The Little Cities Archive

Shawnee, Ohio

Photographic and Industrial History of New Straitsville Ohio 1907 – Page 2

Posted by JRW on October 23, 2010

cation and training of the youth of our little city. An excellent library, under the

management of Mrs. E. S. Martin, supplies the best reading matter obtainable to .the

people. It is connected with the Public School System.

A third class postoffice with a rural route is ably conducted by the present



William C. Hughes is a native of Scotland, born March 12, 1849. His parents were

Joseph and Ann Hughes, who resided for many years in New Straitsville, and were among

the fir!;t residents of the town. Mr. Hughes was educated in the Public Schools of

Scotland, and has followed the occupation of coal miner since boyhood. He removed to

New Straitsville from- Scotland in 1872, and having always resided here, has been a

close observer of the growth of the town. He has always been an active worker in Republican

ranks, having served as Trustee of Coal Township from 1888 to 1892, and

was a member of the Town Council from 1892 to 1894.

He received his appointment as Postmaster from

President Roosevelt in 1904, and has endeavored in a

conscientious and painstaking manner to serve the

people and government faithfully in discharging the

duties of his office.

Mr. Hughes was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary

E. McMahon November 24, 1903.

The History of Straitsville is a history of coal mining.

The two are inseparable and also include an account

of the rise of the Miners’ Union, having its origin

and spread in the Hocking Valley mining region. The

account of the development of the vast coal fields lying

in the hills of Straitsville is interesting to the extreme.

Thirty-seven years ago the nearest settlements were

Old Straitsville and a few widely separated hamlets

lying in the hills and valleys of this region. The

mining town of Nelsonville was beginning to benefit

from the opening of mines along the Hocking Canal.

The hills in and about Straitsville were known to be

filled with giant seams of coal, waiting for the skill

and strength of the brave and hardy miner to dig the

black diamonds from their interior, and give a new

impetus to the commercial activities of the Buckeye

State and make famous the Hock-Hocking Valley.


As yet the hill town of Straitsville was the oldest settlement, and the place from

which the new and flourishing town was to take its name. Old Straitsville was laid out

;.. 1835 by Jacob and Isaac Strait. In its early history it had a few stores, a tavern and

the usual blacksmith shop. The land around on the hill tops and hill sides was fertile,

and the principal industry was farming. The settlement flourished, and was a gathering

place for the farmers for miles around. On week end days the village was given over

to recreation and trading–the farmers bringing produce to the village and receiving in

exchange such necessaries as the stores .afforded.

A race course located along one of the smoothest outlying ridges afforded an opportunity

for speed trials, and many and exciting meets were arranged to the enjoyment .

of the visitors and village people. Wrestling bouts among the strongest were a pleasing

diversion. The pioneers of those days who settled in the ‘hill country were men of sinew

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