Location: E half of SE quarter of Section 8, Westwood, Green Township, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States
Surnames/tags: Irwin Witt Wagner
In 1816, William Irwin (abt.1775-bef.1843) and his sister, Mary C. (Irwin) Richey (1756-1832), obtained a land patent in Ohio for a parcel now located in Westwood, the largest neighborhood in the city of Cincinnati. Over the next 94 years, sales and court cases ensued, involving three generations of William’s descendants, until 1910 when the last family-owned parcels of the Irwin estate were sold.
The parcel named in the land patent is 80 acres in the southeast quarter of Section 8, Green Township (Township Two), Hamilton County, Ohio, United States. The center of the parcel is at approximately 39° 8.196'N, 84° 35.978'W and is north of the intersection of Queen City Avenue and Ferguson Road. The parcel is roughly bounded by Werk Road on the north, Dunaway Avenue on the east, West Tower Avenue on the south, and Boudinot Avenue on the west.
1816: Land patent granted to siblings Mary (Irwin) Richey [west half] and William Irwin [east half]
On May 31, 1816, William Irwin (abt.1775-bef.1843) and his sister, Mary C. (Irwin) Richey (1756-1832) obtained a land patent as tenants in common for a parcel of land in the southeast quarter of Section 8, Green Township, Hamilton County, Ohio.
1825: Mary (Irwin) Richey sells west half
Mary C. (Irwin) Richey (1756-1832) sold her half of the Section 8 property to Nicholas Longworth I (1783-1863), who was a real estate speculator known as the "Man Who Owned Cincinnati". See Mary Richey deed to Nicholas Longworth for the image and transcription of the deed.
1843: Elizabeth Irwin files for partition of east half following death of her father, William
On September 20, 1843, Elizabeth Irwin (abt.1809-1852), presumed to be the eldest child of William and Margaret Irwin, filed a petition for the partition of William's half of the property following his death on an unknown date. See Notice of Petition for the Partition - Elizabeth Irwin vs. Heirs of William Irwin for a transcription of the published notice.
1844: Estate divided into six lots
|1844 Estate Partition Map|
- Lot 1: Elizabeth Irwin (abt.1809-1852), 16 acres
- Lot 2: John Irwin (abt.1812-abt.1870), 16 acres
- Lot 3: Heirs of James Irwin (abt.1813-bef.1843), 14.12 acres. The heirs were:
- Lot 4: Andrew Irwin Sr. (1814-1884), 15.37 acres
- Lot 5: Martha (Irwin) Windram (bef.1820-aft.1880), 10 acres
- Lot 6: Nancy (Irwin) Mullins (abt.1823-1854), 8.5 acres
1845: Lots 1, 4 and 5 sold
March 5: Andrew Irwin and wife, Susannah, sell Lot 4
March 22: Elizabeth Irwin sells Lot 1; Martha Irwin sells Lot 5
Two weeks later, Elizabeth and Martha sold their lots. See Elizabeth’s deed to Ellis Dunaway for images and a transcription of the deed. See Martha’s deed to Ellis Dunaway for images and a transcription of the deed.
1847: "J. Irwins Hrs" marks the location of the property on a Hamilton County map
|Earliest known county landowners map referencing the property|
The earliest known county landowners map referencing the property with the Irwin family name is the 1847 Map of Hamilton County, Ohio, where it's identified by the label "J. Irwins hrs" (James Irwin's heirs). This label, as opposed to the expected "W. Irwins hrs", suggests the property being referenced on the map is Lot 3, the parcel passed to the heirs of James Irwin (abt.1813-bef.1843) (perhaps the only lot with a house on it at the time the map was published).
1849: George & Nancy (Irwin) Mullins sell Lot 6
Four years following the first lot sales, Nancy sold her lot. See George H. & Nancy (Irwin) Mullins Deed to Oliver C. Betts for images and a transcription of the deed.
1869: John Irwin’s name appears on map
1871: Margaret Irwin files petition to partition Lot 2
In 1871, Margaret Irwin (abt.1843-abt.1881), presumed to be the youngest child of William Irwin (abt.1775-bef.1843), filed a petition to partition Lot 2, which notes that John is deceased. Notice of the filing was published in the Cincinnati Commercial on December 14, 1871. See Notice of Petition for the Partition - Margaret Irwin vs. Heirs of William Irwin for a transcription of the notice.
1872: Thomas Ware petitions for payment of professional services
On March 22, 1872, a notice was published in the Cincinnati Evening Star regarding a petition from Thomas Ware against the Irwin heirs to recover costs of professional services. The fees were levied against the undivided three-fifths of the Irwin Estate known as "Lot No. 2", as well as against the heirs themselves.
