled to this "eye-opener,"
for it brought money and business to the place, and the miners had to be fed - had
bouncing appetites.  The family were also musical; and evenings, after their days of toil,
they brought out their musical instruments - fife, drum, clarionet, triangle, etc.- and the
old man, John, and his four boys, Jake, John, Jr., Ralph, Ed., and John More gave the
valley folks the best they had; so if the eye-openers had been a little hard on them, the
night-caps made full compensation.
Jacob Heatherington. - When I entered the lower end of Bellaire, in the cars along the
river valley, I was struck by the grand appearance of a mansion under the hill, with a row
of poplar trees before it.  This, with the huge glass-houses with their big cupolas, and
other industrial establishments of the place, the noble bridge across the Ohio, and the
grandeur of the hill and river scenery, made an enduring impression.  The owner of this
palatial residence is Jacob, or, as he is commonly called, Jake Heatherington, one of the
sons of the John of whom I have spoken.  He is now an old and highly respected man of
seventy-three years of age and with a large estate, but he cannot read nor write.
The Miner and his Mule Partner. - He was born in England in 1814; at seven years of age
was put to work down 2,400 feet deep in a coal-mine, and worked sixteen and eighteen
hours a day; never went to school a day in his life.  In 1837, when he was twenty-three
years of age he rented a coal-bank from Capt. Fink, and bought eight acres of land on
credit.  This was his foundation, and it was solid, was indeed "the everlasting hills."  At
first he wheeled out his coal on a wheelbarrow; his business grew, and he took in a
partner. The firm became known as Jake Heatherington and his mule Jack.  For years he
mined his own coal, and drove his faithful, silent, yet active partner, a little fellow, only
about three feet and a half high.
A strong affection grew up between them - a mule and a man - and so great was it that
Jack rebelled when any one else attempted to drive him.  From a few bushels per day the
business increased to thousands, and Jake's coal fed the furnaces of scores of steamers. 
His possessions enlarged in various ways; his eight acres increased to over 800, he owned
some thirty dwellings, shares in glass-works, and possessed steam boats.
He could never read the names of his own boats as he saw them pass along the beautiful
river sixty rods from his door ; but he didn't care, for he knew them by sight, and no more
required their names on their sides for his use than he wanted painted on the side of his
beloved mule, in staring letters, the word JACK!
The House that Jack Built. - In 1870 he built his imposing residence, at a cost, it is said,
of  $35,000, and dedicated it to the memory of Jack.  He always says it is "The House that
Jack Built."   His good fortune he ascribes to Jack but for his faithful services he never
could have raised it.  Over the doorway is a noble arch, the keystone of which is the
projecting head of a mule, a likeness of Jack.  When the house was built Jack was
twenty-eight years old, retired from active business, sleek and fat; he did nothing but now
and then cut off a few coupons.
Jake Shows Jack his New House. - Then came the eventful day of his life.  Jake brought
him out from his retirement to show him the grand mansion he owed to him.  In
the presence of the assembled neighbors Jake led Jack up the steps under the splendid
arch-way, and he followed him through the house, while he talked to him in the most
loving and grateful way and showed him everything; all of which Jack fully understood
as a mule understands a man.  Jack lived many years after this in "otium cum dignitate."  
To be born is to eventually die; it is a mere question of time; with mules there is no
exception.  Then came Jack's last sickness; the most tender nursing was of no avail.  The
grief of Jake at Jack's demise was indescribable.  To this day he goes with visitors, and 
points out his grave under an apple tree near his house, and talks of the virtues of the
departed.   His age was forty years and ten days; his appearance venerable, for time had
whitened his entire body like unto snow.
My Visit to Jake. - It was in the twilight of a Sunday evening that I called upon Jake
Heatherington. I passed under the poplars and across the lawn to the mansion.  The
venerable man and his wife were seated, good Christian people as they are, on the
doorstep, enjoying the close of the holy day as it rested in silence over the lovely
hill-crowned valley.  When I handed him my card, I happened to look up and saw the 
mule looking down, as if watching me.  In a moment the old gentleman handed it back,
saying: "You will please read it; I am not much of a scholar.''  ''No matter,'' I replied; 
''talking was done before printing; I will talk."  I passed an hour there, during which he
gave me some of the incidents of his early life, as related.  He is rather a small man, but
fresh-looking and compactly built; just after the war he fell in a coal-boat and broke his
hip, from which he still suffers.
Although an unlettered man, he is of the quality that poets are made.  While one’s 
risibilities are affected by the singular original demonstration of his regard for a brute,
the tenderness of the sentiment touches the finer chords.  The highest, the celestial truths
are felt through the poetic sense; and true worship is that which demonstrates a yearning
desire for the happiness; of even the humblest of God's creatures.  "Love me, love my
dog," was a thought in Paradise before it was a proverb on earth.
BARNESVILLE, ninety-seven miles east of Columbus, and twenty miles west of the
Ohio river, is on the O. C. R. R., and famous for its culture of strawberries and
raspberries.  Newspapers: Enterprise, Independent, George McCelland, publisher;
Republican, Republican, Hanlon Bros. & Co., publishers.  Churches: 1 Methodist
Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Christian, 1 African Methodist Episcopal, and 1 Friends. 
Banks: First Natioual, Asa Garretson, president, G.E. Bradfield, cashier; People's
National, J. S. Ely, president, A. E. Dent, cashier.
Large Manufactures. - Barnesville Glass Company, 131 hands; Watt Mining Car-Wheel
Company, 42; George Atkinson, woollen-mill, 13; Heed Bros., cigars, 90; George E.
Hunt, tailor, 18; Hanlon Bros., printing, 17. - State Report 1887; Population in 1880,
2,435.  School census in 1886, 823; Henry L. Peck, superintendent.

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Deb Murray