A Part of Genealogy Express

Welcome to
Lorain County,

An Authentic Narrative of the Past, with Particular
Attention to the Modern Era in the Commercial, Industrial Civic and
Social Development. A Chronicle of the
People, with Family Lineage
and Memoirs.
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors



     Previous to the beginning of the nineteenth century only two temporary settlements had been made by white people within the present limits of Lorain County.  The first was by James Smith, a youth who had been captured by the Indians while working on a military road in Western Pennsylvania, and the second, more than thirty years afterward, by a colony of Moravian missionaries.  Smith, in his later life, became prominent both in the British and American armies and represented Kentucky in the State Legislature for a number of years.  He was carried by his three Indian captors, two of whom were Delawares, to Fort Du Quesne, in May, 1755; his white comrade was scalped, but after running the gauntlet, Smith was adopted by the tribe and taken to a Delaware town on the banks of the Muskingum.  This was in the spring of 1755, during the French and Indian war.


     Smith has left an interesting account of his experiences covering the two years during which he visited what is now Lorain County.  His adoption into the tribe is thus described:  "The day after my arrival at the aforesaid town (on the Muskingum) a number of Indians gathered about me and one of them began to pull the hair of my head.  He had some ashes on bark into which he frequently dipped his fingers in order to take a firmer hold; and so he went on, as if he had been plucking a turkey, until he had all the hair clean out of my head except a small spot three or four inches square on the crown.  This they cut off with a pair of scissors, except three locks which they dressed up in their own mode.  Two of these they wrapped around with a narrow beaded garter, made by them selves for the purpose, and the other they plaited at full length and stuck it full of silver broaches.  After this they bored my nose and ears, and fixed me up with nose and ear jewels.  Then they ordered me to strip off my clothes and put on a breech clout, which I did.  They then painted my face, hands and body in various colors.  They put a large belt of wampum on my neck, and silver bands on my hands and right arm; and so an old chief led me out in the street and gave the alarm halloo several time and repeated quick (Coo Wigh!) and on this all that were in town came running and stood around the old chief who held me by the hand in their midst.
     "As at that time I knew nothing of their mode of adoption, and had seen them put to death all they had taken, I made no doubt that they were about putting me to death in some cruel manner.  The old chief, holding me by the hand, made a long speech, very loud, and when he had done he handed me to three young squaws, who led me by the hand down the bank into the river until the water was up to my middle.  The squaws then made signs to me to plunge myself into the river, but I did not understand them.  I thought the result of the council was that I was to be drowned, and that these young ladies were to be the executioners.  They all three laid violent hold of me and, for some time, I resisted them with all my might, which occasioned loud laughter by the multitude that were on the bank.  At length one of the squaws said, 'No hurt you;' on this I gave myself up to their ladyships, who were as good as their word; for, though they plunged me under the water and rubbed me, I could not say they hurt me.  They then led me up to the council house, where the tribe were ready with new clothes for me.  They gave me a new ruffled shirt which I put on; also a pair of leggins done off with ribbons and beads; also a pair of moccasins and a tinsel-laced cappo.  They again painted my head and face with various colors.  When I was seated the Indians came in dressed in their grandest manner.  At length one of the chiefs made a speech as follows:  'My son, you are now flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.  By the ceremony which was performed this day every drop of white blood is washed out of your veins.'  After this ceremony I was introduced to my new kin and invited to attend a feast that night, which I did."


     Smith wandered around with various hunting parties in Central and Southern Ohio, in the course of which he visited several of the famous salt licks in that part of the country.  During one of these excursions, while following buffalo, he got lost in the woods where he spent the night.  For that offense his gun was taken from him, and he was reduced to a bow and arrow for nearly two years, or until the termination of his captivity.


     "I remained in this town," continues Smith, "until some time in October, when my adopted brother, Tontileaugo, who had married a Wyandot squaw, took me with him to Lake Erie.  On this route we had no horses with us, and when I started from the town all the pack I carried was a pouch containing my books, a little dried venison and my blanket.  I had then no gun, but Tontileaugo, who was a first-rate hunter, carried a rifle, and every day killed deer, raccoons or bears.  We left the meat, except a little for present use, and carried the skins with us until we camped, when we dried them by the fire."


     The travelers struck the Canesadooharie (Black River) probably near its source, and followed it down for some distance, when they must have left it, as they reached the lake shore some six miles west of its mouth.  As the wind was very high the evening they reached the lake, they were surprised to "hear the roaring of the water and see the high waves that dashed against the shore like the ocean."  They camped on a run near the shore, and as the wind fell that night they pursued their journey in the morning toward the mouth of the river on the sand along the shore.  They observed a number of large fish that had been left in the hollows by the receding waves, and numbers of gray and bald eagles were along the shore devouring them.


     Some time in the afternoon they came to a large camp of Wyandots at the mouth of the Canesadooharie, where Tontileaugo's wife was.  There they were hospitably received and entertained for some time.  Smith says:  "They gave us a kind of rough, brown potatoes, which grew spontaneously and were called by the Caughnewagas ohenata.  These potatoes, peeled and dropped in raccoon's fat, tasted like our sweet potatoes."  They killed while there some deer and many raccoons which were remarkably large and falls.  These were probably the east falls of Black River, now within the corporation of Elyria.  At that locality they buried their canoe and erected a winter cabin; from the description, it was at Evergreen Point.


     The narrative proceeds:  "It was some time in December when we finished our winter cabin.  Then another difficulty arose; we had nothing to eat.  While the hunters were all out exerting their utmost ability, the squaws and boys (in which class I was) were scattered in the bottom hunting red haws and hickory nuts.  We did not succeed in getting many haws, but had tolerable success in scratching up hickory nuts from under a light snow.  The hunters returned with only two small turkeys, which were but little among eight hunters and thirteen squaws, boys and children.  But they were divided equally.  They next day the hunters turned out again, and succeeded in killing one deer and three bears.  One of the bears was remarkable large and fat.  All hands turned out the next morning to bring in the meat.


     "During the winter a war party of four went out to the borders of Pennsylvania to procure horses and scalps, leaving the same number in camp to provide meat for the women and children.  They returned toward spring with two scalps and four horses.  After the departure of the warriors we had hard times, and though not out of provisions, we were brought to short allowance.  At length, Tontileaugo had fair success and brought into camp sufficient to last ten days.  Tontileaugo then took me with him in order to encamp some distance from the winter camp.  We steered south up the creek ten or twelve miles and went into camp."
     That locality is believed to be in Lagrange Township.  The brothers by adoption went to bed hungry the first night, but on the following day killed a bear, and the day after a bear and three cubs.  During the following three weeks, which they spent in this locality, they killed an abundance of game and then returned to the winter cabin.  There was great joy in the camp, at their arrival, as provisions had run very low.


     In April, Smith and Tontileaugo dug up their canoe, made another one for the conveyance of their peltry, and left their winter cabin at the falls; the Indian proceeded toward the lake by water and his white brother on horseback.  On reaching the mouth of the river, they proceeded west along the lake shore to Sun-yeu-dauk (Sandusky), another Wyandot town.  Late in the fall Smith joined a hunting party and proceeded to the Cuyahoga River.  At a distance of about thirty miles from its mouth, they formed a camp near a small lake and spent the winter in catching beaver.  In the spring of 1757 they returned to Sandusky, and soon went by water to Detroit, where they disposed of their peltry to the French traders.


     In 1759 Smith accompanied his Indian relatives to Montreal, where he was finally exchanged, and returned to his Pennsylvania home in 1760, only to find his old sweetheart married, all supposing him dead.  He afterward became a captain in the regular British army, and was chiefly engaged in protecting the border against Indian raids.  During the Revolutionary war, he rose to the rank of colonel in the patriot army, and did good service against both the British and their Indian allies.  In 1788 Colonel Smith migrated to Bourbon County, Kentucky; where he represented his district in the Assembly as late as the commencement of the nineteenth century.


     The second settlement - temporary though it was - within the present borders of Lorain County was made by a delegation of Moravian or Christian Indiana, under the lead of the missionary, David Zeisberger, during a few days of April, 1787.  For fifteen or sixteen years both the Indians and their faithful white leaders of the cloth had been striving to find a chance to dwell anywhere in peace.  Their persecutions by enemy tribes, such as the Chippewas, Delawares and Wyandots, with the connivance of both British and American soldiers, who seemed to disapprove of industry and thrift on the part of the Red Man, had culminated in the cold-blooded massacre at Gnadenhutten, on the Tuscarawas River, in 1782.  Afterward they were invited to Detroit by the commander and traveled thither by way of Sandusky; finally settled on the Huron River about thirty miles from Detroit and founded New Gnadenhutten.  Then, in the following year came the peace with Great Britain, and within the following three years they had established a pretty, industrious and contented settlement.


     But the troubles of the missionaries and their Indian wards were by no means over.  The Chippewas had given them the tract of land upon which the village stood and in 1786 claimed it again, saying their hunting grounds had been injured by its establishment.  The savages even threatened another massacre if they did not move on.  While preparing for their departure they received intelligence that the Congress of the United States, after the conclusion of the war, had given express orders that the territory on the Muskingum formerly inhabited by the Christian Indians (in the present Tuscarawas County) should be reserved for them.  But the Delawares and the Shawanese, especially, were still determined to oppose the United States and declared their intention to oppose the return of the Moravian Indians.  Notwithstanding, the missionaries and their people left New Gnadenhutten in April, 1786, and, with the assistance of the governor of Fort Detroit, were, in a few days, embarked in two trading vessels belonging to the Northwest Fur Company for the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, the idea being that thence they would easily reach the headwaters of the Muskingum to the south and return to their restored lands from which they had been driven for years before.


     When within sight of their destination a violent storm drove the vessels back towards the west.  After many delays the two divisions were reunited toward the west.  After many delays the two divisions were reunited and reached the mouth of the Cuyahoga on the 7th of June.  Want of provisions made them hasten their departure and, proceeding up the river, past the site of Cleveland, they came to an old deserted Ottawa town about ten miles south, where they resolved to spend the summer.  Though the season was already far advanced, they cleared the ground for planting even sowed some Indian corn.  They called the place Pilgeruh, or Pilgrim's Rest.  But the name proved to be sadly misapplied.


     Bands of Chippewas, Ottawas and Delawares often visited the new mission, and those who had not been Christianized often strove to draw the Christian Indians back to their traditional beliefs; and they not infrequently succeeded.  That trouble, with persistent reports of threatened renewal of hostilities between the Americans and hostile Indian tribes, determined the missionaries to relinquish all idea of returning to their abandoned villages on the Muskingum and to seek some convenient spot between the Cuyahoga and Petquotting (at the mouth of the Huron River, in Erie County).


     It was at this point that the harried wanderers were to encamp upon the soil of Lorain County, at the mouth of Black (Canesadoohaire) River.  In April, 1787, they abandoned Pilgeruh and, dividing in to land and water parties, skirted the lake westward.  In less than a week they arrived at their destination.  The soil was fertile, producing wild potatoes in abundance, apple and plum trees grew here and there, and pitious, but their joy was of only three days' duration, for at the end of that period of short probation a Delaware captain appeared and gave them positive orders to move on to Sandusky.


