Lytle family

Lytle family

Overview
The Lytle family of Cincinnati is considered to be Cincinnati's first family and the founders of Cincinnati.


Captain William Lytle (1728–97), was deeded 1200 acres (4.9 km²) of land for service as one of General Washington's elite corps of officers in the Revolutionary War (the Society of the Cincinnati
Society of the Cincinnati
The Society of the Cincinnati is a historical organization with branches in the United States and France founded in 1783 to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the American Revolutionary War officers and to pressure the government to honor pledges it had made to officers who fought for American...

). He solicited settlers to follow him with the promise of land. In April of 1780, (8 years before John Cleves Symmes and Colonel Robert Patterson), Capt.
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Encyclopedia
The Lytle family of Cincinnati is considered to be Cincinnati's first family and the founders of Cincinnati.

Captain William Lytle



Captain William Lytle (1728–97), was deeded 1200 acres (4.9 km²) of land for service as one of General Washington's elite corps of officers in the Revolutionary War (the Society of the Cincinnati
Society of the Cincinnati
The Society of the Cincinnati is a historical organization with branches in the United States and France founded in 1783 to preserve the ideals and fellowship of the American Revolutionary War officers and to pressure the government to honor pledges it had made to officers who fought for American...

). He solicited settlers to follow him with the promise of land. In April of 1780, (8 years before John Cleves Symmes and Colonel Robert Patterson), Capt. Lytle and his family braved the frontier with 63 Kentucky flatboats of settlers accompanied by 1000 fighting men led by Colonel Ludlow. They landed on April 11 and were promptly attacked by an Indian party mounted on horseback. (Centennial History of Cincinnati, p. 120)

Colonel Israel Ludlow
Israel Ludlow
Israel Ludlow was a government surveyor who helped found Cincinnati, Dayton and Hamilton in southwest Ohio.Israel Ludlow was born near Morristown, New Jersey in 1765. In 1786, each of the thirteen states was to appoint a man to help survey the Seven Ranges in the easternmost portion of the...

 (1765–1804) was tasked with setting up a fort on the site to secure the land from Indian tribes and led a party of soldiers down the Ohio River
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

. The soldiers and the settlers combined parties in Pittsburgh and floated down the river on Kentucky flatboats together. The flatboats were disassembled upon arrival and the wood used to build Fort Washington
Fort Washington, Cincinnati, Ohio
Fort Washington was a fort in the early history of Cincinnati, Ohio. The location is marked by a plaque at the Guilford School building, at 421 E 4th St, Cincinnati, which now occupies the site...

.

Three Lytle relatives were named Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory
Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory
The Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory was a United States government official responsible for surveying land in the Northwest Territory in the United States late in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The position was created in the Land Act of 1796 to survey lands ceded by...

, based in Cincinnati. Family members included Surveyor General
Surveyor General
The Surveyor General is an official responsible for government surveying in a specific country or territory. Originally this would often have been a military appointment, but is now more likely to be a civilian post....

 William Lytle , Congressman Robert Todd Lytle
Robert Todd Lytle
Robert Todd Lytle was a politician who represented Ohio in the United States House of Representatives from 1833 to 1835....

 (a relative of the Todd-Lincoln family), General William Haines Lytle
William Haines Lytle
William Haines Lytle was a politician in Ohio, renowned poet, and military officer in the United States Army during both the Mexican-American War and American Civil War, where he was killed in action as a brigadier general.-Biography:Lytle was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the scion of a leading area...

 (the poet), and members of the Livingood family. Captain Lytle (1728–97) gave land to his daughter Anne for a wedding gift on which she and her husband, Judge John Rowan, built the Federal Hill Mansion
My Old Kentucky Home State Park
My Old Kentucky Home State Park is a state park located in Bardstown, Kentucky. The park's centerpiece is Federal Hill, a former plantation built by United States Senator John Rowan in 1795. During Rowan's life, the mansion became a meeting place for local politicians and hosted several visiting...

 (which, according to tradition, inspired the song My Old Kentucky Home
My Old Kentucky Home
"My Old Kentucky Home" is a minstrel song by Stephen Foster , probably composed in 1852. It was published as "My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night" in January 1853 by Firth, Pond, & Co. of New York...

).

William Lytle



His son, William Lytle, ( -1831) amassed a fortune surveying the lands of Revolutionary War veterans granted land in Ohio, and was a good friend of Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

, serving in his "kitchen cabinet". Considered the first landed millionaire in the West, Lytle lost most of his money during a financial panic when western landowners could not pay their debts and the banks in Cincinnati failed. Using the land from his father's land grant, he founded Cincinnati College and Cincinnati Law College (the University of Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is a comprehensive public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a part of the University System of Ohio....

