OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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Welcome to
TRUMBULL COUNTY,  OHIO
History & Genealogy

Source:
 History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties, Ohio
Published:  Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bros.
VOLUME I
1882

CHAPTER X.
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP
Pg. 384

 

RONGIIAL OWNERS

     Peter Chardon Brooks, of Boston, was the proprietor of large tracts of land in this portion of the Reserve and this township was held by him until 1814.  He then sold it to Ephraim Brown, of Westmoreland, New Hampshire and Thomas Howe of Williamstown, Vermont.  Although the purchasers were of nearly the same age, Howe was Brown's uncle and the playmate of his boyhood.  It is said that the first business transaction between the two took place when the uncle and the nephew were both less than ten years of age, and was of a most unique nature.  Howe rented a hen of Brown for the season, and, at the expiration of the time agreed upon, returned her with half her chickens.  Two or three years after purchasing the township, Howe sold out to Brown, reserving one thousand acres in the southern part.

SURVEY.

 

THE FIRST SETTLER.

     LEMAN FERRY, of Brookfield, Vermont, started for his new home in the western wilds about the 10th day of January, 1815, and reached his destination about the 20th of February following.  He started with two teams, one a sled drawn by two yoke of oxen, the other a sleigh drawn by a span of horses.  The teams conveyed his household goods and his family.  Mr. Ferry was accompanied by his hired man, Mrs. Ferry was accompanied by his hired man, Mrs. Ferry, and two sons and three daughters.  When west of Buffalo it was found impracticable to proceed further with the ox-sled on account of the scantiness of snow.  Therefore Mr. Ferry exchanged the sled for a wagon and continued his journey, but kept the sleigh along, the horses dragging it over bare ground much of the way.  He entered this township from the northward guided journey.  There was then no house between Rome center and Bristol township, and no road    ...............MORE TO COME UPON REQUEST

[pg. 386]
 

 

EARLY SETTLERS.

     The spring and summer after Mr. Ferry's settlement a number of others came and began improving their farms, and a few brought their families during that year.  In the spring of 1815 Willard Crowell, Israel Proctor, Samuel Eastman, and David Comstock came to this township from Vermont on foot.

     EPHRAIM BROWN, from Cheshire county, New Hampshire, was one of the first settlers and most prominent citizens.  He settled at the center in 1815, in a log cabin built a short time previously by Major Howe.  The site of the cabin is now covered by the residence of his son, E. A. Brown.  Ephraim Brown married Mary B. Huntington, and at the time of their arrival in the township their family consisted of four children; five were afterwards born to them.  The names of the children were Ephraim Alexander, George W., Mary, Charles, Elizabeth H., James M., Marvin H., Fayette, and Anne F.  E. A. Brown now resides upon the old homestead.  He was in business in Pittsburg from 1829 to 1845, principally as a wholesale dry goods merchant.  George W. died in Bloomfield;  Mary (Wing) still lives in the township as also Elizabeth; Charles died in Georgia in 1880; James died in Massillon; Marvin resides in Painesville, and Fayette in Cleveland, Annie F. in Bloomfield.  Ephraim Brown died in 1845, and his widow in 1862.  Mr. Brown was the first postmaster, the first merchant, and the second justice of the peace.  With Major Howe, and Judge Austin, of Austinburg, he was among the originators of the Warren and Ashtabula turnpike.

     LEWIS CLISBY was the second settler at the center, arriving soon after Mr. Brown.

     JARED KIMBALL

     DAVID COMSTOCK

     AMASA BIGELOW, a brother of Mrs. Leman Ferry, settled near Ferry in1816.  His son Elijah made the first improvements upon the place.  The four sons were Daniel, Timothy, Amasa, and ElijahAmasa and Elijah did not reside permanently in Bloomfield.  Daniel and Timothy passed their lives here.  One daughter, Jemima, married John Weed.

     SAMUEL EASTMAN was an early settler in the northern part of the township west of the turnpike.  He married Sophia Meecham, of Greene township.  He was a most eccentric character.

