OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

A Part of Genealogy Express
 

Welcome to
TRUMBULL COUNTY,  OHIO
History & Genealogy

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

CHAPTER XVIII.
MESOPOTAMIA TOWNSHIP
Pg. 492

INTRODUCTORY

     This is the northwestern township of Trumbull county, bounded on the north by Windsor, Ashtabula county, east by Bloomfield, south by Farmington, and west by Middlefield, Geauga county. The surface is more variable than that of most townships in the northern part of the county, east of the center being low, moist land, while the western and northwestern portions are high, arable land, composed mostly of a succession of hills and ridges of moderate elevation.  The soil of Mesopotamia is fertile and well adapted to grazing.  It is also the best wheat land in this part of the country.  The soil, like the surface, varies much.  The Grand River valley is sandy and clayey. The western portion of the township has but little clay on the surface, and sandy and gravelly loam predominates.
     The principal water-course is the Grand river, which crosses a small corner of the southeastern part of the township, and after continuing its windings through Bloomfield, again enters Mesopotamia north of the center road, and pursuing a northerly course, passes out a short distance from the northeast corner of the township.  Grand river is only a small stream in dry weather, but when it and its branches are swollen by rains it inundates a wide territory. Swine creek, Plum creek, and Mill creek are the principal streams flowing into the river.  The two former drain the western and southern portions of the township, uniting in one stream about a mile and a half south of the east and west center road, and thence flowing northward about three miles, where they join the river.  A short distance below the mouth of Swine creek, Mill creek enters the river from the northwest.  Numerous springs and small creeks supply an abundance of water for stock, and the fertile meadows are excellent pasture lands for the same.
     The only village in the township is at the center, and is about the size of the average "center" throughout the county.

FIRST OFFICERS

     At a meeting held in the district of Troy the 7th day of April, 1806, the following officers were chosen:  Otis Guild, chairman; Hezekiah Sperry and Jonathan Higley judges of election:  Ephraim Clark, township clerk; William Cox, Gager Smith and Jonathan Higley, trustee; S. D. Sackett and Abraham Daily, overseers of the poor; Griswold Gillette and Alpheus Sperry, fence viewers; Isaac Clark, appraiser and lister; Timothy Alderman, appraiser; Joseph Alderman, Jr., Amadeus Brooks and William Reed, supervisors of highways; Griswold Gillette and Samuel Forward, constables; Ephraim Clark, treasurer.
     After Mesopotamia became independent an election was held at the center school-house on the 5th day of April, in the year 1819, and the following officers elected, namely: Otis Guild chairman; Zimri Baker and Moses Bundy, judges of election; Addison Tracy, clerk; Luther Frisby, Moses Bundy, and Elisha Sanderson, trustees; Reuben Joslin and Job Reynolds, overseers of the poor; John Sanderson and Amadeus Brooks, fence viewers; Lucius Frisby, appraiser and lister; Linus Tracy, appraiser; Matthew Laird, Job Reynolds, Zimri Baker, Noble Strong, Levi Pinney, Anson Hatch, and Guien Crawford, supervisors; Lucius Frisby, constable; Luther Frisby, treasurer.

OWNERSHIP

     This township was owned principally by Pierpont Edwards of New Haven, Connecticut, and his son, Colonel John Stark Edwards, acted as agent for its sale.  After the death of the latter in 1813, Seth Tracy acted in that capacity.

SETTLEMENT.

     The first settlers of this township came mainly from Connecticut. Some five or ten years after their arrival a few Pennsylvania families came in.  At the time of the War of 1812 there were about a dozen families in Mesopotamia.  The growth of the township was slow, and not until after 1820 was there any considerable addition to the number of settlers.  The village was also built up very gradually.

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     PIERPONT EDWARDS, owner of the township, through his son, John Stark Edwards, offered to give one hundred acres of land to each of the first five men who should purchase land, bring their families to this township and reside here a certain number of years (probably five); and to each of the first five single men who came and resided a like period he would give fifty acres.  John S. Edwards visited the township in 1799, and put forth this offer on his return to Connecticut.  He thenceforth resided upon the Reserve a portion of each year up to the time of his death (1813).  From 1800 to 1804 his home was in Mesopotamia.  Mr. Edwards was a graduate of Princeton college.  From 1800 to 1813 he was recorder of Trumbull county.  Among those who, as the heads of families, first settled in Mesopotamia were: Hezekiah Sperry, Otis Guild, Joseph Noyes, Joseph Clark, and Seth TracySperry, Guild, and Tracy remained permanently, and in due time came into possession of the hundred-acre gifts.  What other settlers received premiums is no longer certain.

