A Kohn family: lost, found, lost, found, and repeat

The Familienbuch 1 Pfarrei St. Aper Wasserliesch 1752-1899 (the first family book for the St. Aper parish in Wasserliesch, Germany) has a similar notation beside the baptism entries for Matthias Kohn (b. 1829.08.16), Johann Matthias Kohn (b. 1839.01.10), and Michael Kohn (b. 1844.07.19) that reads "nach Nord-Amerika ausgewandert." Before reading this, I had known only of my great-grandfather Johann Matthias as the emigré from Germany. Afterwards, I knew I had two other emigrés to account for.

With a bit more research, I found that in addition to my great-grandfather's emigration in 1865 were Matthias Kohn's emigration around 1855 and Michael Kohn's in 1871. Because of information from Irene Streit-Keller, I found evidence of Matthias Kohn's life in La Crosse, Wisconsin quickly. He owned a saloon, which he operated as a restaurant and hotel. He married Josephine Becker, the "oldest settler of La Crosse," (as reported in the La Crosse obituary for her) and had 11 children and adopted 2 children who had been orphaned by a family friend. I found a descendant of Matthias, Cindy Bistodeau, who supplied ever increasing detail about the family and introduced me to the last Kohn family member still living in La Crosse, her grandmother Charlotte Kohn-Troyanek.

But Michael Kohn was apparently lost.

With more detailed research, I found Michael Kohn in La Crosse. He had been a Schreiner in Germany, and he continued his trade as a carpenter in La Crosse. I believe he worked at first for a furnniture maker, but he had a business listing as a cabinet maker in the city directory of 1876-1877. The only other evidence of his life in La Crosse was a marriage in 1874 to Theresa Loerscher, who was born about 1854. And their names were not in the 1880 census of La Crosse.

Again, lost.

Then I happened to find a Michael "Cohen" in the 1880 census. In Beloit, Kansas. So much matched correctly: age 36, occupation carpenter, born in Prussia, parents born in Prussia, wife "Tressa." Her age was given as 27, and they had 3 boys: Theodore age 5, Matt age 3, and Mike age 2. I felt enough matched to have confidence that I had found the Michael Kohn family again.

I asked the Mitchell County Historical Society to request a search of the church records for any baptisms for children of Michael and Theresa Kohn through the next ten years. Nothing. I asked also for a search of city directories and tax records for the next few years. Nothing.

Again, the family seemed to be lost.

Then I searched the 1900 census nationwide for Michael Kohn and his family. There seemed to be matches in Leavenworth, Kansas. I wrote a query on the Leavenworth county message board hosted by Ancestry.com. Within a day, a fellow researcher provided summaries for the state and federal censuses of 1885, 1895, 1900, and 1905. Found again!

But the family seems to have little presence there after 1905. Are they lost again?

Update, 27 June 2013.

Further online research suggests these facts:
  • Wife Theresa Loerscher-Kohn died in Leavenworth on 22 Nov 1891 (age 37).
  • Daughter Gertrude Kohn married Arthur Wales on 26 Dec 1900 (ages 20 and 35). They had at least one child, Millie T, born in 1903.
  • Son John R. Kohn died in Leavenworth on 24 Jul 1905 (age 21).
  • Son Mike Kohn died in Leavenworth on 4 Sep 1905 (age 27).
  • Husband Michael Kohn died in Leavenworth in 1905 (age 61).
  • Son Theodore Kohn died 29 Sep 1924 and was buried at the Ft. Leavenworth National Cemetery.
  • Children Matt, Peter, Leo, and Annie are not accounted for. 

Update, 8 May 2014.

Further online research in the census databases available from the Family History Library suggests these facts:

  • Gertrude Kohn-Wales and her husband Arthur and child Millie are enumerated in the 1910 census. Their address is in Ward 4 (ward locations are not known, not identified in 1878 and 1903 plat maps of the county and city). I note the transcription error "Anthin" for "Arthur.
  • It's unclear whether the Kansas censuses of 1915, 1925, and 1935 exist or whether the enumeration included city residents.
  • Gertrude remarried to a BROWN, who is not enumerated with her and daughter Millie Wales in the 1920 census. Their address is in Ward 1. A changed family name implies that Arthur Wales was divorced from Gertrude or deceased. The name "Brown" could be a transcription error, since no husband is enumerated. I presently feel trying to uncover further linkages is not worth the return.

