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GEAUGA COUNTY, OHIO
HISTORY & GENEALOGY


 

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Source:
1798
HISTORY
of
GEAUGA AND LAKE COUNTIES
OHIO
with
Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of its
Pioneers and Most Prominent Men
Philadelphia
Williams Brothers
1878.

HAMBDEN TOWNSHIP *
Pg. 137.

SITUATION.

     HAMBDEN was one of the first settled townships in the county.  It is No. 9 of the seventh range, by the original survey of the Western Reserve containing fourteen thousand three hundred and twenty-three acres.  Its surface is pleasantly undulating, giving many fine and some picturesque views.  While it has few streams large enough for water-power, and none of considerable size, it abounds in living springs, and few farms are without a constant supply of water. 
     The soil is a clayey loam, intermixed slightly with sand; strong, better adapted to the smaller grains and grass.  The township was originally purchased by Oliver Phelps, of Suffield, Connecticut, in 1798.  In February, 1801, he transferred twelve thousand acres to Dr. Solomon Bond, of Connecticut, after whom the township was first named Bondstown.  It was changed to Hambden by a vote of the people in 1820 or 1821.  The b was inserted to distinguish it from Hamden, in another part of the State.  Bond’s purchase covered all except a tract a mile wide, previously sold to one Parker, and hence the Bond and Parker tracts.

SETTLEMENT.