     In the fall of 1800, HEZEKIAH SPERRY, his son Alpheus and his daughters, Martha and Cynthia, moved in, being the first family.  He built the first cabin, on lot twenty-nine.  The following year he returned to Woodbridge, Connecticut, his former home, and brought out his wife and the rest of his children.  His cabin was situated upon the present Woodruff farm.  His family consisted of four sons and nine daughters.  Seven of the daughters lived to marry.  The sons were: Alpheus, Hezekiah, Elias, and Lucius, all of whom lived and died in Mesopotamia.  Lucius never married.  The three others reared families, and some of their descendants are still in the township.  Captain Sperry died in 1833, aged eighty-eight.  His wife died in 1827.

     The second arrival was that of OTIS and LOIS GUILD and their family.  They came from Sharon, Connecticut, to the Reserve in 1800, and after about one year's residence, came to Mesopotamia, and located on lot forty-one, near the center of the township.  They had eight children, seven of whom grew to manhood and womanhood.  Two sons and one daughter are still living.  The names of the children were Jerusha, Oliver, Jairus, Albert, Charlotte, Oswin, Aurelia, first, and Anrelia, second.  The youngest youngest daughters died, one at the age of two, and the other at the age of eighteen.  The three now living are Oswin, and Mrs. Charlotte Sheldon, Mesopotamia, and Dr. Albert Guild, Boston.

     SETH TRACY took up seven hundred acres of land in lots lying near the center.  On the four acres first cleared the first orchard in the township was set out about the year 1806, in rows exactly two rods apart each way.  Most of the trees are still living.  They were procured from Detroit by David Barrett, who made a nursery on Mr. Tracy's land, and cultivated it until the trees were large enough to be planted in an orchard.  Seth Tracy was the first justice of the peace in this section, and a very active man in his day.  He died in 1827 at the age of seventy, and his

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wife when eighty-five.  The family consisted of seven children, the youngest of whom was born in Mesopotamia: Clarissa, Pamelia, Sabrina, Sophia, Adeline, Linus and AddisonClarissa married Griswold Gillette, and died in Cleveland.  Pamelia married Deacon Horace Loomis, and resided in Mesopotamia.  Sabrina married Horace Wolcott, of Farmington.  Sophia married Dr. John S. Matson, of Mesopotamia.  Adeline, youngest of the family, married Mr. Pelton and had one child.  She died m Cleveland when a young woman.  Excepting her all lived to rear families.  Colonel Linus Tracy, the only survivor, was born in Massachusetts, Mar. 2, 1794.  He married Betsey Talcott, a native of Massachusetts, who lived to be seventy-five.  She bore five daughters and two sons, all of whom are still living, two of the daughters in Mesopotamia and the two sons.  One daughter resides in Madison and two in Cleveland.  Mrs. Tracy died in 1873.  Mr. Tracy, when a young man, entered the store of William Bell, at Warren, and after a service of six months went into the store of Judge King, where he remained five years.  In 1818 he bought out Mr. King and removed the goods to Mesopotamia, where he continued the business several years.  He served as a volunteer in the War of 1812, six months, and was chosen corporal.  Subsequently (in 1825) he became a colonel of militia.  The manner in which he studied military tactics was peculiar.  While clerking for Judge King in Warren he procured a manual of military tactics, and had a hundred wooden figures turned, which he maneuvered upon a board until he became familiar with all the movements of troops.  He served as lieutenant, major, and colonel of militia.  In the time of the late war he also helped to train military companies.  Both his sons were in the army.  Colonel Tracy is as smart and active as many men who have not half his age, and is in full possession of all his faculties, with a vivid recollection of early events.  He is one of the oldest residents of the county.

