township number seven in the first range - is situated in the
northeast corner of the county, adjoining the Ashtabula county
line on the north and the Pennsylvania line on the east.
On the south is the township of Vernon and on the west of
township of Gustavus. The township contains 16, 664 acres,
to which was annexed by the equalizing board 1,857 acres (lot
number eight, tract two) in the eleventh range, being a part of
the land on which the city of Akron is now located. The
first township line run by the surveyors began at the south line
of the reserve, five miles west from the Pennsylvania State
line, and deflected so much from a parallel line as to be nearly
five miles and a half from the State line at the lake shore,
which accounts for the extra six hundred and sixty-four acres.
The draft was made in 1798 and is known as draft number
eighty-one of that series. The requisite amount to make a
draft of a standard township was $12,903.23, and in this draft
was assigned as joint owner in this township and in other lands
drawn in other drafts. In the division of the Kinsman and
Perkins interest Mr. Kinsman took this township and
Major Perkins the Akron and other lands. Mr.
Kinsman also purchased the interests of Joseph Coit
and Uriah Tracy, who was then a United States Senator
FEATURES, STREAMS, SOIL, TIMBER.
While the settlement of the township will date from the
improvements made by Messrs. Kinsman and Reeve,
above mentioned, Martin Tidd and his son-in-law, James
Hill, and David Randall are regarded as the first
permanent settlers, since they were the first to take up their
abode with their families, which they did in the spring of 1802,
Mr. Kinsman having made a contract with them to this effect
the previous fall.
In April the three families left Youngstown together,
with two teams and wagons. There was probably a good
natured strife between the Tidd party, who occupied one
wagon, and Randall, as to who should first arrive upon
the ground, but an accident happening to Randall, his
wagon breaking down at Smithfield (now Vernon), he was detained
there over night. Tidd and family, with Hill
and wife, proceeded to Kinsman, and thus bore off the honors of
being the first permanent settlers. Tidd settled on
the hill north of the Seth Perkins farm, getting one
hundred acres in exchange for sixty acres in Kinsman.
Randall located on the Seth Perkins farm.
Tidd and Randall were originally from the Wyoming
valley, Pennsylvania. The former lived a short distance
below the settlement of Wyoming at the time of the massacre, his
house occupying a high bluff on the banks of the Susquehanna
river. His house is said to have been used as a
block-house, and during the massacre afforded a place of safety
for many of the inhabitants in the vicinity. After
removing from Wyoming he went to Westmoreland county. In
1798 he came to Youngstown with his family and nephew,
Captain Hillman, where he lived until his removal to
Kinsman. Tidd possessed the true spirit of the
pioneer, though he continued to live in Kinsman until his death,
yet he was restless during the progress of settlement and
improvement of the country, and was only prevented from "moving
on" by reason of his advanced age and out of deference to the
wishes of his children, who did not inherit his pioneer spirit.
He died at an advanced age.
Randall moved from Pennsylvania down on the Ohio
river, settling near Marietta, Washington county, whence he came
to Youngstown in 1800. In his frequent removals from place
to place he acquired an extensive acquaintance with the Indians,
with whom his dealings were always characterized by such
exceptional kindliness and honesty as to invariably win their
confidence and good will. At the time of the McMahan
difficulty at the salt spring, elsewhere related, he went with
Captain Hillman to visit the Indians, and endeavor to
prevent the retaliatory measures which they seemed determined to
inflict upon the whites.
Randall lived but a short time on the Perkins
farm, removing to the farm which in 1806 he exchanged with
John Allen for land in Ashtabula county. He resided
in Ashtabula but a short time, returning to Kinsman and locating
on Stratton creek. He continued to live in Kinsman until
advanced in life, when he removed to Michigan, where he died at
the age of seventy-two.
As a result of the contract Mr. Kinsman and
Ebenezer Reeve, previously mentioned, the latter exchanged
his land in Norwich, Connecticut, for land in Kinsman, and in
1802 moved out with his two daughters, Deborah and
Hannah, and erected a log house opposite the site of the
Sutliff frame house, where he lived until 1807. In
that year he built a two-story frame house in front of where the
house of Wayne Bidwell was afterwards built. This
was the first two-story frame house erected in Kinsman.
Here Mr. Reeve spent the rest of his life.
Besides those already mentioned a few families settled
in 1802. Paul Rice and his mother settled on land
which subsequently became the Webber farm.
Alexander Clark began operations upon his farm.
Urial Driggs located east of Driggs' hill.
In 1803 Captain Charles Case came into the
township, and assisted in tending the Kinsman saw-mill. He
was accustomed to give singing lessons, free of charge, and
gained considerable popularity thereby. He removed to
Williamsfield, and died there.
