from History of Clinton County, Ohio: Its People, Industries, and Institutions
. . . Mahlon Haworth, whose pioneer ancestry is easily traceable to Revolutionary times. He was born on October 23, 1775, in Frederick county, Virginia.
The father of Mahlon Haworth was George Haworth, whose father, James Haworth, was the son of George Haworth, who came from Lancashire, England, with William Penn in 1699. The mother of Mahlon Haworth was Susannah Dillon.
George and Susannah Haworth in their early married life moved to North Carolina and settled on the Yadkin river near the home of Daniel Boone. George Haworth and his brother, James, accompanied Daniel Boone on his second visit to Kentucky, their families being two of the six families which made up the party that attempted the first settlement of Kentucky. They were violently attacked by the Indians and were so discouraged that the Haworth brothers returned to North Carolina, where they remained for twelve years.
They then went again to Kentucky, but finding the Indians still hostile they turned their course toward Greene. county, Tennessee, where George settled the place for his new home and returned to North Carolina, where after a short stay he again started, with his two little sons, John and Mahlon, aged ten and twelve, for Tennessee. After a perilous and dangerous trip he reached the spot he had selected for a home and with the aid of these two boys he built a cabin on the site and made other preparations to receive his family.
When this work was completed the party returned to North Carolina, for the wife and remainder of the children, leaving the two boys behind to guard the cabin until their return. The father had calculated that this trip would take about three weeks and had left more than an ample supply of provisions for the two boys during his absence, but high water, and other impediments to travel on pack-horses, detained them and it was more than six weeks before they returned to the spot. During that time the provisions which were left for the boys gave out, and they were obliged to subsist on parched corn, roots and berries, such as they could gather in the woods. They were also much in fear of an attack from the Indians, and when at last their parents arrived they ran to meet them with outstretched arms, and the mother springing from her ‘horse gathered the boys in her arms and they all wept for joy.
In Greene county. Tennessee, Mahlon Haworth married Phoebe Frazier and they built a home on the Little Holson river, near Greenville, where they resided until the pioneer spirit again influenced them to seek a new home in an unopened forest. In 1800 Mahlon Haworth made a prospecting tour to Ohio and pushed his explorations as far as the Little Miami and Mad rivers. Some authorities say his father accompanied him.
He did not move to Ohio, however, at this time, because of objections made by his wife, but his father did move to Ohio in the fall of 1803, and Mahlon, with his family, and the families of John and James Wright, followed the next year, and on reaching the place early in November, selected for their home a spot across the river opposite Cincinnati which was at that time a village with about eighteen houses.
A story is told of their passing through Cincinnati that might be of interest here. They moved in "old Virginia wagons"”—a four-horse van—and drove their cattle and other stock with them. Mahlon Haworth had a very fine horse that he called "Major." In Cincinnati a citizen there took a fancy to this horse and offered Mahlon one hundred and fifty acres of land on which the city of Cincinnati now stands for him, but Mahlon because of his fondness for the horse and his mistrust for the future of the land refused to consider the trade and moved on with "Major."
In making this trip to Ohio, Mahlon Haworth rode the "wheel-horse" of his team-of four and carried his infant daughter in his arms. He had with him his three elder children, Rebecca, George Dillon and Ezekial, and on his arrival in Ohio. as he drove on through the woods he "blazed" the trees as he went in order to find his way back if need be.
The land selected on which to settle was on Todd’s fork, two and one-half miles from where Wilmington now stands. George and Mahlon Haworth and John and James Wright were among the earliest settlers north of Wilmington.
They arrived at this spot too late to build comfortable houses before the winter set in and so in haste they built a cabin of round logs, filling the cracks with moss and mud and moved in without laying a floor. They built a fire-place in the middle of this cabin and left an opening in the roof for the smoke to pass out, their windows being openings over which they hung bed quilts to keep out the cold and rain. Their beds were made on poles laid across sticks driven into the ground.
One night, soon after their arrival in their new "northern" home, the horses seemed restless and awakened the household by moving about and shaking the chains by which they were tethered and Mr. Haworth got up to see what the trouble was. He put his head out of the door and cried back to his wife: "Phoebe, hard times are at the door." Their first snow had begun to fall and continued to fall until the ground was covered to a depth of over two feet.
In the bottoms, on the opposite side of Todds fork, was an Indian camping ground, and in the season when the Indians occupied these grounds, the lights of their camps were plainly visible from the Haworth cabin and these Indians were not unfrequent visitors at this cabin and once, when Mahlon Haworth was absent from home an Indian lifted the quilt at the door of the cabin and looked in, with a friendly grunt he then set his gun outside and entering, walked over to a stool and deliberately took from his belt a butcher knife and began scraping the Spanish needles from his leggings, after thus grooming himself for a while, in broken English he asked for food and after being supplied with a hearty meal he departed in peace. To show the different dangers to which these earlier settlers were subject we might further relate that later on this very same day three large bears came up to within a few feet of the cabin.
The question of food supplies was often a grave question with these earlier settlers. Soon after the arrival of the Haworths in their new home they exchanged with a neighbor, Timothy Bennett, a horse for one hundred bushels of corn, a small quantity of hog meat and a small hog. This meat, in addition to the wild turkey, bear and venison, which they could kill, was all the meat which they had until they could raise it, and for a long time they ground corn with a hand-mill for their bread.
In these surroundings during this cold winter was born to Mahlon and Phoebe Haworth a beautiful daughter, Mary (or "Polly" as she was called), who was admired by the whole country around but who died in her youth. Their other children were: Phoebe. Mahlon, who with his sons became inventors and invented the first check-row corn planter and settled at Decatur. Illinois, where they manufactured this machine and became very wealthy. and he is still living at Decatur; Elijah. James, and Richard, who was the father of the subject of this sketch. Rebecca, the eldest child died early in womanhood, John and James in infancy, and the remainder of the children lived to be respected and influential citizens of Clinton county.
At the close of the War of 1812 there came to Mahlon Haworth's home a company of "light horse," as they were called, which had been in the service during the war. The horses were almost dead. He took them all in and fed the horses and the men until they were able to go their way.
Mahlon Haworth was a man of strong intellectual powers. He was an active. useful citizen in everything that related to the advancement of the people and the good of the community. High official positions in the state were offered him by his people but these he declined because of the conscientious scruples of his wife who was a Friend of the strictest type.