  • Neither Gertrude nor Millie appears in the 1930 or 1940 censuses.

I have planned a research stop in Leavenworth for May 29-30. At the city library, I will review and photograph entries in the City Directories and their databases of births, marriages, tax returns, school records, and deaths. I plan to visit the Mt. Calvary cemetery to see if more burials are there than the seven reported in the county database of burials. I will take a bike or auto tour of the city's historical locations and the six locations of family homes. Finally, I'll visit St. Joseph Catholic Church and request scans of their sacramental registers for known family dates.

Chronology of the Leavenworth Kohn Family

© Thomas G. Kohn, 2013, 2014.


The Ohnsat mysteries on the National Road

Catheritne Ohnsat-Bulthaup told me a family story that my great-grandfather John Robert Ohnsat took his family by Conestoga wagon from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Tipton, Kansas in 1877. Her story was not detailed. It did not tell why the family made the 1100-mile move, why Tipton was the chosen destination, nor how difficult was the trip.

The Ohnsat Family in the United States

John Robert Ohnsat (known in our family as Robert) was born 18 September, 1835 in what was then called Grüben, East Prussia, in the province of Silesia (Ostpreußen, Schlesien, Kreis Falkenberg; today named Graben, Niemodlin county, Opole province, Poland/Polskie). He was baptized in the Catholic church there two days later. At age 36, he emigrated with his brother Joseph, who was about 30. They both immigrated to the United States and lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from about 1872. It is possible other members of the family also emigrated, as the family name appears for a few years in the Detroit area.

Robert was identified as a butcher in the City Directories of Pittsburgh PA (in publications dated 1872-73, 1876-77, and 1877-78); he lived at 135 Nineteenth, East Birmingham in 1872.

Robert married Leopoldine Salinger (b. 29 May 1839, Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg, Kreis Breisach-Hochschwarzwald, Breisach am Rhein) on 26 November 1872 at St. Michael Catholic Church by Father Fredericus with witnesses Joseph Ohnsat and Jacob Müller. Leopoldine emigrated from Breisach am Rhein, Baden-Württemberg probably in the early 1870s, perhaps with her sister Anna Maria Josephine and brother Anton Hermann. A family anecdote says that she was a nurse in an insane asylum, and that the experience there was so harsh that she made her children promise neither to become nurses nor to allow their children to do so. Robert became a naturalized citizen on 7 February 1873 in the Court of Common Pleas, Pittsburgh, Allegheny county.

Two children were born in Pittsburgh: Frank Robert on 19 October 1873 and Louise Katherine on 2 December 1875. Around the time Louise Katherine was born, the family moved to 75 Seventeenth, S.S. —perhaps this is Shady Side—as reported in the 1876 city directory. Then, within the next year or so, they moved to Brownsville Road, Mt. Oliver, 27th ward, according to the 1877 city directory.

Sometime in 1877, when Robert was 42 and Leopoldina was 38, they resettled to Kansas. Their third child Bernard O. was born near Tipton Kansas in April 1878. Soon after their arrival, John Robert bought land in Bloom township, in the southeast corner of Osborne county, Kansas. The family is entered in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census of Osborne county, Kansas as the "Robert Ohnsol" family that included Leopoldina (wife, age 31), Frank (son, 6), Louiza (daughter 4), and Barney (son, 2).

The gently rolling, rocky land is more suited to cattle grazing than crop farming. Robert died on the ranch as a result of being kicked by a horse, four days short of his 62nd birthday, in 1897. His widow Leopoldine lived on the ranch for a short while and then lived with her daughter Louise, who had married a neighbor boy, John Michael Kohn. Her granddaughter Isabella Kohn (Sister Edna Louise) remembered Leopoldina's fretting that her children just wanted her land and her money. She died in 1919 from dropsy (probably a cerebral stroke) at age 80.

The brother who emigrated with Robert was Joseph Ohnsat (born 3 July 1842). He also lived in Pittsburgh and worked also as a butcher on Larimer Avenue near Broad Avenue. Joseph died in 1880, as a result of being struck by a metal piece that flew from a tanning factory he was walking by, leaving a wife Elisabeth and children Charles (age 6), Dorothea (5), and Catherine (1). The widowed Elizabeth married Matthew Elliott within a few years, and the children were adopted by him. Others have researched this line. Another brother Carl Anton (born 13 October 1844) may have emigrated to live in or near Detroit, Michigan; however, more research is needed to verify that he is the same person as the husband Charles Ohnsat to Helena Kauf and father of Mary Ohnsat-Bargo (1875-unknown), Annie H. Ohnsat-Priemer (1884-1920), Martha Ohnsat (1891-unknown), and Charles J Ohnsat (1893-1960). 

