History of Geauga and
Lake Counties, Ohio
(Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1878)
H I S T O R Y
GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES
Illustrations and Biological Sketches
PIONEERS AND MOST PROMINENT MEN.
PRESS OF H. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., PHILADELPHIA.
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With all the southern townships of the county, this, in 1806, was made a part of Burton as then constituted, by and order of the county commissioners. It remained a part of that semi-municipality,and at some time came to be called "Kentstown;" afterwards, at the session of the commissioners, March, 1817, Kentstown and Troy (Auburn) were severed from Burton and erected into a civil township by the name of Bainbridge...
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The English Newbury became Newburyport, of Massachusetts, and thence transferred to township seven, range eight of the Western Reserve...
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This was formerly called Welshfield, from Jacob Welsh, a proprietor, and the first settler. This, like all the south part of the county, constituted a part of the original district of Middlefield. In 1806 so much of that district as was then in the county of Geauga -- the twelve southern townships -- was by the county commissioners erected into the township of Burton, and were to hold the first election in the academy on Burton square.
An order of the county commissioners -- of which no record is found -- of March 6, 1820, severed the township from Burton, and it became an independent organization.
The records of the commissioners, under date of December, 1834, contain the following:
"The petition of a majority of the electors of Welshfield township was presented, praying that the name of said township may be changed; and the same having been read and heard and granted, it was resolved that the said township be hereafter known by the name of Troy."
On the map of the Reserve Troy is known as township six, range eight. It lies next south of Burton, with Parkman on the east and Auburn on the west. The south is the line of Portage county, dividing it from Hiram township.
Three main roads traverse it north and south: one through its centre and the others, one through its eastern and the other through its western section; also a main road east and west through the centre, where is a considerable village, on a high swell east of the Cuyahoga river, pleasantly situated, and which commands a wide and beautiful outlook. From the village runs a road southeast to the village of' Parkman, with other roads, at convenient distances, through the township. There is also a pleasant little ville in the southeastern corner of the township, called " Grove."
The Cuyahoga from Burton enters the township a little west of the middle, and runs a uniform course through it, making a short irregular bend eastward a little south of the centre, but shortly returns and pursues its journey southward. Owing to the sandstone formation, which crops out at the rapids in Hiram, the river through Troy is sluggish, and is bordered with more marshy and waste land than can be found in all the county besides. Within the last few years, at a considerable expense, the channel at the rapids has been deepened, much land reclaimed,and the township improved by it.
At an earlier day there was a long and bitter feud between the residents on the river border in Troy and the proprietors of the water-power at the rapids, where the dam was supposed to increase the water on their lands, producing diseases, with other injuries.
Soon after' its entrance into Troy the river receives the considerable Bridge creek, also two tributaries north, and two south of the centre from the east, while a branch of Grand river rises in the southeast corner, running south. With many fine springs and streamlets, Troy is well supplied with water.
Like Burton, Troy is rolling, with many ridge-like swells, giving pleasant variety and ample surface-drainage, save the marshy grounds of the Cuyahoga river. Like all the adjoining country, its surface was covered by heavy timber, with an abundance suited for all building and farming purposes. In soil Troy is quite the equal of Auburn, and the two are deemed the best in the county. In estimated wealth Troy is quite the equal of any.
The woods along the Cuyahoga were a favorite cover and haunt of the natives, and the venerable Mrs. Pike gives the current account of the final disposition of the few who, relying on the treaty stipulation, ventured back to their old camping and hunting-grounds after the war. In substance, that six of them camped near the rapids, when Captain Mills, who had been a prisoner to the British during the war, and with whom he saw them in their war-paint, threatened them if they returned. He collected five more soldiers and hunters, stole upon them, and at a signal, shot five of them by their camp-fire. The sixth rifle missed fire. The sixth Indian fled down the river, leaped a narrow place, but was dispatched. As the legend ran, a short time afterwards a hunter came upon a pile of logs and earth near the rapids, into which he penetrated, till be came upon the heads of five Indians.
The names of the Reddings, of Hiram, Captain Edwards, of Mantua, McFarland and McConoughey, of Harrington, the Judds, and many others, have been connected with the supposed fate of the Indians. The version of Mrs. Pike has it that there was some boasting of popping over the Indians, and so much said that the governor of Ohio issued a proclamation offering a reward for the apprehension of the slayers, when nothing more was said about it. J. M. Bullock, of Chagrin Falls, a zealous collector of pioneer incidents, says that there is also a well-defined legend of another camp of returned Indians on the Chagrin, in Orange, after the war, who would have fallen by the avengers' rifles, but that one of the elder Burnetts, an early settler on the Chagrin, where the Cleveland road east through the centre of Russell crosses it, gave them timely warning, and they probably escaped.
About the year 1819 or 1820 the high ridge of the then timbered land along the east bank of the Cuyahoga, quite across Troy, was seized upon by the innumerable millions of the passenger pigeons for a roost, covering hundreds of acres, where nightly, for two or three years, streams, and clouds, and storms of them came from all their feeding grounds in the wide slopes of beech-woods all over the then western world, lighting in such incredible numbers on the trees that their sheer weight broke down many of the largest, especially those that leaned a little. The noise of their coming and departing Tam as tJ,e roar of a mighty tempest, and at a distance sounded like smothered thunder. As may be supposed, the settlers far and near, with whom food was the predominating need, came and slaughtered the helpless things by hundreds and thousands, -- a thing easily accomplished, -- these they salted and used as a staple of food.
No one who has never seen the flights of these beautiful birds, or their multitudinous assemblage in the beech-woods in the autumn, can form the faintest conception of their numbers and appearance. All the afternoon a solid black mass like a wide, dark thunder-cloud, would lie across the horizon, from middle afternoon till twilight deepened to night, -- one mighty onsweeping tide of beating wings and gold and azure burnished breasts, outspeeding a hurricane in flight, -- sometimes passing directly over head, and darkening the whole heavens with their fleeing clouds on their way to the roost, wherever it was. he corresponding morning flights were not in such contidsous masses, though not less numerous. At places the flight would be so near a hill, or the living torrent would in places bend down so near the earth, that a man with a long pole could kill them, and men and boys with sticks and stones, at chosen points, slew great numbers of them. It was no unusual thing to find a wide extent of beech-forest ground covered with them, where they would scarcely rise at the near approach of a man. I have seen a man -- a sportsman he could not be called -- armed with a single-barreled shotgun, approach a feeding mass, which would rise in a solid bank of throbbing blue, and with the noise of thunder just before him, receive his fire, light immediately down, to again rise, and in thirty minutes a farmer's corn-basket was filled with the slaughtered innocents. Pages of veracious accounts of them and their numbers would fail to convey an idea of their multitudes, and doubtless fail to win credit with the incredulous reader.
SETTLEMENT. *Jacob Welsh and his daughter were the conceded first settlers. They left Boston, Massachusetts, in the autumn of 1810, reached and wintered in Burton, which had then been settled twelve years. The ensuing spring he went into the woods of the township, built a cabin, and commenced occupation. His father was one of the proprietors, and he came on as his, and the agent of David Hinckley and other land-owers, at a salary of one thousand dollars a year for five years, to survey, open the country, develop the property, and invite settlers.
In the summer of 1811 he had the township surveyed into sections a mile square by Chester Elliott, then of Bondstown. These were numbered from the northeast corner south, and back, making twenty-five sections. Of these he selected the central and western tiers of sections for himself and employers. It is said he secured "Little Phin Pond, of Mantua," to build his cabin at the centre, and Sol. Chester and his brother, of Burton, to open a road, so that a wagon could follow the Indian trail, on the east side of the river, with his daughter and goods, to the new mansion.
Jacob Welsh was a native of Boston, of an old family, and reared in luxury, possibly not the best man to colonize a new country. At the time he came to Ohio,
* From various sources, mainly from Mrs. Pike's manuscript.
HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO. 187
he was a middle-aged man; a gentleman of the old school, of medium height, fair complexion, dressed in small-clothes, with long hose and buckles at the knee, and shoe-buckles over the instep, liberally educated, of imposing appearance and stately address, quite fitted to the aristocratic drawing-rooms of Boston, but not appearing to especial advantage in the woods, trails, and cabins of the Western Reserve. While he was a good conversationalist, he had little energy, small business capacity, and a large disposition to spend money. Samuel Butler, a son-in-law, says he owned about three thousand acres of land in Troy, and a large amount in Cuyahoga county. Leaving his daughter in the cabin with only a hired man, in 1813, he went to Boston, where he married Mary Chadwick, and returned, in 1814, with his wife and three more children. Mary became the wife of Samuel Butler, of Fairport. A quarrel arose between the father and daughter, and he cut her off in his will. Butler brought a suit, and, after many years of litigation, the will was set aside. Samuel and Mary were married at Painesville in 1816, and she died at Fairport in March, 1859. Mr. Butler, aged and infirm, survives. Jacob, a son, and a widowed daughter, a Mrs. Barrett and her daughter, Mary G., who married a Mr. Brooks, of Fairport, wore the others.
This marriage was unfortunate. In three years the children were all driven from the father's house. Jacob went to Warren, entered a store, and cared for his sisters till Mary's marriage, when the sister found a home with her in Fairport. It is said that Mr. Welsh promised the settlers that if they would name the town-ship Welshfield, he would give glass and nails for a meeting house, and fifty acres of land, to settle a minister, which they did, and hence the name. This he forgot to do in his will, and the people, under the lead of John Nash, by petition, secured a change of the name as stated. Mr. Welsh died April 19, 1822.
Peter B. Beals, from Massachusetts, was the second man who came and settled. With him came his nephew, Ebenezer Ford. They reached the township in June, 1811. Beals was authorized by Seth Porter, a land-owner, to select for him, and he chose the east tier of sections for Porter, securing for himself section 1, where he put up a cabin of elm bark, and left a small beech-tree near for shade, which stands a spreading tree near John Beals' dwelling. He "girdled" and cleared some four acres of land, sowed wheat, from which grew the first grain raised in Troy. He returned to Massachusetts, and in the fall reached his new residence, with his wife and five children, also Harry Pratt, a youth brought up by him, then not quite of age. Likewise a young girl, Paulina Ford, who became the wife of Captain Eleazar Hayes, of Fairport, Connecticut, came with him. Also John Beals, a brother, with wife and five children; Simon Burroughs, wife and three children, all from Plainfield, Massachusetts.
The party traveled with five wagons, three by oxen and two by horses. It is said they were the first to pass over the route from Painesville to Burton direct, which they reached without accident about the middle of July. Peter Beals moved directly to this bark cabin.
Mr. Beals was a man of more than ordinary ability and position, unfortunate in life. A passing word may be said of him. In flourishing circumstances at his ripe middle life, he emigrated to advance his boys, as all his children were. Enterprising, he commenced in the woods with energy, was laid on a sick-bed in the fall of 1812, and after a painful illness became a cripple, and disabled from firm-labor. In 1814 he purchased the tavern-stand now the residence of M. D. Mariam, moved there, and became a postmaster of Burton. ' He also became a salesman of merchandise for Hickox & Punderson, which he trusted out, became involved, mortgaged his eleven hundred acres of land, suffered heavy judgments, and finally quite lost his sight. In this condition, Peter Hitchcock, Jr., though a mere boy, used to make out his quarterly returns for him. He lost his wife in 1821, a most excellent, lovable woman, and groped his way thence down hill alone. On leaving Burton, he went to live with Alvord, a son, in 1842, in Troy, and supported himself by shaving shingles. The place was sold to W. W. Beals, a nephew, with whom he lived until his death, April 26, 1850, near eighty-seven years of age. His remains were laid by the unmarked grave of his loved wife, in the Burton cemetery, where both sleep without memento.