     JOSEPH NOYES arrived in the township with his family the 6th of July, 1801, and settled a short distance west of the center.  He had received a liberal education and graduated as a lawyer.  Considerable wealth inherited from his father soon departed from him and he look to farming in the wilds of Ohio.  After residing here a few years he exchanged farms with Isaac Clark, of Burton, and went to that township to live.
     In July, 1801, Mr. Sperry harvested a good crop of wheat upon land which he had improved the previous year.
     In August, 1801, Mr. Edwards wrote to his sister, from Mesopotamia, as follows:

     My settlement is doing finely.  We have this day had a lecture delivered by a clergyman.  There were about forty people present.  Every part of our country is rapidly increasing in numbers.  You can have no idea of what pleasure is derived from the improvements that are daily making; every day brings a new inhabitant; a neighbor opens a new road, raises a new barn, or begins a new farm.  Indeed, the Scripture is fulfilled where it says,  The wilderness shall be made to blossom as the rose.'  Our country does literally flow with honey.  Bees are beyond calculation numerous.  Go into a cornfield m blossom and you are stunned with their noise.  Trees of them are found in every direction.  The rich variety of flowers which our woods afford it would give you pleasure to see.

     DR. JOSEPH CLARK, the first practicing physician, settled near the center in 1801, but did not long remain.

     ISAAC CLARK located in 1804, on the northwest corner of roads crossing at the center.  His sons were Almon and Isaac.  The former died in this township, and the latter in Bloomfield.  His daughters were Electa and Susan.  Electa married Rensselaer Smith, and lived in Bloomfield.

     GAUGER SMITH settled in 1805 on the farm where his son Edmund now lives.

     JAMES LAIRD and family, from Washington county, Pennsylvania, arrived in this township Apr. 15, 1811, making the thirteenth family in a Mesopotamia.  They lived in a log cabin on toe spot, until October, 1814, when they removed the present J. H., Laird farm, lot thirty-nine.  Of Mr. Laird's family of ten children eight came with him, viz: John, Matthew, Andrew, Margaret, Betsey, Polly, James, and William.  His oldest daughter, Rachel Morrison, moved into this township with her husband in October, 1811.  Josiah, the oldest son, settled in Beaver, Pennsylvania.  Excepting him, the children spent most of their lives in this township, and all of them raised families but John and Rachel.  Three, Matthew, James, and Mrs. Betsey Higby, passed their lives in this township; Matthew

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upon the old place.  Two only are now living, William, in Cleveland, and Mrs. Margaret Holbrook in Toledo.  John and Rachel (Chambers) each married, but had no children.  Andrew married Tabitha Parish in 1823, and settled one and one-half miles north of the center.  He reared a family of four children, now all living.  John resides in Stockwell, Indiana ; Orris P., in Mesopotamia : Maria, single, in Fresno City, California; Mary is at present in New York city.  James Laird, Jr., married Catharine Cox for his first wife, and had by her six children who reached mature years.  For his second wife he married Lorain Joslin, who is still living.  By his first wife his children were Stephen, Josiah, Ralph, Susannah, Minerva, and James.  All are living but RalphStephen resides is Mesopotamia, and is a member of the Ohio Legislature for 18S1-82—the first Representative ever sent from this township.  Josiah and James reside near Jesup, Iowa.  Susannah (Griswold) and Minerva live at Hart's Grove, Ashtabula county.  Orris P. Laird, the second son of Andrew, was  born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in 1829.  Six years later his father returned to Mesopotamia, where Mr. O. P. Laird has since resided.  He was married Sept. 9, 1857, to Betsey L. Atwood, of Licking county, Ohio.  Their children are Louie (deceased), Marcy C., and Martin W., living.  Both are being educated at Hiram college.

     SETH MORRISON, Laird's son-in-law, came about the same time with the Laird family, and settled on lot forty-two.

     ZIMRI BAKER, from Vermont, settled south of the center as early as 1812.  None of the family are now in Mesopotamia.  His son, Porter, lived on the old farm till his family were grown, when he moved away.

     AMADEUS BROOKS, who married a daughter of Captain Sperry, settled on lot thirty previous to 1812, and remained a number of years.  He moved to Bloomfield, and thence to Warren, where he died.  He was a man of fine intelligence and a good citizen.  Indeed, the same may be said of nearly every one of the pioneers of this township.