The National Road

The National Road was envisioned to provide a paved roadway from Washington DC first to Wheeling, West Virginia and then, with Congressional direction in 1825, to St. Louis, Missouri. The National Road construction continued from 1806 until 1839, up to Vandalia, Illinois, some 65 miles short of its planned terminus.

The road construction reached Wheeling WV in 1816, and construction in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois occurred roughly simultaneously. In Ohio, the completed road reached Columbus in 1833 and Springfield in 1838. Surveying in Indiana was being completed in 1827, construction was begun to the east and west from Indianapolis IN, and construction was completed in Richmond IN in 1834. The State of Indiana funded the completion of its part of the road through 1850. The Illinois segments were left as hardened clay, in part because of a lack of stone and for a greater part because of the cessation of federal funding.

The National Road.was most active from the 1830s to the 1860s. The traffic was especially heavy in the 1840s. "Stage coaches and freight wagons contended for running room with families traveling in Conestoga wagons, people walking, snappy carriages, hand drawn carts, hand pushed carts, and improvised vehicles beyond description." [Harry G. Black, Pictorial America: The National Road, 1984, HMB Publications, Hammond IN.]  Various sources estimate the speed of travel between 7 and 15 miles per day, depending on the mode of travel. The stage coach lines traveled as fast as 110 miles in a day. [Black cites a published schedule, "The Mail Pilot Line leaves Columbus for Wheeling daily at 6 a.m., reaching Zanesville at 1 p.m. and Wheeling at 6 a.m. next day, through in 24 hours, allowing five hours repose at St. Clairsville."] During this period, way stations, inns, taverns, hotels, and stage liveries enjoyed a great influence on local and interstate trade. Locals could often see as many as 20 coaches in a row on the road.

Following this active period, use of the National Road diminished with the rise of the railway systems. Rails were set to Wheeling from the east by 1853. [Norris F. Schneider, The National Road: Main Street of America, 1978, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus OH.] The Illinois Central line arrived in central Illinois near East Dubuque in 1855, and the transcontinental railway was authorized in 1862.[3] These two milestones indicate the quick growth of the railways that supplanted the National Road. By the 1870s, several train routes were laid from the eastern states into the plains states. However, most routes followed short-run schedules that required several train changes for a long interstate trip.

Little of the original National Road route is evident today, because the individual states turned their attentions elsewhere and the road fell into ever greater disrepair. Where I live in Dayton OH, some road remnants are visible but not celebrated. A small bridge exists in the Englewood Reserve park, an inclined stretch of road leads up from Taylorsville Reserve to Vandalia, a crossing of canal locks has earthworks remaining, and the ruins of bridge abutments are visible near the Great Miami River and Stillwater River.

By 1870, parts of the road had become little more than a country road in stretches. Beginning in 1925, federal funds were allocated for the building of U.S. Highway 40, which generally follows the path of the National Road. The surveying of the National Road was a solid foundation for the purposes of U.S. 40  Many bridges were replaced, earthworks were removed or expanded, and the filigree of the National Road was stripped away. From Washington PA through St. Louis MO, the 1960s routing of Interstate 70 followed the National Road, and the construction further obliterated remaining vestiges of the National Road.

Few of the hotels, inns, taverns, and stage houses still exist. I have begun to search for guest registers that might include the Ohnsat family. However, their supposed travel by Conestoga wagon—or, more likely, by the wagon called a "Prairie Schooner"—could have made such overnight accommodations unnecessary or infrequent.