     The details of this period which directly concerns the narrative are thus told by the missionary, John Heckewelder, whose labors covered so many years among the Ohio Indians: "Shortly after the commencement of the year 1787, accounts were received from various quarters that the Christian Indians would not be permitted to stay where they were at present, and that they would have to move nearer to the settlements of the savages.  The government of the United States had also at this time advised the Christian Indians, through General Butler, agent of Indian affairs, not to move to the Muskingum for the present, but to remain at Cuyahoga.  The speech from Captain Pipe, already taken notice of, called on them to leave the Cuyahoga and settle at Petquotting.
    "Such was the state of things at that time; and discouraging as it was, we durst not look upon the speeches sent to us with indifference; especially what came from Captain Pipe.  Whilst the Christian Indians had this subject under consideration the hostile tribes were holding a great council at Sandusky, at which it was finally resolved that a war with the United States should commence and that if the believing Indians would not decline going to the Muskingum they would force them to do so, and that their teachers should not be taken prisoners as heretofore, but killed on the spot.  A glimpse of hope, however, yet remained and induced them to believe that a peace might yet take place.  The Iroquois (Six Nations) it was said had sent a solemn embassy to all the western nations, but particularly to the Shawanese, advising them to be at peace.  A report also circulated that the commandant at Detroit had persuaded nine or ten tribes of Indians to keep the peace, and that he even threatened such as should commit hostilities against the United States.  "The Christian Indians, after mature deliberation on the speeches which had been sent them, resolved to seek for a spot of ground between Cuyahoga and Petquotting, where they might live by themselves in peace and quiet without being interrupted by the savages, and having for that purpose examined the country along the lake, they found a place quite to their mind.
     "At this time the following private message from a friendly Delaware chief was brought out and delivered to the missionary Zeisberger: 'Grandfather!  Having heard that you proposed going to live on the Muskingum, I would advise you not to go thither this spring!  I cannot give you my reasons for so advising you (meaning that he durst not disclose).  Neither can I say whether we shall have war or peace; but so much I can say - that it is not time yet to go there.  Do not think that I wish to oppose your preaching the word of God (the Gospel) to the Muskingum.'  This good chief's friendly message was well understood.  Respecting the missionaries as his friends, he warned them of the danger they would be in, in going there.
     "On the 19th of April the Christian Indians closed their stay at this place by offering up solemn prayer and praise in their chapel.  They thanked the Lord for all blessings, both internal and external, which he had showered down on them at this place, and then set out in two parties, one by land and the other by water.  The latter was, however,,,, delayed a couple of days on account of a dreadful storm arising just at the moment they were about to run out of the Cuyahoga river into the lake, the wind blowing violently from the opposite side on this shore.  The waves beat with such force against the natural wall of stone or rocks that the whole earth seemed to tremble, and the travellers thanked God that they at the time were in the river in safety, and where they further had the good fortune to catch several hundred good large fish by torch light - a fish called in this country and maskenuntschi, or maskenunge, and much resembling the pike.
     "On the 24th of April the land travelers and, on the day following, these who were gone by water, arrived at the place they had fixed upon as their future residence; which was on a large creek that emptied itself into the lake from the south, and where a fine fertile spot was found much resembling an orchard, it being interspersed with crab apple and plum trees; wild potatoes (an article of food much valued by the Indians) were likewise found here in abundance.  In short, there was nothing wanting to encourage them to form a regular settlement at this place, the which they intended to do should they be permitted to remain  here.  This, however, was not the case, for on the 27th there were appraised by a Delaware captain, who was sent for the purpose, that they were not permitted to stay, but must proceed on to Sandusky, where a place ten miles distant from the nearest habitation of Indians was destined for them to live at, and where protection would be granted them; that the orders he brought were positive and must be obeyed without further consideration.  The captain was further charged with a separate message to Zeisberger to this effect:  'Hear my friend!  You, my grandfather!  I know that you have formally been adopted by our chiefs as a member of the nation.  No one shall hurt you, and you need not be afraid, or have any scruples, about coming to live at Sandusky' (delivering a string of wampum).
     "The answer given to the foregoing speech was, of course, in the affirmative; yet not without representing to the captain, a malice, deceit and treachery imposed upon them for these six or seven years past.
     "While preparing to leave this favorite spot, Michael Young who, as before related, had gone to Bethlehem from Upper Canada in 1783, now returned to resume his missionary station and joining the company, they continued their journey as before, some traveling by land while others, with the baggage, went by water.  Arriving at the Huron river, which emptied itself into Lake Erie about thirty miles to the eastward of Sandusky, they learned, from good authority, that the message sent them by the savage chief was not the truth, and that the place allotted for them to live at was but two miles from the village of the savages, and that the real intention of them was to draw the Christian Indians back into heathenism.  The latter, finding this to be their object, resolved not to go any further for the present, but to remain where they were in opposition to the orders of the chiefs, let the consequent be what it would.
     "After running their canoes a few miles up the river they, on the 11th of May, halted and all hands turning out, both men and women, they erected for themselves, on the same day, a sufficient number of small bark huts to lodge in, and on the next day sent a deputation to the chiefs giving their reason for what they had done, on which they were permitted to stay were for one year unmolested.  The village was afterward built on the east side of a high bluff and their corn fields were on the opposite side.  To this place, which they named New Salem, the heathen sometimes came to hear the preaching of the Gospel, some of whom also joined the congregation, becoming steady members of the church."


     Strictly writing, the author should dismiss the Moravian colony when its members, under the faithful Zeisberger, left the mouth of the Black River for the mouth of the Huron, but it is excusable to add that after founding New Salem, near the site of the present Milan, Erie County, they were forced into Canada, about eighteen miles from Detroit, in 1791.  They rested there a year, were then moved to land on the Thames, in English territory, and established the flourishing settlement of Fairfield, and, five years afterward, returned to their American lands on the Muskingum, where, under Zeisberger and Heckewelder, they founded Goshen on the site of their old town, Schoenbrunn.  Fairfield, their Canadian village, was destroyed in 1813, during the War of 1812.


     David Zeisberger, the missionary, who may be called the first white man to attempt a permanent settlement on what is the soil of Lorain County, died at Goshen (now a few miles southeast of New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County), on November 17, 1808, in the eighty-eighth year of his age.  One of his brother missionaries write of him thus:  "Of this long life he had spent above sixty years as a missionary among the Indians, suffering numberless hardships and privations and enduring many dangers.  He had acquired an extensive knowledge of the Delaware language and several other Indian tongues.  But most of his translations, vocabularies and other books for the instruction of the Indians being only in manuscript were burned on the Muskingum (during the massacre of 1782), and the unsettled state of the mission for a long period after, his other multifarious avocations and his advancing age, did not allow him sufficient leisure or strength completely to make up his loss.  His zeal for the conversion of the heathen never abated and no consideration could induce him to leave his beloved Indian flock.  The younger missionaries revered him as a father, and before they entered upon their labors generally spent some time at Goshen to profit by his counsel and instruction.  Within a few months of his death he became nearly blind, yet being perfectly resigned to the will of God, he did not lose his usual cheerfulness, and, though his body was worn almost to a skeleton, his judgment remained unimpaired."
     Heckwelder, in his "Narrative," says:  "In the evening of his days, when his faculties began to fail him, his desire to depart and be with Christ increased.  At the same time he awaited his dissolution with uniform, calm and dignified resignation to the will of his Maker, and in the sure and certain hope of exchanging this world for a better.  His last words were 'Lord Jesus, I pray thee come and take my spirit to thyself.'  And again 'Thou hast never yet forsaken me in any trial; thou wilt not forsake me now.'  A very respectable company attended  his funeral.  The solemn service was performed in the English, the Delaware and German languages, to suit the different auditors."
     As to his scholarly acquirements in the field to which he had so long devoted himself, Heckewelder adds:  "He made himself complete master of two of the Indian languages, the Onondago and the Delaware, and acquired some knowledge of several others.  Of the Onondago he composed two grammers one written in English and the other in German.  He likewise compiled a dictionary of the Delaware language, which in the manuscript contained several hundred pages.  Nearly the whole of these manuscripts was lost at the burning of the settlement on the Muskingum.  A spelling book in the same language has passed through two editions (written in 1820).  A volume of sermons to Children and a hymn book containing upwards of five hundred hymns, chiefly translations from the English and German hymn books in use in the Brethren's church, have also been published in the Delaware (or Lenape) language.  He left behind him, in manuscript, a grammer of the Delaware, written in German, and a translation into the same language of Lieberkuehn's 'Harmony of the Four Gospels.'  The former of these works has since been translated into English for the American Philosophical Society by P. S. Du Pouceau, of Philadelphia, and the Female Auxiliary Missionary Society of Bethlehem has undertaken the publication of the 'Harmony.'"  We learn further that Zeisberger was of low, sturdy stature and cheerful countenance - evidently a stalwart, earnest, enthusiastic, steadfast German, who commanded such universal respect and affection that we are proud to welcome him as the pioneer settler of Lorain County, and only regret that his stay could not have been longer and more satisfactory.


     In 1807, the year before the death of the beloved and venerable missionary, permanent settlement commenced at and near the mouth of the Black River, the localities which were the scenes of the Moravian attempts, and of Smith's visit before them.  In that year (1807) there came from the East Azariah Beebe and his wife.  They halted at the mouth of the Canesadooharie, as the Moravian colony had done twenty years before; they also saw that the country was fair to look upon and so they built a log cabin on the site of the deserted village.  Soon they were joined by Nathan Perry, the trader; the Connecticut colony penetrated inland and settled in Columbia Township, a few months afterward, and from 1810 additions to the lake region were quite continuous until the commencement of hostilities with Great Britain.


     Lorain County was by no means exempt from war "scares" during   those trying times to the region of the lower lakes and the scene of the greatest navel activities.  Very early in the war period the word was passed through all the lake shore settlements of the county that a large  party of hostile British had landed at Huron, a few miles west.  Men, women and children fled their homes in terror, and as the inhabitants of Ridgeville reached Columbia in their flight they found that settlement nearly abandoned.  This panic, however, was of short duration, for Levi Bronson, returning from Cleveland, brought the well authenticated news that the persons landed at Huron were the prisoners that Hull surrendered, at Detroit, to the British.  On the return of those who had sought safety in flight from Columbia, the elder Bronson, who had refused to join them, informed them that "the wicked flee when no man pursueth."


     The inhabitants of Columbia, Ridgeville, Middlebury and Eaton, however, at once joined in the erection of a blockhouse, just south of the center of the Town of Columbia.  This was the fortress to which to flee for safety in the hour of danger.  Captain Hoadley had the honor of commanding this post.  A company was organized to garrison it, but we are well informed that the enemy had not the temerity to come within reach of its guns.  The Captain and his men were mustered into the service, and paid as soldiers of the united States army.  Able-bodied men constituted the garrison, while the old men, women and children were left unprotected, at their homes, to cultivate the soil and receive the first assault of the unexpected foe.  The roar of the cannon, off Put-in-Bay Island, on the 10th of September, 1813, was the first and the last heard of the enemy after these military preparations for defense were made.
     For some time after hostilities with Great Britain had ceased there were few sings of a revival of colonization to the lake shore region, but in 1817, after the war clouds had fairly lifted, Heman Ely platted his land at the mouth of Black River.  Then there was another pause for decided developments, which came within the succeeding three years. 
     "As yet," says Lorain Times-Herald in its "Perry Centennial" edition of 1913, "the settlement on the Canesadooharie had not felt the pulse of industry.  It was coming.


     "Over on the Connecticut river Augustus Jones and William Murdock had been shipbuilders before the war.  A raid by the British, who ascended the Connecticut under the cover of darkness and burned their ship-yards, left the two men, among other fellow craftsmen, almost penniless.  When the Government, in 1820, offered them land in the Western Reserve, they accepted the proffer and took grants near the mouth of Black river.


