December 1, 2013
Do you remember in an earlier article, I was saying that Scioto County, Ohio, was Augusta County, Va., at about the time of the Revolutionary War?
Yes, I said that and it’s true. In 1609, King James of England extended Virginia’s boundaries from the Atlantic to the Pacific, including all of southern Ohio. Augusta County was created in 1738 and included most of what is now the states of Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and West Virginia.
In the 1820s, Ann McCue Allen was living in Augusta County. She rode a horse, with her baby in front of her, from Virginia to Michigan, at the age of 21. She had married Dr. William McCue in Virginia when she was 16.
She was born Ann Barry in 1796. Her marriage to Dr. McCue produced two boys, but after five years, Dr. McCue died. After several years, she remarried with John Allen. They had a daughter named Sarah.
This was about the time that the Northwest Territory opened up, and John Allen decided to seek his fortune in what is now Michigan. He promised he would secure land there and write for family to join him.
Several months passed and the letter came. Ann set out with John’s parents and her three children for Michigan by way of wagon and horseback.
The trail was treacherous, and included trees, stumps, ruts, brush, Indians and renegade whites. They had several encounters, but made it safely there.
John had built a small cabin there and he had also built a small arbor, with vines on it. He called it — you guessed it — Ann’s arbor.
His friend, whom he went there with, was named Elisha Rumsey. Elisha also had built a cabin on his land, with an arbor in front of it.
His wife was also named Ann. Now, what do you think he called it? That’s right,Ann’s arbor.
Soon a village popped up around the arbors. The village later became a real town, but sadly enough, they could never come up with a real football team. They did shorten the name to Ann Arbor though.
Ann’s son, Thomas, returned to Virginia and in later years went to Michigan to get his mom. He brought her back to Augusta County where she lived the rest of her days.
She died in 1875 at 79 years old and is buried in the Augusta Stone Church Cemetery at Ft. Defiance, Va. It may be just me, but I think she just wanted to see Ohio again before she died.
Dudley Wooten can be reached at 740-820-8210 or by visiting wootenslandscaping.com