Many questions arise about the family's resettling to Kansas, and these are the Ohnsat mysteries on the National Road.
  • Why did Robert decide to leave Pittsburgh in 1877, at age 42, when he was apparently well established as a butcher?
  • When exactly was the trip begun? Logically, it could have started in the Spring, or perhaps as late as September 1877, when Leopoldina might have known she was pregnant.
  • How did the family choose Tipton as their goal? Were advertisements published or books for sale in Pittsburgh that encouraged settlement in Tipton or Kansas in general? 
  • Were any tracts of land available along the path of the National Road in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, or eastern Kansas?
  • Was land still available in Kansas from the federal Land Grant program?
  • Did Robert bring any cash that would allow him to set up his home and purchase land? 
  • Why did Robert decide to drive a wagon instead of using the railways? Rail travel was available through at least Abilene and west of Salina.
  • What was the cost in 1877 of a Conestoga wagon and team of horses or a Prairie Schooner and a team of oxen?
  • What would need to be packed for the trip by wagon? 
  • Would the wagon mean only occasional need to stop in an inn or hotel? Would there be need to stop for a mid-day meal, and to leave the evening meal at the time of stopping for the night, with breakfast before setting off the next morning?
  • What was the condition of the National Road in 1877-78? (Contemporary plat maps of Ohio and Indiana show that roads did exist from Wheeling WV through St. Louis. The contemporaneous plat maps for Indiana I have found so far are not detailed to parcel owners, but only to township divisions, and do not clearly indicate any road-worthiness of the route.)
  • What is revealed about the route by plat maps of detail for Indiana, and any type of maps for Illinois, Missouri, and eastern Kansas?
  • What was the time needed for the trip? I guess that easy routes could be traveled at 15 miles per day, or more on long days of summer. Unpaved roads likely were the rule in Missouri and Kansas, and average speed would be slower because of rains and ruts after the rains.
An interesting historical footnote is that the closest town to the Robert Ohnsat ranch is Tipton, Kansas. It lies about 10 miles to the northeast of the Ohnsat ranch, in the southwestern corner of Mitchell county and was originally named Pittsburgh. The name was chosen about 1871 because its founder was named Pitt, and the spelling of "burgh" was taken from the spelling of the Pennsylvania city. However, the name Pittsburg was already in use by another town in Kansas, some 120 miles to the southeast. In deference to clarity for the mail system, the town fathers decided to change the name to Tipton, although the town is still situated in Pittsburgh township.

© Thomas G. Kohn, 2013, revised 2014.05.08.

The Kansas leg from Kansas City MO to Tipton KS

This post is a stub entry, which is constantly being added to with raw research data about the availability of train travel and the existing roads in the period 1865 (the immigration of John M Kohn) through 1877 (the resettling of the Robert Ohnsat family) and 1883 (the resettling of the Anton Deneke family). This posting records what information I find. If you have further information or know of websites that may provide something, please leave a comment.

I guess that the trip to Tipton and Osborne county could have been made most easily by train, at least from about 1870 on. However, the traveler by train might have limits on how many possessions they could bring. If a family was moving their household belongings, perhaps the more efficient means would be by wagon.

  • I know nothing of how John M. Kohn came to Kansas. His first home in the U.S. was likely La Crosse WI.
  • According to family anecdote, the Robert Ohnsat family came to Kansas from Pittsburgh PA via Conestoga wagon.
  • I know nothing of how the Anton Deneke came to Kansas. Their first home in the U.S. was Cincinnati OH.

Trails and Rails

Santa Fe Trail Research documents a lot of information about the forts established to protect wagon trains, stage coaches, and other travel across Missouri and Kansas. The site also has an index of articles found in the periodical Wagon Tracks, including a number of references to the forts Riley, Leavenworth, Ellsworth, Haysrailroads, stage coaches, Salina KS, Saline county MO, and the Solomon River, wagon trains, and many other topics. A fort existed near Leavenworth KS from about 1827, as reported on the site. Detail there about Fort Ellsworth says, "In June 1864, "Fort Ellsworth, Kansas" was established at the site of the Page Ranche. The fort was one of several that served to protect the area of Central Kansas and the Santa Fe Trail." So far, I have not found a map of the pioneer trails on the site, and its greatest lack is illustrative material in general.

The Legends of America site has detail about the Smoky Hill Trail, which connected travelers from Fort Leavenworth to Denver. Following this trail, the Butterfield Overland Dispatch could travel from Atchison to Denver in about 3.5 months (for example, from 4 June to 23 September in 1865). The stage line was active only from 1865 through 1870, after which train travel obviated its need.

The Legends of Kansas site documents a list of railroad service to the state. However, no maps show clearly  which railway came close to Osborne and Tipton.

The Thompson Family History site records a history that states "On Oct. 18, 1916 the Salina Northern Train arrived in Tipton. It ran between Osborne and Salina." from a history compiled by Adeline Arnoldy. The Tipton municipal site has the same historical record.

