AMONG THE BAPTISTS
HIS EARLY YEARS IN THE
STATE OF OHIO
Part A Part B Part C
|<! IMG SRC="RigdnOH3.jpg" width=230 height=322 BORDER=1> A Cabin in the Northern Ohio Woods|
History of Portage
Chicago: Warner, Beers & Co., 1885
|<! IMG SRC="1885Port.jpg" BORDER=1 WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=290>|
HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
Aurora is known in the surveys as Town 5, Range 9. The original proprietors were David, Ebenezer and Fidelio King and Martyn Sheldon; John Leavitt, Gideon Granger and Ebenezer Sheldon, Jr., also had interests.
The first white man to enter the township for settlement was Ebenezer Sheldon, of Suffield, Conn., who arrived in his future far Western home in June, 1799. He selected Lot 40, and with the assistance of Elias Harmon and his wife commenced a clearing and made preparations for a small crop. Harmon and wife came in the same month as Sheldon, and were employed by him. Mrs. Harmon was the first white woman to come into the township, but after getting through with their job they moved to Mantua. Sheldon returned to Connecticut, and in the following spring (1800) brought out his wife, four sons and two daughters. They came all the way with an ox-team and a pair of horses, and a small, rude wagon. After arriving at Warren they rested over night, but the next day started across the wilderness of woods, and were overtaken by what we would now call a moderate cyclone. The wind tore up immense trees by the roots and split and splintered them and threw them about in such a manner that Sheldon and his wagons were penned in. They had to remain in their perilous situation all night, and were only released by getting assistance and cutting a road out. But Sheldon was of that sturdy race of pioneers, those grand old heroes to whose daring, perseverance and endurance we owe the settlement of this splendid Western country, so he quietly settled down on his place, built a log-cabin, put out his crop and lived there the balance of his days.
In the spring of 1801 St. Clair, Governor of the Northwest, appointed Mr. Sheldon Justice of the Peace, but the duties for the first three years, at least, were not very onerous; in fact, the only official act performed during that time by the Squire was marrying his daughter Huldah to Amzi Atwater, of Mantua, November 21, 1801. Sheldon used to say, facetiously, that he often tried, during the first few years of his official career, to kick up a fuss with his wife, in order to make business, but that she always got the upper hand of him. Mrs. Sheldon was one of those women that nature seems to provide for certain emergencies and conditions. She was large and healthy, and of great strength of character, besides being more than ordinarily handsome and intelligent, and although dignified in appearance and manner, had a flow of spirits and a buoyancy of disposition that seemed almost essential in the lonesome wilderness to keep up the courage and determination of the sterner sex. She used to tell her husband during those three years when they were the only
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family in Aurora, and when anything would perplex him, that his wife was "the smartest and best-looking woman in the township," and well she might have thus boasted, for it was many a long day, even after the township became more thickly settled, that she had an equal, much less a superior. After the death of her husband, which occurred in August, 1829, she made her home with her daughter Huldah, in Mantua, and died December 11, 1846, aged eighty-six years.
In 1803 Samuel Forward came in from Granby, Conn., bringing several sons and daughters, and settling on Lot 18, where Gen. Nelson Eggleston now resides at the Center. His sons, Samuel, Oliver, Chauncy, Rensselaer and Dryden, were those who came with him, but another son, Walter, remained in Pittsburgh, where he afterward became distinguished in the law. He was editor of the first Democratic paper in Pittsburgh, the Tree of Liberty; was a member of Congress in 1822, Secretary of the Treasury under Tyler, and Charge D'Affaires to Denmark. The father died in 1821, aged sixty-nine years, having been a man of stern integrity, great strength of character, generous and genial in ordinary life, and an upright Judge, he having been honored by his follow citizens with the position of Associate Judge. His widow died in 1832, aged eighty years.
In 1804 came James M. Henry, from Blandford, Mass., with his family, and settled on Lot 13. The wife of Henry was a lineal descendant of the sister of Oliver Cromwell, and the xxxdeseeTidaDtS Of the Henrys have in their possession to this day (we believe now in Cleveland), a Bible presented by the great Protector to his sister Margaret. Also in 1804 came from Massachusetts John Cochran, Jr. and David Kennedy, Sr., and George Holcolb, from Connecticut, and their families; also David Kennedy, Jr., Eber Kennedy and Justin Kennedy, sons of David Kennedy, Sr., Samuel Ferguson and several others, all single men. Eber Kennedy was noted for his remarkable strength.
In 1805 came Solomon Cochran and family, from Blandford, Mass., together with the widow, Mary Cannon, mother of Eli and Stephen Cannon, and Horace Granger, a single man, from Suffield, Conn.
In 1806 arrived from Middlefield, Mass., Moses Eggleston, father of Gen. Nelson Eggleston, who resided where be nettled till a few years before his death, which occurred in Aurora Center in 1866. His brother, Joseph Eggleston, Robert Bissell and family, and Capt. Perkins and family, also from Middlefield, Mass.; Samuel McConnaughy and family, from Blandford; Isaac Blair and Col. Ebenezer Harmon, son-in-law of Squire Harmon, all came in this year and made settlements. John Cochran, Sr., in attempting to follow the fortunes of his son, who had come out two years previously, was taken sick at Buffalo, N. Y., and died, where he was buried, he being the first white person interred there. The balance of the family continued their journey, and after many hardships arrived at Aurora. In the family was a crippled daughter, Rhoda, then twenty years of age, who was intrusted to the care of a little sister, Laura, only thirteen years of age, who walked almost the entire distance beside the wagon in which Rhoda was transported. This little girl, Laura, afterward Mrs. Stephen Cannon, used to take great interest in describing how her feet were blistered and how tired she would get walking along the lonesome road. In this year, 1806, occurred a total eclipse of the sun, and as the event was unknown to, or forgotten, by, the most of the early settlers, considerable consternation prevailed when the darkness began to obscure the sky.
During the spring of 1807 quite a boom occurred to the little settlement, and matters were very stirring, as wagon after wagon arrived in different portions
402 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
of the township, and the new comers were looking up their lands and making clearings. Seventy-two persons came out, almost in one body, and among the heads of families may be mentioned Benjamin Eggleston, Jeremiah Root, Samuel Taylor, Brainerd Spencer and Amos Sweet, all of whom are now dead but three. Also, in 1807, came John C. Singletary and Samuel and Caleb Baldwin and their families. October 12, 1807, the township was organized, and Samuel Forward was elected Justice of the Peace. The settlement now began to assume somewhat the appearance of civilization, as roads were beginning to be cut out and an occasional wagon could be seen winding its way through the woods from the distant mill.
In 1808 came Justus and Horace Bissell and families, and settled on Lots 11 and 12; also Maj. Elijah Blackman, Elijah Blackman, Jr., Samuel Blackman and Abner Pease and their families, who settled on Lots 19, 20 and 27. Maj. Blackman served through the war of 1812-14, and died in 1822.
In 1809 Bohan Blair, Septimus Witter and James W. Herrick came, and in 1810 the widow Anne Kent and three sons; also Dr. Ezekiel Squires, who settled on Lot 38. He was the first physician to settle in Aurora, and it can readily be imagined that be was welcome. From this year (1810) till 1820 many families settled in the township, all of whom were from the New England States. During this decade came the Sewards, Wheelers, Rileys, Pakers, Plums, Russells, Crooks, Parsons, Spencers, Laceys, Hurds, Jacksons and others.
In 1802 the first sermon was preached at Ebenezer Sheldon's house; there were present Mr. Sheldon and his family. This was the first sermon in the township, and, doubtless, the first in the county.
Previous to 1809 the settlers held religious services every Sabbath, but had no regular pastor, they conducting the services themselves; but on December 30 of this year a number of persons assembled at the house of John C. Singletary, pursuant to a call made by Rev. Nathan B. Darrow, a missionary sent out by the Congregational Missionary Society of Connecticut, and formed themselves the next day, Sunday, into a church organization. The names of those forming this society were Ebenezer and Laura Sheldon, James M. and Sarah Henry. Septimus and Anna Witter, Mary Eggleston, Thankful Lucretia Root, Mary Cannon, Jeremiah Root and Brainard Spencer. Jeremiah Root, at the first election, was elected Elder. Brainard Spencer succeeded Deacon Root. In 1811 Rev. John Seward became the pastor of the church and filled that position for over thirty years. The first church stood where the Presbyterian building now is.
The Congregational Church was reorganized and incorporated March 20, 1872, when Alanson Parker, J. L. Thompson, C. Eggleston, Solomon Little and Frank Hurd were elected Trustees, and C. H. Root, Clerk.
The Disciples Church was reorganized under State law May 11, 1855, with Victor M. Cannon, A. V. Jewell and J. Bartholomew, Trustees, and Ebenezer Sheldon, Clerk. The name adopted was Disciples in Aurora.
The school was an institution here as early as the winter of 1803-04. Samuel Forward, Jr., opened one in a little building on the Square at the Center, and he had as pupils Julia Forward, Ebenezer Sheldon, Jr., Gersham Sheldon, George Sheldon, Festus Sheldon, Chauncy Forward, Rensselaer Forward and Dryden Forward. The next school was taught by Oliver Forward, and the third by Polly Cameron, in 1807. As an illustration of the feeling of the times, and showing that politics ran full as high as at present: "This old school-master, Oliver Forward, delivered a Fourth of July oration at the Center in 1808, and all the Federalists went to Hudson to avoid it. They didn't
AURORA TOWNSHIP. 403
want to be in the same town while it was being delivered." The following statistics show the condition of schools in August, 1884: Boys enrolled, 76; girls, 71; revenue, $4,632.41; expenditures, $3,963.92; number of school buildings, 7, valued at $5,500; average pay of male teachers, $54; of female, $33.
The first birth in the township occurred in the family of Oliver Forward, when a son was born to him April 6, 1804, whom he named Cromwell, after his distinguished ancient relative. The second birth was that of James Henry, son of James M. Henry, in 1806; and the third, in the same year, was a son born to John Cochran, Jr., whom he named Leveritt W., and who in after years was an honored member of the Ohio Legislature, besides holding other offices. The first death was that of Rhoda Cochran, the crippled girl who came out with her mother in 1804. She was afflicted with inflammatory rheumatism, and died December 25, 1806, aged twenty-two years.
The first human habitation erected in the township was a log-cabin put up about two miles east of the Center, by Ebenezer Sheldon, and Samuel Forward built the next at the Center. They were, of course, of the most primitive pattern, consisting of round logs, puncheon floors, cot and clay chimneys, etc., etc. The first mill, it being a combination saw and grist, was located near the Station, and was run by Septimus Witter. It was a great convenience to the settlers when first erected, as they had, up to that time, to go many miles to get their grinding done. The first distillery, a small one -- and the only one, by the way -- was erected at an early day, but it did not thrive as well as they do in some other localities, and it was abandoned many years ago. The first tavern was built about 1812, and is the present residence of Gen. Eggleston, the building having been remodeled. It was kept by Judge Samuel Forward. A large ashery was run for many years by Hopson Hurd, who also had a pearl ash oven, and shipped large quantities to Pittsburgh. Hopson Hurd also brought the first stock of goods, and sold them for a good round price, at least his wet goods, getting 50 cents and 75 cents per drink for brandy. Mr. Hurd was also the first Postmaster at the Center. In the fall of 1809 $200 was raised by subscription for the purpose of erecting a Town House, but as money was extremely hard to get, and the cash not being forthcoming, a vote was taken on the second Tuesday of January, 1810, which resulted in the affirmative, that the articles of sugar and lumber which were subscribed should be "delivered by the 1st of May, and the grain by the first of November, next." The building was finished in the early part of 1811, and on the following Fourth of July a ball was held within its sacred walls, but it was sacred nevermore, for the church people, who had, ever since its erection, been using it as a place of worship, would never enter it again for religious purposes. Joseph Skinner, the versatile Joseph, of Mantua, of whom more hereafter, furnished the "catgut," as an old settler remarked to the writer.
Some of the most noted hunters were Benjamin Williams, Marcus Taylor, Jarvis McConnaughy and William Crooks and his son George. Game was, of course, plenty, and bear, deer and turkey meat were had almost for the asking. There was a famous hunt participated in by the Nimrods of Aurora, which took place in Streetsboro, but further mention of that will be made elsewhere. One of the largest bears ever killed in the county was brought down from the limb of a tree on Squire Forward's place, and he was so large and fat that the gambrel upon which he was hung up is preserved to this day with date, weight etc., marked upon it. About ten or a dozen wolves were caught in a swamp in 1827, and the boys, armed mostly with clubs, dispatched every one of them. A den of yellow rattlesnakes was unearthed in the southern part of the township,
404 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
and over fifty were killed. Miss Sally Taylor, who afterward married Moses Eggleston, taught school in Springfield, now Summit County, and during one of her trips across the country, lost her way and had to stay in the forest all night. Not long after she had tied her horse and laid down, a pack of wolves came howling around, which, scaring her horse, caused him to break loose. She then thought it was all over with her, when, to her delight, the horse came up and stood over her, evidently seeking protection from her whom he was best protecting by his position. She held him by the bridle all night, and the rays of the morning sun, glinting through the trees, were the most welcome she had ever seen.
Capt. Harmon, during the war of 1812, at the time of Hull's surrender, formed a company for service, but they were not needed, although they marched as far as Huron and remained in the service several weeks. Worthy Taylor, who is now about ninety years of age and the oldest man in this township, was a gallant soldier in the war of 1812. Owen Brown, father of "old John Brown " whose soul went marching on so peacefully a couple of decades ago, married one of his wives, Sallie Root, in this township. She was not the mother, however, of the immortal John. Some years ago Truman Howard and sons operated a hand rake factory near the depot and sold wagon loads of their product, but the horse rake spoiled their business. Cheese making was one of the earliest industries, and the handicraft of the thrifty New Englanders in that line has not passed away from them to this day, as they yet make the finest cheese in the northwestern section of the county. November 8, 1859, Alanson Baldwin was murdered by his nephew, Lemuel W. Price, who was tried and sentenced to the penitentiary for life. A somewhat noted slander suit occurred in Aurora in the early days. Harriet Perkins said something derogatory to the character of Thankful Bissell, for which she was tried and a judgment rendered against her of a gallon of whisky. Old Squire Forward was the referee.
November 26, 1835, Gen. Nelson Eggleston issued a notice for a preliminary meeting to be held at the Eggleston Tavern for the purpose of arranging for a larger meeting to be held, to take into consideration the feasibility of constructing a railroad. The meeting was held, being attended by Alanson Baldwin, Chairman; Nelson Eggleston, Secretary, and Moses Eggleston, A. W. Stocking and two others. The result of this meeting was the building of two important lines of railway through Portage County.
Aurora Iron Company was organized February 1, 1866, for the purpose of manufacturing wrought iron from iron ore. The capital was $60,000. The members were Evan Moses, William Davis, T. G. Rees, T. J. Rees and M. N. Gardner.
The history of apple stealing from P. P. McIntosh in 1819, points out the arrest and trial of a few o I the boys. It appears that Royal Taylor and Harvey Baldwin, of Aurora, went south to avoid arrest in re the apples, and took with them a small stock of cheese. This resulted in the Southern cheese trade, which became the leading industry of northern Portage County. McIntosh, the prosecutor of the boys, died March 9, 1832.
There is a very fine Presbyterian Church at the Center, Rev. George C. Lyon, pastor; also a Christian Church with no regular pastor; both have good Sunday-schools. General stores, C. R. Harmon, Hurcl & Bro.; Postmaster, C. R. Harmon; John Gould, Editor.
At the Station, general store, Charles Russell; grocery, Burroughs; Postmaster, C. Russell. There is a grist-mill owned by Herbert Carleton and a saw-mill by C. R. Howard; two cheese factories and creameries.
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Aurora furnished for the late war seventy-two soldiers, fourteen of whom died and four were disabled.
There are seven good schoolhouses with a fair attendance of pupils.
Township Officers. -- Trustees, Julius Granger, Daniel Lacey, John Gould; Assessor, R. L. Granger; Treasurer, W. E. Hurd; Justices of the Peace, R. P. Caniaon, Ed. Shoup; Constables, John Loisun, Emmett Lacey.
The statistics of this township for 1884 are as follows: 443 acres of wheat; no rye; no buckwheat; 487 acres of oats, 15,088 bushels; no barley; 385 acres of corn, 1,440 bushels; 2,320 acres meadow, 2,647 tons of hay; 8 acres of clover, 16 tons of hay; 32 acres of potatoes, 3,420 bushels; 7,695 gallons of milk; 3,550 pounds home-made butter; 86,900 pounds factory and creamery butter; 522,300 pounds cheese; 82,651 maples, yielded 12,285 pounds of sugar and 1,490 gallons; 19 hives, 100-pounds honey; 280 dozen eggs; 438 bushels of apples; 4,195 pounds wool; 1,401 milch cows; 55 dogs. There died of disease 23 hogs, 69 sheep, 41 cattle and 6 horses. Acres of cultivated land, 1,154; pasture, 10,294; woodland, 2,223; waste land, 150 acres, aggregating 13,731 acres. Population in 1850 was 823, including 329 youth; in 1870, 642, and in 1880, 666....
466 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
Hiram, the third township settled in the county, and known with its present limits as Town 5, Range 7, was originally the property of Col. Daniel Tilden, Daniel Green, Joseph Metcalf, Levi Case, John Fitch, Joseph Burnham and Joseph Perkins, all of Connecticut. Hiram then comprised the territory now known as Mantua, Shalersville, Freedom, Windham and Nelson. The early history of Hiram has been kept by several persons in the township, who have made special efforts in ascertaining the correct facts of those primitive
HIRAM TOWNSHIP. 469
times, and among them Mr. Alva Udall has been particularly active and careful in collecting these matters, and to him the writer is indebted for the most of the information contained in this chapter.
There is some doubt respecting the first settler in Hiram. By some it is thought that Abraham S. Honey, who made the first settlement in Mantua, was the man, and that he came as early, as 1799, but that cannot be, for he, with his brother-in-law, Rufus Edwards, settled in Mantua, or at least made some improvements there in the fall of 1798. Mr. John Harmon, one of the first settlers n Mantua, was under the impression that a man named William W. Williams came in the spring of 1799, built a cabin and made a clearing, but that he soon after left and settled in Cuyahoga County, where, in 1800, he built the first mill in that county. The truth, possibly, of this matter is, that when Honey left Mantua, which he did about 1802, he stopped during the spring or Summer in Hiram, made a small clearing and built a cabin, but getting tired of the country, went away in the fall to Cuyahoga, where it is known that be lived several years.
