History is a wonderful thing.
It winks its eye all around us — a secret signal that only those who know its secrets can see.
Having lived the majority of my life in Logan County, I’ve come to uncover some of those secrets and have even enjoyed telling tales to friends from out of the area or individuals blissfully unaware of the history.
I think I was in fourth grade — or maybe it was James Hiett’s seventh-grade Ohio history class — that I first heard the tale of the founding of Bellefontaine. The stories of Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket, which at the time involved being captured and forced to run a gauntlet, excited my boyish imagination.
It was Blue Jacket’s cabin and the beautiful spring which gave rise to the city we now call our county seat and it was a French-speaking Canadian girl who first coined the name Bellefontaine, I would tell my friends.
But what I’ve learned over the years is that Logan County is a much larger place than I first imagined and I’ve been surrounded by these wonderful tales for far longer than I have realized.
Spending Sunday afternoons in my youth playing cowboys and Indians on a farm along the Stony Creek outside of DeGraff, I never knew how close I was to the spot where pioneers Simon Kenton, Col. William Ward and Col. James McPherson came upon a secret council of the real life Indian chief Tecumseh.
- Written by REUBEN MEES