According to Solomon Valley Heritage, the first rail to reach the area was to Downs in 1879 and then to Osborne, its terminus. Tipton received service much later from a line that came from Salina. The site also provides a bit of detail about other travel in the period 1865-1880. A detailed early-history of Solomon Valley towns brings new information about the location where my great-grandparents married. Heretofore I had thought they were married at the hotel of Waconda Springs. But now I realize a town named Waconda was begun about two miles south of Cawker City, and it did not survive for many years beyond 1875.


Another blog entry holds information about the route the Ohnsat family took through Missouri to Jackson County and Kansas City. In 1877, Kansas City MO was a booming town for about 50,000 citizens who knew it as the Town of Kansas, its incorporated name from 1853. (The city would be renamed in 1889 to Kansas City.)
The bridge across the Missouri River built in 1867 by the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad indicates the growing importance of the city over others in the area, especially St. Joseph MO and Leavenworth KS to the north. The bridge allowed the first rail service to crossing into Kansas and connected Chicago to Texas by a direct link.
Topic: wagon and foot bridges at Kansas City available in 1877


The exact route of travel for the resettling family is easy to dispute, since the state was still developing its infrastructure in the last quarter of the 19th Century. As a starting point, I assume the path was relatively a straight line from Kansas City to Salina. This route parallels the modern-day U.S. 40 and Interstate 70. From Salina, the family could have traveled west to Ellsworth and then north or northerly through Lincoln, Mitchell, and Osborne counties. An alternate path from Salina could take them north through Ottawa, Cloud, and Mitchell counties.

Wyandotte County

A plat map of Wyandotte County from 1887 is available. Although many roads exist by then, their alignment to the meridians at one-mile intervals leads me to believe that their quality was low and purpose was farmland access. The most likely throughfare followed the north bank of the Kansas River westward through Muncy, Edwardsville, and Bonner Springs. The road from Bonner Springs is uncertain.

The county population grew five-fold from 10,015 in 1870 to 54,407 in 1890.

Leavenworth County

A plat map of Leavenworth County from 1878 is available. Again, most roads are aligned to the meridian grid, and a clear throughfare is not clear. But a section of road between Le Mare and Stranger that bends in parallel to the railway may indicate its importance as a throughfare from Bonner Springs in Wyandotte County. I would presume the due-west road from Stranger was the continuation of the throughfare.


A fellow researcher cited the importance of Tonganoxie, which in the 1878 map is a stop on the Leavenworth Branch of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. However, roadway use as a throughfare is less clear.


Topic: Could the family have chosen to go north first to Leavenworth from Kansas City? Where would that path lead them in a westerly journey?

Douglas County

Plat maps only from 1873 are available.


Shawnee County

Plat maps only from 1873 and 1898 are available.


Wabaunsee County

Plat maps from 1885 are available.


Geary County

Plat maps only from 1909 are available.

Junction City

Dickinson County

Plat maps only from 1901 are available.


Saline County

Plat maps available for 1884 and 1903. Because of a difference of only three years, I present the 1884 maps here.


Ellsworth County

Plat maps only from 1901 are available.


Ohio National Road Association lists some Ohio historical societies.

Lincoln County

Plat maps only from 1901 are available.

Osborne County

Plat maps only from 1900 and 1917 are available.

Mitchell County

Plat maps from 1884 and 1902 are available.

Cloud County

Plat maps from 1885 are available.
Ottawa County

Plat maps [supply dates] are available.

The Missouri leg from St. Louis to Kansas City MO

This post is a stub entry, which is constantly being added to with raw research data. If a reader has further information or websites that may provide something, please leave a comment.

Several parts of my forebears resettled from eastern states to Kansas from about 1870 to 1885. One of them, the Robert Ohnsat family, produced a family anecdote that their journey was by "Conestoga wagon along the National Road" in 1877. This post follows the likely journey westward through Missouri.

Previous post

The National Road actually ended in Vandalia IL, and National Road travel was eclipsed by the railway system, beginning as early as the 1860s. The federal funding provided for a paved high road to the Mississippi River, though the dispute between the legislatures of Missouri and Illinois obstructed actual surveying and construction beyond Vandalia. Their dispute lasted nearly two decades, with one state desiring a terminus at Alton, just above the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. and the other state desiring a terminus at St. Louis.


In practical terms, with the engineered road end in Vandalia, travelers could take two options to continue into Missouri. Mississippi River crossings were available by (ferry ? / bridge ?) at Alton IL to West Alton MO—just above the confluence of the Missouri River and Mississippi—and by bridge from East St. Louis IL directly into St. Louis MO.

