Main Street Oak Hill

The Bryn Hyfryd Church on SR 233 just outside of Oak Hill, Ohio. This was one of the many Welsh churches in the area.

The B & O railroad tracks and some businesses back in the day  

Mark Howel collection

Davis Residence

photo by Tyrone Hemry 13 July 2016

A 1929 photo of the congregation of the Presbyterian Church at Oak Hill, Ohio in Jackson Co.

 Mark Howell collection

Ruins of an old brickyard near Oak Hill, Ohio in 1932.

Oak Hill Presbyterian Church, 205 E Cross St, Oak Hill

Bob Pastor's Home Department Store and Jiggy Jones' Restaurant at Oak Hill, Ohio back in the day

Mark Howell collection

Faith United Methodist Church

photo by Tyrone Hemry 13 July 2016

An old view of Oak Hill, Ohio as seen from atop Thomas Hill

Dan Lloyd and his U.S. Mail wagon at Oak Hill, Ohio in Jackson Co. around 1910

Mark Howell collection

A 1926 photo of the lobby of the Hotel Edwards in Oak Hill, Ohio in Jackson Co. with Rees N. Edwards behind the counter. The Edwards Hotel stood on the corner of Main & Gallia St.,  The Wash Room is seen at the right background and a handy spittoon is on the floor by the desk.  This was across the street from the Liberty Theater. Rees N. Edwards was the father of the famed Edwards Sisters singers.

photo owned by Charles Crabtree

The former Liberty movie theater on Main Street

 photo by Tyrone Hemry 3 February 2016

Oak Hill, Jenkins Hardware and Furniture.

picture by Shirley Johnson

House near Oak Hill in which the charter of Jefferson Furnace was signed in 1853

Dr. Raymond Boothe Collection

The old Marathon gas station beside the B & O railroad tracks 

Notice the traffic light with only Red and Green lights

Mark Howell collection

 Hotel Edwards in Oak Hill and the Davis House.

picture by Shirley Johnson

Crabtree's Gas Station 1950's by old rest area on 140 next to the site of the former Jefferson Lewis School  

Linda Crabtree-Hoff collection

Oak Hill Presbyterian Church, 205 E Cross St, Oak Hill

photo by Tyrone Hemry 13 July 2016

Inside view if Welsh Museum 16 June 2016

photo by Tyrone Hemry

Laying track near Oak Hill

Front Street Oak Hill 1947

Bill Edwards's photo

Monroe Hollow School about 1930's. on Monroe Hollow Rd. off State Rt. 140, Jefferson Twp. Oak Hill

Linda Crabtree-Hoff collection

Oak Hill north side of Main st about 1909

West Water Street in Oak Hill, Ohio

East Main street as viewed from college Hill in Oak Hill, Ohio

Thomas residence in Oak Hill, Ohio

Last passenger train through Oak Hill January 15, 1950

Oak Hill Main street looking east

1918 Oak Hill Oak Hill Foundry & Machine Works Letterhead showing W E Dole Proprietor



Corinth Missionary Baptist Church
3401 Jimes Emory Rd Oak Hill
(740) 682-2700

Evangelical Community Church
5104 State Route 93 Oak Hill
(740) 682-4022

Freedom Fellowship, Inc.
16021 State Route 279 Oak Hill
(740) 682-4011

Blackfork Freewill Baptist Church
Oak Hill
(740) 682-0202

Liberty Baptist Church
323 N Bingham St Oak Hill
(740) 682-6775  

First Baptist Church of Oak Hill
13916 State Route 279 Oak Hill
(740) 682-6091

Grace Christian Center of Oak Hill
202 Evan Street Oak Hill

Monroe Baptist Church
3798 Monroe Hollow Rd Oak Hill
(740) 682-7820

Oak Hill Church of the Nazarene
200 Zane Oak Rd Oak Hill
(740) 682-6647

Oak Hill Presbyterian Church
205 E Cross St Oak Hill
(740) 682-7507

Oak Hill United Methodist Coop
Parish 320 E Main St Oak Hill
(740) 682-7544

Old Country Tabernacle Church
State Route 93 Oak Hill
(740) 682-6219

Trinity Wesleyan Church
509 Elm St Oak Hill
(740) 682-7688

This is the building shown in the above picture from the east side as of August 2014

photo by Tyrone Hemry

This is the building shown in the above picture as of August 2014

note former B & O tracks in foreground

photo by Tyrone Hemry

Current Oak Hill Elementary and High School located along 93 north of town

Their nickname is the Oaks and school colors are black, white and red.

