Community of Glass named for war hero

GRANDVIEW TWP. -The small community of Glass has all but fallen off the map, although it remains marked on the documents.

Many residents in Grandview Township have never heard of Glass, and the only physical reminder of its existence are a few signs marking Pryor-Glass Road.

But Glass once was a thriving area along what is now Township Road 138, according to those who have lived in the area and heard tales of the town passed down from generations of Glassians before them.

“There was a lot of activity around Glass there for a time, especially when Phillip Shellers had that store there,” explained Richard Cisler.

Cisler, the unofficial “Mayor” of Glass, has lived in the area for “36 or 38 years” and can remember when the remnants of Shellers’ General Store still stood along Township Road 138.

Many tales of Glass have been passed down to Cisler by his grandfather, but the story about how Glass got its name was not one of them.

“Only maybe that it has something to do with a Henry Glass,” he recalled.

In fact, it appears that the name does owe itself to Vincent “Henry” Glass, a Revolutionary War Soldier who moved into the Washington Hall area in Grandview Township in the early 1800s.

According to “Revolutionary War Patriots Volume 1: Belmont, Harrison, Monroe Counties in Ohio,” Glass had been an armourer in the 14th Virginia Regiment.

“That means he made and fixed weapons,” explained Catherine Sams, a member of the Washington County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

Glass was born in Virginia in 1746 and did not move to Washington County until later. Accounts differ on the exact date of his arrival in the area.

A history of area post offices researched by the late local historian Jerry Devol and published in various editions of “The Tallow Light” dates Glass’ arrival in Grandview Township around 1825. However, his pension records say Glass came here in 1816.

Glass left for Belmont County, which would become his final resting place, in 1827, but he apparently left an impression on the community because the post office there was named after him.

“A tiny post office called ‘Glass’ was opened in Joshua A. Poulton’s crossroads store, 1891,” wrote Devol.

The Glass name stuck and beyond a post office the community boasted its own general store, school and church, recalled Cisler.

Cisler’s grandfather used to own the lot where the school had stood and passed down one particularly infamous story about the area.

“A guy by the name of Henry Karcher was killed up there,” he said.

Karcher had apparently been involved in an argument that culminated in him being shot and killed, said Cisler.

Today there is no school, general store, or post office in Glass, but a small community church-Washington Hall Christian Union-takes its name from the Washington Hall community which borders Glass.