100-plus attend marker dedication for Native Americans, pioneers in Butler County

The dedication of an Ohio historical marker commemorating Native Americans and some of the area’s pioneers drew more than 100 people Saturday, said Kathy Creighton, executive director of the Butler County Historical Society.

The side of the marker at 4262 Reily Millville Road that faces those driving from Millville tells about the Lewis-Sample Farmstead, which was founded in the fist decade of the 1800s. The other side, which Creighton considers more significant and faces those driving from Reily, tells about American Indians who lived here from about 15,000 years ago.

“Archaelogical surveys have recorded more than 250 Adena and Hopewell mounds in Butler County, although many have been destroyed by farming activity,” states the marker, in Hanover Twp.

Creighton told this media outlet there is some debate among archaeologiests about who built many Ohio earthworks, including those that are located on the former Lewis-Sample farm, of which she and her husband, Ed Creighton, now own 50 acres close to the marker.

A reason for the archaeological debate is the fact that Native Americans often built upon earthworks that were created by people many years before them. Preservationists recently bought some significant earthworks in Ross Twp. at auction.

“I just came from the Ohio Local History Alliance convention up in Columbus two weeks ago, and they are still arguing as to who built Serpent Mound, as to whether it was Fort Ancient, Adena or Hopewell,” she said. “And it depends on which direction the wind blows.”

Artifacts from the various people often can be found at each kind of earthwork, she said.

“They never will find out, simply because there were no written records … so all they have is archaeology to go on, and you will probably find stuff from all three cultures when they start excavating the site,” she said. “So they will know that the Adena were there, they will know that the Hopewell were there, they will probably find out the Fort Ancient hung out there, too.”

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