History of Jamestown, Ohio
This, the only village within the boundaries of Silvercreek Township, is located in the northwestern portion. The town is irregular in shape, caused by several additions after the original survey. It is built principally on Washington, Xenia and Limestone Streets; the first two running east and west, the other north and south. The south part is crossed by the Dayton and Southeastern Railroad. Considering its size, Jamestown has few peers as a business center. Besides controlling the almost entire retail trade of its own township, it draws largely from the surrounding townships of Jefferson, New Jasper and Ross. The town contains three hotels, one a magnificent affair, is just nearing completion; five dry-goods stores, three groceries, two drug stores, two book stores, one furniture store, two blacksmith shops, one meat market, two harness shops, and one wagon making shop. According to the recent census, the population is two thousand one hundred and fifty five, an increase of four hundred and fifty-four since 1870.
A tavern by Thomas Watson. The next house was built by Dr. Matthew Winans, who used it as a store. He was the first physician of the town, and the father of the late Judge Winans, of Xenia. The tavern was next kept by Zinnia Adams, who continued as its landlord for a number of years. He came in 1824, and was the father of the “Adams Boys”, who are well and favorably known in this community. In 1810, five years prior to the time of the surveying of the town, a tan-yard was started by John Miller and William Street, but who these men were, and from whence they came, we have no means of knowing,
Immigration to the village was but gradual, and years elapsed before any apparent increase in its size became noticeable. In 1826, William Baker of Kentucky, paid a visit to Dr. Winans, his uncle. He was favorably impressed with the general appearance of the country, and in 1831 bade audient to his native soil, and took up his abode at this place. He built a small frame on the site now occupied by Johnson’s grocery and provision store, where he en gauged in manufacturing harness. At that time the village consisted of about Ten families, who were engaged in conducting two taverns, two general stores, one tannery, two liquor shops, and two cake shops or bakeries. Growers of grain found a market for the same at Xenia; and provision for the stores were obtainable at Dayton.
The town was surrounded almost entirely by the lands of Thomas Browder and Martin Mendenhall. About one-half mile east on the Washington Road , was an extensive sugar camp, where the lads and lassies were wont to gather, and where youths often poured into the listening ears of maidens their avowals of love and affection. The town gradually increased in size; log cabins gave place to frame structures, and they in turn, were supplanted by beautiful brick edifices. Slowly but surely was Jamestown erected on solid foundations, and, for its size, is today the peer of other towns and villages in point of social and financial enterprise.
Much information concerning the early history of Jamestown and Silvercreek Township, we have obtained through an interview with Mr. Sylvester Strong, now of Atlanta, Illinois, but formerly a resident of this place, by a representative of the Jamestown Tribune. Martin Mendenhall and Thomas Browder were the original owners; the former being proprietor of the south side, containing one hundred fifty acres, the latter of the north, which probably contained an equal amount of land. The town was named after Jamestown Virginia , the native place of Browder. It was surveyed, in 1815, by Thomas P. Moorman, and a Mr. Thomas, the Clinton County surveyor.