OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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Welcome to
Summit County, Ohio

History & Genealogy

 

Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County,
by Ex-Sheriff Samuel A. Lane.
Akron, Ohio: Beacon Job Department - 1892


CONTENTS

CHAPTER I. - Akron's Beginning 32 - 48
   - Ancient Middlebury
 - A Visit from DeWitt Clinton
 - Commencement and Completion of the Ohio Canal
 - First Boat to Cleveland
 - Dr. Crosby and his "Ditch"
 - "Thunder from a Cloudless Sky"
 - The Doctor's "Goose Pasture" Prophecy
 - The New Village of "Cascade"
 - Bitter Triangular Rivalry
 - Spirited Guide Board War
 - Early Manufactures Pioneer Hotels, Merchants, Etc., Etc
 
CHAPTER II. - Akron Incorporated 49 - 56
   - First Charter Election
 - Early Mayors
 - The First a Venerable but Wealthy
 - Quaker, the Second an Impecunious Lawyer "Kid"
 - Unsuccessful Speculations
 - Curious Law Practice
 - A Moving Defense
 - Successful Administration
 - Subsequent Mayors, Etc.
 
CHAPTER III. - Early Crookedness 57 - 63
   - Confidence Games, "Keg Money," Etc.
 - Unsavory Reputation
 - The "Gore-y "Battle Ground
 - Bitter Post Office Controversy
 - Scandalous Church Squabbles
 - Decadence of Middlebury and the South End
 - "Cascade" in the Ascendency
 - Succumbing to the Inevitable, Etc.
 
CHAPTER IV. - The Boom and the Callapse 64 - 70
   - Poetry versus Fact
 - Speculation Rampant
 - Wonderful Enhancement of Values and still more Wonderful Decline
 - The Morus Multicaulus Craze
 - Immense Fortune that Didn't Materialize
 - The Panic of 1837
 - Hard Times as was Hard Times
 - The Shinplaster Era
 - Decidedly a Mixed Currency
 - The "Truck and Dicker" System, Etc.
 
CHAPTER V. - The "Cross-Cut" Canal 71 - 79
   - Charter Granted in 1827
 - Preliminary Survey- Eight Years' Slumber Rival of Project of 1835
 - Ohio a Large Stockholder
 - Delayed by Panic of 1837
 - Push and Pluck of its Projectors
 - Successful Completion
 - Celebrating all Along the Line
 - Prosperity, Decline, Etc.
 
CHAPTER VI. - The Portage Canal and Manufacturing Company or "Chuckery" Enterprise 80 - 90
   - A Mammouth Scheme
 - Superior Sagacity and Engineering Skill of Akron's Great Benefactor, Doctor Eliakim Crosby
 - Rise, Progress and Collapse
 - Portrait and Life History of its Projector, Etc.
 - An Instructive Chapter........................
 
CHAPTER VII. - Summit County - Six Years' Struggle Over its Erection - Rejoicing Over the Result - Preliminary 91 - 108
  Election and Organization - The County Seat Question- Akron, Cuyahoga Falls and the "Chuckery"
Competitors - Akron Finally Wins the Prize - Public Buildings Erected - First Speech in the New
Court House Made by ex-President John Quincy Adams - Improvements, Etc..................................................
 
CHAPTER VIII. - Educational Matters - Pioneer Schools - "Model" Examination - Early Select Schools, High Schools, 109-167
  Etc. - The Union School System - A Distinctly Akron Institution but now Universal - A magnificent
Educational Showing - Present Status of Akron's Splendid Public Schools, Views of Buildings,
Portraits of Superintendents, Etc. - Buchtel College and its Promoters, Presidents, Officers, Etc. .........................
 
CHAPTER IX. - Akron's Literary Achievements - "Lyceum and Library Association" - "Akron Lexion Society" 1836-40 168 - 187
  "Akron Literary Association" - "Akron Lecture Association" - "Akron Library Association" - Akron
Mechanics' Library, Akron Public Library - Young Men's Christian Association Reading Room -
Lectures, Etc....................................................................................................................................................
 