In 1802 Elijah Mason, Elisha Hutchinson and Jason Tilden came to the township and located their lands. Mason, who was from Lebanon, Conn., selected the west half of Lot 23; Tilden, also from Connecticut, selected Lot 22, and Hutchinson, who was from Herkimer County, N. Y., selected a portion of Lot 23. They then returned to their Eastern homes. A permanent settler, but whose actual residence was only about one year or less, came in during this spring also. He was John Fleminos, who began improvements on the southeast corner of the west half of Lot 33. He girdled the timber on sixteen acres and built a cabin, also put out a crop of corn and potatoes, which was the first crop raised in the township.
In the spring of 1803 Mason with his two sons, Roswell M. and Peleg S., lads of seventeen and nineteen, and Tilden and Hutchinson, came out, leaving their families at home, and made improvements on their lands, Mason clearing about 22 acres and putting it out in wheat, and building a cabin. Hutchinson also cleared twenty acres and built a cabin; Tilden, in like manner, clearing and building. Shortly after they came they discovered and named Silver Creek. They all then went back and were preparing to come out permanently the next spring, but the two sons of Mason refusing to again go into the wilds of the Reserve, the father was compelled to change his plans, and he purchased a farm in Vermont. This action of Mason induced the others to forego for the time emigrating Westward. Three of their hired men, however, were pleased with the country and concluded to settle here. They were Richard Redden, Jacob Wirt and Samuel Wirt, from Pennsylvania. Flemings, also becoming discouraged, concluded to leave when he found that Mason, Hutchinson and Tilden were not coming, and he sold his place to Redden, the Wirts at the same time settling on the east half of Lot 38. Redden sent for his father and family, which was the first white family to winter in the township. Mason came in the summer of this year, 1804, and harvested his wheat, which was the first in the township, turning out well. His two companions disposed of their effects in Ohio as well as they could, and left the country.
For several years after these first few settlers named came in but little progress was made. In the fall of 1804 William Fenton began improvements on the east half of the west half of Lot 38, and Cornelius Baker on the west half of the same. In this year, also, came Col. John Garrett and Abraham Dyson, a blacksmith, but fuller mention is made of these two settlers in the history of Nelson Township.
In 1806 Roswell M. Mason had a chance of heart in regard to the Western
470 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
country, and came from Vermont to settle on Lot 32, which had been given him by his father. His father owned considerable land here and Roswell was made agent for it, but instead of settling down to the life of a farmer, hired others to improve the land, and studied law.
The most of the settlers, up to about 1807, were from Pennsylvania, and were poor, but generous and hospitable. They were usually squatters, and but such improvements on their land, as frequently, when the owner came around, to sell enough of it to pay for the whole -- and still retain a fair sized farm. From about 1809, however, the New England element largely predominated, but even at this date the number of inhabitants was only twenty. Thomas Johnson, an Irishman, came in this year. He had lived in Pennsylvania, but moved from Trumbull County to this township. Simon Babcock, of Connecticut, came in the fall of 1809, and settled on Lot 22.
In 1810 Pasley Hughes with a yoke of oxen came in from Vermont, and settled on the property improved in 1803 by Elijah Mason, Hughes having purchased it before leaving his native State. In the fall of the same year Ephraim Hackett, son-in-law of Hughes, came in with his family and settled on the west part of the east half of Lot 22. The population was now about thirty. In June, Orrin Pitkin and wife came in and wife came in and settled where Honey had improved on Lot 32, in 1802.
In 1811, on the 16th day of August, George Young, James Young, and Seth Cole, each with large families, came from Sterling, Conn. James Young, who was a tailor, settled on the west half of Lot 18; George, on the east half of the same lot, and the west part of Lot 25, and Cole bought the improvements on Lot 38. On the 2d of October Elisha Hutchinson, having changed his mind, also, in regard to the West, arrived with his family and settled upon the spot which he had cleared in 1803, the brush having been cleared off by Isaac Mills, of Nelson, whom he had employed. There were at this time, the fall of 1811, eleven families, embracing fifty-eight persons, in the township.
In 1812 Thomas F. Young came with his family from Windham, Conn., and settled at the Center. He was the father of Clinton and Thomas Young, who still reside on the old place. In September, 1813, Benjamin Hinckley and family came in from Connecticut and settled on the west part of the west half of Lot 38, and purchased considerable land.
In 1816 Symonds and Jason Ryder, with their father, mother and sisters arrived and settled on land previously located by Symonds. Aruna Tilden also came in this year, bringing his family, which included his brother-in-law, John Jennings, and settled on the west half of Lot 37. In the winter following, Elijah Mason, fulfilling his intention of thirteen years before, brought his family and settled on the west half of Lot 43.
In 1817 Gersham Judson came from Mantua and settled on Lot 31, but he afterward sold to Paul Pitkin and moved away. Stephen B. Pulsifer and family settled on Lot 19, and Ira Herrick with his father and mother began on the east end of Lot 33. Daniel Tilden, Benjamin Tilden, John Tilden aind Polly Tildeia also came in the spring. In October Ebenezer Pinney settled on Lot 31, which afterward passed to Samuel Udall, and from him to others. These arrivals ran the population up to 120.
In 1818, early in January, Daniel Hampton came from Trumbull County and settled on the west part of the east half of Lot 33, and about the 23d of the same month Samuel Udall, John Johnson, Martin A-Tiller, Charles Loomis and Thomas Cowen left Pomfret and Hartford, Vt., with their families, which were all large, bound for Hiram. Udall had four yoke of oxen, three horses and a cow. The rest were also supplied well with oxen and horses. The
HIRAM TOWNSHIP. 471
weather was cold, the snow was deep, and they were six weeks on the road. Arriving in Hiram March 4, 1818, Udall settled on the west halves of Lots 24 and 27, Johnson on the west ends of Lots 22 and 39, Miller on the west half of Lot 36, Loomis on the middle part of Lot 30, and Cowen moved into a cabin owned by Richard Redden. In the following summer came Gideon Chapin, Lemuel Herrick, Miles T. Norton, Joel Button, Elisha Taylor, Horace A. Loomis, Curtis Eggleston, Truman Brace, Capt. William Harris and Charles H. Paine, the first-named moving in the fall to Freedom, and becoming the first settler of that township.
In March, 1819, John A. Tilden with his family came in and settled on the west part of the east half of Lot 25, and in June came Paul Pitliin. In 1821 Col. Daniel Tilden, one of the original proprietors of the township, came in and lived in seclusion till 1885, in which year be died at the age of ninetv. He had been a man of great prominence in his native State, but the party in politics opposed to him so wronged him that he became soured and sought obscurity in the wilds of the West. About this time came Deacon John Rudolph, originally from Shenandoah County, Va., but who had resided in Nelson from 1806. One of his sons, Zeb Rudolph, married a daughter of Elijah Mason, and their daughter is the widow of the lamented President Garfield, who fell by the hand of the cowardly assassin, Guiteau. The population in 1820 was about 225.
In the fall of 1807 Gersham Judson, a widower, residing in Mantua, was married to Miss Sarah Redden, and from that time there was not another wedding in the township till 1817, when Charles H. Paine married a daughter of Elijah Mason, Parthenia Mason, who was Mrs. Garfield's aunt.
The first birth was that of Edwin Babcock, son of Simeon Babcock, on March 3, 1811. The second was that of John Fenton on the 11th day of the same month, the mother of the child dying at the same time; this was the first death in the township.
The first blacksmith to ODen business was Abraham Dyson, who came in 1804. The first mill in the township was built by Lemuel Punderson at the Rapids, in 1807, for Squire Law, of Connecticut, but a flood came in the fall and carried it off. In 1805 the dam was rebuilt and a saw-mill put in operation. Several others followed. Elisha Taylor, a tanner, currier and shoemaker came in 1818 and commenced business. In 1816 the first post-office was opened at the Center, and Thomas F. Young was appointed Postmaster, an office which he held for thirty-six years, till the day of his death in November, 1852. The first stock of goods and first store opened was in 1820, by Deacon John D. Hazen. The first frame dwelling-house was erected in 1819 by Jesse Bruce. It stood on the hill a few rods east of Alva Udall's barn on Lot 27. A few years previous to this Thomas Johnson and Elisha Hutchinson had erected frame barns, which were the first frame buildings in the township. A distillery was erected about 1820, as Hiram had to keep pace with Mantua and Nelson, each of which had two of these institutions in operation. The, first road in the north part of the county war, from Warren to Cleveland, built in 1800, and ran through the center of Hiram. James Young was the first tailor, and Seth Cole the first cooper to settle in the township; they came in 1811. The first military company was organized by the election of Symonds Ryder, Captain; Orrin Hutchinson, Lieutenant; Silas Raymond, Ensign; John Tilden, Orderly Sergeant; George Udall, Drummer; John M. Tilden, Fifer. Thomas F. Young was elected a Justice of the Peace in 1814, being the first Justice in the Township; he served three terms.
Occasional sermons were delivered from a very early day, both by the Methodists
472 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
and Congregationalists, or Presbyterians and among that number were Rev. Caleb Pitkin, Rev. Shadrach Bostwick and Rev. R. R. Roberts. who preached all over the Reserve, and in fact all over northern Ohio, but the Baptist denomination seems to have taken the lead up to along about the year 1830. They had a small church at the Rapids, and the Congregationalists had also a small church. In 1835 the Disciples of Christ organized a church at the south road schoolhouse, which consisted of thirteen members. This congregation, grew rapidly, and in 1844 they erected a church building, which about 1856 was burned, when the present tasteful and commodious edifice was erected; the membership now runs into the hundreds. In 1844 the Methodists built a neat frame church just north of the Corners at the Center, but the society not being very prosperous, it was deemed advisable to dispose of the building and appropriate the proceeds otherwise.
In the year 1813 Benjamin Hinckley arrived, and on December 13 he commenced teaching school in a log-house that had been put up in the fall. He taught ten weeks ending February 22, 1814, and had twenty scholars. There were seven Youngs, three Johnsons, two Hutchinsons, two Dysons, two Hughes, two Hinckleys, a Hampton and a Judson. From about this time schools were maintained in the township, but there was but one school district. In 1816 two districts were formed, each having its log-schoolhouse, and were known as the Center and South Districts respectively. During the year 1820 a frame schoolhouse was begun in the South District, and after much effort it was completed. In the Center District some time afterward, a frame building was commenced for a schoolhouse, and to have a Masonic hall above, but it was never finished.
The Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, formerly so well and favorably known throughout northern Ohio, was the parent of Hiram College. Previous to 1850 there had been a growing feeling among the Disciples of the Western Reserve that they needed an educational institution located somewhere in northern Ohio. Delegates from the prominent churches of the Disciples met to consider the matter. They were unanimous in the opinion that a school should be established, and after several meetings decided, November 7, 1849, to locate it at Hiram. Its charter was granted March 1, 1850. The same summer, near, but a little south of the crest of the watershed dividing the waters of the lake from those of the Ohio, in the middle of an eight-acre enclosure that has since become one of the most beautiful campuses in the State, as it is by nature one of the most, commanding, a substantial and commodious brick building, three stories high. with a front of eighty-four feet, and a depth of sixty-four feet, was erected.
In this building, November 27, 1850, the new school went into operation, under the name of the "Western Reserve Eclectic Institute," the name having been suggested by Isaac Errett, then pastor of the Church of the Disciples in Warren.
The work done was substantially that of an academic school of high grade. The aims of the school may be stated as follows: 1. To provide a sound scientific and literary education. 2. To temper and sweeten such education with moral and scriptural knowledge.
The popularity of the Institute was great from the beginning, and the annual attendance rose as high as five hundred.
February 20, 1867, the Board decided to clothe the school with collegiate powers and responsibilities. As Hiram had become widely and favorably known as the seat of the Institute, the name now chosen was "Hiram College." The change in the name and rank of the institution did not essentially change its aims and spirit.
HIRAM TOWNSHIP. 473
A. S. Hayden, a cultivated and well-known minister of the Disciples, was the first Principal. For seven years he served in this capacity with great acceptance. Associated with him much of the time were Thomas Munnell, Norman Dunshee and Almeda Booth.
James A. Garfield, who had taught under Mr. Hayden's administration, succeeded to the Principalship. The Institute, which had been prosperous under Mr. Hayden's administration, now reached a still higher degree of prosperity. Mr. Garfield was Principal from 1857 to 1861, and won a wide popularity as a teacher and manager, and as a lecturer on general and scientific topics. His associates were Norman Duashoo, Harvey W. Everest, J. H. Rhodes, Almeda Booth, J. M. Atwater and B. A. Hinsdale.
From 1861 to 1867 there were frequent changes in the head of the school. H. W. Everest, C. W. Heywood, A. J. Thomson and J. M. Atwater served for brief periods, the name of James A. Garfield as Advising Principal appearing much of the time. This period wait in some particulars Hiram's darkest day. Within this period came the Civil war, and many of Hiram's best workers were called to the battlefield.
As a chartered college Hiram began its work August 31, 1867. Dr. Silas E. Shepard was its first President. He was succeeded by Prof. J. M. Atwater, who in 1871 was succeeded by Prof. B. A. Hinsdale. Prof. Hinsdale's administration continued until June, 1882, when Vice-President Dean became Acting President. At the beginning of the collegiate year 1883-84 the Board of Trustees were called upon to choose some one to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of President Hinsdale. After due deliberation their choice fell upon the present incumbent, President G. H. Laughlin. President Laughlin came from Oskaloosa College, Iowa, with which institution he had been for nine years connected and of which he was the President. The experience of the year seems to have shown the wisdom of the choice. He has entered upon and pursued his labors like one schooled to the position, has proved himself a thorough teacher, and has won in a high degree the confidence and esteem of all.
Hiram College is affiliated with the Ohio College Association, in accordance with the rules of which association the courses of study are arranged. The special departments comprise the Biblical, musical, normal and art. The degrees conferred are B. A., B. P., Al. A. and M. P. On May 7, 1883, a Bible Chair was established.
The first building continues in good repair. Six years ago the Ladies' Hall was erected. The tabernacle and the boys' dormitory complete the list of buildings, each one is well equipped, and admirably adapted to its purpose.
There are five well-selected libraries, containing more than 3,000 volumes. These libraries are being constantly enlarged with the best publications of the day. One of the libraries belongs to the college; the others to the Olive Branch, Delphic and Hesperian Societies, and the Y. M. C. A., respectively.
The college buildings, campus, libraries, apparatus, cabinet and furniture are worth $40,000; the productive endowment is estimated at $50,000; bequests, in the form of wills, are estimated at $100,000.
In the following summary of the history of education in this township since 1850, the statistics of common schools and literary societies are given.
Enrollment in 1884, nine boys and eighty-three girls; revenue, $3,824.68; expenditures, $1,932.33; seven schoolhouses valued at $4,200; average monthly pay of teachers, $26.
The Olive Branch Society, a ladies’ organization, was the first literary association of ladies of the colleze, being founded in 1853. The Hesperian Literary Society of Hiram was organized in 1855, and reorganized May 2, 1862, with D. D. Humestou, H. B. Norton, C. A. Dudley, C. C. Smith and J. H.
474 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
Hogue, Trustees. C. F. Willcutt was Clerk. Delphic Literary Society in connection with the Eclectic Institute was organized in A'854, and reorganized April 18, 1862, with I. K. Davidson, Edgar Maxon xxxauclf. C. Cannon, Trustees, and Lewis L. Campbell, Clerk. L. J. Adair presided. The Alpha Beta Delta Society of Hiram College was reorganized Feb. 14, 18-10, and chartered subsequently. The Young Men's Christian Association was organized in 1868.
Of the many who have taught at Hiram, mention rmay be made of the following distinguished names:
Munnell, Dunshee, Wilber, Hall, Hillier, Rhodes, Everest, J. M. Atwater, Amzi Atwater, Suliote, Thomson, Coffeen, Hill, Dr. Shepard, Lottie M, Sackett, Weston, Hinsdale, Dommon, Pardee, Wakefield, Barber, Booth and Garfleld. Almeda Booth came to Hiram in the spring of 1851, and remained in service, except one year spent in Oberlin College, until Commencement, 1866, in all fourteen years and one term. She began her work at Hiram as teacher of English studies, but soon became Principal of the ladies' department. Although excelling in teaching English studies, vet she taught with success in every department of the college. Her life and character formed the theme of an address by James A. Garfield at Hiram commencement in 1876.
In the spring of 1816 Nelson was set off from Hiram, and at the election in the following April Thomas F. Young was chosen Clerk; James Young, John Redden and Benjamin Hinckley, Trustees; and Richard Redden, Treasurer. There are no records of the township earlier than 1820, and these officers are given from memory. The name of the township. Hiram, was suggested by Col. Tilden, who proposed it to all the original proprietors, who were Freemasons, in honor of an Illustrious Ancient Master Workman well known to the fraternity. Owing to the carelessness of a surveyor, who was probably unskilled in his business, some of the lines of survey are very irregular, frequent cases of lots being several rods wider at one end than the other occurring.
In 1820 there were four Revolutionary soldiers residing in Hiram -- Col. Daniel Tilden, Christopher Redden, Elijah Mason and old Mr. Turner. Hiram did nobly in the war of the Rebellion, having been represented by two Major-Generals, two Captains and two Lieutenants, besides her full quota of men up to 1864. She sent to the front seventy-four men, thirteen of whom were killed or died in the service.
In the winter of 1831 Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon came to Hiram, held meetings and made many converts to the then new faith of Latter Day Saints, or Mormonism, but after a time something leaked out in regard to the Saints having an eye on their neighbors' property, that it was their design to get into their possession all the lands of those whom they converted. Whether the charge was true or not cannot now be affirmed, but at any rate the good people of Hiram and some others went to the houses of Smith and Rigdon, took them out, stripped them to the buff, and treated them to a coat of tar and feathers and a rail ride, which induced them to leave.
Hiram occupies the highest elevation on the Reserve, being 1,300 feet above sea level, which gives it great salubrity and healthfulness. Its hills and dales are not only beautiful, but the land is excellent, being a clay loam, in some portions sandy, and at the same time it is well watered. It is well adapted to fruit and grazing...
MANTUA TOWNSHIP. 475
Mantua received the first settler that entered Portage County, anticipating four other townships by about six months. It was originally the property of the "Suffield, Cuyahoga & Big Beaver Land Company," all the members of which, some sixteen in number, lived in Suffield, Conn. This company owned three other townships, but at the drawing the land now comprising Mantua fell to the lot of David, Fidelio and Ebenezer King, Jr., and Martin Sheldon, Gideon Granger, Thomas Sheldon and Oliver Phelps, also owned small parcels of the land, and Ebenezer Sheldon afterward purchased a part of Martin Sheldon's interest. It was then known as Town 5, Range 8. The township was surveyed by David Abbott into tracts of 420 acres each, there being forty-two lots. Abbott took two quarter lots, northwest quarter of Lot 29 and southeast quarter of Lot 23. He was a member of the convention that formed the first constitution of Ohio.