It is said of him that on his sixty-sixth birthday he composed a stanza on the misfortunes of his life, and added another each anniversary thereafter, each growing sadder until his death, twenty years later.
The others remained in Burton until houses were prepared. John Beals settled where he lived and died at the age of near ninety-eight, -- the oldest person in Troy at the time of his death. Burroughs commenced, lived, and died on the farm afterwards occupied by his son Amos.
Alpheus Pierce, also from Plainfield, Massachusetts, commenced to clear and put up the body of a log house in the summer of 1812; went back and moved his family into the township February, 1813. He settled on the farm afterward owned by L. Burroughs.
John Nash, of Windsor, Berkshire county, Massachusetts (Troy was settled from Massachusetts), came and settled on the farm now owned by his son, John Nash, now an old man. With him came a part of the family of the hapless Benjamin Lamoyn, also from Plainfield, Massachusetts. The venerable Mrs. Pike, an elder sister of John, was about six years old at the time of the westward journey. She has the liveliest recollection of the incidents, especially from Buffalo up the lake coast and trail. Our soldiers were then in the neighborhood of Buffalo, and along up towards Cattaraugus, and were not pleased with the idea of families pushing into the perilous west. The journey was made in the winter. At a point within their lines, during an awfully cold day, where the travelers had stopped, a chilled, benumbed soldier on his post was almost perishing with the cold, and Lamoyn, a generous young man, offered to take his place for an hour, -- which he did. It was an exposed place, and the Arctic winds across the frozen lake so chilled and benumbed him in that hour that he never recovered; was carried on, and afterwards died in Madison on the 22d of February, 1813. The others reached Troy on the 11th of February. The widow Lamoyn, and what made the family, began on the farm afterwards known as the Sawyer farm, owned by various persons.
Simon Burroughs, also from Plainfield with his family, reached Barton in the winter of 1811-12, and the next November moved into Troy, on the west side of "sugar-loaf." On the 2d day of July following he lost a son, five years old, the first death in the township.
The first marriage was that of Luther Hemingway, of Parkman, and Mary, daughter of Simon Burroughs, in the winter of 1816.
Elijah Ford, a young man of Plainfield, came in the winter of 1812, bought land of P. B. Beals, and married Esther, daughter of Benjamin Johnson, of Burton, before the above, and in due time their daughter Lovina was born, March 2, 1814, the first of the pioneer children. It is gravely noted of her that she ate the first apple that grew in Troy, and married the first man born in the township of his own nativity, in Orleans county, Vermont. Doubtless she was among quite the first people of Welshfield.
Peter B. Beals built the first framed barn, in 1812, on the old W. W. Beals place. It disappeared long ago.
Nathaniel Weston, Nathan R. Lewis, and Isaac Russell also came and settled on section four.
Thus far all the settlements were in the eastern part of the township.
While Troy was yet a part of Burton, John Nash was elected justice of the peace, and four terms afterwards. He transported his family in a wagon drawn by horses, while his goods were transported by oxen. With his family came an adopted son, Joseph Nash, who died in January, 1858. Besides Joseph, were his wife and five children; more were added later. Of these, Clarissa married N. Colson, and is living, a widow, in Michigan. Sabina married Amos Burroughs, and lives in Troy. Emily, after burying three husbands, survives to tell the story, by the name of Pike. At seventy-one, she lives south of the centre Troy, and feels a deep interest in all the incidents of pioneer history, can name almost every funeral that has occurred in Troy, and repeat the text of the sermons delivered on the occasions. John, Jr., married Mary Lamb, and lives on the old homestead. Alden married Olive Pond, and is dead. Edwin died in infancy, The twins, Philenia and Philansia, -- the first named married David Nash, and lives in Troy; the other, Philousia, died in infancy. Louisa married L. Griffith, and is dead, and Julia A. died in infancy. Of these, the four younger were natives of Troy. The father purchased six hundred acres of land, was long a prominent and highly-respected man, and died September 11, 1846, aged seventy-one. His wife died June 27, 1835, aged fifty-seven.
Joseph Nash, a brother of John, came to Troy in 1826. He settled on seven-teen, the farm of Henry Truman. His family were a wife and ten children. Of the children six are living. These are James, at Hiram; Maud, Rosina, Philander, and Betsey in Wisconsin; Lyman in Kansas; and Joseph F. in Troy. Mr. Nash was a minute-man in the war of 1812, an ensign; also a justice of the peace in Troy. He died September, 1858. His mother, who came with him, died in 1850.
Israel Whitcomb, of Bolton, Massachusetts, came to Troy in company
with Benjamin Kingsbury, a native of New Hampshire, in 1818, and made
selections of land, -- Whitcomb in northwest, near what is known
as Pope's Corners, and Kingsbury on the southwest corner. Kingsbury
was a blacksmith, and among the first in the township. They returned
and brought on their families the next season. Whitcomb had a wife
and three children, Elsie, Abigail, and Sophia. The daughters are yet
living, two in Auburn and one in Iowa. After their settlement in Troy
four children were born to them, Orissa, John, Jennette, and Rebecca.
Jennette is deceased. Mr. Whitcomb died in Auburn in 1870. Mrs.
Whitcomb died in 1874. They were a worthy family. Of the three
Kingsbury children, two, Caroline and Jedediah, are living. A
daughter of Caroline is now the wife of O. S. Farr, Esq., a lawyer
and mayor of Chardon.
188 HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO.
John Fox, known as Captain Fox, of Chester county, Massachusetts, came to Troy in 1819 in company with Benjamin Hall, and purchased three hundred acres of land. In January, 1821, with his family and effects packed in two sleighs, drawn by two and three horses, he made the second journey. He reached Ohio about the 1st of March, and settled on lot eighteen, where he made a fine farm of two hundred acres improvement; and at the intersection of the highways he afterwards erected a fine brick house, for which he made the brick, -- the first and only brick building in Troy, -- now the residence of D. L. Pope, Esq. His family were then his wife, a daughter, Lovina, who became the wife of Amplis Green, of Newbury, whom she survives; J. Mason, who married Harriet Ober, then of Newbury, and resides on lot nineteen; Dudley, who married Elvira Scoville, and deceased; George, who married Nancy Hinkley, and lives at the centre of Troy; and William, who married Caroline A. Pope, also deceased. Of the children born in Troy, Mary was the first wife, and after her death Harriet became the second wife, of Marshal Dresser, who, with his father's family, were early settlers in the northwest corner of Mantua, and lives at the centre of Troy; and Emily became the wife of David L. Pope, and died September, 1865. Of this union were born Lewis L. Pope, interested in the Chagrin, Falls Paper Company, and the junior in the firm of D. L. Pope & Son. He resides at Chagrin Falls. Mrs. Fox died in 1849, and John Fox in 1850.
Lewis S. Pope, born in Fairfield county, Connecticut, in 1796, married Chary Smith in November, 1817. She was a daughter of David Smith, Sr., a pioneer of Auburn. Mr. Pope removed to Otsego county, New York, in 1823. Ia 1835 he migrated to Auburn. Here he purchased forty acres of wild land, for which he was to chop and clear an equal quantity. Without means, save a capital of shrewd enterprise, energy, and a robust frame, he suggested to a neighbor, Alvinus Snow, a man of means and enterprise, that money could be made on work-oxen and dried apples in Michigan. Snow advanced the money, and Pope purchased eight yokes of oxen and six tons of dried apples. With an assistant he went to Michigan, and doubled the money invested. He made one more venture successfully, and with his share of the proceeds he launched on a successful and honorable career. Of the children of this pair, Linus S. married Mary A. Hinkley, and is deceased; Lucy A. became the wife of Benjamin Kingsbury, also deceased; Cornelia F. became the wife of William Fox, as stated, and lives in Troy; Chary M. married H. M. Hervey, and lives in Madison, Lake County; Mary S. became the wife of Charles Onderdonk, and resides in the same place; Irving W. married Rebecca Whitcomb, and lives in Chagrin Falls, and is prominent in the Chagrin Falls Paper Company.
Mr. Pope, Sr., removed to Troy in 1838, and made various purchases, till he owned five hundred acres of land. He was extensively engaged in dairying and general speculation. At the county fair for 1847 he exhibited a cheese of eight hundred pounds' weight. He was a man of energy, force, and sagacity, and prominent in his township and the surrounding country. He was a justice of the peace, and held other offices. He died January 28, 1875. Mrs. Pope, at the age of eighty-five, resides with her son, Irving W., at Chagrin Falls.
Lewis T. Scott, of Essex county, New York, came to Troy in 1832, and settled an the farm he still occupies.
Thomas Scott, father of L. T., with his wife and seven children, and Benj. Thrasher, his wife, and two children, came the year before: Mr. Scott, Sr., lived in Troy till his death, in 1870. His wife died in 1867. Of the ten children of Lewis T. seven are living. Two sons lost their lives in the war; one in Andersonville prison.
Gideon Bentley, from Penfield, Massachusetts, came to Burton in 1817, and took up land, and the next year brought on his family, -- a wife and four children. Of these two are living. Nelson married Nabby Burroughs, and moved to Troy in 1833, where he resides with a second wife. Warren lives in Minnesota.
Anson Shaw came from Wayne county, New York, in 1832, with his wife; bought sixty acres of land, section twenty-three, in Troy, and now owns three hundred and fifty. To him, by his first wife, were born five children. His second wife was Elizabeth Ober, of Newbury. Of this last marriage seven were added to the family, of whom ten survive. Mr. Shaw is one of the hard-working farmers. Mrs. Shaw is an excellent mother.
Lyman Truman, from New York, came to Burton a boy, and worked for John Ford till eighteen, when he went to Troy; bought land just west of the centre, where a son, H. O., now lives. He married Sarah, a daughter of Henry Pratt, a Troy pioneer. Of this marriage there were seven children, Daniel H., Clinton, Maria, Ozro, Herman O., Marietta, and L. A.
The father died in January, 1871, after a useful life. He was many years a justice of the peace. Mrs. Truman died March, 1878.
There were many other early settlers of Troy, some of whose names have not reached me. There is a large number of conspicuous present residents whom it would be pleasant to mention. I may name Benj. Hosmer, a pioneer of Parkman, an early settler of Newbury, of which place his first wife, a daughter of Asa Robinson, was a resident. He removed to Troy in 1830 or 1831, where he still lives, at an advanced age, north of the centre. Near him is his eldest son, Henry L., one of the largest and best farmers of Troy; also his eldest daughter, Emily, the wife of Samuel J. Esty, Esq., between him and the centre. Mr. Esty, a son of Captain John Esty, of Mantua, is a man of note in Troy, a justice of the peace, and township clerk, and much esteemed. South of the centre lives N. C. Welsh, grandson of Jacob, who married Maria Gilbert, of Newbury, a pioneer of Burton, and an early resident of Newbury.
