CCGS learns history of Clarksville

By Clinton County Genealogical Society

The Clinton County Genealogical Society met March 25 with President Susan Henry presiding. The minutes of the Jan. 28 and Feb. 25 meetings were approved as corrected. Twenty members were in attendance.

Pam Dase read the minutes and Ron Johnson presented the treasurer’s report. Karen McKenzie reported five renewals in the last month. Leslie Holmes reported that there have been several requests of research via mail and email.

The next meeting will be April 2 at the Clinton County History Center. Jean Muetzel will present information about the Mayflower Society.

Chuck Muchmore shared information about the history of Clarksville. Clarksville was known as Smalley’s Mills from around 1797 to 1810. William Hadley bought the land in the area and the name was changed to Clarksville, possibly in honor of George Rogers Clark or for the family of Smalley’s wife, the Clarks.

Clarksville was incorporated in 1837, although the signs marking the corporation listed 1839 for many years.

The local cemeteries have often been misnamed. The original cemetery on Main Street west of Clarksville was originally known as Smalley’s Cemetery. It was later misidentified as the Yeazell cemetery, and is sometimes known as the Old Cemetery. The Yeazell cemetery may actually be the cemetery near Creek Road which is identified as either the Stanfield or Austin cemetery. Much of the confusion occurred due to misidentification during the WPA projects of the 1930s.

Chuck provided a brief history of Clarksville from 1797 to 1900. The village was laid out in 1816 with a post office added in 1820. The growth of Clarksville was boosted by the building of turnpikes connecting cities in Ohio. The Wilmington to Cincinnati-Montgomery Road turnpike and the Goshen Wilmington turnpike passed through Clarksville.

Clarksville became a center for the packing of pork for transport nationally and even internationally.

At its height, Clarksville shipped 40,00-50,000 hogs per year. When the railroad system was developed, it became easier to transport live hogs and the packing business declined.

By 1900, there were many products and services available in Clarksville. The town constructed the Opera House, and there were several banks. The increasing use of the automobile decreased the need for local services.

The construction of a new route for the 3-C highway in the 1950s from Sligo to about 1.8 miles west of Clarksville bypassed Clarksville and further reduced the amount of business in Clarksville.

By Clinton County Genealogical Society