JOHN HUTT (1763-1833)
John Hutt
Sep. 5, 1763, Westmoreland Co., Va.
Aug. 25, 1833, Chillicothe, Oh. 
Elizabeth Crockwell
Feb. 18th, 1775 
July 23, 1835 
MARRIAGE March 3, 1799, Charles Town, Berkely [Jefferson] Co., [West] Virginia
PARENTS Gerard Hutt, III & Caty Spence John & Mary Crockwell

Martha Maria Hutt (Dec. 8, 1799 - Aug. 3, 1800)
William Hutt (Feb. 21, 1801 - Sep 2, 1801)
Eliza Hutt (Dec. 3, 1802 - Sep. 17, 1825)
Mary Constance Hutt (Sep. 15, 1805 - 1889)  m.  Charles Madeira, 1835, Ross Co.
Emily Hutt (Feb. 19, 1807 - Jan. 27, 1859) m. James Taylor, 1839, Ross Co.
Katherine (Kate) Spence Hutt (May 1, 1809 - Jan. 10, 1899) m. John Robinson, 1827

John Hutt served as a private in the Virginia Militia (artillery) during the Revolutionary War, entering service in 1778 as a 15-year old soldier.24   According to his own recollections, John was well developed for his age and had a lanky, six-foot frame.  Years later he would serve in the infantry. According to records built upon his application for pension, John was present when Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown -- an event that led directly to peace negotiations ending the war.25  He was granted land in the Virginia Military District of Ohio as war bounty.  John applied for a pension after the war, but had to defend his service in the Virginia militia. Among his petitioners was his brother, Nimrod:


Ross County

Personally appeared before me a Justice of the Peace within and for the county of Ross, State of Ohio, Nimrod Hutt of lawful age and of good standing as to truth and verasity who was by me duly sworn deposeth and saith that he recollects well that his brother John Hutt was for a very considerable time from home at the time of the revolutionary war and that he the said Nimrod recollects of hearing his Mother and the family often converse about brother John being in the army during _____. What time he enlisted I do not recollect but well remember when at schoolin the year 1781 being then about eleven years of age I saw my brother walking along the road to his mothers house... (illegible)... further states that he believes from every circumstance he was honorably discharged from the service having faithfully served out the time of his enlistment and further this depreciant saith not.

(signed) Nimrod Hutt

John's pension file is well over 30 pages of microfilm, with correspondence after correspondence attempting to prove his service to the nation.  He was finally granted a pension shortly before his death in 1833.

John was not the first Hutt to come to Ohio, but he certainly was the most public. In the first decade of the 1800s, John had numerous references noted in Chillicothe newspapers and county histories. But the best source of John's life is his granddaughter, Fannie Swayne, who in the late 1890s wrote letters to Chillicothe journalist William McClintock during celebrations of the city's centennial.

According to the series of letters, John left Virginia on September 27th, 1801 and arrived in Chillicothe on November 13th, 1801 "with a large company of neighbors and friends." Fannie's brother, Major S. S. ("Sol") Robinson, further discussed John's arrival in Chillicothe in a letter written to a friend that was published in part by the Waverly News and Chillicothe Gazette in 1894 as "Pioneer History":26

John Hutt... located and built, first, a hewed log house, on Water Street, next west of the lot then occupied by the Scioto Gazette. Soon he built a two story brick house, in which were born his daughters, Eliza, Mary Constance,...Emily,... and Katy, my mother,... That old brick house was a part of the early history of your city. It was two stories high, about forty by eighteen feet. On the ground floor it had two rooms separated by a hall, and the same above. The back ell, or kitchen, was the old log house first built, one story, weather-boarded.

John was persuaded to come to Ohio by his "great friend," Dr. Edward Tiffin. Tiffin was elected as Ohio's first Governor and served as a U.S. Senator in 1807 and 1808. Tiffin and Hutt were both licensed preachers of the Methodist church. The Hutts rubbed elbows with many of Ohio's founding fathers and early political heavyweights.

Fannie's letter recalls when William Allen, Ohio's 31st governor (after earlier terms as U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator), first came to Ohio from Virginia.