Deacon Ziba Pool was an early settler, still living, -- a man of worth, and well esteemed. Deacon Edward Turner was another.
H. Marvin James, father of Wallace James, was an early resident of Troy. N. M. Olds was also an early settler.
Dr. Jacob Thrasher came there in 1831 or 1832; also Solomon Wells, his son-in-law, a man of energy, character, and wealth, still living on section seven. J. C. Wateman, a successful farmer, was also an early resident. There are many of the descendants of the pioneers who hold pleasant seats in Troy, and, with the newcomers, uphold the character of the town for intelligence, good order, and general progress in the acts of Christian civilization. Among others, I must not omit the name of John Cutler, youngest son of John Cutler, one of the Auburn pioneers, and an early settler of Newbury, from which place the first named removed to Troy many years since.
We have had our first settlers, our first wedding, and first birth, and many other first things. The first death, as stated, was that of Reed Burroughs, a son of the pioneer, July 2, 1813. There was no clergyman or man to conduct a religious ceremony, and they laid his little form, amid silent tears, under the shade of the forest on land now owned by Lewis Burroughs. In the course of a few years others of the early departed were placed in the earth near him, where they remained till a burying ground -- a cemetery -- was established at the centre, when the remains of all those dead were interred in it.
The first saw-mill was built by W. W. Beals in 1826, and afterwards carried off by a freshet.
RELIGIOUS.The beginnings of worship, the manifestation of the instinctive religious sentiment, never absent from the human heart when it takes the form of public acknowledgment of a higher power, marks an important era in the organization of human society. Around it the fine social instincts and gentle charities come and group themselves. No man can utterly extinguish it in his heart. The most hardened of male mortals believes that the prayer of a pure woman will be heard, whether there is a God for himself or not. So the most abandoned and profligate of fathers, when he comes to lay the form of a loved child away in its kindred earth, seeks the Christian minister whom he has reviled, and asks him to hallow the resting-place with prayer and dedicate it to the sweet guardianship of the angels. The subtlest of human reasoners argues God out of his universe, when, lo! he finds his footsteps ambushed by the presence which the next moment he instinctively admits. When the mysteries are unlocked the secret of this innate reverence and disposition to worship will be better understood.. In the mean time it will continue to make, fasten, and mar human destinies in the associations of the races of man. I have before me part of a brown and faded letter, without date or signature, addressed to the Rev. J. H. Hopkins. It comes to me without note or comment, yet, which I think, from internal evidence, was written by the late W. W. Beals, at one time the county surveyor, to a copy of whose sketch of the settlement of Troy I am largely indebted. From this I quote as a graphic and a freer sketch than I would venture of the primitive worship of the Presbyterian (congregation) pioneers of Troy. It seems that the writer's uncle, Peter (B. B.), had given Mr. Hopkins some account of that interesting matter, which the writer supplements by his letter. It will be remembered that the Alpheus Pierce mentioned came to Troy in 1812.
"I will therefore state some additional facts which came under my own observation. finale Peter has stated the time when Alpheus Pierce and others arrived in town. Immediately on his arrival meetings on the Sabbath were set up, and as he, fora long time, was the only male member of any church of course he had to do all the praying (in public). John Nash and family, Harry Pratt (father of the present chorister) did the singing, and sermons were generally read by some young man, though Mr. Welsh sometimes, when he attended, would read. It would be somewhat amusing now ao see the interior of the log cabin in which the meetings were held. Mr. Pierce was a tall, straight, sober-looking man, from fifty to sixty years of age, his garments coarse and somewhat tattered, to hide which, he always wore a leather apron. Beside him sat an idiot son, occasioned by fits (the idiocy not the boy), in garments like his father, only more tattered, without the necessary appendage of the apron. Yet he was not an idle spectator, for frequently I have seen him when the reading closed, and the old' man with his head down absorbed in contemplation or overcome by Morpheus would jog him with his elbow, and whisper, 'Come, daddy, pray.' The old gentleman would raise himself up and go at it. Slowly at first, but would, in a few minutes, get quite fervent in praying, 'that this howling wilderness might soon bud and blossom as the rose,' which he lived to see literally fulfilled, though he moved south, toward the middle of the State, some few years before his death."
HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO. 189
The writer remarks that of those who attended these primitive assemblages, most of them were marked by steady, honest lives, many became members of the church, all good citizens; while of those who preferred hunting or fishing, and idle spendings of the Sabbath, many became worthless and a few went to the bad.
He further says, that the first wedding in Troy was the marriage of Luther Hemingway, of Parkman, to Mary, daughter of Simon Burroughs. This is a possible error. The record shows that this took place December 5, 1816, by Reverend Luther Humphrey.
The marriage of Elijah Ford and Esther Johnson was April 11, 1813, by Esquire Lyman Benton, of whom sprang that wonderful first baby, who ate and had the first of good things. Both of the weddings are stated by tho record to be "of Burton," but it is to be remembered that Welshfield was a part of the township of Burton. The bride Mary Burroughs lived in Troy, and Esther lived in Burton, and it is more probable that the writer of this letter is correct. Evidently he never finished his letter, and it was left to fall into our hands.
The church thus planted in the woods, thus prayed for by the good Alpheus, albeit prompted by his unapproved weakling, was not lost sight of by a watchful Providence. And as Mrs. Pike says, the people -- church people -- began early to think of building a " meeting-house" (good old name like that of burying ground), which was built in 1836, a pleasant, convenient church edifice, at the centre. Of the course of the invisible church from its primitive planting to the year 1832, when the Congregational church organization was formally effected, we are without information. Mrs. Pike says that the organization occurred on the 26th of March, 1832. The following were the members of the body thus formed: John and Mrs. John Beals, W. W. Beals, Osman Beals, Electu Beals, Sabrina Pierce, Polly Nash, Harvey Pratt, Paulina Lampson, and Sally Burroughs. Of these, Sally Burroughs was the only survivor at the time Mrs. Pike wrote her account. Up to the time of that writing, the whole membership was three hundred and eight, those who died while members were sixty-four, one hundred and thirty-six took from it letters to other bodies, thirty-seven have been dismissed, twenty-three left without letters, and thirty-one remained as members.
In the autumn of 1832 the first class in the Methodist Episcopal church was formed by Rev. Mr. Richer, of the following persons: Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Doolittle, and a Mr. Mott. Mr. Davis was chosen leader. This was in the Fox neighborhood. There was another class at the centre, and a third in the Beals settlement. In 1836 the Rev. John Crane consolidated these classes, and organized the church at the centre. Its church edifice was erected there about 1840.
The following clergymen have ministered to this church in the order of time mentioned: 1837, Reeves and Crum; 1838, Thomas Carr; 1839, Thomas Carr and Worralo; 1840, Worralo and Clock; 1841, Father Aylworth and Hiram Kellogg; 1842, Rich and Stow; 1843, Ahab Keller and Albert Norton; 1844, Ahab Keller and Geo. W. Maltbie; 1845, Holmes and Sullivan; 1846, Sullivan and Rogers; 1847, Reeves and Walker; 1848, Reeves and Walker; 1849, John J. Steadman and Wm. Sampson; 1850, Cole and Kellogg; 1851, Thomas Tait and Jno. W. Hill; 1852, Lewis Clark and Ira Eddy; 1853, Excel and Hulbert; 1854, Excel and Gray; 1855, Wm. Bear and Ingraham; 1856, Bear and Ingraham; 1857, Albert Norton and Dr. Brown; 1858-59, Cyrel Wilson; 1860, Williams; 1861, Cole; 1862; Kellogg; 1863 Kellogg; 1864-65, Chamberlain; 1866-67, J. B. Hammond; 1868, Hiram Kellogg; 1869-70, Flower; 1871-73, Schaeffer; 1874-75, B. C. Warner; 1876, Charles Elliott.
SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION.The first school in the township was taught by Mrs. Barrett, a widow, and a daughter of Jacob Welsh. A. H. Fairbanks taught the first winter school in the Beals settlement, in a little log school-house.
The first framed school-house was built near the residence of John Nash in 1818. Nathaniel Colson taught in it the first time.
At first the township composed one school district. In 1829 there were four; with ten householders in the 1st, twenty in No. 2, nine in No. 3, and seven in No. 4, -- a total of forty-six in the township.
In 1878, there are eight, with a total enumeration of two hundred and thirteen pupils on the 17th of September, 1877. Of these one hundred and ten are males, one hundred and three females, with fifty-four between sixteen and twenty-one years of age.
Generally, the school property is in good condition, the teachers selected with care, and the interests of education kept quite abreast of the well advanced in the county.
Alden J. Nash built the first and only hotel in Troy, about 1841 or 1842. Dr. Foster added to it.
It is said that Samuel Burroughs, Sr., was the first blacksmith. I. E. Wales, V. S. Sperry, D. L. Dean, and D. Barber are the present smiths.
Henry Wales was the first carriage-maker, and S. J. Esty and H. E. Wales carry on the business now.
At present there is but one saw-mill in the township. This is about one and a quarter miles north of the centre, owned by H. W. Hosmer, and propelled by both steam and water. It is a shingle-machine, and located on the farm of Amos Burroughs.
MERCHANDISING.When Captain John Fox came to Troy, in 1819, he brought a team-load of goods, calico, shoes, etc. He boarded with Mr. Whitcomb, and in one corner of his log house, which had but one room, he put up some shelves, and on these displayed his goods to the wondering eyes of the settlers. This room was store, parlor, kitchen, bedroom and ball. After these goods were disposed of, he retired from the risky avocation of the merchant to that of tiller of the soil.
The present stores are owned by H. Kellogg & Son and D. L. Pope & Son, general merchandise; J. E. Wales and D: Warner, groceries.
Postmasters. -- S. W. Kellogg, at Centre; D. Warner, at the Grove, who has been postmaster since the office was established, some five years since. Blacksmiths. -- J. E. Wales, V. S. Sperry, D. L. Dean, and D. Barber. Wagonmakers. -- S. J. Estey, H. E. Wales.
The first cheese-factory in Troy township, and among the first in
the county, was erected by D. L. Pope, who has since acquired a wide
reputation in connection with the dairy interest. It was located on
lot No. 18, was thirty by one hundred and ninety feet in size, and
three stories high; capital, four thousand dollars. The patronage
the first year was eight hundred cows, the second year twelve
hundred, which was the largest for any one year. During the season of
1878 the factory is utilizing the milk from six hundred cows; average
daily make of cheese, twelve hundred pounds. Mr. Pope has another
factory, at Madison, Lake County.
FIRST TOWNSHIP ELECTION.The separate civil organization of the township was perfected by an order of the commissioners of the county, March 6, 1820.
The first election was holden on the first Monday of that year, at the house of Jacob Welsh, of which Jacob Welsh, John Nash, and John Dayton were the judges, and Jacob Burroughs, clerk. The three judges of the election were elected the first trustees. Adolphus Paine and John Beals, overseers of the poor; John Osborn and Hiram Dayton, fence-viewers; Benjamin Hale, lister and appraiser, and Henry Pratt, appraiser; Amos Burroughs, Hiram Dayton, and Israel Dayton, supervisors of highways.
There seem to have been plenty of Daytona in the township of that day, and many good ones.