     JARED AND CYRIL GREEN came to the township

[Pg. 387]
in 1815, and settled on lot forty-six.  Jared was then unmarried.  Cyril married Polly Sherman and she came with him.  Cyril lived until 1874, when he died in his eighty-first year.  He was favorably known as an enterprising, public-spirited man.  Two years after the arrival of Jared and Cyril Green, their father, Jared Green, came out and settled.  Besides the two above mentioned, his sons were Charles, Noah, Marcus, and Archibald.  Charles returned East; Jared, Jr., moved north; Archibald is still a resident of the township.  One daughter, Julia (Whitcomb) moved away.
     In 1817 THOMAS HOWE, of Williamstown, Vermont, brought his family to this township, and settled in the southern part on lot eighty-five.  He was born in Westmoreland, New Hampshire, in 1799, and in early life was a merchant.  He carried on that business successfully a number of years in Williamstown.  His wife, Clarissa, was born in Woodstock, Connecticut.  Both were esteemed and honored throughout their lives.  They had five children, all born in Vermont- Clarissa (Wilder), Thomas M., Dr. George W., Nancy (Green), and William H.  Thomas M. and Mrs. Green are dead.  The others all reside in Bloomfield.  There was not a death in the Howe family until the youngest child was forty-six years old.  Thomas M. lived in Pittsburg, and represented his district in Congress several terms.  Dr. George W. has been a Representative to the Legislature, following in the footsteps of his father, and has held other honorable positions.

     HEZEKIAH HOWE came from Vermont in company with Asa Works, in 1817, and settled on lot sixty-five, where he still lives.  He is now in the ninety-sixth year of his age.  None of his sons now reside in the township.

     ASA WORKS settled in 1817, where his only son Nelson now resides, on lot sixty-four.

     AARON SMITH, about 1816, settled in the south of the township.  Soon after his arrival he built a frame house, the first in the township.  It is still standing, but has been removed to Bristol.  Mr. Smith's only child, a daughter, married Leonard Osborn and lives in Michigan.

     MAYHEW CROWELL settled about a half a mile north of the center in 1815.  His wife, Mehitabel (Howe) Crowell, died Sept. 20, 1817, being the first death in the township.  Her daughter, Harriet was the first child born in the township.  The Crowell family included five sons, and three daughters, who arrived at mature years.  All are now dead.  Their names were as follows: Willard, Obadiah, Henry, Thomas, Roswell, Mehitabel (Bellows), Mercy and Mary (Butler).  Charles Thayer settled in the northwest of the township about the year 1816.  None of the family now remain in Bloomfield.  One son, Hiram, resides in Bristol.

     JOHN BELLOWS, about the same time, located one mile northwest of the center.  One of his sons, Dr. Bellows, now resides in Michigan.  William moved to Chagrin Falls.  None are left here.  The elder Mr. Bellows engaged in brickmaking quite early.  His brother Benjamin resided a while in this township.

     MR. PROCTOR

     NOYES PARKER

     This, we believe, about completes mention of the Vermont families who made the early settlement.
     Later, a number of English families established homes in the township.   This class now forms more than half the population.  They are industrious thrifty, and excellent citizens.
     Mr. William Haine was among the first of the English settlers of the township, and still resides here.

ORGANIZATION OF FIRST OFFICERS.

 

[Pg. 389]
 

 

 

ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS.

 

TREED BY WOLVES.

 

TRAPPING A BEAR.

 

[pg. 389]

 

 

PRACTICAL JOKING

 

HOWE'S DOG ARGUS.

 