photo by Tyrone Hemry August 2014

Please email additions or corrections to

Or mail to Waverly City Guide, 455 Hay Hollow Road, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601

Oak Hill Methodist Episcopal Church
Oak Hill United Brethren Church
photo owned by Charles Crabtree
     Started as Oak Hill Welsh Congregational Church with construction of building finished in 1869,
The church building is a brick structure with a tin roof and foundation of sandstone. Its primary builders, Isaac Parry and Thomas Herbert, produced a Greek Revival structure just one story tall, it features a bell tower atop the roof. The building as a whole is a simple rectangle, although the bell tower is octagonal.   The congregation disorganized in 1962; local Baptists bought the building, but after nine years they moved to a new structure.
     In 1972, local residents of Welsh descent purchased the former church and began operating it as a museum of Welsh culture, the "Welsh-American Heritage Museum". It has since become associated with the Welsh studies center at the nearby University of Rio Grande.
photo by Tyrone Hemry June 2012

    The discovery of Flint Clay and Bond Clay in 1872 created a new industry in Oak Hill. Atena Fire Brick and Coal Company was formed in 1873 and located along side the railroad track at the north end of town. Atena brand of brick became famous throughout the iron and steel industries. New methods of production reduced the need for brick and operations cased in 1963. 

    The discovery of flint clay and bond clay in 1872 created a new industry in Oak Hill. Oak Hill Fire Brick and Coal Company was formed in February 1873 and located along side the railroad track at the south end of town. The brand name Oak Hill put the town on the map by spreading the name to all major steel production centers. New methods of production reduced the need for brick and operations ceased in 1961.

    The Oak Hill Fire Brick Company started generating electric for Oak Hill in 1907 with a steam powered generator. Ark lights were installed first for street lighting and later electric was run to private homes. Service was from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and till 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Bills ran about 25 to 30 cents. Columbus and Southern purchased the franchise in 1926 and brought 24 hour service (now AEP).

     First Train to Oak Hill was on the Scioto and Hocking Valley Railroad, a "broad gauge" line, arrived from Portsmouth (35 miles away) 2 June 1853 pulled by an engine named The Bloomfield. The Bloomfield pulled passenger cars consisting of stage coach bodies mounted on railroad wheels. By August 1853 the line was completed to Jackson Court House. In 1856 the rails line was completed from Jackson to Hamden where it connected with the Marietta and Cincinnati Railroad that later became the mainline route running east to west. This made a total of 54 miles from Portsmouth to Hamden. In 1863 the S & H V Railroad was purchased by the Portsmouth and Newark Railroad. Shortly later on the 20th of January 1864 the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad bought the line. January 1, 1883 the M & C RR sold to the Cincinnati, Washington and Baltimore bought the line. In turn the line was purchased in 1889 by the Baltimore and Ohio South Western Railroad Company that later became the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.

     The first mail service on the Scioto and Hocking Valley Railroad started in 1856 and continued till around 1946. With the loss of the mail contract, passenger service became impractical and was discontinued December 27, 1946. Shortly after freight service was discontinued south of Oak Hill and the track removed from Portsmouth up through Efiort. At one time 8 passenger trains per day ran in and out of Oak Hill but by 1946 it was down to 2 per day.

     The first major train wreck near Oak Hill occurred December 8, 1856 between Jackson and Oak Hill. The passenger train pulled by the Vinton hit a flock of sheep causing the engine and tender to do a somersault down a steep embankment killing the fireman, baggage man and 39 sheep. Several passengers were also injured.