     "So began Lorain's ship-building industry.  From the start, made by the establishment of the yards of Jones and Murdock, this new activity flourished.  Ship-carpenters, the community's first employed workingmen, came from the East.  As the industry grew, other master builders established yards.  Not only along the river, but on the lake shore, east and west of the harbor mouth, wooden sailing vessels were built and launched.  The first merchant ship to sail Lake Superior was turned out of a yard here.  There was no navigable passage then between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, and the vessel had to be taken from the water on the Northern Peninsula of Michigan, portaged overland and launched into White Fish Bay.
     "In addition to August Jones and William Murdock, other early shipbuilders mentioned in available records were F. Church, Captain A. Jones and his sons, William and B. B.; A. Gillmore, Edward Gillmore, Jr., and F. N. Jones.  From F. N. Jones' yard, in 1837, was launched the first steamboat built at Lorain, the Bunker Hill.  The completed hull was towed to Cleveland, where the machinery, which had been brought overland by ox-teams, was installed.
     "Some of the shipbuilders had become ship owners.  Fleets of schooners, interspersed with an occasional 'square-rigger,' sailed in and out of Black river, carrying the community's commerce over its only means of transportation, the water.  In 1836 vessel owners here joined themselves into the Black River Steamboat Association.  Lorain's history as a lake port had begun.


     "It was the same year - 1836 - that the settlement, until then known as Black River, was incorporated as a village.  Charleston, growing into importance as a shipping point, presented the paradox of having into importance as a shipping point, presented the paradox of having no means of commercial transportation except the water.  To provide a connection with the county seat at Elyria a plank road, with a regulation toll gate, was built between the two villages.  The present Broadway, from its lower end at the river front to about the Fifth-street intersection, lies on the line of the old planked highway.


     "Charleston was busy but not comfortable as a living place.  Despite the fact that old residents of today, recalling the days of the '40s and '50s, declare proudly that Charleston had no doctors because it needed none, they admit that the community was infested with malaria and typhoid in the hot summer months.  Undrained marsh land along the river provided a breeding place for disease which the village, lacking public sanitation, was unable to combat.  Ship-yard workers left the place in the summer for a more healthful climate.  'Those of us who remained in the summers dared not die, because there weren't men enough to bury us,' an old resident said to the writer.  'Our only cemetery for a time was on Bank street, now Sixth.  We had no hearse.  When someone died, we had to convey the body to the burying ground in a farm wagon.  Then a cemetery was established at Amherst.  The two villages went in together and bought a hearse.  I guess that hearse was the community's first municipally-owned public utility.'
     "Until 1850 Charleston had no church.  Services were held in the homes of the villages, a circuit rider coming in from the outside to attend to the spiritual needs of the settlement.  The first public meeting house was an all-denominational institution erected on the corner of Washington avenue and West Erie.  Later, the meeting house was moved to the present site of the First Congregational Church, Fourth street and Washington avenue.
     "District school was held in a big barnlike wooden building on the site of the present No. 1 fire station.
     "Commerce had its difficulties , also.  There were no protection piers to fend off from the harbor mouth the fury of the storms.  A northeaster would send sand laden seas across the lowlands on the east side of the river and the channel would choke up with silt.  After unusually severe storms the villagers could wade across the river at the lower end of the old plank road.


     " 'The storms made it bad for vessels that were in the harbor,' the old residenter said.  'Often there would be several schooners at the sawmill up at Globeville (Globeville was the name given to the territory of the present South Lorain).  To get the boats out into the lake again, the men would take their teams and plows down upon the sandbar in the river, and plow out a channel which the current would enlarge sufficiently to allow the passage of the bottled-up vessels.


     "Without a railroad, Charleston had two big hotels and an immense boarding house.  On the site of the present Wagner building was the Reid House, built and owned by Conrad Reid.  Where the abandoned S. L. Pierce shoe factory stands was the Lampman House, owned and operated by the late Maured Lampman.  Across from the Lampman House was the Canard, a boarding house that passed through several hands and finally burned one night, furnishing the village with the first big fire in its history.


     "Charleston was sanguine.  Its shipbuilding industry was expanding and bringing the village fame among Great Lakes communities.  Then came a reaction that was to mean many cheerless, sterile years for the village on the banks of the old Canesadooharie.
     "The railroad was coming westward from the Hudson river over the trail of the ox-teams.  The Cleveland and Toledo railroad stretched an iron highway across Ohio.  But Charleston was left out of the itinerary of the iron horse.  The line passed through Elyria, and the interior trade that had been Charleston's fell into the willing lap of the county seat.  The farmers who had been wont to haul their produce over the plank road to the wharves at Charleston, found it more convenient to haul it to the freight depot at Elyria.  Charleston began to pine away.  The Black River Steamboat Association became a thing of the past.  The sons of the village went out to broader fields.  Her old men - those who had rung their axes in the forest when Charleston had been a settlement - died, and their tombstones in the little old cemetery on Sixth street are broken and grown over with moss.  A few of the shipbuilders remained - but only a few  - a few traders, a blacksmith or two, and the attendant artisans who wait on village necessities.


     "Years passed thus.  Then in 1872 came the awakening that was to mark the beginning of the last epoch in the development of what is now incorporated Lorain."  None in these days is so dense that he does not scent the coming railroad; in Lorain's case, it was the Baltimore & Ohio.
     With the ground cleared for the real building of the City of Lorain, the review passes to other foundation events in the county's history.


     With the Indian titles to the lands west of the Cuyahoga cleared by treaty, and any prior complications guaranteed by the Connecticut Land Company, the first colony of permanent settlers, with their families, commenced to arrive in what is now the northeastern boarders of Lorain County, in the fall of 1807.  In September of that year a company of thirty persons left Waterbury, Connecticut, for that part of the county.  Its members were as follows:  Calvin Hoadley, wife and five children; Lemuel Hoadley, wife and three children, father and wife's mother;  Lathrop Seymour and wife; John Williams, wife and five children; a Mrs. Parker with four children; Silas Hoadley and Chauncey Warner; and Bela Bronson, wife and child.  The colony spent two months in reaching Buffalo, took boat for the mouth of the Cuyahoga, but were cast ashore in a storm near Erie, and many of them were compelled to make the remainder of the journey on foot.
     "The greater part of this company," says Boynton, "stopped at Cleveland and remained though winter.  But Bela Bronson, wife and child; Levi Bronson, John Williams and Walter Strong, pushed across the Cuyahoga, cut their way through the wilderness to Columbia, erected a log house and commenced pioneer life.  They were eight days in cutting their way from Cleveland to Columbia.
     "In the winter of 1807-8, the families of John Williams and James Geer, arrived; and in the spring and summer of 1808, those who remained at Cleveland during the winter arrived also.  At the apportionment by draft in 1807, Levi Bronson, Harmon Bronson, Azor Bronson, Calvin Hoadley, and Jared Richards, had formed an association called the Waterbury Land Company.  This company, Benjamin Doolittle, Jr., Samuel Doolittle, and William Law, drew that township, as No. 5, Range 15, with 2,650 acres in Richfield and Boston, in Summit county, annexed to equalize it.


     "Columbia, at the time of its organization, which took place in 1809, was a part of Geauga county.  The first election was held on the first Monday of April, of that year, at the house of Calvin Hoadley.  There were nineteen voters at the election.  Calvin Hoadley, Jared Pritchard and John Williams were elected trustees.  Bela Bronson was elected clerk.  Having no use for a treasurer, none was elected.  Lathrop Seymour was elected constable and, to provide him employment, in May following, Nathaniel Doan was elected justice of the peace.  All of Geauga county lying west of Columbia, was annexed to that township for judicial and other purposes.  The jurisdiction of that functionary, covered, in territorial extent, nearly an empire.  The plaintiff on the first action brought before him, lived on Grand River, and the defendant on the Vermillion.  It was the case of Skinner v. Baker.  The plaintiff had judgment, which was paid, not in legal tender, but in labor.  The first school taught was in the summer of 1808, by Mrs. Bela Bronson, in the first log house erected."


     After Columbia, the next settlers in the county located in the Township of Ridgeville, nearer Lake Erie.  They were also Waterbury people, although the original drawer of the township was a Hartford lawyer named Ephraim Root.  For a few years after its settlement it was called Rootstown, after Lyman Root, the original owner of the township and one of the colony of purchasers and settlers.  In 1809-10 Oliver Terrell, Ichabod Terrell and David Beebe, residents of Waterbury, exchanged their lands in that place for about one-fourth the Township of Ridgeland.  In the spring of 1810 Mr. Beebe, with his sons David and Loman, Joel Terrell and Lyman Root, left Waterbury and, after a long journey, reached Ridgeville.  On the 6th of July of that year Tillotson Terrell arrived, with his wife and three children.  His was the first family that settled in the township.  In the summer of that year David Beebe, Jr., returned to Waterbury and brought on the family of his father, and the wife and children of Lyman Root.  At the same time, Ichabod Terrell, his wife Rhoda, and five children, his father and Asa Morgan, his teamster, exchanged their Connecticut homes and comforts for the untried experiences of frontier life.  Oliver Terrell, father of Ichabod, upwards of eighty years of age, made the entire trip on horseback.  They reached Ridgeville in the fall, cutting a wagon road from Rocky River to the place of destination.  They were two days and three nights en route from Rocky River.  The company that came on in the spring had built a small cabin of logs of such size as so few could carry, the roof being of bark and the floor of earth.  This cabin was built in the first clearing made.  Here all had lived together and kept bachelor's hall.  Upon the arrival of Tillotson Terrell and family, in the early part of July, he "moved in" and remained until the erection of a log home for himself and family.  This was not long after his advent into the town.  About the same time David Beebe, Sr., built a log house, a little west and nearly opposite the residence of the late Garry Root.  These log cabins were an improvement on the one previously built, in one respect at least: each had a puncheon floor and an opening for a window.  As window glass was an article not possessed, foolscap paper was employed in its stead; and while it was a poor instrument to exclude the cold air from the rude dwelling, it was the best means possessed as a substitute for the admission of light.  Joel Terrell, one of the first of the spring company, returned to Connecticut in 1810, and remained until 1811, when, with his family, he directed his steps again westwards to his future home.
     The families of David Beebe, Sr., Lyman Root and Ichabod Terrell, that came on in the fall of 1810, consisted of twenty persons.  They were seven weeks on the way. Two yokes of oxen to a wagon, with a horse as a leader, constituted the motive power that conveyed them hither.  Rhoda Terrell,  the wife of Ichabod, was a survivor of the Wyoming massacre; and at her death left ninety-one grandchildren and a large number of great-grandchildren.
     The first schoolhouse was erected near the center of the town, on the spot where the Tuttle House afterward stood.  It was consumed by fire in 1814.  The first frame house was built by Maj. Willis Terrell.


     The first mill for grinding flour was the offspring of necessity.  It was erected near where Tillotson Terrell built his log house.  It was the mortar and pestle.  A long about three feet in length,  cut from a pepperage tree, set on its end and burned out round in the, with a pestle attached to a spring pole; these were the sum total of its parts and its mechanism.  This was a familiar and friendly acquaintance of the neighboring inhabitants, and by them was kept in constant use, until time and means brought in better days.  In 1812-13 Joseph Cahoon, of Dover, built a grist mill on the small creek at the center.  Captain Hoadley, of Columbia, possessed a hand grist mill; and in the winter of 1816-17 a mill was built at Elyria, thus removing the necessity for the further use of the mortar and pestle.


