Several years ago I found an interesting affidavit from June 2, 1847 which reads:

“You, Benjamin Wallingford, do solemnly swear that the five scalps now produced are the scalps of wolves taken within the county of Shelby, Ohio, by within twenty days last past and that you verily believe the same to have been over six months old and that you have not spared the life of any she wolf within your power to kill, with a design to increase the breed.”

The push to exterminate wolves from the area took decades.  Obviously wolves were a problem to farmers and their livestock. Farmers, hunters, and trappers all worked to exterminate this nuisance animal. (Coyotes and wolves, two species that can breed, were both classified as wolves at that time). William Johnston, a farmer that had land near the Miami-Shelby county line, shot a wolf and then submitted for the last wolf bounty in Shelby County on November 17, 1854.  However, shooting a wolf was not the only method of extermination.

In reminisce story from Dr Asa Coleman, an early settler of neighboring Miami County Ohio, he describes Tom Rogers, a well known hunter that resided in the area. Rogers probably came to this area of what is now Ohio around 1800.

“He was an eccentric character, measured a full six feet in height, dressed in half Indian costume, wore moccasin, buckskin breaches, linsey wamus (or knitted jacket) a leather belt and large knife and tomahawk in the same. Rogers wore a wolf skin cap, with the tail hanging down behind, and had very long hair and beard. He wore a hunting pouch and carried a rifle. His appearance was fitted to make him an associate with wolves and other beasts of the forest. In his prime, he was a specimen of humanity not easily forgotten by those who have once seen him.

Rogers was also a hermit and would live for weeks or months in the wooded areas of the pioneer settlement -and occasionally call in at a frontier cabin to exchange a turkey or venison ham for a loaf of bread.

Tom Rogers employed another method of wolf hunting. He used wolf pens to capture the animals.

A wolf pen was generally about 8 feet square, built of logs, with perpendicular logs two to three feet in height. As the logs continued upward, they were placed so that all sides inclined toward the center. As the walls neared the peak, a square opening left at the top. Then meat was placed in this structure. While a wolf might find it easy to climb up the sloping sides and pass through the hole, it was impossible to escape. Tom Rogers used such structures… and when he found a wolf or two in his trap, he would jump down among them and dispatch them with a knife. He considered this method of hunting wolves more sporting.

Rogers, who made his living hunting, visited the county clerk twice a year with wolf scalps and other fare he had accumulated.”

In case you are wondering why fur trade was so important….

France and Great Britain disputed ownership of the Ohio Valley in the mid 1700’s. Both were both keenly interested in fur trade. They established trade with Indians and exchanged tools and weapons for fur. Fur trade was one of the earliest and most important industries in North America… and some settlers were hunters by occupation.

Animal skins were taken in North America and transported to Europe for processing and final sale. Fur trade was based on pelts destined either for the luxury clothing market or for the felting industries, of which hatting (hats were a mandatory article of clothing for both men and women) was most important. Fur trade was more than a supply of fur for collars and cuffs…

Luxury clothing was not relegated to high society …. Leather clothing was included in skilled trades clothing. Within European skilled trades, if you were a butcher, you would wear clothing specific to a butcher…. and if you were a baker, you would wear clothing specific to a baker. If you had a leather outfit for your skilled trade, then you were obviously not an apprentice, you were a man of means and accomplishment within your industry.

In this way, fashion played a part in the conquest of the Ohio valley.


Welcome to “Sharing the Stories of History with Tim Mann”!


Meet Timothy A. Mann, a passionate historian born and raised in the heart of Shelby County, Ohio where Tim’s roots run deep in the rich soil of American history. As the author of articles and books, including “Frontier Miscellany Concerning the Miami County Ohio Militia,” “Colonel John Mann, His Kith and Kin,” and “Frontier Militia – The War of 1812,” Tim’s literary contributions have enlightened and inspired countless history enthusiasts.

Join Tim Mann on a journey through time as he shares fascinating tales, untold stories, and hidden gems from the annals of history. Let’s delve into the past together and uncover the wonders that await in “Sharing the Stories of History with Tim Mann.”

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