Weathersfield is one of the townships on the southern line of
Trumbull county, and is township three of range three of the
Reserve. It is south of Howland and north of Austintown.
Liberty adjoins it on the east and Lordstown on the west.
The soil is of good quality and the surface generally level - in
portions low and wet.
Weathersfield is well watered, and though it has great
mineral wealth its agricultural advantages are of no inferior
order. The Mahoning river enters the township a
short distance from the northwestern corner, and flows
southerly until west of Niles, where it makes an abrupt turn
toward the east; thence pursuing a southeasterly course, just
east of Niles it reaches a point south of the center line of the
township, then makes a graceful bend to the northward,
gradually winding easterly and southeasterly until it enters
Liberty township about three quarters of a mile below the center
line. At Niles and Mahoning receives the waters of
Mosquito creek from the north and of the Meander from the south.
The former stream enters Weathersfield almost directly north of
the center of the township, and flows southerly, with few
deviations, until its confluence with the Mahoning.
Meander creek crosses the county line at Ohltown, about one mile
and a quarter from the southwestern corner of the township,
pursues a general course toward the northwest, though with
numerous turnings, and joins the river a few rods below the
mouth of Mosquito creek.
The famous salt spring, known to the whites years
before any settlements were made in Ohio, is situated about
one-half mile south of the Mahoning and a mile west of the
village of Niles.
This township includes the important manufacturing town
of Niles, and the enterprising mining village of Mineral Ridge.
Weathersfield has sixteen churches,
a larger number, we venture to assert, than can be found in any
township of its population in the State.
Township three of range three was organized into a township and
election district by the name of Weathersfield in 1809. No
record of the first township officers can be found.
THE SALT SPRINGS.
Samuel Holden Parsons, of Middletown, Connecticut,
obtained a grant of about thirty-six thousand acres under an
order of the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut and
received a deed of it bearing the date February 10, 1788, signed
by Samuel Huntingdon, Governor. This was the first
grant of land made by the State of Connecticut, and was made
before any survey of the lands of Ohio by the former State.
The description of the land has given in the deed was
upon the hypothesis that the townships were to be laid out six
miles square, and reference was made to townships and ranges as
if the boundaries were already run. The tract included
within its boundaries very nearly what is known as the "great
salt springs tract," in which are the salt springs of
Weathersfield. The salt springs tract having been granted
to General Parsons, was held by him or his heirs at the
time of the purchase of the lands of the Reserve by the
Connecticut Land company, and formed no part of its purchases.
The salt springs were known to the
whites as early as 1755, and marked on the Evans
map of that date. They contained but a very small
percentage of saline matter, which, however, was sufficient to
attract the deer for miles around. Deer licks and Indian
trails leading to the principal springs were discovered by the
General Parsons, after receiving his grant, came
on and established salt works, but while returning to
Connecticut was drowned at Beaver falls, and his works were
abandoned. The early settlers have transmitted to us
accounts of their discovery of old kettles in which the boiling
was done, and huge heaps of ashes, showing that considerable
labor had been expended here.
Doubtless the abundance of deer in the vicinity of this
spring originally brought the locality to the knowledge of the
whites by attracting hunters hither.
Doubtless the first settler of this township was Ruben Harmon,
as his name only appears upon the duplicate tax-list of Trumbull
county as a resident tax-payer of township three, range three,
in the year 1801. Of course other transient residents had
been at the salt springs before him. He came to Ohio from
Vermont in 1797, having purchased five hundred acres of the salt
spring tract, and engaged in the manufacture of salt.
Early in 1800 he returned to Vermont and in August came with his
family. He was the father of Heman R. Harmon and
Dr. John B. Harmon, both of whom became prominent and well
known citizens of this county.
The settlers of this township nearly all came from
Pennsylvania, and many of them, after several years' residence
here, moved further West, leaving no record either of their
coming or their going, except the marks of their sturdy industry
upon the forests, fields, and meadows.
The first settlers were very naturally attracted to the
salt spring, possibly with dimly outlined visions of wealth in
their heads as a result of the manufacture of salt. But
they soon learned that the value of the waters of the spring had
been vastly over-estimated and came to to rely upon the results
of the chase and the products of the land as a means of
The lands along the river next attracted attention and
soon each bank was sparsely lined with cabins, sending up their
blue smoke from little clearings made in the depth of the heavy
forests. The northeast of the township was also settled
early, doubtless on account of the elevation of its land and its
consequent adaptability to agriculture.
JOHN TIDD lived at
the salt spring as early as 1802. He was the step-father
of Thomas Bristol, the potter. He was the
step-father of Thomas Bristol, the potter. Two
potteries, for the manufacture of glazed earthenware, were in
operation near the spring in 1816. They were run by
Orrin Dunscom, and Bristol. They made use of the clay
found in the vicinity of the spring, but the discovery of better
clay elsewhere put an end to the business after a few years.
Among the first settlers were the Heatons, who
were here in 1806 and probably some years before that date.
There were five brothers, James, Dan, Bowen, Reese, and
Isaac. The latter settled in Howland.
James settled on the east side of the creek at
Niles, and lived here in a small log cabin. Three of his
children, Lewis, Warren and Maria (Robbins),
reached mature years. All settled and died in
HEATONS - Among the
first settlers were the Heatons, who were here in 1806
and probably some years before that date. There were five
brothers, James, Dan, Bowen, Reese, and Isaac.
The latter settled in Howland.
James settled on the east side of the creek at
Niles, and lived here in a small log cabin. Three of his
children, Lewis, Warren, and Maria (Robbins),
reached mature years. All settled and died in
DAN EATON, not Heaton, as he went to the
trouble of having his name changed by act of the Legislature
from Daniel Heaton to Dan Eaton, settled east of
the creek on the A. G. Bently place. His sons were
Jacob, Bowen, and Isaac; his daughters Hannah,
Ann, and Amy. All of the sons moved away
excepting Jacob, who died here.
Dan Eaton was the pioneer iron manufacturer of
the Mahoning valley. He was one of the oddest mortals that
ever lived. A pronounced, deist and a most outspoken
unbeliever, he was, nevertheless, friendly to ministers of the
gospel and entertained many of them in his hospitable home.
He was social with old and young, but his opinions, like
himself, were odd, - very. Among his neighbors he called
every man "brother," and every woman, "sister." His
knowledge of politics was sound for those days. In 1813 he
was elected as State Senator from Trumbull county, and again in
1820 he received an election to the popular branch of the
Legislature. Old Dan lived a pure and simple life
and arrived at a ripe old age honored and respected. He
was a "good hater," and shams and evils of every kind received
no encouragement from him. His animosity was strongly
aroused against intemperance, and he never failed to give the
whisky traffic a blow whenever opportunity allowed. He had
peculiar financial ideas, and during the last years of his life
gave much attention to a plan for the issue of National
currency, which was afterwards adopted in part in the issue of
greenbacks. Dan's idea was original with him.
He believed that the Government and not banks should issue the
paper currency of the Nation, making it a legal tender, and in
order to keep up its value should allow a low rate of interest,
say one per cent, to the holder of its notes. He talked up
his theory with everybody, and secured quite a lengthy list of
names to a petition which he circulated recommending and urging
BOWEN HEATON, Dan's brother, did not
settle permanently in the township. Reese Heaton
settled upon the Luse farm. In 1836 he removed to
Illinois with his family. The Heatons were
rough-mannered, sturdy men; good citizens in the main, but each
had his individual traits and peculiarities. The name,
once so familiar in the township, is now known here no longer.
Not a single Heaton or Eaton now remains in
Weathersfield. But in the corner of the cemetery upon the
hill, are many tombstones upon which the name is inscribed; so
many that a settler of 1835 upon first visiting the spot gave
utterance to this exclamation: "Why, this township is all
settled by Heatons, and they are all dead!"
AARON BELL was an
early settler, but sold out to MILLER BLACHLY.
Miller Blachy settled about one miles from Niles, a little
northeast of the town. He had three sons, Eben, Miller,
and Bell; and three daughters, Phebe (Dunlap), Eleanor,
who remained single, and Sarah (Bradley) Eben
became a doctor, and practised several years in Niles and
Warren. He married Minerva, only daughter of Dr.
John Seeley. Miller, Jr., was also a physician and practised
here. Bell married and settled in Weathersfield.
All moved to Wisconsin. Miller Blachly was a very
good man, but positive, and sometimes even obstinate in adhering
to his opinions. He was a devoted Presbyterian and a
strong temperance advocate. In early days the roads in his
neighborhood were very bad, and sometimes teams stuck i the mud
and could not move their loads. Mr. Blachly was
usually ready to lend his team to assist over the difficult
places; but when a man who was hauling a load of grain to a
neighboring distillery asked for such assistance, he obtained
only a very stern refusal.
TREW, by trade a weaver and a maker of cloth, settled
early in the northeastern part of the township. His
children were Nancy (Bell), who lives in Pennsylvania;
Robert, deceased; Eliza (Burley), Howland;
Nelson, deceased; Jane (Blachly), Howland; Nelson,
deceased; Jane (Blachly), Kansas; Lettie (Osborn),
Bazetta; Margaret (Ewalt), Howland; and Phebe and
John, deceased. Mr. Trew was the first
postmaster in the township. He did a large amount of
weaving in early times, making woolen and tow cloth, flannel,
an early settler of the southeastern part of the township, had
three sons, William, Joseph, and Bryson, one of
whom, William, is still living near Girard.
settled on the farm now owned by
H. T. Mason. His children were: David,
who remained and died upon the old farm; John, who now
lives in Pennsylvania; Jane (Hultz), who died in
Pennsylvania; and Joseph, who removed to Hardin county.
JOHN and ISAAC CLAY
settled in the eastern part of the township, but left after
several years' residence. Matthew Atchison settled on the
Clay farm. His children were Jane (McMichael),
David, Anna (McLain), John, Charles Steen, and Minerva.
The latter is now living in Pennsylvania. David
died in Vienna. John and Charles S. went to
was among the first settlers. His farm was situated in the
northeast part of the township. Two of his daughters are
still living in Vienna township at an advanced age - Mrs.
Munson and Mrs. Williams. The other children
are all dead. Jacob Hake and Isaac Pope were
also early settlers in the same neighborhood.
AUGUSTUS A. ADAMS
located on the east line of the township reared a family, none
of whom now remain in the township.
JOHN BOLEN was an
early settler, who lived north of Niles, on Mosquito creek.
He was the miller at Heaton's old mill.
Several brothers by the name of St. John
were among the earliest settlers. They have no descendants
here. Their names were James, Thomas, Charles and
George. They were employed about the Heaton
a native of Connecticut, settled on lot five of the alt spring
tract in this township in 1807. His family lived the first
summer in a bark hut or wigwam, which stood on the bank of the
Mahoning, near where the iron bridge crosses that stream, one
mile west of Niles. He married Hannah Cartright in
1792. Their children were John, Benjamin, Elihu, Sally,
Katie, Polly, and Milly Ann. John and
Benjamin had no families. Elihu married
Rachel Dunlap and reared five boys and four girls. Two
of his sons, Warren and Nathan, enlisted in the
Nineteenth Ohio volunteer infantry, and served through numerous
campaigns. Sally (Armstrong), Katie (McMullen),
Polly (Dunlap), and Milly Ann (Heaton), each
raised large families. The descendants of the Draper
family are now scattered from Pennsylvania to Minnesota.
on the farm now owned by Peter Stillwagon in the
northwestern corner of Weathersfield in 1801. Samuel,
one of his sons, remained here until his death. John
Reel, a brother of Peter, took up a farm near him.
David was an early settler in the same neighborhood.
settled about one mile east of Niles, on the T. N. Robbins
farm. His children were Samuel, William, Mary Ann,
Margaret, Joseph and John. In 1837 the family
moved to Putnam county.
The REESE FAMILY were
here early, but none are now remaining.
located on the south side of the Mahoning, and there lived and
died. His sons were Jonathan, Josiah, William, Stephen,
Chauncy, and Perry. Two of them died here,
William and Stephen. Chauncy in
Vienna and Perry in Lordstown. The daughters became
Mrs. Draper, Mrs. McCartney, and Mrs. Gibson.
settled in the south of the township on the farm adjoining
William Dunlap's. His sons were Alexander, John,
Matthew, James and William; his daughters, Polly,
Rebecca and Rebecca. All married and had
John and James WHITE were the names of other early
settlers in the township.
DAVID MOSER moved to this
township in 1817; Jacob Hake in 1812;
Pope in 1816; Aaron Loveland in 1812;
Plot about 1820; Daniel Evert in 1820.
settled on a farm adjoining the land of William Dunlap
and John McConnell. His brother John settled
in the same neighborhood. Two sons of the latter, John
and Houston, are still residents of Weathersfield.
BATTLES in 1814, bought eighty acres, which is now
included within the corporation limits of Niles. He was
from Crawford county, Pennsylvania. In 1816 he moved here
with his family, which consisted of eleven children. Five
sons and a daughter are still living, viz: Rebecca (Dray),
Allen county; Caleb, Akron; John, Niles;
Edward, Howland; Asa, Hancock county. Bariah
Battles died in 1838, at the age of seventy-seven. His
wife (nee Mary Jones) died in 1855, aged eighty-six.
John Battles, one of the oldest residents of the
township, was born in 1807, and came to Weathersfield with his
parents. He married Sarah J. Leavings, of New York
State, by whom he had seven children, all of whom are living:
Mary Jane (Schwindler), Lucy (Dunlap),
John E., Sarah (Allison), Laura (White, Franklin B., and
William. Mr. Battles worked at iron manufacturing from
the age of twenty years until 1854. With Jacob Robinson
he ran the Heaton furnace from 1849 to 1854.
