John Baptiste Jerome was born near Montreal, Canada, of French parents, in the year 1776 or 1777. When seventeen or eighteen years of age he crossed the lake with some French emigrants and settled among the Indians at the mouth of Huron river. He married an Indian girl, supposed to have been the sister of a noted Indian known as George Hamilton. After remaining on the Huron a few years, he moved to Upper Sandusky and resided among the Indians until the campaign of General Anthony Wayne. In company with Captain Pipe, of the Delawares, he was engaged in a number of battles against the American forces, and was at the famous battle of "Fallen Timbers." At the time of his residence in this county, he often related anecdotes concerning that battle, describing the amazement of the Indians at the rapidity and violence of the movements of Wayne's army-the Indians comparing him to a huge "black snake," and ascribing almost supernatural powers to him. He asserted, that for a long time, the very name of "Mad Anthony" sent a chill of horror through the body of an Indian. They had, prior to the appearance of General Wayne, baffled the armies of the American generals, and committed many barbarities upon the wounded and dead soldiers left upon the battle field; but, when he came, like a huge anaconda, he enclosed and crushed the warriors in such a frightful manner that they abandoned all hope of resisting his victorious march, and were glad to stop his ravages by making peace.
After the treaty at Greenville in 1795, Jerome, Captain Pipe, and a number of the Delawares left the northwest and settled at what was formerly Mohican Johnstown, on the south side of the stream, about three quarters of a mile from the present site of Jeromeville. The stream was thenceforth known as the Jerome fork, which name it doubtless received from Jerome. The precise period of this migration can not be accurately fixed, but was doubtless as early as 1796 or 1797. Jerome crossed the stream and built a cabin a little southeast of the present site of the mill, where Joseph H. Larwill found him, his wife and daughter, while surveying, in 1806-7. Captain Pipe built a wigwam and located, south of the stream, and about one mile from Jerome, near what is now the Hayesville road. When the first settlers came into Killbuck, now Mohican township, Jerome resided in the aforesaid cabin, and had some thirty-five or forty acres of land cleared along on the bottom, on the banks of the stream, which he cultivated in corn. * He resided in his cabin with his wife Mary or Munjela, who was about fifteen years old when the war of 1812 was declared. A short time prior to the declaration of war, Captain Pipe and all his Delawares, except three or four friendly and harmless families, quietly slipped away and joined their friends in the northwest. When Captain Murray came to Jerome's place to build the block- house, it is asserted by some of the pioneers, that by order of General Beall, Jerome was arrested and sent to the block-house at Wooster, where he was confined for a short time as a precaution against furnishing aid and comfort to the Indians who might be found prowling about the forest; and that while he was at Wooster, Captain Murray sent his (Jerome's), wife and daughter to Urbana, where they subsequently died from exposure. Another staement is, that when Captain Douglas removed the Greentown Indians the wife and daughter of Jerome, with others, accompanied them, Jerome voluntarily remaining to take care of his stock, of which he was well supplied, and his cabin and household goods; and that he was not confined at Wooster. We accept the latter statement as being the most probable; for there were no Indians at the arrival of General Beall to be sent away, and we have no account of a separate expedition from that of Douglas to convey the Indians to Urbana.
Jerome is said to have been warmly attached to his wife and daughter, and deeply mourned his separation from them; and often reproached the military for enforcing so cruel an edict. He never looked upon their faces again; for long before the close of the war, they were both in the grave. Prior to his being separated from his wife, Jerome was noted for his hospitality-his wife being an excellent cook and housekeeper, considering her opportunities, Jerome being her only instructor as to domestic duties. During the prevalence of the war, Jerome remained at the block-house among the pioneers who sought protection there in 1812-'13-'14. The loyalty of Jerome was beyond question. On several occasions he evinced as much zeal in protecting the neighboring cabins as his pioneer companions of the block-house. He was a small man-vivacious and positive. Though impulsive, and at times irritable and bitter in his resentments, he was generous and brave, and firmly attached to his friends. He was endowed with a good understanding, and could converse in French and Indian, and sufficiently well to be understood in English. Before his separation from his wife and daughter his circumstances were prosperous, being in possession of a lot of cattle, hogs and horses-a few fields of cleared land, with a comfortable cabin. At the close of the war, everything went wrong with him-his property was dispersed and his affairs began to ruin. He married a German woman on the Clear fork, with whom he lived until he sold his farm. He sold the farm, occupying the present site of Jeromeville, in the winter of 1815, to Christian Deardorf and William Vaughn, and purchased the farm upon which Goudy's mill was subsequently erected, about two miles southwest of his old farm. He remained here some time, and sold the land to Joseph Workman, soh sold it to Constance Lake for a mill site. Jonathan Palmer was his neighbor for three years, and always spoke kindly of Jerome About the year 1817 Jerome and his German wife removed to his old residence at the mouth of Huron river, where he died a few years afterward, in iddigent circumstances. Leaving his wife and one child, who returned to Richland where they remained. Herome is believed to have been the first white settler within the present limits of Ashland county, his arrival antedating that of Alexander Finley and Andrew Craig some eight or nine years.