RESCUE OF SLAVES

     As the people of Bloomfield were returning home from church one quiet Sabbath afternoon in the month of September, 1823, a negro with a woman and two children was seen on the turnpike.  They appeared nearly worn out with much travel and almost ready to lie down and die.  Those who saw them supposed, of course, that they were fugitive slaves, but communicated their suspicions to no one.  About dark three men, the slave-owner, his son, and an attendant, rode up to the door of the tavern in the village, and inquired if the negroes had been seen.  They were informed that they had gone on a short distance.  The landlord advised the strangers to tarry with him all night, as they could easily overtake the objects of their pursuit in the morning.  Having traveled very far that day and being much wearied, they consented.  The slave-hunters retired early, asking the landlord to call them as early as possible in the morning.  When it became known in the village that slave-hunters were at the tavern, the greatest excitement prevailed.  The will to have the negroes escape was strong, and 'Squire Brown, hacked by the public sentient of almost the entire community devised a plan to effect this result.  He sent his covered wagon and a party of willing men, under cover of darkness, to overtake the runaways.  About twelve miles from Bloomfield, in Rome, Ashtabula county, they learned that the objects
[pg. 390]
of their search had been secreted in a certain house.  They rode up to it, and on making known their object to its owner, were repulsed and ordered off his premises.  Considerable expostulation and explanation ensued before he could be made to understand that their mission was a friendly one.  But when satisfied of the sincerity of their intentions he allowed the Bloomfield men to take the negro family into the wagon.  They then conveyed them south a short distance to a tavern kept by a Mr. Crowell, with a barn standing back of it in a field.  Into this barn the wagon was driven and the doors securely closed.
     Now let us go back to the Bloomfield tavern.  Morning dawned, but for some inexplicable(?) reason the landlord and his family were not awake as soon as usual.  In fact, the first to awake and arouse the household was the slave-owner.  The landlord apologized; didn't know when such a thing as his oversleeping had happened before; said he was much ashamed of himself; and so on.   He tried to dress, but one boot was missing.  After much search it turned up in some unusual place.  Then he proceeded to the barn; the door was locked and he had left the key in the house.  Back to the house and then to the barn; the key didn't fit, and much time was wasted in unlocking the door.  At length this was accomplished, and the horses were led out.  Another discovery - each animal had lost a shoe and besides the hoof of one of them was badly broken.  The owners thought the shoes of the horses were all right the night before; at least they had not noticed that any were missing.  But they were missing now - that was evident, and the services of the village blacksmith were required before the impatient Virginians could proceed on their journey.  Mr. Barnes, the smith, was not at his shop, and it required some time to hunt him up.  Usually he was at his post early - a model of promptness.  After he was found he had trouble in unlocking the door, and succeeded poorly in making a fire.  He had not a nail in his shop, and used his last shoes in a job which he did the previous Saturday evening.  Nails and shoes had to be made, but the blacksmith appeared in no hurry.  At last the horses were shod, and about 9 o'clock the slave hunters started off.  About noon they drove up to the tavern in front of the barn where the wagon and the fugitives were.  Through the cracks in the barn the happy negro family saw their pursuers start on.   A little later the covered wagon emerged from its hiding place and returned to Bloomfield.  Under the direction of 'Squire Brown a shelter for the fugitives had been prepared - a rude camp constructed between the roots of two upturned trees.  Here the negroes remained being supplied with food by the kind-hearted people of Bloomfield until all danger was past.  Then there were brought to a log cabin near the center, where they resided for some time, the man being employed by 'Squire Brown.  At length they were put on a vessel at Ashtabula harbor and reached Canada in safety.
     When the slave-hunters returned to Bloomfield, after a fruitless search north of this place, they were arrested on a warrant charging them with having run a toll-gate north of Warren.  Supposing that the objects of their pursuit would take the State road to Painesville instead of continuing on up the pike, they had paid toll only to the former road.  They were fined five dollars each and costs.  The village tavern-keeper refused to admit them, or to feed their horses.  Some malicious mischief-maker removed the hair from the tails and mains of the horses while the owners of the team were at 'Squire Kimball's house, and pinned to one of the saddles a notice containing the following lines:

Slave-hunters, beware!
For sincerely we swear
That if again here
You ever appear,
We'll give you the coat
Of a Tory to wear.

     This slave rescue was the first of a series of similar acts in which prominent citizens of Bloomfield took an active part.  After the underground railroad was put in operation, it received sympathy and support fro the good people of this region.  Though there was hostility to the Abolitionists, and though liberal rewards were offered for the return of slaves to their owners, there never was, so far as known, an instance in which a runaway was betrayed.

EARLY EVENTS.