MICHAEL OHL moved
from Austintown to Weathersfield in 1815, and settled on the
Meander at the place where the little village of Ohltown grew
up. His sons were Charles, David, Samuel, Henry, John,
Michael, and Andrew. Henry went west and died.
Michael died in this township. The others are all
living. His daughters were Catharine (Hood),
Liberty; Abbie (McDonald), Weathersfield; Julia (Rose),
Weathersfield; and Eve (Adelhart), dead.
settled in the southern part of Weathersfield at an early date.
His sons were Milo and John. The latter is
cashier of the First National bank of Warren. The former
is dead. James McCombs was drafted in the War of
1812. Robert McCombs settled in the same
neighborhood. His sons were John, William, James,
and Andrew. John is in the West. William
died in the lake mining region. James is still
located in the eastern part of the township. Of his
children, Rachel (Wilderson) lives in Newton; Eliza
(Hood), Liberty; George died in Wisconsin; Mary
(Fee) lives in Warren; Sarah (Shadel), and
Caroline (Bell), Liberty.
JOHN EDWARDS, father of S. C. and
William Edwards, settled within the present limits of Niles
in 1823. In 1830 he moved one mile from the village.
JOSIAH ROBBINS settled in this township about
1826. He married Maria, daughter of James
Heaton. Their family consisted of four children, all
of whom are living except Jesse, - James, Josiah, Jesse,
and Frank. His first wife died in 1835. In
1836 Mr. Robbins married Electa Mason, who bore
three children, who are still living, - Ambrose, Maria,
settled in the northeast of the township about 1830. His
children were Henry and Sarah, dead; Jeremiah,
California; Austin and Charles, Weathersfield, and
Ann (Gettis), Liberty.
GEORGE YOUNG, a
comparatively early settler located one mile east of Niles.
All the family moved to another part of the State except
John, who died here.
LUSE settled in the northeast of the
township. He married Hannah Bowell, and had three
children, Rebecca (Tibbetts), deceased; Jesse and
Clara (Sykes), of Weathersfield.
moved from Essex county, New York, to this township in 1835, and
settled one mile east of Niles. There were eight children,
viz: Lucy (Woodworth), Cleveland; Amanda
(Goodrich), Lockport, N. Y.; Eliza (Crandon) and
Dean Edson, deceased; Electa (Robbins), Hiram T.,
Henry H., Niles and Harriet (Reeves), Howland.
Mr. Mason died in 1870, in his ninetieth year. He
was the first postmaster at Niles, and one of the first
merchants. Mrs. Mason (née
Jemimah Turner) died in 1866, aged eighty-one.
Both were devoted members of the Disciples church.
Thomas Brooks, John White, John Battles,
William McConnell, and John Marshall, have been
residents of Weathersfield longer than any other men now living
in the township.
THOMAS BROOKS now seventy-three years of age,
is the oldest resident of this township.
DR. A. M. BLACKFORD
came to Niles to practice medicine in 1846; and practiced ten
years. He has been connected with various interests of the
town, including the iron industry. In 1848 he opened the
first drug store in the place. Dr. Blackford was born in
Fayette county, Pennsylvania, in 1813. He was educated for
the ministry of the Presbyterian church at Madison college, and
continued as a preacher ten years. His health then
failing, he began the practice of medicine. He afterwards
entered upon the duties of the clerical profession, but was
compelled to retire at the end of five years. Dr.
Blackford is still a resident of Niles. He married
Eliza, daughter of Thomas Russell of this place.
Concerning the early schools little can be learned. An old
log school-house, with greased paper for windows, was situated
south of the river at Niles. On the brow of the hill near
the site of the grist mill, was a school-house, where the
children of the little settlement surrounding Heaton's furnace
attended school. Heman R. Harmon was an early
The first post-office in the township was established in the
northeast of Weathersfield about 1825, Andrew Trew,
postmaster. This office, which was known as Weathersfield,
continued until 1843, when a post office was established at
Niles, Ambrose Mason being postmaster. His successors have
been H. H. Mason, ___Morgan, J. W. Leslie, Josiah Robbins,
Sr., C. W. Robbins, Josiah Robbins, Jr., William Campbell,
and H. H. Mason the present incumbent.
The second post-office was the Ohltown office, of which
Michael Ohl was the first postmaster. This
post-office was formerly on the old state route to Ashtabula,
and then received a mail from each way daily; now a tri-weekly
mail is received from Mineral Ridge.
An office was established at Mineral Ridge in 1860,
Azariah Hughes, postmaster. It was kept in Mahoning
county, and a semi-weekly mail was procured from Niles. It
was discontinued after a few months on account of political
differences and a lack of support. Leading citizens wanted a
Democratic postmaster, but no one in that party could be found
who was willing to perform the duties of the office. A
semi-weekly mail was not sufficient for the business men of the
place, and a prominent business man had his own mail brought
from Niles daily. This largely diminished the receipts of
the office, and the postmaster became tired of his position and
returned the mail bags to the Government postoffice department.
In 1863 the office was re-established with a daily mail, and
J. L. Pierce was appointed postmaster. A few years
later the office became Mineral Ridge, Trumbull county.
M. L. Campbell, Mrs. Sarah Wilson, and E. J. Ohl
since been postmasters.
Dan Eaton and Miller Blachly
were the leaders and incorporators of the temperance society in
the time of the Washingtonian temperance movement. A
number of good earnest workers joined them, and the society,
which began about 1830, continued in existence several years.
Meetings were held at school-houses and private dwellings.
Dan Eaton, when about to build a barn, announced
that whiskey should have no part in the work of raising it.
Accordingly, after the timber had been prepared, as was
customary in those days, he invited his neighbors to come and
help him get the frame up. But no one would come unless
whiskey was to be furnished, and Dan adhered resolutely
to his determination that none should be used upon his premises.
He was therefore compelled to hire men to do the work for him,
and the barn was built without the aid of whiskey. It was
probably the first building erected in the township in which the
ardent liquid was not a prominent feature at the "raising."
The Heatons build a saw-mill and grist-mill on
Mosquito creek very early. Both were in operation in 1816.
The present grist-mill at Niles was built by the Heatons
Probably the second mill in the township was that of
Michael Ohl, elsewhere mentioned.
Mills were often stopped during the dry season and when
this happened the settles were obliged to go to the Cuyahoga for
milling. Roasting-ears from the corn-field served in part
to supply the want of meal.
early years a poor, half-crazy old fellow named Dobbins,
a Methodist and great talker, one day asserted that he had as
much faith as ever any of the apostles had, and that he believed
himself capable of performing miracles through this faith.
"Can you walk upon the water?" Yes. Peter
tried it, but couldn't. He hadn't faith enough. I
have faith and can perform the act." A number of idlers
and boys collected and dared him to try it. He yielded to
their wishes, and proceeded to the river at once. Here he
uttered a short prayer, removed his shoes and stockings, and
drew near to the water's edge. The excitement in the crowd
was now at a high pitch, when suddenly the old man paused and
asked: "Have you all faith that I can do this thing?" A
voice in the crowd: "No, you ____ old fool!" "Well, then
we might as well abandon the undertaking. Faith on your
part is necessary as well as on mine, for without faith we can
do nothing." So the promised miracle was never performed.
Although old Dan Eaton was one of the most outspoken of
the unbelievers, yet his house was always open to religious
meetings of whatever character. A Mormon missionary named
McClellan, and Sam Smith, a brother of Joe
Smith, labored in Weathersfield in the winter of 1833-34,
and held meetings at Dan Eaton's house. They
secured a number of converts, but so far as can be learned none
followed them hence.
So far as can be learned there were only a few small stills
operated in this township in early times. Simon Hood,
Jacob Wise, and James McCombs had copper stills, and
made whiskey in small quantities.
The first burial-place in the township was situated near the
salt spring. A number of interments were made there, but
all of the bodies were subsequently removed to other cemeteries
and nothing now remains to indicate the location of the old
The graveyard at Ohltown was established quite early.
The Union Cemetery, northeast of Niles, is the
principal cemetery of the township. Interments were made
here as early as 1804. The grounds are beautifully
situated on the slope of a hill, and are large and tastefully
kept. They are adorned by a number of beautiful evergreens
and other evidences of the care bestowed upon them. The
earliest inscription which we discovered upon a cursory
examination was that upon the stone erected to the memory of
Hannah, daughter of James and Margaret Heaton, who
died February 2, 1806, in her sixth year. James Heaton
died in 1856 aged eighty-six years. Dan Eaton died
in 1858, aged eighty-five. His wife, Naomi, died in
1818, aged thirty-eight. Upon an old-fashioned stone near
the little monument which marks the grave of Dan Eaton,
is the following quaint and curious epitaph:
Wife of Dan Eaton, was born December 2d, U. S. 4 and
on the 5th of November, U. S. 43. became like unto a potter's
vessel that was stripped of its glazing and its guiding, but was
she believed the work wou'd not be lost but wou'd be moulded in
another form and became fit for a Master's use.
We doubt if another instance of the use of the year of the
United States instead of Anno Domini can be found in all
the tombstone literature of the century.
We notice here the recorded death of another of the
pioneers, William Bell, died in 1808, aged sixty-eight
years. His wife, Priscilla, died in 1814, aged
There are also several small graveyards in the
This is one of the busiest towns in the northeastern Ohio.
The iron industry has built it up, and is still its main
support. Niles is situated in the northern part of
Weathersfield township, its southern limits reaching a little
below the center. The incorporated portion includes at
present a territory extending a mile and a half east and west
and a mile and three-fourths north and south, with an estimated
population of four thousand. It is most favorable situated
as regards railroad facilities, being on the Mahoning branch of
the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio, and forming the northern
terminus of the Niles & New Lisbon branch of the same road.
The Ashtabula & Pittsburg and the Painesville & Youngstown roads
also pass through this place. Two new railroads are
building, on both of which Niles will be a station - the
Alliance, Niles & Ashtabula, and the Pittsburg, Youngstown &
Chicago. When these roads are completed and put in
operation we may expect to see a new impetus given to the
business of the town and its thrift and prosperity much
augmented in consequence. All present indications augur a
prosperous future. The village was laid out in 1834 by
James and Warren Heaton, but only on a very limited
scale, as the original plat was made to include only a small
part of the present town lying west of Mosquito creek and north
of the river between it and the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio
railroad. Numerous additions have since been made on all
The name Niles was given to the village by James
Heaton in honor of the editor of Niles Register, a journal
published at Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Heaton was a
subscriber of this paper and held a very exalted opinion of the
abilities of its chief editor. He was fond of quoting the
Register, and usually agreed most fully with the opinions which
it expressed editorially. Therefore he called the town
after the name of his favorite journalist. Who says that
the influence of the press is not wide-spread?
Previous to 1834 the village had no existence, and only
a few huts and shanties in the vicinity of the furnace marked
its future site. Warren Heaton built a house in
1832 on a lot which is at present included within the village
In the winter of 1834-35 a few buildings were erected, among
them the dwelling houses of Thomas Evans and Samuel
Dempsey. The village grew slowly until 1842 when the
establishment of Ward's rolling-mill brought a considerable
number of workmen into the place. By 1850 the population
had increased to nearly or quite one thousand persons.
From that date and the consequent failure of the leading
business firm gave Niles a blow from which it has only recently
Although Niles, as we have stated, was an unknown place previous
to 1834, yet by its former name of Heaton's furnace, the
place had been known far and wide for years. In 1809
James Heaton built a small refining forge on Mosquito creek
for the manufacture of bar iron, with charcoal, from the pig
iron made at the Yellow creek furnace. Here were produced
the first hammered bars in the State. In 1820 he rebuilt
this forge which continued in operation many years. It was
run by the same water-power with the furnace, and was situated
near it. In 1812 the famous Mosquito creek furnace was
erected a few rods east of where the public school building now
stands. This was a cold-blast, charcoal furnace, run by
the water of the creek. The stack was about thirty-six
feet high and the bosh seven or eight feet. This furnace
was owned and operated by James Heaton for many years,
and was in the possession of the Heatons until it went
out of blast in 1854. In 1830 the furnace was leased.
Campbell, McKinley & Dempsey operated it for a
considerable period. From 1849 until 1854 it was run by
Robinson & Battles. In its first years its product
would not average a ton of iron per day. Its capacity was
somewhat increased, but five tons per day would have been
considered a large yield at any period of its history.
Castings for stoves, and irons, kettles, and other household
utensils were made and found a ready market. The
Heatons acquired considerable property through this
industry, but not a fortune; for great wealth from the
manufacture of iron is not to be had through the use of such
primitive means as they employed. Native ore was always
used in this furnace, chiefly the kidneys ore found in
Weathersfield, Austintown, and vicinity. This, briefly,
was the inception of the great industry which has contributed so
largely to the building up of Niles.
A store was kept for the supply of the furnace hands as
long as the furnace was in operation. The first store
excepting this company store was kept by Robert Quigley on the
northern corner of Mill and main Streets. He built and
began business there in 1836. After a few years he sold
out and went to Pennsylvania, where he was connected with the
management of a furnace. In the time of the gold
excitement Mr. Quigley started for California, but died
on his way there. The second store in Niles was started by
Robbins & Mason in 1849. H. H. Mason, son of
Ambrose Mason, one of the proprietors, was their
successor and continued the business until 1864.
The first hotel was kept by Jacob Robinson about
1836, the house built by Mr. Dempsey. This house,
much enlarged, is now the Sanford house. In 1837
Robinson built a hotel opposite Quigley's store, on
the west side of the street, and kept it for many years.