St. Louis County

If their route preference took the Ohnsat family through the city of St. Louis, they would continue into St. Louis County and pass through Florissant, prior to crossing the Missouri River. Though Florissant is now a suburban part of St. Louis, it was very separate from the city in 1877, and its population was only 817 in 1880. (Other named suburbs were founded after the Ohnsat family journey: Ferguson in 1893 and University City in 1903.)

So far, no information is available on possible wayhouses in Florissant.

Topic: crossing the Missouri River at Florissant to St. Charles, in St. Charles County.

St. Charles County

Perhaps the more likely route would have been through Alton and West Alton, since then only one river crossing would be necessary. The way from West Alton allows the two paths to join at St. Charles, about a dozen miles west-southwest. The route west from there would go through St. Peters, O'Fallon, Wentzville, and Foristell in St. Charles County.

Topic: crossing the Mississippi River at Alton to West Alton, in St. Charles County.

St. Charles

Topic: wayhouses in St. Charles.


Topic: wayhouses in O'Fallon.


Topic: wayhouses in Wentzville.

Topic: when the road became known as Boone's Lick Trail, and if the identity extended all the way to St. Charles.
Quote from correspondent: "The Boonslick Trail, aka the St. Charles Road, went from St. Louis to St. Joseph, MO. One stage/mail/lodging stop was Sexton's Station, located about six miles WNW of Columbia, MO, where I live. It seems the station wasn't used as such after the mid-1800s "

Warren County

Topic: Warren County topography, distances.

Wright City

Topic: wayhouses in Wright City.


Topic: wayhouses in Warrenton.

Montgomery County



Callaway County



Boone County



Sexton's Station, located about six miles WNW of Columbia, MO

Cooper County



Pettis County



Saline County


Sweet Springs

Lafayette County



Jackson County


Lee's Summit
Kansas City, Missouri

Next post

The Illinois leg from Terre Haute IN to St. Louis MO

This post is a stub entry, which is constantly being added to with raw research data. If a reader has further information or websites that may provide something, please leave a comment.

Several of my forebears resettled from eastern states to Kansas from about 1870 to 1885. One of them, the Robert Ohnsat family, produced a family anecdote that their journey was by "Conestoga wagon" in 1877. This post follows the likely journey westward through Illinois.

Previous post—the Indiana leg 


The National Road in Illinois passes from east to west through Clark county, Cumberland county, Effingham county, and Fayette county, where the completed road ended in Vandalia. Travelers could continue to St. Louis through Bond county, Madison county, and St. Clair county or to Alton through Bond county and Madison county.

Clark County

This map of Clark county from 1875 shows The Vandalia Terre Haute Railroad already in use that roughly parallels the National Road.


Not served by the railroad, but a small inhabited area just west of Big Creek.









Cumberland County

This map of Cumberland county from 1875 shows the Vandalia Terre Haute Railroad already in use that parallels the National Road.







Effingham County

This map of Effingham county from 1875 shows the Vandalia Terre Haute Railroad already in use that parallels the National Road.













Fayette County

This map of Fayette county from 1875 shows the Vandalia Terre Haute Railroad already in use that parallels the National Road.

St. Elmo


Howards Point




Bluff City



Actual terminus of historic National Road



Lutz Spur

Bond County

This map of Bond county from 1875 shows the Vandalia Terre Haute Railroad already in use that parallels the National Road.

Mulberry Grove





Likely point where the routes diverge, with one heading due west toward Alton and the other southwest toward St. Louis.





West to Alton:

New Berlin


Old Ripley


Madison County

This map of Madison county from 1875 shows the Vandalia Terre Haute Railroad already in use that parallels the National Road.
Southwest to St. Louis:



St. Jacob







West to Alton:











St. Calir County

This map of St. Clair county from 1875 shows the Vandalia Terre Haute Railroad already in use that parallels the National Road.



East St. Louis


Next post—through Missouri

The Indiana leg from Richmond to Terre Haute IN

This post is a stub entry, which is constantly being added to with raw research data. If a reader has further information or websites that may provide something, please leave a comment.

Several parts of my forebears resettled from eastern states to Kansas from about 1870 to 1885. One of them, the Robert Ohnsat family, produced a family anecdote that their journey was by "Conestoga wagon" in 1877. This post follows the likely journey westward through Indiana.