The same year settlements were made as follows:
William Tidd, John Wade, John Little, Walter Davis, Isaac
and John Matthews - with whom their sister Betsy
lived - Robert Laughlin, Peter Yeoman, George Gordon Dement,
George Matthews, Joseph McMichael, Joshua Budwell, and his
son Henry, and William Knox settled in the
township. Several of these men and single. John
Murray, a carpenter and a single man, arrived and lived with
In July, 1804, after a journey of seven weeks,
John Kinsman and family arrived in the township. His
family then consisted of himself and wife and four children -
John, Joseph, Sally, and Olive. Accompanying
him were several persons whom he had engaged to assist him in
erecting a house and other buildings for his family. In
this party of settlers were Chester Lewis and family,
also his mother-in-law, Mrs. Manning, and her son
Samuel. Lewis drove an ox team loaded with household
furniture and farming implements. Mr. Kinsman came
with a number of teams. On his way he bought a stock of
goods, and placed them in charge of Joseph Coit, who came
out to act as clerk in the store. Louisa Morse,
afterward the wife of Isaac Meacham, and Eunice Morgan,
afterward Mrs. John L. Cook, came with the company; also
Cook and Jahazel Lathrop, carpenters.
In 1804 Plumb Sutliff settled on the creek, but
moved to a farm on the center road a year later, where he died,
in 1834, aged eighty-three. He married, the year of his
settlement, Deborah Reeve, of Kinsman.
William Scott settled on the ridge in 1804.
Deacon William Matthews settled during the same
year. He was a Revolutionary soldier. In 1808 he was
appointed justice of the peace. Deacon Matthews was
one of the most earnest of working Christians, and was largely
instrumental in promoting the cause of religion in the new
settlement. He was always in attendance upon the religious
meetings Whatever the weather and frequently conducted the
services, as clergymen were seldom in the township during its
Thirty families comprised the inhabitants of the
township in 1805, together with twenty or thirty young unmarried
men, and twelve or fifteen young women, who were single.
Some of the settlers whose names have not yet been mentioned
were John Neil, Thomas, John, and William Gillis,
Stephen Splitstone, Captain William Westby and his sons,
James, John, and Ebenezer, William and Andrew
Christy, Thomas Potter, Leonard Blackburn, David and Elam
John Allen, of Norwich, Connecticut, came to the
township in 1806. The Allen family has played an
important part in the affairs of this township.
David Brackin, a native of Ireland, located in
this township in 1806. The same year came John Andrews.
He married Hannah, the youngest daughter of
Ebenezer Reeve, to whom eight children were born.
Mr. Andrews was born in Connecticut, in 1782, and died at
the age of eighty-one. About 1812 he engaged in business
as a merchant. He was a useful member of society, and a
warm supporter of schools and churches. As early as 1825 a
boarding school in Kinsman grew up under his patronage, and ten
years later, at his house, built for such a purpose, a female
boarding school was opened and successfully conducted until
Jesse Meacham came from Hartland, Connecticut,
in 1806, Lester Cone in 1807, Peter Lossee in
1808, Jairus Brockett in 1809, Michael Burns in
1808, Ira Meacham in 1812, Joshua Yeomans in 1814,
Obed Gilder in 1815, Ebenezer Webber, John Yeomans,
Simon Fobes, and others later.
SCHOOLS AND SCHOOL BUILDINGS.
NOTES ON SETTLEMENT.
CHARLES BURNHAM, oldest son
of Jedediah Burnham, (a sketch of whom is given
elsewhere) and Sophia Bidwell, was born in Kinsman, Ohio,
Mar. 17, 1817. He remained at home until 23 years of age,
and in his younger days was engaged in clerking in Kinsman and
elsewhere. He purchased the place where he still resides,
the old Ford place, in 1853. He was married June 1st of
the same year, to Elizabeth A. Galpin, daughter of
Elnathan Gilpin, born in 1825. They have three
children, as follows: Abbie S., born Mar. 15, 1857;
Lizzie G. Feb. 19, 1859; Charles B., Feb. 20, 1861
to 1865, and was elected again the latter year, but declined to
serve; has also served as assessor three terms. His
brother Thomas was a soldier in the Union army in the
Rebellion, and was killed at Kershaw mountain, Georgia.
LYMAN P. ANDREWS
ALLEN W. GILLIS
T. B. SCOTT
JOHN S. ALLEN
JOHN W. McCURDY
CHARLES B. WEBBER
JAMES W. STORIER
WILLIAM B. EDWARDS
L. A. COLE
J. M. KING
JAMES J. CHRISTY
ISAAC T. ALLEN
WILLIAM A. THOMAS
L. W. ROBERTS
GEORGE H. NICKERSON
WILLIAM R. CHRISTY
JOHN M. ALLEN
ALBERT W. MATTHEWS
DAVID S. GILLIS
A. H. PORTER
MRS. HARRIET B. PARKER
MRS. RHODA SPENCER
DR. LUMAN G. MOORE 315
LYMAN ROOT 315
DANIEL C. CLINGINSMITH 315
CAPTAIN E. C. BRIGGS 315
WAYNE BIDWELL 316
J. W. CHASE 316
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