23 September 2009

Fulton County Roots

Hoover Cemetery, Athens (photo courtesy of my 7 yr. old)

Prill School, 1858

Other than my home of Republicania County, no other place in the state has as many branches of my family than Fulton County. Fortunately it was a good mark left on the landscape. One branch of the family, the Prills in conjunction with another line, the Hoovers were some of the areas earliest settlers.

Hoover Mill

Henry and Mary Hoover were brother and sister, born to Quakers in North Carolina who migrated to Lafayette in the 1820's. Henry relocated to Fulton County and built a mill near the town of Athens. The first mill was destroyed, but the Hoover family reconstructed the mill about 1860, which still stands today having been converted into a residence. The Hoovers also donated land for a cemetery in Athens. Although the sign is dated 1891, the cemetery dates much earlier to the 1850's.

Mary Hoover Prill
Mary Hoover married Lewis Prill, my great x4 grandfather. Lewis Prill was born in Harpers Ferry, Virgina and his family settled later in Montgomery County, Ohio. It isn't clear how Lewis and Mary met, but they were married and living in Fulton County in 1837. American Indians were still living in the area at that time and their son, John, was said to be so friendly with the Indians that he "could've been one".

John Prill

I have several pieces of correspondence between John and his cousin, another John Prill, in Ohio from the 1850's. John married Pheobe Evaline Ulch who died in 1867 after giving birth to my great, great grandmother. I have several pieces of correspondence between Pheobe and two of her cousins on the front lines in the South during the Civil War. He remarried and had a large family.

John Prill Homestead, ca. 1850
The Prills lived along the Ft. Wayne Road north of Athens. John had a homestead as early as 1858 when he donated ground to build a one room brick school house known as the Prill School.

Pilgrimage to the Prill School in 1992

Interior of the Prill School
A number of my ancestors attended the little school house that is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1992 members of my family including my grandfather and his sister made a pilgrimage to this little building. On our daddy/daughter day recently I stopped by there with my little girl.


John was devoutly religious and was known for his extraordinary character and generosity. When I pulled a picture of him out to show my daughter I asked who she thought he looked like and she said "Santa". Well, in some ways I think he may have been.

John Prill family....or should I say, the Clauses?

4 comments:

vanilla said...

Very interesting. I do enjoy family histories, even if they are not my own.
Good for you, having a father/daughter day. Fantastic.

the back door said...

please tell me your jeans are not pegged??!!?

Gemini Gypsy said...

There is a meeting tonight regarding the future of Prill School. If you aren't involved in this, you might want to look into it. I don't live in the area anymore, but my family is also from around there, and seeing it preserved is important.
You can call Janet Vigar @ 574-505-0388 for details.

hoosier reborn said...

Thanks Gemini-already on my schedule!

HR