History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio
and Biographical Sketches of its Pioneers Most Prominent Men
Philadelphia - Williams Brothers
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This gentleman is by birth a Virginian, and was born
June 23, 1810. Yet so near the line was his birthplace that he
may claim to be a Pennsylvanian, if it suits him better.
Indeed, some years of his infancy were spent at Cross Creek in
Early in life he became a resident of the near town of
Steubenville, and grew to be a citizen of Ohio. Here he
learned the carpenter’s trade, and remained till he was
twenty-three, when he took himself to Chardon, Geauga County, where
he arrived in 1824. Here be actively prosecuted the business
of a house-carpenter and joiner until age enfeebled his hand and
dimmed his eye.
At that time Chardon village presented about this
appearance: one-half of the old brick court-house, then just built,
with a little tin-covered cupola, stood on the west side of the
square; just south, and a little back, was James Bronson's
dwelling, which was also a shoe-shop; to the south was the old
court-house, used as an academy, and the old hewed-log jail, where
men could only be reached by habeas corpus or general jail delivery.
On the corner near the Ira Webster place Mr.
Magonigal very soon built a house for
Hulburt, the young lawyer with whom William Wilber
was then a student. The old Norman Canfield
tavern-house, as it was built, was then occupied and kept by the
Hoyts, I think. Across the street from it was the long,
narrow, low wooden store building of Eleazar Paine.
East and back was the new, freshly painted house of Captain
Paine. North, on the east side of the square, was the
first building put up for a store. It stood out on the common,
was painted red, and a family by the name of Corbin lived in
the east of its two rooms, and an Irishman by the name of Wheeler
in the west. The next and only building on the east side was
one-half of the Aaron Canfield tavern house, where all
the Canfield boys then lived. Mr.
Canfield, Sr., was the jailor. On the north side,
at the northeast corner, was the house of Dr. Denton,
then in the heyday of his popularity and usefulness. Dr.
Asa Metealf and Dr. O. W. Ludlow, a brace of
handsome young men, were students of his. Ludlow taught the
academy, and blew a buglehorn as a signal for his school to assemble
in the morning. At the northwest corner of the square was the
small peachblow-colored house of Ralph Cowles.
And these were all the buildings about the square. Those, with
one or two down South Hambden street and one or two down Water
street, were the Chardon village of that day. The Langdons
and Bonds lived down north, and a few others were not remote.
Sylvester Hoyt came to Chardon that season, and the
present E. V. Canfield house had been built and partly
finished by Dr. Justin Scott. Daniel
H. Haws, the young lawyer, came there the same year.
Captain Paine filled quite all the county offices, and
was postmaster beside. Bruce went there about the same
time,—and Chardon was a humdrum, lonely little town, perked up
pretentiously on its hill quite by itself, when our young and very
handsome carpenter arrived there with his broad-axe and jack plane.
He was quite an addition to the place, liked it, was liked, and so
Elizabeth Bronson, a sister
of James Brunson, was born in Connecticut, Nov. 6,
1810, and came on to her brother’s, at Chardon, in February, 1826, -
a very sprightly and attractive girl, as she is still a sprightly
and attractive woman. They became acquainted and lovers very
soon, and were married the 11th of June following. They still
reside in the village. Of their considerable family, the
eldest daughter, Mary, a widow, Mrs. Marsh, and
her daughter, reside with them; the others elsewhere. Mr.
Magonigle is of fair intelligence, was of fine person and
pleasant address, early gained the esteem of his neighbors, and
always retained it. He was all his life identified with
Chardon village, filled the offices of the township and village, and
is a good representative of the place and men of his time. He
and his wife are now old people, both hale and cheerful, and both
much respected and esteemed.
Source: History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio - Publ.
Philadelphia, Williams Brothers - 1878 - Pg. 123
THOMAS METCALF. The subject of this sketch,
who is the fifth of a family of twelve children of Thomas and Sybil
(Chapin) Mctcalf, was born in Enfield, Hartford county, Connecticut,
January 10,1798, and is therefore now in his eighty-first year.
His education he received from the common schools of his native State.