     Coal mining got started just after the Scioto and Hocking Valley Railroad was completed from Portsmouth in 1853. Rambo Coal Bank north of town in 1854. P. Powell and Company was a mine at McNeats Switch in 1856. Coal's importance really took a jump as fuel with the start of the brick plants in 1873.

     The opening of the Scioto and Hocking Valley Railroad through Oak Hill in 1853 opened the way for a boom in iron furnace building. Six were built between 1853 and 1855 within a few miles of Oak Hill, including Washington at Blackfork, Jefferson at Mt. Horeb, Cambria near Kitchen, Monroe near Monroe, Madison near Pyro and Limestone at Limestone. The first mail service on the Scioto and Hocking Valley Railroad started in 1856 and continued till around 1946.

     During Civil War days camp Wood a Civil War supply base was located near by, because the nearest rail point was located here. It was the wide gauge Scioto & Hocking Valley Railroad running from Portsmouth. From Oak Hill goods were hauled by wagons to the Civil War camp at Gallipolis and the Kanawha Valley operation.

     The Dayton and Southern Railroad completed a narrow gauge line from Wellston to Dean Junction near Ironton in 1881. The line ran to the east of Oak Hill. This provided rail service to Rempel, McKitterick, Kitchen, Gallia, Peniel, Hoadley, and Olive. The track was later changed to standard gauge around 1887 and operated under several names. In 1895 it became part of the C H & D Railroad. The 1913 Flood brought an end to the rail line along with the mines along the route were closing. So when the B&O got it, the trackage had deteriorated and rock slides were a constant problem in the two tunnel cuts. So the B & O closed the line and in 1915 the rails were taken up. The road bed has since become Rt. 233.

     Detroit Southern Railroad (D T & I) obtained trackage right from the B & O in 1903 allowing it to operate trains from Jackson through Oak Hill to Bloom Junction back to the line it had built. The railroad could not provide local freight service for Oak Hill but it's fancy passenger trains stopped at Oak Hill daily. The last run for passenger service was 18 September 1932. The Jefferson Furnace interest promoted the railroad line from Portsmouth but opposed the extension of the Iron Railroad from Ironton but the Detroit Southern Railroad later became D T & I and did go to Ironton.

Banks in Oak Hill

    The first bank was Farmers Bank organized in 1891 by Edward Jones, David Wynne, John C. Jones, Elias Morgan, and others. Oak Hill residents did not have transportation to Jackson so the Farmer’s Bank offered a convenient banking service to the residents and businesses of Oak Hill and the Farmer’s Bank became a thriving institution.

    October 29, 1902 the Oak Hill Savings Bank Company was incorporated by J. Edward Jones, David D. Davis, George D. Shelby, Simon Labold, and James W. Bannon. In 1913 the Oak Hill Savings Bank constructed a new building that was later occupied by the Jenkins Pharmacy. In 1962 the Oak Hill Savings Bank built a modern building located on Front Street.  November 30, 2007 – WesBanco consummated the merger of Oak Hill Financial, Inc. and its affiliate, Oak Hill Banks, Jackson, Ohio. 

      The third bank was a branch of a Jackson bank incorporated as the Citizens Saving and Trust Company July 3, 1905 by Breman Thomas, David Armstrong, John E. Jones, David C. Perry, and Evan O. Roberts. In 1921 the name was changed to The Citizens Bank. The depression in 1931 forced the closure of this bank.  

Oak Hill Central School was constructed in 1901 and was occupied on January 1, 1902

Oak Hill Central School as seen in 1999, was constructed in 1901 and was occupied on January 1, 1902. Later two more rooms were added and six teachers and a principal were employed.

Railroads in Oak Hill

Oak Hill Providence University

Oak Hill Central School was constructed in 1901 and was occupied on January 1, 1902

Oak Hill Schools

     In 1880 Morgan Academy, a private secondary school was established by Steven and his brother William Morgan. By 1882 there were about 130 students paying a tuition of $5.00 to $7.00 depending on the number of subjects taken. The term ran 6 weeks in the spring and summer. The school closed in 1893. Central High school opened in 1902.