He had walked all the way from Lynchburg, and before calling on his sister, he went into a tailor shop just below my grandmothers (Mrs. John Hutt) to change his clothes. The tailor went into my grandmother's (Mrs. John Hutt) and borrowed a wash bowl, towel, and comb for him to make his toilet;

John married Elizabeth Crockwell in Charles Town, (West) Virginia in 1799. According to the book, Che-le-co-the, a Glimpse of Yesterday, "John Hutt and his relatives the Diblers" came to Ross County in 1796.27  This is proven false by a number sources, most importantly the recollections of Fannie Swayne. The first two children were born (and shortly after birth died) in western Virginia between 1800 and 1801. The third child was born in Ohio in 1802 and other primary records place John in Ohio in the same year.  It has been hard to determine who the Diblers were and how they were related to John, if indeed they were, as no records point to any relationship.

Ohio tax records placed John and his brother William in Chillicothe between 1807 and 1818.  John had eleven entries spanning the "1st District" and Scioto Township. Brother William had seven entries spanning the same areas. After his death and that of his wife, daughters Mary, Emily and Catharine were listed as 1835 taxpayers in Chillicothe. However, the Probate Archives of Ross County do not show either John Hutt or William Hutt as a land owners, nor is their any existence of a will for John.

It is clear, however, that John and William Hutt lived in Chillicothe via state tax records and a map found at the Ross County Historical Society showing the exact location of the homesteads in the early 1800s. The map of the central town showed that John and William lived next to each other on the south side Water Street, approximately halfway between Paint and Mulberry Streets. William's house was of a single-story frame construction, John's a two-story brick. At some point between 1810 and 1820, Nimrod Hutt also had a residence on Water Street, although no court records show property ownership by any of the three.

TOP: Map of downtown Chillicothe.

BOTTOM: Close-up of Hutt brothers notation at bottom of the map.

LEFT: Hutt brothers' homes (enlarged)

With Chillicothe being Ohio's first capital, there is an abundance of primary source material available, many that include references to John Hutt. He appeared 31 times in Chillicothe newspaper references between 1801 and 1816. These entries paint a man who was both a public figure and prominent in the community.28

John was one of the first associate justices in Ross County, who were seated promptly after Ohio's first Supreme Court was created. Many of the newspaper references include legal references to John. In the early 1800s primary sources showed him to be a Hotel Keeper and Merchant.

On April 1, 1802, John and Elizabeth started a school for girls.29  This was Ross County's first school for girls and perhaps one of the first on Ohio. Education would be a key component of the Hutts in Ohio for the next two centuries. In the early 19th Century girls primarily would stay at home, but the Hutt school taught young ladies proper skills, as "Mrs. Hutt will teach morals."30

While not a delegate to the Ohio Constitutional Convention from Ross County, John Hutt certainly had the ear of its members. One of the hotly debated topics for Ohio's statehood was the issue of slavery.  On September 2nd, 1802, the Chillicothe newspaper reported arguments regarding Ohio's impending statehood and the role of slavery.  John stated that those in favor of slavery in Ohio wish "to fix a poisonous dose in the very heart of our state, that will inevitably produce lingering disease, consuming the vital flame of liberty to all generations." Among those John was siding with are some of Ohio's founding fathers: Nathaniel Massie, Thomas Worthington and Edward Tiffin, all who freed slaves in Virginia prior to coming to Ohio.31

In a point of curious contradiction, 1787 Virginia Census and Virginia Tax Payer records between 1782 and 1787 show that Caty Spence, John's mother, owned 16 slaves in 1787.  Caty Hutt, John's great grand-niece, wrote that family legend had it that Nimrod Hutt, John's brother, traveled to Ohio with his slaves in 1805.  Descendend from plantation owners, John would have been exposed to slavery on the family plantation and may have owned slaves himself before leaving for Ohio. 

While the idea of involuntary slave labor was fading in the minds of northerners, voluntary servitude still thrived as many poorer citizens either bound themselves or their children to the service of others. Apparently John & Elizabeth Hutt were the recipients of such service, as a Chillicothe newspaper reported on October 17th, 1810: "John Hutt regarding a runaway servant girl named Sally Hill, age 10."32

John's status and wealth in frontier Ohio is evident with the visit by statesmen Henry Clay to Chillicothe.  According to Fannie Swayne's letter, John volunteered to supply a feather bed and wash bowl for Mr. Clay, as the standard amenities at the nearby hotel of the Watson's had iron pumps out front for washing and the standard bed of the time was a straw-filled mattress.  These amenities, according to Fannie's letter,  were unacceptable for a guest of such stature.