     In 1801 the township was part of the unbroken forest in possession of the Indians and wild animals.  When Dr. Bond visited it, to look after his purchase, he seems to have remained on it some time, and is said to have built a shanty on the present site of the house of Philo Pease, near the southwest corner, which he occupied,—seldom seeing a white man, “milking his cow into a bottle, and baking his bread on a chip."  Where he got his cow, or whence he derived the elements of his bread, we are not advised.
     The years 1802 and 1803 saw eight or nine families within the limits of Hambden.  The names of these settlers are given as Shadrack Ruark, James Rawlins, Joseph Bond, Jas. Bond, Jr., Thos. Evans, Thos. Evans, Jr., Wm. Evans, Steph. Bond, and Andrew Cooley,--all with families, except Steph. Bond.  The Bonds commenced near Sisson's Corners, on lot 6; Ruark, on 24, near the spring, north of H. Gardner’s house, and is said to have chopped down the first tree for the purpose of improvement; the Evanses, on lot 7; and Cooley planted himself on the east side of the public square, on lot 18, near Mrs. Gest’s.  Some of these-Ruark, Rawlins, and the Evanses-became dissatisfied with the  ocality, and moved away not long after their arrival.
     In those days the only highway in Hambden was the “ girdled road" crossing the southwest corner, leading from the mouth of .Grand river southeasterly to the Ohio river, laid out by Thomas Sheldon in 1798, but by whom the trees were girdled I am not told.  In 1804-5, the State road from Painesville south was
run and chopped out, and wagons and sleds were able to pass over it,—an important event.  The spring of 1808 was an important one to the infant community.
John Quiggle, Stephen Higby, John Brown, Alexander Brown, Abednego Davis, and Robert Cummings, with their families, came in; and one may imagine the joy these accessions gave, when every arrival was an event, and the erection of a new cabin an occasion of public rejoicing.  These were followed in July by John Elliott and Ichabod Pomeroy and their, families, accompanied by Chester Elliott, an unmarried man.  In 1808 the entire population numbered about seventy, and my informant names and mentions the more prominent of them in this manner: Joseph Bond, an honest old farmer from Massachusetts; James Bond,
Jr., a farmer from New York; Norman Canfield, a stirring man of business capacity, and elected justice of the peace in 1812, while Bondstown formed a
part of the civil township of Painesville, which it did till 1819, with much other territory.  I am told that Canfield came as early as 1804.
     Stephen Higby added the calling of miller to that of farmer.  He became a  benefactor, and built a saw- and grist-mill just across the south line of Hambden, in Clardon.  Quiggle was distinguished as a good farmer, a somewhat rare character in those wooden days, ere land grew barren and manure was discovered.  After one or two removals he built on lot 9, where he lived, rounded, and ended an honored life at ninety-one.  John Elliott was a farmer from Easthampton, Massachusetts.  Ichabod Pomeroy seems to have been a. man of mark, useful in his day and time; was the first man who honored his religion by public prayer, and performed the first public worship.  He sometimes officiated on sad or solemn occasions, in the absence of clergymen.  In 1812 he set up the first framed barn
erected in Hambden, which is now a part of a barn owned by Mr. CalhounStephen Bond and Andrew Cooly were farmers, and held offices in the militia.
Alexander Brown, John Brown, and Robert Canning were emigrants from Ireland, and settled on lot 17.  Something more could be said of them, of course.
     Abednego Davis came from Maryland, which furnished less emigrants to the Reserve than Ireland, scarce as Irishmen were.  Chester Elliott, a farmer, was also a carpenter and surveyor; surveyed Thompson, and put up the first framed house, his own dwelling, in 1811.  It stood on lot 24, known as the Ladd placeEli Bond and Peter Quiggle are spoken of only as single men,—-a reprehensible state, which they doubtless departed from at the first opening.  Of the thirty-six adult people of Hambden in 1808, but one survives, - Mrs. Sally Bond, of Cleveland, a sister of Noah Pomeroy, Esq.
     At this time bears, wolves, elk, deer, otters, rattlesnakes, and other animals filled the woods in undiminished numbers, furnishing incidents of hunting and other adventure, with which pioneer life is replete.  About this time paths or trails were opened from the Hambden settlements to Windsor, Thompson, and Le Roy.  Older trails existed through the woods to the early settlements of Burton.  Men felt the glow of neighborhood ten or fifteen miles, while the dwellers in cabins within less distance were quite of kin.
     In 1809 two or three children were born, one died, and one adventurous couple, the first, were married.  The first mention of these interesting incidents of human life; names are not given me.  This year was also signalized by the first school, taught by Miss Anna Pomeroy, in the south part, in a house standing on land owned by D. C. Gridly, at a spring some forty rods west of the State road. Of the favored of this seat of learning, Austin Canfield, of Chardon, and
Noah Pomeroy, Claridon, are known to be survivors.
     The spring of 1810 found Moses Parsons, Chandler and Anson Pease, from Enfield, Connecticut, in the township as residents.  The former on lot 26, the
two latter on 21.  In 1811, Daniel Booth and Deacon Benjamin King, with their families, made important additions to the young community.  Both settled on
lots 6 and 11.  King built his cabin near the spring, on Hiram Gardner's farm.  His son, Hosea, settled at the centre, built a tavern and other buildings, which
were destroyed by fire a few years ago, while owned by Samuel Hathaway.
     In the summer of 1810 a curious labor organization was set on foot by the men of the Hambden woods, called “The Bondstown Logging Society,” with a constitution and by-laws.  It was to continue four years, during which each member was to aid all the others in doing all their logging.  Each member might with ‘his own or hired hands chop as much as he was able.  When ready, the logs were to be piled, fit for burning, by the whole force, assembled at a “ bee."  The code was curiously contrived to secure prompt attendance and efficient action.  Its numerous fines and penalties were assessed, and payable in the currency of that day, whisky, which, in that age of “truck and dicker,” a holder could always turn.  Mr. Maynard gives a graphic sketch of its organization and career.  It ended with the first year.  The constitution needed amending.  The by-laws and members were sometimes in a fluid state, and, like other better-known institutions, it was found to work oppressively on the poor, as all things do.
    The summer of 1810 was further marked by an encampment of Indians in the south part, probably a band of Omic’s Massasaugas, who were found in the south
part of Ashtabula county at an earlier day, and who sided with the British in the ensuing war.  They contributed meat to the settlers, and their women were useful and expert basket-makers, which found ready sale.
     1811 brought Isaac Pease and Freegrace Hancock from Connecticut to Hambden, where they bought farms.  Pease also bought the Higby mills, which be
rebuilt, and supplemented with a whisky-distillery, which his son, Merrick, ran many years.  Later, James Hathaway was interested in this property, and when the water began to fail he put up a rude mill, propelled by a pair of bulls, called the Bull mill.  The regular price for the orthodox proof of those days was twenty-five cents per gallon.  A bushel of corn would generally exchange for a gallon.  In the autumn of 1811, Nathaniel and Isaiah King came into the town from New York, and settled on the centre road, leading to Chardon. This year also saw two weddings in Hambden,—that of Anson Pease and Anna Pomeroy, and Peter Quiggle and Margaret Brown.  The first grown man who died in Hambden is said to be Alexander Brown, who died of a fit in this same year.

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* From a sketch furnished by L. G. Maynard, Esq.

[Pg. 138]

CHURCHES AND MINISTERS.