1873: Partition of Lot 2 denied; parcels sold to William Meier in sheriff's sale
|John Irwin Heirs Deed to William Meier|
After the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas denied the petition to partition Lot 2, citing potential "manifest injury to the value" of the property, it was ordered to be sold in a sheriff's sale in which it was purchased by William Meier. See John Irwin Heirs Deed to William Meier for a transcription and images of the deed.
1887: Strip of land in parcel condemned and appropriated for widening Ferguson Road
On September 26, 1887, the Council for the Village of Westwood voted to condemn shared portions of Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 for public use in order to widen Ferguson Road.
1888: Notice published about impaneling jury for compensation of land appropriated for Ferguson Road widening
On May 10, 1888, Mary Elizabeth (Irwin) Witt (1839-1907) and her husband, Michael John Witt (1829-1908), published notice in the Cincinnati Enquirer that a jury will be impaneled to determine the compensation owed to owners of the parcels affected by the appropriation of land for the widening of Ferguson Road. See Mary E. and Michael J. Witt's Notice to Impanel Jury to Assess Compensation for the transcription of the notice.
1909: Court cases after deaths of Michael J. & Mary E. (Irwin) Witt
December 3: Witt brothers file two petitions regarding Lot 3
On December 3, 1909, James P. Witt, George M. Witt and Franklin Irwin Witt (1865-1940), the three surviving children of Mary and Michael, filed two petitions in the common Pleas court of Hamilton County, Ohio. First, they filed a petition to partition Lot 3. Second, they filed a petition asking that any living heirs of the Irwin siblings "set up their interest in [Lot 3]; that said interest be declared null and void, and that the plaintiffs' title to said real estate be quieted against the same, and for all other relief proper in the premises". Transcriptions and images of the petition and subsequent court filings can be found at Witt vs Wagner and Irwin Heirs.
It seems likely that the Witt brothers anticipated what happened the following day.
December 4: Wagners file cross-petition to express interest in property
|Page 1 of Wagner cross-petition (bottom of page)|
The following day, December 4, 1909, George Washington Wagner (1845-1921) and his wife, Mary Jane (Leonard) Wagner (1848-1910), filed a cross-petition declaring their interest in Lot 3. George W. Wagner was the son of Elizabeth Jane (McAfee) Waggoner (1818-1849) [widow of James Irwin (abt.1813-bef.1843)] and her second husband, George Couts Waggoner (abt.1797-1878). As such, George is a half-brother of Mary (Irwin) Witt. However, he was neither an heir of William Irwin (abt.1775-bef.1843) nor James Irwin (abt.1813-bef.1843). Yet, in the cross-petition, George "claims an estate and interest in the real estate described in plaintiffs petition, and denies each and every other allegation in the plaintiffs petition contained, not herein expressly admitted." George says that he "is the owner in fee simple of an undivided one half interest [Lot 3]". He also says that he "has continuously asserted his interest in said property and has made repeated efforts to require the plaintiffs in this cause and their mother Mary Irwin Witt, his sister to recognize his interest that they continuously refused so to do." George asserts that "said plaintiffs and their mother have collected rents for the past years from this property and have failed and refused to account to him for such moneys that they may have received." Transcriptions and images of the cross-petition and related court filings can be found at Witt vs Wagner and Irwin Heirs.
June 1: Ruling against the Wagners in favor of Witt brothers
On June 1, 1910, the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas found in favor of the Witt brothers, stating "at the time of bringing of this action, the plaintiffs were in possession of the real property described in the petition, that they had a legal estate in and are entitled to the possession of the same, that neither the defendants nor any one of them have any estate nor are entitled to the possession of said real estate, or any part thereof, and that the plaintiffs ought to have their possession and title quieted as against each and every one of said defendants, as prayed for in this petition." The court found that George W. Wagner would not receive any part of the property and was required to pay the cost expended by the Witt brothers to defend their interests. Transcriptions and images of the decision and related court filings can be found at Witt vs Wagner and Irwin Heirs.
August 12: Partition request denied, notice published of sheriff’s sale to sell Lot 3
|Witt brothers' deed to Charles Dater|
As with the 1873 decision for Lot 2, the petition to partition Lot 3 was denied, citing potential "manifest injury to the value" of the property. So a sheriff's sale was planned to sell Lot 3. Notice of the sale was published in the Cincinnati Enquirer on August 12, 1910. The lot was advertised as a "fine chance for [a] suburban home or subdivision." The following description was included in the advertisement: "within city limits and 10 minutes’ walk of Westwood car line; GAS, WATER and ELECTRICITY easily accessible; 12.88 acres of land at corner of Lick Run pike and Ferguson road, fronting 653.93 feet on Lick Run pike and 803.77 feet on Ferguson road; lies fine; partly covered with BEAUTIFUL NATURAL WOODLAND; A BARGAIN at appraisement of $6,000; may sell as low as $4,000; easy terms; only one third cash on day of sale." The sale was scheduled to occur on Saturday, August 13, 1910, at 11:00AM.
