"THE BUTLER SPRING
COL. WM. CRAWFORD'S ARMY CAMPED
MAY 30TH 1782
ONE SOLDIER DIED AND WAS BURIED HERE"
"JONATHAN BUTLER & FAMILY SETTLED HERE
IN THE FALL OF 1809
THE FIRST WHITE CHILD BORN IN THE COUNTY
WAS HANNAH BUTLER
APRIL 4, 1810"
"COURTESY OF THE HOLMES HISTORICAL SOCIETY"
So reads an easily overlooked stone monument on the side of SR 83. I drive past it everyday when I travel to work, and finally decided to pull over to see what it was.
To the right of the stone is a small, babbling spring. It's hard to believe that the settlement of this area all sprang from a small pool of water on the side of the highway. It's also one of the last areas that Colonel William Crawford visited before his violent death.
Just a few days later, Crawford was taken hostage by Native Americans. The Gnadenhutten Massacre was fresh in their minds. Roughly 100 innocent Native Americans were brutally murdered during this incident, and although Crawford was not responsible for the atrocities, he would pay for the massacre with his life. Crawford was tortured and burned at the stake. Both the Gnadenhutten Massacre and the burning of Colonel Crawford are terrible events in Ohio history which teach us the importance of tolerance.