CHAPTER X. - Akron's Churches 188 - 214
   - Pioneer Religious Organizations
 - Successes and Reverses - The Various Sects Very Largely Represented - Views of Several Early Church Structures and a Number of Modern
Houses of Worship - Portraits of Several Representative Ministers With Brief Biographies -
Church and Sabbath School Statistics, Etc.........................................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XI. - Akron Truly a Literary Center 215 - 231
   - Ancient Middlebury the Pioneer with the "Portage Journal" in 1825
 - The "Akron Post" of 1836
 - The "American Balance" of 1836
 - The "Akron Buzzard" of 1837 - The
"Akron Journal" of 1836, '37
 - The "Summit Beacon" of 1839, and the Various Literary and News-paper Ventures to the Present Day.  An Interesting Chapter................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XII. - Akron Burial Places - The Old Sixth Ward Cemetery of 1808 - The Spicer Cemetery 1813 to 1870 - 232 - 259
  The Original North Akron or "Dublin" Burying Ground of 1825 - The Akron Rural Cemetery 1838 to
Present Time - The New Sixth Ward Cemetery - The Several Church Cemeteries of the City -
Superintendent's Lodge and Memorial Chapel and Other Fine Views in Akron Rural Cemetery,
Officers of Association and Superintendents - Something About Public Parks, Etc. ...........................................
 
CHAPTER XIII - Akron and Portage Township Civil Service - Town, Village, City and Township Local and 260 - 309
  General Public Officers for Over Half a Century - A Highly Honorable Record Without a Single Case
of Malfeasance Known Among the Hundreds of Official Incumbents - Portraits, Biographies .............................
 
CHAPTER XIV. - Public Illumination - The Original "Tallow Dip" Followed by Sperm Oil, Lard Oil, Coal Gas, 310 - 314
  Petroleum and Electricity - Local Transportation, Herdics, Horse Cars, Electric Cars, Etc. - Fuel
Gas, and Other Modern Improvements - Akron Fully Abreast With the Times....................................................
 
CHAPTER XV. - Akron's Postal History - Ancient Middlebury's Early and Successive Postmasters to Present 315 - 329
  Time - First Postmaster of Akron Proper - Youthful Mail Carrier - Successive Postmasters of
Akron for Sixty Years, With Portraits of Several - Scramble for the "Spoils" Under Successive
Administrations - Wonderful Growth of Postal Business - Free Delivery System, Etc...........................................
 
CHAPTER XVI. - Akron's Fires - Hundreds of Houses, Churches, Stores, Shops, Mills, Etc., Destroyed - 330 - 349
  Millions of Dollars' Worth of Property Consumed - Incendiarism Rampant - The Bucket Brigade -
The Old Crank and Brake Engines - The Tireless Steamer - List of Akron's Principal Fires for
Over Half a Century - A Chapter Full of Instructive Information ..........................................................................
 
CHAPTER XVII. - Akron, Middlebury and Portage Township Military History, Ancient and Modern 350 - 446
   - Early Army and Civil Military Operations - Brilliant Record in the War of the Rebellion - Later
Local Military Affairs - A Magnificent Showing....................................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XVIII. - Ancient and Modern Akron Contrasted - Early Business and Industrial Status - 447 - 557
  What Horace Greeley Said of Us in 1843 - Greeley a True Prophet - The Boom that Came to Stay -
From Village to City - An Industrial, Commercial, Financial and Professional History Justly
to be Proud of.....................................................................................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XIX. - Summit County's Tornadoes 558 - 568
   - The Stow Disaster of October 20, 1837
 - Dwelling House Demolished and Four Persons Instantly Killed
 - The Sharon, Copley and Springfield Blow of April 8, 1890, Leaving Death and Desolation in its Track
 - Akron's Fearful Visitation of May 10, 1890, with Ten Graphic Illustrations
 - Barberton's Fatal Call, December 23, 1890, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XX. - Akron's First, Last and Only Homicide 569 - 576
   - The Sixth Ward Wife-Murder
 - Terrible Brutality of a Whisky-Selling, Whisky-Drinking Friend
 - "Watt" Henry's Fatal Assault upon His Wife, Bridget Henry
 - Exciting Trial, Conviction, Life Imprisonment, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XXI. - The "Irrepressible Conflict" 577 - 583
   - The Infamous Fugitive Slave Law
 - Every Man, Woman and Child a Bloodhound
 - Dastardly Attempt to Kidnap a Well-Known Akron Barber, "Jim" Worthington
 - Prominent Citizens to the Rescue
 - The Slave-Catchers Foiled
 - Escape of "Jim" and Other Local
Fugitives to Canada
 - An Intensely Interesting Chapter .........................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XXII. - Our Own John Brown - "Old Ossawatomie" - Freedom's Hero and Martyr - Full Personal 584 - 592
  History with Life-Like Portrait - Business Successes and Reverses - Free State Operations in Kansas -
Fatal Harper's Ferry Expedition - Capture, Trial, Conviction and Execution for Treason and
Insurrection - Thrilling Historical Episode .............................................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XXIII. - The Canadian Patriot War of 1837 - 1839 - "Hunter's" Lodges - General Lucius V. Bierce 593 - 603
  one of the "Leading Spirits" - Defeat, Execution and Banishment of Insurgents in the East -
The United States Interferes - Commander-in-Chief Bierce Captures Windsor, Burns Barracks, etc. -
Defeat and Flight for Life - An Exciting International Episode ................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XXIV. - Second Adventism - The End of the World Predicted in 1843 - Great Excitement in Akron 604 - 613
  and Summit County - Miscalculation in Dates - The Final Catastrophe Postponed One Year -
Still the Day of Doom will not Come - Attempts to Work Miracles - Feet-Washing and the Holy
Kiss - Spiritual Marriages, Etc. - Wonderful Power of Humbug............................................................................
 