The present Commercial house was formerly the dwelling of
James Ward. Previous to Robinson's public
house, a grog-shop or tavern was kept in a log cabin on the
south side of the river by a man named Parker.
The first brick building for mercantile purposes was
built by James Crandon and occupied by him as a store
until recently. It is the store on Main street now
occupied by C. P. Moore, dealer in flour and feed.
The Mason block, the first block of any
importance, was erected in 1867 by the combined efforts of five
The following petition was addressed to the commissioners of
Trumbull county August 27, 1864:
To the Commissioners of Trumbull county, State of Ohio:
We the undersigned, inhabitants and qualified voters of
Weathersfield township in said county, not embraced within the
limits of any city or incorporated village, desire that the
following described territory within the township of
Weathersfield be organized into an incorporated village, to wit:
Beginning at a stake or corner on the farm of John
Fee near the dwelling of H. H. Mason, and running
west one mile to a stake or corner on the land belonging to the
heirs of John A. Hunter, deceased, near the dwelling of
S. H. Pew, thence due south one and one-fourth miles in a
stake or corner on the farm of John Battles, thence east
one mile to a stake or corner on the farm of C. S. Campbell,
thence north to the place of beginning - an accurate map or plat
thereof is hereunto annexed - and that said village be named and
called Niles, and that A. M. Blackford be authorized to act in
behalf of the petitioners in prosecuting this claim.
This petition having been granted the organization was
effected. The first election was held January 23, 1866,
when the following officers were chosen: H. H. Mason,
mayor; James Draa, recorder; James Ward, Jr., William
Davis, David Griffiths, Richard Holton, and Henry
In 1867 J. B. Noble was chosen mayor to fill a
The mayors and recorders have been as follows:
Mayors: 1868, John Ohl; 1869, F. Caspar, to fill a
vacancy; 1870, J. H. Fluhart; 1872, M. D. Sanderson;
1874, Ephraim Thoams; 1876 - 78 - 80, William Davis.
Recorders: 1868, A. C. Allison; 1870, M. G.
Butler; 1872-74, George W. Mawby; 1876-78, B. D.
Smith; 1880 George L. Campbell.
The village of Niles has one of the best volunteer fire
departments in the State. The volunteer fire departments
in the State. The chief engineer, who is paid by the
village, devotes his whole time to the care of the department.
Two teamsters and a fine span of horses are kept on hand
The fire department was organized in 1870.
Messrs. Ward and Carter procured a second hand engine
from Pittsburg, which was used until 1875, when a fine steamer
was purchased. T. D. Thomas was the chief officer
for ten years, and managed affairs with skill and efficiency.
George W. Bear, has since been in charge. The
company are well drilled and well equipped, efficient and
Niles is well supplied with good and reliable physicians.
Dr. F. Caspar is the oldest resident physician, and has
been in constant practice since 1860; Dr. A. G. Miner
comes next, having labored here many years. The other
physicians of the town are Dr. A. J. Leitch and partner,
Dr. Z. W. Shepherd, and Dr. I. B. Hargett.
The two last named are homeopaths.
Cowdery and C. H. Strock look after the legal
interests of the village.
The Union school district was organized in 1869, and the
following school board elected: Josiah Robbins, Jr.,
and T. C. Stewart for three years; S. D. Young
and William Davis for two years; W. C. Mason
and William Campbell for one year. Mr.
Robbins was elected president, and Mr. Stewart
secretary of this board.
At a meeting held May 22, 1869, it was voted: First,
that the board be empowered to procure a site for a
school-house. Second, that the board be empowered to build upon
said site such a school-house as will, in their estimation, be
adapted to the wants of the district. Third, that a tax of
$15,000 be levied in said district for the building of said
school-house, and that said money be raised in three successive
annual installments of $5,000.
In 1870 two new7 members of the board of education were
elected : George S. Baldwin and W.
Campbell for three years. May 18, 1870, it was voted to
accept the proposition of C. E. Cooley & Co., of
Cleveland, to build the house for $27,950, taking the bonds of
the district at eight per cent, in payment. Previous to this
action, however, a vote was taken to make an additional levy of
$10,000 for erecting the house. The building was completed and
ready for occupancy in 1871. Some of the principal expenses are
included in the following items: For the school site, one acre
and sixty rods of land, $1,375; school desks and school
furniture, $2,000; bell, $573; besides the cost of the heating
apparatus of the building, the wages of workmen employed in
setting up the furniture, the heaters, etc. Twenty-three
thousand dollars in bonds were issued, and all paid up May 15,
The school building is by far the best in the county.
It is large, built in a good style of architecture, forming an
ornament to the town and a monument to the enterprising spirit
of the citizens of Niles. The house is of brick, three stories
and a basement. There are four school rooms on the first floor,
and the same number on the second. The grammar and high school
use the upper floor, which is also a public hall for
entertainments of various kinds. It is furnished with a good
stage, scenery, etc.
In October, 1869, Rev. T. Calvin Stewart was
elected as acting superintendent of the pub-
he schools of the district, to devote at least two days of each
week to the schools, at a salary of $400 per year. In 1871 L.
L. Campbell was elected superintendent and principal, and
proved a very faithful and efficient teacher. In 1872 his salary
was increased to $1,200. "He continued as superintendent until
1875, when he was succeeded by Miss M. J. Stewart for two
terms. C. E. Hitchcock began his labors as superintendent
in the spring of 1876; continued the balance of that year and
through the school year of 1877-78. T. H. Bulla, who had
been the high school teacher under Mr. Hitchcock, was
elected to the superintendency in September, 1878, and still
continues to discharge the duties of that responsible position
in a most capable and satisfactory manner. His present salary is
$1,100 per year. The school has been ably managed by faithful
teachers ever since the union district was formed. Among those
whose long service in the schools of Niles is a sufficient
testimonial of their ability and fidelity as teachers, we
mention Mrs. Nellie B. Sanderson, Miss Lottie Bowell, and
the Misses Thorne.
At present the schools are well graded, with courses of
study admirably arranged. Nine teachers and a superintendent are
employed in the brick building, outside of which there are two
primary schools. The school population of the district as
ascertained by the enumeration of 1881 was 1,337.
The janitor of the school building, Mr. J. R. Davis, has
taken faithful care of the school property for many years, and
deserves honorable mention in this connection.
is well supplied with shops and stores. We have space to
notice only a few of the princ8ipal firms and the dates at which
their business was established.
Gephart & Co, Main street, dry goods.
S. A. Russell, Main street, grocer; began
business May 1, 1881, in the store formerly occupied by
Gephart & Co. He has a large and first class stock of
all articles in the grocery and provision line.
A. Ristedt, merchant tailor, Main street, 1881;
successor to Radle & Ristedt. Large stock.
Mrs. O. S. Crandon, groceries and provisions,
Lewis & Fear building, Main street; successor to James
Crandon, who began this business in 1877.
George B. Robbins, dry goods and clothing,
former banking room, Main street; fall of 1880.
E. C. Moroe & Co., clothing,
groceries, etc., successors to J. M. Bowman & Co., corner
of Main and Mill streets, established in November, 1874.
Cook & Co., drugs, notions, stationery, cigars,
etc., Mason block, Mill street, 1878; successors to
Moore & Blachly. Mr. Coo, the head of
this firm, is an enterprising young man and his business is
Young Brothers, grocers, Mason block,
Mill street, 1878. The senior partner, Mr. S. D. Young,
has been in the mercantile line in Niles since 1865.
C. W. Thomas, Mill street, 1877. Mr.
Thomas began business opposite the post-office, Furnace
street. He carries a large and well selected stock of
books, stationers, toys, music, musical instruments, picture
frames, etc., and his store deservedly popular. He has
occupied his present location since 1881.
Taylor Brothers, dealers in buggies, sleighs,
sewing machines, stoves, tin and hardward, corner Furnace and
Mill streets, 1876. The business was formerly conducted by
R. G. Sykes, then by Sykes & Taylor, now by G.
J. and T. N. Taylor.
Church & Coffee, Exchange block, Furnace street,
1880; successors to McConnell & Church, who began
business in 1878. Church, who began business in
1878. Church & Coffee run a large dry goods and
grocery establishment, occupying two separate store rooms, each
with its own corps of clerks. Their stock is extensive,
and embraces everything usually found in a first-class store.
They employ a larger number of clerks than any other mercantile
house in town, and are doing a fine business.
C. W. Porter, drugs, school-books, stationery,
lamps, cigars, and notions, Exchange block, Furnace
street. Mr. Porter has a commodious store, well
filled with a great variety of articles. He began business
in 1875, with Dr. A. J. Leitch, under the firm name of
Leitch & Porter. In October, 1879, Mr. Porter
purchased Dr. Leitch's interest.
John C. Kerns, jeweler, Furnace street, 1873.
James Bowden, boots and shoes, Mill street,
C. W. Brieder, dealer in stoves tin, and
hardware, Furnace street, has been in business in Niles since
1874. He began in company with William C. Mann & Co.
W. C. Mann went out, and the firm then became Brieder
& Co. This partnership was dissolved in 1878, sine
which time Mr. Brieder has conducted the business.
In 1880 Mr. Brieder bought the hardward stock of John
Dithridge, his former partner, and added it to his own.
He is doing a large business in roofing, job work, etc.
We have mentioned some of the principal business
houses. In addition to the above stores there are a large
number of groceries and provision stores, and saloons
innumerable. The commercial prosperity of Niles is
Niles has two hotels at present, the Sanford and the
Commercial. Both are overrun with business.
In 1868 L. W. Sanford purchased from Joseph
McCaughtery the hotel known as the American house.
Some five years later he changed its name to the Sanford
house. He has made some improvements, and his hotel bears
an excellent reputation. Connected with the house is a
good livery-stable, Sanford & Pierce, proprietors.
The Commercial house has been in charge of E. R.
Miller since April, 1880. This was formerly known as
the Iron City house. Good livery attached.
was begun in Niles, in 1869, by Wick, Bentley & Co.
The firm was soon changed to Bentley & Crandon, and in
1871 was succeeded by the Citizens' Loan & Saving Association.
The association continued to conduct the business until October,
1880, when it was succeeded by A. G. Bentley & Co.
This firm does a large general banking business.
THE WARD ROLLING MILL.
This mill, one of the most extensive in the Mahoning valley, has
played a prominent part in the history of Niles, and during its
existence has brought both prosperity and disaster to the town.
The works were begun in 1841 by James Ward, Sr.,
and finished and put in operation in 1842. We have the statement
made by a prominent citizen of Niles, whom we consider the very
best of authority upon the subject, that the first rolled iron
ever made in the Mahoning valley was produced in 1842-at this
mill. This important fact should add another laurel to the
memory of the enterprising spirit of the man whose business
career was so long inseparably connected with the growth and
development of this thrifty town. James Ward & Co.
operated these works successfully from the time they were built
until the death of their originator in 1864. In 1866 the works
were rebuilt. Since then they have been much enlarged and the
capacity greatly increased by the introduction of much costly
machinery of the. most improved patterns. James Ward & Co.—the
James Ward being the son of the original
proprietor—carried on the business successfully a number of
years until the great financial panic came, when the firm failed
and consequently nearly every business interest in Niles
received a shock from which the recovery has been slow and
painful. The mill is now running under the control of the
Ward Iron company, and turning out larger and more valuable
products than ever before. James Ward is the
general manager. He is a man well fitted by nature and training
for the important position.
The works comprise twenty puddling furnaces, six
heating furnaces, and five trains of rolls. The products are
bar, plate, and sheet iron, the annual capacity being about
fourteen thousand net tons. Over two hundred men are employed in
this rolling-mill, and the pay-roll amounts to about $15,000 per
THE RUSSIA SHEET IRON MILLS.
Mrs. L. B. Ward is the
proprietor, and James Ward general manager of
these works. The mill was built in 1864, but since that date
many changes, repairs, and improvements have been made. The
works consist of twelve puddling and four heating furnaces, and
three trains of rolls. The products are sheet iron in widths
from twenty to forty-nine inches, shingle bands, Sykes'
improved metallic roofing, plate iron, etc. The annual capacity
is about four thousand five hundred net tons. About two hundred
and twenty men are employed and the pay-roll amounts to between
$10,000 and $14,000 per month. This mill was formerly a part of
the works of James Ward & Co.
This furnace was erected in 1859. It had
one stack 65x14½ feet. After
a few years its name was changed to the Mahoning Valley Iron
company's works. It was removed from Niles to Youngstown some
THE THOMAS FURNACE
This furnace was built in 1870 by William Ward & Co., and
operated by them until 1875, when it passed into the hands of
the trustees of the creditors of the original owners and
remained out of blast until 1879. It was then purchased by
John R. Thomas, who gave the plant a thorough repair,
preparatory to putting in blast. Since that time the furnace has
been in successful operation, turning out about one thousand
tons of iron per month. The furnace is fifty-six feet high and
fourteen feet at the boshes. The motive power consists of one
blast engine and two large steam pumps for water supply—with two
batteries of boilers cf three large boilers each. The owners are
at present placing another large, new blast engine to work in
connection with the one now in operation, and making other
important improvements in the plant.
GLOBE FOUNDRY AND MACHINE WORKS
These works were built in 1858 by
Thomas Carter and run by him until 1873. James
Ward & Co. then managed the business for about two years. In
1875 John Carter took charge and has since been
operating the works. He manufactures and deals in iron and brass
castings, engines, pumps, and machinery, also Carter's
patent ore pulverizer; and, in fact, makes and repairs all kinds
of machinery used in coal banks, blast furnaces, etc. Employment
is given to about fifty men on an average. The original
buildings have been enlarged several times and at present a
larger business than ever before is carried on.