     The Township of Ridgeville was organized in 1813.  At the spring election of that year there were fifteen voters; and they were all at the election.  Judges of election were provided, and the polls were opened.  David Beebe, Ichabod Terrell and Joel Terrell were elected trustees.  Joel Terrell was elected justice of the peace; David Beebe, Jr., constable, and Willis Terrell, township clerk.  A post office was established in 1815, and Moses Eldred appointed postmaster.  Up to this date the Cleveland postoffice was the nearest.  Town No. 5, in the same range (Eaton), was included in the organization of Ridgeville.


     Eaton Township was settled, in the fall of 1810, by members of the colony who came from Waterbury, Connecticut, as associates of those who located in what is now Ridgeville Township.  Before its incorporation was the property originally of Caleb Atwater, Turhand Kirtland, Holbrook and ten others.  Tract 1, gore 4, range 11, was annexed to it, to bring it up to full value.  It was originally called Holbrook, and retained that name until 1822, from the circumstance that Daniel Holbrook was a large owner of its soil.  It was first settled in the fall of 1810, by Asa Morgan, Silas Wilmot, Ira B. Morgan and Ebenezer Wilmot.  These were all single men.  They came from Waterbury, Connecticut, in the spring and summer, with those who took up their abode in Ridgeville.  They built a log house, in the fall of that year, on the land long occupied by Silas Wilmot, and jointly occupied it, until, by change in their circumstances, such occupancy was no longer desirable.  By agreement, this house became the property of Silas Wilmot.  It was the first erection in the town.
     In 1812, Silas Wilmot married Chloe Hubbard, of Ashtabula County.  They commenced married life in the log cabin on Ridge.  His was the first family that settled in the town.  Soon after, Ira B. Morgan intermarried with Louisa Bronson, of Columbia, built a log house just east of Wilmot's, and there took up his abode.  His family was the second that took up its residence in the town.  Asa soon married and settled west of Wilmot's.
     Not long after, the families of Levi Mills, Thuret F. Chapman, Seneca Andress, Meritt Osborn, A. M. Dowd, Dennis Palmer, Sylvester Morgan and others were added.  The first school was taught by Julia Johnson, daughter of Phineas, then a resident of No. 5, range 16.


     The organization of the Township of Ridgeville included Eaton; and the two towns were embraced in the civil organization, until Dec. 3, 1822, at which time it was ordered by the commissioners of Cuyahoga County, on the petition of the inhabitants, that No. 6 (5), range 16, be set off into a township by the name of Eaton.  At the spring election, in 1832, the required township officers were elected, the township detached from Ridgeville and organized for independent action.


     As an interesting historic event the attempt of the Moravian missionaries to establish a post at the mouth of the Black River in the present township by that name has been described in detail.  It will be remembered that they remained a few days before leaving in the face of the threats of the Delaware chief, and their coming had no connection with the settlement which approached permanency; that honor fell to the Beebes, Vermonters, in 1807, which, for Lorain County, may be called the "year of assurance." Nathan Perry, Jr., son of Nathan Perry, of Cleveland, both of Vermont, opened a store at Black River for trade with the Indians.  He employed Azariah Beebe as his advance agent, who, with his wife, went ahead, opened the store and commenced housekeeping.  Mr. Perry soon after followed and boarded with them.  The store and residence were located east of the river.  The Beebes remained there for several years and then dropped out of sight.
     No addition was made to the settlement until 1810, but in the spring of that year Daniel Perry, an uncle of Nathan, Jr., settled with his family near the mouth of the Black River.  He, also, was from Vermont.  He remained at that locality but a few years, then moved to Sheffield and thence to Brownhelm, where he spent the remainder of a very useful life.  Local historians generally give the Perrys, uncle and nephew, the credit of calling especial attention to the commercial advantages of the locality around the mouth of the Black, and of planting the seed of the community which finally developed into the large industrial City of Lorain.


     During 1810, the year of Daniel Perry's arrival, came to Black River Township Jacob Shupe, Joseph Quigley, George Kelso, Andrew Kelso, Ralph Lyon and a Mr. Seeley, some of whom settled in what became Amherst Township.  In the following year the little colony was increased by the arrival of John S. Reid, Quartus Gilmore, Aretus Gilmore and William MartinMr. Reid was a man of great energy of character, and soon became prominent, as the leading citizen of the town.  He was one of the first three commissioners upon the organization of the county, in 1824, and before then, and while Black River was a part of Huron County, in 1819, he was a commissioner of that county.  He was one of the commissioners of Huron County that directed the joint organization of Elyria and Carlisle.  He died in 1831, and his son Conrad spent his life in the township.  Quartus and Aretus Gilmore were sons of Edmund, who moved to Black River with his family in 1812.  He was the owner of a large tract of land in Black River and Amherst, and built, in that year, the first framed barn ever erected in the county.


     On the 14th of November, 1811, the Township Dover was organized by the commissioners of Cuyahoga County.  It included within its defined limits the present townships of Dover, Avon, Sheffield, and that part of Black River east of the river; and on the 12th of March, 1812, the territory now comprising the townships of Elyria, Amherst, all of Black River west of the river, and Brownhelm were attached to Dover for township purposes.  They remained so attached until Vermillion was organized, when the towns now known as Amherst, Brownhelm and Black River, west of the river, were annexed to that township.  On the 27th of October, 1818, the Township of Troy was organized and included the present towns of Avon and all of Sheffield and Black River lying east of the river.  It will be remembered that Huron County was organized in 1815, and was extended east of Black River, and for a distance beyond it.  At the February session, in 1817, of the commissioners of Huron County, it was ordered that Township No. 6 (Amherst) and that part of No. 7 (Black River) in the Eighteenth Range which lay in the County of Huron, with all the lands thereto attached in said Huron County, be set off from the Township of Vermillion and organized into a separate township under the name of Black River.  Thus Amherst, Black River and Brownhelm were first organized as Black River.
     In June, 1824, the corner of the town lying east of the river was annexed to Black River Township for judicial purposes.  The first election for officers of Black River Township was held in April, 1817.  The names of all the officers elected are now known.  There were two post offices in the town.

Very truly yours

     The Black River postoffice was located on the South River, now South Amherst, and the other was named "The Mouth of Black River Post Office."  Eliphalet Redington was the first postmaster of the office on South River, and John S. Reid of the postoffice at the mouth of Black River.


     It was not until 1817 that the settlement at the mouth of the Black River promised to blossom into a full-blown village.  In that year Judge Heman Ely, also the founder of Elyria, established his colony in that portion of the great tract which he had purchased from the Connecticut Land Company.  In his early manhood Judge Ely had spent some time in the Province of Lorraine, France, and the pleasant memories of his residence in that charming and romantic country induced him to suggest the name of the new county which was created by the Legislature in 1822.  The French spelling was, however, contracted and Anglicized.  Afterward the boat-building and fishing settlement at the mouth of Black River took that name.  The fine harbor at that locality, added to these industries, made it quite an important lake port, before the early '70s, when the railroads entered the land territory naturally tributary to it;  it was incorporated as a village; the steel works and other large industries located; population increased rapidly; it was incorporated as a city and established its position as the leading commercial and industrial center of the county and one of the most thriving municipalities on Lake Erie.  Abundant proof of these general statements is afforded in the details packed into succeeding pages.


     Jacob Shupe, already mentioned, is entitled to the post of honor as the pioneer settler of what is now Amherst Township.  He came into Black River in 1810 and early in the following year moved over the line into Amherst and settled upon Beaver Creek.  Within a short time he erected both saw and grist mills, and several years afterward the first whiskey distillery in the township.  He spent his money to the limit in various primitive improvements, and it was while making an extension to one of his mills on Beaver Creek, in 1832, that a timber fell on him and caused injuries which resulted in his death.  His Widow lived to be ninety years of age.
     In October, 1815, Chileab Smith settled with his family on Little Beaver Creek, in Amherst, four miles west of Elyria, where he lived until his death.  He opened and kept the first tavern in that vicinity.  During the same year Stephen Cable, before then a resident of Ridgeville, moved from the latter town and took up his residence near the Corners, formerly called Hulbert's Corners, six miles west of Elyria.  In the year 1816 Reuben Webb settled on the farm lying at "Webb's Corners."  In 1817 there were other additions to the town, among the the family to Thomas Waite, which remained but one year, then removed to Russia.  The family of Ezekial Crandall settled near Cable's.


     In the year 1818 Josiah Harris settled at what is now North Amherst, where he spent a long and useful life.  He came from Becker, Berkshire


County, Massachusetts.  He was elected justice of the peace in 1821, and held the office by re-election for thirty-six consecutive years.  He was postmaster at North Amherst for a continuous period of forty years; was the first sheriff of the county; was appointed associate judge in 1829, and served for the period of seven years.  He was the object of universal respect by the inhabitants of the town of his adoption.  Through the beneficence of his counsel, parties litigant often left his court with their cause amicably settled, with all irritation removed, and personal good feeling restored.
     Ebenezer Whiton became a resident the same or the previous year.  Eliphalet Redington  settled on the South Ridge, now South Amherst, in February, 1818.  He was selected by the Legislature as one of the committee to locate the road leading from the eastern termination of the one running east from the foot of the rapids of the Miami of the Lake to Elyria.
     Elijah Sanderson, settled near him in the same year.  Prior to 1820 there were numerous additions to the town, among whom were Caleb Ormsby, Ezekial Barnes, Elias Pabody, Thompson Blair, Israel Cash, Roswell Crocker, Harry Redington, Jesse Smith, Adoniram Webb, Frederick Henry, Michael, David and George Onstine.


     In the meantime, while this region near the lake shore was being settled, the present Township of Amherst was being brought into shape.  This was not effected until 1830.   Old Black River Township was organized in April, 1817, as a part of Huron County. Brownhelm Township was detached in 181, and Russia in 1825, leaving the territory now embraced in the townships of Amherst and Black River as one township, under the name of Black River Township.  On January 12, 1830, the Ohio Legislature passed a special act of division.  This was made necessary in view of the act prohibiting the incorporation of any township with an area of less than twenty-two square miles; the territory to be divided made it impossible to abide by that law and the Legislature therefore passed a special measure on the date named.  The inhabitants of fractional township No. 7, range 18, in the Connecticut Western Reserve, were incorporated as the Township of Black River, and township No. 6, in the same range, as Amherst.
     The first officers of Amherst Township were elected at the April election of 1830.


     For many years it was seen that the Corners, nearly in the center of the township, was the logical site for a village.  Judge Josiah Harris had also a large tract of land around the Old Spring, in the same locality, a portion of which he laid out into lots in 1830 and started the Village of Amherstville.  The three decades following brought a very slow growth.  Then came the Cleveland & Toledo Railroad (now the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern) and an increased demand for the famous Amherst sandstone.
     Milo Harris bought the interests in the townsite of his father's heirs and made an addition to the village.  In 1873 the Village of North Amherst was chartered.  The name of the village has changed several times.  First it was known as the corners, then as Plato, next as Amherstville, was incorporated as North Amherst, and, within recent years, has dropped the North and became plain Amherst.
     Since the year 1886 the Village of Amherst has been the center of the large industries developed by the Cleveland Stone Company, but, with the rapid expansion of cement manufacture, several of the quarries have been shut down and the enterprise, as a whole, has declined in importance.  A large number of men, however, still find employment in the old line.  A substantial plant for the making of special machine parts, a cold-storage concern, two good banks and a number of large stores, with a handsome town hall, well paved and lighted streets and other outward signs, demonstrate the standing of Amherst as the second or third village in the county after Oberlin.  Wellington and Amherst claim about the same population.  Amherst has a population of about 2,200, perhaps half of that credited to the beautiful college village of Russia Township.