     The minister who preached the first sermon in Hambden was a Presbyterian, the Rev. Mr. Robbins, from Connecticut, in 1804.  Rev. Joseph Badger, that faithful missionary, preached occasionally in 1805, and afterwards.  Others came in later, followed by Rev. N. B. Darrow, who formed a Presbyterian church in 1809, composed of five members,—-Deacon Ichabod and Mrs. Pomeroy, Joseph and Mrs. Bond, and Rebecca Elliott.  This was the first organized church in Hambden.  It had no additions till 1821.  Meantime, two were dismissed to other churches.  It depended mainly for ministration upon visiting clergymen from other places, among whom were Rev. Mr. Field, from Massachusetts, Rev. Mr. Humphrey, of Burton.
     Rev. Mr. Hanks, a Baptist clergyman, was the first minister whose regular services were secured for one-half of the time, alternating between Hambden and Chardon in 1818.
     As stated, Deacon Pomeroy held the first public worship in Hambden.
     Rev. Mr. Ruark was the first Methodist who bore testimony in the town.  It is said he preached to three men, six women, and four children.  In 1818 Hambden was included in the Methodist circuit, and visited by Messrs. Green and Collins.  It is remembered that the latter, on request, preached a sermon on Samson's fox-raid against the Philistines, in which he told the Hambdeners that “the devil's prospects for catching souls in Hambden were brighter than Samson’s for capturing foxes in Israel."  These prospects led to a discontinuance of the labors of the Methodists in that vineyard for the time.
     In 1822, Augustus Sisson settled in the township, and soon after a small Methodist society was organized, composed of Mr. Sisson and wife, Charity Stebbins, and John P. Bosley.  From this modest beginning sprang the present Methodist church of Hambden.
     They built their church edifice in 1847, at a cost of twelve hundred dollars, and expended the further sum of three thousand dollars on it in 1866.  The Congregationalism built theirs in 1853, at about the same cost.  The Disciples, with the aid of liberal outsiders, erected a neat edifice, at a cost of less than one thousand dollars, in 1845.  After a joint occupancy of a few years it was sold, and transferred to the uses of a school-house.
     The Congregational church new numbers sixty-two. They have been ministered to by Revs. Luther Humphrey, Dexter Witter, Nathan Cobb, John W. Bucher, H. W. Osborn, P. A. Beam, Jason Olds, Eliph. Austin, Warren Swift, Stewart T. Coe, E. C. Bridge, L. V. Blakeslee, William Potter, C. E. Page, and A. D. Barbour.
     The Methodist Episcopal church has a present membership of seventy-five; has been supplied by circuit preachers under the system of that organization.

SCHOOLS.

     As stated, Anna Pomeroy taught the first school in 1809, and also in 1813.  She was followed by Sally Pomeroy the next year.  In 1811, Olive Booth kept
a school in her father’s house, opposite the BaileysDorothea Booth also taught the same year.  In 1814, Thalia Board, of Burton, kept the school, and in 1815, Mrs. Hezekiah Stocking taught a school near the centre.  These were all summer schools. In the winter of 1817, Elijah P. Allen taught a man’s school in the township, as did Daniel McCoy at the centre.  Of the urchins favored by this resort of scholars was the chronicler of Hambden.  Some forty, from four to
twenty, received their daily mental pabulum at his hands, which were as familiar with the “ birch" as with “Daboll" and the "American Preceptor.”  Some twenty-five are said to survive that slaughter of the innocents.

THE FIRST DEATH.

     On full investigation it is ascertained that Mrs. Betsey Cooly was the first person who died in Hambden. Her death occurred in 1806.  She left a young child, which was placed in the family of an uncle for rearing.  Of this child it is stated that it crept out at the door of the uncle’s house one day, was grabbed up in the mouth of a voracious sow, and borne off, doubtless to be devoured.  A man saw the seizure, gave instant pursuit, and rescued the child, whose after fortune should have been given.
     Eleven Revolutionary soldiers have lived and died in Hambden, whose names must here find record: Reuben Stocking, Isaac Cheeseman, Abraham Damon, Ichabod Pomeroy, Jno. Elliott, Peter Quiggle, Isaac Pease, Samuel M. Starr, Nathaniel Hicok, Daniel Morgan, and Squire Davenport.
     It is also said that there have died in the town some twenty-five men who served in the war of 1812, and twenty-one who were Union soldiers in the war of the Rebellion.
     Four persons have committed suicide in Hambden: George W. Dexter, from loss of property and reputation by intemperance; Alvin Taylor, caused by intemperance; Mrs. Abigail Barnard, through jealousy of her husband; and Mrs. Radcliff, cause unknown.

ORGANIZATIONS.

     At their meeting of March, 1811, the county commissioners made an order erecting the township of Hambden, of all the territory south of Grand river to the south line of Hambden, and from the east line of the county to the west line of Hambden.  This gave it the present name, with a slice of the present township of Concord, the whole of Le Roy, the south part of Madison, and the whole of


RESIDENCE OF EDWIN BETTS, HAMBDON TP., GEAUGA CO., O


COL. ERASTUS SPENCER & MRS. ERASTUS SPENCER
RESIDENCE OF COL. ERASTUS SPENCER, CLARIDON TWP. GEAUGA, O.