CHAPTER XXV. - The Geology of Summit County, by Professor Matthew Canfield Read, with Portrait and Biography of Author 614 - 620
   - Canyon Formation
 - Nature's Great Ice Plow, the Glacier
 - Structural Geology
 - Coal, Oil and Gas Measures, Etc.
 - An Extremely Useful and Instructive Chapter ................................
 
CHAPTER XXVI - Summit County's Railroads - Early Railway History - Schemes that never Materialized - 621 - 639
  Successes and Reverses - Projects that Came to Stay - Present and Constantly Increasing
Systems - The Chief Factor in Akron's Unexampled Prosperity - Chapter Full of Interest to All ............................
 
CHAPTER XXVII. - The Township of Bath - Early Settlement, with Portraits of First of Subsequent Early 640 - 653
  Settlers - Pioneer Incidents and Perils - Civil Criminal, Military and Business Status, Past and
Present - Educational and Religious Matters, Etc. .................................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XXVIII - The Township of Boston - Early Settlement, Organization, Name, Etc.- Indian and Other 654 - 669
  Pioneer Incidents - Ancient and Modern Military Prowess - A Splendid Record in the War of the
Rebellion - Criminal Catalogue - Civil Business, Educational and Religious Status - Portraits of
Prominent Citizens, Soldiers' Monument, Etc. .......................................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XXIX - Daring Burglaries in Peninsula 670 - 677
   - Singular Detection of Burglar
 - Arrest, Indictment and Ingenious Escape from Jail
 - Giving "Aid and Comfort" to Rebels
 - Confinement in Fort Lafayette
 - Return to his Old Quarters in Jail
 - Conviction and Nine Years' Imprisonment
 - Thoroughly Reformed, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XXX. - The Peninsula Wife Murder 678 - 683
   - Henry Kerst from Ambush Shoots his Wife upon the Public Highway
 - Terrible Excitement Among the People
 - Arrest, Trial, Conviction and Sentence
 - His Own Executioner by Suicide
 - A Ghastly Spectacle
 
CHAPTER XXXI. - Boston's Last Great Sensation 684 - 694
   - The Washburn
 - Peoples Homicide
 - A Wronged Husband's Terrible Revenge
 - Preparations for the Bloody Deed
 - Arrest, Trial and Conviction of Murder in the Second Degree
 - Imprisonment for Life
 - Still Doing Penance after Twenty Years
 
CHAPTER XXXII. - Copley Township 695 - 705
   - Why so Named
 - Topography
 - The Big Swamp
 - A Gamy Locality
 - Early Settlement, Organization, Etc.
 - Pioneer and Later Thrilling Incidents
 - Growth, Population and Business, Educational, Religious, Civil and Military Status
 - The Bosworth Insane Homicide, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XXXIII. - "The State of Coventry" 706 - 724
   - Origin of Name
 - The Indian's Paradise
 - Settlement
 - Organization, Growth and Wonderful Prosperity
 - Mineral and Manufacturing Resources
 - The Reservoirs, When and Why Constructed
 - Early and Later Criminal Matters
 - Civil and Military Status
 - A Chapter Well Worth Perusal ................................................................................................................
 