     Sheffield, Pittsfield and Avon townships, as they are known today, received their first accession of pioneers during the war period of 1812-15.  Avon, however, seems to have been the most fortunate in providing homes for a number of settlers who proved to be permanent in their character.


     In 1807 Pierrepont Edwards, the famous Revolutionary soldier, congressman and judge, of Connecticut, drew town No. 7, range 16 (Avon), together with three of the Bass islands in Lake Erie west of North Sandusky, annexed to the town for purpose of equalization.  In 1812 Noah Davis settled on the lake shore, erected a log house, remained but a short time and left, never to return.


     In 1814, Wilbur Cahoon, Lewis Austin and Nicholas Young made the first permanent settlement of the town, and a century afterward, on the 10th of September, their descendants celebrated the event.  On that occasion, Horace J. Cahoon, grandson of Wilbur and then in his seventy-eighth year, who had been appointed historian, read an interesting paper, from which liberal extracts are taken elsewhere.  Aside from the interest which attaches to the personality of Wilbur Cahoon as one of the first three settlers of Avon Township, he was the first justice of the peace elected for the jurisdiction now divided among the townships of Avon, Sheffield and Dover (the last named now a part of Cuyahoga County).  He made his good influence felt in many ways, although his death occurred as early as 1826.  The widow died in 1855.  Of their eight children, Leonard was the only one to be born in Avon Township, and he was its first native white child.  All the other children were born in Herkimer County, New York.  The Cahoon family has long been identified with township and county matters, Horace J., before mentioned, serving for nearly ten years as recorder.


     On the 27th of October, 1818, the Town of Avon, together with the annexations hereinbefore stated, was set off from Dover, and organized in a separate township by the name of Troy, by the commissioners of Cuyahoga County.  It will be remembered that, at this date, the river from the point where it passes into Sheffield north to the lake was the boundary line between Huron and Cuyahoga counties.  A special election was ordered for township officers, to be held November 9, 1818.  Elah Park, John Williams and Lodovick Moon were elected trustees; Larkin Williams, township clerk; Abraham Moon, treasurer.  In June, 1819, Jabez Burrell, living in the Sheffield district and William Cahoon were elected as justice of the peace.
     Previous to 1818 the inhabitants called the town Xeuma, notwithstanding it was a part of Dover.  In December, 1824, upon petition of forty citizens, the name of the town was changed from Troy to Avon, by the commissioners of Lorain County.  In 1818, the first schoolhouse was built, near the center of the town, and in the fall of that year Larkin A. Williams opened it to the youth of the few settlers of the town.


     Sporadically - if the expression may be applied to human beings and their coming - the pioneers of Sheffield Township extended their operations over a period of a dozen years before it was organized under its present name and with its present bounds.  William Hart, of Saybrook, Ashtabula County, drew it originally.  Previous to his disposition of the land, about 1812, he agreed to give Timothy Wallace  his choice of lots, if he would settle and occupy the same.  Wallace accepted the offer, entered and improved a few acres on the Robbins Burrell farm, and finally abandoned it.  In January, 1815, art conveyed the township to Capt. John Day and Capt. Jabez Burrell, of Berkshire County, Massachusetts.  Obadiah Deland, Joshua Smith, Joseph Fitch, Solomon Fitch, Isaac Burrell and Henry Austin became joint owners with Day and Burrell.  In June of that year Jabez Burrell and Isaac, Captain Day and Joshua Smith came west and made selections.  In the following November, Smith and son reached the selected ground and became fixed settlers.  They were soon joined by Samuel B. Fitch and Asher Chapman, who struck hands with them, built a small shanty and occupied it during the winter of 1815-16.
     Freeman Richmond and family took up their abode on Lot 2.  This was first settlement of the town by a family.  In April following, Henry Root, wife and six children, two boys and four girls, arrived from Sheffield, Massachusetts, and took shelter in Smith's shanty until the log house was thrown up that was to constitute their humble habitation for the immediate future.
     William H. Root was the youngest of the two boys.  Next and soon came Oliver Moon, Milton Garfield, John B. Garfield, A. R. Dimmick, William Richmond and Willis Porter.  In July and August there came the families of John Day and Jabez Burrell, the first arriving in July, and consisting of twelve persons, and the latter consisting of ten.  William, the oldest son of John Day, at a later day became one of the associate judges of the county.  Captain Smith, in the fall, returned to Massachusetts, and brought on his family in March of 1817.  There soon followed the Moores, Stevens, Hecocks, James, Arnold and Isaac Burrell.  There is no township in the county, unless it be Grafton, and possibly Brownhelm and La Grange, that seems to have filled up as rapidly as Sheffield, in the first years of its settlement.


     Then came a hiatus of a dozen years, broken, in 1819, by the survey of the township into lots on the part of new proprietors.  Milton Whitney  was one of the largest owners of that period.  In 1820 he came from the East, made an examination of the land, and entered into an arrangement with Thomas  and Jeffrey Waite, sons of Thomas Waite, then of Russia, by which they were to settle in town No. 4, range 18, upon his giving them fifty acres of land each.  This he did, and in the spring of 1821 the two Waites moved into the town, and took up their residence there.  They were the first permanent settlers in Pittsfield.
     Immediately following the settlement of the Waites, they were joined by Henry and Chauncey Remington, upon a gift of 100 acres of land to each of them by Whitney.  The next settler was a minister by the name of Smith.  Mr. Norton soon thereafter moved into the town.  He built the first frame barn erected therein.  The town filled up quite slowly, so much so that there was but one frame house in the town as late as 1834.


     The town was early annexed to Wellington for township purposes and remained so annexed until Dec., 1831, when on the petition of the inhabitants, it was detached and incorporated into a township by the name of Pittsfield.  Many of its largest land-owners resided in the Massachusetts town of that name.  In April, 1832 the selection of township officers completed its organization as a separate civil body.


     Elyria Township was settled soon after the cessation of the War of 1812.  That conflict was settled soon after the cessation of the War of 1812.  That conflict interrupted settlement in Lorain County, as in every other portion of the Western Reserve.  The first settlement of the township was coincident with the founding of the Village of Elyria.  It was not until 1816 that the nucleus of the with the family in the western portion of what is now the townsite.  The place cannot be said to have been founded, however, until the coming of Heman Ely from West Springfield, Massachusetts.  He had purchased in the Connecticut Land Company about 12000 acres of land lying around the falls of the Black River, and in arch, 1817, arrived to take possession of this purchase and prepare for its improvements.  Building a dam and erecting a grist and saw mill on the east branch of the river, he set about energetically to lay out the village, which, in his honor, assumed the name of Elyria.  
     It should be stated that the first persons to arrive on the scene of the Ely improvements were three men whom the Judge had sent ahead in January, 1817.  They were Roderick Ashley, Edwin Bush and James Porter.  hey walked the entire distance from Massachusetts to the Western Reserve, carrying axes on their shoulders.  When Mr. Ely arrived in March they had made quite a clearing in the forest for the building of the town.  James Porter, the Irishman of the party, remained in Elyria, acquired property, built houses and died there; his associates, however, returned to their homes in New England.


     The Village of Elyria was soon laid out and some time in the succeeding year, 1818, Mr. Ely moved into his residence, which he occupied for years afterward - the first frame house erected in the village.  That residence has been described as a building 45 by 40 feet, two stories with cellar under the main part; kitchen in the rear; fireplace in every room, and brick oven in the kitchen.  No stoves were known at that time.  The siding of the house was made from a single whitewood tree cut on the place near a bend in the road.  A large barn was built at the same time.  Invitations were sent to Ridgeville, and both frames were raised the same day.
     In the fall of 1818 Mr. Ely returned to his home in West Springfield, being a passenger on Walk on the Water, the first steamboat which ever plied Lake Erie to Buffalo.  On October 10th he married Miss Celia Belden, who returned with him to the new Village of Elyria.  As the Ely home was not then completed, for some time the young couple occupied a log house.  Mrs. Ely was a woman of lovable disposition, and it was to the deep grief of her many friends that she did not long enjoy the home which she helped to make.  She died in 1827, leaving two sons, Heman and Albert.


     Of the party who accompanied Judge Ely to the site of Elyria, in February, 1817, was Artemas Beebe, an expert carpenter and builder.  The second house to arise on the village site, after Mr. Ely's residence, was built by Mr. Beebe on the first lot purchased of the proprietor and opposite what afterward became known as the Ely homestead.  It was a large two-story frame building, with an ell, and was used for many years as tavern and a stage office.  In the early times Beebe's Tavern was the acknowledged center of social life for the entire Village of Elyria, as it was the general stopping place for travelers seeking western homes, and for lawyers and judges, as well as the lounging place of the villagers themselves.  The tavern was long what may be called the general "news exchange," and, in a way, became the political headquarters of the county.


     During the first year of business Mr. Beebe had a partner in his tavern venture, but from 1819 to 1835 actively conducted it himself.  In 1820 he returned to his home in West Springfield, Massachusetts, also Judge Ely's old home, where he married an old acquaintance, Miss Pamelia Morgan, of that place.  One of their daughters (the late Mrs. Mary Beebe Hall), who afterward became known in the community as a woman of literary ability and social distinction, not long before her death issued an interesting booklet entitled "Reminiscences of Elyria," where in she describes the journey of the young couple to their Elyria home, as well as the appearance of the primitive house, in which they commenced their married life.
     "On October 4, 1820," she says, "Mr. Beebe was married to Pamelia Morgan, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, and started for their western home with a span of horses, and covered wagon filled with all possible articles required for housekeeping (necessities largely) - a big brass kettle to use over the fire for all domestic purposes; brass andirons, candlesticks, warming pan to heat the beds; foot stove to use in riding, or sitting in cold rooms; bed linen and wardrobe.


     "For four long weeks this young couple journeyed on through mud and various mishaps of overturned wagon and contents, and landed in Elyria to begin their home-making in a large and unplastered house.  They were welcomed by Captain Cooley and family, who has occupied the hoe after it was finished, up to Mr. Beebe's home-coming with his wife.  This home contained large fireplaces in all the living rooms and a larger one in the kitchen, with oven and crane; a big stone hearth and plenty of wood to burn, and great back logs for foundations, for fires were always buried at night, as matches were not known.


     "The arrangement of this home was typical of many others of the early times, with fireplaces and ovens.  Occasionally, the ovens were built outside under a shed, with a big stump used for foundation.  This big fireplace deserves a passing notice, and I always feel sorry for people who never have known how much pleasure is associated with it.  A large iron bake kettle, with a lid, would be utilized at times in the corner of the big hearth.  What a delight for a child to sit and watch the process!  With live coals from the fireplace under and over, biscuits, gingerbread and johnny-cake were done to a turn.  Once a week the oven would be heated and filled with bread, pies and cake.  What anticipations of coming good things!  Beefsteak on gridiron in front of the fire, with live coals to broil it (never such steak); spare ribs or turkey on a cord in front of the fire, turned and basted until fit for a king!  How pretty a row of apples looked roasting!  How nice corn popped, and what fun to crack hickory nuts on the stone hearth (for it did not crack it), and eaten in the evenings!  Breakfast were gathered and spread on the garret floor, making a winter's supply for family and friends.  Sweet cider, too.  Stomachs were not recognized; one never heard of appendicitis.  There were rhubarb and castor oil in the house, and peppermint in the lot, if one needed remedies in emergencies.