The first man to drive a stake, put up a cabin, make a clearing and settle down to business was Abraham L. Honey, which he did in the fall of 1798, and although it has been asserted that a man by the name 'of Peter French came in the fall of 1798, cleared off some land on the northwest quarter of Lot 24 and put out a small patch of wheat, he also cleared some land on the southwest quarter of Lot 29. After making those improvements lie moved to Mentor. That a small crop of wheat was harvested the next season by Rufus Edwards, who came in and took possession of Lot 24, the lot settled upon by Honey, is beyond dispute. How he got possession of Lot 24 does not now
476 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
appear. Honey remained only two or three years in Mantua, when he moved to Hiram and from there to Cuyahoga County. The wife of Honey was a sister of Rufus Edwards, and it is possible that Honey made the improvements for his brother-in-law, himself settling on a portion of the land, there being plenty of room on 420 acres for three or four families in those times. At any rate Rufus Edwards was the second settler, for in the notes kept by Elias Harmon of those early days he says that just after he came in he chopped for Edwards and hewed for Crooks. Crooks by this appears to have been the third settler, though not a permanent one, as he only arrived at Mr. Honey's on the 12th of June, 1799. David Crooks, the person referred to, settled on the southwest part of Lot 29. He remained there until November, 1799, when he went for his family, who refused to return to Ohio with him. William Crooks died in Aurora, some time in the fifties at the aue of eighty-two years. He located in Warren, then at Nelson, next at Parkman, and ultimately in Aurora.
Elias Harmon, who can be set down as the fourth settler, was born in Suffield, Conn., in 1773, and started for the Reserve in February, 1799, in a two. horse sleigh, going as far as Pittston, N. Y., where he remained till May, when, in company with Benjamin Tappan, David Hudson and Jotham Atwater, started for their future home-Tappan for Ravenna, then Town 3, Range 8; Hudson for what is now Summit County; Atwater for Euclid. and Harmon for Mantua. After a long, tiresome and perilous trip, partly by lake, partly by land and partly by river, Harmon landed at the clearing of Honey, as stated, on the 12th of June, where he stopped awhile, and then went to the place of Ebenezer Sheldon, who had engaged him before leaving home to help him in boarding and aiding the surveyors in their allotment of Aurora, afterward returning to Mantua with his wife in September, 1799, and settling on Lot 18. One of two or three entries in his diary, shows that the erection of a habitation in those days was a matter to be accomplished in short order; he says: "July 1, began to cut timber for our house. July 2, put up and moved into house. July 3, got timber for floor. July 4, laid the floor." ...
MANTUA TOWNSHIP. 479
In the fall of 1799 Paschal P. McIntosh came in and settled on Lot 23. He was a half-brother to Gen. David McIntosh, and came from Haverhill, N.H. The fact of his being here at that early date is shown by the notes kept by Elias Harmon, where he says: "October 2d, 1799, helped McIntosh to raise his house." In this year also came Elisha Edwards and Samuel Burroughs. The next year, 1800, brought in a number of settlers, among whom were doses Pond, who settled on Lot 85, and afterward moved to Mesopotamia; Jonathan Brooks also came, but soon went to Burton and settled. The Windsor family came in this year, Basil Windsor, Sr., being the head. Samuel Pond, who also came at this time, shortly before they moved away, got lost on a trip to Burton and was almost without food for nine days. It was in the winter, and all his toes wore frozen off, crippling him for life. Seth Harmon, John Blair and Jothana Atwater were among the settlers, but the man who more than any other left his impress on the township and county was Amzi Atwater. Jotham and Amzi Atwater came from Hamden, Conn., in the spring of 1800, and settled on 200 acres of the west part of Lot 41, where now is Mantua Station. On the 21st of November, 1801, Amzi married, in Aurora, Huldah Sheldon, daughter of Ebenezer Sheldon, the couple being married by the father of the bride, which was the only official act performed by the old Squire during the first three years of his holding that position. At the first election, on the organization of the county, Atwater was one of the Judges, and the Legislature appointed him one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, which position he hold for a long time, filling it with marked ability, impartiality and dignity. He had received a liberal education in his Dative State, had selected civil engineering and surveying as his profession, and, joining the party under Cleveland, came to the Western Reserve first in 1796. Being of a hardy constitution and determined will, combined with a buoyancy of disposition, he was specially adapted to the life of pioneer and surveyor. He was possessed of great versatility of talent, vigor of intellect, having withal a genial temperament and a fund of quiet humor that made him popular. He was courageous rather than daring, persevering, resolute and of sound judgment, qualities which rendered him useful in those early times. He was very ready with his pen, and wrote many letters to his relatives in the East, entirely in rhyme, covering ten or a dozen pages of foolscap, several of which were published some years ago, but which are too long for reproduction here.
Joseph Skinner and William Skinner came at an early day: also Samuel Moore and his son, who killed the last wild deer in the township in 1845; Moore came with an ox-team from Southwick, Mass., in 1806, bringing his wife and six children; a family of Rays came in at the same time. Quite a noted character in his way came in December, 1812, from Windham, whence he had moved from Nelson, coming originally frora Massachusetts. This was Wareham Loomis. He brought his wife and family, and worked afterward for Judge Atwater. During a couple of years, covering the period of the war of 1812-14, there was a comparative stoppage of immigration, but in 1815 and 1816 a large number came in. Chester Reed, with his wife and four children. and three other families came in 1815, and in 1816 Sylvester Reed, in company with twelve other young men, came and settled in different localities; also the Frosts, Marvin and James, the latter walking the entire distance from the East, with an ax on his shoulder, Capt. William Messenger, with his wife and six children, Jonathan Foster, the Roots, the Sanfords, the Ladds, the Judsons and others. Peter Carlton came in 1811.
March 5, 1810, the County Commissioners issued an order creating the
480 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
township, and shortly afterward an election was held, but the records of the township were destroyed in a fire which occurred in 1815, and the names of the officers elected cannot now be ascertained. At this time Shalersville was included in Mantua, but in 1812 Shalersville was erected into a separate township, and cut off. The name Mantua was given by John Leavitt, in honor of Napoleon, who had in 1796 captured the city by that name in Italy. In 1806 there were but twenty-seven men in the township, but in 1810, at the organization, there was a population of 234. Elias Harmon was appointed United States Marshal in 1810, and took the census of that year. In his enumeration of Mantua he gives the following names of heads of families and the number of each family: Rufus Edwards 6; Samuel Moore, 8; Silas Penney, 8; Moses Pond, 5; Thomas Bright, 6; Franklin Snow, 5; Virgil Moore, 3; Silas Tinker, 5; Elias Harmon, 6; Gersham Judson, 5; James Ray, 10; David Pond, 5; Jotham Atwater, 5; Amzi Atwater, 6; Oliver Snow, 6; Paschal P. McIntosh, 7; Enoch Judson, 5; Samuel Judson, 5; William Russell 7; John Blair, 9; William Johnson, 9; Ella Wilmot, 2; Basil Windsor, 7; William Skinner, 6, and Seth Harmon 6. The total population was 152 in the fall of 1810; a great decrease within that year. Dr. Jason Moore and Mrs. (Blair) Patterson are the only persons now living in the township who were enumerated in this township. Orrin Harmon resides at Ravenna.
Simeon Sheldon, Lister, in 1825, stated in the Western Courier that up to June 11, 1825, there had been 38 marriages, 369 births, and 22 deaths of three years old and upward, and 45 deaths under three years. They took 41 newspapers from 11 different presses, and 10 religious periodicals from 5 different presses. In the earliest days, when there was no mill Dearer than Burton, the little crop of wheat raised had to be husbanded 'with great care, and there was so little of it that it could all be sent off to mill at once. Rufus Edwards on one occasion collected all the grain and took it in a canoe to Burton, and had it ground, but arriving late at night he left it in the boat, intending to get it as soon as daylight appeared, but when he went for it the next morning he found that some prowling Indians had carried it all off. It was all the flour there was in the township.
In 1803 the men of Mantua, Hiram, Aurora and Nelson Townships were organized into a militia company, with Ezra Wyatt, Captain, and Rufus Edwards, First Lieutenant. On his removal to Hudson, Edwards was elected Captain. He began the erection of a distillery on the Honey farm, but never opened one there.
The enlisted and drafted men from Mantua in the war of 1812 were Enos, Zacheas and John Harmon; James Ray, Mark Moore, John A. Smyth and Zenas Judson's substitute were in Campbell's company. The drafted men were Eleazer Ladd, David Pond, Horace Ladd, John Gardner and Virgil Moore. During this troublous time the "Fourth" was celebrated with eclat at Rufus Edward's house. This was the first regular celebration here. The first child born in the township was Eunice, a daughter of Elias Harmon, who made her first appearance in this world of trouble July 16, 1800, being the second child born in the county. She married Simeon Sheldon, and raised a family. The first male child was Horace, born to Moses Pond in 1803. The first wedding took place also in 1803, when Rufus Edward married Letitia Windsor, Amzi Atwater, at that time Justice of the Peace of Hudson, performing the ceremony. The first death was that of Mrs. Anna Judson, who had but recently been married, and just moved in with her husband. She had arsenic given to her through mistake, which caused death in a short time. This occurred July 2, 1804, and the next was during the winter of 1806, when Jacob Blair was killed while assisting in the raising of a house.
MANTUA TOWNSHIP. 481
The deaths in Mantua from 1799 to January 1, 1825, were as follows: Enoch Judson's first wife in 1804; Wareham Loomis' child, two years old, in 1805; Jacob Blair, killed at a "raising" in 1807; Mark Moore died in 1812; Samuel Judson's wife in 1813; Ichabod Payne in 1813; Melissa Reed in 1816; Enoch Judson's second wife died in 1816; Amzi Atwater, son of Amzi, Sr., in 1810; Caleb, son of Rufus Edwards, about 1817; Leonard, son of Lorenzo Chapin, in 1818; wife of Basil Windsor, Sr., in 1818; Martha, daughter of Seth Harmon, in 1820: Franklin Snow's first wife in 1820; Lorenzo Chapin's second son, Leonard M., in 1820; Persis, daughter of Dan Ladd, Jr., in 1822; Ezekiel Ladd in 1822; Ezekiel Squires in 1822; Zenas Kent, Sr., in 1822; Caleb Carlton, Sr., in 1823; Thomas Mayfield, Sr., in 1823; Basil Windsor, Sr., in 1823; Polly, daughter of Silas Penney, in 1823; Mr. Bacon in 1824; and Harvey, son of Jotham Atwater, in 1824.
In 1799 Rufus Edwards constructed a band grist-mill, which he opened in October of that year. A small building called the tannery was established by Moses Pond in 1802, and continued until 1812, when Dan Ladd, Jr., built a house and established a regular tannery. Pond, having no tools, had the hides finished at Burton. It was he who brought the first sheep into the township, and also apple seeds.
In 1810 William Russell purchased the distillery apparatus of Gersham and Samuel Judson, and erected a building in which he made whisky until the spring of 1817, when he sold the farm, cabin and distillery to George and William P. Young. Orrin Harmon remembers Russell's whisky in connection with sheep-washing days, before the manufacturer moved to Pennsylvania. In 1818 Young failed, and Russell then re-purchased his property, which he sold to Ezekiel Ladd in 1821. In 1822 Ladd died, when Russell resumed possession, and ultimately sold it to Patrick Ray. This Ray was one of the seven sons of James Ray. In 1819 Hezekiah Mooney and Dr. Ezekiel Squires erected a distillery. In 1819 Joseph Skinner built a distillery for which he made the machinery himself. This was burned in 1824, and the same year he erected a new distillery near his grist-mill, on the northwest corner of east half of Lot 30. This grist-mill was built in 1820.
Thomas G. Washburn established an ashery, near the public square at Mantua Center, in 1818, and continued it for about ten years.
The first saw-mill was erected by the Dresser family in 1818, on the north line of the county, and the next mill, a grist, was erected by Joseph and William Skinner, shortly after 1820. It was on the Cuyahoga, where the diagonal road to Garrettsville crosses that stream.
In 1821 David Ladd built a brick kiln; but in the fall he secured a glass-blower named Jonathan Tinker, rented his brother Daniel's tannery (erected in 1812), and began the manufacture of bottle glass December 1, 1821, under the title of the Mantua Glass Company, continuing here until 1828, when he moved the plant to Kent, where he built a factory. Noah and Noble Rogers settled south of Mantua Center in 1825, and erected a tannery on a lot bought of Oliver Snow. In 1829 they sold to Elias Converse, whose sons now operate it.
The first tavern was built and kept by Jotham Atwater, about one mile north of Mantua Station. It was a log building, and was for years a noted tavern stand. A brick building was afterward erected at the same spot, but has since been modeled into a dwelling, and is now occupied by Lewis Turner. There were two pail factories, one owned by Charles Bates, and the other by Joseph Skinner, and the ware made by Skinner was first class. It is claimed that he invented the process of turning pails and other hollow ware. The
482 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
manufacture of choose from the earliest times has been a source of great revenue to the township, and the raising of fine potatoes has also boon an industry that has grown to large proportions.
Dr. Ezekiel Squires was the first physician in the township, having, with his family, settled there in 1815. Subsequently Drs. Whipple and Pierce came in, the latter leaving the medical field open to Whipple until 1828, when Dr. Edwin Cowles came. In 1825 Dr. Whipple lost all his children during the epidemic of that year.
Daniel Bidlake was the first blacksmith, early in 1815. The people bouoht him an outfit, for which he paid by easy installments.
Alonzo Delano opened out at Mantua Corners in 182D, as successor to Joseph Skinner. In 1826-27 Childs had a store at the Corners, while Orrin Harmon taught school there.
Calvin White opened the first store at the Center in June, 1835. His wife was Sabrina Harmon. Mr. White died in January, 1848, and his wife died in October, 1849.
In 1814 the first bridge over the Cayahoga, on the Center road from Mantua to Hiram, was built by Rufus Edwards, the county contributing $100. That bridge is standing still. Orrin Harmon states "it's the same old jack-knife, with a number of now handles and new blades."
In the spring of 1816 the first colored people came to Mantua. They were Benjamin Sharpe and wife, Lucy and Thomas Hughes. Flora, a colored woman in the employ of the Garretts, formerly a slave of Mrs. Garrett, married Hughes, also colored, in 1818.
Samuel Sanford, who settled in Mantua in 1817, and died September 27, 1858, was the last survivor of the Revolutionary war veterans who settled in this county.
Mark Moore suffered so much while in the hands of the British in 1812, that on his return to Mantua he died, and was the fourth person buried in the cemetery one mile and a half south of Mantua Center.
Elizabeth Kent taught the first school at Mantua Center in the winter of 1815-16.
W. A. Smith established the manufacture of pails, butter-tubs and cheese-boxes, besides operating a saw-mill and planing-mill at Shalersville. On removing this industry to Mantua he erected the buildings now devoted to the several branches of his manufactory. The capacity of the saw-mill is 10,000 foot; the machinery is valued at about $8,000. The works stand on six acres of land just east of the railroad station at Mantua. This industry gives employment the year round. A portable steam saw-mill is also operated. H. A. Turner is in charge of the saw-mill, and F. H. Hains in charge of the pail factory.
The building known as the Goddard Foundry is one of the old industrial structures of this portion of the township. It is now operated by Ed. Goddard as a foundry and cider-mill,
The Centennial Mills were founded by John Frost and Peter Kines in 1876, in buildings where the Hancock Basket Factory was carried on previously. There were three run of buhrs in use until 1881, when ten Bets of rollers were introduced. The capacity is seventy-five barrels per day, employing four men annually. The value of buildings and machinery is $10,000. John Frost & Co. are the present owners. The mill does custom and merchant work. H. O. Kitselman has been the miller in charge since 1880.
National Transit Company of Bradford, Penn., established pumping works at Mantua, with Fred. Tinker in charge. C. H. Rider is the present Superintendant.
MANTUA TOWNSHIP. 483
There are two powerful engines; the line of five-inch pipe from Hilliard, Butler County, Penn., to Cleveland is about 104 miles. At the Mantua works the oil is contained in a large reservoir, of 12,000 gallons capacity, from which it is pumped into the reservoir at Cleveland, thirty-one miles distant. A. P. Carlton's carriage and wagon shop was established in 1880; the present shop was erected in 1884. The work of the shop is mainly repairs, giving employment to two men.
George Allen was engaged in wagon and carriage work for a number of years prior to 1880. His shops have been rented since that time, and are now occupied by Emery Simpson as a horse-shoeing establishment.
The first hotel was built by Amzi Atwater, and first established as a hotel by Lewis Turner about the time the Cleveland & Mahoning Valley Railroad was completed to this point. Shortly after this Homer Frost purchased the house, then sold to Austin S. Beecher, who built the present Cuyahoga House in front of the old Atwater House, now conducted by H. T. Barnum. The house is the property of J. T. Spink.
The Mantua House was built by D. Santori, who conducted it as a hotel until rented to H. S. Sage about a year ago.
L. S. Turner established a livery at Mantua Station in January, 1885. The buildings cost about $2,000. In this building is Russell's photograph gallery and G. Franklin's harness shop.
Theo. Burnett, who was the pioneer of livery business here, died about two years ago, since which time the business has been carried on by J. H. Ditto & Sons.
Mantua Station. -- This flourishing little town has about 700 population, and is on the site of an old settlement, but was laid out more extensively about the time the Cleveland & Mahoning Valley Railroad, now a branch of the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad, was built by Darwin Atwater. It grow rapidly, and is now an exceedingly live village, having a good class of buildings and progressive citizens. It is a large shipping point for potatoes, cheese, onions, some cattle and sheep, and considerable garden truck. There are large shipments of potatoes, one dealer alone handling about 50,000 bushels during the season. Another provision shipper placed upon the cars during last spring an average of 300 calves per week. Great quantities of pails and other wooden-ware are also shipped, and in the matter of cheese Mantua stands as one of the leading points on the Reserve, there being three large factories for that product in the township, besides being the shipping point for the greater part of three other townships.
The business at the Station is as follows: Smith's pail and wood work factory, which employs about twelve hands; Smith's lumber yard; Centennial Flouring-Mills, Frost & Knowles; general stores, Bowen & Sons, A. A. Gilbreath; drugs, O. P. Hays, C. W. Brainerd; groceries, S. Beecher, Kyle & Davis, Ditto & Sons; livery stable, Ditto & Sons; hardware, A. Barber; tinware, W. Westpeaker; millinery, Mrs. Mattie Smith; furniture. F. Bard; clothing, Choeker & Muncy; dealer in hides, pelts, etc., Will Croft; dealer in produce, W. H. Bradley; shoes, Philip Baldinger; foundry, Ed. Goddard; cider-mill, Ed. Goddard; Mantua House, C. H. Sage; Cuyahoga Hotel, H. T. Barnum; Taylor House, A. H. Taylor; carpenters; blacksmiths; restaurant; barber shop; physicians, Dr. George C. Way, Dr. Erwin; dentist, Dr. A. A. Carlton; lawyer, Cheny Ingle; Postmaster, Cbeny Ingle; there is a fine Opera House.
