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Zanesville in Muskingum County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Nelson T. Gant House

 
 
Nelson T. Gant House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Charles T. Harrell, June 23, 2011
1. Nelson T. Gant House Marker
Inscription.
Front
Nelson T. Gant as one of Zanesvilleís most prominent African American citizens. Born into slavery on the Woodburn Estate of John Nixon of Loudoun County, Virginia on May 10, 1821, Nelson was given is freedom by the provisions of his masterís will in September 1845. However, Gantís wife Anna Maria Hughes, remained the property of Miss CAE Jane Russell of Leesburg who refused to release her from bondage.

Twelve months after receiving his freedom, Nelson crossed the Ohio River and eventually arrived in Zanesville. Abolitionists in Putnam and friends in Virginia collected enough money to help Gant buy his wifeís freedom in February 1847.

The Gants made Zanesville their permanent home in 1850. Gant worked for Theodore Convers, during which time he bought this land for his home and farm. After Convers died, Gant made his living as a farmer and gardener of specialty vegetables. Although Nelson was a quiet man, oral tradition claims that he often hid slaves in his vegetable wagon to assist them from one safe house to another.

Back
Nelson as quite industrious-he even sold “find strawberries and cream” from the front porch of this homestead. Perhaps as homage to the brick buildings of his old home in Loudoun, Nelson built this house of brick, including the interior walls. Gant also owned

Nelson T. Gant House Marker (Back Side) image. Click for full size.
By Charles T. Harrell, June 23, 2011
2. Nelson T. Gant House Marker (Back Side)
a salt lick and a coal mine that produced the largest amount of coal purchased in Muskingum County at the time. A true entrepreneur, he would often dam the river and make ice blocks that he would sell. By hard work and thrift, he saved money and invested it in land. Ultimately he became the owner of more than 300 acres and was a self-made millionaire.

In the old slave tradition, Nelson would host community picnics on July 5th in “Gantís Grove,” which he later sold to Townsend Brick to make into public park- one of the first integrated parks in the state. The Municipal Stadium now stands on the grounds that used to be Gant Park.

Nelson T. Gant died July 14, 1905 a well-respected citizen and a millionaire.
 
Erected by This marker was funded by Ohio Department of Transportation, District 5.
 
Location. 39° 56.722′ N, 82° 1.858′ W. Marker is in Zanesville, Ohio, in Muskingum County. Marker is on West Pike (U.S. 40), on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1845 West Pike, Zanesville OH 43701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Nelson T. Gant House (here, next to this marker); Y-Bridge

Nelson T. Gant House image. Click for full size.
By Charles T. Harrell, June 23, 2011
3. Nelson T. Gant House
(approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Y-Bridge (approx. 0.9 miles away but has been reported missing); a different marker also named Y-Bridge (approx. one mile away); a different marker also named Y-Bridge (approx. one mile away); Muskingum County Medal of Honor Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); Muskingum County Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Bicentennial Legacy Monument (approx. 1.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Zanesville.
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican Americans
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 511 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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