October 13: Witt brothers sell Lot 3, last parcel owned by an Irwin heir
On October 13, 1910, sale of Lot 3 was finalized and a deed was issued from the Witt brothers to Charles H. Dater. The deed was signed by each of the three brothers and their wives in Union County, Indiana. The transcription and images of the deed are available at Witt Brothers Deed to Charles H Dater.
2022: Irwin name associated with parcels that were in the estate
The northwest parcels of the now partitioned property are still referred to as "Irwins Sub" or "William Irwin's Ests Deed Book". This can be seen on the Hamilton County GIS site in the Property Description section on the following page: Online Property Access. It's also on the Property ID 208-0059-0236-00 Property Map.
|Hamilton County GIS image showing William Irwin Deed Book identification|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Land patent issued to William Irwin and Mary Ritchey. General Land Office of the US Bureau of Land Management. Obtained on the website of the General Land Office at https://glorecords.blm.gov/details/patent/default.aspx?accession=0028-574&docClass=CV&sid=pdtwbvoc.zee#patentDetailsTabIndex=2 on April 17, 2022.
- ↑ Westwood, Cincinnati. Accessed at Wikipedia on January 11, 2022.
- ↑ Klepper, Michael; Gunther, Michael (1996), The Wealthy 100: From Benjamin Franklin to Bill Gates—A Ranking of the Richest Americans, Past and Present, Secaucus, New Jersey: Carol Publishing Group, p. xii, ISBN 978-0-8065-1800-8, OCLC 33818143.
- ↑ Mary Richey deed to Nicholas Longworth. Hamilton County Recorder, Cincinnati, Ohio. Record: 1st Series, Book 7, Page 294. Deed: Deed book 22, Page 526.
- ↑ Elizabeth Irwin Petition for Partition. Tri Weekly Cincinnati Gazette, Cincinnati, Ohio. September 21, 1843, p. 2. Accessed on Newspaperarchive.com January 11, 2022.
- ↑ William Irwin estate partition map. Hamilton County, Ohio Recorder’s Office. Cincinnati, Ohio. Vol. 117, pp. 396-403.
- ↑ Emerson, W. D. (1847) Map of Hamilton County, Ohio. Cincinnati: C.S. Williams & Son, Cincinnati: Klauprech & Menzel's Lith (Map). Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2012591123/ on April 17, 2022.
- ↑ Green Township, Cincinnati and Hamilton County 1869. Philadelphia: C. O. Titus, 1869. P. 19. Accessed at Historic Map Works on January 17, 2022.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Thomas C. Ware petition against Martha Windrum and Irwins. The Evening Star, Cincinnati, Ohio. 22-Mar-1872, p. 3. Accessed on Newspaperarchive.com January 17, 2022.
- ↑ Irwin John Heirs of Per Sheriff “Deed" William Meier. Hamilton County Recorder, Cincinnati, Ohio. Deed Book 447, page 191. Accessed at the website of the Hamilton County Recorder on May 31, 2022.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Mary and MJ Witt notice regarding property in Westwood. The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio. 10-May-1888, p. 5. Accessed on Newspaperarchive.com January 12, 2022.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Witt Brothers Deed to Charles H Dater. Hamilton County Recorder, Cincinnati, Ohio. Deed Book 1038, pages 3-4 & 63-65. Transcription and images of the deed available at Witt Brothers Deed to Charles H Dater.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Case No. 144.434: James P. Witt, George M. Witt and Frank I. Witt vs. George & Mary Wagner et al. Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District, Hamilton County, Ohio. April 1910 Term. Record Book Unknown, pages 165-177. Copies of the original pages are available on WikiTree at Witt vs Wagner and Irwin Heirs, accessed June 2, 2022.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Fine Chance For Suburban Home Or Subdivision. The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, Ohio. 12-Aug-1910, p. 13. Accessed on Newspapers.com June 2, 2022.
- ↑ Parcel ID 208-0059-0236-00. Accessed at Online Property Access, County Auditor On-line, Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes on January 11, 2022.
- Many thanks to R Wagner for efforts in finding and transcribing several of the documents linked here.