Mantua Corners. -- General stores, C, H. Ray, J. W. Foster & Co; grocery and notions, Mrs. Frazier; Postmaster, C. H. Ray; Dr. S. K. Wilcox.
The township is high and rolling, especially in the southern portion, and unsurpassed for fruit-raising and dairying, it standing next to Aurora in the
484 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
manufacture of cheese. It is well watered, and the soil is a sandy loam, making it splendidly adapted to the production of potatoes, where the finest in the world are raised.
Methodist Episcopal Church of Mantuawas organized in September, 1807, by Rev. R. R. Roberts, with Paschal P. McIntosh and wife, Basil Windsor, Rufus Edwards and Asahel Mills. The first building was erected in 1820-21 at the Center, 24x32 feet. This log-house was used for eighteen years, when a new meetinghouse was erected. This house was burned, and the same year a third Methodist Church building was erected. The old pastors were Joshua Windsor, 1810, Henry Ferris, John L. Ferris and Joseph Ferris, William Bump, Milton M. Moore, H. H. Moore and Albert Reed. In 1825 Paschal McIntosh, one of the founders 'was dismissed, owing partly to his hostility to the United States. In 1815 he returned to Mantua, and his children were the first who had the whooping-cough in the county.
The Congregational Church of Mantua was organized by Revs. Seward and Darragh, May 31, 1812. The first members were Daniel Ladd and wife, Joel Walter and wife, of Shalersville, William Russell and wife, Daniel Ladd, Jr., and wife, Eleazer Ladd and wife, Eunice Harmon, the grandmother of Orrin Harmon, Lois Atwater, mother of Judge Amzi Atwater, Mrs. Eunice Moore and Mrs. Sally Pond.
In 1816 a brick church was erected at Aurora Center for this society. Justus Parrish and others supplied the brick. Previous to 1816 this society held meetings in the first schoolhouse.
The Baptist Church was founded at Mantua in 1809 by Elder Jones, the meeting being held near the Judson cabin. The first persons baptized were Oliver Snow and wife, Jotham Atwater and wife, and Rufus, Edwards and wife, Mr. Edwards leaving the Methodist Church. Those persons were baptized in the Cuyahoua near Judson's. John Rudolph and William West were also members. in 1826 Sidney Rigdon, subsequently Joe Smith's Lieutenant, was preacher to this society. In 1827 Sidney Rigdon left the Baptist Church and organized a Campbellite or Disciples Church, and succeeded in taking almost all the members of the old Baptist Church with him.
Disciples Church of Mantua was reorganized July 6, 1850, P. N. Jennings, D. Atwater and Edwin Sandford were elected Trustees, and C. D. Wilber, Secretary.
The Universalist doctrine was preached at Mantua by Rev. Reuben Jones, from 1815 to 1831, when he died.
Mantua Association of Spiritualists; was incorporated July 9, 1881; Samuel S. Russell, Joel B. Gilbert, Reuben O. Halsted, David M. King and Henry Cobb, members.
Camp-meeting Association of Spiritualists of northern Ohio was organized October 2, 1881, with Ira Lake, President; A. Underhill and Mrs, Amon, Vice-Presidents; Mrs. Sarah Rockhill, Alliance, Mrs. M. A. Merrill, Recording Sec.; Silas Crocker, Treasurer; Samuel Fish, Melon; Reuben Halstead, Mantua; Mrs. Mercy Lane, Braceville; Frank Maloy, Hudson; Jesse, Erwin, Alliance; Frank Rily, Warren; M. V. IvIeller, New Lynn, and Lewis King, Cleveland.
The Catholic Church was built at Mantua Station in 1872-73, under contract with the congregation, by Squire Fair. The building cost about $1,000, and the altar, pews and furnishing, about $1,500. The congregation numbers about 150 members.
Union Church. -- The first Protestant Church building at Mantua Station is that now known as the Union Church, which is open to all Christian denominations for religious service.
MANTUA TOWNSHIP. 485
The first school was taught in the winter of 1806-07, at the house of Amzi Atwater, by John Harmon, and the next one was in the summer of 1807, the teacher being Patty Cochran, from Aurora, who af Lorward became the wife of Ebenezer Sheldon. The school was near where Rufus Edwards had formerly lived. In 1808 John Harmon opened a school in Amzi Atwater's house. There is at present a fine graded school at the, Station, in charge of Prof. William Thomas, in addition to the district schools in various parts of the township.
Mantua Township Schools. -- Revenue in 1884, $3,225.83; expenditures, $1,916.37; eight school buildings valued at $3,600; average pay of teachers, $34 and $26; enrollment, 96 boys and 73 girls....
486 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
Nelson, when the first settler arrived in it, and for seventeen years thereafter, was included in the territory comprised in several of the adjoining townships under the name of Hiram, but in the surveys was laid off as Town 5, Range 6. The original proprietors, who purchased from the Connecticut Land Company were Urial Holmes, Ephraim Root, Timothy Burr and Appolos Hitchcock, Holmes being the principal owner.
In the spring of 1800, three sons of Deacon Ezekiel Mills, of Becket, Mass., started out to seek their fortunes in the Western Reserve. They were Delaun, aged twenty-four, who had married at the age of sixteen, and had three children; Asahel, who had been married two years, and had one child; and Isaac, nineteen years of age and single. These three men with the two wives and four children started out in two covered wagons, each drawn by a yoke of oxen. Several weeks elapsed before they reached Youngstown, then a very diminutive hamlet, containing only a few log-cabins. By this time the money of the brothers had dwindled down to less than 25 cents, so they had to seek employment, and, as luck would have it, Urial Holmes, the principal proprietor of Nelson, happened to be on his way to his land for the purpose of having it surveyed, so the brothers were engaged as ax-men to the surveyors, who were led by Amzi Atwater, afterward one of the most noted citizens of the county, and Roger Cook. Leaving their families at Youngstown, the brothers went forward to their work, and returned in the following September. Delaun immediately removed his family to a cabin on 100 acres of land given to him by Holmes as a reward for his settling thereon, which land was on the north side of the road, just west of the Center; Asahel remained in Youngstown till the following spring (1801), and then settled on 100 acres on the north and south road, which, it is thought, was also a gift from Holmes; Isaac returned to the East. Asahel in after years became a Methodist preacher and died in Deerfield. Delaun had an extremely adventurous life, and some of his exploits and experiences will be given in this sketch further along. He was a man of not only great physical strength, but of unusual sturdiness of character, as brave as a lion, and perfectly fearless of consequences, having withal a coolness of temper that to a foe was exasperating. It is said that one of the blandest of smiles would overspread his features when drawing a bead on some cowardly savage who had waylaid and missed him. He was a man of little education, but possessed of extraordinary common sense and correctness of judgment.
Delaun and Asahel Mills and their families were the only inhabitants of the township fill the spring of 1803, when quite a number arrived from Massachusetts
NELSON TOWNSHIP. 489
and Connecticut and made settlement. Among those were Stephen Baldwin, Benjamin Stow and his two sons, Daniel and Caleb, John Bancroft with four sons, Rudolphus, John, Artemus and David, Daniel Owen, two brothers, Stiles and William, Thomas Kennedy and Asa Truesdale, making seven families in all, which constituted the entire population of Nelson in 1804. In this year came Isaac Mills, the father of Mr. Albert Mills, of the Center, who is now seventy-eight years of age, and well preserved in all his faculties. The old gentleman has been a great singer in his day, and led the singing in his church for over forty years, having only within the past two or three years ceased to do so. Isaac, in company with a friend, Origen Adams, both being single men, made the journey on foot from Connecticut, but the former, doing quite well the first year, returned to Connecticut and on November 27, 1805, married his pretty little sweetheart, Miss Polly Adams, a damsel of only fifteen years. It was a fearful undertaking for the child-wife to come to this far-distant wilderness, but of such stuff were some of the women of those days made, that the little girl became a splendid pioneer wife, equal to all emergencies, content and happy, a blessing to all who know her, and the mother of stalwart sons and buxom daughters.
In July, 1804, also settled Col. John Garrett, from Delaware, for whom was named Garrettsville. A German from Delaware, named Johann Noah, came about the same time as Col. Garrett; also Abraham Dyson, from Delaware, who settled near Col. Garrett, on the spot that afterward became the village of Garrettsville. In 1805 came John Tinker and Nathaniel Bancroft, sons-in-law of Benjamin and Daniel Stow, Martin Manly and Daniel Wood.
In 1806 Asahel Mills, having fitted up accommodations for his aged father and mother, brought the old couple out, but the Deacon died in 1809 and his widow followed him several years later. Oliver Mills, a brother of the above, also settled in the township about 1809, and about the same time came Charles May, the Rudolphs and Rev. William West, a Baptist minister.
In 1810 or thereabouts came Charles Johnson, from Connecticut, bringing three sons Erastus Alanson and Charles, Jr.
In 1811-12 a large company, mostly Presbyterians, came in from Connecticut, prominent among whom were Deacon Joshua B. Sherwood, Wells Clark, Bridsey Clark, Theron Colton, David Beardsley, Titus Bonney, Hezekiah Bonney, John Hannah, David Goodsell and a large connection of the Hopkins family. Emigration then ceased almost entirely till the close of the war, 1812-14.
In 1815 an enumeration of, the settlers of the township resulted in a showing of thirty-three heads of families, as follows: Hezekiah Higley, John Bancroft, Jr., Adolphus Bancroft, Titus Bonney, Benjamin Stow, John Bancroft, Sr., William Kennedy, Thomas Kennedy, John Hannah, Rossitter Hopkins, Stephen Baldwin, Delaun Mills, John Tinker, Alanson Johnson, David Beardsley, Benjamin Pritchard, Theron Colton, Rev. William West, John Rudolph, Widow Garrett, Joshua B. Sherwood, Isaac Mills, Robert C. Bennett, Sylvanus Hewlett, Elisha Taylor, Sr., Martin Manly, David Stow, Johann Noah, Asa Truesdale, Brastas Johnson, Bridsey Clark and Wells Clark.
From the date of the above enumeration till 1820, the township rapidly settled up, and among those who came in were, to give a good heading to the list, Jeremiah Earl Faller, who was six feet four inches in height, bringing two sons; Charles Whiting, Charles Hewlett, Marcus and David Morris, Thomas Barber, Thomas Perry, Benjamin Brown, one of whose sons was Probate Judge, another a prominent lawyer, and another a well-known physician; also, came
490 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
the Merwins, Eatons, Merritts and others. From 1820 onward, emigrants from the East still came in till the price of land began materially to advance. Among those coming about this time were Harry Spencer, Jacob and Ashbel Haskins, Jr., sons of Ashbel Haskins, Sr., Jared W. Knowlton and family, Ira Fuller, who lived to be ninety-four years of age, and a number of the Pritchards and Taylors. As soon as the surveying party under Atwater arrived in Nelson, they set to work and erected a log-cabin for their use whilst in the township.
It was, of course, a rude affair, built of unhewn logs, and stood just east of the present house on the land afterward donated to Capt. Mills. This was the first human habitation in Nelson, and was erected in the early spring of 1800, When Delaun returned with his family in the fall, be made considerable improvements in the surveyors' cabin, and put it in the best condition possible for wintering his wife and her three young children. Capt. Mills afterward erected a double log-cabin, quite a commodious affair, and it was the admiration of the whole settlement. Asahel Mills erected the next cabin after his brother, and, was soon followed by many others. But one of the most noted events of the time was the erection by Thomas Kennedy, about 1811, of a frame house. It was located about three-fourths of a mile north of the Center, and when it was finished some of his neighbors said that Thomas was getting too proud. The father of Thomas Kennedy was William Kennedy, who was ninety years of age when be came. The old gentleman was considerable of a drinker, and on one occasion came to his son and told him that the spring back of the house was not water but Santa Cruz rum.
In the spring of 1804 Enoch Judson, of Mantua, married Anne Kennedy, this being the first marriage in the township, but the married life of the unfortunate lady was short, for in June following she became slightly sick, and applying to Mrs. Rufus Edwards for an emetic, was given, through mistake, arsenic, which caused her death. The second marriage was that of a sister of Anne Kennedy, Mrs. Norton, to Joseph Nourse, a lawyer of Burton.
It has been generally supposed that Harmon Mills, son of Delaun Mills, born in November, 1801, was the first child born in the township, but we are sorry to annul that claim by stating that the reputed "previous" Harmon had a little girl cousin named Dianthea, who antedated him by almost a month, she having made her appearance on the 14th day of October, 1801. She was the daughter of Asahel Mills.
The first death in the township, like the first birth, has been wrongly stated. A son of Col. Garrett died in September, 1804, and to this youth has usually been given the honor of departing the earliest, but an infant of Asahel Mills died a year or two before the date of young Garrett's death, as is proven by the Mills' family record. The first man to die in the township was Col. John Garrett, who departed this life in January, 1806, at the age of forty-six years, after a career of usefulness to his fellowman and honor to himself. He left a widow, who survived him forty years, and four children who became honored and distinguished citizens.
About the first preaching ever listened to in Nelson fell from the lips of Asahel Mills, who at the time he settled in the township had made up his mind to be a Methodist preacher. His sermons may have simply been exhortations in the Methodist sense, but we have the word of Albert Mills that he was the earliest preacher who lifted up his voice in the township. Rev. William West, a Baptist minister, came in very early, probably 1807 or 1809, and of course delivered a sermon to the settlers occasionally, but the first church organization occurred in 1807, at the house of Johann Noah, the services
NELSON TOWNSHIP. 491
being conducted by Rev. Thomas G. Jones, of the Baptist denomination, Mr. Jones was afterward a member of the Ohio Legislature. and President of a bank in Wooster. Rev. R. R. Roberts, afterward a leading Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a circuit rider in those early days, and preached every two weeks at the cabin of Capt. Mills. A preacher by the name of George Lane, a noted singer, came in an early day. He had a powerful voice and always led the singing. William West, the minister spoken of above, became the first settled pastor in 1809 or 1810, he having preached irregularly for the settlers some time before. The original proprietors donated him fifty acres of land. Mr. West was an excellent man and much beloved. He has no descendants in the township, but one of his daughters married Prof. Brainard, of Cleveland. The large company that came from Connecticut in 1811-12, organized a Congregational Church in 1813, all of the members having belonged to the same church before they came West. In 1822 the Presbyterians erected a very fine church at the Center, and it stands there to-day. Rev. Benjamin Fenn was the first regular preacher to occupy the, pulpit, he coming there in The first Methodist Church was built in 1882, and the first minister to preach in it was Rev. J. W. Davis. The church still stands in good condition at the Center.
The first school opened in the township was taught by Hannah Baldwin, at the Center, in 1804. Not one of those who attended this primitive educational institution is now alive. The next school was taught by Oliver Mills, in 1806. He was a brother of the famous Captain, and is said to have monopolized all the "school larnin'" of the early Mills family; he was a farmer, mechanic, teacher and doctor, all combined. Nelson Aademy Association was permaneiatly organized January 6, 1852; Charles Goodsell, D. Everest, David Hanners, Josiah Talbot, C. C: Fuller, Silas Clark, John Martin, A. J. Eldred and Albert Mills were elected Trustees. At the annual meeting, January 3, 1853, W. R. Knowlton, J. W. Spencer and G. B. Stow were elected Trustees. C. C. Fuller was Clerk of the first annual meeting. The condition of the township schools at the close of 1884 is shown by The following statistics: Revenue in 1884, $3,947.10; expenditures, $2,344.62; eight school buildings valued at $5,000; average pay of teachers, $36 and $22; enrollment, 88 boys and 91 girls.
Capt. Mills for many years kept his house as a stopping-place or tavern. It being located on the route to the farther western country, it was very convenient, especially as he always hact on hand a supply of whisky and rum. Another tavern was kept on the road north of the Center by Artemus Bancroft.
The first mill was erected by Col. Garrett, at Garrettsville, and it was the greatest convenience with which the settlers had been supplied, as previous to its erection long journeys had to be made to get their little grists ground. The mill was both saw and grist, and was built in 1805.
This same year Amzi Atwater surveyed a road from his place in Mantua, along the south line of Hiram Township, to Col. Garrett's mill, and in 1806 another was cut out to Aurora, westward, and one through Windham and Braceville, to Warren. Abraham Dyson, who came in at the time Col. Garrett did, was the first blacksmith, and had more than be could do repairing guns for the Indians. The first wheat raised was forty-three bushels, from three pecks of seed, sown in the turnip patch of Capt. Mills in 1801. It was threshed out on a sheet in the wind. An epidemic of a fearful nature prevailed in 1842, and carried off many persons. The patient would be taken with something like the ague, after which a peculiar fever would set in, when death would shortly ensue. It baffled the skill of some of the best physicians.
492 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
Mr. Pike, the oldest man in the township, now ninety-one years, was in the war of 1812. Capt. Mills commanded a company at the battle of Mackinaw under Col. Croghatt. He was the first militia Captain, also.
The township was organized in September, 1817, and named Nelson. The first Justices of the Peace elected were Daniel Stow and Elisha Taylor, Jr., the latter declining to serve. One of the first cases was Delaun Mills vs. James Knowlton, action to recover the price of a bear. Mills had a bear trap, Knowlton baited it, caught a bear and took it home. Mills claimed the bear, as it was caught in his trap. Judgment, 25 cents, awarded Mills for the use of trap; plaintiff and defendant to divide costs.
Before the township was regularly organized, and while Benjamin Stow was Magistrate, Thomas Kennedy and Wareham Loomis got into a fight, and the one who was whipped had the other arrested. When the case came up for trial, the prosecuting witness, defendant and spectators were all greatly surprised at the decision of the Judge. He fined both parties $5 apiece, and made each pay half the costs. Being remonstrated with by a friend of the prosecuting witness at the apparent irregularity of the proceeding -- that it was not law -- he replied, "I am Chief Justice of this domain, and am here to deal out justice; I don't care a fig for the law."
