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Governor Bebb Preserve

Governor Bebb Preserve -- now a 264-acre pioneer park and nature area -- began with the purchase of 10 acres in September 1959. The reconstructed Bebb cabin and the park were dedicated in June 1961. It features relocated log structures, highlighted by the cabin birthplace of William Bebb, 19th governor of Ohio (1846-1849), and an 1850 covered bridge. The preserve, which is maintained by MetroParks of Butler County, also offers picnic, hiking, playground and overnight facilities. It is south of Ohio 126 (at 7639 Cincinnati-Brookville Road) between Okeana and Scipio in Section 7 of Morgan Township. The Bebb cabin, built in 1798, had stood about four miles southeast of its present site. 

Bebb was born Dec. 8, 1802, in Morgan Township on Dry Fork of the Whitewater (see Cambria), a son of Edward Bebb and Margaret Roberts Owens Bebb, Welsh immigrants. The child "was the first white child born in Morgan Township, " according to Mrs. Esther Benzing, who said "as a baby, he was often entrusted to the care of the Indian women" because Indians "were not uncommon in the community." Bebb started as a teacher in his native area before being admitted to the bar in 1831 and moving to Hamilton in 1832 to practice law. There, he became associated with numerous civic projects, most notably the founding of Greenwood Cemetery and the establishment of the Hamilton Hydraulic. After his two-year term in Columbus, he returned to Hamilton and in 1860 moved to Rockford, Ill., where he died in 1873, age 71.


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