Fayette County History & Genealogy

History of Fayette County


From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County

EFFECTS OF THE WAR OF 1812

Previous to this war the country was thinly settled, vast stretches of forests remaining in primitive luxuriance. The inhospitable woods were the habitation of wolves, wild Indians and panthers, who roamed undisturbed throughout the boundless solitudes; but her beauties were not long hidden. The watchful eye of the daring hunter observed her rich and fertile valleys, sparkling streams, delicious summers and fruitful autumns, and game and range for all, and the sound of the ax was heard on every hand, from the banks of the Ohio to the prairies that skirt the far away Mississippi. Look now abroad, and lo ! the forest, the Indian and his wigwam, his light canoe, and the moccasined hunter have all sunk into the past. The ax of the white man, and the ordinance of 1787 have efl'ected these changes.

Auxiliary to these are: first, the Christian religion, the handmaid of civilization, the bulwark of civil liberty; secondly, the love of labor—noble and honest labor—offspring of sober thought, and immunity from evil propensities superinduced by the first. To the combined effects of these two potent agencies, therefore, are we to ascribe the great progress, and the many changes that have taken place in our noble county since the first lonely pioneer cleared a spot for his solitary cabin.

Notwithstanding the energy of the pioneers, the country was paralyzed for a time by the war and the consequent reduced circumstances of the people, especially those whom it more immediately afifected, yet we see almost a supernatural recuperation and progression in all directions.

The character of her soil having been made known, the consequence of which was that when the country was entirely free from Indians, and all danger removed by the treaty of Ghent, the hardy and enterprising Virginians and Pennsylvanians, and the unique Yankee, whose inventive and mechanical genius has rendered his name almost a synonymn for these terms, made their appearance in this county. A better combination for the development of a new country could not have been found. The sturdy habits, iron will and agricultural proclivities of the one, impelled by indomitable energy, leveled the forests, converted the barren wilderness into fruitful fields, and shed the light of civilization where darkness and gloom had hitherto reigned supreme, while the ever active, almost ubiquitous mind of the other soon gave birth to the mechanical appliances of civilization.