Ostrander and Scioto Township History

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William Croghan
WIFE Lucy Clark
Married July 14, 1789


CroghanHome.jpg (29210 bytes)    
William Croghan Croghan's Home, Locust Grove, Louisville, KY    
Bounty Land Warrant for 400 Acres Issued on April 28, 1800
Co-Principle Surveyor for the Virginia Military Lands
1775, he enlisted with the 8th Virginia Regiment
"Locust Grove", Jefferson Co., KY
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William Croghan was born in Ireland in 1752 and made his journey to America at a young age.  In 1775, he enlisted with the 8th Virginia Regiment.  In April 1776, he was promoted to captain and then to major in the same year.  He continued to serve his country throughout the Revolutionary War.

In 1764, William Croghan and George Rogers Clark were commissioned by Virginia to survey the public lands of Kentucky which had been set aside to compensate the Virginia veterans.  William formed a personal relationship with the Clark family and on July 14, 1789 he was married to George’s sister, Lucy Clark. 

Another sibling of George and Lucy was William Clark of the famed Lewis & Clark expedition.  A slave belonging to William Croghan accompanied Lewis and Clark on the expedition.  Lewis and Clark stopped at William and Lucy’s home, Locust Grove, in Jefferson County , Kentucky on their return trip.  In addition to this famous duo, William and Lucy were hosts to James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, and Aaron Burr. 

William Croghan received his bounty land warrant in April 1800 as consideration for his service as a major in the Army, but his name can be found throughout land records in Scioto Township as he was the principle surveyor of the Virginia Military Land .   

This raises questions regarding any role he may have had in choosing the location of his land and if his ownership of land affected any decisions he made as the principal surveyor in the Virginia Military District.  His land lay on the southeast corner of the intersection of present day SR-36 and the Scioto River.

A close observation of the map indicates that William Croghan’s land lies directly in the path of an irregularly shaped lot line pattern on the military surveys.  It would suggest the lot boundaries were defined around an existing feature; quite possibly an Indian trail. 

Indian trails were popular with early explorers, and then used later by the militia in the campaign to rid the Northwest Territory of Indians, followed by the surveyors and settlers.

It is no secret that Col. Ebenezer Zane benefited from a similar arrangement.  Col. Zane is known for building roads through the wilderness.  In return for building one particular road, Col. Zane petitioned Congress for the right to purchase three tracts of land.  When Congress accepted Col. Zane’s proposal to construct the new road, they granted him his request and he chose three locations on the road he built.  They were where the road crossed the Muskingham, Scioto , and Hocking Rivers .  This proved to be a profitable venture as settlers needed to cross rivers and profits were obtained from operating flat boats and other commerce.  Many of these “river-crossing” communities thrived and two of Col. Zane’s river crossings still exist today; Zanesville , Ohio and Lancaster , Ohio . 

Turning back to our subject, William Croghan, we have to conclude that if truly by coincidence, then at the very least; it is suspicious that his land would be intersected by an Indian trail leading to Delaware, an Indian trail running north to south along the river, and the Scioto River; specifically at a ford in the river which made it passable.

But, like Col. Zane’s third crossing, also located on the Scioto River , William Croghan’s land did not share the success experienced at other points on the river.  

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