Another case, showing that in those early times justice, rather than the strict technicalities of the law, prevailed, occurred during the time Capt. Mills had his tavern. The accommodating Captain, as has been stated, sold whisky, but he forgot to got out a license. He was arraigned before the Trumbull County Court for selling liquor without a license, and plead guilty to the charge. Judge Kirtland, who had often been refreshed at the hostelry of Mills, remarked to Judge Pease that he did not think the defendant guilty within the meaning of the statute, whereupon Pease asked Mills if he could not change his plea. "May it please the Court, your Honor, I am not guilty," promptly replied the accommodating Captain, and he was as promptly discharged.
Many stories have not only been told orally, but have found their way into print, about Capt. Delaun Mills and the Indians; they have been added to from time to time so abundantly that one would be led to believe that the exclusive business of the redoubtable Captain was to hunt and kill Indians. According to some authorities he would shoot a couple of redskins and throw them on his burning log-pile, just as be would perform any other ordinary work; then be pursues a party of them into a swamp and dispatches half a dozen or so, before breakfast; again, he would kill one, put him under the upturned root of a tree, cut the top of the tree off, and let the balance fly back and thus effectually bury the brave; or again, he would stick the carcass of one of his wily foes into a spring, and ram and jam it down with his rifle. There is no doubt about the extraordinary bravery of this pioneer, no doubt about his skill with the rifle, and no doubt about his hatred of the red savages, but he was a humane man, with a loving wife and a number of children at his fireside, which prevented his being an Indian-slayer by profession, as a man of his good common sense would know that such careers are short. Notwithstanding the many accounts of his deeds of blood, the only really authentic one is that written by his son Urial, of Salem, Ill., who in a letter dated August 22, 1879, states: "About 1803 an Indian got mad at my father and said he would kill him. Father was in the habit of hunting through the fall. One day in crossing the trail made in the snow the day before, he found the track of an Indian following him; this put him on his guard. He soon saw the Indian. They both sheltered themselves behind trees. Father put
NELSON TOWNSHIP. 493
his hat on his gun stock and stuck it out so that the Indian could see it. The Indian shot a hole through the hat, and when it fell he ran toward father with his tomahawk in his hand; father stepped from behind the tree, shot him and buried him. He told my mother and she told me. About the same time the Indians were in camp near the cranberry-marsh, afterward owned by Benjamin Stow, Asahel Mills was hunting cattle and came past their camp; an Indian snapped a gun at him, but the Indian's squaw took the gun away from him. Asahel came home badly scared and told his story. We soon saw ten Indians coming painted for war. They came into the house; all shook hands with father but the last, who uttered an oath and seized him by the throat. Father caught him by the shoulders, jerked him off the floor, and swung him around. The calves of his legs hit the sharp leg of a heavy table; he then dragged him out doors, took him by the hair and pounded his head on a big rock and left him. The Indians scarified the bruised parts by cutting the shin into strips about one inch wide; they then tied a blanket around him, put a pole through the blanket, took the pole on their shoulders and carried him to camp. They said that if he died they would kill father. While he was confined they shot Diver of Deerfield. This created quite an excitement, and tbe Indians all left for Sandusky, leaving the crippled one in camp. Some time after, when father was away he came to the house in the dusk of the evening and asked if he could stay. Mother told him he could. She did not sleep any that night, believing he had come to kill us. In the morning he got up, built a fire and cooked his breakfast of bear's meat; he then went out and soon returned with the hind-quarters of a fine bear which he gave to mother, then bade her good-by and left. She was as glad to see him go as any visitor she ever had." He was appointed Captain of the Big Hunt in 1818. Capt. Mills was bitten by a rattlesnake in the summer of 1812, and it very nearly ended his career. Soon after being bitten the blood began to flow from his nose and eyes, and he became partially paralyzed. The usual remedy, filling the patient with whisky, saved him, but he always felt the effects of the terrible virus. He died April 20, 1824.
The township is strictly agricultural, and cheese making is one of the principal industries. The country is rolling throughout its whole extent, but the land is excellent. Considerable fine stock is raised and handled, and some sheep and their product marketed. Originally the entire face of the country was covered with a heavy growth of the finest timber, and game being plentiful it was really one of the best hunting-grounds for the Indians, and some of the well-known chiefs often hunted here. Big Cayuga, Snip Nose Cayuga, both of whom Capt. Mills is said to have killed, Seneca, Nickshaw and John Mohawk, who shot Diver, were among the more noted. White hunters, also, more skilled with the rifle 'than the Indians, stalked those old woods, and many an adventure with bears and wolves is told of the grandfathers and fathers of the presennt inhabitants.
A beautiful monument stands in the square at the Center, erected to the memory of the brave boys who so nobly laid their lives down on the, altar of their country, and it is an honor to the patriotic citizens who thus remember the martyrs who died that they might enjoy the benefits and glory of an undivided country. It cost $1,225, and was made at Ravenna. Nelson furnished 109 soldiers; twenty died and eight were disabled.
The township is well watered with several small streams. and an excellent market and shipping point is afforded in Garrettsville.
There are eight good schoolhouses in the township, besides a fine academy at the Center; also one Congregational Church, Rev. Fowler, pastor -- one
494 HISTORY OF PORTAGE COUNTY.
Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. E. B. Wilson, pastor, and a small church in southeast corner of township.
Three cheese factories are nearly all the time in operation. There are two general stores, one blacksmith shop and postoffice at the Center, S. M. Alger, Postmaster.
Township Officers. -- Trustees, A. J. Paine, A. F. Hannah, Edwin Taylor; Clerk, W. W. McCall; Treasurer, William J. Fuller; Assessor, Charles Allen; Constables, Leon Bancroft, Benjamin Paine; Justices of the Peace, L. S. Nicholson, Benjamin Knowlton.
The "Ledges," as they are called, in the northern part of the township, have always been a noted place of rebort for pleasure-seekers and curiosity-hunters, and there is a good hotel at one of the principal points of interest for their accommodation. This singular freak of nature is attributed to various causes, but there is no doubt of their being the result of some terrific internal upheaval, when the fierce volcanic fires burst forth, and possibly shot out through the crevices that now appear in all directions, but which through the lapse of unnumbered ages have been mostly filled with rock and lava debris, pulverized in after ages to ordinary soil and sand. Carious upheavals of this character are to be found all over the world, but they generally occur on mountain tops, and are called in two or three 'localities "the devil's back bone." The Nelson Ledges are well worth a visit....
The Story of the
by William S. Mills
NYC: Brown & Wilson, 1900
|<! IMG SRC="1900Mill.jpg" BORDER=1 WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=290>|
THE WESTERN RESERVE
RELIGION ON THE RESERVE.The influence of Christianity had been felt on the Reserve before Connecticut settlers came here. Efforts had been made by the Moravians to Christianize the Indians. A mission was established in Tuscarawas County as early as 1762. In 1786 a company of Moravians left Detroit -- whither they had been driven by the Indians in a terrible massacre four years before -- with the purpose of returning to their old field. They reached the Cuyahoga, and had gone as far south as the township of Independence, when they were warned against going further. They remained there a year, then moved to the mouth of the Black River, intending to settle there. Their labors at that time resulted in little that was of permanent value, and they were soon compelled to leave, crossing the lake into Canada; so that the Reserve, as a mission field, was without laborers at the time of the survey.
The first church on the Reserve was organized with sixteen members, at Austinburg, Ashtabula County, October 24, 1801, by Rev. Joseph Badger, who came to Trumbull County in 1800, as the first missionary sent by the Eastern States to the Indians of northern Ohio. The earlier churches were of the Congregational denomination, and Calvinistic in theology, but so rich a field for home-making could not long fail to attract people of other sects. On the Reserve the right to individual opinion concerning religious forms has ever been sacred, and security has been guaranteed in the exercise of it. There have been times, however, in the history
THE WESTERN RESERVE 105
of the Reserve when forbearance in this respect has been put to the test. One such instance was in 1840 to '43, when the Rev. Charies Fitch preached the doctrines of the "Second Adventists" with extreme earnestness. One William Miller, who was the founder of that body of believers, had announced that all the world except the "Millerites" would be surprised by a sudden end of things terrestrial, whereupon the congregation of his followers in Cleveland, led by the Rev. Mr. Fitch, made full preparation for the great day, set for April 12, 1843.
The Socialistic or "Free Love" Society, which sprang up in Berlin Heights, Erie County, thirty-live years ago, was accorded full liberty, until by its journals and magazines it offended the moral sense of the public, when its vagaries were denounced.
As early as 1822, the Shakers established their peculiar order of worship in Cuyahoga County. They believed in a special, divine endowment of one Ann Lee, and they increased in numbers with none to molest them. The eccentric Lorenzo Dow preached in Cleveland in 1827 with signal effect.
The variety of religious sects fully proves the tolerant spirit of the Reserve. There was one phase of church zeal, which, though it was confined to a single township, succeeded in provoking wide-spread comment. Kirtland, Lake County, was conspicuous as a seat of Mormonism from 1831 to 1837. The Mormons built a temple there in 1834. In 1830, one Sidney Rigdon was preaching as a reformer at Mentor, a town adjoining Kirtland. In that year a Mormon mission, consisting of four enthusiasts, one of whom was a pedler of tinware, by the name of
106 THE WESTERN RESERVE
Pratt, whose home was at Mentor [sic - Lorain Co.?], went to that town from Palmyra, New York.
Joseph Smith began preaching in Kirtland, in 1831, to a part of Rigdon's congregation living there, who, being ripe for belief in any revelation sufficiently startling, at once espoused the new faith, and Rigdon himself was suddenly converted, and became a resident of Kirtland. The Mormons manifested business activity, and attempted to charter a bank. Their failure in this attempt did not, however, deter them from issuing notes. None of these being collectible by law, many were never redeemed. The general character of their leaders being distrusted, the whole congregation left Kirtland in 1837 forfresher pastures in Missouri.
Ashtabula County seems to have been closely connected with the origin of Mormonism.
In 1809 to 1813, one Solomon Spaulding was engaged in business at Conneaut, and not being in robust health, he spent much of his time at writing, a kind of work for which he possessed considerable talent. Being well educated, he entertained opinions on various subjects that were interesting to his acquaintances. He wrote a book entitled "Manuscript Found," which he was desirous of publishing; in fact, he submitted it to a printing firm in Pittsburg, from whose custody the manuscript years afterward mysteriously disappeared. From the strongest circumstantial evidence it is believed that Spaulding's writings -- somewhat altered -- served as the basis or substance of the Book of Mormon, which Joseph Smith claimed to have found underground on a hillside at Palmyra in 1827; and also that Sidney Rigdon was the
THE WESTERN RESERVE 107
medium through whom Spaulding's manuscript found its way to Joseph Smith. It is not the purpose to trace the chain of evidence, nor to relate the history of Mormonism in this book. These facts have been stated solely for the purpose of noting that on the Reserve Mormonism took the first step in its course.
Having been abandoned for many years, the Temple at Kirtland was purchased and thoroughly renovated by a wing of the sect -- the Strangites -- followers of Joseph Smith II. They are the "Re-organized Church of Latter Day Saints." It is fair to say that, with the history of Mormonism, which has been far from creditable to the character professed by its leaders, the law-abiding citizens who worship in the Temple at Kirtland are not to be associated.
The vagaries of fanaticism on the Reserve are conspicuous because they are exceptions, and are not in any sense characteristic of its religious thought. They are evidence of a wide-spread and deep-seated respect for the rights of conscience. In spite of the aberrations of judgment, induced by the crafty and designing, this spirit of tolerance has maintained a religious poise and stability indicative of a strength of character nowhere excelled....
124 THE WESTERN RESERVE
HIGHWAYS.Besides the Portage (part of the "dividing line") there were two well-defined Indian trails observed by the white men who first came here: one along the shore of the lake, extending its entire length; the other passing through Erie County, south-eastward across Lorain and Medina Counties,
THE WESTERN RESERVE 125
and was an Indian route from Michigan and the northern lakes to the Tuscarawas Valley. The Connecticut Land Company laid out "The Old Girdled Road" in 1798, the first recorded highway of the Reserve. From the Pennsylvania line it passed through towns in the following order: Conneaut, Sheffield, Plymouth, Austinburg, Harpersfield, and Trumbull in Ashtabula County; thence into Thompson, Geauga County; on through Leroy and Concord, Lake County; and westward to Cleveland. The first mail route was established in 1803, extending from Warren by way of Austinburg, Harpersfield, and Painesville, to Cleveland. Mail was at first carried by a man on foot, who made a trip (about 150 miles) once a week. A rider on horseback next took up the work, until increasing travel and mail necessitated the stage-coach. This latter continued to be the chief mode of travel for the first half of the century. For many years a stage line connected Buffalo and Cleveland by way of the south ridge. As early as 1820, stages ran between Cleveland and Columbus, also between Cleveland and Norwalk. The Ohio Canal was opened from Cleveland to Akron in 1827, and through to the Ohio River five years later. The first railroad on the Reserve was a part of the Mad River and Lake Erie, completed and in operation from Sandusky to Bellevue in 1839. The engine used on this road was the second in Ohio....
History of the Western
Reserve Volume 1.
by H. T. Upton
NYC: Lewis Pub. Co., 1910
|<! IMG SRC="1910Uptn.jpg" BORDER=1 WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=290>|
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THE WARREN TURNPIKE.The following people petitioned the legislature in 1815 to incorporate a company to make a turnpike road from Warren to points along the fourth range of townships to Lake Erie: Benj. Lane, Seymour Austin, James Quigley, Isaac Heaton, John Hayes, Jeremiah Brooks, Mark Westcott, John Dennison, E. Quinby, Wm. Anderson, Geo. Parsons, Francis Freeman, Barber King, A. McKinney, Calyin Pease, Elihu Spenser, Hezekiah Knapp, E. B. Clark, Daniel Bell, Samuel Quinby, Linus Tracy, Mark Leavitt, Elihu Whitney, Leonard Case, Simon Perkins, Zalmon Fitch, Adamson Bentley, John Leavitt and Thomas Webb.
This request was granted, and the action of this company is on record...
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THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS IN THE RESERVE.The following was written February 23, 1910, by Inez Smith, of Lamoni, Iowa, and approved by her father, Heman C. Smith, Church Historian:
The Latter-Day Saints, erroneously called Mormons, a people whose history and doctrine have caused much comment in the historical world, were more or less prominent in northern Ohio during tile early thirties.
These people organized their church on the 6th day of April, 1830, at Fayette, Seneca county, New York. The membership at first included just six members, but the new faith gained converts at a surprising rate, and, although opposition was heavy, there was soon quite a number who believed the story of the Book of Mormon, and, braving the opposition and danger they must meet, became members. In September, at a conference, the matter of preaching to the Indians came up, and Oliver Cowdery was chosen to go west, for the purpose of carrying the gospel to the people whose forefathers, as the Latter-Day Saints believed, had written the record known to the world as the Book of Mormon. Cowdery was accompanied on this mission by Peter Whitmer, Jr., Parley P. Pratt, and Ziba Peterson. Pratt had previously belonged to the church founded by Alexander Campbell, which had a stronghold in and around the village of Kirtland, in northern Ohio, and when he had become a member of the Latter-Day Saints church had left many friends in that vicinity, whom he determined to visit on his way west. The missionaries started out in October, on foot, and after a time arrived in Kirtland, in Lake (then Geauga) county, then a prosperous little town of about two thousand inhabitants. Among those prominent in Campbell's movement was one Sydney Rigdon, one of their preachers, and a peculiarly gifted speaker. Pratt had formerly known this man as a teacher, and was anxious to talk to him about the strange new religion. Rigdon was extremely skeptical as to the message at first, but, as was his custom, gave it consideration and study, and finally asked for baptism. Many of his congregation followed. The interest in these strange new missionaries, and the still stranger message they carried, spread rapidly through the country. The elders were kept preaching night and day, till in two weeks after their arrival one hundred and twentyseven souls had been baptized. This number soon increased to one thousand.
Before leaving to continue their mission, the elders ordained Sydney Rigdon, Isaac Morley, John Murdock, Lyman Wight and many others to minister in the ordinances of the church and care for the still increasing church in Ohio. One of the new converts, Frederick Granger Williams, accompanied them on their journey.
The mission to the west was peculiarly significant to the Saints, as it not only won to its ranks many men later prominently involved in
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its history, but it was also partially the means of locating the church at Kirtland, in Ohio, where many of the most thrilling events of the history of the church were enacted.
It was late in the year 1830 -- the same year in which the church was organized -- that the Saints were instructed to gather to the Ohio. They were also promised a rich spiritual endowment in that place, which promise, if we believe the testimony of aged members, was abundantly fulfilled. It was here that the organization into quorums took place, and many important doctrines of the church were received.
Toward the later part of the month of January the migration began, and by June of the same year (1831) the body of the church was settled in and around Kirtland.
In Kirtland at this time there was a Common Stock Company, the members of which mostly joined the church. They gave up the community life and, instead of this, a law was introduced which was called "The United Order," or the Law of Consecration. This law was instituted to regulate the world-old problem of equality in the temporal affairs of men, but its economic value was never appreciated by the Saints, and is now only beginning to be understood. The plan provides that every man shall hand in to the bishop of the church all over and above the necessities of his family for the general fund, by which those who need help can be aided by the church in their support. Out of this, too, has grown the "Order of Enoch," an order formed for benevolent purposes. The name of this order is significant of its work, when we remember that it grew out of the fact that it was modeled after the "City of Enoch," "Zion;" "and the Lord called his people Zion because they were of one heart and one mind and dwelt inrighteousness, and there were no poor among them."
The first movement toward the establishment of the financial law was the organization of the Bishopric, the presidency of the Aaronic priesthood, which has "authority to minister in temporal things." The Bishopric has charge of the financial concerns of the church. The first bishop chosen was Edward Partridge. Having established themselves at Kirtland for a time, the elders were sent out from there to preach the faith they had in so short a time learned to love. The efforts of these men were very successful, and converts continued to flock to the Ohio.
On the 6th day of June, 1831, at the fourth conference of the church, which was held at Kirtland, the high priests were ordained and the Melchizedek priesthood was fully received. The Melchizedek Priesthood has to do more particularly with the spiritual affairs in the church.
About July of this year the spot was chosen for the ultimate location of the Saints. This place was in Jackson county, Missouri, at the town of Independence, and from this time on there was a gradual migration to Missouri, until the general exodus to that place, which occurred in 1838. In the meantime Joseph Smith, assisted by Sydney Rigdon, turned his attention to a revision of the Scriptures, which work had been commenced the previous December. For this purpose he retired with his wife, and adopted twin babies, to the quiet little town of Hiram, in Portage county, Ohio.
Persecution had not abated, and was not lacking even in this quiet little place. On the night of March 25, 1832, while watching with one of the twins, who was sick with the measles, a mob entered the home of Joseph Smith and dragged him away, where both he and Sydney Rigdon were terribly maltreated by a mob. They were stripped, tarred, and brutally beaten by these men. Sydney Rigdon was sick and delirious for some days after this outrage, but Joseph Smith showed the courage that always characterized him, and the next morning found him preaching to a crowd in which many of those who attacked him during the previous night were numbered.