RESIDENCE of PHILO PEASE, HAMBDEN TP., GEAUGA CO., O.

[Pg. 139]
Thompson and Montville.  The resident electors were to hold their first town- per day.  The capital invested does not exceed three thousand dollars.  Since
ship election at the house formerly occupied by Andrew Cowey.  Of that election, I have seen no return, and have obtained no information.  By order of the
January meeting, 1812, the township of Chardon was annexed to Hambden.  The first election of which I have an account was by the voters of the present townships of Hambden, Montville, and Le Roy; and took place in 1817, when they had a township organization, and held their election on the first Monday of the
April of that year.  The place of this interesting event is not given.  Nathaniel H. Parks was elected clerk; Hosea King, Jonathan Allen, and Chandler Pease,
trustees; Ichabod Pomeroy and John Quiggle, overseers of the poor; Nathaniel King and John Elliott, fence-viewers; Daniel Booth, lister and appraiser, and
Levi Hale, appraiser; Jesse Hale, treasurer, and David McCoy, constables; Merrick Pease, surveyor of lumber.  Also two or three supervisors of highways
were elected for Hambden, and one each for the other townships.
     The first State election was held Oct. 14,1817.  The poll-book shows thirty-two votes, at the second thirty, and at the third twenty-eight.  But one of the voters of these elections, Almon Booth, now of Chardon, survives.
     The following persons have held the office of justice of the peace in Hambden, in the order here given: Norman Canfield, elected in 1812; Hosea King,
James Brown, Warham Parsons, Augustus Sisson, James Hathaway, Zelotus Sisson, Austin Carver, Lewis G. Maynard, Ralza H. Thayer, Samuel Hathaway, John T. Field, Daniel Warner, Jr., Wm. H. Lacy, Oscar P. Quiggle, and Addison Stockham.  The two last are the present incumbents.  The present township officers are J. W. Carver, clerk; Charles E. Stafford, Charles Fenton, and B. W. Shattuck, trustees; O. P. Quiggle, treasurer; J. W. Brewer, assessor; W. R. Maltbie and Abner Colby, constables, with seventeen supervisors of roads.

PHYSICIANS.

     It shows well for Hambden that it owned no doctor until 1830.  The first resident MD. of that favored region was Dr. L. A. Hamilton, where he remained a year or two, when he removed to Chardon, continuing to practice in Hambden.  He was one of the most eminent practitioners of his day and school, and belongs more particularly to Chardon.  He was followed by Dr. S. M. Johnson, who remained eight or ten years,—a man of skill and high character.  He was succeeded by Drs. Chapman, Reed, Scribner, McAlpin, Tanner, and Mrs. Tanner.  Dr. West is the present resident physician.

MERCHANTS.

     As will be remembered, Joel S. Bartholomew was the first merchant, who died in 1818.  He was succeeded by his father, who, after a year or two, abandoned the business.  No other undertook trade in Hambden till 1850, when Jonathan Warner, of New York, brought on a heavy stock of goods, and erected a store on the east side of the public square.  He did a successful business for many years.  An alleged heavy robbery of his clerk in New York so impaired his means that he abandoned the business.  At various times since he has been succeeded by Brown & Robinson, Daniel Warner, Samuel Hathaway, and J. T. FieldO. P. Quiggle at present carries on business at the centre.

MANUFACTURING.

     As may be remembered, Hambden is without water-power, and little has been done under this head.  As stated, in 1811 the Peases set up a still of a capacity to run fifteen bushels of rye and corn per day.  As the old-time course of farming was to follow the first wheat crop with rye, produced at small expense, corn also became an abundant product; and that still flourished for twenty years, with usual results.  The next machinery was a saw-mill, built by John Allen, on a small branch of the Cuyahoga, on lot No. 6.  This was subsequently owned by Augustus Sisson.  In the failure of water, incident to clearing up the forests, this went to decay.  Shubal Manly erected a saw-mill on Bates creek, in the northeast part of the township.  In 1816, N. H. Parks set up a small carding machine in connection with Allen's mill, which was a benefaction to that region.  In 1835 or 1836.  Hosea King & Sons built a steam saw-mill on the State road,  little north of the centre, which soon after went into the hands of Daniel Hager, who added a flooring-mill and carding-machine, which were of great value to all that region.  Some time after, James Hathaway became part owner, and he added a still.  The property was burned in 1841.  Skinner & Adams subsequently started a portable steam saw-mill, which went to Chardon, and was followed by another, still running.
     The cheese-factory was built by James Langston, in 1862, and received the milk of one hundred cows the first season.  The present proprietor, S. E. Carter,
purchased the property in 1874.  He manufactures cheese and butter.  The present season (1878) the factory receives the milk of two hundred and fifty cows, produces seventy-five pounds of butter and five hundred pounds of cheese per day.  The capital invested does not exceed three thousand dollars.  Since Mr. Carter's ownership J. J. Tate has superintended the work.

