History

Belmont is located in Goshen Township, Belmont County, Ohio.  Belmont was the first village laid out in the township.  Joseph D. Wright came to the area from Dublin, Ireland, in 1802.  He laid out the town similar to his native Dublin.  That is, it’s not laid out with a town square like many people think of towns today.  Rather, the original part of town is actually laid out like the shape of a coffin.  He made the town official and recorded it April 8, 1808.  It was then called Wrightstown, however, in honor of the founder.

“The first schoolhouse was a log cabin built of unfinished logs.  Joseph Wright served as the first school teacher. The second school was built of hewn log construction and believed to have been built around 1829.”

Being near the center of the county, it was thought that it might some day be the county seat, so when the Belmont post office was established March 25, 1818, with Joseph Wright as postmaster, the name of the town was changed from Wrightstown to Belmont.

“The first store in a hewn log house one and a half stories high was opened by Nathan Pusey around 1815.  The Friends Church was organized in 1809.

On March 30, 1899, the Belmont Cyclone Newspaper became the village’s first paper.  A year’s subscription was 50 cents.  Mr. White and Palmer were listed as editors and proprietors.  Herman and Charlie Schooley opened the town’s general merchandise store in 1886.  From the diary of Joseph Wright it is learned that he planted the first orchard of 50 trees on April 20, 1804, on part of seven acres of land that he had cleared.

The Baltimore-Ohio Railroad passed through the village in the year 1852, which was hailed as momentous in the history of the little village.  The railroad soon built large stockyards with convenient scales and wood chutes for loading.  Belmont was the natural shipping point for the town’s central location of its many businesses.

By 1911 Belmont had several small factories.  One factory, Acton’s Cigar Factory, listed output in 1910 at 4,200,000 hand-rolled cigars with the prospects to double from 1910 to 1911. Besides several cigar factories, Belmont boasted a bank, lumbermill, overall and gloves factory, meat market, drug store, the Lynn Hotel, Graham Boarding House, Belmont Roller Mills, several grocery stores and restaurants, several dealers in horse and liver stables, a blacksmith, three doctors and a dentist.”

(taken from “Belmont County History of Facts & Traditions” and the Barnesville Enterprise’s “Village of Belmont 1808-2008: Celebrating 200 Years of Beautiful Mountains”.)