Previous post



Wayne County

East Haven
East Germantown
Cambridge City


Henry County


Hancock County


Marion County

Washington Place

Mt. Jackson
Ben Davis
Sterling Heights

Hendricks County



Hendricks County history published in 1976, page 127: "Early-day Plainfield had a number of famed inns and hotels serving the National Road, including Fisher's Tavern, Jesse Hockett's hotel, Mrs. Newlin's Boarding House and the Mansion House, founded in 1876.  Isaac Holten operated the Mansion House from 1886 until 1893.  Another hotel, the Worth House, was owned and operated by Ben and Sadie Worth on a site later occupied by the Grimes Hotel."  Page 135 shows a photo of the Stilesville Hotel (also on the National Road west of Plainfield) with several paragraphs of text on it.  Book is for sale from the Hendricks County Museum http://www.hendrickscountyhistoricalmuseum.org/home/our-gift-shop  
The Danville Library http://www.dplindiana.org/genealogyprograms.html and Plainfield Library   http://www.plainfieldlibrary.net/hendricksindiana.html  have very good local history collections.

Putnam County

Mt. Meridian
Raab Crossroads
Pleasant Garden
Shady Lane

Clay County


  • The McKinley Inn (1834)? was located east of Brazil, Ind., near the current town of Harmony, on the Rational Road. Presidents Lincoln, Van Buren, and Buchanan lodged there as well as Henry Clay. 
  • A historical Clay Co. map: "Nine taverns or inns lined the National Road through Clay County [Ind.] in the 1830s-1860s. Located at 1/2 mile intervals, they offered shelter and food for thousands of settlers pushing west. From east to west they were: James Townsend--Eaglesfield, Preston Morgan--Croy Creek, Mckinnley Inn--Harmony, Hull-Wishard--Brazil, Phillip Hedge's, William Kennedy--Kennedy's Crossing, Scranton-Sullivan--Billtown, La Master Inn, and George Carpenter--Cloverland." The punctuation on the map makes this a bit confusing. 
Bee Ridge
Williamstown / Billtown
Overland / Cloverland


Vigo County

East Glenn
Terre Haute
West Terre Haute / Macksville

Next post

The trip from Pittsburgh to Washington PA

This post is a stub entry, which is constantly being added to with raw research data. If a reader has further information or websites that may provide something, please leave a comment.


www.nationalroadpa.org .
From Pittsburgh to:
Washington County, Pennsylvania

Posted on http://boards.rootsweb.com/localities.northam.usa.states.pennsylvania.counties.washington/mb.ashx

Wayhouses on the National Road active 1875-1882
I'm looking for names and locations of wayhouses that were in business around 1880. I hope to find guest registers that may include my ancestors the John Robert OHNSAT family, who travelled the National Road by Conestoga wagon from Pittsburgh PA to Pittsburgh KS around 1882.

I know that National Road travel was eclipsed by the railway system, beginning as early as the 1860s. However, a family anecdote claims the family took the National Road, and even one register entry would help prove the anecdote's truth. I welcome replies that include information about

- Still-extant remnants of the National Road
- Wayhouses in the county
- Rail development in the county
- County historical societies or museums that may hold such information

Thomas Kohn
(Direct replies encouraged)

The discussion of the resettlement route is continued in the next post.

The trip from Washington PA to Wheeling WV

This post is a stub entry, which is constantly being added to with raw research data. If a reader has further information or websites that may provide something, please leave a comment.

Previous post


www.nationalroadpa.org .
From Pittsburgh to:
Washington County, Pennsylvania
Valley Grove
Elm Grove

West Virginia

http://byways.org/explore/ byways/2478
Ohio County, West Virginia
WV Division of Culture and History * Capitol Complex * 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East * Charleston WV 25305-0300 (http://www.wvculture.org/index.aspx)
Wheeling Area Historical Society * 136 N. 19th St. * Wheeling, WV 26003 * Margaret Brennan * 304-277-2241 * http://www.wheelingheritage.org/about.html * Rebekah Karelis - Historian & Collections * bkarelis@wheelingheritage.org

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The Ohio leg from Wheeling WV to Richmond IN

This post is a stub entry, which is constantly being added to with raw research data. If a reader has further information or websites that may provide something, please leave a comment.

