Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy



New Boston


From The History of Clark County, Ohio
Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1881 - Page 283


In the eastern part of Bethel Township, about four miles west of Springfield, on the Valley Pike, is the site of what was once a flourishing little town called New Boston; it was located mainly upon a "bench" of land, on the north side of Mad River, and occupied the identical spot upon which stood the old Indian town of Piqua. Boston was laid out by its proprietor, Henry Baily, in November, 1809; Jonathan Donnel was the surveyor; the in-lots were five poles wide by ten poles in length; the out-lots were twenty-two by twenty-nine poles; the streets were four poles wide and the alleys one pole.

The plat was acknowledged before William Stephens, Justice of the Peace, November 17, 1809; recorded in Urbana November 18, 1809; in Clark County November 12, 1850; vacated by order of the Common Pleas Court, of Clark County, December 13, 1866. Boston was also the name given to the civic precinct comprising the westernmost portions of the county, probably including all of what is now Bethel, and the whole or a part of Pike, German, Mad River and a small portion of Springfield.

The subjoined "poll-book of an election held in the Township of Boston, in the county of Champaign, on the 8th day of October, 1811, may be of interest, as indicating who the men were who kept the machinery of every-day life in motion, seventy years ago:

Elias Baker, Thomas Gilliland, Philip Trout, Samuel Merandy, James McKentire, John Boice, Henry Haines, Sr., John Best, John McKentire, Hezekiah Stout, William Williams, Nathaniel Williams, Jeremiah Syms, Thomas McIntire, John Morris, Benjamin Morris, Henry Bailey, John Humphrys, William Donnel, John Campbell, John Enoch, John Crain, John Adams, Abal Crawford, Thomas Hays, Josiah Mot, Layton Palmer, Joshua Gregory, Jonathan Donnel, John Hamilton, John Perrin, Peter Menack, Daniel McMillen, Thomas Williams, Peter Sentz, Ralph Gates, James Donnel, Jacob Huffman, James Gilliland, Casper Coar, Nicholas Sentz, Joseph Clevenger, William Enoch, Adam Replogal, Joseph Layton, Daniel Davis, Henry Haines, Jonathan Baker, John Gates.

"We do hereby certify that Samuel Newel had forty-seven votes for the State Legislature, Samuel McCullough had two votes for the State Legislature, James McElvain had forty-seven votes for County Commissioner, Daniel McKinnon had two votes for County Commissioner."

"John Crain, John Humphrys, Thomas McIntire, Judges; Attest, William Donnel, John Campbell, Clerks."

In the foregoing the style and spelling has been followed as near as could be; it will be observed that the names are not all written as the same names are now.

Henry Bailey is said to have been more given to hunting and fishing than to business, and if reports be true the greater portion of the citizens of the little town of Boston were of the Rip Van Winkle type, only they never "waked up." There used to be a tavern there with "birthplace of Tecumseh" on the sign; there was also a graveyard, the remaining portion of which is now inclosed by a plain board fence, and stands in the middle of a farm lot. Whoever takes the "pains" to crush through the jungle of thorns and briers may find prostrate tombstones, with the name of Crawford, and other of the early names, rudely engraved thereon. There was also an academy building of stone which was never finished, and a log meeting house. The following was read at the late Clark-Shawnee Centennial celebration, which was held on the site of "New Boston:"

Mr. T.F. McGrew — Dear Sir:   If you wish to say anything in your address about Boston on the occasion of the celebration at the place where the town of Boston was located, I will here state what I remember of it in its prosperous days. Just after you pass the toll-gate, near the place named, the turnpike road turns more directly to the west, and it runs in nearly a straight line parallel with the river, until it slopes down to the lower lands forming the long stretch of river bottom. It was on this little piece of table land that the town of Boston was located. The old wagon road ran south and parallel with the present turnpike, and it was along this road in a single line that the town of Boston once stood. The houses were not more than ten or a dozen in number, and were scattered along the road for a distance of perhaps forty rods, most of them on the south side, and nearly all were built of logs. One house on the south side was a frame house, where a tavern was kept by a man by the name of French. The last house on the west end of the street was an old log house, when I first remember the place, about the year 1818. It stood on the edge of the sloping ground that goes down abruptly into the prairie bottom. At that time there lived in this old house a man and his wife by the name of Powell, who always excited my boyish curiosity on account of their extreme old age, as I then passed frequently through the village on my way to the house of my aunt, who lived a short distance below.

At this period of 1818, the town of Boston was a competitor for the county seat of justice; and, after it was located in Springfield, the town of Boston lost its prestige, and began its work of decline. The houses, poor at the best, one by one went into decay, and disappeared, and it must be at least a quarter of a century since the last one disappeared that stood there in 1818. The graves of some of its citizens are now inclosed with an old picket fence, near the decayed town's location.

Yours truly,
John Ludlow



All that is left of New Boston today (2008) are a few stones still in the cemetery. In a brief walk-though on August 9, 2008, we were able to find the remnants of four stones, none complete and none readable.

The cemetery is located on Lower Valley Pike in a traffic island at the S.R. 4 and S. R. 360 interchange.