). He funded it with $500 of his personal money, land donated by his father William Lytle, and $500 he solicited from a group of prominent first citizens of Cincinnati (John H. Piatt, David E. Wade, Ethan Stone, William Corry, John H. Lytle, Gen. James Findlay, Andrew Mack, Jacob Burnet). Each shareholder took turns serving on the Board of the Cincinnati College

The Lytles served in the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

, the Revolutionary War, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War.

William Haines Lytle



Brigadier Gen. William Haines Lytle
William Haines Lytle
William Haines Lytle was a politician in Ohio, renowned poet, and military officer in the United States Army during both the Mexican-American War and American Civil War, where he was killed in action as a brigadier general.-Biography:Lytle was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the scion of a leading area...

 (1826–1863) was a lawyer, educated man and syndicated poet (in newspapers). His poems spoke of courage, loss, the glory of war and tales of gallantry. He led the Irish troops (the most recent immigrants to the U.S.) and was so admired by his troops that six weeks before his death they presented him with a medal to show their affection. His most famous poem was Antony and Cleopatra was beloved by both North and South in antebellum America and regularly memorized by school children in the U.S. through the 1940s. General William Haines Lytle
William Haines Lytle
William Haines Lytle was a politician in Ohio, renowned poet, and military officer in the United States Army during both the Mexican-American War and American Civil War, where he was killed in action as a brigadier general.-Biography:Lytle was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, the scion of a leading area...

 died leading a charge at Chickamauga
Battle of Chickamauga
The Battle of Chickamauga, fought September 19–20, 1863, marked the end of a Union offensive in southeastern Tennessee and northwestern Georgia called the Chickamauga Campaign...

 in the Civil War. A third of the battlefield is named for him and a pile of cannonballs mark the spot where he fell. When he was shot and fell from his horse with a half-finished poem in his pocket. A southern soldier who served with him in the Mexican-American War, stood guard over his body under arrangements could be made to return his body to the North. Under a flag of truce, both southern and northern soldiers escorted his body to Louisville where it was loaded on paddlewheeler and returned to Cincinnati. Since most soldiers were buried where they fell in the Civil War, few bodies were returned to their families. The city immediately went into mourning with all the windows of the stores draped in black. His horse, Fallaballaugh, another gift from his troops, with his boots turned backwards led a parade down 4th street with a long line of dignitaries.

A branch of this family settled to the north in Butler County
Butler County, Ohio
Butler County is a county located in the state of Ohio, United States. As of 2010, the population was 368,130. Its county seat is Hamilton. It is named for General Richard Butler, who died in 1791 fighting Indians in northern Ohio. Butler's army marched out of Fort Hamilton, where the city of...

, where Judge Robert Lytle acquired a section of land from the U.S. and named it Milford Township
Milford, Ohio
Milford is a city in Clermont and Hamilton counties in the U.S. state of Ohio, along the Little Miami River in the southwestern part of the state. It is a part of Greater Cincinnati. Milford, an abbreviated form of mill ford, was so named because it was the first safe ford across the Little Miami...

. Prominent descendants include Sen. Homer Truett Bone, Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard
Claude R. Wickard
Claude Raymond Wickard served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940 to 1945. Wickard was born on his family farm in Carroll County, Indiana, near Camden...

, Gov. Andrew L. Harris
Andrew L. Harris
Andrew Lintner Harris was one of the heroes of the Battle of Gettysburg and the last Civil War general to serve as a governor in the U.S., serving as the 44th Governor of Ohio.-Biography:Harris was born in Milford Township, Butler County, Ohio, and was educated in the local schools...

, James McBride
James McBride (pioneer)
James McBride was a prominent pioneer statesman in Butler County, Ohio. He was Hamilton's first Mayor, and a prominent State Representative associated with the canals, archaeologist who supplied a considerable number of sketches of earthworks for early texts on the Mississippi Valley, Ohio's...

 of Hamilton
Hamilton, Ohio
Hamilton is a city in Butler County, southwestern Ohio, United States. The population was 62,447 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Butler County. The city is part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area....

, and others.

Lytle Park, where the Lytle mansion was located, was donated to the city in 1903 by the family, with terms that it remain a park in perpetuity. When an expressway needed to be built downtown, the terms forced the Lytle Tunnel to be built under the park to preserve it. The statue of Abraham Lincoln at the entrance of the park was commissioned by the WPA Works Progress Administration.

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