     As early as 1815 SETH I. ENSIGN settled one and one-half miles south and a mile west of the center, where he lived and died.  He was an early teacher in Bristol and a justice of the peace in Mesopotamia a number of years.  His daughter, Mrs. Parish, still lives upon the farm where he settled.

     REUBEN JOSLIN came here quite early, and settled on lot forty.  He was a carpenter and had worked at his trade in Boston before coming here.

     MOSES BUNDY settled in the southwest of the township at an early date, and lived and died here.

     ELISHA SANDERSON settled on lot thirty-one previous to 1819.  His widow, two sons, and two daughters are still living.

     ALPHEUS WINTER married a sister of 'Squire Isaac Clark and settled on lot twenty-five previous to 1820.

     In 1816 JOSEPH EATON and a family consisting of nine children settled on lot twelve.  They were from Massachusetts.

     JOB REYNOLDS, a soldier of 1812 and a native of Rhode Island, located in this township in 1817.

     FLAVEL SHELDON, born in Massachusetts in 1791, died in Mesopotamia in 1832.  He married Charlotte Guild, who is still living, the mother of three children.

     ALVA LAKE settled in this township in 1817.  He married Mary Hogan a native of Vermont.  He was born in Castleton, Vermont, in 1799.

FIRST EVENTS.

     The first birth that took place in this township occurred in 1801, when a daughter was born to the wife of Dr. Joseph Clark  The child died young.  The second child was born in September, 1801, and is still living.  Her name is Charlotte, widow of Flavel Sheldon.  She was the daughter of Otis and Louis Guild.  Sardis Morse, son of Joseph Morse, was the first male child.  His parents were here but a short time.  The first death occurred in the spring of 1802. Mrs. Joseph Noyes died of consumption.  The first wedding was in 1806, at the residence of the bride's father. The wedded couple were Griswold Gillette and Clarissa Tracy, and in addition to "giving away the bride," the father performed the marriage ceremony, having recently been elected justice of the peace.  Mrs. Gillette lived to be ninety-one years of age and died in 1874.
     The first frame house, as well as the first cabin, was built by Captain Sperry.  Joseph

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Morse was the first blacksmith. John Tomlinson made the first grave-stones from stone found in Mill creek.  Some are still standing.  For several years each settler acted as his own shoemaker, making and mending boots and shoes for his family.  Some time after the settlement Hezekiah Sperry, Jr., went to New Haven, Connecticut, and worked a year at shoemaking.  He then returned and went from house to house working at his trade.  He carried his tools with him and made pegs from maple.  His shoe-thread was made by hand-spinning.

EARLY SCHOOLS.

     In nothing is the progressive spirit of the early settlers more clearly shown than in the matter of schools.  The first thought of the pioneer, after becoming established in his log house, seems to have been to provide for the education of his children.  And though the speller, the reader, and the arithmetic—fortunate boy who possessed all three!—were the only books used in these early schools, many a pupil, who afterward became noted for intelligence and usefulness, received all of his educational training within the walls of rude log buildings.
     The first school in Mesopotamia was taught by Samuel Forward, in 1803, in a room of Seth Tracy's house. Samuel Higley, of Windsor, taught the next winter term, which was followed by a summer school taught by Jerusha Guild.
     The first school-house was built on the northern part of Seth Tracy's farm in 18o6, a few rods south of the east and west center road.  Linus Tracy, whose own schooling amounted to only about six months' attendance, taught school in this building in early days, and was a successful instructor.  He has lived to see the most of those who were his pupils grow old and die and be gathered with their fathers in the quiet village churchyard.

CHURCH HISTORY.

