A Brief History of Renrock, Ohio

Photograph from Glimpses of Old Renrock taken about 1900 from the front of the brick house built by Vincent Dye, son of Ezekiel Dye

The following commentary was written by Silas Thorla and published in Glimpses of Old Renrock.

It is needless to say that a man with 20 children can start someting. At least Ezekiel Dye, a native of New Jersey and a soldier of the Revolution, who came here in the early part of the 19th century is entitled to some distinction. He was the pioneer settler here when this country was a vast wilderness embarced in the territory of W#ashington County. In fact, half of the state of Ohio was in Washington County at this time.

This man with a large family constituted what was known for many years as the Dye Settlement.

The portion of the section of land Mr. Dye entered, on which he built his home, in after years became the property of a son-in-laws, John Moore (who married Charlotte Dye), who resided on it untilo his death and then it passed out of the family. it is now the J.P. Rex farm.

Furman, one of the younger sons of Ezekield Dye, started the first store in a little building about 50 yards from the dwelling house, on the bank near a ravine that headed up near the old Dye Cemetary. Later he moved his location farther down the creek near a road crossing and built a store and dwelling house combined.

This building still stands in a good state of preservation although it is considerably above its original foundation. In the course of time Furman Dye sold out and the property went into the hands of Samuel J. Paxton, who had the building raised 2 feet higher by using long poles for levers, such a thing as a jackscrew was unknown then. After the 1913 flood the owner, Clifford Lyons, had it raised 4 feet higher. To view the ground now seems seems almost incredible that this building once stood 6 ft. below its present foundation, but this is digressing.

How did the Dye Settlement, or some name relating to it, become extinct and the name so foreign as "Renrock" take its place? This name "Renrock" has always been a puzzle to those who do not know its origin and are looking to the meaning of names since the word "ren" has no significance except as a pefix to one or two words. Strangers naturally suppose it refers to some particular rock but the way the prefix is spelled - that's what puzzles. Before the post office was discontinued many letters were sent here with the name spelled "Wrenrock" or "Rendrock", which in either case would convey a meaning

.More that 70 years ago, or near the middle of the century (suggesting that this was written around 1920) after Furman Dye had established his home and store in the new location, it was decided to establish a post office here and Mr. Dye went to McConnelsville, (this township was a part of Morgan County at the time) to see the proper official through whom the post office department would take acti. The man's name wested with this power was Corner. There was a Judge Newell Corner, a leading figure and Hon. Edwin Corner, who first served as a state representative and later was a state senator and it was evidently the later to whom Mr. Dye applied for assistance. It was the intention to name this new office Dyesville, but it was ascertained that a post officeby that name had already been established down in Meigs Conty so another name had to be proposed. In the dilemma it was suggested thatthey take Mr. Corner's name and spell it backwards but its "sawed-off" appearance did not appeal to them so they added the letter "k". This being done seemed to "fill the bill" and the newborn name came into existence.

It was an achievement for Mr. Dye and something the people could be justly proud so they could receive and dsipatch mail once a week and for three cents they could send a letter "way down east" , where most of the settlers came from.

However, it is to be regretted that some name could not have been found which in so way would have commemorated the name of this old soldier who had fought for the freedom of his contry and braved hardships and blazed the way for other men to follow.

[Recall that Thomas Dye (Ezekiel's nephew) had moved into the Meigs County, Ohio area sometime in the early 1800s. It would be ironic if Ezekiel Dye was denied a "place in history" because his nephew "got there first".]

Note that Renrock is just across the border of Morgan County into Nobel County. See the section on the Making of a County.