East Liverpool Historical Society

by Joan Witt

Just who were these people named Fawcett who came to this land 200 years ago. Let's see if we can learn something about the family and their friends

Thomas Fawcett was married in 1772 to Isabella Snodgrass in Ireland. They were in their early 20's at that time. Shortly after their marriage they sailed to America and settled in the Chartiers Valley of Western Pennsylvania. Within the next 25 years, they had 8 children, 4 boys and 4 girls. They were Irish Quakers. Thomas is listed in the 1790 Census of Pennsylvania as a farmer with 6 children.

In 1798 Thomas and Isabella purchased 1100 acres of land in the Ohio Territory from Isaac Craig of Pittsburgh. He had purchased the land in 1792. It is not certain just when or how the family came to this area but they were here in 1798. Thomas chose to settle on the western part of his land, near the present day Patterson Football field. His oldest daughter Abigail was married in Pennsylvania and she and her husband Joseph Smith also came to this area. They settled near the river at the foot of present day Broadway

Two other families came at about the same time from Western Pennsylvania and each of the families seemed to be intermarried with members of the other families. The Robert Boyce family and the Adam Hickman settled along the Campground Road. Adam Hickman's brother who stayed in Western Pennsylvania married an Abigail Fawcett and Robert Boyce's father was married first to a Lydia Fawcett. They are believed to all be related to Thomas and Isabella but as yet the relationships have not been proved.

As Thomas and Isabella's family grew to maturity, they were intermarried with other families of the Ohio Valley. Some of the names are quite familiar in the written histories of the upper Ohio Valley. Joseph Fawcett married Esther White and continued to live in this area. Thomas married Sarah Hamilton, John married Julia Larwell and they moved to the Wooster area. Benjamin married Hannah Zane and moved to the Wheeling area. Abigail as mentioned before married Joseph Smith and they continued to live here. Isabel never married; Mary married Joseph Hamilton a brother of Sarah; and Elizabeth married John Nessley

Thomas Fawcett built a flour mill along Carpenter's Run and his son Joseph Fawcett built a saw mill along Coonrod's Run in the Jethro area. The Fawcett home was probably the center of the social activities particularly when the families from the surrounding area came to mill the grain.

Thomas platted a town which he called St Clair in honor of Governor General Arthur St. Clair of the Northwest Territory. The local people preferred to call it Fawcettown or Fawcett's town. Mr. Fawcett would not approve of such a name as that would be too ostentatious for a Quaker to have a town named after himself.

St. Clair as a town extended from Union Street on the East to Market Street on the West from 4th Street on the North to the river. 2 lots at 4th and Union Streets were reserved for school purposes. Union Street was the dividing line between the Fawcett property and the Smith property

After several years when the town did not expand, son John Fawcett took over the promotion of it. By then the name was changed to LIVERPOOL as there were several with English background. John Fawcett was hired as a government agent and as such traveled throughout the tri state area. He along with James Pemberton offered the town site to a Mr. Claiborne Simms of Wheeling for his farm. Mr. Simms came and looked it over and determined that it was a good location for a town. he decided to move here. By 1834 this little village was able to become incorporated as a town of East Liverpool. ( The name East was added by the Post office department because there was another town by the name of "Liverpool" in Medina County., Ohio.)

Thomas Fawcett passed away in 1819 and Isabella in 1824 before they had a chance to see the town develop into a Pottery Center. Thomas and Isabella were buried in the old town cemetery between 5th and 6th Streets By 1900 the descendants living in town moved the bodies to Riverview Cemetery and erected a large Memorial to them.

Many of the Fawcett family moved away but those who stayed became active members of the community and the descendants still continue to be active yet today. Thomas and Isabella would be proud of their little town and its place in history


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