Out of the Clock Tower

Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Feb 05

VIPs of Greene County: James Galloway, Sr.

Posted on February 5, 2021 at 10:43 AM by Melissa Dalton

In 2021, we’d like to honor some VIPs on Greene County, and who better to start with than James Galloway, Sr.! As one of the first white settlers in Greene County, his life and story are well-known.

James Galloway, Sr. was born in 1750 in Pennsylvania. At the onset of the Revolutionary War, Galloway volunteered, enlisting in 1776, 1777, and 1779 – all of which provided a pension after the war. Most histories of Galloway claim he moved to Fayette County, Kentucky around 1775, but served under Pennsylvania regiments during the war. He married Rebekah Junkin of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania in 1778.

Painting of James Galloway, Sr. (JPG)
James Galloway, Sr. (FindAGrave.com)

James, Sr. and Rebekah had nine children (only seven surviving to adulthood), with most of the children being born in Kentucky. The two youngest, Ann and Anthony, were born in Greene County. While in Kentucky, Galloway served as a chief hunter for the local regiments, but was called up to fight in various skirmishes (during the American Indian Wars) with the native tribes in the region.

In August 1782, Galloway was ambushed while trying to reach a relief party. The story goes that he was shot by Simon Girty, a sympathizer of the indigenous people in the region. However, this isn’t known for sure. What is known is that Galloway was shot at close range and left for dead. Galloway was able to recover enough to get back to his camp. There were two severe bullet wounds, one going through his right arm near the shoulder, and the other passed through his left shoulder and lodged near the back of his neck. These wounds caused infection, and had to be cut and scraped. The bullet that lodged near his neck was left, which caused him great discomfort. It was not removed until years later.

Before fully recovering from his wounds, Galloway was called to serve with George Rogers Clark on his expedition against the native peoples at Old Chillicothe (near Oldtown). Galloway found the lands of Ohio, and Old Chillicothe in particular, to be quite desirable. After the Treaty of Greenville forced the native peoples from the lands in 1795, Galloway moved his family to the area, being one of the first white settlers in what became Greene County.

In 1799, Galloway built a log house near what is now Goes Station, which later became part of Xenia Township. This location wasn’t far from a Shawnee settlement, and Galloway became acquainted with Tecumseh, the chief, with a friendship developing between Tecumseh and the Galloway family. It is claimed that Rebekah, Galloway’s daughter, taught Tecumseh how to read English (and legend goes on to say Tecumseh proposed marriage, but she refused).

Galloway log house in 1938, courtesy of WSU Special Collections and Archives (JPG)
Galloway log house in 1938 (Wright State University Special Collections & Archives) 

After Greene County was chartered in 1803, Galloway served as the first County Treasurer, a position he held until 1819. His wife, Rebekah, died on August 31, 1812 at the age of 52. In 1817, Galloway married Tamar Wilson of Greene County, but no children were born from this union.

James Galloway, Sr. and Tamar Wilson marriage record (JPG)
Marriage record for James Galloway, Sr. and Tamer Wilson (Greene County Archives)

James Galloway, Sr. died on August 6, 1838 at the age of 88 and was buried in Massies Creek Cemetery, now known as Stevenson Cemetery.

Until Next Time!

Greene County Archives
Overton, J. (Ed.) (1995). Revolutionary War Veterans of Greene County, Ohio. Greene County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society.
Robinson, G. F. (1902). History of Greene County, Ohio. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company.
Wright State University, Special Collections & Archives


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