Gen. Buell House, 1830-1840
Although Eliza Buell received the square, brick house in Adams Township as part of her dower, she moved to Marietta in 1826. No taxes were paid on this property by Eliza Buell Dunlevy. Apparently Perez B. Buell continued living in the house.
In 1835 Perez B. Buell made two important purchases. On June 1 George and Eliza Dunlevy sold the 7 acres (including the brick house) and 6.22 acres of lot 5 for $150. (Vol. 25, pp. 173-74) On July 31 his mother, Mary Buell, sold her right of dower in lots 3 and 4 for $150. (Vol. 25, pp. 345-46)
There were nine children born to Perez B. and Elizabeth Rector Buell. The first eight were very likely born in the square, brick house-Thomas Rector (b. 1819), Sallie Almeria (b. 1821), Mary Ann (b. 1822) Thomas Rector (b. 1825), George Pearson (b. 1827), Mindwell Rector (b. 1829), Maria Louisa (b. 1831) and Perez Barnum, Jr. (b. 1833). Their last child, Franklin, was born in 1837 in the log house on the hill.
Elizabeth Rector Buell, reliving memories of her friends and two children who died in 1823, began to think, as many people did during the nineteenth century, that a miasma was the cause of all the sickness. A miasma is described as a poisonous vapor or mist, often found associated with decaying waste materials especially along low lying areas and rivers. She persuaded her husband, Perez B., to build a log house on the hill about 1835 overlooking what would become Buell’s Lowell, high above the river and well above the deadly vapors. The miasma theory was largely disproved by the 1900’s when the germ theory replaced it.
By 1837, surveyors were on the Muskingum River preparing for the building of locks and dams to improve navigation. One dam would be just above the brick house and the canal around it cut across Buell land, forming Buell’s Island. Lowell (later Upper Lowell) near the mouth of Cat’s Creek was laid out on Nov. 8, 1837. Perez’s Buell’s Lowell, which was slightly down river, was platted on March 22, 1838. Much of it was laid out on lots 3 and 4, land that was mostly owned by Perez. Buell’s Lowell ended at the west side of Market Street, which was also the west line of lot 4. Perez owned the southern 7 acres (including the brick house) and 6.22 acres in the upper part of lot 5, but the heirs of his brother, Salmon D. Buell, had a claim to the rest of lot 5 below Cats Creek (and apparently lots 3 and 4 too). Perez Buell, who was always a developer, came up with a plan. He would sell the brick house to a party outside the family, and then offer lot 5 to Salmon D. Buell’s heirs IF they would relinquish their claim to lots 3 and 4.
Looking back on the deals that were made, there are three conclusions that can be reached concerning the Buell transactions.
First, there was some confusion over who owned lots 3, 4 and 5, possibly going back to the contract made by Salmon D. Buell with his father in 1821. If the contract had gone into effect, Salmon (the father) owned the land (with the possible exception of lot 5).
Second, Perez Buell did not want any of the heirs of Salmon D. Buell to get the brick house.
Third, the heirs of Salmon D. Buell-Don Carlos Buell, Sally M. Lane and Aurelia A. Curtis-did not make it easy for Perez Buell to obtain complete ownership of lot 3, the southern part of lot 4 and parts of lot 5. In fact Perez Buell died before he accomplished this task.
In September 1840 the house and 1.69 acres were sold by Perez B. and Elizabeth Buell to Truxton Lyon, John Buck and Christian Wolf for $2,000. (Vol. 33, pp. 25-26) B. F. Stone, Washington County Surveyor, made a plat of this tract on April 27, 1840. It shows how the house could have been on Lots 4 and 5 west of Market Street (i to h on plat). (Surveyors Record, No. 1,027) In the 1840 census residents of Buell’s Lowell and Adams Township are listed separately. Truxton Lyon resided in Buell’s Lowell. As noted in an earlier article, the Buell House was just outside Buell’s Lowell. Lyon had other property within the corporation line, which is probably where he lived. It is uncertain how the square, brick house was used during the 1840s. On March 31, 1845, Christian Wolf of Washington County, Pennsylvania, sold the 1.69 acres (including the square, brick house), the Lowell Mill site and other property to Truxton Lyon of Washington County, Ohio, and John Buck of Morgan County, Ohio, for $1. (Vol. 37, pp. 251-52) By 1850 Lyon and Wolf resided in Clark County, Missouri. In census records Wolf’s given name is Christopher.
Truxton Lyon and John Buck owned the 1.69 acres from 1845 to 1853. On Sept. 7, 1853, John and Esther Buck of Morgan County sold the property to Truxton Lyon of St. Francisville, Missouri, for $1. (Vol. 43, p. 652). Now the former Buell House was owned solely by Truxton Lyon, who lived a short distance west of the Mississippi River.
Phillip L. Crane, a Waterford resident and Marietta history teacher for 32 years, will share stories of historical events that occurred in the Lower Muskingum Valley. His column will appear every other week.