The township officers for 1878 are D. H. Truman, E. A. Mumford, and John Cutler, trustees; S. J. Estey, clerk; S. W. Kellogg, treasurer; S. L. Chapman, assessor; H. E. Wales and E. C. Nash, constables; S. J. Estey and J. F. Nash,
190 HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO.
justices of the peace; and twenty-five supervisors. There are eight school districts, controlled by the following Board of Education : J. G. Durfee, president; D. H. Truman, H. E. Wales, L. P. Barrows, James Thrasher, W. H. Pierson, J. F. Nash, D. T. Bradley. S. J. Estey, clerk of the township, is also, ex-officio, clerk of the Board of Education.
Population in 1850, 1164; in 1860, 959; in 1870, 832. Of these last -- 18 were of foreign birth and 2 colored. This shows a falling off between 1850 and 1860 of 205; since 1860 of 127, -- a total in twenty years of 332.
STATISTICS FOR 1878.
Crop Acres Product Wheat 323 acres 5243 bushels Oats 469 " 20313 " Corn 398 " 27366 " Potatoes 185 " 16496 " Orchards 117 " 539 " Meadow 1710 " 2069 tons Butter 51900 pounds Cheese 388898 " Maple Sugar 1190 "
[ 194 ]
Auburn is in the same range -- eight -- with Chardon, with Munson and Newbury between them. On the south lies Mantua, in Portage county, with Troy on the east and Bainbridge on the west, and was known as township six. There is said to be no record of any order of the county commissioners in reference to the name or organization of Auburn save that of March, 1817, by which it is spoken of as Troy.
At the time of the first settlement the township was divided into three tracts by lines east and west, as were all the others. The north was owned by Judge [Isaac] Mills and others. Of the middle tract, Solomon Cowles had over a thousand acres of the east part. Then came the Ely tract, equal to the Cowles. Next his was the Kirtland tract, of two thousand four hundred acres, covering the centre; west and adjoining was the Root tract, of one thousand acres, between which and the township-line was the Miller tract, of one thousand acres. The south third, known as the Atwater tract, was long held out of the market, which greatly retarded the settlement of the township, and was known as the "Mantua woods."
As will be seen by references to the history of Chardon, Auburn was esteemed as an extra good township.
The only water-course that can be called a stream is Bridge creek, rising in the southwesterly part of Newbury, which runs through the westerly part of Auburn, makes a wide circular sweep south and east of the centre, flows northeasterly, gathering in the waters of five or six unnamed tributaries, and passes the east line north of the centre; on its winding way receives the waters of Punderson's and two smaller ponds in Burton, in the borders of Troy, and unites with the sluggish Cuyahoga in that township. Another small branch of the Cuyahoga flows out of the southeast corner, as does a confluent of the Chagrin, from the southwest. Auburn has many fine springs, and there, as generally through the county, wells are easily sunk to intervening waters.
The township is quite as level as any township in the county, with the exception of Montville, which it does not greatly resemble in this respect, while portions of that has that level, which means flat. Auburn abounds in wide and beautiful slopes and graceful swells, with pleasant shallow valleys of considerable beauty, with hardly one elevation rising to the dignity of a hill. The Bridge
HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO. 195
creek valley is quite attractive, especially in the eastern part of Auburn, where it runs northerly, while the Cuyahoga near it, in the same valley, runs south.
SOIL -- TIMBER -- PRODUCTIONS.In soil, the township, as a whole, is equal to the most favored in the county. It has very little poor, no waste, and much of the most fertile land known to that region. Her forests had a splendid growth of the usual varieties, especially chestnut, oak, and whitewood in abundance. There was an early impression that, with the change of the soil incident to culture or its want, the Geauga lands would cease to bear wheat in remunerative crops, -- a delusion passing away with the rude, ruinous, unsystematic course of tillage which everywhere prevailed. Auburn always produced fine wheat, while much of its lands, with a sprinkling of sand, grew the most satisfactory crops of corn and other grains, grasses, and fruits.
SETTLEMENT AND SETTLERS, 1815.One peculiarity may be mentioned as common to the colonization of the Western Reserve, which distinguishes it from all other remembered first occupations of wild countries by civilized peoples. The approved method was to select some favorable point, easiest of access from the flourishing State or nation, usually on the coast of a sea or great river, which gave means of approach, and gradually extended inland. In our instance, the lake had little to do with it. Its beach furnished a wave-beaten highway to the toiling horses and slow, patient oxen, otherwise, until made accessible by the Erie canal, in 1824 or 1825, it could and did act no part in the early peopling of the Reserve. Doubtless had the territory been infested by bands of hostile Indians, the old usage of beginning at a common point for defense and military excursion would have been followed. So, too, had all the land been holden by a State, a single company, or one great individual proprietor, during the time of colonization, the settlements beginning and clustering around a common centre, in time would have extended from it over the whole.
Although purchased by a company, instead of colonizing, its members at once divided the purchase and dissolved. It was an association to buy, and not to sell and occupy. Upon the division, each owner was anxious to sell, and sought purchasers at once -- took worn and worthless eastern lands in exchange, and this was the reason why, within the space of twenty years, simultaneously in the lives of nations, every part of the vast forest-covered territory was seized upon at various independent points. This competition of sellers made the lands cheap. Each individual purchaser at once, without concert with his fellows, pushed off to the western wilds, for the lot he had secured; and this simultaneous and yet isolated occupation of so vast a region, so remote from the parent stock, subjected each pioneer to the hardships, privations, and perils of a first settler, which would have been measurably avoided had the colonization been managed by the State
The settlement of Auburn dates from 1815, and there were then rudimentary improvements, mills, and sources of supplies, and slight channels of communication from her forest, out and away, to the remote world. The story of her settlement is a transcript of all the rest. Here, as elsewhere, I can do little but register the arrivals in her woods for the fifteen first years of her existence, with a word or two of the more noted individuals.
Bildad Bradley is said to have been the first settler, and in the northeast part, near the Newbury line, a little west of the old State road. Here he built the first dwelling. He was a brother of Adonijah Bradley, an early settler in what is now called South Newbury, where he resided for two or three years, when he moved across the line.
This same year, 1815, Zadock Reuwee and John Jackson arrived from Massachusetts, and took up land south of Bradley, made some little improvements, returned and brought their families the same year. Reuwee's wife was a daughter of Oliver [Snow]. At an early day the house near the present homestead on the State road was burned, and consumed the only child, of which a sad legend used to be told by the cabin fires, in olden time. Two other sons were born and the Reuwees were a prosperous, respected, and well-to-do family. The surviving son, Lorenzo S., occupies the old homestead. John Jackson built his south of Reuwees', got a well a-going, and died early. His widow became the second wife of J. M. Burnett, of Newbury. The eldest daughter became Mrs. Gilbert; a younger one Mrs. Jenks, both of Newbury, where Mrs. Jenks still resides, and her twin sister became Mrs. Calvin P. Henry, of Bainbridge. Of the sons, Edward is a farmer, John resides at Newbury, and Anson died at the west leaving a family.
William Craft was the fourth settler. At twenty-five a widower, with a child to care for, he journeyed from New York west, on foot. In Chardon he found Norman Canfield digging the first well. He went south on the "newly-cut road," then impassable for teams. Stayed at Judge Storr's in Newbury. The next house "Uncle Sam. Barker's," east of Punderson's Pond. Passing on, he found respectively, Lemuel Punderson's and Joshua Burnett's, and then came to Harndet Coe's, by the little stream south, with Adonijah Bradley's wheelwright-shop on the other side of the brook. Going south he came to our first settler, Bildad. This was the last day of August, 1815. He purchased the whole of the Ely tract, one thousand one hundred and seventy-six acres, of Punderson, the agent. Returned to Gorham, Ontario county, married the widow Hayes, January 9, 1816, and a month later started for Ohio, with his family, accompanied by John Craft and Joe Keyes. They reached Auburn before the middle of March. He now relinquished his purchase, except four hundred acres, which covers what is now called Auburn Corners, the most considerable place in the township. Mr. Craft became a prosperous man, quite widely known, and died in 1876 at Newbury, eighty-seven years of age. (He wrote a sketch of Auburn for the Geauga Democrat, December, 1868.) Of a considerable family of children, Edward, born August, 1822, and married to Helen Johnson, of Newbury, in June, 1845, now owns and resides in the homestead, one of the largest and most valuable farms in the country.
During the spring of 1816, David Smith and Morgan Orton, from Connecticut, and Ethan Brewer, from Massachusetts, came in and took up land. The two first bought the rest of the Ely tract, and Brewer went west of it, on the Root tract, for land. Smith lived and died respected in Auburn. His son David, equally respected, resides in Chagrin Falls. Benjamin Wood came from Palmyra, New York, in November of that year, and moved Elihu Mott into Newbury. Mr. Wood bought out Orton, went back to Palmyra, and returned accompanied by Charles Hinckley, Amasa Turner, Philip Ingler, and James Benjamin. These young men were prospecting for land in Ohio. Though quite at middle life, Mr. Wood exhibited great energy, erected a comfortable house of hewed, split logs, on the State road, north of the corners. Wood, Hinckley, and Turner returned to New York for their families, with whom they returned in February, 1817. Hinckley and Turner bought north, on the Mills tract, built and occupied their houses. Both of these men and their wives passed away, though descendants remain. Lewis Turner, the eldest son of Amasa, resides in Mantua, and a son of Hinckley keeps a hotel at the Mantua station. Amaziah Keys and John Cutler, with their families, came in March following. Keyes bought and built on the south end of the Ely tract, and Cutler bought west of the centre, on the Kirtland tract, where he lived many years. From there he moved to Black Run, and subsequently to Newbury, where he lived a respectedman till his death. Of his numerous and very intelligent family few remain. Sally is the wife of Phineas Upham, and the youngest son, John, is a citizen of Troy. With Cutler came David Walker, now one of the last pioneers living in Newbury, where he settled. I find on the county duplicate containing the names of the owners of personal property, horses and cattle, the name of Daniel Wheelock, who settled on Auburn, as the owner of one head of cattle. The names of the Auburn men occur with Bainbridge. I also find the name of Lorin Snow, who must have been in Auburn, as the owner of one taxable Kine kind. I subjoin this lost as a curious and instructive relic of that time:
There is something a little puzzling about this duplicate. The assessment must be the tax. There was, as will be remembered, in each township an officer called a lister, and he and another were the appraisers. These together fixed the valuation, and the duplicate shows the property and tax, omitting the valuation. Afterwards a statute put horses at the valuation of forty dollars, and cattle at eight dollars per head.
Loren Snow and Wheelock were from Massachusetts, as was John Mowrey, all young men. Snow married one of A. M. Burnett's daughters, and Mowrey one of the Antisdale girls.