John Hutt appeared to be one to speak his mind and let it be known to all.  Perhaps his background as a preacher, as noted by Fannie Swayne, stirred him to voice in public affairs.  Thomas Worthington, then Governor of Ohio, was the recipient of a letter sent by John in 1814 admonishing the lax security of a prisoner of war situations in Ohio stemming from the War of 1812. John boarded a British paroled officers in his home and in a letter dated February 2nd he states,33

It is a fact there is not a week but the paroles of the prisoners are broken...the parole orders every prisoner at his quarters at nine o'clock. It is formal, but no attention is paid to the hour. The deputy marshal since the new arrangement has never visited my house. Things are not conducted by no means right... rest assured there is bad management, and very bad.

Elizabeth, his wife, was also a significant member of the community. Aside from running the school for girls from their home, Elizabeth and her daughters also ran a Milliner business in 1825. In the September 28, 1825 Chillicothe Times, "they still continue to carry on the MANTUA MAKING & MILLINER BUSINESS  -- particularly whitening and altering Leghorn Bonnets in the best manner and most fashionable style. Plain sewing will also be attended to."34

John and Elizabeth had considerable agony in raising children, as the first two died before reaching one year of age: Martha Maria (Dec. 8, 1799 - Aug. 3, 1800) and William (Feb. 21, 1801 - Sep 2, 1801). The third child, Eliza, died at age 22 (Dec. 3, 1802 - Sep. 17, 1825). Emily (Feb. 19, 1807 - Jan. 27, 1859) married James Taylor in 1839. 

Their two daughters that lived beyond middle age both married prominently in Chillicothe.  Mary Constance (Sep. 15, 1805 - 1889) married into the Madeira family (Charles Madeira, 1835) and Katherine (Kate) Spence (May 1, 1809 - Jan. 10, 1899) into the Robinson family (John Robinson, 1827).  The Madeira family was prominent in Chillicothe, owning a well-known hotel and bank.  It is still being researched, but it appears that Kate married her first cousin. John Robinson is said to be the son of Ursula Hutt and James Robinson, who came to Chillicothe after 1810. Ursula Hutt was the youngest sibling of John Hutt, and would have been Kate's aunt.  Both the Madeira and Robinson family sent children off to fight in the Civil War, ultimately against the Virginia Hutts, of which several fought for the Confederacy.

John and Elizabeth are buried in Grandview Cemetery in Chillicothe. It is a prominent cemetery that includes the gravesites of many of Ohio's founders and first governors. At some point during her later years, Caty Spence, John's mother, would come to Chillicothe. She died in 1812 and is buried in Chillicothe. John is buried in a section of ten graves owned by John Madeira, related to their daughter's spouse, Charles Madeira.35  While the tombstone inscription book note Elizabeth and daughter Eliza as buried with John, in February of 2000 there were no markers designating their existence on the plot.

John, William and Nimrod were but three of seven children born to Gerrard and Caty Hutt.  Two brothers and a sister stayed in Virginia, while Ursula, the youngest, came to Chillicothe.  Surprisingly, John's mother, Caty, left the relatively prominent surroundings of home and hearth in Westmoreland County, Virginia to spend her final years in the rough-hewn Chillicothe countryside.

Grandview Cemetery, Chillicothe, Ohio
Top: Madeira family plot, John Hutt in background. Right: John Hutt's marker (recently updated by Ross County Sons of American Revolution)


24 Virginia/West Virginia Genealogical Data from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Records, Volume 2, compiledby Patrick G. Wardell, p. 362

25 Ohio Daughters of the Revolution Soldiers Rosters, V. I & II, 1929-1938, p. 199

26 Waverly News, Friday, September 20, 1894

27 Che-le-co-the, a Glimpse of Yesterday, L.W. Renick (published ni 1896), p. 51

28 Pioneer Ohio Newspapers, vol 1. 1793-1810, vol. 2 1810-1818, Karen Mauer Green

29 State Centennial History of the County of Ross (Ohio) v. II, Henry H. Bennett p. 153

30 Pioneer Ohio Newspapers, v 1, 1793-1810, Karen Green, p. 194; Scioto Gazette & Chillicothe Advertiser, March 13, 1802, No. 99

31 State Centennial History of the County of Ross pp. 57-58

32 Pioneer Ohio Newspapers, v 1. 1793-1810, Karen Green, p. 316; Scioto Gazette & Chillicothe Advertiser, Oct. 17, 1810, No. 513

33 Raw Recruits and Bullish Prisoners, Ohio's Capital in the War of 1812, Patricia Fife Medert, p. 123

34 Chillicothe, Ohio, 1796-1996, Ross County Historical Society. p. __

35 Grandview Cemetery, Chillicothe, Ohio inscription book. Section 9C, Lot 4, p. 129

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