Writer puzzled by bridge coverage
In response to the news article, Spanning Times, my question is to the writer is this: where did the name Hildreth come from in connection to this bridge which was built in 1878?
William Hill, born in 1758 came to Newport Township where he died in 1830. He owned land on both sides of the Muskingum River where the Hill’s Covered Bridge is located. As his family grew, acreage was allotted to his descendants. This William was my 4 X’s great-grandfather. His son, also William, became the father of around 12 was allotted land to which he passed on to his children. The area around was all Hill land and the Hill’s Cemetery and Hill’s Methodist Church occupy territory near the bridge. History will show this land was donated to the church. J.T. Hill was justice of the peace at Hill’s P.O. and J.A. Hill owned the land on which the bridge was built.
Researching family and area history, the name Hildreth does not appear even in marriage. The National Registry would only tell me someone by that name filed a paper claiming the name and they gave it this name without researching history to find the truth of what they were placing on the registry. I have talked to Roger Wright concerning the name change and asked his department to research who donated/sold the acreage for the bridge and have received no response to date. Surely, if the county owns this bridge they have a paper trail somewhere of the transaction. Traveling on down through family history one would come across the name of Ethan Hill, and on down to the name Beulah Hill Patterson who now owns the land.
Ohio Covered Bridges by Elma Lee Moore gives the name Hildreth to this bridge. It seems people take what is on the National Registry as the gospel, without research of their own. The research I have done leads me to believe the Hildreth name is associated with a Sam Hildreth M.D. of Marietta who lived near Broughton Dairy. How this name became connected to the Hill name is anyone’s guess, but as far back as I can remember, three quarters of a century ago, the name was Hills. My father, Clifton Hill, was born in 1906 and raised in the territory. The name plate on the bridge is the same as it has always been. Seems adults can get by with failing to get facts straight, but when children do the same in their school work they get in trouble for not researching for true facts.
I have not researched this point, but think there was at one time a covered bridge near Broughton’s Dairy on the State Route, that could have been named Hildreth.
However, it would have no connection to the one noted in the newspaper article. When it comes to historical fact and places, our ‘neck of the woods’ need to be addressed correctly.
Erma Hill Blume