     Oak Hill a university town? in 1901 Dr. G. James Jones organized Providence University using the large two store buildings at the top of the hill. Tuition was $25.00 per month in advance. The university was discontinued in 1911.

Evan C Jones delivery wagon


Oak Hill North Side of Main Street about 1910

Oak Hill Main street

Side A & B Lake Jackson State Park, R.D. 2

Jefferson employees using a team of oxen hauling about 100 bushels of charcoal. They are identified as William Howell, Eben Davis and Willard Crabtree.

Jefferson Furnace shoeing an ox

Jefferson Furnace Script used to pay the workers and had to be used at the company store. 

Jefferson Furnace built 1854

Jefferson Furnace crew members are identified as Amos Crabtree, Fred Heading, John Wilson, John Wilson Jr. and Ellory Manring.

Jefferson Furnace

     Jefferson Furnace was built at the base of Mt. Horeb Hill, the edge of present day Jackson Lake. The by laws of the company required all stock holders to be of Welsh descent and employed as many as a 100 men. This group of Welshmen formed one of the first Joint Stock Companies in order to raise the necessary capital. There were thirty stockholders, owning 100 shares valued at $500/share, for a total capital investment of $50,000. The group was led by Thomas T. Jones (Agent) and John D. Davis. Some of the investors were farmers who offered mineral and/or forest rights in place of cash. These land rights were granted in sets of 40, 80, or 160 acres at a value of $12/acre. Others paid for the stock with labor or cash.

     Management was paid a flat fee of $500-$600/year, while the direct labor force was paid $0.80-$1.25/hour.

     The first cast was completed on October 15th, 1854. The stack was 40 feet tall and the furnace had a daily capacity of 14 tons. The iron produced at Jefferson was sold under the trade name "Anchor". Some of this iron is reputed to have been used to make the Union warship Monitor (of Civil War fame), as well as the seven ton guns at Harper's Ferry.

     The furnace was originally a cold blast furnace, but was converted to hot blast in later years, with a steam pressure of 60 psi max. The waste gasses were sent under the boiler, thru a single hot blast stove, and then into the furnace. The blowing engine was a horizontal steam engine with a six foot strike. The engine powered to blowing tubes that measured 42 inches in diameter. The actual blast pressure within the furnace was 2-3 psi.

     The last cast at Jefferson Furnace was poured at 11:40 PM on December 26th, 1916

     The owners never allowed the furnace to be operated on the Sabbath day, and it was the most prosperous furnace in Southern Ohio and the last charcoal furnace to close in Ohio, December 16, 1916.

Oak Hill Milling Company

Ohio Fire Brick company Plant
 Ohio Fire Brick Company was incorporated on August 1, 1898 by D.D. Davis, E.J. Davis, Charles S. Cherrington, J.W. Dusenbury and William F. Hoffman.  It was a small plant consisting of steam power facilities, a hot floor, dry and wet pans, and three circular down-draft kilns. In later years additional continuous kilns increased the capacity of this plant until it closed in 1986.

The Ohio Fire Brick Company Paper Weight

Oak Hill Milling Company  

     First white man to settle in the area was Peter Seal in 1814. He settled near Bethel Church. He paid the first tax in Jefferson Twp. of 75 cents.

    Oak Hill was established by Julius A. Bingham, a New Yorker, to compete with the county seat of Jackson. In 1832 he started a small country store at the crossroads of a township road to Gallipolis and the Indian Trail called Guyan Trace. He laid out a village site on the hill surrounding his store.

     First post office in Oak Hill was established 11 March 1837 with Levi Massie was the first postmaster. This was the second post office in Jackson County. The first was at Salt Lick near Jackson started 1 October 1817. The third Post Office was at Berlin x Roads 28 June 1850 With Levi Salsman postmaster. The first post office in Oak Hill was located across from the Jones-Morgan hardware building. At that time the actual settlement of Oak Hill and Lewisburg was at the east side of the present Oak Hill. A mail rider left Jackson early Friday morning at day break on the Guyandotte Trail arriving in Oak Hill about 10 a.m. on the way to Guyandotte, VA. Now known as Huntington, West Virginia and on the return trip arrived about 3 Sunday afternoon.