A few days later one of the children died, as a result of the exposure on the night of the mob. This tiny victim was a first martyr to
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(image of Kirtland Temple - not copied)
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the new religion, but unfortunately not the last.
We mention this mobbing merely because some historians have incorrectly stated that this incident occurred after the failure of the Kirtland Bank, and was attributable directly to that. But as the mobbing occurred in 1832, while the "bank" was not organized until 1837, the fallacy is very apparent.
On the 25th of January, 1832, Joseph Smith was formally ordained president of the church, at Amherst, Ohio. On the 6th day of November, 1832, the son of Joseph Smith, who is now president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was born at Kirtland, Ohio. He also was given the name of Joseph Smith.
The church continued to prosper, branches being formed in other parts of the United States and Canada. In 1832-33 the School of the Prophets was established. This institution was for the purpose of educating the elders to better efficiency.
The long-dreamed-of Temple was started in 1833 and its corner-stone laid on July 23, 1833. One of the important doctrines of the church was about this time promulgated in Kirtland, which is known as the "Wotd of Wisdom." This is a document relating largely, to the physical well-being of the individuals in the church, and, considering the limited personal knowledge of Joseph Smith, at the time, on these subjects, is truly wonderful. This doctrine condemns the use of liquors, tobacco, tea and coffee, and meat except in times of cold, famine and excessive hunger.
On the 18th day of March, 1833, the First Presidency of the church was organized. This is, as the name implies, the presiding quorum of the church, and consists of the president of the church and his two counselors. At this time Sydney Rigdon and Frederick Granger Williams were chosen as counselors to President Joseph Smith.
About this time the church was suffering from the persecutions of one Doctor Hurlburt, an expelled member of the church. He had been excommunicated for immoral conduct, and, after trying in every way possible to reverse the decision against him, he turned his attention to opposing the church in every possible way. He originated the Spaulding theory, which was without question accepted for a time by some writers anxious to dispose of the question of the origin of the Book of Mormon, but has later been proven false by authorities outside of the church, who have taken the trouble to compare the Book of Mormon with the original of the Spaulding romance, now in the possession of Oberlin College.
On the 17th of February, 1834, the High Council of the church was organized. It was composed of High Priests, and its office was and is mainly judiciary. It forms the highest court of appeal in the church. On the 14th of February the Quorum of the Twelve were chosen; also two quorums of seventy organized. The office of these two quorums is the active ministry. The twelve acted under the direction and appointment of the presidency. The seventy acted under the direction of the twelve. A reference to New Testament history will reveal the origin of these names, as well as help explain their office work.
There was an institution known as the Kirtland Bank, which has been by some writers mixed up with the history of this people. The Kirtland Bank was not a bank at all, but merely an association, known as the "Kirtland Safety Society," and was entered into by private individuals. It was in no sense a church institution. However, many of the members were "Mormons," and Joseph Smith was for a short time interested in the enterprise. When the bank failed, as many older and better es¿ tablished institutions did at the same time, the church was held responsible by some. Some of the members were unable to pay their creditors and did leave Kirtland without paying them, but they sent back agents from Missouri and Illinois to settle with their creditors, and this with no action in law to compel them to
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do so; which shows they were honest in their intentions, if not wise in their purpose. These settlements are attested by signed certificates from Kirtiand and Painesville business men.
Persecution became so violent in the latter part of the year 1837 that there was a general exodus to Missouri, where the church had been gathering gradually for some time.
Probably the most permanent reminder of the "Mormon" occupancy in Ohio is the Temple, which still stands in Lake county, Ohio. From the hour of its beginning, in 1833, the people labored incessantly to complete it. The members were poor, but zealous and devoted, and in that laid the secret of their success. They gave all they had -- money, time, and labor -- to the cause, without recompense, except the fulfilment of the dreams they had cherished. Joseph Smith was foreman, and no man was too rich or too great to labor with his own hands upon the Temple walls. The women spun, wove, dressed the cloth, and made garments for the laborer. It was a vast undertaking for so humble and poor a people, and it was only by the uncomplaining sacrifice on the part of each man, woman and child that it was completed.
It was a joyful day when the Temple was finally dedicated, on Sunday, March 27, 1836, with imposing ceremonies, and many are the wonderful things that are said to have happened at that Temple service, as our grandfathers remembered it.
The Kirtland Temple stands on elevated ground, south of the east fork of the Chagrin river, about three miles southeast of Wilioughby, Ohio, and six miles in direct line from Lake Erie. The building is three stories high, exclusive of basement. The first and second stories are auditoriums, each fifty-five by sixty-five feet on the inside, exclusive of the vestibule and stairways. In each room there were eight pulpits -- four in each end.
The lot belonged to William Marks, but was deeded by him and his wife, Rosannah, by warranty deed conveyed to Joseph Smith, as sole trustee, in trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in 1841.
Joseph Smith was murdered in Carthage, Illinois, June 27, 1844, and the church disorganized, about one-tenth of the membership following Brigham Young to Utah, where they drifted deeper and deeper into apostacy, and introduced the pernicious doctrine of polygamy, which was never promulgated by Joseph Smith.
In 1860 Joseph Smith, the son of the prophet Joseph Smith, came to Amboy, Illinois, and presented himself to a small band of those who citing to the old faith. This body of people held to the original tenets of the church, and, believing that Joseph Smith had appointed his oldest son to succeed him, waited until he should come into his heritage. This band of people, known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, lay claim to being the original church. This claim is supported by the findings of two courts, in suits brought for title to property.
This church found, in 1876, when they started to look after the Kirtland Temple, that the property had been levied upon by Henry Holcomb, as the administrator of the Joseph Smith estate, and sold as his individual property, finally passing into the hands of one Russell Huntley, who deeded it to Joseph Smith, president of the Reorganized Church, and Mark H. Forscutt, secretary of the same church. There was a cloud on the title, by reason of the transfer being made as the individual property of Joseph Smith, and legal steps were taken to have this cloud removed. Suit was brought in the Court of Common Pleas of Lake county, Ohio, against all parties having color of title to the property. The findings of the court were as follows:
"In Court of Common Pleas, Lake County, Ohio, February 23d, 1880. Present: Hon. L. S. Sherman, Judge; F. Paine, Jr., Clerk; and C. F. Morley, Sheriff.
Journal Entry, February Term, 1880.
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: Plaintiff. Against Lucien Williams, Joseph Smith, Sarah F.
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Videon, Mark H. Forscutt, the Church in Utah of which John Taylor is President and commonly known as the Mormon Church, and John Taylor, President of said Utah Church. Defendants.
Now at this term of the Court came the Plaintiff by its attorneys, E. L. Kelley, and Burrows and Bosworth, and the Defendants came not, but made default; and thereupon, with the assent of the Court, and on motion and by the consent of the Plaintiff a trial by jury is waived and this cause is submitted to the Court for trial, and the cause came on for trial to the Court upon the pleadings and evidence, and was argued by counsel; on consideration whereof, the Court do find asmatters of fact:
(1st). That notice was given to the Defendants in this action by publication of notice as required by the statutes of the state of Ohio; except as to the Defendant, Sarah F. Videon, who was personally served with process.
(2d). That there was organized on the 6th day of April, 1830, at Palmyra (Fayette), in The state of New York, by Joseph Smith, a Religious Society, under the name of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," which in the same year removed in a body and located in Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio; which said Church held and believed, and was founded upon certain well defined doctrines, which were set forth in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
(3d). That on the 11th day of February, A. D. 1841, one William Marks and his wife, Rosannah, by Warranty Deed, of that date, conveyed to said Joseph Smith as sole Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, being the same Church organized as aforesaid, the lands and tenements described in the petition, and which are described as follows:
[The description of the land is omitted.]
And upon said lands said Church had erected a church edifice known as The Temple, and were then in the possession and occupancy thereof for religious purposes, and so continued until the disorganization of said Church, which occurred about 1844. That the main body of said Religious Society had removed from Kirtland aforesaid, and were located at Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1844, when said Joseph Smith died, and said Church was disorganized and the membership (then being estimated at about 100,000) scattered in smaller fragments, each claiming to be the original and true Church before named, and located in different states and places.
That one of said fragments, estimated at ten thousand, removed to the Territory of Utah under the leadership of Brigham Young, and located there, and with accessions since, now constitute the Church in Utah, under the leadership and Presidency of John Taylor, and is named as one of the defendants in this action.
That after the departure of said fragment of said church for Utah, a large number of the officials and membership of the original church which was disorganized at Nauvoo, reorganized under the name of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and on the 5th day of February, 1873, became incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois, and since that time all other fragments of said original Church (except the one in Utah) have dissolved, and the membership has largely become incorporated with said Reorganized Church which is the Plaintiff in this action.
That the said Plaintiff, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is a Religious Society, founded and organized upon the same doctrines and tenets, and having the same church organization, as the original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, organized in 1830, by Joseph Smith, and was organized pursuant to the constitution, laws and usages of said original Church, and has branches located in Illinois, Ohio, and other States.
That the church in Utah, the Defendant of which John Taylor is President, has materially and largely departed from the faith, doctrines, laws, ordinances and usages of said original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and has incorporated into its system of faith the doctrines of Celestial Marriage and a plurality of wives, and the doctrine of Adam-God worship, contrary to the laws and constitution of said original Church.
And the Court do further find that the Plaintiff, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the True and Lawful continuation of, and Successor to the said original Church of Jesus Christ of
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Latter Day Saints, organized in 1830, and is entitled in law to all its rights and property.
And the Court do further find that said Defendants, Joseph Smith, Sarah F. Videon and Mark H. Forscutt, are in possession of said property under a pretended title, derived from a pretended sale thereof, made by order of the Probate Court of Lake County, on the petition of Henry Holcomb, as the administrator of said Joseph Smith, as the individual property of said Smith; and the Court finds that said Smith had no title to said property, except as the Trustee of said Church, and that no title thereto passed to the purchasers at said sale, and that said parties in possession have no legal title to said property.
And the Court further finds that the legal title to said property is vested in the heirs of said Joseph Smith, in trust for the legal successor of said original Church, and that the Plaintiffs are not in possession thereof."
Under the direction of the Reorganized Church, the Temple has been restored, and ever since the restoration of the Temple to its original owners they have maintained a branch of the church there, generally keeping a representative in charge of the Temple. The membership of the church in Ohio, as shown by the General Church Records, numbers at present (in ‘1910) one thousand seven hundred and six.
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[Western Reserve Bank in Warren]
Calvin Austin, 200 $ 5,000
David Clendenin, 200 5,000
John Ford, 300 7,500
Turhand Kirtland, 300 7,500
Poily Kirtland, 20 500
John Kinsman, Sr., 800 20,000
Simon Perkins, Sr., 300 7,500
William Rayen, 300 7,500
Asael Adams, Sr., 20 500
Seymour Austin, 20 500
John Andrews, 20 500
John Brainard, 4 100
William Bell, Jr., 50 1,250
Adamson Bentley, 20 500
Mary Bentley, 10 250
David Bell, 20 500
Oliver Brooks, 20 500
Richard Brooks, 10 250
David Bell, 12 300
Benjamin Bentley, Jr., 2 50
John Leavitt, 25 650
Lydia Dunlap, 8 200
John Doud, 20 500
Charles Dutton, 75 1,875
Anne Jane Dutton, 25 625
Edward Draa, 4 100
Daniel Heaton, 20 500
Francis Freeman, 25 625
Otis Guild, 20 500
Lois Guild, 125
Jerusha Guild, 10 250
Peter Hitchcock, 10 250
John B. Harmon, 20 500
Ira Hudson, 20 500
Benjamin J. Jones, 10 250
Thomas G. Jones, 10 250
Jared Kirtland, 20 500
Abram Kline, 30 750
Samuel King, 40 1,000
Charles King, 20 500
Samuel Leavitt, 40 1,000
Henry Lane, 20 500
Wheeler Lewis, 20 500
Lambert W. Lewis, 20 500
Comfort S. Mygatt, 100 2,500
Calvin Pease, 20 500
Laura G. Pease, 10 250
George Parsons, 20 500
Francis M. Parsons, 5 125
Ephraim Quinby, 100 2,500
James Quigley, , 20 500
Samuel Quinby, 20 500
Plumb Sutliff, 20 500
Samuel Tyler, 50 1,250
Trial Tanner, 8 200
Mary Tanner, 2 50
John E. Woodbridge, 20 500
Elisha Whittlesey, 10 250
Fannie Witherby, 5 125
Josiah Wetmore, 4 100
Henry Wick, 6o 1,500
David Webb, 4 100
James Hezlep, 20 500
E. T. Boughton, 12 300
Robert Montgomery, ¿o 1,250
Nancy Quinby, 20 500
It will be seen that ten of these stockholders were women....
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QUAINT EXTRACTS FROM "TRUMP OF FAME."...July 8, 1812, Adamson Bentley occupies a full half-column of the Trwmp of Fame, telling of one John North, who in March came through this country posing as a Baptist minister. He also posed as a single man. Bentley took great pains to find out about him, and declares him a fraud...
[ 140 ]
Adamson Bentley, the Baptist minister, had to piece out his salary by engaging in business. June 16th he and Jeremiah Brooks give notice of dissolution of partnership...
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IDDINGS MAP OF 1816.
Mr. Lewis M. Iddings in contributing "Sketch of the Early Days of Warren" to the "Mahoning Valley Ohio Historical Collection," made a map which is so interesting and so accurate that we are reproducing it here. Mr. Iddings is consular agent (practically minister) to Egypt, and is so far distant that we cannot ask his permission. He is greatly interested in the old-time history because of his family connection, and we feel sure will be glad to have the readers of this history in possession of this information, especially as the volume above referred to is out of print and this information should be preserved.
In the following explanations, which correspond with the numbers on the map, the streets are called by names, familiar to us now, although they were originally numbered -- Main street being No. 1, High street No. 2, Market street No. 3, South street No. 4, Liberty street (Park avenue) No. 5. Mahoning avenue was considered to be only a continuation of No. 1. But neither numbers nor names were often used for many years. As is the case in smaller places today, in familiar conversation, localities were known by the names of the persons living in the neighborhood.
1. Mill and dam, but by Lane and Dally in 1802, owned in 1816 by Mr. James L. VanGorder.
2. The Henry Lane house, now owned and occupied by William H. Baldwin.
3. The house of Mrs. Rowe.
4. House of Mr. Jacob Harsh. 5. House in whkh, at one time, lived a Mr. McFarland.
6. House of General Simon Perkins (the home of Eliza B. Perkins now is here).
7. House built by George Phelps.
(click here to view higher resolution image of the 1816 map)
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8. House and blacksmith-shop of Mr. Reeves.
9. Log house built by Mr. James Scott, and torn down a short time since. For many years it was covered up in the Graeter House.
10. House of Dr. John B. Harmon, now occupied by Dr. J ulian Harmon. u. House of Mn. George Parsons; a new house in 1816, or built so soon thereafter that it is with propriety placed on the map.
12. The jail.
13. House of Mr. James Scott.
14. House of Mr. David Bell.
15. Cabin of "John Jerrodell."
i6. House and office of Judge Pease; house still stands.
17. House of Mr. Richard Iddings.
18. House of George Mull (?).
19. House of Mark Wescott.
20. Foundations of the old Western Reserve Bank building.
21. House and store of Asael Adams, where the Franklin Block now is.
22. The "Shook" house.
23. House of Mrs. M'Williams.
24. A shop kept by ,occupied by Mr. Uhl.
25. House of Captain Oliver Brooks; still stands.
26. House of Mn. Thomas D. Webb; in good repair; occupied by Elizabeth, William and Frank Iddings. This house was built, in 1807 by Mr. John S. Edwards, and is probably the oldest building in Warren, unless forty-six is older.
27. House of Mr. Hake; still stands.
28. House of Jonathan Rankin.
29. House and tannery (in the rear) of Mr. James Quigley.
30. House of Elihu Spencer.
31. House of Mr. Zebina Weatherbee.
32. House of Mr. Samuel Chesney.
33. A store occupied at one time by Mr. William Bell and Mr. James Quigley.
34. "Castle William," or the Cotgreave house.
35. For many years the site of the first hotel in the place.
36. In 1816 probably a hatter's shop ; afterward a store kept by Judge King.
37. Four ¿ stores in which Wheeler Lewis, the Quinbys and the Austins were in business.
38. House of Judge Calvin Austin.
39. House of Tony Canter.
40. House of Mr. Jeduthen Rawdon.
41. The Western Reserve Bank. (Union National Bank now.)
42. Little log house, in which George Loveless probably opened the first stone in Warren.
43. The Leavitt House, for many years a hotel and later known as the Walter King place.
44. Building, probably erected ‘by Mr. Adamson Bentley, and in which he engaged in mercantile business. From this building the first number of the Trump of Fame, now the Western Reserve Chronicle, was issued in 1812.
45. House in which, in 1816, lived Mn. Jeremiah Brooks (great-uncle of Mr. James Brooks). It was built by Mr. Ephraim Quinby during the first summer he was here, in 1799. Attached to it was the first jail in Trumbull county. In front of it (b) were the corncribs between which the first court was held.
46. House of Judge Francis Freeman, now the eastern end of the Austin House.
47. Mill and carding machine. This last had just been erected by Levi Hadley, and was sold in this year to Mr. Benjamin Stevens.
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48. House of one Morrow.
49. House of James Ellis.
50. House of Mr. Burnett.
51. House of Mr. Quinby.
52. The "old court-house," then in an unfinished state.
a, b and c are explained on the map.
FIRST SERMON PREACHED IN WARREN.The first sermon preached in Warren, Trumbull county, was June 8, 1800. In 1803 ten men and women organized the Concord Baptist church, with the "Philadelphia confession of faith." The members' of this movement were the members of the Dally family, and the children of Isaac Ewalt, now residing in Howland, are descendants. A few months later, five members joined the church by baptism and the laying on of hands, and among these was John Reeves.
JOHN REEVES.William J. Kern, in "One Hundred Years of Baptist History in Warren, Ohio," says: "John Reeves, at whose home in Howland many church meetings and preaching services were held in the year to follow, proved to be one of the most valuable members the church ever had. He was a member until his death, 1851. He was one of the six who refused to leave the church and faith in the schism of 1828. In the year 1805 he represented the Concord Baptist church as a delegate to the Mahoning [sic - Redstone?] Baptist Association, held in Mill Creek (Youngstown). He presented the letter and the credentials of the church, upon which the Concord church was received into the Mahoning Association."