In 1865 the
project of building a rolling mill in Niles was conceived by
William Davis, George Harris, and
James Harris. They were joined by Corydon
Beans and Thomas Jose, and on the 10th of
August the works were completed and set in operation. After the
.company had been organized, A. M. Blackford, and
James Russell, became members of it.
Business was carried on under the firm name of Harris,
Davis & Co. The mill cost $50,000. The works at first
consisted of three boiling furnaces, three heating furnaces, one
sheet mill, and one ten-inch train of rolls. While under the
management of this firm, the capacity of the works was
considerably enlarged. The product was six tons of sheet iron,
or sixteen tons of sheet and bar iron per day. In 1870 Mr.
Davis disposed of his interest, and the firm then became
Harris, Blackford & Co. This firm failed
and made an assignment. The works then came into the hands of
C. H. Andrews & Co., who rebuilt and enlarged the
mill m 1872. The works have since been run by the Niles Iron
company, producing bar, sheet, rod, skelp and band iron, the
annual capacity being twelve thousand net tons. L. G.
Andrews is president of this company and L. E. Cochran
secretary. The puddling department has been removed to Youngstown,
and we understand that the remainder of the works will follow.
FALCON IRON AND NAIL WORKS
These works were built in 1867, and then had twelve single
puddling furnaces, three heating furnaces, forty-four nail
machines, and three trains of rolls (one eight, one eighteen,
and one twenty-one inch). The products are nails and guide-iron.
The capacity was formerly eleven thousand tons annually, but has
been increased. Two puddling furnaces are now building, and a
new train of rolls has been put in. The officers of the original
company were James Ward, superintendent, and J. Key Wilson,
secretary and treasurer. In 1875 the company was reorganized.
The present officers are John Stambaugh,
president; Henry Wick,
vice-president, and Myron I. Arms, secretary and
treasurer. Two hundred hands are employed, and the pay roll
amounts to about $12,000 per month. The products of the Falcon
Iron and Nail company go to all parts of the country.
NILES BOILER WORKS
These works, the only manufactory of
the kind in Trumbull county, were built in 1871 by Jeremiah and
George Reeves, who still continue to operate them.
They manufacture all kinds of portable and stationary steam
boilers, oil tanks, blast furnace stacks, and sheet-iron work.
They also deal in brass goods, pipes and fittings. The
Reeves Brothers employ thirty-five men in their works,
and sixty men in the States of New York and Pennsylvania, who
set up work shipped from the factory. They have in progress the
erection of additional works which will double the present
capacity and necessitate a large increase in the number of
NILES FIRE-BRICK WORKS
These works were built in 1872 by John R. Thomas, the
present manager, and excepting about one year, have been in
operation since that time. In 1876 Mr. Thomas
invented a composition for fire-brick and obtained a patent upon
it. Since then the improved bricks have been manufactured in
large quantities and shipped to nearly all parts of the country
where fire-brick is used. The manufacturers make a specialty of
fire-brick of various shapes and sizes suitable for
rolling-mills and blast furnaces.
The present capacity is between two and three thousand
per day, but the owners expect to greatly increase the amount of
brick manufactured at an early date. About fifteen men and boys
are at present employed.
SAW-MILL AND PLANING-MILL
In 1878 the Erwin Lumber company
built a saw-mill 100 x 40 feet, with a planing-mill 60 x 50
feet. The mill was run one year by this company. The proprietors
are now C. P. Souder and David Erwin,—firm name C. P.
Souder & Co. The mills give employment to six men and
manufacture all kinds of building lumber. These mills are near
the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio depot.
The history of the press in Niles represents a career of
numerous, though not unusual or unnatural, vicissitudes.
The first paper started in this place was the
Niles Register, begun in the summer of 1867, by
Edward Butler and E. E. Moore, publishers, and
Rev. William Campbell, editor. It was of about the
same size as the paper at present published here. After
six months it was suspended on account of lack of support.
In the spring of 1868 J. H. Fluhart began the
publication of the Niles Independent, and ran it
with varying success until June, 1871, when M. D. Sanderson
succeeded him as editor and proprietor. Mr. Sanderson
and his immediate successors had all of the paper printed at
home, and made it a very neat local journal. November 1,
1872, Fred C. McDonald assumed the management of the
Independent, and at the end of one year sold out to Dyer &
Sanderson. This firm changed the name of the paper to
the Niles Home Record, and continued publication
until November, 1874, when as a result of the panic and of the
failure of the leading business of the village, they were
compelled to suspend. Previous to the panic and paper
attained a circulation of about nine hundred copies, and
appeared to be on the road to prosperity. October 1, 1875,
M. D. Sanderson revived the paper and brought it out as
the Trumbull County Independent, a six-column
quarto. He published but four numbers, then sold out to
N. N. Bartlett, who continued to publish under the same name
and in the same form. Soon after entering upon the
management of the paper, Mr. Bartlett took J. H.
Fluhart into partnership.
In May, 1876, the present proprietors, McCormick &
Williams bought the paper from Bartlett & Fluhart.
The Independent is now a seven column folio, well
printed, and liberally patronized by business men as an
advertising medium. It is independent in politics, and
devotes the most of its space to local news and the
encouragement of home industries. The proprietors are
young men and bid fair to make the paper permanently prosperous.
Under their management the circulation ahs largely increased.
In 1814 a Methodist class was formed at the house of Ebenezer
Roller, who lived where the village of Niles now stands, by
Rev. Samuel Lane, a circuit preacher. It was a
small class, but was soon enlarged, and from it the Niles
Methodist Episcopal church has grown. From the fact that
there are none of the early members of this church now living,
we are able to give but little information as to the progress
and growth of this church.
The churches, like everything else in Niles felt the
evil effects of the panic, but this church has been steadily
gaining ground since good times returned. It is mainly
supported by workingmen. The present membership is one
hundred and thirty. The church edifice now in use was
erected in 1870. Though its exterior is
unpretentious and devoid of any trace of beauty, the
audience-room is tastefully furnished, large and capacious.
1838 application was made to the presbytery of Beaver by certain
inhabitants of Weathersfield and vicinity for the action of that
body to recognize them as a congregation, and to take measures
for organizing a church to be known as Weathersfield church.
After some initiatory steps in that presbytery, since by the
division made by the synod of Pittsburg the petitioners resided
within the presbytery of New Lisbon, the petition was committed
to the latter presbytery and granted by it. The
congregation was taken upon the rolls of the New Lisbon
presbytery in 1839, and Rev. William O. Stratton was
appointed to organize into a church so many among them as were
members of sister churches at the time, or who wished to connect
themselves with the church. The following persons were
received at a regular appointed meeting at the brick
school-house in Niles, as members in good and regular standing:
Miller, Blachly and Phebe, his wife,
Eben Blachly, Anna Blachly, Robert Quigley, Catharine Reiter,
Andrew Trew, Margaret Biggart, Elizabeth Biggart, Miller Blachly,
Jr., and Mary, his wife, James McCombs and Elizabeth,
his wife, and Eleanor Bell. Eben Blachly and
Miller Blachly, Jr., were appointed to the office of ruling
elders, and at the same time were ordained and installed.
In February, 1842, William Dunlap, third, was ordained a
ruling elder. This office has since been held by
Ebenezer G. Stewart, George Campbell, William Ward, Robert
Moffatt, Ephraim Thomas, J. C. Southard, and A. J. Leitch,
Revs. Stratton, Kerr, Dickey and others, including several
stated supplies, acted as pastors until July 11, 1867, when
Rev. T. Calvin Stewart was installed, and continued as
pastor until 1876. During his pastorate seventy-one
members were added on examination and forty-three by
certificate. Rev. S. T. Street was pastor from 1877
to 1880, and Rev. A. A. Mealey in 1880-81. At the
present writing there is a vacancy. The church members one
hundred and fifty members, and has a commodious and
well-furnished house of worship.
This church was
organized in 1840 by Elder John Henry, an evangelist.
The members at the time of organization were as follows:
Elder Joshua Carle and his wife Margaret, Elder A.
Jackson Luse and his wife Eleanor, Deacon Jacob Robinson
and his wife, Eleanor, Deacon Jacob Robinson and his
wife Dorcia, Deacon Samuel Burnet and wife, Deacon
Lewis Heaton and his wife Milly Ann, Nancy Carle, Mrs.
Battles, Josiah Dunlap, Polly Dunlap, William Winfield, Seymour
Hake, and others. Early members: Elihu and Rachel
Draper, Benjamin and Louisa Goodheart, J. R. and Elizabeth
Noble, John and Laura Draper, Stephen and Hanna Dunlap, Noble T.
and Adeline Robbins, Polly Sheeler, Elizabeth St. John, Ambrose
and Jemima Mason, Matilda L. Cleveland, Jerusha Stoddard, Hiram
T. and Margaret C. Mason.
The church edifice was erected in 1843-44, and
dedicated in 1844, with services conducted by Rev. John Henry.
The ministers who have labored here are as follows:
Revs. Hervey Brockett, John Henry, John T. Smith, John
Applegate, William Winfield, William Higby, F. S. Whitzler,
Theobald Miller, Thomas Hallock, Gideon Applegate, Walter
Hayden, Mathias Christy, S. B. Teagarden, Orrin Gates, J. M.
Monroe, W. H. Rogers, C. C. Smith, E. W. Wakefield, N. N.
Bartlett, C. L. Morrison, and L. W. Shepherd, the present
pastor. The present membership is over one hundred.
The present church officers are: Elders, Benjamin
Leach, Hiram T. Mason, and Lewis Reel; deasons,
Hiram Olh, George Battles and Lewis N. Young.
The society of this name of Niles is the only one of the kind in
the county. The doctrine is like that of the Methodist
Episcopal church, but the method of the church government is
different. The church was organized in 1873 by Rev. M.
Harvey, its first pastor. In 1879 a neat little house
of worship was erected in the neighborhood of the Russia mill.
At present there are about thirty-one members, nearly all of
whom are employed in the Russia Iron works. There is a
Sunday-school of about eighty members, and nine teachers.
The church property is valued at $1,100. Rev. Thomas
Large is the pastor. His predecessors have been
Revs. Harvey B. Whillock, J. A. James, John Mason, and
This church was organized with a small number of members in
1868. A house of worship was erected in 1872-73. The
first pastor was Rev. I. T. Griffith, who remained in
charge but ashort time. In 1874 Rev. D. C. Thomas
took charge, and continued as pastor three years. He then
went to Nebraska for one year. Then returned and resumed
the pastorate, and still remains in charge. The membership
is twenty-eight and is made up of mill employees.
St. Stephens Roman Catholic church was formed by Rev. E. M.
O'Callahan of Youngstown, by whom the building was erected.
Rev. J. Kulhn succeeded him for a short time. Then
Rev. A. R. Sidley, who remained two years. The
priests who have since had charge of this church, named in the
order of their succession, are as follows: Rev.
E. Conway, B. B. Kelly, T. Mahoney, M. A. Scanlon, and the
present pastor, J. Monahan. The church embraces
about one hundred families at present. Connected with it
are three schools conducted by four of the sisters of the
Humility of Mary, of New Bedford, Pennsylvania.
WELSH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
This church, known also as the Calvinistic Methodist, has a neat
little church edifice, erected in 1872 at a cost of about
$6,000. The church had been organized previous to this
date, and had held meetings in the building of the Cumberland
Presbyterians - a society which is now extinct. In 1872
there were about sixty members of the Welsh Presbyterian, and
the number at present is about the same, though there were one
hundred and fifty a short time before the panic. The first
pastor was Rev. John Moses, succeeded by Rev. T. C.
Davis, of Pittsburg, and Rev. Ebenezer Evans, the
present minister. The deacons are D. H. Davis and
Mahoning lodge No. 394, Free and Accepted Masons, was
granted a charter June 22, 1867. Previously, however,
T. C. Van Antwerp, of Leavittsburg, had held a school of
instruction, drilling the proposed members in the precepts of
the Masonic order; and for six months previous to the receipt of
the charger the lodge had been working under the dispensation
from the Grand lodge. There were sixteen charter members,
viz: James C. Southard, S. D. Young, I. M.
Butler, Josiah Robbins, Jr., George Harris, William Davis, E. J.
Warner, H. B. Gilman, T. B. Tait, Thoams James, S. A. Corbin, J.
G. Butler, Jr., Evan Davis, J. R. Noble, James Crandon, Lewis
The first officers were J. C. Southard, W.
M.; Josiah Robbins, Jr., S. W.; and William Davis,
J. W. One hundred and twenty have been admitted to the
membership since the charter was granted. The present
membership is sixty-six. The lodge occupies a neat and
convenient hall, comfortably and tastefully furnished, and is in
every way prosperous.
Present officers: S. D. Young, W. M.;
C. W. Talbitzer, S. W.; L. W. Sanford, J. W.; J.
K. Wilson, treasurer; L. S. Cole, secretary;
William Farr, S. D.; George Reeves, J. D.; William
Falcon lodge No. 436, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was
instituted in January, 1870, with the following charter members:
F. Caspar, H. Scott, J. K. Wilson, John McElry, A D.
Ferguson, and J. L. Wills. The first officers
were Ed Scott, N. G.; F. Caspar, V. G.; J. K.