CHAPTER XXXIV. - Cuyahoga Falls, a Full History of its Beginning, Progress, Prosperity, Reverses Etc. 725 - 769
   - Its Past and Present Business, Prosperity, Reverses, Etc.
 - Its Past and Present Business, Educational, Religious, Criminal, Civil and Military Status, with Portraits and Biographies of Several Prominent Citizens, a Number of Romantic Views, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XXXV. - The Parks-Beatson Homicide 770 - 783
   - One of the Most Cold Blooded Murders on Record
 - Exciting Chase after the Murderer
 - Capture, Trial, Conviction
 - New Trial Granted
 - Again Convicted, Executed, Etc.
 - Full History of the Case
 
CHAPTER XXXVI. - Franklin Township 784 - 795
   - Early Resources, Settlement, Business Centers, Civil, Criminal, Moral and Military Status
 - Portraits, Biographies, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XXXVII. - Green Township 796 - 810
   - When and by Whom settled
 - Organization
 - Mercantile, Educational, Military, Business and Criminal Matters
 - Personal Biography, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XXXVIII. - Hudson Township and Village 811 - 853
   - The Pioneer Township of Summit County, Founded in 1799
 - Perils by Water and by Land
 - Early Privations
 - The Grand Old Western Reserve College
 - Other Educational Institutions
 - Religious, Industrial and Military History
 - The Malony-Stepleton Homicide, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XXXIX. - Northampton 854 - 875
   - Indian and Frontier Matters
 - Settlement, Organization, Early and Modern Military Operations, Civil and Criminal Status 
 - The Dunn-Whipple Homicide, Trial and Life Imprisonment of the Murderer
 - The Brooks
 - Tedrow Tragedy, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XL. - The Counterfeiters of the Cuyahoga 876 - 897
   - "Dan" and "Jim" Brown
 - Stupendous Financial Schemes
 -  Successes and Reverses
 - Brilliant Operations of "Dan" the Second
 - Wonderful Romance of Crime
 
CHAPTER XLI. - Northfield 808 - 907
   - Early Settlement, Organization and Progress
 - The Viers
 - Charlesworth Episode of 1826
 - Wrongfully Accused of Crime
 - The Mystery Pluckily Cleared Up
 - A Genuine Romance in Real Life
 - Township Patriotism and Military Roll of Honor
 - Honorable Civil Service  Record, Public, Spirit, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XLII - Northfield's Second Great Sensation, The Murder of Catharine McKisson by her Brother-in-Law, McKisson July 24, 1837 918 - 935
   - Pursuit, Trial, Conviction and Execution
 - A Highly Thrilling Narrative
 
CHAPTER XLIII. Norton 918 -  935
   - Origin, Pioneer Experiences
 - Organization
 - Early "Queer" ness
 - Business Emporiums
 - Mad Pranks of Lunatic Merchant
 - Killing of Burglar by New Portage P. M.
 - The McLister
 - Welsh Homicide
 - Civil and Military Status
 - Portraits, Biographies, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XLIV. - The New Industrial City of Barberton 936 - 940
   - Wonderful Growth and Prosperity
 - Showing What Courage and Cash can Accomplish
 - Finely Illustrated
 
CHAPTER XLV. - The Township of Richfield 941 - 955
   - Pioneer Inhabitants and Incidents
 - Successes and Reverses
 - Educational, Religious, Civil, Military and Criminal Status
 - The Big Sleigh Ride of 1856
 - The Great Reunion of 1880
 - Present Business Status, Population, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XLVI. - The Hunter Gargett Tragedy 941 - 955
   - Love-Making by Proxy
 - Marriage Contract "Unsight Unseen"
 - Lover Jilted by Sweetheart
 - Fatal Revenge
 - Father and Mother of Girl Shot to Death
 - Narrow Escape of Young Lady Herself
 - arrest, Trial and Execution of Murderer
 - Spicy Correspondence, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XLVII. - Springfield Township 979 - 1002
   - Early Settlement, Organization
 - Progress
 - Industrial, Educational, Religious, Patriotic, Etc.
 - The Murder of John Rhodenbaugh and Punishment of Murderers
 - The Roof-Musson Home
 
CHAPTER XLVIII. - Stow Township 1003 - 1027
   - Historical and Incidental
 - "Pioneer Miracle"
 - Wild Animals, Rattlesnakes, Indians, Etc.
 - Early Fatal Tornado
 - Double Fatal Episode of the Rebellion
 - Educational, Moral, Civil and Military Status
 - Portrait of Judge Joshua Stow and Other Prominent Citizens, Etc.
 