George W. Antisdale, of Farmington, N. Y., visited Auburn, on horseback, in 1817, and purchased three hundred acres of land, in the Kirtland tract, employed Benjamin Wood to put up a split-and-hewn log house, such as Wood built for himself, and returned about the middle of the next January; he started with his family and goods for the home in the woods. The family was a wife and ten children; with them went A. Harrington and family, seven in all, and Gilmore, three
196 HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO.
more, making a party of twenty-one. To transport the goods there were two large canvas-covered ox-sleds, and for the people two large roomy, covered sleighs, drawn by horses. A crowd of old friends came to see the train start, and say the final good-bye. A small herd of cows were driven in advance, to subsist the party, and commence in the woods with. One of the sons, then a lad of ten, George W., gives a graphic account of the journey, which occupied nineteen days. Hardships awaited them as well. The senior Antisdale had hardly started in the woods, when he sickened and died. The mother first hired Arnold Harrington, and then married him, to the disgust of the elder children. Meantime the eldest sister died, and darkness and distress came upon them. Finally, the boys who were left, returned, and things went well with them. G. W. Antisdale, Jr., now an aged, well-to-do man, resides at Chagrin Falls.
The Harringtons settled in Auburn. No account is given of Gilmore.
Pardon Wilber purchased on the Root tract, on Bridge creek. He was a most worthy man, father of William and George, and grandfather of Professor Wilber, the geologist. Joseph Bartholmew came and went on to the same tract. Lewis Findlay and John Bosworth came in the fall of the same year. Findlay settled west on the Mills tract. Bosworth went on to a part of Wood's land. He was a God-fearing man, which seems to distinguish him from those who preceded him. Something of an exhorter was he, and "Uncle Bill" (William Craft), without so saying, would seem to wish to have one believe he was little short of a preacher outright. It was high time, Auburn, then two years old, began to heed her ways. In the early part of 1818, came Elliot Craft and Jeremiah White, from Ontario county, New York, which furnished a good many in Auburn. They bought, built, brought on their families, and became residents; also, Austin Richards, who settled on the Mills tract near Jackson. He became much of a man, and a son lives on the old farm. In that or the next year came Ephraim Wright, who bought out John Cutler. He must have been followed by his brother, David, not long after. Ephraim afterwards, in 1835, sold to Gilbert Hinkly, a brother of Charles, and father of Charles D. and Jerome.
J. P. Bartholomew came in 1819, was a blacksmith, the first in Auburn, and was soon followed by Roswell Rice, also a smith. Rice bought a place at the Corners, built a house and shop, sold out and went to Newbury, from which he went to Mantua.
In 1819 or 1820, Oliver Snow must have come from Massachusetts, and bought just south of the Reuwees. He built on the crown of a swell, on the west side of the road, sheltered by a grove of second growth, after one of the tornadoes. Here he and his wife lived and died. He was a man of wealth and influence. One daughter was Mrs. Zadock Reuwee, already mentioned. The other was Mrs. Jonathan Burnett, now a widow, and resides at the Corners. Loren, mentioned before, married a daughter of J. M. Burnett, of Newbury, and built, lived, and died just opposite the elder Snow's. The younger, Alvirus, married, became very wealthy, and with his wife, still lives pleasantly, a little farther south, on the State road. Oliver Snow and Benjamin Wood were famous debaters of Scripture, of which both entertained latitudinarian notions, and each in his way was a marked man.
Henry Canfield was an early resident of the township. He was a carpenter and a man of influence; built mills, and afterwards built a large flouring mill at the Rapids, in Hiram, which involved him in an expensive lawsuit with the people of Troy, and others, who claimed that his dam flooded the before almost dead water, back on their lands, and produced malarious diseases. His son, Hiram, who married Sally, a daughter of Asa Robinson, of Newbury, purchased land in the Atwater tract, and became a wealthy and highly respected man. John Morey also became a settler on that tract, as did one of the Hinckleys and J. P. Bartholomew; also some of the Reeds, from Mantua, -- Lewis and Oril, -- and many others from elsewhere. W. H. Mills, from Mantua, and others.
It is impossible to trace further the annals with clearness. A large number of Staffords came, as did more Crafts. There were the Frazers below the Corners, and the valley, along the northeast border, filled up. John Clark, with a row of sons, came; also the Ways, on the north border, and the Barnes. The Websters were there before. Curtis Waterman, now of Troy, must have been an early settler, and Uncle Job Warren, the Quaker, and John Brown moved into Auburn from Newbury. There were the Ensigns and the Hoards. Russel Harrington and his brother were among the early settlers, as was Amos Plamer and his son-in-law, S. L. Wadsworth.
Auburn early put on the appearance of an old and well-settled country, and her people have always sustained a high reputation for intelligence and good order, and have had a fair influence in the affairs of the county.
It is said that of the pioneers of Auburn, resident of the township, Jeremiah White and his wife are the oldest. They are aged respectively -- the husband eighty-three and the wife seventy-eight. They came into Auburn in 1818, and are now pleasantly living a little west of Auburn Corners, and still care for and provide for themselves and each other. The hand that gathered so much was niggard of more, and prevents an outline sketch of these venerable lingerers on the borders of the oldest of time.
ORGANIZATION.At their March session, 1817, the commissioners of the county made an order which declares, among other things, "The towns known by the name Kentstown and Troy, or No. 6 in the ninth range (Bainbridge), and No. 6 in the eighth range (Auburn), be declared a separate township by the union of Bainbridge." It this appears that Auburn was known on the county records by the name of Troy, of which no tradition ever before reached me. It has generally been supposed that this order had reference to the present Troy. This is an error; that was never attached to Bainbridge, and was then called Welshfield, while the tax duplicate above referred to, for 1817, included the people and property of Auburn, with that of Bainbridge as part of it. They are also included in the duplicate for 1818. (See history of Bainbridge.) It was pursuant to this order that the residents of both townships met at the house of Ethan Brewer, over west of the centre of Auburn, and held their first election on the first Monday of April, 1817. At this election Ethan Brewer was elected justice of the peace. It was not by any means a ceremonious thing, and Uncle Bill mentions that the man who owned the house, where the election was held, got it. He did seem to have had an advantage. One man must have been rude indeed, even for that free time, who would go into a neighbor's house for a social election and vote against him for justice of the peace, as a majority, I am glad to say, did not, and I can assure my readers that Esquire E. Brewer was a worthy good man, well and favorably known. Enos Kingsley, of Bainbridge (Kentstown, from G. Kent), was elected clerk, and I fail to be informed who were elected to the other offices. It has not been brought to my notice when Auburn was severed from Bainbridge, and came to be called Auburn, nor how she came to be called Auburn. Even Uncle Bill throws no light on that. Her people were assessed in 1818, as in the year before; the only old duplicates saved from the burning of the old court-house, as I am informed by Mr. E. V. Canfield, who picked them up; nor has the record of the first or early township elections been brought to my notice.
The first marriage in Auburn was that of Betsey Keyes to Samuel Moore, of Mantua, by Ethan Brewer, justice of the peace. The wedding took place at the residence of the bride's father, the 25th day of December, 1817.
The second marriage was that of Morgan Orton to Rebecca Moore, by the Rev. Luther Humphrey, of Burton, at the residence of Wm. Craft, in Auburn, in the winter of 1819.
The first white child born in Auburn was Jeremiah Craft, son of Wm. Craft. He was born in a log house, south of Auburn Corners, on the farm now owned by his son, Edward Craft.
The first death was that of George W. Antisdale, in September, 1818 or 1819.
The second death was that of John Craft, and occurred a few years later.
The first frame barn was built by John Jackson in 1816, this being the first framed building erected in town.
The first school-house was built on the road running north from Auburn Corners, in the fall of 1818, and Charles Hodkins was the first schoolmaster.
The second school-house was a split and hewed log house, built on the southeast corner (at the Corners), where W. N. White's store now stands. This house was burned; how it took fire no one seems to know. However, religious meetings had been held there, and rumor said it was the work of enemies of the cause. A few years after this, the district being divided, a framed house was built at the centre, and one about one-third of a mile east of Auburn Corners. These four houses were built by subscription. In the course of time there were other school-houses built in various parts of the town, as the people required.
In 1845 and 1846, Rufus Dutton taught a select school at the Corners. The marked period of the educational interest of Auburn began in 1842, when Wesley Vincent began a select school in the red store in the Corner. Vincent taught with great credit to himself, from 1842 to 1847. Afterwards, the services of
HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO. 197
Clark Williams were secured to teach a select school in a shop just south of the red store, on the corner; and from 1850 to 1853, Job Fish taught with success.
Our township records back of 1827 have been sold, I understand, for paper rags, -- a very funny thing for a clerk to do, -- and I find it difficult to give facts, for that reason. In 1838 there were five hundred and twenty scholars enrolled between the ages of four and twenty; in 1877, between the ages of six and twenty-one, only one hundred and sixty-two. In 1853 the township was divided into twelve districts. In 1878 there were only seven districts. In September, 1877, the board of education adopted the following series of books: Ray's New Practical Arithmetic, McGuffey's Readers, Harvey's Grammar, and the Eclectic Geography. We have now in general use a uniform system of text-books.
The amount of appropriations made by the board for school purposes during the past few years ranges from eight hundred dollars to twelve hundred dollars. The fact is, that our schools are so scattered, and there are so few scholars, that they are shiftlessly managed.
The first log house was that of Bildad Bradley, of which mention has been made elsewhere. It was built in 1815, on the town-line, between Newbury and Auburn, on the farm now owned by Lorenzo Reuwee.
The first framed house was built by Joseph Woodward, about one-half mile west of the centre, on the farm now owned by Wm. Brown.
The first saw-mill was built by Henry Canfield in 1822. Mr. Canfield moved in with his family in 1820, built, and moved on to the land he had previously bought, and which is situate on the southeast corner of the Root tract, and through which runs Bridge creek, on which was a mill-site. Mr. Canfield built a saw-mill as above stated. Mr. Canfield was a good carpenter, and a very industrious man; he built a frame house and barn, ran his mill for several years, and sold to his brother Elijah, who lived in the State of New York.
J. P. Bartholomew is said to be the first blacksmith in Auburn. He came on in the year 1819, purchased on the Root tract, returned, married, and occupied his Auburn home. Later, when the south tract came into market, he purchased, moved there, where he remained till his death, in 1865. Three of his sons were in the Union army.
Ethan Brewer, the well-known Esquire Brewer, built the first tavern at the Corners in 1829, -- a long, narrow, low, one-story building. This was transferred to Charles Wood, a son of Benj. Wood, in 1832. In 1834 Watts succeeded Wood, and Daniel Ethridge purchased it in 1835. He died in 1859, and was succeeded by his son Grandison. A new house was built -- a front to the old -- in 1840. The property went into the hands of C. G. Hayes in 1864.
Sidney Royce built another at the corners in 1833, long since discontinued. The only hotel in Auburn is the one first named.
Of the justices of the peace Ethan Brewer was elected the first Monday in April, 1817. It may be well to notice some others who succeeded him in the office. John Jackson was next elected. He served two terms and died [in 1824]. David Smith succeeded him; he was also the first postmaster. Then followed Pardon Wilber, Charles Hinkley, George Wilber, son of Pardon Wilber, David Smith, Jr., Austin Richards, and others.
S. L. Wadsworth is the present postmaster.
The Auburn box-works were set up about 1869, by G. W. Barnes. He conducted the business two years, and formed a copartnership with G. W. Stafford. They continued the business two years, and Mr. Barnes retired. April 14, 1774, the factory was consumed by fire. Mr. Stafford changed the site, moving the factory near the centre of Auburn, where he erected a large building, perhaps the largest and best of the kind in Geauga County, where he continues the business, employing many hands, and turning out work satisfactory to himself and customers. Mr. Stafford is an enterprising business man, and prosecutes his business with zeal and energy. A view of his factory and mill may be seen in this work.