Wilson, secretary; Lewis Gephart, permanent secretary
and Samuel Evans, treasurer. Over one hundred and
fifty have been admitted to membership in this lodge. In
August, 1871, a number of members withdrew and started a lodge
at Mineral Ridge. The present membership of the Falcon
lodge is about seventy. In 1881 the lodge purchased the
building in which the meetings are held. The lodge is
prosperous financially, owing no bills, and with money in the
Court Providence lodge No. 5782, Ancient Order of Foresters, was
instituted at Niles December 28, 1862, with fifty charter
members and the following named officers: Daniel Fisher,
C. R.; Evan S. Williams . S. C. R.; George S.
Williams, treasurer, and John Meredith, secretary.
The lodge has a good membership and is prosperous.
This place is appropriately
named. Extensive coal deposits are found in the vicinity
and near the village some of the principal mines of the Mahoning
valley are located. The black band iron ore whose use
during recent years has rendered the iron products of the valley
justly famous, is found underlying the coal in strata varying
from one to ten inches in thickness. Thirty years ago
Mineral Ridge was a farming community. But after the mines
began to be largely developed, and especially since the advent
of the railroad in 1869, the population increased rapidly.
During the panic there was a temporary check, but the ground
lost was speedily recovered. Mineral Ridge is now an
incorporated village of some twelve hundred inhabitants, as well
as several hundred who reside just outside of the corporation
limits. It is situated on the south line of Weathersfield
township, and the unincorporated portion of the village extends
over the county line into Austintown township. The main
street is something like a mile and a half in length, but is not
thickly lined with houses. There are two fine brick
buildings in the village - the Odd Fellows' block and the public
school. Six churches indicate that the moral atmosphere of
the place out to be pure.
Mineral Ridge is situated immediately south of Niles,
and from the latter place is the first station on the Niles &
New Lisbon railroad. Main street runs along the ridge of
land which gives the village its name.
Ridge became in incorporated village in 1871. Joseph
Stuart was the first mayor elected, and he has continued in
office up to the present time.
COAL AND IRON
The first coal was mined at Mineral Ridge in 1835, the mine
being situated on Coal run, on the south side of the village, on
the farm of Michael Ohl, in Austintown township. In
1833 Roger Hill, a Pennsylvania coal miner, moved to
Mineral Ridge. He showed Mr. Ohl the coal exposed
in the run, and advised him to open a mine. Two years
later Mr. Hill commenced work for Mr. Ohl, and
drifting into a hill, found a seam of coal four feet in
thickness. He sected a smooth square and heavy piece, and
carried it home to test its quality. The piece would not
burn, and Hill pronounced it bastard cannal coal, or
blackstone. Other parts of the seam proved to be of good
quality, and the blackstone was left unworked, forming the floor
of the mine. The coal found a ready sale for blacksmithing
and household use.
John Lewis, a miner, originally from
Monmouthshire, England, had settled at Mineral Ridge in 1854.
One day while sinking a hole in the floor of his working place
to set up a prop he was struck with the similarity of the
"blackstone" to the blackband ore he had mined in the old
country. He stated to Messers. Ward & Co. his
employers, his opinion of the coal floor, - that it was a
valuable deposit of blackband ore. He was directed to mine
and calcine a quantity of it. The results proved the
correctness of the miner's knowledge. All the old coal
openings were now re-opened and searched for the blackband, and
it was lifted in every working place, old and new.
It was not until 1868, however, that the real value of
the ore was fully appreciated. The art of calcining and
using it prudently in connection with the lake ores, in the
blast furnace, was not well understood. Sine that time,
however, the iron made from the judicious mixture of the
blackband of the Mahoning valley has taken a front rank in the
markets of the United States and is everywhere known and prized
as "American Scotch." The first coal shipped from Mineral
Ridge to Cleveland was shipped in 1857 from the mines of
Rice, French, Cook & Co. The coal of this region has
always maintained a good reputation, and is especially adapted
for rolling-mill purposes, and the generation of steam as well
as for house fuel.*
The blackband ore continues to be mined along with the
coal, and is a most valuable product. Its principal use is
in foundry iron, which it renders of a superior quality.
The Cambria mine was opened in 1850 by Morris &
Price. The Peacock mine was opened in 1853 by
Rice, French, Cook & Co. The
John Morris & Co. shaft was opened in 1856 by Tod,
Wells & Co. The Ashland mine was opened the
same year by Jonathan Warner.
The principal mines now in operation at Mineral Ridge
are as follows: Austin shaft, Tod, Wells &
Co.; Cambria, W. T. Williams & Co.; Weathersfield;
Osborn slope, Osborn Coal Co.; Peacock, W. I.
The first store at Mineral Ridge was opened by James Ward &
Co., to supply men who were working their coal-bank.
It was kept by E. Smith, on the lot now owned by
Jonathan Warner. The first store excepting this
company store was opened in 1862 by J. L. Pierce, who
continued in business about six years. He has been
railroad station agent at this place since the road was opened
to the public.
Below we give the names of the principal merchants who
are now doing business in the village, and also the date at
which they commenced:
General stores: Joseph Stuart, 1863;
Daniel Wilcox, formerly in partnership with Ira and Isaac
Wilcox, 1864; E. F. Whitney, 1876; McConnell
Brothers, 1878; J. B. Lewis, 1878; E. M. Morgan,
1878; C. D. James, 1879; A. J. Garry, successor to
Spall & son, 1880. Hardware dealers:
M. E. Burford, 1872. Dealer in drugs, medicines,
notions, etc: E. J. Ohl, successor to S. C.
Wilson, 1876. McConnell Brothers have the
largest and best filled store in the village. They occupy
both of the large store-rooms in the Independent Order of Odd
Fellows block, and have a large and complete stock of dry goods,
groceries and provisions, boots and shoes, etc. Messrs.
E. H. Ohl and J. B. Lewis also have good assortments
of all articles in their respective lines.
In addition to the above, there are several saloons and
a few small stores. Mineral Ridge merchants appear to be
(* Condensed from the
report of the State inspector of mines.)
physician, Dr. L. A. Bard, attends to the wants of the
sick and afflicted.
MINERAL RIDGE FLOURING
This mill is now
owned by W. I. Metcalf. It was built in 1873 by
Dunlap, Ohl & Co. A large amount of custom milling is
done here, and flour and feed are shipped and kept on hand for
sale. A mill upon the same site was moved to this place
from Canfield, and after being operated several years, was
destroyed by fire.
MINERAL RIDGE FURNACES.
In 1858-59 Jonathan Warner in company with Captain
James Wood of Pittsburg, erected the first furnace at this
place, called the Ashland furnace, for using the Mineral Ridge
coal and blackband ore for the manufacture of pig-iron.
This furnace was run quite successfully. In June, 1862,
Mr. Warner bought of Captain Wood his
interest, and in 1863 or 1864 bought the Porter or
Meander furnace in Austintown and moved it here. Early in
1866 a company was formed and incorporated under the name of the
Mineral Ridge Iron and Coal company. The stockholders were
Milton Sutliff of Warren, Lemuel
of Cleveland, Joseph H. Brown of Youngstown, and
Jonathan Warner of Mineral Ridge. Mr.
Warner was made manager and general agent, and held the
position until July or August, 1868, when the company sold out
to William H. Brown of Pittsburg, who afterwards formed a
new company known as the Brown Iron company. In 1870 the
furnaces passed into the hands of James Ward and
wife of Niles, from whom in 1871 they were re-purchased by Mr.
Warner, and run until after the failure of Cooke
in 1873, and up to 1874 or 1875, when Mr. Warner
and those in interest with him were obliged to stop business and
take advantage of the bankrupt law. Since then these furnaces
have been sold and torn down and are now numbered with the
things that are no more.
Mineral Ridge lodge No. 497, Independent Order of Odd Fellows,
was instituted August 23, 1871, by Horace F. Beebe, D. G.
M., of Ravenna. The following are the names of the charter
members: J. Jones, J. B. Lewis, Eli J. Ohl, R. Lloyd, Ed.
Foulk, James Matthias, James Morris, William Jones, Thomas J.
Roberts (deceased), John Miles (deceased), John
Elias, E. G. Ohl, Robert Roberts, W. J. Williams, and
Thomas T. Jones. The first officers were J. Jones, N.
G.; J. B. Lewis, V. G.; E. J. Ohl, P. S.; and R.
Lloyd, C. S. The number of members admitted since the lodge
was formed has been two hundred and twenty-eight. The present
membership is one hundred and forty. In 1874 this lodge built
the fine large brick block now known as the I. O. O. F. block,
at a cost of $16,500. The building is fifty-four feet high,
three stories, and 40 x 70 feet on the ground. The first floor
is fitted for two large store-rooms; the second contains a
public hall with good scenery, a stage and five hundred and
eight chairs. The third story is all occupied by the lodge
rooms. There is ample room and a good hall 40 x 50 feet. The
lodge is now very prosperous.
About 1858 a few of the inhabitants of this place formed a
Sabbath-school, and held prayer-meetings in the district
school-house. Both were well attended and considerable interest
was aroused. In September, 1862, Rev. J. H. Scott was
invited to come here and preach; he accepted and became the
instrument of much good. From the school-house the band of
worshipers changed the place of holding their meetings to a
building temporarily fitted up for the purpose. January 11,
1863, a church of eleven members was formally organized by the
committee of Trumbull presbytery, consisting of Revs. W. C.
Clark, S. B. Wilson, A. Cone, and H. L. Hitchcock,
D.D., of the Western Reserve college. Dr. Hitchcock
preached a sermon on this occasion, taking for his text
Phillipians 11: 14-15. The following persons were received into
the new organization: By letter—Mrs. Ellen E. Scott, from
the First Presbyterian church of West Liberty, Iowa; Miss
Mary A. Brook, from the Presbyterian church of Niles, Ohio;
Mrs. Lucy A. Prevost, from the Methodist Episcopal
church of Minersville, Pennsylvania; George Otterman,
from the Methodist Episcopal church of Girard, Ohio; Charles
H. Jackson, Jonathan Warner, and Mrs. Eliza Warner,
from the Presbyterian church of Youngstown; and by profession,
Alexander Brown, Maria Lewis, Harriet E. Scott, and
Mary A. Clark. After organizing, the church proceeded to
elect an elder; Mr. Jonathan Warner,
formerly an elder in the Youngstown church, was elected to the
office and has since held it.
Early in 1863 preparations for the erection of a church
edifice began. Friends in adjoining towns subscribed what they
could, and a little help was received from Youngstown and
Cleveland. Mr. Jonathan Warner did far more than
any other person towards completing the structure; indeed it may
be said that his liberal giving and encouragement started the
project and carried it successfully through. The house
completed, the church was between $1,400 and $1,800 in debt. It
is one of the finest houses for a village of the size of Mineral
Ridge to be found in this section of the State. On January 26,
1865, the church was dedicated to the service of God and the new
pastor, Rev. B. F. Sharp, was installed over the
congregation which then numbered over one hundred persons. At
this time a collection was taken up and new subscriptions made,
sufficient in amount to wipe out the entire church debt. A
parsonage has since been built and the church still remains debt
free. The pastors, since Mr. Sharp left, have been
Revs. Williams, Dalzell, Graham, and the present
pastor, Rev. J. M. Mercer, who has labored here since
1878. Rev. Mr. Scott and Rev. Dalzell, left
their charge on account of ill health, and together with Mr.
Williams they have since gone home to their rewards.
Several interesting revivals have blessed the labors of
the different pastors. Especially was this true of the pastorate
of Rev. J. J. Graham. As many as sixty-three persons were
added to the church during one of these interesting seasons.
The church is and has been in a flourishing condition.
A pastor is sustained and employed for all his time. At present
about one-half of the members come from the surrounding country;
hence the church is more certain of a prosperous condition in
the future than if it depended for its support upon the
population of Mineral Ridge alone, as, in a mining town, many
are constantly going and coming. The present membership is
considerably more than one hundred, notwithstanding numerous
removals and a large number of deaths of members. In the
donations to the boards of the Presbyterian church of the
Mahoning presbytery, this church ranks as the eleventh, and it
is proposed to make this record even better in the future. For
these facts we are indebted to Mr. Warner and the
METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
This church was organized in 1867, with three members, but was
soon increased by the addition of thirty or forty names to the
books. In 1868 a house of worship was erected and dedicated by
Bishop Kingsley, December 23d. From the books we
learn that the society was clear of debt at that time. The house
is neat and comfortable, well furnished, both in the main room
and basement. A church parlor is one of the improvements
recently made—cost $300.
The first members of this church were W. T. Williams
and wife, Mrs. Mary Hartman, Edwin Warner and wife, Joseph and
Mary Clark, George and Mary Greenville, Jonathan Hofius, David
Jones, John and William Browning, and others. The first
pastor was Rev. R. M. Bear, under whose labors the church
was organized. After the house was built Rev. Manasseh
Miller was sent to this circuit, which comprised Ohltown
and Mineral Ridge. A glorious revival resulted from his work.
Revs. E. H. Prosser, T. B. Tait, and James Shields
succeeded him. In 1876 Mineral Ridge was transferred to the
Jackson circuit, and Revs. George Crooks and John
Beethan sent to labor here. In September, 1880, this was
made a station, and Rev. C. E. Locke, the present pastor,
appointed. The number of members is ninety. An interesting
Sabbath-school numbers one hundred and sixty. The society is out
of debt, and every way prosperous.
This church was
organized with twenty members on the 2d day of January, 1870, in
the old school-house. They continued to meet in the school-house
for public worship until September, 1872. The church edifice was
erected in the fall of that year, at a cost, including the lot,
of $3,000. It was dedicated September 29, 1872. The first church
officers were : J. L. Pearce and L. L. Campbell,
elders; John Crum and Evan Owens,
deacons. The first pastor was Elder J. M. Van Horn. His
successors have been J. S. Ross, R. T. Davis, D. J. White, N.