     "In 1835, having built a house on the corner of Broad street and East Avenue, Mr. Beebe rented the tavern to George Prior, brother-in-law of Mr. Ely, and moved to this home, which has been the homestead and is still occupied by the youngest daughter.  In 1847 Mr. Beebe completed the Beebe House, at the corner of Park and Main streets.  At the time of its building, no town the size of Elyria could boast of such a fine, substantial hotel; an ornament to the town and a credit to the builder, who wished to furnish suitable accommodations for the increasing population of town and country.  It was built and kept as a temperance house, as long as owned by the family.  Gatherings from town and country were entertained in the large parlors and dining room; also sleigh rides and banquets.   The fourth floor was the Odd Fellows' Lodge for years.  The dancing hall for private parties made this hotel the center of social life."
     The two families - the Elys and the Beebes - have the joint honor of being the central forces around which the infant Village of Elyria marshaled its forces and became fairly established ass a growing community.
     Although the village and the county seat early absorbed many of the activities and most forceful characters of the township, the history of the latter, as a whole, is given, according to the plan of this chapter.  The facts are taken from Judge Boynton's history.


     Town No. 6, in range 17 (Elyria), at the draft in April, 1807, was drawn by Justin Ely, Roger Newbury, Jonathan Brace, Elijah White, Enoch Perkins, a company composed of Roger Newbury and others, John H. Buell and Jonathan Dwight.  They also drew tract 3, in the nineteenth range, annexed to the town to equalize it.  These lands were divided between the owners, at the September term of the Supreme Court, in Portage County, in 1816.  The south part of the town, about one-third of the whole, was set off to Justin Ely; the central part to Elijah White; 2100 acres north of White's to Jonathan Brace; and the remainder to Perkins and NewburyWhite conveyed to Justin Ely to his son, Heman Ely, who purchased the Brace tract, making him the owner of 12,500 acres, in a solid body.


     In 1816 Heman Ely left his home in West Springfield, Massachusetts, to visit the lands of his father, soon to become his, in the above numbered town.  In due time he arrived, and took up his abode at the hotel of Capt. Moses Eldred, in Ridgeville, about two miles east of the river.  During the season he engaged Jedediah Hubbell and a Mr. Shepard, of Newburgh, to erect a sawmill and gristmill on the east branch of the river near the foot of the present Broad Street, and in the fall of that year returned to Massachusetts.  The erections contracted for were made during the winter of 1816-17.  As stated, in January, Roderick Ashley, Edwin Bush and James Porter arrived from West Springfield, with axes on their shoulders, prepared to grapple with the forest along the Black River.  In February, 1817, Mr. Ely Artemus Beebe, Ebenezer Lane, Luther Lane, Miss Ann Snow, and a colored boy called Ned, left Massachusetts for Ohio, and in March joined the company that came on in the winter.  Ebenezer Lane, afterward, and for many years, occupied with much distinction a place upon the bench of the Supreme Court of the state.
     The party, on their arrival, took up their abode in a long house, built the previous year by Mr. Ely, and the first structure of any kind erected in the town.  Previous, however, to its occupancy, and in November 1816, a family by the name of Beach had located in the western part of the town.  George Douglas and Gersham Danks arrived in April, 1817.  Festus Cooley arrived from Massachusetts, May 28th, having made the entire distance on foot, and on the next day took charge of the mills on the river.  There were now at least eleven persons on the townsite, and work was at once commenced in earnest.


     The first frame building was the one occupied during the first season for a joiner shop and thereafter, for many years, for a store.  Edmund West opened the first store in 1818.  The second frame building was for the residence of Mr. Ely.  At the raising, as was customary in those times, men from many miles away were present, to put their shoulders to the bent, and assist their neighbor in providing a habitation.  All were considered neighbors within a distance of twenty miles.  While buildings were being erected the forest was being felled.
     Clark Eldred, then twenty years of age, in 1816, upon Mr. Ely's first visit here, entered into a contract with him for the purchase of lot No. 16, two and a half miles west of the river; and during the winter of 1816-17 commenced to clear the ground upon which he spent nearly a life.  This was the first chopping in the neighborhood.


     In 1817 the survey of the township and village was commenced by Joshua Henshaw, a skillful surveyor, and continued until completed.  In the fall of 1817 Heman Ely and the two Lanes returned to Massachusetts, and spent the most of the winter.  In October, 1818, Mr. Ely again visited the East; was made happy while there by his marriage to Miss Celia Belden, returned to Elyria, and directed renewed energies to the development of the town. 
     The first schoolhouse was built in 1819, of logs, just east of the river; and for years it served the double purpose of a schoolhouse and a church.  Not far distant, and in the same year, Chester Wright erected a distillery one of the most flourishing institutions of pioneer times.  The first village lot sold was to Artemus Beebe and George Douglas, carpenters and builders.  The consideration paid was $32.  As noted, the Beebe Tavern was erected thereon.  Maj. Calvin Hoadley, of Columbia, in the same year, was one of Mr. Ely's employes, built a bridge over the east branch of the Black River.


      In May, 1818, a postoffice was established under the name of Elyria, and on the 23d of the month Mr. Ely was appointed postmaster, and continued in the office until April, 1833, when he was succeeded by John S. Matteson.


     On the 20th of October, 1819, the Township of Elyria was erected.  Besides its present territory, it then embraced what is now the Township of Carlisle, which became an independent organization in June, 1822, after which Elyria Township retained its separate civil administration.


     Elyria is a busy and handsome city, and well worthy of its honor as the civil and political center of the county.  Such buildings as the courthouse, the Masonic Temple, the Y. M. C. A., the high school, the Memorial Hospital and several of its churches, would be creditable to any city in the state, while the large soldiers' monument in the courthouse square indicates its standing as a patriotic community.  Commencing with Judge Ely's mills, first erected on what is now Main Street, and the establishment of the first considerable manufactory at Elyria by the Lorain Iron Company in 1832, Elyria has developed her industrial life to a larger extent than most county seats.  That statement will become evident in the detailed account which is elsewhere given, and four solid banks stand behind the local industry, commerce and trade.  Such general statements regarding Elyria are made to fill out the bird's eye view covering the principal events in the settlement and composition of Lorain County.


     The first settler of town No. 6, range 19, lying along Lake Erie and then a part of Huron County, was Col. Henry Brown, from Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  He was accompanied by Peter P. Pease, Charles Whittlesey, William Alverson and William Lincoln, who assisted Colonel Brown in building his house, as did Seth Morse and Rensselaer Cooley.  Morse and Cooley returned to the East for the winter.  Alverson, Lincoln, Pease and Whittlesey remained on the ground.  In after years Mr. Whittlesey became distinguished not only as a general in the Civil war, but as a archaeologist and historian.  He was the founder of the Western Reserve Historical Society and its president for many years.  The Township of Brownhelm is named in honor of the leader of the original colony, of which Colonel Whittlesey was a member in the period of his young manhood and obscurity.  Peter P. Pease was the first settler in Oberlin.
     On the 4th of July, 1817, the families of Levi Shepard, Sylvester Barnum and Stephen James arrived in Brownhelm Township, and after celebrating the Fourth on the shore, entered upon pioneer life near the log house of Brown.  These were the first families that settled in the town.  During the same year the families of Solomon Whittlesey, Alva Curtis, Benjamin Bacon and Ebenezer Scott arrived.  In 1818 many other families were added, giving hope of a speedy filling up of the town.  They were those of Colonel Brown, Grandison Fairchild, Anson Cooper, Elisha Peck, George Bacon, Alfred Avery, Enos Cooley, Orrin Sage, John Graham and others.  There were other families that arrived and settled in the south part of the town, subsequently set off to Henrietta.  They will be named in connection with the mention of that town.  The first framed house in the town was built by Benjamin Bacon.  The first brick house in the county was built by Grandison Fairchild in the summer of 1819.


     From February, 1817, until October, 1818, the town was a part of Black River.  At the latter date, on the petition of the inhabitants to the commissioners of Huron County, No. 6, in the nineteenth range, together with surplus lands adjoining west, and all lands lying west of Beaver Creek, in No. 7, eighteenth range (Black River), was organized into a separate township by the name of Brownhelm.  Colonel Brown had the honor to select the name.  Township officers were chosen at the spring election in 1819, held at the hoe of George Bacon.  Calvin Leonard, Levi Shepard and Alva Curtis  were elected trustees; Anson Cooper, township clerk; William Alverson, treasurer; Benjamin Bacon and Levi Shepard, justices of the peace.  This perfected the township organization.  That part of the present Town of Black River lying west of Beaver Creek was, in June, 1829, by order of the commissioners, detached from Brownhelm, and reannexed to Black River.


     The original proprietors of Russia Township were Titus Street and Isaac Mills, the latter selling his interest to Samuel Hughes before settlement actually commenced.  In 1817, Thomas Waite moved his family from Ontario County, New York, and resided in Amherst until the spring of 1818, when he moved into Russia Township, taking up a piece of land in its northwest corner,  north of the road leading from Webb's Corners to Henrietta.  There, a few years afterward, he died, the first settler in the township.
     In 1820 the west road began to be opened, and Daniel Rathburne and Walter and Jonathan Buck, with their families settled in the town in that year.  In 1821, the families of John McCauley and Lyman Wakely were added.  They were followed in 1822 by Samuel T. Wightman and Jesse Smith, with their families.  In 1823, John Maynes joined the settlement, and in 1824, Meeker, George and Jonathan Disbro, Daniel Axtell, Abraham Wellman, Israel Cash, Richard Rice, James R. Abbott, and Henery and John Thurston took up their abode there.  Some of these may have moved in, 1823.  They were soon followed by Elias Peabody, Samuel K. Mellen, Lewis D. Boynton, Eber Newton, Joseph Carpenter and others.  Whether the first schoolhouse was built just north of Eber Newton's, or near the residence of Alonzo Wright, is in dispute.  There was one at each place at an early day.


     Until 1833 the southern part of the township was unbroken ground and largely dense forest.  IN the spring of that year, Peter P. Pease, one of the Brownhelm pioneers and the advance guard of the Oberlin colony, erected his log cabin opposite where the Park Hotel now stands and on college ground.
     Messrs. Street and Hughes, proprietors of the town, had donated upwards of 500 acres of land to the contemplated Oberlin Collegiate Institute, and had sold to its friends 5,000 acres more at $1.50 per acre.  The resale of that tract at $2.50 an acre provided the fund that founded the college, and thus was firmly established the most important movement and institution which had originated within the bounds of Lorain County.
     The annual report of the institute for 1834, the second year of its life, has the following: "One and a half years ago, its site was uninhabited and surrounded by a forest three miles square, which has since been taken by intelligent and pious families, which have formed a settlement called Oberlin Colony that will soon probably overspread the entire tract.  This site was chosen because it was supposed to be healthy, could be readily approached by western lakes and canals, and yet was sufficiently remote from the vices and temptations of large towns, and because extensive and fertile lands could here be obtained for the manual labor department of the Institute and for the settlement of a sustaining colony n better terms than elsewhere.  Its grand object is the diffusion of useful science, sound morality and true religion, among the growing multitudes of the Mississippi valley.  One of its objects was the elevation of female character, and included within its general design was the education of the common people with the higher classes in such manner as suits the nature of republican institutions."


     When Black River was organized in February, 1817, by the commissioners of Huron County, the lands adjoining the present township of Amherst, on the south, were annexed to enable the inhabitants to enjoy township privileges.  The inhabitants of Russia remained so annexed, until June, 1825, at which time, on petition of many of her citizens, it was detached from Black River by the commissioners of Lorain County and incorporated into a separate township.  The election of township officers was had at a log schoolhouse on the hill near Wright's in the summer of 1825, it being a special election ordered for the purpose of perfecting the township organization.  At this election, George Disbro, Israel Cash, and Walter Buck, were elected trustees; Richard Rice, clerk; and Daniel Axtell, justice of the peace.