     It is said that the first sermon ever delivered in this township was preached by the pioneer missionary, Rev. Joseph Badger.  The first church organized was the Presbyterian in 1817, with eight members.  This organization still lives and prospers but is now Congregational.  Among the early members were Deacon Zimri Baker and family, Mrs. Silvina Tracy, Mrs. Clarissa Gillette, Horace and Pamelia Loomis, Jairus,l,aura, and Charlotte Guild, Israel Sheldon, Betsey Laird, Seth and Rachel Morrison, and John Crawford.  The Presbyterians erected the first church edifice in 1822, at a cost of about $500.  The house now in use was built in 1843 and cost about $2,500.  The early preachers were Revs. Badger, Stone, Leslie, Cowles, Osborn, and others.  Rev. Randolph Stone was the first pastor and remained a number of years.  He was a talented man, liberally educated, and possessed great power and earnestness.
     The first Methodist preacher was named Daniels.  A class was formed quite early, but at exactly what date we cannot ascertain.  The Methodists erected a house about 1830, which is still in use, having been twice rebuilt.  Among the early members were Elisha Sanderson and wife, Matthew and Andrew Laird, John Easton and wife, Seth I. Ensign, Ira Parker, Benjamin Smith, and many others.  The first quarterly meeting was held in Elisha Anderson's barn.  Mrs. Sanderson was one of the most active and influential female members.  Elders Mack, Ira Eddy, and William Brown were among the early preachers.  In 1833 a great revival took place and about fifty persons experienced religion.  Isaac Winans and James McMechan were on this circuit at that time.
     The Universalists had quite a flourishing church in Mesopotamia, and built the edifice which is now the town hall.  Wishing to outdo their orthodox brethren they built their church one foot larger each way than the Congregational house.  Spiritualism and the lack of religious interest destroyed their organization.

BURIAL PLACES.

     The first burials were made on a hill north of the center.  Mrs. Noyes, a daughter of Mrs. Guild, and Mr. Crawford were buried there.  Nothing now remains to indicate their resting place.
     The first of Captain Sperry's family who died were buried on his farm.
     The first graveyard for the public was the present one at the village.  It is a pleasant spot in the rear of the churches and is thickly marked with gravestones.   The first person buried there was the mother of Seth Tracy.  She died in 1818, on the 4th of July.

MILLS, STORES, ETC.

     The first saw-mill was built by John S. Ed-

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wards in the northwest of the township, on Mill creek, in 1803.  In 1805 a grist-mill run by water from the same dam, was built.  Fifteen years later Isaac Clark erected a grist-mill on the same stream, one mile below Crawford's.  In the first mill William Crawford, a brother of John, was killed by falling between the water-wheel and the rocks.
     The first store in the township was opened in 1818, by Linus Tracy, who with his brother Addison carried on the business a few years, then shut up the store until 1827, when Colonel Linus Tracy erected a new building for a store, and continued the business.  The first store stood a few rods north of Colonel Tracy's present residence.  Isaac Clark and his son Almon had a store a short time about 1830.  Mr. Clark built the stone building on the southwest corner, which, enlarged and remodeled, is still standing.
     GRISWOLD GILLETTE had a small distillery, consisting of a copper boiler, in a log building near the center, in early times.  This was the only establishment of the kind ever in the township.  An old resident assures us that he made a first rate article of whiskey, using only corn and rye in its manufacture.
     SETH TRACY gave GEORGE IVES an acre of land on which to set up a tannery.  He began the business about 1818, and carried it on successfully several years.
     Dr. D. L. NEWCOMB, from New York, built and kept the first tavern about 1823.  The present hotel was built by 'Squire Isaac Clark, and kept for a lime by his son Hiram.  The old tavern forms a part of it.
     Mesopotamia center was never laid off into lots as a village. A piece of land fifteen rods wide and one hundred rods long was donated to the township as a public square, and around this, buildings have been erected at the pleasure of the inhabitants.
     The first road, through the township was laid out along the west end of the tier of lots fronting on the present road running south from the center.

THE INDIANS.

     There were a few Indians in and about this township in early times.  An old chief, Pauqua, sometimes came here, and though a "big Injun," he did not hesitate to beg food and drink.  Before the War of 1812 all the Indians withdrew from this neighborhood.  After the war a small band encamped near Grand river, and engaged in hunting.  Some of the settlers visited their camp one day, but found the Indians absent.  They broke some of the kettles in the camp, drew the image of an Indian on the bark of a tree, shot a ball into the head of the figure, and returned to their homes.  The Indians then cut the figure of a white man upon a tree, and made no mark upon it, in token of their friendliness.  But the white men's warning, doubtless, had the desired effect, as the Indians left soon after.

SWINE CREEK.

