Written by Flora L. VerStraten
Fall 2007

Thomas Rouse Jr. – Revolutionary War Soldier Remembered was the headline story at www.adenanews.com/Community written by, Carol Bednar. “On a balmy, beautiful July morning, the Rehoboth Cemetery in Smithfield Twp. was the site of remembering a Revolutionary War Soldier Patriot, Thomas Rouse Jr. The Ebenezer Zane Chapter of the Ohio Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) conducted a colonial Memorial Service and grave dedication to honor Rouse who died 170 years ago. Twelve members of the Adena American Legion/Sons of the Legion Post 525, the Jefferson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, and Rouse’s direct relatives took part in the ceremony.”


Above: Rouse Family Home

Present at the graveside service was direct descendant of Rouse, Juanita Lowe and her husband, coming all the way from Ellenton, Florida to be in attendance. Juanita spoke and stated, “I will celebrate his life by my presence here.” Then, she unveiled the marker escorted by the SAR Color Guard. The bronze marker holds the dates 1762 – 1837, representing Thomas’ birth and death years. Juanita was born and raised in Toronto, Ohio living on Trenton Street.


Left - Thomas Jr. & Elizabeth Rouse with some of their grandchildren

Flora spoke and gave the timeline (which was written and compiled by Tammy Hosenfeld, who couldn’t attend due to illness) of the church and cemetery. She mentioned that she was pleased to be part of the Rouse dedication and that all military, including Revolutionary War veterans have a right to military identification. She thanked Tammy and her family for their endeavors on restoring the cemetery and went on to say, “when the chapter embarked on the Rehoboth Cemetery restoration project, most of the tombstones were found on the ground instead of upright in their bases. Many forgotten and sunken stones have been recovered.”

The mayor of Smithfield, Ray Jeskey, attended the ceremony and said he was honored to witness an American Revolutionary war soldier being honored. Smithfield Township Trustee, John Sebring, was present at the service as well. Sebring stated that the Trustees take on the task of groundkeeping the cemeteries even though there is no local and state funding designated to do so. Bagpiper, Patrick Coughlan pleasantly played Amazing Grave prior to the unveiling and the Adena American Legion Post 525 and Sons of the Legion rifled the 21 – salute. The SAR Compatriot, Norman Moran trumpeted taps and then concluded the ceremony with a retirement of the colors.


L - Randall Crumpler, president SAR, front near bronze marker, Juanita and Bill Lowe and members of Ebezener Zane Chapter, SAR - Thomas Rouse graveside service, July 14, 2007. Photo taken by Flora L. VerStraten.

Thomas Rouse Jr. was born in Queen Ann’s County, Maryland in 1762. He lived and died in Smithfield Township on the 27th August 1832. Early deeds show he owned property where Perrin Run joins Short Creek.     

Thomas married first wife, {unknown} and their children were George, David and Edward. His second wife was Nancy Loop. Theymarried about 1797 and their children were Anna, Thomas Jr., and Margaret. Elders recollect seeing some old tombstones where Thomas Rouse’s farm would have been located, but they are no longer evident. It is believed that Thomas and his family were buried on the family farm, not an uncommon practice back then. The bronze marker is to honor Thomas Rouse and record in the annals of history that he lived and died in this township and county. {Photo courtesy of Juanita Lowe}

In 1781 Rouse enlisted for three years in the rangers with Thomas Brashears, Sergeant, of what is now Washington County, PA. Later records reflect that Rouse received 200 acres of land in the form of a “land grant” which was given to soldiers who fought in the Revolution as payment for their service. Rouse served at Wells Fort in Washington, PA and from there he went to Jackson Fort and was attacked by Indians while he was standing post. Records represent that he served one year and at the time of his deposition 22nd October 1832, he resided in Smithfield Township, Jefferson County, Ohio.

Pension File – Ohio, Pittsburgh, Thomas Rouse of Jefferson in the State of Ohio who was a private…On this 22nd day of October in the year of our Lord 1832, - personally appeared in open court before the honourable the judge… Thomas Rouse a resident of Smithfield Township in the county of Jefferson and state Ohio aforesaid aged about seventy years…he enlisted in a company of rangers… in the fall of year 1781 with Thomas Brashears, Sergt, Washington, Pennsylvania. He enlisted for three years during the war, he served in said company under the command of Captain John Hughes, Lieutenant Gabriel Peterson, and ensign James Morrison. He never joined a regiment but was under the command of Colonel John Marshall and Major Emory Taylor…he was taken from Wellsfort to the place that is now Washington County Pa at that time called Catfish…while at Jackson fort it was attacked by Indians… he was discharged at Washington… sometime in the month of November 1783, he had no knowledge of any officers other than those he has mentioned…does not know if the company was attached to any regiment but recollects to have heard Captain Hughes frequently say, that they would be obliged to join the army East of the mountains, if ordered to do so, he received a grant of 200 acres of land in Pennsylvania, and he believes it was granted by the land of Pennsylvania. He sent his discharge to obtain his grant of land, since which knows not what has become of it…no one to testify to his service except Augustine Dickeystoff…In answer to several interrogatories put by the court he say: He was living on the Buffalo which is now in Washinton Pa. Some years in Ohio before it was a state, on the watters of Short Creek, since which time he has lived in Brook County, Virginia, Belmont, Monroe and Guernsey Countys, Ohio. He enlisted as a ranger for United States of Pennsylvania.


Andrew & Margaret Seevers Rouse

DEED SEARCHES

  1. Edward & Jane (later in same deed referred to as Mary) - Beginning at the northwest corner of W. Neely’s land…on the East bank of the dry fork of Short Creek, thence up said creek North, 25th  February, 1836
  2. Edward Rouse – corner post of John McMillans land in Section 1st township 8, range 3, and running thence south 54…in Section 31, township 5 and range 2 into Short Creek thence up creek south…on the edge of Piney Fork then up South Piney Fork…containing one hundred acres more or less to William & James Armstrong, June 28th, 1836.
  3. David Humphrey & Wm. McKee to Edward Rouse – part of sections no two & eight, range three in Smithfield township…south east bank of the dry fork of Short Creek…surveyed by John Still…land of William Quinance, now owned by John G(H)arrison…containing sixty four acres…in testimony of the said David Humphrey and Martha Humphrey, William McKee, and Sarah McKee, this eleventh day of April 1840.
  4. Thomas Rouse to Edward Rouse – between Thomas Rouse & Elizabeth his wife… beginning at the south west corner of Wm. Neely’s land…east bank of the Dry fork of Short Creek…13th November 1840.
NOTE – there are many more Rouse Family deeds to follow and it appears the land changed ownership from one Rouse family to another member many times and included similar descriptions of said properties of section 2, range 8, in Smithfield Township, northeast of dry fork of Short Creek. Thanks to Juanita and Bill Lowe for sharing deeds and other documents that contributed greatly to this article.