N. Bartlett, and George Musson. The number of members
is now one hundred and ten.
This church was organized and the house erected about the year
1871. The membership is quite large. The priest who officiates
here also has charge of the East Palestine and Salem churches.
Welsh of this township seem to take a great interest in
religion, and have a church wherever there is a sufficient
number to support The Welsh Baptist church at Mineral Ridge was
built in 1858, and is a comfortable building, of ample size for
the accommodation of its members.
The Welsh Independent church was built soon after the
Baptist. At present it has a good sized congregation and is
prosperous. The house has recently been enlarged.
MINERAL RIDGE SCHOOLS.
In 1870 Jonathan Warner and L. L. Campbell
called a school meeting and steps were taken to form a union
district in this village. In December of that year a vote was
taken which resulted in the formation of such a district. Before
that time Mineral Ridge had only a common district school
In 1872 an elegant school building was erected 62x62
feet on the ground, built of brick, two stories, with a basement
for heaters and rooms for the scholars to occupy during the noon
intermissions. There are four school-rooms, two recitation
rooms, and halls above and below. The lot upon which the house
stands is over two acres in extent. The site, building, and
furniture together cost about $18,500.
In 1873-74 H. B. Clark was principal of the
school. Mr. L. L. Campbell took charge in the summer of
1874, and continued as superintendent until March, 1881. Through
his efforts the schools were all properly graded and put in
efficient working order. Much credit is due to him for his
untiring and generous labor for the good of the school. It was
with the regrets of every patron of the school that he resigned
his position. Mr. B. A. Bowe is the present
Upon an average from fifteen to twenty pupils from
outside the district attend the high school. The rates of
tuition are $1.25 per month for high school scholars, and $1 per
month for intermediate.
This is a quiet little
village in the southwestern part of the township, a mile and a
half west of Mineral Ridge. It was laid out by Michael
Ohl, its first settler. There are some thirty houses, two
small stores, kept by. T. J. Moore and J. A. Rumsey,
a blacksmith's shop, and the grist-mill of Flick Brothers.
Michael Ohl built a grist-mill and a
saw-mill in this place soon after settling here in 1815. The
mill was a small affair, and had but one run of stones at first,
but another was afterwards put in. The grist-mill was torn down
and a new one erected upon its site. The second mill was burned.
The mill now standing was built by Mr. Ohl in 1843 or
Michael Ohl kept the first store in the place, in a
part of his house. He also built an oil mill, which was
abandoned after a few years, as the business was found not to be
a paying one.
OHLTOWN METHODIST EPISCOPAL
facts were obtained from Father Joseph Turner,
now deceased, and recorded upon the church book :
The first class was formed about the year 1838,
consisting of fifteen members, Joseph Turner being class leader.
Of this number but two survive, viz: Rachel Turner
and Ellen Patrick. Ohltown was made an appointment
of Liberty circuit, and the following preachers were sent to
Hiram Norris, Ditton Prosser, Stephen Hubbard, Hiram Kellogg,
Thomas Guy, Ahab Keller, Nelson Brown, George Brown, A. Reeves,
J. H. Vance, W. N. Reno, W. F. Day, Albert Norton, Stephen
Heard, J. W. Hill, R. M. Bear, Ezra Wade, Frederick Vernon,
William Hayes, J. H. Vance, up to and including 1866.
In 1867 the circuit was divided, and Mineral Ridge and
Ohltown formed a circuit. The same preachers labored at both
places until 1880, when Ohltown was added to the Jackson
circuit. J. J. Excell and G. W. Anderson
have been the appointees since that date. The society has a
comfortable house and a membership of about sixty.
German Reformed people formerly had a church in this place, but
their organization continued but a few years. They built a house
about 1845, which they afterwards sold to the Methodists.
The German Reformed congregation was converted into an
organization of the Cumberland Presbyterians, under the labors
of Dr. A. M. Blackford. After a brief existence this
organization also died out.
The regular Presbyterians also had a church in this
place, and built a house about 1845. Rev. Koons
was the first preacher and was succeeded by Revs. March and
Spear, pastors, besides several supplies. They sold their
house to a body of Primitive Methodists, who kept up a church
for three or four years.
OHLTOWN SELECT SCHOOL.
This school was started about 1857, principally through the
efforts of Michael Ohl, Jr. Almon
McCorkle was the first teacher. The school was in existence
a few years only. It was kept in the old Methodist church.
This is a little mining community in the southeastern part of
the township, containing some twenty or thirty houses, the most
of them very dilapidated in appearance. The first coal bank here
was operated some thirty-eight years ago. Mining was carried on,
on a small scale, for several years; but about fifteen or twenty
years ago banks were opened and operated largely, one hundred
and seventy-five or more men being employed in them. But the
banks were soon worked out—that is, the principal ones, and now
less than half of that number find employment here. The place
has neither store or post-office.
There are two
Welsh churches here. The Welsh Baptist church was built in 1866.
Meetings have been kept up regularly ever since. Rev. Edward
Jenkins was the first pastor and Rev. John James is
at present in charge. The membership is small. A tasteful little
cemetery is situated near the church.
The Welsh Calvinistic Methodist church was organized
previous to 1867 and a house was built at that date. Rev. T.
C. Davis was the first pastor. Meetings have been held ever
since the organization, though not always at regular intervals.
The church now numbers about sixty members. Rev. J. L.
Jeffreys is the pastor.
- Page 241
(deceased) was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, April 3,
1778. February 25, 1802, he married Miss Nancy
Travis, and had a family of five sons and five daughters—Alexander,
born April 5, 1803; John, born September 3, 1804;
Polly, January 8, 1806; Rebecca, October 19, 1807;
Peggy, April 2, 1809; Matthew, November 26, 1810;
Elizabeth, August 17, 1812; James, June 6, 1814;
William C., February 2, 1816; Martha J.,
January 24, 1818. John, Rebecca, Peggy,
Matthew, and Martha J. are deceased. Mr.
McConnell, with his family, consisting then of his wife
and oldest son, came to Trumbull county, Ohio, in 1804, settling
in Weathersfield township. He erected a log-cabin in the
woods, building it one day and moving into it the next. He
resided there until his death, which took place September 27,
1853. His wife died February 26, 1841, and he was married again
to Mrs. Lovinia Rice, who lived until
January 17, 1881, reaching within less than a month the great
age of one hundred and three years. The old homestead is now
occupied by William C. McConnell. He has been married
three times. His first wife was Harriet McCombs, by whom
he had six children—Sally, Olive, John T.,
William J., Charlie, Kittie H. After twenty-five years of
married life his wife died. He married for his second wife
Miss Sarah J. Simpson. By this marriage he had one
son, Clyde W. The mother died December 26, 1867, and he
again married Mrs. Eusebia Campbell, widow of Calvin
S. Campbell. She had one son by her former husband,
was born in Youngstown, Mahoning county, Ohio, August 21, 1802,
son of Josiah and Elizabeth (Newport) Robbins. Josiah
Robbins, Sr., settled in Youngstown township in 1799, on the
place now owned by James Smith, which he cleared
up and on which he lived until 1850. He was for many years a
justice of the peace and was a member of the Swedenborgian
church. He raised a family of four sons and four daughters, of
whom but two are living: Mrs. Matilda Cleveland,
of Niles, and Mrs. Eliza Heaton, of
Illinois. He died in 1855. Josiah, Jr., married in
1827 Maria, daughter of James Heaton. She
was born in 1806. To that marriage were born four sons, three of
whom are living. Mrs. Robbins died in 1835, and in
1836 Mr. Robbins married Electa, daughter
of Judge Ambrose Mason. She was born in Moriah,
Essex county, New York, January 28, 1815. By this marriage there
were born two sons and one daughter, all of whom are living.
Josiah Robbins, Jr., settled on the Heaton
homestead, now occupied by William B. Mason, in 1827. He
was engaged in the furnace business in connection with his
brother-in-law, Warren Heaton, for ten or twelve
years, until 1843, when he was elected to the State Legislature
for one term. He took an active part in the cause of temperance
and was a strong and influential anti-slavery man. His home was
frequently visited by that able and stalwart abolitionist,
Joshua R. Giddings, and furnished a refuge for fugitives
from slavery. He was engaged for many years in the lumber trade.
He was also engaged in farming, owning four hundred acres, upon
which the greater part of Niles is situated. In company with a
son and a Mr. Lawson, he erected a flouring mill
at Princeton, Illinois, in 1854, and one also in Chicago. During
the latter part of his life he was engaged in market-gardening,
which he followed merely as a pastime. He did much for the
improvement of Niles, building many of the principal buildings
there, including the post-office. He was postmaster for eleven
years', holding the position at the time of his death, which
occurred December 11, 1873, at the age of seventy-one years,
four months, and twenty days.
The DUNLAP FAMILY,
of which William Dunlap, Sr., was the first
representative in Trumbull county, were among the earliest
settlers here. William Dunlap, Sr., emigrated from
Washington county, Pennsylvania, to Poland township, then
Trumbull county, Ohio, about 1800. He afterwards purchased seven
hundred acres of land in Weathersfield, and moved to that
township about 1806. His sons settled around him on this tract.
He had a family of six sons and four daughters. He died in
Liberty township at the residence of his daughter, Mrs.
Carlton, at the age of about ninety-six. His son
William married Rachel Frazee, of Poland, and
lived on the farm, which is now occupied by the widow of the
late Stephen Dunlap, son of William, Jr.
William and Rachel Dunlap were the parents of
nine children, of whom three are yet living, to-wit: Rachel
(Lewis) and Perry in Lordstown, and Chauncy in
Vienna. Stephen Dunlap was born November 30, 1813,
in Weathersfield, on the farm, where he lived until his death
December 18, 1881. He married in 1840 Hannah McMullen,
of Brookfield, who was born in 1822. Mrs. Dunlap
still resides on the old Dunlap homestead. She has three
children, as follows: George in Wisconsin, B. F.
in New York city, and Emma at home.
ROBBINS was born in Youngstown, Ohio, December n, 1830.
He was the eldest of three sons of N. T. Robbins, who
settled on what is still the family homestead, in 1834. The two
younger sons are still living, T. N. in Niles, and J.
D. in Cleveland. B. B. Robbins was united in marriage
September 29, 1853, to Miss A. E. Carle, daughter of
Joshua and Margaret (Oliver) Carle, who was born in
Smithfield, Jefferson county, Ohio, on the 1st of March, 1834.
After their marriage they settled on the place where the family
still reside. Mr. Robbins was a farmer by
occupation and a successful and prosperous man. He was noted for
his benevolence and generosity. He died November 21, 1881. He
was the father of five sons and two daughters, six of whom are
living: George B., born September 2, 1854, a merchant of
Niles; Noble T., February 22, 1856, a graduate of the
Albany, New York, law school; Frank C., May 30,
1858, in trade with his brother George; Henry J.,
February 17, 1862, on the home place; Maggie N., January
30, 1865; Ollie K, April 17, 1868.
ABRAM VAN WYE
(deceased) was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, in 1797.
In 1819 he married Charity Laird and had a family of twelve
children, as follows: Charles, John, Lydia,
Catharine, Amanda, William, Joseph
W., Darthula W., Almyra S.,
and Sabina H., of whom six are living. In the spring of 1834 he
emigrated to Ohio and settled in Weathersfield township,
Trumbull county. His original purchase comprised one hundred and
fifty acres of land, but at the time of his death he owned four
hundred acres. He was well and favorably known throughout this
region. He died May 2, 1854, his wife surviving him about ten
years. Charles, the oldest son, who owns the family homestead,
was born March 28, 1820; married Miss Katie Draper, and has had
ten children — Abram, Elihu, William, George,
Charles, Alice May, John, Kit, and two unnamed, dying in
infancy. His first wife died in 1873, and he afterwards married
Rebecca Caldwell (her maiden name). No children by this
marriage. Joseph W., the fourth son, was born on the old
homestead in Weathersfield, April 16, 1837. In 1877 he married
Alia Troxel and has had one daughter—Almyra.
Mrs. Van Wye had
been previously married and had one son—Freddie. He purchased
the farm on which he now lives in 1872. He was in the war of
secession three months as member of company B, Eighty-fourth
Ohio volunteer infantry. Abram Van Wye was born in Weathersfield
township, November 19, 1845. He was in the service of his
country during the war of the Rebellion, a member of company C,
Nineteenth Ohio veteran volunteer infantry, and participated in
a number of severe engagements, among them the battles of
Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, etc., but came
through without a scar, and returned to peaceful pursuits. Mr.
Van Wye married Sarah Leach. They have three children, all
living—Warren, Frank, and Anna. William Van
Wye was born upon
the homestead farm July 7, 1850. He has always followed
farming, and now resides upon a portion of the old homestead. In
October, 1873, he married Maria E. Bolin, by whom he has one
child—Lizzie Bolin Van Wye.
JONATHAN WARNER was born in Sodus, Wayne county, New York,
February 10, 1808. When fifteen or sixteen years of age he went
to Oswego, where he was employed as a clerk in a store. He
afterwards returned to Sodus and engaged in mercantile business.
