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Biography of William P. Cutler

William P. Cutler was born near Marietta, July 12, 1813; was a member of the Ohio legislature from 1844 to 1846, officiating as speaker of the house during his last term; was a member of the constitutional convention of 1850; afterwards was for some years president of the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad Company; was elected in 1860 a representative to the 37th congress, and has been for a few years past again officially connected with the above mentioned railroad. In 1818 Judge Cutler again appeared in public life as a member of the Ohio legislature from Washington county. We regret that we can not exhibit in detail his noble services at this period of his life; we can only state the results. He succeeded in changing the land tax system from a direct tax to an ad valorem basis. Prior to 1824 the whole burden of state taxes was laid on the lands as a direct tax, levied by the acre and without reference to value. Consequently thinly populated counties like Athens and Washington actually paid more into the treasury than wealthy and populous counties like Hamilton and Butler. The system was grossly unequal and oppressive. Judge Cutler’s clear vision enabled him to perceive this, and he labored long and successfully to change it, so that taxes should be assessed on the whole property of the people according to value. His other great achievement at this time was the establishment of an excellent common school system. The first public allusion to education in Ohio is found in an oration by Solomon Drown, delivered at Marietta, April 7th, 1789. The...

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