     The pioneer settlers of what is now Grafton Township also came into that part of the county after the War of 1812 had spent its force and it seemed safe to locate in the region of the great lakes.  The township was then attached to Medina County.  Settlement commenced in 1816.  In May of that year, from fifteen to eighteen men left Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and journeyed hither for the purpose of selecting and locating lands for which they either had exchanged or were to exchange, lands owned by them in that state.  Among these men were Jonathan Rawson, John and George Sibley, Seth C. and Thomas Ingersoll, sons of Major William Ingersoll and brothers of Mrs. Harriet Nesbit.  The selection was made and all returned East, except the Sibleys, and the men employed by Rawson to remain and work at clearing the forest.
     In the fall of that year, Maj. William Ingersoll moved his family into the town, arriving on November 4th.  He settled just east of Kingsley's Corners, on land selected by his sons in the spring.  The journey was made with a span of horses, and three yoke of oxen.  A small shanty had been built on the land of the Sibleys, and upon their invitation it was occupied by the family of Major Ingersoll for about two weeks, during which time he and the boys erected a log house upon land of his own.
     In February, 1817, the family of William Crittenden arrived.  This was family No. 2.
     In the month of March following, came the families of the Rawsons, Broughtons, Sibleys and Nesbits; and a little later the same season the families of Capt. William Turner, Aaron Root and Bildad Beldin; and not long after the family of David Ashley.  An Attack was at once made upon the thick forest, and within twelve months from the arrival of Major Ingersoll, twelve log houses were erected, that gave shelter to ninety-seven persons.  During the following year, additions were made by the arrival of many other families.


     Medina County was not civilly organized until January, 1818, and on the 25th of the following July its commissioners incorporated the Township of Grafton.  AT the first election held in August, 1818, Eliphalet Jones, William Ingersoll and William B. Crittenden were elected trustees; William Bishop, clerk; Reuben Ingersoll, treasurer; David Ashley, appraiser of property; Grindel Rawson and Seth C. Ingersoll, fence viewers.  Previous to the organization of the township, it had been attached to Liverpool for judicial purposes, and in April, 1818, Reuben Ingersoll had been elected justice of the peace at the election held in that town.
     The first school was taught by Miss Mary Sibleys in 1818, in the log house built near the residence of Capt. William Turner.  During the same year a church was organized by Rev. T. Brooks.


     Grafton Village, which is eight miles southeast of Elyria, is a place of about 1,000 people, divided by the line between Grafton and Eaton townships, the bulk of the community lying in the former.  Some years ago it was an important center of the stone industry, but the growth of the cement business, and the use of artificial material in the construction of bridges and building, so seriously interfered with the quarrying of stone that only one live quarry remains at that place.  That is a branch of the Cleveland Stone Company operating under the name of the Grafton Stone Company, and its output consists chiefly of grindstones.  The only other considerable business concern of the place is the Grafton Lumber and Construction Company.  The village corporation dates from 1882.


     Although the Duke of Wellington was still a hero of the day when the pioneer settlers came to Wellington Township, and even when it was organized politically, the origin of the name is directly traced to one William Welling, a New Yorker, who was of the original band of emigrants. Settlement commenced in 1818 and the township was organized three years later.
     Ephraim Root and James Ross were the original owners, and they sold the town to Frederick Hamlin, James Adams, Francis Herrick and Harmon Kingsbury, of Berkshire County, Massachusetts;  two of these, Adams and Kingsbury, never became residents of the town.  In the spring of 1818, the settlement of the town was commenced.  Ephraim A. Wilcox, John Clifford, Charles Sweet and Joseph Wilson, of Berkshire County, Massachusetts and William Welling, of Montgomery County, New York, reached Grafton in February of that year, and in March following cut their path through to Wellington.  They made an opening to the sunlight at the center of town, and at once built a log cabin for habitation.  They carried a few blankets and bed ticks, filling the ticks with dry leaves.  The bedstead was constructed by driving four crotched stakes in the ground, laying poles from stake to stake, and placing white oak shakes from pole to pole.  Upon this structure they placed their leafy bed, and upon this bed their weary limbs.  Having provided a dwelling they at once commenced to clear the forest.  As often as once a week two of the number went to Grafton, a distance of ten miles, to get their bread baked.  The number and ferocity of wild animals made it dangerous for one to go alone.  There being two, each constituted a body guard for the other.


     Clifford returned to Massachusetts in the following May.  On July 4th, of the same year, Frederick Hamlin arrived, accompanied by the wife of Wilcox, her son Theodore, Caroline Wilcox, and Dr. D. J., Johns.  Before their arrival, Wilcox had erected a log house on land selected by him northwest of  the center, into which he at once took his family.  This was the first family that made its advent into the town.  Others were soon added, among whom were those of John Howak, Alanson Howak, Whitman De Wolf, Benjamin Wadsworth, Silas Bailey, Amos Adams, Judson Wadsworth, James Wilson and Josiah Bradley.
     In the spring of 1820, the first schoolhouse was opened in the house of John Clifford by Caroline Wilcox.
     Frederick Hamlin
was one of the associate judges in the county, appointed in 1824, upon its organization.  He was succeeded in that office by his fellow townsman, Dr. D. J. Johns.


     The township was organized in April, 1821.  It was then a part of Medina County.  Hamlin was elected trustee; Wilcox a justice of the peace, and D. J. Johns township clerk.  Colonel Herrick had been a member of the Massachusetts Legislature while a resident of Massachusetts.  He did not remove here until 1837.


     Wellington, as a village, came into historic prominence in the late '50s because of the rescue of a fugitive slave from the and of a United States marshal and two Kentuckians on his way to his southern owners. In later years it became one of the leading cheese centers of the country, and has developed into a clean, substantial and progressive village of some 2,200 people.  It has two banks  a number of manufactories, a handsome town hall, modern water works and electric light facilities, a well-organized school system and churches to meet the requirements of all its residents.
     The settlement of Wellington, or the Center, dates from the first influx of residents as early as 1818-19, but is standing as a leading center of trade and higher activities begins with the construction of the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, chiefly through the persistency and ability of its Dr. D. Z. Johns, in 1849-50.  That line gave Wellington control of much of the southeastern part of the county, and the permanent  growth of the village, which was incorporated in 1855, was assured from that time and by that event.


     In February, 1818, about the time that Messrs. Hamlin, Wilcox and Clifford left Berkshire County, Massachusetts, to establish homes in Wellington Township, Joseph Sage, John Laborie and others departed from Huntington, Connecticut, for the town immediately to the south.  It was then simply No. 2, range 18, but in 1822 was incorporated as Huntington, in honor of the Connecticut Village.


     John Laborie and wife (the latter being the daughter of Mr. Sage) were the parents of the first family that took up its settlement in the town.  They left in February, 1818, accompanied by four boys and a girl.  They made the route from Connecticut to Hudson, then in Portage county, in four weeks, traveling the whole distance in a sleigh.  At Stow they hired an ox team to take them through, and after six days of severe journey, they reached town No. 1 (Sullivan), then having but four families - settlers of the previous year - within its borders.  On the next day, they moved forward and took possession of a log house that had been built by Henry Chase.  There was an opening for a door, but nothing to fill or close it; no window nor chimney.  The cracks, or openings between the walls, had not been chinked.  They had one neighbor.  He had just preceded them in settlement, and was from Easton, New York.  Laborie at once erected a log house, and moved into it, and there lived for some three weeks, without a window, floor or chimney.  The bedsteads were made of puncheons, and the beds were ticks filled with leaves.  The boys chopped some poles, placed them on the joists above, making a chamber and took up their lodging in the loft.  Sage went South, bought some hogs, drove them home, butchered them and salted them down in a trough.  The trough cracked, the brine ran out, the salt lost its savor and away went the park.
     Mrs. Laborie was not, however, to remain long without female friends from her Eastern home.  On the 20th of June, of the same year, the family of Isaac Sage arrived.  In the afternoon of the day of their arrival, they were feasted on a pot-pie, made of meat of a young bear.


     Early in fall, there came the families of Oliver Rising and Daniel Tillotson.  Benjamin Rising came with Oliver.  The first framed dwelling was built by Reuel Lang.
     Benjamin Rising
was the first manufacturer of the town.  J. B. Lang thus describes his manufactory:  "It was a lathe, operated by a spring-pole, for turning wooden bowls.  A bark rope, attached to a long spring-pole, overhead, passing around the mandrel, which was of wood and attached to a treadle below.  The treading on this threw the block around two or three times, and then the pole springing back threw the block back, ready for another 'gouge.'"


     In August, 1822, the commissioners of Medina County, to which Huntington then belonged incorporated the town by the name it now bears.  It took its name from Huntington, Connecticut, the former abiding place of the Labories.  The organization also embraced the new territory now within the township of Rochester.  An election was held upon the first Monday of September, 1822.  Joseph Sage, Henry K. Ferris and Benjamin Banning were elected trustees; Isaac Sage, township clerk; and David E. Hickox, treasurer.  Joseph Sage was elected the first justice of the peace at a special election held soon after.


     Penfield Township has an appropriate name, as its first settler was thus designated and for several years after he located the majority of its inhabitants were Penfields.  before it was incorporated under that name it was designated by the surveyors as township No. 3, range 17.  By the draft it became the property of Caleb Atwater, who gave it to his six daughters, Lucy Day, Ruth Cook, Abigail Andrews, Mary Beebe, Sarah Merrick and the wife of Judge Cook.
      The first exploration of the township by persons seeking western lands, was in the fall of 1818, by Peter Penfield and Calvin Spencer, then residents of Eastern New York.  They were assisted in their examination of the township by James Ingersoll, of Grafton, after which they returned to the East.


     In 1819, Peter Penfield again came, and selected land, employed Seth C. Ingersoll to erect a log house upon it, and returned home.  Ingersoll completed the dwelling in the fall of that year.  In February the next, Peter Penfield and Lothrop Penfield arrived in connection with Alanson, a son of Peter, already on the ground, and who remained during the winter preceding and taught school in Sheffield, commenced to open the forest four miles from the nearest inhabitant.
     In the fall of 1820, or early winter, Truman Penfield arrived with his family, the first that came, and removed into the log house built by Ingersoll.  In the following March, the family of Peter Penfield, which up to this time had remained East, arrived and joined in the occupancy of the log cabin, until another could be erected.


     Calvin Spencer came again in 1821, selected land, engaged Peter Penfield to build a house upon it, and returned to New York.  In the fall of 1821, Samuel Knapp came, examined the land, made a selection and returned home, and remained there until the fall of 1822, when with his family he took up his abode in the infant settlement, upon the lands so selected.  Other families soon followed.  David P. Merwin arrived in 1824.  Calvin Spencer moved his family into the house prepared for him in the spring of the same year.  The family of Stephen Knapp arrived about the same time, and the family of Benjamin E. Merwin in 1825.
     The township was organized at an election in 1825, held at the dwelling house of Truman Penfield, having been previously ordered by the commissioners of Medina County, of which county the town then formed a part.  The officers elected were Samuel Knapp, Samuel Root and Peter Penfield, trustees; Truman Penfield, clerk; Lothrop Penfield, treasurer.  In 1826 Benjamin E. Merwin was elected justice of the peace.  Previous to its incorporation, the inhabitants had agreed upon Richland as the name of the town, and petitioned the commissioners for an order of incorporation by that name.  But the commissioners ascertaining there were other localities having the name of Richland, rejected the application, and named it Penfield, in honor of the first settler.  Previous to the organization of the town, it had been annexed to Grafton, and in connection with that town enjoyed township privileges until it was set apart to act under independent organization.