     On September 6, 1864 the great stagecoach mail robbery took place. When the number 3 mail train reached Oak Hill the mail was moved to the stage coach for the journey to Gallipolis. On arrival in Gallipolis the $15,000 in gold coins was missing. The stage coach driver blamed it on suspicious characters he saw hanging around the train station. Later investigation turned up the stage coach driver as the thief.

Civil War Years

    In the Early days at Oak Hill, under questionable circumstance, 1862 found the 11,000 man Union Army under the command of General George W. Morgan retreating from Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. In a 17 day march to camp Wood near Oak Hill. Chased much of the way by a 600 man Rebel Calvary under the command of John Morgan. By October 7 when they arrived they were poorly fed and clothed. The Welsh Log church at Moriah was turned into a hospital.

     The Morgan Raiders camped in the area of Bingham Street in Oak Hill. One of the men died and was buried in the Moriah cemetery.

     GAR Post, George W. Johnson Post # 613 Oak Hill, OH, was chartered October 1886. Named for Jackson enlistee Sgt G. W. Johnson who served in Co H 117th Ohio Volunteer Infantry which became Battery H 1st Ohio Volunteer Heavy Artillery. Sgt Johnson died at Cross Roads, Jackson county May 29, 1886.

      GAR Luther Post 664 --- Oak Hill

Oak Hill, Ohio Pictures and Information 

Merry Christmas from Oak Hill about 1909
Oak Hill Industry

    Oak Hill Foundry and Machine Works was started by Samuel Dole and sons John and Enos in 1901. They moved the business from Portsmouth to make castings and perform machine work for local brick plants. In more recent years the machine shop activities were discontinued and concentration was make on production of castings.


The interior of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (now the Faith United Methodist Church) before renovations.

photo owned by Charles Crabtree

The Liberty movie theater at Oak Hill was run by Henry Thomas; it was open from 1920 until 1960.

photo owned by Charles Crabtree

Oak Hill Churches

Welsh Museum

16 June 2016 photo by Tyrone Hemry

Crabtree's Gas Station 1950's State Route 140, Jefferson Twp. Oak Hill

Linda Crabtree-Hoff collection

Monroe Chapel 1940's, Monroe Hollow Road, off St. RT. 140 in Jefferson Twp, Oak Hill

Linda Crabtree-Hoff collection

Bad guy from Oak Hill Charles MeKinney

23 Nov 1916 Chillicothe-News Advertiser

First graduating class of Oak Hill High School in 1893

Note sign above door says Oak Hill Savings Bank

photo by Tyrone Hemry 3 February 2016

The Oak Hill War Memorial that was in the vacant lot between the Jones-Morgan Hardware Company and the Smith Flower Shop building at Oak Hill

Mark Howell collection

The Marathon gas station and Pastor's Home Depot Store at Oak Hill, by the RR tracks

Mark Howell collection

Looking at the former B & O tracks in Oak Hill

photo by Tyrone Hemry 13 July 2016

Report to have closed as an IGA in 1994 according to Charles Crabtree

Johanna Edwards Crabtree reports It was run by the Green's originally as Gateway Supermarket

photo by Tyrone Hemry 13 July 2016

1924 showing the new Oak Hill high school under construction

 Mark Howel collection

Oak Hill branch The Gallia County Produce Co.

A 1947 photo looking west on Main Street at Oak Hill, Ohio in Jackson Co.  

Mark Howell collection

The old High School at Oak Hill, Ohio in Jackson Co., 1923-2003

David Willcox collection

Former Jones-Morgan Hardware on Main Street

photo by Tyrone Hemry 3 February 2016

Oak Hill boy 9 Dec 1916 Chillicothe-News Advertiser