He was married November 22, 1829, to Eliza Landon, who was born
in Oneida county, New York, April 6, 1810. Mr. Warner continued
in business in Sodus until about the year 1843, when he removed
to Youngstown, Ohio, where he carried on the same business many
years. He afterwards engaged in the iron business, and with
Mr. Philpott built the first furnace at Brier Hill in that section,
and operated there some two years. A short time previous to the
war of 1861-65 he removed to Mineral Ridge, where he has since
resided. He had acquired large coal and iron interests at
Mineral Ridge, built two blast furnaces, and afterwards carried
on an extensive business there many years. He finally sold his
furnaces for a large figure, taking in part payment several
thousand acres undeveloped mineral lands in the Lake Superior
region. He organized the Republic Iron company, of Marquette,
Michigan, of which he was president several years, and in which
he is still a stockholder. Mr. Warner was the first to
discover th0 unprecedented richness of the mine originally
called Smith Mountain, and inaugurated the; movement for its
development. In 1872 he bought back his furnace at Mineral
Ridge. The panic came the next year, and proved disastrous to
his business, and he was compelled to make an assignment. He
subsequently went to North Carolina and leased a gold mine,
which proved unremunerative, and after remaining there a couple
of years he returned to Mineral Ridge, where he has since led a
substantially retired life. Mr. Warner's career has been one of
great activity, and he has done much for the material
development of the region in which he has lived. He has also
been a generous donor to moral and religious enterprises. Mr.
and Mrs. Warner are the parents of five children, who are all
living, as follows: Mrs. Myron I. Arms, of Youngstown;
Edwin J. and Jacob B., of Denver, Colorado; Charles M. and
William H., of Mineral Ridge.
ISAAC MARSHALL was among the early settlers of Weathersfield
township, where he purchased fifty-four acres of land. He was
born in 1785 and 1808 married Jane Megee, who was
born in 1784.
They had a family of four boys and five girls, as follows:
John, Benjamin, Huston, Miles, Sally, Betsey, Jane, Mary,
and Lucinda. Isaac Marshall died March, 1858, and his wife
September, 1868. He was drafted in the War of 1812 for three
JOHN MARSHALL was born March 14, 1810; married in March, 1836,
Mary A. Nelson, born October 5, 1813. Their children were
John Calvin, a son who died in infancy, Margaret
Jane, Sarah Samantha
(deceased), Electa Ann, and Linus Ida.
John Marshall attended
the pioneer schools of Weathersfield. The building was of the
rudest kind. It was built of round logs daubed with mortar; the
floors were laid down loose, a fire-place on one side, split
logs for benches, boards fastened onto pins driven into the
walls for writing desks, and windows of greased paper. Such is a
brief description of the earliest school-houses, and all the
schooling he ever got was obtained in such a house. There was no
church building in his township until as late as 1833.
GEORGE McCARTNEY, oldest son of
Andrew and Eleanor (Wilson) McCartney, was born in Liberty township, Trumbull county, Ohio,
September 7, 1811. His father was a native of Indiana county,
Pennsylvania ; came to Ohio first about 1806. He was then a
single man, and tended saw-mill at Mill creek for Judge
He married Eleanor, daughter of James Wilson,
of Youngstown township, and settled within one mile of where
Girard now is James Wilson, the father of Mrs.
McCartney, was one of the
earliest pioneers of Youngstown township. He was a Revolutionary
soldier, serving during the entire war. About three years after
his marriage Andrew McCartney removed with his family to Indiana
county, Pennsylvania, and occupied the old homestead nineteen
years. He then returned to Trumbull county and bought a
gristmill at Girard, and afterwards built a saw-mill, fulling-mill,
and carding machine, which he operated for many years. He was
made justice of the peace in Liberty township and served nine
years. He died March 30, 1858, in the seventy-fifth year of his
age. His wife survived him about ten years. They had six sons
and two daughters. George McCartney obtained his schooling in
the log school-house of those days. He was brought up to milling
and tended his father's mills until the building of the
Pennsylvania & Ohio canal necessitated the abandonment of the
grist-mill. He married first, March 22, 1836, Mary Eckman,
and continued to live at Girard. His wife died October 9, 1847,
leaving two daughters and one son—Elizabeth, wife of Jacob
Eleanor, wife of John Rush, of Girard, and
Andrew J. McCartney,
of Youngstown. May 25, 1848, Mr. McCartney married Mrs.
Mary Ann Brooks, who died December 10, 1851. He was married a third time
to Elizabeth Osborn, of Youngstown township, born in 1815, who
is still living. By this marriage one daughter was born—Mary L.,
now wife of Calvin Marshall. About 1839 Mr.
McCartney located on
the farm where he now lives. There was then but three acres
cleared and a small log cabin on the place. He has lived to see
a vast improvement in the appearance of the county, and is
enjoying the fruit of an active life.
CLEVELAND was born in Liberty township in 1803. February
24, 1830, he married Matilda, daughter of Josiah
and Elizabeth (Newport) Robbins,
born in Youngstown, December 31, 1804, and settled in Austintown township, where he cleared up a
farm, and where he lived until his death, which occurred in
1839. They were the parents of three children—Eliza L., wife of
Samuel Campbell, died in 1867; Albert A., a resident of
Youngstown, and at present engaged in mining in Colorado; Alice
M., wife of Hiram Ohl, of Niles. Mrs.
Cleveland removed to
Niles, where she lived nine years, and then returned to Austintown until 1872, when she again moved to Niles, where she
has since resided.
SAMUEL C. EDWARDS was born in Jefferson, Greene county,
Pennsylvania, March 30, 1811. His parents, John and
Jane (Rook) Edwards, removed with their family from Pennsylvania to Weathersfield township, Trumbull county, in June, 1823. In the
spring of 1830 he removed further north and purchased
fifty-seven and one-half acres at $2.50 per acre, which he
cleared up and improved. He died in February, 1855, aged seventy
years. His widow removed to Niles, and died at her son Samuel's
residence, at the age of eighty-nine years, six months, and
nineteen days. Of the eight children born to them five are still
living—Samuel C; John, who resides in Mecca; William, who
occupies the old homestead; George, who lives in West Geneva,
Michigan ; Mary Jane, wife of John Reel, living in Girard, Ohio.
Samuel was married March 15, 1839, to Miss Ann Jane Wilson, by
whom he had four sons and three daughters—James L., John F.,
George E., William G, Amanda, Esther, and Alice. Alice and
George are deceased. George lost his life February 3, 1881, by
an explosion in Ward's iron mill in which he was employed as
engineer. His first wife died August 23, 1854, and he afterwards
married the widow of Aaron Kingsley. They had seven
children—Mary, Martha, Luther, Phila A., William H. H., Sarah
S. J., and Franklin. Mr. Edwards has been during his life engaged
in different pursuits. While young he learned the shoemaker's
trade, but in later years he has given his principal attention
WILLIAM ARNOLD was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania,
November 30, 1802. He came to Weathersfield, Trumbull county,
Ohio, in the year 1827. He married Miss Catharine
Springfield township, Columbiana county, born in Beaver county,
Pennsylvania, in 1804. To Mr. and Mrs. Arnold were born two
children, James E., now residing in Iowa, and Mrs.
James McRoberts. Mr. Arnold purchased his farm, consisting of one
hundred and four acres, paying for it out of his earnings in a
sawmill, his wages being $9 per month, at the rate of $4 per
acre. He cleared up the farm, and occupied it until his death,
April 10, 1857. Mrs. Arnold is still living, making her home
with her daughter.
JOHN PARK, son of Elijah and
Margaret Park, was born in Wells,
Rutland county, Vermont, May 22, 1794. He was married December
5, 1816, to Miss Sophia Broughton, and has had a family of five
children, four sons and one daughter, named as follows: Samuel,
Cephas, John H., Rachel Ann, Servetus W., all born in Vermont
but the youngest, who was born in Moriah, New York. Mr.
removed from Vermont to Essex county, New York, where he resided
some five or six years, when he came to Ohio in the spring of
1831. He was accompanied by Jonathan Folsom, and with him
purchased five hundred and fifty-two acres in Weathersfield
township, near Niles. The tract was afterwards divided, our
subject getting one hundred and eighty-four acres off the south
part. He brought out his family in the fall of 1831. That
section was still quite new, the nearest post-office being
Hake's corners. His wife died January 3, 1854, and the following
year he married Miss Mary Ann Cline, by whom he had three
children, one son and two daughters— Mary, Seth, and
the children by his first marriage all are dead except Cephas,
John H., and Servetus. John H. occupies the
old homestead. He was married May 1, 1845, to Mary Weisell and had the following
children: Edwin, Minerva J. (dead),
Rachel A., Rebecca R., John, C. E., and Samuel H. Mrs.
Parks died June 14, 1880. Mr. Parks,
Sr., is still living in a pleasant home adjoining the homestead
at the advanced age of eighty-seven.
THOMAS B. WILSON, with a wife and five children, came from Perry
county, Pennsylvania, to Weathersfield, Trumbull county, Ohio,
in 1833. He was married in 1812, immediately on his return from
the war, and had a family of the following children: Margaret,
Anna, James, Mary, Caroline,
Rachel, and Elizabeth. He was a hatter by trade, but
did not follow it after coming to Ohio, but successfully pursued
farming until the time of his death, which occurred in April,
1869. His wife, whose maiden name was Agnes Thompson,
survived him, dying in June, 1878. The old homestead is owned
and occupied by their son James.
JACOB MAY was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, August 6, 1814.
He was brought up on a farm and has always followed farming as
an occupation. He moved to his present farm in Weathersfield
township, Trumbull county, in 1835, purchasing one hundred
acres. He now owns two hundred and ninety-three acres and is one
of the substantial farmers of the county; is the owner of
property in Niles and also in Girard. In September, 1834, he
married Miss Elizabeth Floor, and had a family of eleven
children, as follows: Samuel, Mary, Freeman, Daniel, Katie,
John, Zenas, William, Amanda and Lucy (twins)
and Lines, all living but Freeman.
H. H. MASON was born in Essex county, New York, January 3, 1819.
He came to Ohio in April, 1835, with his parents and settled
near Niles, Trumbull county. During the next four years he was
employed as clerk for William H. Goodhue and William
each a year and a half, and for Smith & McCombs one year. In
1839 he returned to Niles and engaged in mercantile business in
which he continued until 1864. August 16, 1880, he was appointed
postmaster at Niles, which position he still holds. His father,
Ambrose Mason, was the first incumbent of the office, appointed
in 1842, and as assistant to his father he distributed the first
mail received there. He was married, February 22, 1842, to Miss Adaliza T. Kingsley, and has six children, four sons and two
HIRAM T. MASON, third son of Ambrose and Jemima Mason, was born
in Essex county, New York, in 1816; came to Ohio with his
parents in 1835 ; married in 1839, Miss Margaret Cherry, by whom
he has had three sons and two daughters, as follows: A. C,
Albert H., Jesse E., Alice A, and Clara A. A. C.
and Alice are
deceased. A. C. died in the army during the Rebellion, and is
buried at Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was captain of company C,
One Hundred and Fifth Ohio volunteer infantry. Mr. Mason, our
subject, was elected county commissioner in 1861, and served six
years. He is a prominent member of the Disciples church, and has
been deacon in his church for twenty years and an elder for ten
JAMES WARD, Sr., was a native of Staffordshire, England. He came
to America in 1815, and in 1841 located at Niles, Trumbull
county, Ohio, and in company with his brother William, and
Thomas Russell, under the firm name of James Ward & Co., erected
the first rolling mill established at Niles, and in 1859 built
the first blast furnace. Mr. Ward was one of the most prosperous
and enterprising citizens of the Mahoning valley, and Niles
owes its growth and prosperity principally to him. He died in
1864. His widow, Eliza Ward, is still living, residing with her
son James. They had a family of seven children, of whom
Mr. James Ward, of Niles, is the only survivor, the well-known iron
manufacturer of Niles. He married Miss Elizabeth, daughter of
William H. Brown, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and has five
children, James, William H., Charles S., May
B., and Lizzie B.
E. J. OHL, druggist, Mineral Ridge, Trumbull county, was born in
Ohltown, Weathersfield township, Trumbull county, in 1847. He is
a son of Henry Ohl. When six years of age he went with his
parents to Allen county, Indiana, where his father engaged in
farming. At the age of fifteen and one-half years Mr. Ohl
enlisted as a private in the Thirtieth regiment of Indiana
volunteers. This regiment witnessed some hard engagements, among
which were the battles of Shiloh, Lookout Mountain, and at
Atlanta. January 1, 1863, Mr. Ohl's company went into the battle
of Stone River with thirty-one men, and twenty-one of these were
killed and wounded. His term of enlistment expired September 29,
1864, and he returned to Trumbull county. After four months he
enlisted in the One Hundred and Ninety-sixth Ohio volunteers,
and was commissioned second lieutenant of company K by Governor
Brough. The members of this company presented Lieutenant
with a fine gold watch in token of their esteem. When the war
closed he returned to Ohltown. In 1867 he engaged in mercantile
business in partnership with Andrew Ohl, at Mineral Ridge. In
1875 the store, of which he was the sole proprietor, being
destroyed by fire he engaged in farming for one year. He was
then appointed postmaster at Mineral Ridge, and still manages
the office in connection with the drug business. In 1875 Mr.
recruited a company of the Ohio National guard and was elected
captain. In 1877 he was appointed lieutenant-colonel, and 1880
colonel. Colonel Ohl has also held a number of local offices. In
1866 he married Sarah J. Herring, of Weathersfield township.
They have five children—Sadie Olive O., William Arthur,
Mary Ida, Harry Carlton, and Nellie Herring.
