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.
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
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. Calhoun. Stephen
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 place. Eli 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,
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
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
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
* From a sketch furnished by L. G. Maynard, Esq.
CHURCHES AND MINISTERS.
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
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.
Anna Pomeroy taught the first school in 1809,
and also in 1813. She was followed by Sally
Pomeroy the next year. In 1811, Olive
a school in her father’s house, opposite the Baileys.
Dorothea 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
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
THE FIRST DEATH.
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
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
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
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
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.
Thompson and Montville. The resident electors were
to hold their first town- per day. The capital
invested does not exceed three thousand dollars.
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
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
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.
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.
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. Field. O. P. Quiggle at present
carries on business at the centre.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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,
In 1850, 919,
of which 7 were colored; in 1860, 902; 1870, 968, 1
Hambden has gained instead of falling off,—the single
instance in the county.
President in 1876, Hayes, 17-1; Tilden,
MERRICK AND PHILO PEASE.
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
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
* The mills were actually in the township of Claridon.
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