He came to Ohio and located in Chardon in 1817, arriving June 24.
Six others accompanied him, none of whom are now living, viz., Samuel
Smith and his wife Sybil (Mr. Metealf’s
sister, the eldest of the family), their two children, Horton and
Maria, Sidney Metcalf (another sister, then but
thirteen years old), and one Benjamin Hibbard. His brother,
Eben Metcalf, and family, located in Chardon at a much later
date,-in the spring of 1851,—removing lastly from Attica, Seneca county,
Ohio. On the journey to Ohio, which occupied six weeks Thomas
drove a yoke of oxen and lead-horse, then called a “ spike-team,” for
his board. After his arrival in Chardon he worked for about a year
and a half for his brother-in-law, Mr. Smith, subsequently
known for many years as the land lord of the popular old stone tavern in
the village, who first located and opened a tavern in the north part of
the town. He then took up one hundred acres of land at the centre
of Chardon, now owned and occupied by Mr. Samuel Church hill,
where his parents afterwards settled, and where his father died, and now
lies buried. He there erected a log shanty, and kept “ bachelor’s
hall” for about a year. His parents followed him to Ohio in 1819.
In 1824 he removed to the village, and built a house. the frame of which
is standing, as part of the old homestead on North Hambden street, still
occupied by himself and family. He also built an ashery on the
same premises, and near the site afterwards occupied by the cooper-shop,
burned in 1876. This ashery he operated for some twenty years .
His father died Mar. 17, 1828, aged sixty-two; his mother, Mar. 6, 1859,
at the great age of ninety years.
Mr. Metcalf was united in marriage on
Nov. 15, 1827, to Paulina, daughter of Jedediah and Charlotte
Beard, of Burton. The Beards, who were from Vermont,
were among the earliest and most respected residents of that township.
From this union the following children were born: Horace, born
Aug. 10, 1828, married Sarah J. Lanigan, of Cleveland. He
was deputy United States marshal in 1874, and was shot near Springfield,
Missouri, where he then resided, in attempting to arrest a criminal, and
instantly killed. Armstrong, the next child, born Dec. 12,
1830, murdered in Texas, Apr. 21, 1861; Alfred B., born Nov. 22,
1832, married, and resides in San Francisco, California; Harriet,
born Oct. 12, 1834, died Mar. 16,1845; Lovira A., born Feb. 3,
1837, married M. H. Collins, now resides in Jamestown, New York;
Henry H., born June 30,1839, married Lida Ford, of
South Bend, Indiana, resides at Council Bluffs, Iowa; George,
born Sept. 30, 1841, resides at Council Bluffs; Thomas, born June
23, 1844, married Eva, daughter of Hon. D. W. Canfield,
of Chardon, resides at Council Bluffs; Ellen S., born May 14,
1846, married Everett B. Rush, of Chardon, her husband deceased;
she resides at home; Frank, born Mar. 28, 1848, married Nellie
M. Henry, of Erie, Pennsylvania, Sept. 5, 1878; resides in
Bradford, Pennsylvania; Sarah S., born Aug. 13, 1850, resides at
home. All the children exemplify the virtues of their parents.
The Metcalf Brothers, wholesale dealers in hats and caps
and readymade clothing, are prominent business men of Council Bluffs.
The Metcalfs, wherever found, seem to have had a common origin,
and to possess the same characteristics,—honesty, intelligence,
frugality, and independence.* Thomas Metcalf, though an
unambitious man, has held several responsible offices in his township,
among them that of justice of the peace for three terms, and has also
enjoyed the unlimited confidence of his fellow-citizens. In
politics he was formerly a Whig, and is now an earnest Republican.
On the 21st of April, 1873, at the age of sixty-five, Mrs. Metcalf,
the faithful partner of his joys and sorrows, and sharer of his labors
for so many years, was stricken with paralysis, from which she has never
recovered, though otherwise enjoying, with her husband, a good degree of
health. Many blessings crown their long and useful lives.
History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio - Publ. Philadelphia,
Williams Brothers - 1878 - Pg. 121
* See sketch of Mrs. Sidney Converse, by
Hon. A. G. Riddle.