Ephraim Knowlton 1803

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Relationship: Maternal uncle to Ephraim Knowlton Hanks
Association: Contributed to the upbuilding of Cumminsville, Ohio and the Miami Canal

Ephraim Knowlton72dip.jpg



  • Born: (1 Jun 1803) (Madison, Lake, Ohio, USA)
  • Died: (1 Feb 1888) (Cincinatti, Hamilton, Ohio, USA)
  • Buried:


Mary Ann Burgoyne m. (about 1821) ( , Lake, Ohio, USA)


Ephraim Knowlton b. (3 Oct 1773) (Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, USA)
Jemima Farnham b. (1 Jul 1773) (Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, USA)


  1. Sidney Algernon Knowlton b. (24 May 1793) (Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, USA)
  2. Martha Knowlton b. (16 Oct 1794) (Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, USA)
  3. Lydia Knowlton b. (1790/1800) (Madison, Lake, Ohio, USA)
  4. Catherine Spring Knowlton b. (CAL 1796) (Madison, Lake, Ohio, USA)
  5. Marcia Knowlton b. (1800/1810) (Madison, Lake, Ohio, USA)
  6. Ephraim Knowlton b. (1 Jun 1803) (Madison, Lake, Ohio, USA)


Ephraim Knowlton was born in 1803. He came to the Cincinnati area in the early 1820s to supervise workmen on the Miami and Erie Canal. Knowlton founded the town of Cumminsville, named for David Cummins, one of the community's earliest residents. Knowlton established a grocery store here in 1830. Beginning in 1838, the store doubled as a post office, with Knowlton serving as the postmaster. It was in 1838 when Cumminsville received its name formally, although white Americans had lived in the area since 1805. Prior to the 1850s, the town remained small. A few hotels and affiliated businesses serviced travelers on the Miami and Erie Canal, but the town only averaged two to three hundred permanent residents. Additional businesses and people moved to Cumminsville beginning in 1851 with the arrival of the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad. Knowlton died in 1888. Cumminsville is now a part of Cincinnati. {Ohio History Central}

Ephraim Knowlton was born in Connecticut June 1, 1803. He came to Cincinnati by way of the Ohio River, floating down upon a raft. With his brother Sidney he engaged in pork packing at Carthage and shortly afterward (1825) came to Mill Creek Station to dig a portion of the Miami Canal. He completed the mile of waterway from Cumminsville northward in 1827. Mr. Knowlton was a man of great versatility and accomplished much in a general way toward the upbuilding of Cumminsville. Here he built his pioneer home and store at the junction of St. Clair and Wayne's Traces. He had few neighbors, and from his home he could look abroad at night and count but five lights, and those burned from tallow dips. Having purchased seventy odd acres of ground he cleared a large portion of it of most of it forest growth. He was the first to make a plat of the place which he named Cumminsville, in memory of David Cummins, from whom he had purchased about eight acres of ground. He kept the first general store here, built a port-packing house in 1834 (afterwards used as a pottery and grist mill), constructed the Mill Creek House about 1834, and Knowlton's Stone Store in 1847, his first home on that plot having been destroyed by fire. Besides, he was the first village postmaster, being appointed in 1838. During his busy life he is said to have "shingled over about ten acres of Cumminsville in the construction of homes and places of business." He died February 1, 1888, full of hears and honor in the land to which he had come as a young man, and which he had helped so largely to develop. Beside his own family, Mr. and Mrs. Knowlton raised eleven children not their own.

Souvenier "History of Cumminsville"

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