The first cheese-factory built in Auburn was what is known as the old Hood factory, located one and a half miles south and one-half mile east of the centre, now said to be owned by Boughton & Ford, of Burton, and Jacob Lyons, of Auburn.
There are some five other factories in the town. Perhaps the oldest one is located two miles east of the centre, and run by the proprietor, Philip E. Haskins. The factory was rebuilt, with a large curing-house added to it, in 1874. It is now on a good footing, unequaled by many, and perhaps unsurpassed in the county. The others are said to be doing well.
The first store opened in Auburn was that of William Baker, in 1829 or 1830. Lester Perkins had another there quite as early; then came Barnes & Herrington, in 1830 or 1831. This was a general retail house, with character, capital, and enterprise. After about three years they built the store-house now owned and occupied by W. N. White. Fifteen years after Barnes sold his interest to Herrington, who continued it five or six years, and sold to John Mayhew. Different parties continued the business until W. N. White purchased the building and stock; and is now doing a prosperous business. There are three other stores at the corners, -- one groceries, one hardware and tin, another groceries and millinery goods, owned respectively by J. R. Stewart. W. F. Balke, and M. E. Haskins.
At Auburn centre the first and only family store opened was in 1872, by J. A. Stafford. Harvey Herrington, of the old firm of Barnes & Herrington, was a man of superior intelligence and high character; sold out and went away many years ago. Barnes retired on to a large farm, is said to be in Cleveland, and would be well off wherever he is.
ORDERS AND SOCIETIES.
This lodge was never in a more prosperous condition than at the present time. It owns a one-third interest in the building and real estate which they now and have occupied since their organization in 1853. They leased the hall for a term, we believe, of twenty years. After this expiration of the term, a new lease was given, but the society bought as stated. A part of the building is owned by a stock company, who purchased and repaired it very fittingly as a free hall. Persons could congregate and express views on any moral subject free of charge, there being a feeling in the churches somewhat adverse to giving the use of their houses except for religious worship.
The first that the township records show in regard to township officers dates back to 1827, when we find the following list of officers: Township Clerk, Lorin Snow; Trustees, Charles Hinkley, Joseph Webster, and Roger W. Antisdale; Overseers of the Poor, Zadock Reuwee and David Smith; Fence-Viewers, Ephraim Wright and Joseph Woodward; Justice of the Peace, David Smith; Constable, William Squires; Supervisors, :orin Snow, District No. 1; Asahel Kent, No. 2; Morgan Orton, No. 3; Joseph Bartholomew, No. 4; Jeremiah White, No. 5; Abner Colvin, No. 6.
The present officers of the township are Justices of the Peace, George Dutton and C. A. Mills; Township Trustees, William Wilber, A. T. Wing, and William C. Dutton; Assessor, H. E. Andrews; Clerk, C. A. Mills; Treasurer, G. W. Stafford; Constables, H. M. Andrews and G. Canfield.
We record the deaths of some of the first settlers. John Jackson died January 13, 1824; his wife died August 3, 1861; Zadock Reuwee died August 25, 1862;
198 HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO.
Charles Hinkley died March 25, 1842; Amariah Keyes died February 10, 1824; Roswell Rice died February 11, 1861; Austin Richards died January 14, 1867; William Craft died August 26, 1876, David Craft died November 19, 1852; Benjamin Woods died February 27, 1853; Oliver Snow died August 5, 1841, aged ninety-three; Moses Maynard died October 16, 1865, aged ninety-eight.
INCIDENTS -- ACCLDENTS.
The fatal burning of the Reuwees' cabin has been mentioned.
A good many years later, and still many years ago from this (1875), the house of a family by the name of Talcouth, residents of Auburn, was burned, and in it were consumed three or four small children.
STATISTICS FOR 1875.
WILLIAM CRAFTS.There is no finer or more striking head and face in all the varied specimens of the good found in this volume than we present in this ketch. Not unlike that of Henry Clay, with something that reminds of the poet Whittier. He might have been a poet, statesman, or philosopher. he was a comparatively unlettered farmer, an early settler, one of the pioneers of Auburn.
He was born at Boston, Massachusetts, December 21, 1789. He died at Auburn, August 25, 1876, aged eighty-six years, eight months, and four days.
His first American ancestor, Griffin Crafts, came in Governor Winthrop's colony in 1635, from England, and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Many of his descendants are still found in that vicinity. Honorable William A. Crafts, seventh from Griffin, lives in the old homestead of' the family. William Crafts is the sixth. His father's name was Edward, a zealous patriot of the Revolution, who did stout service for the country. Although many of the family in their days and generations have filled high positions in various legislative bodies, and occupied the seats of learning in colleges, the Auburn branch cherish with more warmth the memory of Edward, the patriot soldiers, than that of all the honorables and professors of the name beside. He married Miss Eliot Winship, of Boston. Of these were born four sons and five daughters. The sons were Edward, John, Thomas, and William. All of this family have passed away. It had a good standing, and was well off. The father rose to the rank of major in the army, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of a wide circle. I believe the major in some way fell a victim to overconfidence in continental money, or some form of paper security, and dropped from affluence to a depressed condition, and in consequence removed to western New York, when William, the youngest of the family, was four years old. They settled in Ontario county, as wild as Auburn when William pushed his fortunes thither in 1815. Major Crafts seems never to have recovered his fortunes. Of course the young boy shared the hardships and privations of the boys in the woods the gravest, and the effects of which are the longest continued, were a lack of the means of even the commonest education. He never attended a school but three months in his life, though qualified to transact ordinary business, and he kept one of the first schools in Auburn, had much skill in drawing contracts and papers, had large native good sense and judgment. His mind was clear and vigorous.
At the age of twenty-two he was married to Catherine Millspaugh, and she bore him one son, Daniel, born in 1812. She seems never to have recovered from the illness consequent upon his birth, and died in less than a month afterward, leaving William with his young infant.
On the 1st of August, 1815, the young widower, then twenty-five, tall, broad-shouldered, well made, and powerful, with a strikingly manly face and blue eyed, shouldered his traveling-pack and walked to Auburn, a small undertaking for the men of his day. This was just after the close of the war of 1812. A graphic account of this journey, as well as of the pioneer history of Auburn, was written by Mr. Crafts, and published in the Geauga Democrat, of December 9-16, 1868, largely the source of our history of Auburn. He found Norman Canfield digging the first well at Chardon. Six miles south, he found Judge Vene Stone, there he stayed that night. The next morning he pushed on, and the next house was that of Samuel Barker near the "Big Pond." Beyond he found Punderson's
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grist-mill, the miller's house, Punderson's house, Uncle Josh Burnett's, and then Coe's fulling-mill and Adonijah Bradley's shop, on the little creek south. He found Bildad Bradley next, and still beyond, the new cabins of the Reuwees and John Jackson; save these no man had struck a blow in the Auburn woods. He inspected the region, liked the land, the water, and timber, found that Punderson had the agency of that which he liked best. In doubt what part of a central tract of eleven hundred and seventy-six acres he should ultimately like best, he purchased the whole at two dollars and a quarter per acre.
Having selected his farm, or the land he intended to choose from, he walked back to Gorham. As one of the essentials for the colonization of a new country and its peopling, on the 9th day of July, 1816, he married Drusilla Hays, an estimable young widow lady of twenty-one, with one child, a son. He made the journey with an ox-wagon, and drove a cow, being accompanied by Joseph Keyes, a nephew of his wife. He traveled some of the way on the ice of Lake Erie, and had many experiences. He seems to have reached Auburn upon the 12th of March, 1816, and found shelter in the house of John Jackson till he built his own.
Of his original purchase he finally selected four hundred acres, the farm now owned and occupied by his son Edward, named after the Revolutionary grand-father. Familiar with pioneer life, its rough ways, its primitive means, its simple habits, its economics, its thrift, its hopes, and warmth of feeling, he and his young wife, with their two boys, began to work in earnest. They built log buildings, chopped and cleared land, raised flax, purchased sheep, and Drusilla spun and wove, or procured some other woman to weave the cloth, which she made into her husband's garments. And here they lived their laborious, thrifty, useful, honest, virtuous, true, and simple lives, through. Friends and acquaintances came, strangers came, Auburn became settled, populous. The woods disappeared, and framed houses were erected. Prosperity attended industry, and wealth came with thrift; and the Crafts with children about them, honored and respected, grew to middle life, old age, and died, honored and greatly esteemed.
The acquisitions of Mr. Craft were the pure fruit of industry, economy, and thrift. Labor was the true foundation of all wealth. He had no faith in speculation, nor any taste for it; nor would he have expected the proceeds of a lucky hit would become the stable source of profit. It did not accord with his philosophy of life. He so managed his business as to never have occasion for the counsel of a lawyer, and left a large property, much as General Jackson said he had left the people and government of the United States: "free from debt, prosperous, and happy." The son of the first marriage, Daniel Craft, resides in Troy.
of the children of the second, -- Jerry Craft, born October 28, 1816, lives in Hiram, Portage county; Almira, born October 26, 1819, resides in Auburn; Edward, born August 22, 1822, lives on the homestead; his wife Helen, daughter of Seth Johnson, of Newbury (see the Johnson history of Newbury); Hosea, born May 15, 1824, lives in Michigan; Evelina, born May 19, 1826, lives in Parkman.
The Crafts and their numerous kindred are a vigorous, hardy, sensible race of people, who fill well their places in life.
W. H. MILLSWe are now about to chronicle a few events in the life of W. H. Mills, an old and honored resident of Auburn township. The present subject of our sketch was born in Nelson, Portage county, Ohio, Aug. 23, 1807, and was the fifth child of Asahel and Cynthia Wright Mills. On the death of his mother, Jan. 21, 1812, being thus left motherless at a tender age of seven, he became an inmate of the family of Judge Elias Harmon, of Mantua, with whom he lived during his minority. On March 15, 1832, he was joined in the holy bonds of matrimony to Miss Sarah Granger, of Ashtabula, Ohio, with whom he has since lived, mutually sharing their joys and sorrows, prosperities and adversities, until the present day. About four weeks after his marriage, Mr. Mills, with his young wife, made a short wedding tour over into Auburn township, where he located in the then unbroken wilderness; the trip was made with an ox-team and a stone-boat, and wife and goods were all landed safely on the farm upon which he now lives. By a diligent use of the axe and ox-team that wilderness has long since blossomed like the rose, and peace and plenty crowned the board. Mr. and Mrs. Mills are the parents of two children, Francis Harvey, whose farm joins that of his father, and Mary H., who died young. And now, after threescore years and ten have passed, and the sear and yellow leaf has graced his brow, we meet him to-day in the old home, a view of which may be seen in this book, looking the picture of content and plenty. Mr. Mills has never united with any church organization, and, to use his language, he can't tell whether it is better for the church and worse for him, or worse for the church and better for him.
Asahel Mills, father of Homer, was born March 28, 1775; died October 3, 1831. His wife, Cynthia Wright, died January 12, 1812.
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Russell, the last occupied and last organized township of the county...
