Downingsville, Logan County, Ohio

Sketch by Guy Jasinsky (1894-1948) written circa 1938

On April 29, 1818, the United States government gave to James Mabin, a Revolutionary war captain of three years’ service in the Virginian and Continental armies, a deed for 1400 acres of land located in Section 3323, Virginia Military Survey, Rushcreek township, Logan County, Ohio, as compensation for military service rendered in the colonists’ struggle for independence from Great Britain.  Evidently, Captain Malbin did not place much value on this belated gift from the federal government, because sometime prior to 1831 the ownership of this tract was transferred to the Auditor of Logan County, for the reason that no taxes had been paid on this land by Captain Mabin.

On December 10, 1832, the Auditor of Logan County transferred title of 933 1/3 acres of this tract of land to Lyne Starling, a noted land speculator of the early part of the 19th century.  Mr. Starling sold to Jacob Rudy, Sr., 86 acres of this land on May 24, 1836, and 117 acres to Joseph L Tennery.  On July 20, 1836, Mr. Rudy purchased from Mr. Tennery the 117 acre tract.

This land is located on the site of what was known as “Downingsville” during pioneer days in Logan County, Ohio.  A number of landowners and “squatters” lived in and near Downingsville, which can be located at this late date (1938) as having been situated at the north junction of the Bellefontaine-West Mansfield (state route 47) and Zansfield-Rushsylvania Pikes.

Location of the Jasinsky Farm

Location of the Jasinsky Farm

Immediately adjacent to and northwest of this northern junction of the two pikes named, lays the 86 acre tract of land sold by Lyne Starling to Jacob Rudy, Sr.  This farm was given by Mr. Rudy to his daughter, Magdalena Rudy Jasinsky, wife of John Frederick Jasinsky and for several generations was known as the Jasinsky farm.

 

John Frederick Jasinsky (1790-1868) operated a country store on this farm in addition to superintendingthe farm work. His ledger is still in existence, and a comparison of present day prices with those of a century ago shows a great change in the prices which

John Frederick Jasinsky

John Frederick Jasinsky

commodities sell for today.  All fresh meats were 2 cents per pound, bacon sold at 4 cents, lard and sugar were 6 ¼ cents a pound,  50

Mary Magdelena Rudy Jasinsky

Mary Magdelena Rudy Jasinsky

cigars cost 10 cents,  butter was 9 cents, apples, potatoes and corn were 25 cents per bushel, salt sold for 12 ½ cents per pound, coffee was the same price as salt, eggs sold for 3 and 4 cents a dozen, flannel was 50 cents a yard, linsey fabric (a linen & wool fabric) was 37 ½ cents per yard,  tea was 66 cents per pound, live sheep sold at 75 cents each while milk cows sold for around $12 each.  A pound of nails were worth 6 ¼  cents, wheat was 50 cents a bushel, grafted trees were 10 cents each, and flour sold at 40 cents for the 24 pound sack.  Whiskey sold for 10 cents a quart, but by 1848 the price of the necessity had advance to 50 cents per gallon.

On July 13, 1839, a post office was established at Downingsville, and President Andrew Jackson appointed John Frederick Jasinsky postmaster at that point. This post office was in existence until May 19, 1847, at which date the office was discontinued.  Mr. Jasinsky was postmaster at Downingsville the entire period of time that the post office was in operation.  The location of the building in which this store and post office were operated was on a low mound, plainly visible today, at the west edge of the Zanesfield-Rushsylvania Pike, about 100 feet south of the present residence building on the Jasinsky farm.  At one time plans had been made to lay out the site of a village on the Jasinsky farm but, like many ventures the town of Downingsville died a-borning.

John Frederick Jasinsky is buried by the side of his wife, Magdalena Rudy Jasinsky at the extreme south edge of the farm on which he lived and died, at a distance of about 30 rods (165 yards) west of the junction of the two pikes named in this article.  The graves are marked by two marble stones.  The present owner of the farm (1938) is Gladys Lawson Eberhart of Rushsylvania, great-great granddaughter of Jacob Rudy, Sr. and great granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Frederick Jasinsky.

Mary Magdalena

Mary Magdalena

John Frederick

John Frederick

The only postmaster Downingsville ever had came to Ohio from Pennsylvania in 1819.  His father, Frederick William Jasinsky (1743-1815), was a pioneer German Lutheran Minister in the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania, a who, prior to coming to America, was an officer in the army of Frederick the Great of Prussia, having been born at Potsdam, Friedrich Wilhelm von Jaschinsky.  The father of Frederick William Jasinsky was Count von Jachinsky, captain in the Potsdam Grenadier Guard, personal bodyguard of Friedrich Wilhelm I, prior to the death of the Prussian king in 1740; and subsequent to that date was colonel of the lifeguard or king’s guard regiment of Frederick the Great.

Sketch provided by Laura J. on November 10, 2013.  This sketch was written by her Grandfather Guy Jasinsky in 1938.  Guy is Grandpa Z’s (Ron) Uncle .