     It may be of interest to some of our readers to know the origin of the singular name of this stream. About the year 1802 a sow belonging to Seth Tracy wandered from his premises, and for some time the owner could learn nothing as to her whereabouts. Thinking that the Indians might perhaps discover her during some of their hunts, he caused the red men to be notified of his loss, and desired that they would report to him if they chanced to find the hog.
     One evening an Indian came to the house while Mr. Tracy was away.  He poked some ashes out upon the hearthstone, and drew a winding line in the ashes with his finger, talking in his own tongue meanwhile, and making frequent use of the words "coosh-coosh " and "pappoose coosh-coosh," but none of the family understood what he was trying to explain.  When Mr. Tracy came home, the Indian again went through with his talk illustrating it as before.  In the figure drawn in the ashes Mr. Tracy recognized the course of the creek, and at a certain bend which the Indian traced very minutely, he was made to understand that his lost hog was to be found.  Mr. Tracy went the next day to the spot indicated, and there found his missing property with a fine litter of pigs.  Accordingly he named the stream "Hog creek;" but some one more fastidious in the matter of names suggested the modification now in use, and it was immediately adopted.

THE EARLY RECORDS.

of the township show that the system of "warning out" such persons as were considered likely to become township charges prevailed; and also that some of the men thus warned out remained and afterwards became prominent, wealthy, and respected citizens.

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IN THE WAR OF 1812.

     A military company had been formed under the command of Captain Hill, of Windsor.  On the breaking out of the war a call was made for volunteers.  Linus Tracy, Oliver Guild, Jairus Guild, and Whitney Smith volunteered; and afterward another call was made, when Matthew Laird, Elias Sperry, Griswold Gillette, Ebenezer K. Lamson, Amadeus Brooks, Lucius Sperry, and Isaac Clark went.  Elias Sperry was wounded by the Indians in a fight on the "Peninsula."  His brother Lucius took the fever, came home, and died, as did also two of his sisters, who attended him and took the fever from him.

STONE QUARRY.

     An excellent quality of freestone is found in this township, and the business of quarrying it has been carried on quite successfully.

POST-OFFICE.

     A post-office was established about 1809, Seth Tracy, postmaster.  Mail was then brought once a week from Warren by a man who usually traveled on foot.  Linus Tracy became postmaster in 1825 or 1826.  Under Jackson's administration, he was turned out, and Isaac Clark succeeded him.  Mr. Tracy again received an appointment after 'Squire Clark had served his term, and kept the office many years.

THE SOLDIERS' MONUMENT.

     This memorial of the brave boys in blue who served in the late war stands at the south end of the public square.  It is of marble, eighteen feet high, surmounted by the image of an eagle.  On the north side of the base ate the words " Liberty and Union;" on the south, the name of the patriot president, Abraham Lincoln; on the east the date of the dedication of the monument, 1867, and on the west, " Honor the Brave."  It was erected by the citizens of the township at a cost of $2,500.

TOWNSHIP DIRECTORY.

     Mesopotamia center: General store, Elias Sperry; hardware, C. E. Holcomb; drug and grocery store, V. C. Peck.  A fire in the fall of 1881, destroyed two stores.
     Cheese factories: Highland factory. Pierce & Caldwell, in the northwest of the township; Davis Brothers' factory one mile north and a half mile west of the center; Center Brook factory.  Jacob Lepper ; Cold Spring factory, E. C. Cox, center.
     Hotel: Eagle house, E. P. Griffin, proprietor,
center.
     E. C. Cox has recently started a broom-handle factory at the center.
     Feed-grinding-mill: Woodford Bros., center.
     Steam saw-mills: Sperry & Wilcox, center; A. R. Harshman, sawing-, planing-, and shinglemill, west of the center; Bridgen & Holcomb in the southeast of the township are sawing lumber for handles; and in the northeast of the township Watson is sawing for Kirk & Christy, of Warren.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

