Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Clermont County, Unusually Large

One of the largest skeletons

IN Clermont County, as elsewhere in the Ohio Valley, we find earthworks, in the form of mounds, elevated squares, walls, and ditches, of which its inhabitants at the time it was first explored by the whites knew nothing as to their origin or history. But by common consent they have been decided to be the work of the Mound-Builders, a prehistoric race whose works in Ohio number ten thousand mounds and fifteen hundred inclosures. Of these, two hundred of the former and seven of the latter are found in Clermont County.

In this connection it might be well to remark that there are several prehistoric cemeteries in this county. The most prominent ones are located near the Miami township cemetery, on the Cincinnati turnpike, on the farm of Oliver Perin, in Union township, and on the farm of Moses Elstun, Esq., in the same township. In all of these implements are found in connection with the skeletons. The one on the farm of Moses Elstun, Esq,, is situated on what is called ” Sand Ridge,” which runs at right angles with the east fork. In this cemetery the skeletons are found about two feet below the surface, in cists. On the farm of Daniel Turner, at the mouth of Dry Run, is one, which, as to the number of skeletons found in it, is the largest of any found so far in the county. It is situated on the brow of the hill, overlooking the east fork valley, at an elevation of two hundred feet above it. Its area is about forty feet square, inclosed by flat stones set on edge. This cemetery seems to be a large ditch, in which the bodies have been buried, one on top of the other, to the depth of five feet, and over which is a stratum of earth two feet in thickness. The immense number of skeletons found here with no evidences of fire, and the finding of no implements, leads the writer to believe that it is not of prehistoric
In the skeletons found in the above mounds, etc., there is a similarity. The forehead is low, making the facial angle less than the negro, and the maxillary bones are un- usually large, and so are the femur, which would, in proportion, make a man eight feet in height. One of the largest skeletons noted by the writer was found in the Sand Ridge cemetery. The skull was in a good state of preservation, together with the teeth ; all the rest of the bones were decomposed, with the exception of one of the femurs, which was unusually large. The cranium, etc., are now in the possession of the Ohio Medical College, at Cincinnati, Ohio.
Of the mounds of observation there are not a few in this county, mostly situated upon eminences, appearing in chains or regular systems, and still bear traces of the beacon-fires that once burned upon them.


  1. History of Clermont County, Ohio, Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1880, p.2 , J.B. Lippincott & Co. “the maxillary bones are unusually large.  . . make a man eight feet in height. . . the femurs, which were unusually large.”

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