CHAPTER XLIX. - Monroe Falls 1003 - 1027
   - One of the Early Booming Cities of Summit County
 - Rise, Progress and Decline
 - Protege Dude of Cmopany Twice Convicted of an Infamous Crime
 - Escape From Jail; Secreted in Attorney's Cistern Six Weeks
 - Five Years in Sunny Italy
 - Return to America With Lola Montez
 - Death, Etc.
 
CHAPTER L. - Tallmadge Township - 1036 - 1059
   - A Unique Arrangement of Roads, Lots, Etc.
 - A Projected "Utopia"
 - Hopes of Founder Blasted but Settlement Rapid and Township Prospoerous
 - Industrial, Religious, Educational and Military Status
 - Biographical, Etc.
 
CHAPTER LI. - Twinsburg, the Latest Settled Township in Summit County 1060 - 1079
   - First Settler a Seventeen-Year Old Boy
 - Derivation of Name
 - Rapid Progress
 - Pioneer Incidents
 - Wonderful School History
 - Church, Official and Military Matters
 - Past and Present Business Status, Etc.
 
CHAPTER LII. - Summit County's Agricultural Society 1080 - 1086
   - Origin, Early Fairs, Changes of Location, Hindrances, Successes, Etc.
 - Popular "Fountain Park"
 - Most Prosperous Local Fair in Ohio
 
CHAPTER LIII. - Summit County's Benevolence 1087 - 1098
   - Early "Poor Houses"
 - Purchase of County Farm
 - Original Infirmary Buildings
 - New and Enlarged Structures
 - Greatly Improved Methods
 - The De Roo Hospital Bequest
 - Akron Charity Association
 - Mary Day Nursery, Etc.
 
CHAPTER LIV. - Labor Fifty Years Ago 1099 - 1105
   - History Repeating Itself
 - Early Dissatisfaction, Strikes, Riots, Etc., as Now
 - Clamoring for a Ten Hour Day and Cash Payments
 - Combinations, Dissensions, Defeats, Successes, Etc.
 - An Interesting and Instructive Chapter
 
CHAPTER LV. - Akron and Summit County in California 1106 - 1140
   - The Great Exodus of 1849, '50
 - Dangers and Hardships of the Journey Thither
 - Incidents of Travel, Both Thrilling, Ludicrous and Sad - Successes, Disappointments and Deaths
 - A Chapter Full of Reminiscent Interest for All.
 
CHAPTER LVI. - Early Crimes and Others Icidents Within the Present Limits of Summit County 1141-1147
   - Captain Samuel Brady's Reputed Wonderful Leap for Life
 - Brady's Lake, Etc.
 - Shooting of Daniel Diver and Killing of Indian Nickshaw
 - Murder of Nathan Cummins in 1834, Etc.
 
CHAPTER LVII. - Some Clever Local Detective Operations 1148 - 1159
   - How the Civil Officers of a Third of a Century Ago Managed Things
 - Thieves, Burglars and Counterfeiters "Roped In"
 - Sheriff Lane, Himself Victimized
 - Slippery "Bob" Hurst, Etc.
 - A brief but Interesting Chapter
 
CHAPTER LVIII. - Miscellaneous 1162 - 1168
   - Portrait and Biography of Rev. William Frost Crispin
 -
Something Further About Buchtel College
 - Death of Miss Myrtle Louisa Barker
 -
Death of Treasurer Joy H. Pendleton
 -
The Howard Street Disaster With View of Ruins, Etc.
 


GENERAL INDEX

 

VIEWS, BUILDINGS, ETC.

 

PORTRAITS, BIOGRAPHIES, ETC.

     

NOTES:

 



 

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