AGRICULTURE.

     As is seen, the population of the township was always largely agricultural, and pursued the early course common to the region, too well known and generally now deplored to require description.  In time dairying became a leading interest.  For the last three or four years the more intelligent farmers have directed their attention to the qualities of their soils, and wheat and oats are now largely produced.  The current year (1878) has seen a product of from fifty to seventy per cent. of these crops in excess of any former production.
     Hambden has an enlightened and well-conducted farmers‘ club, whose discussions evince much intelligence and challenge attention.

POST-OFFICES.

     The first was established in 1822, and Augustus Sisson was the first postmaster, where the office was kept many years and then removed to the centre.  J. B. Griste was the first postmaster at the new office.  He was followed by George Hale, Thomas Brown, Samuel Hathaway, James McBride, John B. Griste, Royal Dow, J. T. Field, and Oscar P. Quiggle, the present incumbent.

SOCIETIES.

     I find no mention of the order of Masons or Odd Fellows in Hambden.  The Grange was organized in 1876, with a membership of forty-four, L. K. Lacy, master, Edwin Betts, overseer, and Charles Martindale, secretary.  A fine hall twenty-six by forty feet, two stories, was erected in 1877 at a cost of $1000.  There is a present membership of fifty-two.
     Sons of Temperance Division, No. 168, was organized in 1875 by A. M. Collins, with a membership of fifty-five.  It is now in a healthy working condition, with one hundred and forty-five names on its roll.  Such success has attended its labors that two-thirds of the present inhabitants of Hambden have signed the pledge.  Its present officers are J. Haldeman, W. P.; Mrs. J. Haldeman, W. A.; I. C. Wemple, R. S.; Mrs. I. C. Wemple, R. S.; Frank Worthington, F. S.;
Edwin Betts,
Treasurer; Rev. W. Potter, Chaplain.

POPULATION.

     In 1850, 919, of which 7 were colored; in 1860, 902; 1870, 968, 1 colored.
     Hambden has gained instead of falling off,—the single instance in the county.

Wheat .................................... 210  acres.   3,509  bushels
Oats .................................... 559  "   16,373  "
Corn .................................... 281  "   13,830  "
Potatoes .................................... 136  "   12,257  "
Orchards .................................... 266  "   2,796  "
Meadow .................................... 1523  "   1,816  tons.
Butter ....................................       37,887  pounds.
Maple-sugar ....................................       19,035  "

     Votes for President in 1876, Hayes, 17-1; Tilden, 29.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.

MERRICK AND PHILO PEASE.

     Merrick Pease went to Hambden township from Enfield, Connecticut, in 1810.  He put up a saw-and grist-mill in the south part of the township,* and soon after,
grain being plentiful, and there being no outlet for it in the east, he put up a whisky-still.  Between the years 1824 and 1827, or 1828, in company with David T. Bruce, he carried on quite a trade with Green Bay (then Fort Howard, a government post).  In 1828 he moved his family to the farm that is now occupied by his son, Philo Pease, and in August of the same year he died.
     Philo Pease was born in the southern part of Hambden township, Sept. 18, 1814.  At the death of his father he was apprenticed to learn the tanning and curing trade with Samuel Squire, Sr.  At the age of twenty-one he was taken into partnership with Mr. Squire for a few years, after which he purchased Mr. Squire's interest.  On July 7, 1836, he married Lucy Adams.  Of this marriage the following children were born: Aug. 12, 1837, the oldest daughter, Amanda; July 28, 1840, Benj. F.; Aug. 7, 1847, Henry P.; Angeline was born Feb. 10, 1850; George W., Jan. 12, 1853; and Merrick, the youngest son, Sept. 20, 1863.  In 1852, Mr. Pease bought up the old Pease farm, and established his family there. Where his house now stands the first cabin erected in the township once stood, built by Dr. Bond, in 1801.  Mrs. Pease was the daughter of Captain Upham, formerly of Massachusetts, an early settler of Newbury.  Mr. Pease is widely known and much esteemed.

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* The mills were actually in the township of Claridon.  See Claridon.

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