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Rev. John Collins and Andrew Pinkham
Clermont Heritage

By Lamar Weaver Clermont County Review, Jan 21, 1971

Clermont County has much about which to boast in Tate Township. Nature has bestowed bountifully this area with tall trees, groves of sugar maples, of meadow land and hillsides watered by fast flowing creeks and tributaries of the East Fork. These creeks made excellent mill sites and this was an ideal region for those early pioneers who came in the late 1700's and early 1800's.

John Collins Photo

In 1802 Rev. John Collins came into the area. He bought a tract of land on the East Fork, called Horseshoe Bottoms. He was a Quaker from New Jersey and came here with Cornelius McCollum, Isaac Higbee and Edward Doughty, all veterans of the Revolutionary War. (Ed. Note, among the 4, they purchased 966 acres. The area is now part of East Fork State Park.) Collins and his group built cabins, raised crops of over 100 bushels of corn to the acre. Rev. Collins preached the first Methodist sermon in Cincinnati in 1804 and started a church in his home on Horseshoe Bottoms about 1805. This was known as Collins Chapel. In 1818 a much larger church was built, which is known now as Old Bethel M. E. Church. This is located, with its adjoining graveyard, at Bantam, Ohio.

In Old Bethel M. E. Cemetery sleep many pioneers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nantucket. Many sea-faring men and their families settled in Tate Township. These men had been whalers whose industry was destroyed by the British. They were, thus, forced to seek new homes, so into the wonderland of Ohio came the Folgers, Gardners and Pinkhams.

Captain Andrew Pinkham was famous, as was his boat, the President. Many stories were told of his daring exploits throughout the east coast regions.

Captain Pinkham bought a tract of land from Daniel Teegarden on Ulrey's Run in 1813. He was a leader in Clermont County until his death. It is said that he named both Bantam and Batavia. He built the first brick house in Clermont County. Of his four children, two sons, Alexander and Reuben, chose the sea for their career. Thomas became Tate Township's first physician, and William was a leading farmer in Clermont County.

A stone stands today in Old Bethel M. E. Church Cemetery in memory of Thomas Pinkham, but his body does not rest there – it lies on a beautiful knoll, near his brick home, surrounded by the tall trees that he loved so well in life and the nearby thunder of Ulrey's Run plays a symphony for his requiem.