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Township number nine of the ninth range of the original Connecticut Western Reserve was at the drawing of the lands of the Connecticut Land Company usded as an equalizing township, the lands being drawn by tracts. Turhand Kirtland owned a number of lots in the north part of tract number three, and from him the township is said to have derived its name.
SURFACE, SOIL, AND WATER-COURSES.The surface of the township almost a succession of small hills, with a soil in which clay largely predominates. Along the course of the river -- or on the bottom-lands, as they are called -- the soil is of a sandy loam, the quality being very superior for farming purposes. The timber not differ materially from that of the adjoining townships. The only water-course worthy of mention is the east branch of the Chagrin river. This enters the township near the southeast corner and flows in a general northwest course, and is a very crooked stream. It crosses the township line near the northwest corner. The farms in Kirtland are, the majority of them, well watered.
SETTLEMENT.In the year 1808 or 1809 an improvement was commenced on lot number one, tract number one, by a person named Parsons. He made a small clearing on and about the spot now occupied by the dwelling of Mrs. Ezra Holmes. Returning to New England for his wife, Mr. Parsons was drowned in the Connecticut river. Perhaps a year subsequent John Moore, Jr., located on lot number twenty-three of above tract, now owned by R. P. Harmon. There was also a beginning made about the same time by ____ Chandler on lot eighteen, and Charles Parker on lot nineteen. None of were permanent settlers. Without doubt the pioneer settler in Kirtland township was Christopher Crary. He was originally from Hinsdale, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, emigrating from thence in the year 1811, and locating in this township in its southern portion on lots eighty-two and ninety-one in tract three, then some six miles by road to the nearest neighbor. The family of Mr. Crary consisted of a wife and nine children. Erastus, the eldest of these, was at the time a married man, and brought his family into the wilderness. We learn that Mr. Crary took an active part in the Revolutionary struggle on the side of his country, was twice incarcerated in British prison-ships, once in Halifax, from which he made his escape, and again on board the "Old Jersey," in New York. Mr. and Mrs. Crary removed to Union county, this State, and there deceased, the father in 1848, and the mother some ten years later. Christopher G. Crary, son of this pioneer family, still resides in Kirtland.
We take the following from a manuscript prepared by N. M. Whelpley, and kindly furnished us by Mr. C. G. Crary. It furnishes an account of the senior Crary and family'e introduction to their home.
The Crarys made a temporary stay in Mentor during the time their cabin was being erected in Kirtland, seven miles distant. In early autumn of the year 1811 the building was ready for their use, and the family started for their wilderness home. We quote:
"We took the old Chillicothe road, which had been traversed scarcely at all, except by cattle and wild beasts. The trees on either side were so interlaced as to form a canopy overhead, which rendered it quite romantic, but gloomy. We forded the Chagrin; river without difficulty, and supposed our worst fears removed, but on going a little farther our wagon broke, and night Willi fast closing around us.
John Moore, from the State of New York, removed to Kirtland the summer of 1811, locating on the lot now occupied by the Baptist church and town hall, erecting his log house just north of the last-named building. Isaac Moore is the only one of this family now living in this county, his habitation being at present in the village of Willoughby.
The same summer, Issac Morley, from Massachusctts, came to Kirtland, and made a commencement on the farm now occupied by Hercules Carroll. He went to his native place in the fall and was married, and, returning with his bride, began in the wilderness the arduous life of a pioneer. July 6, 1815, Thomas Morley, father of Isaac arrived in the township, and began settlement on the farm now owned by his youngest son, Alfred. Mr. Morley died in 1844, and Mrs. Morley perhaps one year previous. Mr. Morley was a Revolutionary soldier, and died in Kirtland, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. Prior to 1815, we find there were settlements made in this township by the following: Peter French, Barzilla Willard, Thomas Fuller, William Griffeth, Elijah and Avery Button, J. Maynard, and John Parvis. Some of these settled on what is now known as the Kirtland Flats.
From 1815 forward the township settled rapidly. In 1818 there were but few unoccupied lots. Many of settlers were, however, transient, and the failure of Marshall Bronson to pay for his lands caused many to leave, -- in fact, all those who bought of him were compelled either to pay again for their farms or vacate. The failure of the corn crop, the cold season of 1816, and the crash and general stagnation of business in 1816 and 1817 checked the growth of Kirtland almost entirely. Property depreciated to Rn almost unheard-of figure; and it was many years before the township fully recovered and regained its prosperous condition.
SCHOOLS.In the spring of the year 1814 a small log cabin was erected for a school-house. The location was a short distance south of the present dwelling of Mr. Beekman, on lot No. 8. Miss Estella Crary taught the first term in this house the summer following, receiving twenty-five cents per day for her services. There were some twelve scholars in attendance. This school-house did duty for some years. The year 1819 saw the erection of the first frame school-house in Kirtland. It stood on the "Flats," near the house of Benjamin Curtis. It is thought Josiah Jones taught the first school in this building, probably in the winter of 1819 and 1820.
CHURCHES.We are unable to learn by whom the pioneer sermon was delivered. It is quite probable, however, that it was by that devout missionary, Rev. Joseph Badger. In the year 1818 occurred the organization of the first religious society in Kirtland. This was consummated at the dwelling of Thomas Morley, lot No. 6, tract No. 1. Revs. Joseph Treat and Luther Humphrey, of the Presbyterian faith, were in charge at this time. The class consisted of twelve members, who were as follows: David and Mrs. Holbrook, Levi and Mrs. Smith, Russell and Mrs. Hawkins, Thomas and Mrs. Morley, Mrs. C. Crary, Mrs. Morse, Mrs. A. C. Russell, and Mrs. I. N. Skinner. Meetings were held at the dwellings of the settlers first, and afterwards in school-houses. In the year 1824 the society erected a church edifice, the first in the township. It was constructed of logs,
HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO. 247
and stood on the site still occupied by the church of this society. This building was, some four years subsequently, destroyed by fire. The next house which occupied this site was a frame one. This Wall replaced by the present showy church, erected in 1859 and 1860, and dedicated in May of the latter year. The entire cost of this building was three thousand six hundred dollars. The present membership of the church is forty-five. Average attendance at Sabbath-school, fifty. pastor, Rev. R. P. Reidinger.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.This was organized in about the year 1820. Father Ward, of Willoughby, effected the organization of this class, which was quite small. They met for worship in school-houses or private dwellings, all opportunities offered. In about the year 1832 this society erected a small church. This was burned, and their present church edifice erected soon after. They have no regular preaching. There are also Baptist and Congregationalist church organizations, neither having settled pastors.
The first couple united in marriage in Kirtland Wall on January 19, 1814. The happy pair were Miss Lucy Crary and Henry L. Badger, a son of the pioneer missionary, Rev. Joseph Badger. The ceremony took place in the residence of the bride's father, Rev. Jonathan Leslie, of Geneva, Ashtabula county, officiating. This couple settled in Perrysburg, Wood county, Ohio, and are both deceased at this writing.
The first birth was that of Erastus Crary, in 1815.
In February, 1812, occurred the first death, that of Rebecca, a little three-year-old daughter of Erastus Crary. The place of interment was on lot No. 91, in what is now the township cemetery, the lands for which were donated the township by Christopher Crary.
PHYSICIANS.The pioneer disciple of Aesculapius was Dr. Lasey, who settled in Kirtland in 1824, remaining less than one year. Since then there have been the following practitioners: Drs. Conant, Fuller, Walsh, and L. H. Luse. Dr. Luse removed to Mentor, and Kirtland is without a physician.
MILLS.The first erected in the township was a saw-mill in about 1819. The proprietors were Messrs. Holmes & Card, and the building was located a short distance above the present mill. The following year a grist-mill was put in operation down the stream and near the iron bridge on the Willoughby road, by the same individuals, Chagrin river furnishing the water-power. Long ago a carding-machine was erected. This stood a short distance from the saw-mill. It ceased to do service many years ago. The present flouring-mill was built by Messrs. Lyman & Loud in the year 1832. This is now the property of Messrs. Storm & Carroll, who have refitted and refurnished it throughout with all the modern machinery. There are three run of stone, and the mill does both custom and merchant milling.
MANUFACTURES.Spoke-Factory. -- In the year 1867 the Morse Brothers erected and put in operation a cheese-box manufactory on lot No. 91, investing a capital of some three thousand dollars. This was in 1870 refitted with new machinery, and the making of spokes, shafts, etc., begun. A planing-machine has recently been added. They turn out a very superior article of spokes.
Carriage and Bent Shaft Works. -- For some eight years past Moses Cooley has operated a carriage-manufactory on lot No. 92. The spring of 1878 he put in steam, and the necessary machinery for the bending of shafts, felloes, and poles, and now turns his attention principally to that line of manufacture. The entire capital invested is twenty-five hundred dollars.
Cheese-Factory. -- Messrs. Bardett & McKee in the year 1867 erected a fine building, and established a cheese-factory, investing six thousand dollars in the enterprise. For the first six years the factory utilized the milk of some four hundred and firty cows, since when the business has gradually dropped off, until the season of 1878 the milk of but one hundred and fifty cows is used. Samuel Metcalf became the owner of this property in 1876. The cheese-maker is O. Shattuck.
SOCIETIES.Kirtland Grange, No. 1245, P. of H. was organized in tbe month of February, 1876, with thirty-nine charter members. The first election of officers was as follows: Alexander Williams, Master; M. E. Sweet, Overseer; A. K. Smith, Lecturer; E. H. Cleveland, Secretary; and E. D. Rich, Treasurer. This society meets each alternate Thursday evening, in the hall of the former Kirtland Hotel. Present membership, sixty. The officers for 1878 are E. D. Rich, Master; S. M. Whitney, Overseer; Alexander Williams, Lecturer; B. S. Upham, Secretary; and M. E. Sweet, Treasurer.
MERCHANDISING.The first store in Kirtland was established by N. K. Whitney in 1823, though we learn that O. A. Crary brought a few goods to Kirtland prior to this date. Mr. Whitney opened his stock in a small log house then standing the road, and a short distance north of the present dwelling of Joseph Frank. After perhaps one year Mr. Whitney erected a small building across the river, in the village, removed the goods thereto, and continued in trade until the breaking up of the Mormon settlement. The business of Kirtland is as follows: A. Damon, general merchandise; W. H. Yaxey, dry goods, millinery, and tin ware; J. F. Wells, groceries; E. D. Rich, furniture and groceries; Mrs. Mary Bond, Mrs. P. M. Green, and Miss Alice Markell, millinery; E. M. Sanborn, boots and shoes; Messrs. Cooley & Call, carriage-painters; M. S. McFarland, carriage-manufacutory and blacksmithing; Charles Curtis, E. T. Sanborn, and William Atkinson, blacksmiths.
POST-OFFICE.Not far from the year 1825, N. K. Whitney was commissioned postmaster, and an office established at his store. Mails were received once each week. Mr. Whitney held the office for a term of years. J. F. Wells is the present postmaster, the mails being distributed at his store.
The first hotel in Kirtland was established by Peter French, in 1826 or 1827. This Will in the first brick house erected in the township. It is now owned and occupied by Samuel Brown. There is no hotel at present in Kirtland.
The first frame house was erected by Holmes and Card in 1816, located on the hill south of the iron bridge, on the Willoughby road.
