Jacob Miller’s Tavern
Somerset, Ohio 43783
In 1805, for $1.50 an acre, Jacob Miller purchased this property in the Congressional Land Office in Chillicothe, capital of the new state of Ohio. He and Somerset co-founder John Finck then each built a tavern on either side of town along the Zane’s Trace, laid out along existing Indian trails in 1796-1797 and Ohio’s first major thoroughfare. Finck built his home and tavern in 1807 and Miller his shortly after. From 1800 to 1815, Zane’s Trace saw significant traffic between the established eastern states and the newly opened Northwest Territory. A perpetual stream of emigrants rolled westward, giving constant occupation to hundreds of tavern-keepers. Besides operating his tavern and farming, Jacob Miller was a public servant. In 1809, he was appointed Overseer of the Poor as there was a need to “bind out” poor children to families who could take care of them.
Jacob Miller also served as Township Supervisor and the “Fence Viewer,” a person responsible for ensuring that a fence line remained true and legal. Soldiers were recruited from the tavern to fight with General William H. Harrison’s army during the War of 1812. Miller died in his forties in 1825, after providing for his wife Catherine and his two sons and two daughters. As quoted in his will, he willed “my soul to heaven and my body to dust.” One of the oldest two-story log taverns in Ohio, the structure was also the boyhood home of Civil War General Philip Sheridan. His parents, John and Mary, purchased the tavern when they came to Somerset in 1834. This tavern and Pigsfoot Square are part of the Somerset Historic District, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Historical Society of Perry County
The Ohio Historical Society