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West Virginia



Ohio Historical Society Foundation
1982 Velma Avenue
Columbus, OH  43211-2453

Belmont County, Ohio

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohbelogs/ * Hutton Memorial Library  * 308 E. Main Street  * PO Box 434 * Barnesville, OH 43713  * 740-425-1651
http://www.genealogyinc.com/ohio/belmont-county/ Important cross-listing of other museums and research sites
Belmont County Museum * (740) 425-2926 * 532 N Chestnut St, Barnesville, OH 43713


 (description of town: http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=16416)


Blaine Hill Viaduct http://bridgestunnels.com/bridges/ohio/blaine-hill-viaduct-us-40/
Brewster Historical Society * OH  44613 * (330)-7670045

St. Clairsville

Brick tavern http://www.buffalonews.com/life/travel/one-tank-trips/article717237.ece


Guernsey County

Guernsey County offers a pamphlet describing its 25-stop National Road/U. S. 40 driving tour. Contact the Cambridge/ Guernsey County Visitors& Convention Bureau by phone at  (800) 933-5480) or online at www.visitguernseycounty.com .


Hopalong Cassidy Museum * (740) 432-3364   * 127 S 10th St, Cambridge, OH 43725 * hcherry.com
National Cambridge Collectors * (740) 432-4245 * 136 S 9th St, Cambridge, OH 43725 * cambridgeglass.org
Guernsey County Museum * 218 N 8th St, Cambridge, OH * (740) 439-5884 * www.visitguernseycounty.com
Salt Fork Bridge http://www.buffalonews.com/life/travel/one-tank-trips/article717237.ece
Elizabethtown: Creighton House http://www.buffalonews.com/life/travel/one-tank-trips/article717237.ece

Muskingham County

New Concord



National Road-Zane Grey Museum *  (740) 872-3143 * 8850 East Pike, Norwich, OH 43767


Pioneer & Historical Society * 115 Jefferson St, Zanesville, OH * (740) 454-9500      |www.muskingumhistory.org
Dr Increase Mathews House * 304 Woodlawn Ave, Zanesville, OH *  (740) 454-9500  * www.muskingumhistory.org

Licking County


NOTE: Use http://local.search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A2KJjaklNMRPGlsAb.TumYlQ?p=Museums+Galleries&addr=Newark%2C+oh&fr2=sb-top&section=map&type_param= to search for museums in each town.


Sherwood Davidson Msm-Hist Soc * S 4th St, Newark, OH * (740) 345-6525 * www.lchsohio.org
Licking County Historical * 6 N 6th St, Newark, OH * (740) 345-4898 * www.lchsohio.org


Franklin County






New Rome

Madison County


West Jefferson

Clark County


South Vienna
Garden Acres

(Proprietors, dates, addresses from contemporary city directories.)
Lagonda House, operated by Sweny and Pitts from 1873 to 1876, by N.T. Judd 1877 to 1881, address northwest corner of High and Limestone.
Photograph, (before 1895?)
Dinner menu, Sunday October 8, 1882
Thanksgiving menu, 1883
News story of the burning
Murphy House, operated by J Murphy 1873-1874, address 120 E. Washington.
United States Hotel, and later Spangenburger House, operated by N. Spangenburger 1873-1884, address 179 East Main (175 East Main in 1994).
European Hotel, operated 1877 to 1884, address 36-38 East Main.
Murray House, operated 1873 to 1876 by W.H. Kauffman, address northwest corner of Main and Limestone.
Western House, operated by R Flowers 1873 to 1876, by M Edighoffer 1877 to 1884, address 81-83 West Main.
American House, operated by J.M. Clark & Sons1877 to 1884, address 86-88 West Main.
Edighoffer House, operated 1883-1884, no prioprietor given, address 185 West Main.
St. James Hotel, operated by C.E. Stuart 1877 to 1884, address northeaast corner Main and Limestone.
American House, operated  by John S. Collis, active as a hotel 1873 to 1878, address 86-90 West Madison.
Union House, operated 1877 by D.A. Coe, address 71-73 South Market.
Arcade Hotel, operated 1883 to 1884, no proprietor or address given.
Pennsylvania House, built 1839, active as a tavern and inn about 1839 to 1865, address 1311 West Main (modern).

Snyders Hill

Miami County



Montgomery County




. Museum. .emailed 2012.05.09



 Museum.emailed 2012.05.09


Preble County


Cedar Springs

Eaton. Preble County Museum. .emailed 2012.05.09



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