This edition of the Courier features Captain John Chandler; founder of Chandlersville, Ohio, and his brother Dr. Jesse Chandler.

by Barb Chandler


Inspired by talk how Ohio had rich soil Captain John Chandler(1757-1829), who fought in the Revolutionary War during the battle of Bennington, decided to move his family to Ohio. In 1797 they joined a group of fifteen families led by General Rufus Putnam on their way to Balpre, now known as Newbury township, in Washington county.

Captain Chandler was not satisfied with this location and, after some exploration, moved his family to Salt Creek in the spring of 1799. He was the first pioneer who settled in Salt Creek (later named Chandlersville).

He and his sons set to work clearing the land. They built a cabin, shed for their livestock, prepared the land for cultivation, and started a garden that grew into a productive farm.

Before two years elapsed Captain Chandler had opened and placed under cultivation a large and productive farm. Satisfied that his family were comfortable, Chandler changed begin negotiations with the owners of the Marietta Company, who manufactured salt, for the sale of the Salt Works. He became owner, and the company was known as Chandler’s Salt Works. Chandler and his sons conducted the business of salt manufacturing for six or seven years after they got possession of the works furnishing salt to neighbors for many miles around.

Early pioneers making salt.

Early pioneers making salt.

When Chandler acquired the salt works there were only a handful of families. Over the year’s people begin to settle in the Valley and called it their home, the territory became known as Salt Creek Township.



A blacksmith was essential in pioneer day. A blacksmith mended wagons, made tools and farm equipment. Captain Chandler learned the blacksmithing trade from his father and started a blacksmith shop near his cabin. He taught his boys the trade, which proved of great advantage to them during the years when the settlement was developing.

An important event in the history of the neighborhood was when John Chandler, son of Captain Chandler, erected, or caused to be erected, the first mill in the township. Its site was on the creek about a mile below the salt works. The mill stones were procured in the neighborhood. Its use consisted principally in grinding corn.

Another son of Captain John’s, Zachary Chandler, had the neighborhood in mind, when he started the first tavern. He opened a frame building in 1815. Zach Chandler’s hotel, or tavern, was sought out by the wayfarer, the accommodations were minimal. In those days, straw beds and tallow dip candles were luxuries ; and since Zach had a monopoly in this business, no one complained.

The Post office owes its inception to Captain John Chandler. He was acting Postmaster as
early as 1804, and held that office many years.

The settlement of this village, the only one in the township of Salt Creek, is substantially the same as that of the township itself. It was laid out hy John Stevens, who gave it the name it now bears, in honor of Captain John Chandler, the first settler and a very public-minded person.


Captain John Chandler’s lineage is; Edmund Chandler(1587-1662), Benjamin Chandler(1644-1691), Joseph Chandler(1694-1774), Benjamin Chandler(1727-1777)



Many of Captain John’s relatives were early settlers in the area; among them was his brother Dr. Jesse Chandler(1764-1814).

Dr. Chandler earned his degree in Vermont, and practiced medicine for a few years. After the death of his first wife Mary Binham in 1804 Dr. Jesse Chandler moved his family from Tinmouth, Vermont to Springfield in Muskingum County, Ohio, which was just across the river from the town of Zanesville.

His practice extended over all the western part of the county, into the adjoining counties. He traveled on horseback sometimes following trails or bridle paths from house to house. He spent a large part of his time in the saddle, and was always ready to respond to calls. He would often ride a dozen miles, furnish the medicine needed and charge one dollar. Visits in the village were fifty cents.

In the fall of 1809 a bad case of smallpox developed in the town. Some of the older people had been inoculated with with small-pox, but the children and many adults had no protection. They were given diets to follow, and a general inoculation took place. For the most part all did well, but a few young men. Dr. Chandler turned his house into a hospital, took these young men in charging them nothing, and brought them safely though their illness.

In the winter of 1813-14 an unknown epidemic broke out in Putnam. An editorial in the Zanesville Express on January 12, 1814 describes the epidemic and Dr. Chandler’s heroic efforts to save lives.

Suddenly a 12-year-old girl died. People called her disease “prevailing malignant fever.” Panic more terrifying than the excitement of the small pox epidemic of a few years earlier followed her death. Within two weeks 12 other Putnam residents died. Out of about 75 families, with a population of about 300, that was an alarming death rate. Dr. Jesse Chandler, the Putnam physician worked heroically to relieve suffering and save lives. As more settlers arrived, he could not answer all the calls He asked Dr. Isaac Fowler of Rutland, Vt., to come and assist him. In 1814 Dr. Chandler still worked alone in Putnam. One day he came home late at night, exhausted from attending many cases of “prevailing malignant fever.” He was feeling unusually languid and tired when he went to bed. Soon he told his wife that he felt “the sinking chill which characterized the plague’s opening attack.” One hour later he could not speak. After suffering for 34 hours, he died on Jan. 20, 1814.

His obituary in the Zanesville Express January 1814 reads as follows:
Died, at his residence in Springfield (now Putnam) on Thursday the 20th Doctor Jesse Chandler in the 50th year of his age. “He has left a disconsolate family and numerous connections to deplore his loss. In this man were all those qualities which constitute an affectionate husband, a kind and tender parent, and a sincere and ardent friend. He was active and vigilant in the discharge of his professional duties; was indefatigable in his researches after the means by which he could relieve those who were laboring under various maladies to which the human system is subject. It was his study to alleviate the sufferings of his fellow creatures.” The obituary dosed by saying that “Long will the inhabitants of Springfield and its vicinity lament the hour when death separated this invaluable man from them.” SIX DAYS later Dr. Chandler’s son, Zeno Chandler, age 16, died of the plague. Before Dr. Chandler died, the people of the little village of Putnam, then called Springfield, were in a state of fear and trembling. After his death deprived them of a physician, they lived in consternation and terror.

Dr. Jesse Chandler’s lineage is; Edmund Chandler(1587-1662), Benjamin Chandler(1644-1691), Joseph Chandler(1694-1774), Benjamin Chandler(1727-1777)

Feedback-IconWe welcome your feedback if you have any comments, questions,  or ideas for future articles. Send them to; Barb Chandler barb95831@gmail.com


1794 History of Muskingum County, with illustrations and biographical sketches of prominent men and pioneers. http://archive.org/stream/cu31924028848673/cu31924028848673_djvu.txt

Pioneer Physicans of the Muskingham Valley. http://collections.nlm.nih.gov/ocr/nlm:nlmuid-56510690R-bk
Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohmuski2/saltcreek/saltcreekhist.html

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohmuski2/saltcreek/saltcreekhist.html

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