     The first Child born in this township was Harriet Crowell.  The first male child was Charles Thayer.
     The first death was that of Mrs. Mehitabel
[pg. 391]
Crowell, in 1817; the second, that of Mrs. Hannah Brown, Apr. 28, 1818.
     The first marriage ceremony was performed by Lyman Potter, Esq., of Bristol, in uniting John Weed and Jemima Bigelow.
     The first sermon was preached by Mr. Cole, missionary, in Ferry's cabin in 1815.  Mr. Badger, Congregationalist, preached soon after.  The first sermon by a Methodist minister was preached in 1817 by Rev. Ira Eddy, in Mr. Thayer's house.  Before any church was organized persons of different denominations united in holding meetings, where professors of religion offered prayer, and in the absence of a minister sermons were read and hymns were sung by those attending.

MILLS.

 

THE FIRST STORE.

 

THE VILLAGE HOTEL.

 

THE POST-OFFICE.

 

EARLY SCHOOLS.

 

REPRESENTATIVES.

     This township has sent the following men to the Legislature in the order named:  Thomas Howe, 1819; Ephraim Brown, Augustus Otis, George W. Hoe, and J. K. Whig.  Some of them served several terms.

PHYSICIANS.

 

 

[pg. 392]
 

 

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

 

THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.

 

THE DISCIPLES' CHURCH.

 

 

[pg. 393]

 

 

 

 

THE CEMETERY.

     The chief burying place in this township is the cemetery near the center.  One acre of ground was given to the township by 'Squire Brown, and additional ground has since been purchased.  The cemetery is a beautiful spot, thickly shaded by evergreens and other ornamental trees.  Interments were made at an early day, and here repose the pioneers, their life struggles ended.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
     Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool, sequestered vale of life
     They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

In the northern part of the township, a small piece of land was purchased and laid out as a graveyard.  But few interments have been made here.

TOWNSHIP DIRECTORY.

     Bloomfield center:  stores, William C. Savage, D. W. Smith, and J. W. Haine.  Post-office, George W. Howe.  Harness shop, R. Welchman.  Manufacturer of wind-mills, H. F. Headley.
    
Cheese factories:  Center Brook factory, center, Kincaid & Little.  Clover Hill factory, north part of the township, George E. Haine.
     Steam saw-mills:  Russell & Ackley, east of the center, and A. Canfieldin the north.
     Hay-bailing:  Steets & Davis, eat of the center.

MASONIC.

 

[pg. 394]
 

 

SCHOOLS.

 

ROAD AND RAILROAD FACILITIES.

 

THE SWAMP.

 

SETTLEMENT NOTES.

     JOHN SMITH

     DWIGHT SMITH

     HON. THOMAS HOWE

     DR. G. W. HOWE

     WILLIAM H. HOWE

     ASA WORKS

 

[pg. 396]

 

     WILLIAM HAINE

     JOHN SAGER was born Apr. 12, 1810, in Bristol township.  His father, William, was an early settler in Trumbull county.  Mr. John Sager spent his entire life in Bristol and Bloomfield townships.  He came to the latter in 1835 and settled upon the farm where his widow and daughter now live.  The farm was formerly owned by George Norton.  The many improvements now apparent have all been made by Mr. Sager.  He was married Apr. 12, 1835, to Miss Louisa Moffat, daughter of Hosea Moffat, of Bristol township.  She was born July 11, 1816, in Orleans county, New York.  They have had seven childrenóMary, Martin, Sarah, Albert, Edwin, Sophronia, and EllaMr. Sager died Apr. 2, 1881.  Martin was killed at Malvern Hill, Virginia, July 28, 1864.  He was in company A, Sixth Ohio cavalry.  Sophronia died Dec. 20, 1850.  Ellen died May 29, 1871.  Mr. John Sager was a member of the Disciple church, also Mrs. Sager and children.

     ISRAEL O. PROCTOR

     JOSEPH KNOWLES WING

[ PORTRAIT OF EPHRM BROWN ]

[ PORTRAIT OF MARY __ BROWN ]

 

[pg. 397]

 

     WILLIAM C. SAVAGE

     ARTHUR V. CROUCH

     ALEX. WRIGHT

    

[pg. 398]

 

     L. WELLINGTON MEARS

    

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

EPHRAIM BROWN

HENRY CROWELL

 

 

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NOTES:

 

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