The first importation of Bakewell cattle Will by Deacon Holbrook in about 1820. These were a superior grade of cattle, although not thoroughbred. He also brought the first merino sheep to Kirtland.
ORGANIZATION.Prior to the year 1817, Kirtland was attached to Mentor for township purposes. November 7, of this year, the commissioners, of Geauga County met and issued notice that the qualified electors of Kirtland township would meet at the house of Stephen Ames, on the 5th day of January, 1818, for the purpose of electing township officers. The officers elected on this occasion were Christopher Crary, Lory Holmes, and Isaac Morley, trustees; Josiah Jones, clerk; Stephen Ames, treasurer; and Jeremiah Ames, constable. It appears that at this election many of the minor officers were elected by "hand-vote."
The following are the officers, for 1878: John Thompson, E. B. Metcalf, and E. D. Billings, trustees; J. B. Wells, clerk; E. D. Rich, treasurer; B. H. Curtis and A. Call, constables.
MORMONISM.In the preparation of the following sketch, we have drawn largely from a series of articles from the pen of Mr. A. D. Coe, of Kirtland, to whom we express our thanks. For several years prior to the organization of the first Disciple church at Mentor, there was a large and influential Baptist church in the township. This church had, in all, five different pastors, the last of whom was Elder Warren Goodell, whose death occurred in June, 1826, and with it ultimately that of the society mentioned. The then famous Sidney Rigdon, a man of peculiar genius and powers, and an ardent expounder of the doctrine set forth by Alexander Campbell, was called to preach the funeral sermon. The membership were much pleased with Rigdon, and he was employed as their regular pastor, beginning in the fall of 1826. He gradually brought nearly the entire church over to Campbellism. In connection with the charge at Mentor, Rigdon sometimes preached at Kirtland. Measuring his ground carefully, he occasionally branched off on common stock. The idea was met with coldness at Mentor, but at Kirtland it soon kindled to a blaze, Isaac Morley being the first converted. He then lived on the farm now owned by H. Carroll. Morley was enthusiastic, and threw open his doors in welcome to all who chose to enter and wake his their common home. A large number of ignorant and profligate people, together with other more intelligent, but equally fanatical, at once there. Within a short time the "family" numbered one hundred members. While this fanaticism was ripening at Kirtland a still deeper plot was being brought to consummation at Palmyra, New York. An angel from heaven -- so the story goes -- had appeared to Joseph Smith, a young man of that place, and revealed the locality of a certain chest, whose contents were made known to him in the same supernatural manner. The chest he had frequently seen, being led to it by a singular "mineral rod," but as he approached it sank deeper into the earth. It was, however, finally" captured," and contained, as per revelation, the so-called "Mormon plates," from which, it is claimed, the Book of Mormon was translated.
During his engagement at Mentor, Rigdon was frequently absent, and upon one occasion is said to have remained away several months. In the early part of
248 HISTORY OF GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES, OF OHIO.
November, 1830, four strange men, of far stranger mission, appeared in Mentor. The names of the men are Oliver Cowdery, David [sic] Whitmer, Zaibad [sic] Peterson, and Parley P. Pratt. The entire night of their arrival wall devoted to consultation. Soon after, Rigdon, accompanied by the ominous four, made a visit to the house of Morley. Here they gained an easy victory, and made a beginning. Seventeen of the principals at once accepted the delusion, and were baptised the same evening. Other meetings were held, and within one week's time Mormonism had obtained a firm foothold upon the Western Reserve. The spring following, other Mormons from Palmyra began to come on, and continued to do so, until one almost wondered if the whole world were centering at Kirtland. They came, men, women, and children, in every conceivable manner, some with horses, oxen, and vehicles rough and rude, while others had walked all or part of the distance. The future "City of the Saints" appeared like one besieged. Every available house, shop, hut, or barn wall filled to its utmost capacity. Even boxes were roughly extemporized and used for shelter until something more permanent could be secured. Among those who came later were Joseph Smith, Jr., the prophet, and Brigham Young; the former of whom founded Mormonism, and the latter, after adding polygamy to it, perpetuated it until his death in the far-away city of Salt Lake. Of the Smith family it is said they seemed of a good deal of native wit, but none of them were educated; in fact, it is a matter of some doubt whether any of them could actually read or write at this time. They were superstitious to an extreme degree, and firm believers in witchcraft. The plates of the Book of Mormon were said to be of gold, thirteen inches long by twelve wide; there were twenty-four [sic] of them, and were covered with hieroglyphic characters. As these plates were only seen by the" eye of faith," it is safe to presume that the certificates given in the "Book of Mormon," by the individuals who saw them, could hardly bear scrutiny in a legal point of view. There is another side to this story, which is, we believe, generally accepted as the true version. It is to the effect that Solomon Spalding, a native of Connecticut, and a graduate of Dartmouth College, wrote the book. He moved to Conneaut, Ohio, and engaged in the iron trade; while there wrote a book entitled the" Manuscript Found," designing it to be a historical romance of the first settlers of America, and endeavored to show that the Indians were descendants of the lost tribes of Israel.
In 1812, Spalding, having failed in business in Conneaut, removed to Pittsburg, where he died in 1816. Prior to his demise he had hoped to realize something from his MSS., and had placed it in the hands of a printer. After that all trace is lost until the appearance of the Mormon Bible, which was at once recognized as the original work of Spalding, scripturally revised and printed as divine revelations. Sidney Rigdon is the person who is said to have originated the whole scheme. Certain it is that soon after his return to Mentor from his longest trip this book was announced. As soon as the Mormons were settled at Kirtland they began to lay permanent plans for the future, the first and most important step being the erection of the Mormon temple. This is of stone, eighty feet long, sixty wide, and fifty feet to the eaves, with a spire, the extreme summit of which is one hundred and twenty feet from the ground: It is of a plain order of architecture, and was considered a magnificent structure in its day. The estimated cost was forty thousand dollars. On the front, in gilt letters, is the inscription "House of the Lord, built by the Church of Christ, A.D. 1834." The design and location of the building, it is claimed, were given to Joe Smith, Jr., in a revelation from the Lord. It was ordered to be built of brick, but as misfortune attended the burning of the first kiln, it was perhaps thought that the Lord would not be particular; hence stone was substituted. The last stone was laid July 24, 1833, by Jacob [Bump], who superintended the mason-work to its completion. Prosperity attended the Mormons for a time. A bank was established on the hill near the temple; this was presided over by the prophets, and all converts were expected to "lend their money to the Lord" by depositing it in this bank, or suffer the "curse of God." It is perhaps needless to add that the "bread" thus "cast upon the waters" did not "return after many days." A Mormon scrip was issued, which was in reality entirely valueless, although it passed among themselves at par.
Mr. D. B. Hart, of Mentor, informs us that he received the first Mormon bill that was placed in circulation by this bank. He happened to be in Kirtland the Saturday evening preceding the Monday morning on which the bank was first opened for business and, having a debt against some of the chief Mormon worthies, was, upon requesting payment, proffered one of the new Mormon ten-dollar bank-bills. He received it, but the next Monday morning, finding it impossible to use it for any legitimate commercial ends, he presented it to the officers of the bank, demanding its redemption in something which should pass for a legal tender among his neighbors. They were very reluctant to oblige him, and, in fact, refused so to do until he threatened them with the law, when some one, not an officer of the bank, stepped up to him and proffered him a genuine ten-dollar bill in exchange for his spurious one.
After the bank had succeeded in placing a large amount of its notes in circulation it suspended payment, and refused to redeem a dollar of its currency.
Gradually desertions sprung up, jealousies ensued, and at last a separation took place; one faction withdrew and denominated themselves the Church of Christ, holding their meetings in school-houses. The other party held the temple, and retained the name of Latter-Day Saints. At this juncture, when the members of the church failed to harmonize, the finances at a low ebb, and demoralization imminent, Grandison Newell -- who, by the way, was ever a "thorn in the side" of the fanatics -- again appeared on the scene, and by divers legal prosecutions at last obtained a judgment against the church, and, in default of payment, the temple, the pride and hope of so many faithful hearts, was put up at auction, and sold to Newell for the inconsiderable sum of one hundred and fifty dollars. Their printing-office was burned. The members went from ill to worse, until the leaders were warned from the township. Eventually, many of them took their departure to that far-distant land of promise, Missouri. Now there are but few of the Mormon belief remaining in Kirtland; and the temple, deserted and crumbling to decay, is all that is left to mark the locality where once existed a powerful sect defying alike heaven's laws and those of man....
Bainbridge Twp. - Residence of Rev. Sidney Rigdon and Family, 1826-27
Note: The "Rev. Mr. Plympton" who first preached in Auburn during the 1820s was Billings O. Plympton, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in those days a pastor in Hillsville, Pennsylvania and a circuit-riding preacher for the Pittsburgh Conference of that denomination (along with the Rev. Ira Eddy, etc.). The Baptist minister "Abbott," mentioned after Plympton, was probably Elder Orrin Abbott, who Hayden says "led the chief part of the Baptist church of Henrietta into the [Campbellite] reformation," after the Birmingham congregation was founded in Erie Co., Ohio, by Matthew Clapp and Sidney Rigdon in 1829. Whitsitt summarizes this early missionary activity as follows: "in the summer of 1829, Mr. Rigdon appeared in company with Mr. Clapp of Mentor, bearing the brand-new "ancient gospel," with many transports. Sidney laid siege at Elyria, where he soon had the fortune to establish an interest which in 1832 was organized into a church (Hayden, p. 467). Going from that point across to Birmingham in Erie county, the like success awaited him. Under his influence the Rev. Orrin Abbott, pastor of a Baptist church at Henrietta, midway between Elvira and Birmingham, and but a short distance from Amherst, was enabled to lead his flock into the Disciple fold..." Within a few years Rev. Orrin Abbott moved east and became a Methodist minister near Buffalo. He evidently became acquainted with Spiritualism in the vicinity of Kellogsville, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, during the late 1850s (his third wife, Caroline Ide was evidently a medium -- see Rev. Abbott's "Peep into Sacred Tradition; With the evidence and arguments on both sides of the question," Chicago: 1865, and his "The Davenport Brothers; Their History, Travels, and Manifestations," NY: 1864, as well a series of his journalistic exchanges on baptism, with Alexander Campbell, as published in Campbell's Millennial Harbinger between the 1840 and 1848). Rev. Abbott had close relatives living in Mantua and Hiram, Ohio during the 1820s and his second child with wife Sarah Maria Lee, George Abbott, M.D., was born at Palmyra, NY in 1826 -- so the Abbotts had family connections in both western New York and Portage Co., Ohio (see George Abbott and His Descendants, pg. 615ff), and perhaps this fact helps account for Rev. Abbott's popularity as a preacher in Auburn during the early 1820s, as well has his friendly association with Sidney Rigdon at Henrietta, Ohio in 1829.
Note: The 1840 Census for Auburn shows these names: Arnold Harrington, Harvey Harrington, Marshal Harrington, and William "Herrington." Harvey (age 30-40) lived next to Lester Perkins, and engaged in commerce. The 1850 Census for Troy shows Arnold Harrington, b. c. 1786, in NY, with wife Polly (Antisdale) b. c. 1784, OH?, with twins Filuula (Finula?) and Marcus, b. c. 1824, OH, and Rusell, b. c. 1827, OH