CONCORD OR FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.In 1810 Adamson Bentley became the regular pastor, and the congregation grew under his teachings so that in 1821-'22 a church was built on High street where the Christian church now stands. The land upon which this church stood was deeded "by Ephraim Quinby to the trustees of the Baptist church, called Concord, their heirs and assigns, to be used for Baptist church purposes only." (Kerr.) At this time there were twenty-six members, fourteen of whom were men. "A portion of the church membership was in Youngstown and vicinity, and for three or four years the church met half the time at that place."
The two families which clung to the Baptist church were those of Ephraim Quinby and John Reeves, six people in all. In 1834 seven people rejuvenated the Baptist church, and the next year passed a resolution withdrawing the hand of fellowship from all who had departed from the faith of the regular Baptist church. The same year the church was re-incorporated and in 1836 it joined with the Beaver Baptist Association and later the Trumbull Baptist Association, at the time of its formation. Among the members of this Baptist church were some of the hardiest and most enthusiastic men and women of the community. Among the mmisters who have served that church were Rev. William Winters, Lewis Ranstead, E. T. Brown, Allen O. Fuller, John T. Wilson, Rev. J. P. Stevenson, Rev. J. S. Hutson, Rev. J. S. Rightnoun, Rev. William'Codville, Chester F. Ralston, Rev. F. G. Bouton and Rev. W. E. Barker. The first church building of this resuscitated organization was erected on lands given by John Reeves, on Pine street, between High and Market, and is still standing. It is in a very dilapidated condition and has been used as a shop, laundry and second-hand store.
In 1893 the name was changed from Concord to First Baptist. In 1894 the fine new church now standing on High street was completed. It cost $23,000....
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CENTRAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH.The Central Christian church was organized in a dramatic way. In 1828 Walter Scott and J. C. Mitchell, "devout followers of Alexander Campbell, came to Warren ‘to besiegeand take the place.' "At first they were rather coldly received, but soon the Rev. Mr. Bentley, of the Baptist church, allowed them the use of his edifice, and the congregation soon taxed the capacity of the church. Among the convents made were almost the entire membership of the Baptist church. In fact, this first Warren church, the Baptist, was taken possession of by the new congregation.
At this time there was a great controversy among church people as to the right form of baptism, and different matters of doctrine. So much so that sometimes ill feeling was engendered between members of the same family and between neighbors and former friends. This was true in regard to the Baptists and the Disciples, although no more so in these two churches of Warren than in all churches of that time.
After the coming of Scott, Mr. Bentley worked with great power and zeal, and the next year he was chosen, with Scott, Hayden and Bosworth, to travel about in the interests of the church. In 1820 a church was erected, but it was three years before services were held in it. It was a square building, with no tower or ornamentation. In 1852 it was remodeled and a spine was put on. After Mr. Bentley moved away, for four
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years there was no regular pastor. Marcus Bosworth and John Henry labored with a good deal of zeal and preached occasionally. In 1834 John Hartzell was associate elder with Cyrus Bosworth. During this time of the church history such men as Zeb. Rudolph, J. H. Jones, Moss, Perky, Bnockett and Allerton were occasional speakers. John Smith had direct charge for about two years. J. E. Gaston served from 1847 until 1851, when Isaac Errett became pastor. The Rev. Mr. Errett was one of the strongest men the church has ever had. At the end of his four years ministry Joseph King, a graduate of Bethany College, served for one year. During this time Calvin Smith and James A. Garfield frequently addressed the congregation. J. W. Errett was also a pastor, resigning in 1859. The next year Edwin Wakefield gave a portion of the year to the congregation. In 1861 J. W Lamphear became pastor of the church, serving seven years, not in succession, however, since he was absent two years of that time. Some of the strongest men in the Christian church preached here occasionally, such as President Pendleton and B. A. Hinsdale....
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"In 1809 to 1813, one Solomon Spaulding was engaged in business at Conneaut, and not being in robust health, he spent much of his time at writing, a kind of work for which he possessed considerable talent. Being well educated, he entertained opinions on various subjects that were interesting to his acquaintances. He wrote a book entitled 'Manuscript Found,' which he was desirous of publishing; in fact, he submitted it to a printing firm in Pittsburg, from whose custody the manuscript year.s afterward mysteriously disappeared. From the strongest circumstantial evidence it is believed that Spaulding's writings -- somewhat altered -- served as the basis or substance of the Book of Mormon, which Joseph Smith claimed to have found underground on a hillside at Palmyra, in 1827; and also that Sidney Rigdon was the medium through whom Spaulding's manuscript found its way to Joseph Smith. It is not the purpose to trace the chain of evidence, nor to relate the history of Mormonism. These facts have been stated solely for the purpose of noting that on the Reserve Mormonism took the first step in its course." [From William S. Mills' 1900 The Story of the Western Reserve... p. 106]
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SMITH AND RIGDON TARRED AND FEATHERED. The people of Hiram tarred and feathered Rigdon and Smith, who were in Hiram at the time of the Mormon agitation. Several stories have been told as to why this was done. The truth is that they received this treatment because they were Mormons, because they had interested the people of that vicinity in their belief, and because some of these converts had decided them to be frauds. This was before the days of polygamy. It was largely a quarrel among different religions in the beginning, later because it was believed the new followers were to be deceived. Mason Tilden, now over ninty years old, who was born in Hiram, says Smith was taken from his bed in a log house standing just back of the so-called Joseph Smith oak, and that Sidney Rigdon was taken from the Stevens house, to be treated to their respective coats of tar and feathers.
The Stevens house is located about two miles southwest of Hiram College. In the early days of Monmonism Joseph Smith, its founder, lived for a time in this house and thus it was the headquarters of the Mormon church. In March, 1832, a company was formed of citizens of Shalersville, Garrettsville and Hiram, which proceeded to execute their vengeance on Smith and Rigdon. One room in the house is still called the "Revelation Room," because
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here on the night following, Smuith claimed to have received a revelation instructing him to depart for the West.
ZEB RUDOLPH.Zeb Rudolph. the father of Mrs. Garfield. was a man of quiet calm nature, and when the word was brought to him that his son-in-law had been nominated for the presidency, instead of rejoicing as most elderly men would, he hesitated a few mnoments and then said: "I hope no harm will come from it."...
History of Ohio...
by Daniel J. Ryan
NYC: Century Hist. Co., 1912
|<! IMG SRC="1912Ryan.jpg" BORDER=1 WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=290>|
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The Church of the Latter Day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr., at Fayette, Seneca County, New York, April 6, 1830. Tons of literature have been published discussing the question whether Smith was an honest enthusiast, an earnest mystic or an arrant impostor. It is not the purpose here to add to this class of writings, but to record the historical facts in the life of Mormonism connected with Ohio. Hence a mere narrative of Smith's claims will suffice for an intelligent understanding of his work in this State. In 1823 he claimed that he discovered golden plates on which were written the records of Mormon. They were not taken out of their resting place until 1827, because of an inspiration he said he had received from an angel. In 1830 he published a translation of them under the name of "The Book of Mormon." In this work it is told how, in the reign of King Zedekiah of Jerusalem, Lehi, an Israelite, with his family, went from Palestine to America; his adventures and revelations were recorded on these plates as published in this book. The sons of Lehi became the ancestors of the North American Indians; the descendants of Nephi, one of the sons, became good Christians and preserved the sacred plates which Joseph Smith, Jr., is said to
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have discovered. They converted all America to Christianity. In consequence of wars, at the beginning of the fourth century, the Church fell to pieces. Then came Mormon, a mighty hero, and drove out these American Philistines, who, in time, had become red and barbarous. They afterward returned and exterminated the Christian Nephites. Mormon's son, Moroni, found Lehi's plates, giving a history of his people, in A. D. 420.
The publication of the "Book of Mormon" at Palmyra, N.Y., in 1830, created a sensation in the religious world. It was attacked as a fraud and it was charged that it was a plagiarism of the writings of one Solomon Spaulding, who lived at Conneaut in Ashtabula County. This work of Spaulding was entitled "The Manuscript Found," and it was claimed that it was written in scriptural style, similar to the "Book of Mormon"and that it was the real foundation for that production. And further, that it was surreptitiously obtained by Joseph Smith, Jr., who appropriated its ideas and its language. This theory was advanced soon after the publication of the "Book of Mormon." At that time, the Mormon elders attracted attention by their preaching about Conneaut, and when the Mormon Bible, as the new work was called, was read, many persons present were struck by what they thought was a similarity between Smith's book and the Spaulding manuscript. It should be stated that Solomon Spaulding used to read his manuscript to his neighbors until many of them became familiar with its language, contents and style. When they heard the "Book of Mormon," some of them testified that it was substantially
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the Spaulding manuscript. Owing to his financial straits, Solomon Spaulding was never able to publish his work, which was a romance of prehistoric America. At one time it was in possession of a Pittsburg publishing house, from whence it is said to have been stolen.
This theory of the origin of the "Book of Mormon" gradually became the accepted one among the Gentiles and found its place in the literature of the time, being accepted by the encyclopaedias of Britannica, Chambers, Appleton and others. This view obtained until I884, when the late James H. Fairchild, then president of Oberlin college, was visiting Honolulu, Hawaiian Islands, where he met an old anti-slavery friend, Lewis L. Rice, who had years before, been the editor of the Painesville Telegraph, and also State Printer at Columbus, Ohio. President Fairchild asked him to examine his old pamphlets and papers and see what contributions he could make to the anti-slavery literature of the Oberlin College Library. In a few days, he returned with an old, worn and faded manuscript of 170 pages, which proved to be the long lost manuscript of Solomon Spaulding. It came into Mr. Rice's possessions in 1839 with other books and papers, when he took possession of the Painesvile Telegraph. This manuscript is now in the Oberlin College Library.
President Fairchild, in a paper read before the Western Reserve Historical Society, March 23, 1886, and published as Tract No. 77 of that Society, discusses with originality and interest the "Manuscript of Solomon Spaulding and the Book of Mormon." It is the first authentic information on that subject.
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In this paper, President Fairchild says: "The manuscript has no resemblance to the ‘Book of Mormon.' There is not a name or an incident common to the two. It is not written in the solemn Scripture style. It is a story of the coming to this country, from Rome, of a ship's company, driven by a storm across the ocean, in the days of the Emperor Constantine. They never returned to their own land, but cast in their lot with the aboriginal tribes inhabiting the country, and it is chiefly occupied with the account of the civilization and conflict of these tribes -- the Delawares, Ohions, Kentucks, Sciotons, Chiaugans, etc., etc. The names of the persons are entirely original, quite as remarkable as those in the ‘Book of Mormon,' but never the same -- such as Bombal, Kadocam, Lobaska, Hamboon, Uliponn, Lamesa, etc."
Professor Fairchild's position, however, is not accepted by all writers on this subject. The strongest answer to his argument is "The Origin of the Book of Mormon, Re-Examined in its Relation to Spaulding's Manuscript Found." This was written by A. T. Schroeder in 1901, and published by direction of the Salt Lake Ministerial Association of Salt Lake City. It is analytical and argumentative, and piesents all the testimony bearing on the question involved. The proposition contended for is that the manuscript in the Oberlin College Library was not the one from which "The Book of Mormon" was plagiarized; that it was never in the hands of a publisher, and therefore could not have been stolen; that there was another and rewritten story that formed the foundation of
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the Mormon work, and that this fact is susceptible of proof which the writer proceeds to draw out. Whatever may be the facts as to the origin of the "Book of Mormon," the Mormon Church was organized at the time and place stated, including at first just six in its membership -- Joseph Smith, Sr., Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith, Jr., Samuel Smith, Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Knight. In June, 1830, the first convention of the church was held at Fayette, at which thirty members were present. Smith had by this time claimed the full powers and responsibilities of a Prophet. Angels constantly visited him, and the Lord was giving him frequent revelations. He called himself the "Mouthpiece of God." Still with all these opportunities of associating with Divinity firsthand, the public seemed loth to rush to Smith's standard of Faith. Whether it was due to the ungodliness of his neighbors, or their knowledge of the Prophet, is not known, and much has been written on both sides. He evidently had experienced the wisdom of the Biblical saying, that "a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, and in his own house," and he commenced to make arrangements for a western migration. In October Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson and Peter Whitmer, Jr. started for the far West on a mission to the Indians.
They stopped at Kirtland; here and at Mentor near by, was the stronghold of the Church of the Disciples, founded by Alexander Campbell, and both congregations were presided over by one Sidney Rigdon. He was one of the leading preachers of the Disciples' faith in the Western Reserve, and was a man of ability,
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of great eloquence, but of an emotional and erratic temperament. In his day he was listened to with affection and confidence by the people of his denomination. Sidney Rigdon joined the new and strange religion of Mormonism, and from that moment he became a man of great power in that faith. Many of his congregation followed him. The Mormon missionaries preached day and night until, when they started on their western journey, they had made a thousand converts. Sidney Rigdon was made the first minister of the Mormon Church. In December, 1830, he was given the special indorsement of the Lord through a revelation to Smith, and by another revelation Kirtland, Rigdon's Ohio home, was designated as the gathering place of the faithful, the Promised Land of the Saints.
In January, 1831, Joseph Smith, Jr. and his family left western New York, accompanied by more than fifty families of his followers. As they traveled overland to what they called, and what they believed to be, the New Jerusalem, the seeds of Mormonism were sown by the wayside and many converts were made. Amid prayers and singing and religious demonstrations, they entered Ohio, and by June of that year the majority of the Church was settled in and about Kirtland. Active proselyting immediately commenced. Smith and Sidney Rigdon attempted the conversion of the little village of Hiram, noted afterwards as the seat of a college presided over by James A. Garfield. Their zeal was met with angry resistance, resulting in both being tarred and feathered by the indignant and orthodox populace. Nothing daunted, Smith appeared
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next morning, which was Sunday, in his usual capacity as the "Prophet of the Lord." Rigdon was rendered temporarily insane on account of his treatment. This event occurred March 25, 1832.
During this year there came to the Mormon colony, a young man, just over thirty, whose life and career fill the greatest space in the history of Mormonism. This was Brigham Young. He was a man of much native shrewdness, earnest in his purposes yet eminently practical in worldly affairs. Smith, himself a great reader of men, saw at a glance the material before him, and Young was ordained as an elder to preach at once, and in three years after, at a conference held at Kirtland, he was selected as one of the Twelve Apostles. These three men -- Smith, Rigdon and Young -- formed a triumvirate that gave Mormonism its early strength and progress. To them can be credited the force that enabled it to locate and establish itself in Ohio in the face of a tremendous and persistent opposition. Smith furnished the religious ardor and inspired his people with a faith that they seemed to accept without question from his hands. Sidney Rigdon was the intellectual force and furnished the brilliant work of the pulpit. Brigham Young was more of an official or political leader. His strong, practical character supplied all the qualities in that direction in which his associates were lacking.
It was at Kirtland that Brigham Young married his first Mormon wife, thereby starting his remarkable matrimonial career, which has been one of the startling and disagreeable facts of Mormonism. At the time of his death, August 29, 1877, he left seventeen wives,
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sixteen sons and twenty-eight daughters, and had been the father of fifty-six children. Young was first married in 1824, but his wife died eight years later, leaving two children. At Kirtland, he married Mary Ann Angel, whose parents lived a mile and a half from that village. At that time, Kirtland was in Geauga County, and in the records of the probate court of that county at Chardon may be seen to-day the following license:
"The State of Ohio, Geauga County, ss: Personally appeared Brigham Young and made application for a marriage license for himself and Mary Ann Angel of the Township of Kirtland, in said County, and made solemn oath that he, the said Brigham Young, is of the age of twenty-one years and the said Mary Ann Angel is the age of eighteen years. That they are both single, and no nearer of kin than first cousins. That he knows no legal impediment against their being joined in marriage."
In Brigham Young's signature to this application, he spells his first name "Brickham" and a small "y" commences his surname.
In the clerk's office of the county is also the following record:
"Be it remembered that on the thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord 1834, Brigham Young and Mary Ann Angel, of the County of Geauga, were legally joined in marriage, by competent authority, in conformity with the provisions of the statutes of the State of Ohio, in such cases made and provided,
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and a certificate of the said marriage, signed by Sidney Rigdon, the minister who solemnized the same, has been filed in the office of the Clerk of Common Pleas of the said County of Geauga, this third day of April, A. D. 1834.
It is interesting to know that this Ohio girl, the only legitimate wife of Brigham Young's household, ranked first in his estimation throughout all of his eventful life. Perhaps her legitimacy as a wife had something to do with it. Hepworth Dixon, the English writer and traveler, visited Salt Lake City when Young was at the acme of his power, and he writes of this wife: "The queen of all is the first wife, Mary Ann Angel, an aged lady, whose five children, three sons and two daughters, are now grown up. She lives in a white cottage, the first house ever built in Salt Lake valley." This marriage and wife, at one time, served him to a very advantageous purpose, according to J. H. Kennedy, the author of "Early Days of Mormonism." When Ann Eliza, the nineteenth wife of Brigham Young, sued him for divorce and alimony, he sent to an attorney of Geauga County for a certified copy of his license and marriage certificate, which he pleaded as a bar to Ann Eliza's action. Thus, coolly claiming that as he was already married to Mary Ann, he could not legally be married to Ann Eliza. The year 1832 was one of almost feverish supernaturalism at Kirtland. On January 25th of this year, Joseph Smith, Jr., was formally ordained President of the Church at Amherst, Lorain County. In
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March, he was consecrated as President of the High Priests. During this summer, he was untiring in his labors; he was working on a Mormon translation of the Holy Bible, he founded a School of the Prophets and supervised and edited The Evening and Morning Star. He was drifting further and further into his claims of divine authority, until even the gift of miracles was assumed by himself, Rigdon and others of the elders. One of the most remarkable and impressive occurrences of that day authenticated by unquestionable testimony and reliable authority, was that of the cure of Mrs. Johnson of Hiram. Two of the leading citizens of that village were subjecting the new faith to critical and prayerful investigation with a view to accepting Mormonism. They were Ezra Booth, a Methodist minister, and Symonds Ryder, an elder of the Disciples Church. They determined to call upon Smith for a supreme test.
They had a subject in their neighbor, Mrs. Johnson, who for six years, had a useless right arm, resulting from a stroke of paralysis. The two orthodox ministers accompanied Mrs. Johnson, her husband and her physician to Kirtland, and they presented themselves before Joseph Smith, Jr. The ministers entered into a warm discussion with Smith regarding Mormonism. During their argument, Ryder asked if he could perform miracles as his followers claimed. Smith replied, "I cannot work miracles, but I believe that God, working through me, can." Thereupon, Ryder brought forward Mrs. Johnson, who had been standing by unobserved. "Here is Mrs. Johnson," said he with triumph, "She has a lame arm. Has God given
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power to any man on earth to cure her?" It was a crisis for the Prophet. Then followed the marvelous. Smith never quailed, nor showed the slightest weakness in this situation. He moved backwards a few steps, he fixed his eyes upon those of the affected woman and into them he gazed intently and steadily. Then he stepped forward to her side, held her palsied hand in his, and in a commanding and solemn tone, said: "Woman, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command thee to be whole." Then he turned abruptly and in silence, left the room. Mrs. Johnson moved her arm and found it full of life and subject to her control. Until the day of her death, fifteen years afterward, she had the same use of it as she had of her left arm.