     As has been stated, Carlisle and Elyria were organized together for civil  purposes, in October, 1819, under the name of Elyria and as a township of Huron County.  Carlisle was detached and separately organized in June 4, 1822, on petition of Obed Gibbs and others.  Previously, a part of town 5 had acquired the name of Murraysville, but that was not satisfactory to the inhabitants who resided any considerable distance from Murray's Ridge.  Phineas Johnson, one of the first two settlers, wished the township named Berlin, after his native Connecticut town.  So the citizens compromised by naming the township neither Murraysville nor Berlin, but Carlisle.


     The first settlement of the town was made in the spring of 1819, by Samuel Brooks, from Middletown, Connecticut.  He was accompanied by Phineas Johnson, his wife's father, who assisted in selecting the spot for their future home.  Johnson returned to ConnecticutA log house was soon erected, and in it Samuel Brooks took up his abode.  This was on the east branch of Black River, in the east part of the town.  In September of that year Hezekiah Brooks, a brother of Samuel and whose wives were daughters of Phineas Johnson; Capt. James Brooks and family, together with the families of Johnson and Riley Smith, left Middletown, and after the usual tedious journey of about six weeks, with ox teams, reached Elyria.  Smith and family remained at Elyria for a while, and then went into Carlisle.  The families of the Brookses and Johnsons pushed forward to Carlisle, and moved in with Samuel, and remained until other dwelling places could be provided.
     At about the same time that this settlement was making in the east part of the town another was springing up in the western part.  The families of Jamison Murray, before then for some time residents of Ridgeville, and Philo Murray, and Philo, Jr., had taken up their residence on the ridge, and Obed Gibbs and family, with Ransom and David, had settled further south.  Soon afterward, the families of Solomon Sutliff, Chauncey Prindle, Bennett, Drakely, Hurd and others were added.  Prindle settled at the center of town.  Abel Farr and Abel Farr, Jr., and John Bacon, were among the earliest residents of the town.



     Brighton township is a product of the early '20s.  Only a few settlers had located previous to its civil organization in 1823.  Its pioneer settler was Abner Loveman, Jr., who located on tract 7 in 1820, and in the following year Joseph Kingsbury made his home in the same locality.  Like most other good New Englanders, they brought their families with them.
     Had the territory comprised by the township lines been surveyed into a township, it would have been town 3, range 19, and it was so entered on the county records at the date of its incorporation.  It was, however, formed by the commissioners of Medina County, out of tract 7, a part of tract 6, and a part of tract 8.
     Lemuel Storrs was the original owner of all of tract 8.  He drew it at the draft in connection with Lagrange, to which it was annexed for equalization.  Four thousand acres in tract 7, were annexed to Wellington, to equalize it, and were drawn by Ephraim, Root and James Ross, in connection with that township, and tract 6 by Peter Brooks, John Call, William Shaw, George Black, and Pennewel Cheney.  Some of these parties sold to, and others exchanged with Tuckerman Brothers, Harman Kingsbury, Norton, Stocking, Deming, Hamlin and AlfordTuckerman Brothers sold to Levi Bliss, of Massachusetts.
     The township was organized at the spring election of 1823.  Joseph Kingsbury, Avory Hall, and Calvin Roice, were elected trustees; Leonard H. Loveland, clerk; Abner Loveland, treasurer; and Abner Loveland, Jr., justice of the peace.  There were twelve electors, just about the number of persons required to fill the offices in those days.  The township belonged to Lorain, as then formed, but, with other townships, remained attached to Medina County, until the organization of Lorain was completed.


     At the June session of the commissioners of Lorain County, town 4, range 17, was attached to Carlisle for civil and judicial purposes, and remained so attached until its separate organization, as Lagrange Township, in January, 1827.  The first election for township officers was held in April of that year at the residence of Fairchild HubbardEber W. Hubbard, afterward one of the associate judges of the Common Pleas Court, was elected township clerk; James Disbrow, treasurer; Noah Holcomb, Noah Kellogg and Fairchild Hubbard, trustees, and Eber W. Hubbard, justice of the peace.
     Town 4, range 17, with 3,700 acres in tract 8, range 19, now in Brighton and Camden, was drawn by Henry Champion and Lemuel Storrs, Champion owning two-thirds and Storrs one-third of the purchase.  Champion conveyed his part of the town to his son-in-law, Elizur Goodrich, who exchanged part of it with Nathan Clark, Roger Phelps, Noah Holcomb and James Pelton, for lands owned by them in Jefferson County, New York, where they formerly resided.  The three last named, in the fall of 1825, visited the ground to form a judgment of its merits for farming purposes, and returned home.  Goodrich, also exchanged lands with David Rockwood, Asa Rockwood, Fairchild Hubbard, Joseph Robbins, Sylvester Merriam and Levi Johnson.
     On Nov. 14, 1925, Nathan Clark made the first settlement of the town.  During the next season the families of Noah Holcomb, Sylvester Merriam, James Disbrow and Joseph A. Graves arrived for permanent settlement and a new abiding place.  In the latter part of the same year, Fairchild Hubbard moved in from Brighton, where he had remained during the reason of 1826.  Population so increased, that in the fall of that year there were over sixty persons resident in the town, with more continually coming.


     Lagrange is a little village of about 500 people, seven miles northeast of Wellington, on the Big Four line.  It is incorporated; has a good school, to accommodate which a substantial building was erected in 1891 and an annex in 1915; a reliable bank; several churches and other evidences of intelligence, morality and progressiveness.


     Henrietta Township was organized from Brownhelm in 1827, but it was eight years before it acquired its present form.  In November, 1826, the inhabitants in the south part of Brownhelm, petitioned the commissioners to take off the three south tiers of lots, attach them to unsettled lands lying south, and incorporate the same into a township.  The petitioners took occasion to say, that it was seven miles from the lake shore to the south line of the township; that there had been but little communication between the north and south settlements; and that if it was extremely inconvenient for a portion of the people to transact the public business of the town.  The prayer of the petition was rejected, but at the same session of the commissioners it was ordered that tracts 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, in range 19, with surplus lots lying west of said tracts, be erected into a township, by the name of Henrietta, and be attached to Brighton for judicial purposes.  The township, as thus formed, included a large part of the present township of Camdem, and a little more than two-thirds of Henrietta.
     As organized, it was not satisfactory to the inhabitants of the south part of Brownhelm, and in February, 1827, upon their petition, two tiers of lots, being over a mile in width, were detached from the south part of Brownhelm, and annexed to Henrietta; and tract No. 9, was detached from Henrietta, and annexed to Brighton.  An election was ordered for township officers, which took place in April, 1827.  Calvin Leonard, Simeon Durand and Smith Hancock, were elected trustees; Justin Abbot, clerk; Joseph Powers, treasurer; Edward Durand, justice of the peace.  In March, 1839, lots 86, 87 and 88, were detached from Brownhelm, and annexed to Henrietta; and in March, 1835, lots 81, 82, 83, 84 and 85 the remainder of the tier were added.
     The first settlement was on the Brownhelm Territory.  The first occupants were Calvin Leonard, Simeon Durand, Ruloff Andress, Joseph Swift, John Denison, Uriah Hancock, Jedediah Holcomb, Almon Holcomb, Obed Holcomb, Joseph Powers, the Abbots and possibly others.  They took up their abode there, in 1817, about the same time that the Shore Settlement was made.  After the organization of the town, in 1827, a postoffice was established on the hill, and 'Squire Abbot appointed first postmaster.


  The townships of Camden and Rochester were organized by the commissioners of Lorain County in March, 1835.  Camden Township was carved out of Brighton and Henrietta.  The prolongation of the line between Russia and Pittsfield, west to range 20, was its northern boundary, and the extension west to the same range, of the line between Pittsfield and Wellington, its southern.  Tracts 9 and 10, and parts of lots 8 and 11, in range 19, together with surplus lands lying west, formed the material for its territorial composition.  Tract 9, by the draft at Hartford, became annexed to Grafton, and was drawn by Lemuel Storrs; tract 10, annexed to Dover, by Nehemiah Hubbard and Joshua Storrs.  Tract 11, annexed to Pittsfield, was drawn by Henry Champion and Lemuel Storrs.  None of the 19th range south of Brownhelm, as originally formed was surveyed into townships, but was all surveyed into tracts, which were originally annexed to other towns for purposes of equalization.
     Leonard Clark with his family, accompanied by his wife's father, Moses Pike, made the first occupancy of land now forming the Town of Camden.  This was in 1829.  The family lived there but a few years before moving West.  In March, 133, families of William Scott and John Johnston took up their settlement on tract 11.  These were the first families that permanently settled, at least in that part of the town first families that permanently settled, at least in that part of the town then constituting a part of Henrietta.  Later in the season, a schoolhouse was "thrown up" by the inhabitants, and Mrs. Johnston gathered the few children and opened the first school.  Other settlers soon joined, among whom were those of Waugh, Clark, Douglas, Washburn, Cyrenius, Holcomb, Wells, Lee, Wilcox, Smith and Eddy.  On the 6th of April, 1835, the first election for township officers was held in the log schoolhouse, and resulted in the choice of Azel Washburn, Robert Douglas and Obed Holcomb, trustees; John Cyrenius, clerk; David Wells, treasurer.  Gideon Waugh was the first justice of the peace.


     At the same session that Camden was set apart and organized into a township, lots 1 to 15, inclusive of tract 3, with all the tracts 4 and 5 and a part of tract 6, in range 19, together with surplus lots,  9 to 14, inclusive, lying west of the range, with a part of surplus lot 8, were formed into the Township of Rochester.  Tract No. 5, was drawn by Uriah Holmes, in connection with the Town of Litchfield, Medina County; and tract 4, by Oliver Sheldon and others, was annexed to Huntington.  The first settlement was made by Elijah T. Banning, in April, 1831.  Between 1831 and 1835 Benjamin C. Perkins, William Shepard, John Conaut, John Baird, Samuel Smith, Luther Blair, Joseph Hadley, Nehemiah Tucker, M. W. F. Fay, Erastus Knapp, Obijah W. Babcock, John Peet and others, some with families, were joined to the settlement.
     The township was organized on the 6th of April, 1835, by the election of John Conaut, Joseph Hadley, and Nehemiah Tucker, trustees; M. L. Blair, clerk; Benjamin C. Perkins, treasurer.  The organization of Camden and Rochester, in March, 1835, completed the organization of the townships of the entire county.
     Rochester is a station and a village of perhaps 300 people on the Big Four line, half a dozen miles southwest of Wellington.  It owes its origin to the old Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, which, largely through the energy and influence of Dr. D. Z. Johns, of Wellington, was put through the southeastern part of the county, several miles south of Elyria and Oberlin.  The earlier settlement in the township was at the Center, although the postoffice of 1837 was at its southeast corner.  But with the construction of the railroad in 1849-50 the postoffice was moved to the Station and not a few residents transferred their interests thither from the Center.  The first store at the Station was opened in 1848.


     One of the very few Revolutionary soldiers buried in Lorain County is George Fauver, whose remains lie in Butternut Cemetery, Eaton Township.  Among his descendants are such men as L. B. Fauver, Ross Fauver, L. D. Hamlin and Julia Fauver of Elyria and L. A. Fauver, of Lorain; also Mable Gibson, of Oberlin, and the Munn and Lyons families, of Eaton Township.



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