Mr. Ohl is one of the
charter members of the Mineral Ridge Independent Order of Odd
J. T. McCONNELL, merchant, senior member of the firm
Brothers, of Mineral Ridge, Trumbull county, is a son of William
C. and Harriet McConnell. He was born in Weathersfield township,
Trumbull county, in 1848. He began business with John Leavitt at
Mineral Ridge, under the firm name John Leavitt & Co., and
continued in this partnership about six years. In 1878 McConnell
Brothers bought out Mr. Leavitt and have since been in the
business. They have by far the largest and best furnished store
in the village, and their custom is constantly increasing. In
1876 Mr. McConnell married Fannie L. Church, of Canfield, by
whom he has two children, Freddie and Willie. He is a member of
the Niles Masonic lodge.
W. J. McCONNELL, junior partner in the above named firm, was
born in Weathersfield township in 1852, and began mercantile
life in 1878. In 1879 he married Jennie Jones, of Mineral Ridge,
and has one child, Blanche.
WILLIAM DAVIS, mayor
of Niles, Trumbull county, was born in Bilston, county of
Stafford, England, May 8, 1817. In early life be began to work
in a rolling-mill, and continued until he emigrated to America
in 1842. Landing in New York in June of that year, he proceeded
to Pittsburg and worked in a rolling-mill from 1842 to 1846. In
April, 1846, he moved to Franklin, Venango county, Pennsylvania,
and there held the position of guide-roller and nail-plate
roller until 1851, when he removed to Niles. Here he worked at a
heating furnace for James Ward & Co. In 1859 he became
superintendent of the mill, and continued in that capacity until
the death of James Ward, Sr., in 1865.
He then went to Youngstown to manage the mill of
Brown, Bonnell & Co. But having formed the
purpose of establishing a rolling-mill in Niles, in company with
George and James Harris, Mr.
Davis was released from his engagement, and the mill,
since bought by C. H. Andrews & Co., was erected and
operated by Harris, Davis & Co. Mr. Davis
continued a member of this firm until 1870, when he sold out. He
then bought William Fisher's boot and shoe store,
and was in that business about three years. October 4, 1872,
Mr. Davis was thrown from a buggy in Warren, and
received a compound fracture of his ankle, which compelled him
to use crutches for three years. Since 1876 he has been acting
as mayor of Niles, and is now serving his third term in that
office. In 1839 he married Mary Ann Jones,
a native of England, who still shares his home. They have ten
children living and two sons deceased. Names and residences:
John M., New Castle, Pennsylvania; William W.,
Canfield; James R., Jefferson C., Thomas R., Niles;
Alexander M. B., Youngstown; and Joseph M.,
Niles. Daughters: Mrs. Susie Wood and
Mrs. Sarah A. Spencer, Youngstown; Miss Lida
Ward Davis, Niles.
SEXTON SYKES, deceased, was a native of the State of Vermont,
born in 1809. He lived in New York State several years. When a
young man he came to Ohio and settled in Green township, now in
Mahoning county. He was elected the first recorder of deeds of
Mahoning county in 1846 and served two terms. He then went to
California and engaged in mining and keeping boarders. He died
in Placerville, California, in 1853. He was married in 1836 to
Rachel, daughter of David and Elizabeth Gilson, of Columbiana
county. She was born in 1809 and now resides in Canfield,
Mahoning county, where her home has been since 1846. She is the
mother of six children, all of whom are living, viz : Phebe,
Niles, Trumbull county; Melissa, married James Lowry, resides in
Boardman; Celestia, married James Shorten, resides in
Cincinnati; Robert, married Anna Mclntyre, lives in Holmes
county; Loretta, married Daniel Strickler, resides in Salem,
Columbiana county; and Raymond G., married Clara
in Niles, where he is engaged in the manufacture of iron
JOHN CARTER, proprietor of the Globe Foundry and Machine works,
Niles, Trumbull county, was born in Niles in 1853 and has always
resided in the place. When young he began work in the foundry
and machine shop of his father, Thomas Carter, and later
succeeded him in the management of his business. Mr. Carter is
doing a large and prosperous business.
E. I. MOORE, book-keeper at Russia Iron mills, Niles, Trumbull
county, was born in Niles in 1854, and is a son of Irwin
and Mary N. Moore. He was educated at Oberhn college. After
finishing his school work Mr. Moore acted as book-keeper and
then as cashier of a bank for five years; he then engaged in the
drug business in Niles in company with Dr. McKinley for one
year, then served one year in the bank. In 1879 he was engaged
as book-keeper for L. B. Ward, a position which he still holds.
WILLIAM SPILL was born in Thornbury,
England (spelled as in
history book), November 5, 1822, the oldest son of William
Spill, Sr., and Ann Brett. The family removed to Wales about
1837, where he worked as tallow-chandler. He was engaged as
superintendent of coal banks for some three years. He married in
1845, Jane Hanson, a native also of England, and has two sons
now living in Warren, George and Thomas. His first wife died in
1853. He married in 1859 Mary Williams, his present wife, born
in Wales in 1822. Mr. Spill came to this country in 1852 and to
Ohio in 1854, having lived for two years in Maryland.
He first located in Weathersfield township and engaged at his
old occupation, coal mining. In 1866 he removed to Mineral
Ridge, where, with his son George, he was engaged in
merchandising some twelve years. He removed to Warren in 1880
and has since lived a retired life.
DR. A. J. LEITCH, son of
Robert and Eliza Leitch, was born near
Belfast, Ireland, in 1848, and came to Niles, Trumbull county,
Ohio, with his parents in the spring of 1852. He adopted the
medical profession, and after a course of reading graduated from
the Cleveland Medical college in 1871. He commenced practice the
same year in Niles in partnership with Professor H. G. Landis,
of the Starling Medical college, Columbus, Ohio, with whom he
continued some four years. He then engaged in the drug business,
in which he was engaged until the fall of 1879, when he formed
a partnership in the practice of medicine with Dr. A. P.
McKinley, of Niles, the firm being McKinley & Leitch. February
17, 1881, he was united in marriage to Miss Ella M. Ward.
DR. F. CASPAR was born in Strasburg, France (now Germany), in
1816; came to the United States in the summer of 1831 and
located in New Lisbon, where he was educated. He studied
medicine with Dr. George McCook, of New Lisbon, and subsequently
attended lectures at the Jefferson Medical college,
Philadelphia. He commenced practice in 1840 at Petersburg, now
Mahoning county, and remained there until 1853 when he removed
to Canfield, where he was engaged in the practice of his
profession seven years. In i860 he removed to Niles, where he
has resided since. In 1839 he was married to Miss Mary
Ann Russell, daughter of William E. Russell, a former prominent
attorney of New Lisbon. Mrs. Caspar was born in Steubenville,
Ohio, in 1822. To this marriage six children were born, of whom
three sons and one daughter survive. Joseph Caspar, the father
of Dr. Caspar, was a soldier under Bonaparte, serving three or
(deceased) was born in Clarksville, Pennsylvania,
September 12, 1800. He married, November 26, 1829, Miss Hannah
M. Bowel, daughter of an early settler in Howland, the family
settling there about 1802. After his marriage he returned to his
home in Pennsylvania, but subsequently came to Ohio and
purchased a farm in Weathersfield township, Trumbull county,
where he located and reared a family of six children, named as
follows: Henry, Rebecca M., Mary, Charlotte, Jesse B.,
and Clara, wife of R. G. Sikes. Henry, Rebecca,
Mary, and Charlotte
are dead. Rebecca was twice married, first to James M.
by whom she had one daughter. Her second husband was Jerry
Mr. Lewis died October 24, 1859, and his wife September 28,
1864. Jesse B. Lewis was in the Union army in the war of
secession, and was wounded at Atlanta in the right arm, which
finally necessitated amputation. He married Miss Ella M.
Woodward, of Cleveland, by whom he had one child, Ella
died in infancy. His wife died August 13, 1872, and he was again
married January 1, 1874, to Miss Frances Lamphear, and has two
sons by this marriage, Warren S. and Raymond J. Mr.
Lewis occupies the old family homestead.
(deceased) was born in Ireland in 1804. In 1832 he married
Miss Mary McClure, by whom he had eight
James, John, and Georgiana, who were born
in Ireland, and
Caldwell, Mary Ann, Jordan, Helen,
Rachel, born in Mahoning county. In 1837 Mr.
McRoberts purchased a farm of fifty acres in Austintown
township, Mahoning county, where he made settlement. He removed
to Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, in 1852, where he resided
until his death, in 1863. His widow is still living, and resides
in New Castle, Pennsylvania. James, their eldest son,
married, October, 1858, Miss Laura M. Draper,
by whom he had four children, as follows: Ida, Alice,
Mary. His first wife died May 31, 1870, and he
subsequently married Miss
Isabella White. He was in the service during the
war of the Rebellion nine months. He now resides on the old
homestead near Niles.
SAMUEL H. STILLWAGON, only son of Josiah
and Jane Stillwagon,
was born in Butler county, Pennsylvania, in 1850. He came to
Weathersfield township, Trumbull county, Ohio, in 1865,! the
farm now owned and occupied by him being purchased by his uncle,
William Milford. June 11, 1872, he was married to
Miss Kittie Hake. They have had two children,
Freddie and Millie. The latter
died April 21, 1880. Mr. Stillwagon is the owner of two hundred
and eighty-five acres, the home place comprising nearly two
hundred. Himself and wife are members of the Disciples church.
His father died February 29, 1852. His mother still survives,
and resides with him.
JOHN R. THOMAS, manufacturer of fire-brick and iron, Niles,
Trumbull county, was born in Aberdale, county of Glamorgan,
South Wales, in 1834. In 1866 he emigrated to America. While in
Wales he was engaged in the manufacture of fire-brick, a
business which he has followed nearly thirty years. In 1866 Mr.
Thomas went to California, returned thence to Wales, and in 1868
came to Youngstown. He has since resided in that place and in
Niles. Mr. Thomas is connected with two of the leading
industries of Niles, being a member of the Thomas Furnace
company, and the Niles Firebrick company. In 1855 he married
Margaret Morgan, a native of Brynllor, county of Carmathen,
South Wales, and has five children living, viz: John M., of
Albany Law school, New York; Thomas E., William A, Margaretta
and Mary Ann, of Niles. Mr. Thomas is a member of the Masonic
order. In politics he has always been a Republican. He is one of
the successful and honored manufacturers of the Mahoning valley.
E. E. FERRIS was born in the town of Buckingham, Ottawa, Canada,
September 28, 1842. He came to Trumbull county, settling in Weathersfield township, in 1869. He married September 8, 1875,
Miss Savilla Moser, and purchased, where he now lives, in 1876.
He owns altogether one hundred and forty-four acres of land.
C. W. BRIEDER, hardware merchant, Niles, Trumbull county, was
born in New York city in 1849. When fifteen years of age he
began learning the printing business in Youngstown. This he
followed about three .years, and then began the hardware
business, which he still continues. In 1871 he moved to Niles.
In 1873 he married Lizzie L. Sheible, of Niles. Mr.
Brieder is a
member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
C. W. THOMAS, merchant, Niles, Trumbull county, was born at
Clark's Cove, near Pittsburg, in 1857. He has followed clerking
and dealing in merchandise. He was in business with his father,
D. C. Thomas, in Newburg, Ohio, in 1872-73. In
December, 1873, Mr. Thomas came to Niles and was
in business with his father until 1877, and has since been in
business for himself. In 1880 he married Miss F. E. Talbitzer, of Niles, by whom he has. one
S. A. RUSSELL, merchant, Niles, Trumbull county, was born in
Huron county, Ohio, in 1851. He was employed upon a farm until
eighteen years of age, then entered a grocery store in Elyria,
Ohio, as clerk, and remained three years. In 1873 he came to
Niles and learned the drug business, clerking for W. L. Gaston &
Co. Then for four years he clerked for James Crandon, grocer,
and in 1881 engaged in the same business for himself. In 1875 he
married Miss Lena Scheible, of Niles, and has two children—Leroy
and Hattie. He is doing a good business.
C. W. PORTER, druggist, Niles, Trumbull county, was born in Austintown township, Mahoning county, in 1850. In 1867 he
engaged in the drug business for E. A. Smith at Warren, and
continued there until 1871, then was in the same business in
Meadville, Pennsylvania, until 1874. In 1875 he began the same
business in Niles and still continues to follow it. Mr.
was married in 1879 to Miss Ella Leslie, of Niles. He is
prospering finely in his business.
FRED J. CHURCH,
merchant, Niles, Trumbull county, was born in Canfield, Mahoning
county, in 1854, son of Darius and Electa
Church, and a descendant of Nathaniel Church.
Mr. F. J. Church was educated in Canfield and at the age
of nineteen began the mercantile business with his father. In
1878 he removed to Niles and became a member of the firm
McConnell & Church. In 1880 this firm was
changed to Church & Coffee, who have the largest
store in Niles.
A. B. COOK, druggist, Niles, Trumbull county, Ohio, was born in Chardon, Geauga county, in 1856. His father, A. Cook, and his
grandfather followed the drug business. Mr. A. B. Cook commenced
working in his father's store in Chardon in 1871, and continued
until 1878, when he removed to Niles and began business in
partnership with his father under the firm name of Cook & Co.
Mr. A. B. Cook conducts the business and is successful. He was
married in 1881 to Miss Mary Wagstaff, of Niles.
HIRAM DUNLAP, fifth son of
James and Catharine Dunlap, was born
in Brookfield, Trumbull county, Ohio, in 1819. In 1848 he
married Miss Lydia Van Wye, the result of which union was three
children, one son and two daughters, as follow: James A., Emma
J., and Lydia C.— James being the only survivor. Mrs.
died September 7, 1854, and he married for his second wife Miss
Amanda Hartzell, by whom he had seven sons, viz:
Franklin H., Willie L., Edward H., Elmore W., Henry G.,
Thomas J., and Ferdinand C., all living but
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