In a sermon, preached at Hiram, August 3, 1870, President B. A. Hinsdale of Hiram college narrated this occurrence and referred to it as follows: "The company were awe-stricken at the infinite presumption of the man, and the calm assurance with which he spoke. The sudden mental and moral shock -- I know not how better to explain the well attested fact -- electrified the rheumatic arm. Mrs. Johnson at once lifted it up with ease and on her return next day, she was able to do her washing without difficulty or pain." The miracle of the Prophet spread among the faithful, and scenes of religious enthusiasm rivalling those of Oriental devotees followed the great event. Of course, it was wholly ascribed to supernatural power. We can obtain a view of the psychological condition of this period from a book written by Eber D. Howe and published in 1834, entitled "Mormonism Unveiled."
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Mr. Howe founded the in 1822, and when the Mormons made their appearance in 1830, he chronicled all their movements in a faithful manner. He finally published his observations in the book mentioned. It created at the time an intense sensation and resulted in a feeling of wrath on the part of the Mormons.
We find in the strange manifestations of this time simply what has appeared among other religious enthusiasts in every other age and land. Speaking of this phase of life at Kirtland, Howe says: "They pretended that the power of miracles was about to be given to all those who embraced the new faith, and commenced communicating the Holy Spirit by laying their hands upon the heads of the converts, which operation at first produced an instantaneous prostration of body and mind. Many would fall upon the the floor, where they would lay for a long time, apparently lifeless. They thus continued these enthusiastic exhibitions for several weeks. The fits usually came on during or after their prayer meeting, which was held nearly every evening. The young men and women were more particularly subject to this delirium. They would exhibit all the apish actions imaginable, making the most ridiculous grimaces, creeping upon their hands and feet, rolling upon the frozen ground, going through with all the Indian modes of warfare, such as knocking down, scalping, ripping open and tearing out the bowels."
At other times, they would run through the fields, get upon stumps, preach to imaginary congregations, enter the water and perform all the ceremony of baptising.
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Many would have fits of speaking all the different Indian dialects, which none could understand. Again, at the dead of night, the young men might be seen running over the fields and hills in pursuit, as they said, of the balls of fire, lights, etc., which they saw moving through the atmosphere. Three of them pretended to have received permission to preach, from the skies. One of the young men referred to freely acknowledged, some months afterwards, that he knew not what he did for two or three weeks."
The widespread religious emotionalism manifested on these occasions by the laity, under which each individual claimed the "gift of tongues," and the "power of miracles and divine inspiration," alarmed the Prophet. The local press also, which was altogether in charge of unbelievers, was exploiting the strange doings and was heaping ridicule upon these demonstrations. He saw that it was bringing Mormonism into disrepute, that it was an invasion of his sacred powers and prerogatives and that it tended to spiritual individualism, if not religious chaos. Therefore, there came a revelation to the Prophet that no one should have communication with the Most High except Joseph Smith, Jr. This ended the wonderful evidences of supernatural influence among the plain people of Zion. One of the dreams of the Prophet was that the new religion should exhibit material and temporal prosperity as well as spiritual and religious dominion. The accumulation of property, therefore, became a decided part in the program of the Church. Early in 1833 it was decided by the presidency to purchase all the land at Kirtland that they could pay for; and in addition,
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erect for the glory of the Church, a grand temple that should be a lasting monument to Zion. This was determined upon after Joseph Smith, Jr., received a revelation May 6, 1833. The fund for the construction of the Temple was to be provided from tithes, and one-seventh of the time of each Mormon was to be contributed in labor. Notwithstanding that the membership was poor, they zealously and earnestly assumed this burden. They were as anxious as Smith that the dreams of the Church should materialize in a Temple to the Lord.
Smith himself assumed the position of foreman, and he saw that every man in Zion did his share; that rich and poor, old and young, all contributed with their own hands the labor due. The women worked also and spun, wove and sewed cloth into garments for those who labored. The master builder was Joseph Bump, and at the end of every day, he was handed a special written revelation from the Prophet, outlining his duties for the day following. Heber C. Kimball in his journal published in the Times and Seasons (Vol. 6, pp. 867,868), an official organ of the church, gives an inside picture of the industry and sacrifice exercised in the construction of the Temple. Therein he states: "At this time the brethren were laboring night and day building the house of the Lord. Our women were engaged in spinning and knitting in order to clothe those who were laboring at the building, and the Lord only knows the scenes of poverty, tribulation, and distress which we passed through in order to accomplish this thing. My wife toiled all summer in lending her aid towards its accomplishment.
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She had a hundred pounds of wool, which, with the assistance of a girl, she spun in order to furnish clothing for those engaged in the building of the Temple; and although she had the privilege of keeping half the quantity of wool for herself, as a recompense for her labor, she did not reserve even so much as would make her a pair of stockings, but gave it for those who were laboring at the house of the Lord. She spun and wove, and got the cloth dressed and cut and made up into garments, and gave them to those men who labored on the Temple. Almost all the sisters in Kirtland labored in knitting, sewing, spinning, etc., for the purpose of forwarding the work of the Lord, while we went up to Missouri to endeavor to reinstate our brethren on their lands, from which they had been driven."
"Elder Rigdon when addressing the brethren upon the importance of building this house, spake to this effect: that we should use every effort to accomplish this building by the time appointed; and if we did, the Lord would accept it at our hands; and on it depends the salvation of the church and also of the world. Looking at the sufferings and poverty of the church, he frequently used to go upon the walls of the building both by night and day and frequently wetting the walls with his tears, crying aloud to the Almighty to send means whereby we might accomplish the building. After we returned from our journey to the West, the whole church united in this undertaking, and every man lent a helping hand. Those who had no teams went to work in the stone quarry and prepared the stones for drawing to the house.
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"President Joseph Smith, Jr., being our foreman in the quarry; the Presidency, high priests, and elders all alike assisting. Those who had teams assisted in drawing the stone to the house. These all laboring one day in the week, brought as many stones to the house as supplied the masons through the whole week. We continued in this manner until the walls of the house were reared. The committee who were appointed by revelation to superintend the building of the house were, Hyrum Smith, Reynolds Cahoon, and Jared Carter. These men used every exertion in their power to forward the work."
The corner stone of the Temple was laid July 24, 1833, and for nearly three years the labor of construction was carried on day and night with unceasing and enthusiastic sacrifice. The Temple was dedicated March 27, 1836. It was a day of mysterious and emotional enthusiasm; for four days and four nights following, the Saints abandoned themselves to an excited religious fervor. There were four hundred and sixteen elders, priests, teachers and deacons assembled in the Temple, and there were gathered there many thousands from all over Northern Ohio.
Joseph Smith, Jr. was in the atmosphere of his highest power. Visions appeared to him; among those present he announced Moses, Elijah and Elisha. These ancient prophets appeared, so he announced, and bestowed upon him supreme power over things spiritual and temporal. Angels freely communicated with him on this eventful day, and they mingled freely in the throng, but were not visible to any mortal eyes save his. Brigham Young also appeared in great glory.
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He was seized with the "gift of tongues," and although his sermon was unintelligible, every one of the faithful knew it was the language of inspiration. There were other signs and wonders. Hovering over the Temple was seen a pillar of fire, and in the air, supernatural sounds of heavenly music were heard. The ceremony of washing the feet was performed on the night of March 27, and each Saint performed this service for another. The Mormon records tell that many remained in the Temple all night "gloryfying God and prophesying."
These scenes kept up until March 31, and on their termination, the Saints felt as if they had really reached the Promised Land. The Kirtland temple was built on elevated ground and it may be seen a long distance off; it is three miles southeast of Willoughby and six miles direct from Lake Erie. It is a massive structure of rough stone plastered over with cement and marked in imitation of regular courses of masonry. It is sixty by eighty feet and three stories high beside the basement. In the front wall, over the largest window is the inscription, "House of the Lord, built by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, A. D. 1834." The first and second stories are auditoriums, 55 by 65 feet. The attic or third story is divided into five apartments. In each of the auditoriums are four pulpits, one rising above the other and each holding three persons. These pulpits were designed for the priesthood of Aaron and Melchisedec. Such is this queer structure as it stands to-day. It is an architectural monstrosity and yet it remains as a historic memorial of great human endeavor and enthusiasm. For that day and that people, it was a
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courageous undertaking, and its cost -- sixty thousand dollars -- was itself of great magnitude when we bear in mind the scarcity of money at that time.
The next few years of the Church at Kirtland saw the ecclesiastical machinery increased with a view both to more effective organization and a more imposing symbolism. On March i8, 1833, the first Presidency was established, consisting of Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams. These three were also to be presidents of the High Council, which was created February 17, 1834. This body was composed of the following High Priests: Joseph Smith, Sr., John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith and Luke Johnson. This was the judiciary of the Church, and was the Court of Last Appeal for all disputes. In the language of the Mormon record: "The High Council was appointed by revelation for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the Church, which could not be settled by the Church or the Bishop's Council to the satisfaction of the Party."
On May 3, 1834, the Elders formally chose the name of "The Church of Jesus Christ [sic] of Latter Day Saints" to designate the new spiritual organization. Following this action other important church measures were adopted, looking to its perfection. On February 14, 1835, a quorum of Twelve Apostles was organized, consisting of Lyman E. Johnson, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, David W. Patton, Luke Johnson, William E. McLellin, John F. Boynton, Orson Pratt, William Smith, Thomas B. March and
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Parley P. Pratt. On February 28 two Quorums of Seventy were organized. These were the active ministers of the church. They were under the direction of the Twelve Apostles and these in turn were appointed by and acted under the authority of the Presidency. When the general assembly of the church was held on August 17 the "Book of Doctrines and Covenants" was declared to be the rule of faith and Mormon life. On January 4, 1836 a Hebrew professorship was established, and on June 12, 1837, Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde headed a body of foreign missionaries who were sent to England to convert its people to the Mormon faith.
Having reached a point where the church had nearly a perfect organization, almost autocratic power and an increasing membership, it turned into the dangerous channel of money-making and financial investment. The period was one of speculation, and notwithstanding the divine guidance assumed by the Church, it fell into the error of worldly ways. This took the form first of real estate ventures and afterward of banking. Smith himself in his autobiography gives a frank history of the troubles that the church encountered. Says he: "At this time the spirit of speculation in lands and property of all kinds, which were so prevalent throughout the whole nation was taking deep root in the church; as the fruits of this spirit evil surmisings, fault-finding, disunion, dissension and apostasy followed in quick succession, and it seemed as though all the powers of earth and hell were combining their influence in an especial manner to overthrow the church at once and make a final end. The enemy
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abroad and apostates in our midst united in their scheme; flour and provisions were turned toward other markets; and many became disaffected toward me, as though I were the sole cause of those very evils I was most strenuously striving against, and which were actually brought upon us by the brethren not giving heed to my counsel. No quorum in the church was entirely exempt from the influence of those false spirits who were striving against me for the mastery; even some of the Twelve were 80 far lost to their high and responsible calling, as to begin to take sides with the enemy."
The facts are, however, that among the most conspicuous real estate speculators in the church were Joseph Smith, Jr., his father and other relatives. The books of the recorder's office at Chardon are silent witnesses to this fact. A plat, made in April and recorded in May, 1837, provided for a city to be known as "Kirtland City." The Temple was located in the center. The plat shows that there were to be two hundred and twenty-five blocks of twenty lots each, making forty-five hundred city lots in all. In the syndicate putting this allotment on the market, we read names familiar in the church. They were Joseph Smith, Sr., Joseph Smith, Jr. and his wife Emma, Eliza R. Snow, the Mormon poetess, Hyrum Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Heber C. Kimball and Sidney Rigdon. Whether the proceeds of this vast real estate project were to go into the church treasury is not known, for rack and ruin came upon the dream of a boom town before it was realized.
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As an adjunct to carrying out the plans for acquiring wealth for the church, the Prophet had a revelation that he should start a bank. He thereupon appealed to the Legislature for a charter for that purpose, but it was refused. Thereupon, disregarding the refusal of the Legislature, he organized in January, 1837, the "Kirtland Safety Society Bank." Smith was made president and Sidney Rigdon, the cashier; the capital stock was fixed at $5,ooo. It exercised banking powers as freely as if it had been incorporated, and issued its bills with the assurance by Smith of future payment and that the Lord would take care of them.
The bank was expected to be of great aid in warding off financial distress, which was becoming apparent. The first evidence came when Newell K. Whitney and Sidney Rigdon were sued on a note by the Bank of Geauga at Painesville. This was settled, only to be followed by a suit against the general store syndicate composed of Rigdon, Smith and Cowdery. A judgment for a large amount was given against these parties. Distress again followed in July, 1837, when as a result of financial complications, Sidney Rigdon, Joseph Smith, Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Reynolds Cahoon and Jared Carter executed a mortgage on the Temple to secure an indebtedness of $4,500. The climax was reached when a proceeding was instituted against Smith and Rigdon for acting as bank officers without authority of law. They were arrested, and at the October term of the court in that year, they were found guilty and ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 each. On their trial, they claimed that they represented a mutual savings association and not a bank,
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and that the bills issued were individual notes. The case was taken up on error on these grounds; it was never decided, as all of the defendants fled beyond the jurisdiction of the court before the time of hearing. As the year 1837 was drawing to a dose, it was apparent that the Mormon church had reached a critical period of its history. In November, the bank suspended specie payment and closed its doors. This was the fatal blow to Mormonism in Ohio. After this, followed scenes of revolt and open crimination against the Prophet. In the midst of schism, opposition, apostasy and personal threats, it must be said that he stood his ground as long as there was any show of stemming the tide that had set in against him. But the dangers grew apace with the hours, and he saw only attempted revenge, arrest, prosecution and punishment in the near future for him. It was on the last Sabbath of 1837 that Smith and Rigdon met their people in the Temple to combat and suppress the religious mutiny. They failed to quell the opposition and on a vote, the Prophet's spiritual powers were not recognized.
The end can best be described by Smith himself. Afterward in The Evening and Morning Star, he thus wrote of his departure from Kirtland: "A new year dawned upon the church at Kirtland in all the bitterness of the spirit of apostate mobocracy, which continued to rage and grow hotter and hotter, until Elder Rigdon and myself were obliged to flee from its deadly influence, as did the apostles and prophets of old, and as Jesus said, ‘When they persecute you in one city, flee ye to another.' And on the evening of the twelfth
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of January (1837) about io o'clock, we left Kirtland on horseback to escape mob violence which was about to burst upon us under the color of legal process, and to cover their hellish designs and save themselves from the just judgment of the law. The weather was extremely cold, and we were obliged to secrete ourselves sometimes to elude the grasp of our pursuers, who continued their race more than two hundred miles from Kirtland, armed with pistols, etc., seeking our lives."
The fleeing Prophet and his High Priest found safety and a welcome among the Mormons at Far West, Missouri, where another Zion was planted, modelled after Kirtland. A town was platted and another temple projected and a stormier career was entered upon. The Missourians inaugurated a war that eventually drove the Saints to Illinois, where in 1840 they founded the town of Nauvoo. Here another temple was planned and the construction commenced. The introduction of polygamy amused bitter hostilities against Smith and his followers, culminating in riot and bloodshed. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were arrested on the charge of treason and imprisoned in the Carthage jail. June 27, 1844, a mob attacked the jail and murdered them both.
This event practically disorganized the church. Brigham Young succeeded Smith and led a small minority of his church to Utah, where under his polygamous reign it started a career in which it has developed great wealth and power.
The original Mormon faith as established by Joseph Smith, Jr. was adhered to by a small band of followers.
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It is known now as the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," and is a strong opponent of the doctrine and practice of polygamy. They own and occupy the Kirtland Temple, having acquired a complete title to it in 1880. The Court of Common Pleas of Lake County in an action in which "The Church in Utah of which John Taylor is President and commonly known as the Mormon Church" was chief defendant, decreed that the ownership was in the "reorganized" church. The allegations in this suit to establish title were not disputed, therefore they are interesting from an historical viewpoint. In its petition, the plaintiff, the reorganized church, after giving a detailed statement of its origin and settlement at Kirtland, and a description of the land conveyed to Joseph Smith, Jr. as Trustee for the use of that church, says:
"And upon said lands said Church had erected a church edifice known as the Temple, and were then in possession and occupancy thereof for religious purposes, and so continued until the disorganization of said Church, which occurred about 1844. That the main body of said Religious Society had removed from Kirtland aforesaid, and were located at Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1844, when said Joseph Smith died, and said Church was disorganized and the membership (then being estimated at about 100,000) scattered in smaller fragments, each claiming to be the original and true Church before named, and located in different states and places. "That one of said fragments, estimated at ten thouand, removed to the Territory of Utah under the leadership of Brigham Young, and located there, and with accessions since, now constitute the Church in Utah,
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under the leadership and Presidency of John Taylor, and is named as one of the defendants in this action.
"That after the departure of said fragment of said church for Utah, a large number of the officials and membership of the original church which was disorganized at Nauvoo, reorganized under the name of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and on the 5th day of February, 1873, became incorporated under the laws of the state of Illinois and since that time all other fragments of said original Church (except that one in Utah) have dissolved, and the membership has largely become incorporated with said Reorganized Church which is the plaintiff in this action.
"That the said Plaintiff, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is a Religious Society, founded and organized upon the same doctrines and tenets, and having the same church organization, as the original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, organized in 1830, by Joseph Smith, and was organized pursuant to the constitution, laws and usages of said original Church, and has branches located in Illinois, Ohio, and other States.
"That the church in Utah, the Defendant, of which John Taylor is President, has materially and largely departed from the faith, doctrines, laws, ordinances and usages of said original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and has incorporated into its system of faith the doctrines of Celestial Marriage and a plurality of wives, and the doctrine of Adam-God worship, contrary to the laws and constitution of said original Church."
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The court proceeded to decree that the reorganized church was the true and lawful successor to the original church founded by Joseph Smith, Jr., in 1830, and entitled in law to all its rights and property. Thus the Temple passed into the hands of the followers of those who built it. It has been restored and a branch of the reorganized church now worships therein. The present membership in Ohio according to the official church records of 1910 numbers one thousand seven hundred and six persons.