9/13/2010

Winchester has history of Confederates

It was on July 15, 1863 when the Confederate raiders rode into Winchester, Adams County. The leader of the rebel troops was General John Hunt Morgan, a native of Lexington, Kentucky. Immediately upon entering the village, the Confederate soldiers began entering many of Winchester’s stores, livery stables and barns that had fodder for horses and whatever other buildings that the rebels could take whatever they needed for food for troopers as well as food for their animals.

Winchester’s two story brick building on the north end of the village’s Main Street was the community’s post office with a grocery and drug store in the business building. The build sat on Lot number 23.

John Frow was the village’s postmaster. He had first served as the Winchester postmaster in 1849 to 1853. He was then followed by three other men who served as the postmaster, but in 1861, was appointed again as postmaster until 1868. During the one day General John Morgan was needing to check out Winchester’s mail delivery, he had a slight conflict with John Frow.

John Frow was born in Pennsylvania and eventually moved into the state of Ohio and into Winchester in Adams County in the 1830s. He eventually met and married Susanna Massie, a daughter of Benjamin Massie and his wife, Elizabeth Lovejoy. Benjamin Massie was a second cousin, one removed to Nathaniel Massie. Benjamin lived in Nathaniel Massie’s early fort at Three Islands that gave rise to the village of Manchester.

John Frow and Susannah Massie married on August 26, 1839. John Frow had been born in 1807 so was 32 years of age when he married Susannah who had been born on August 20, 1817 and was there about ten years younger than her new husband. Susannah gave birth to three sons of John Frow. Unfortunately she only lived until November 11, 1860 and is buried in the Winchester Cemetery.

By the time of the village being raided by the Confederate soldiers in 1863, John Frow had married Mary Roberts. During that one day in July of 1863, General John H. Morgan, "… was anxious to see the Cincinnati newspapers, and remained in Winchester until four o’clock in the afternoon in order to capture the mail when it arrived. Becoming impatient, he sent a detail of soldiers to meet the carrier, Gibson Paul, who was relieved of the pouches near the old Howard Alexander farm on the Cherry Fork pike.

"Old Johnny Frow was then postmaster and when Morgan’s men took the captured pouches to their commander’s room at the village hotel, the obliging postmaster hurried thither with the keys and proffered his assistance in opening the pouches and assorting the mail. General Morgan was staggered at the proposition for the moment, but quickly recovering himself, he replied that he would, ‘assist the obliging postmaster down stairs,’ if he did not betake himself that way at once. The General assorted the mail himself."

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