ROSWELL A. BUTTON. *

     We can give in this volume but a brief outline of the career and experiences of Captain Button.  His life has been written, and few more fascinating volumes have ever been published. It is the record of ten years of seafaring life in its most interesting phase.  From the unpublished manuscript we derive our information for this sketch.
     Captain Button is a descendant of Thomas Button, a mariner whose name is found in the record of North American discoveries and explorations in the seventeenth century.  Among the descendants were several sailors, and of his father's family, consisting of ten children, there were three—James, Erasmus, and Roswell A. James was lost at sea near Kamtschatka.  Erasmus became a partner of Roswell in the management of the merchant bark Clara Windsor.
     Captain Button was born at Preston, New London county, Connecticut, June 28, 1822, and was the son of Allen and Anne A. (Witer) Button, both natives of Connecticut.  He was quite young when his father died, and left without the means of acquiring an education.  He attended the common schools, and early formed a taste for reading.  He was especially interested in works of travel and adventure, which aroused his imagination and produced an ardent
longing for the sea.
     In 1843, having just passed his twenty-first year and ambitious for adventure, he enlisted as a common sailor before the mast on board the whaling vessel Lowell of New London, about to embark for the northwest coast of North America.  Her course was by way of Cape of Good Hope, Indian ocean, and across the Pacific.  After eight months voyaging the Isles of the Azores were reached, where the sea abounds in Its "mightiest of monsters."  Here the first prize of the seamen was spied, and after an exciting
chase captured.  This voyage occupied three years, during which time the vessel coasted among the Azores, around Australia, touched Van Dieman's Land, and coasted the Sandwich Islands.  We quote a glimpse or two from the manuscript volume of which we have spoken:

     One of the most interesting peculiarities of the whale is its immense loss of blood in death.  It is presumed to have a large supply arteriorized in a reservoir, which is brought into use when that in general circulation becomes vitiated during a prolonged submergence.  This reservoir is what whalemen term the life of the whale, and it is the spot sought by the harpoon and lance.  When touched the bloody torrent surcharges the lungs and is expelled through the spout hole, suffocation and death following, but when the wound is slight the agonies of the dying beast are prolonged.  The poor creature will lie on the surface feebly propelling itself onward, and with quick repeated sobs will pour out its life by slow degrees, coloring the surface of the ocean a deep crimson.  From this stupor it is aroused to its last struggle.  The head rises and falls, and the flukes, which are fifty feet long, thrash the water rapidly.  With great speed it swims in a large circle two or three times, and then falls on its side dead.

     The narrative of the first voyage concludes:

     Now let us follow our old friend, the Lowell, on her way home.  When we left her she was near New Zealand in about 35° south latitude; here two sperm whales were caught and then on she went into the southern sea, and then doubling the horn .and stormy capo in latitude 57° south, after this her course Lay through the north .Atlantic, continuing her voyage until port New London was reached, where sails were furled, the anchor dropped, and to express their joy for safe return and good success in achieving the object of their expedition - a full cargo of oil and bone - they fired fifty-eight guns.  Two weeks after their arrival their cargo was discharged and each man was paid off according to his share.  Then the sailors visited their friends; the first voyage was ended.

     After six weeks spent in rest at home the "Lowell of New London" again raised anchor and set sail for another voyage.  After sailing six months Kamtschatka was reached, northeast of Asia, and the Yellow sea was traversed.  At the end of this voyage four thousand barrels of oil, worth $50 per barrell, besides a large amount of bone, was brought home.  This second voyage occupied the same period as the first with almost equal results, but Mr. Button, who was one of the experienced men, experienced more perils.  He had two boats stove and was once thrown twenty feet into the water.  He acquired the reputation (an enviable one among sailors) of being the strongest man in the whaling service.  We again quote from Jones' manuscript biography of him:

     The secret of Captain Button's wonderful strength lay in the possession of a naturally strong constitution, increasing instead of diminishing its energies by constant exercise and the regular observance of temperance habits.

     After returning from the second voyage on the "Lowell" six more weeks were spent at home. The  "Lowell" was sold and the Montezuma purchased for a third journey.  On the second voyage he had been boat-steerer and was now advanced to second mate.  While at the Sandwich islands Mr. Button left his own ship and engaged as first mate on the Clematis and after returning to this country abandoned the whaling service.  His last seafaring was as captain of the "Clara Windsor," a merchant vessel which made regular trips between New York and St. Domingo.
     In 1853 Mr. Button quit the sea for more quiet pursuits.  He came to Ohio and settled on the farm he now owns, west of Mesopotamia center, and the following year married Miss Caroline S. Reynolds, whose acquaintance he had made in Connecticut.  She was his perfect counterpart, and their married life was a season of unbroken happiness till the dread disease, consumption, began to show signs of its presence.  Mr. Button traveled extensively in Cuba, Florida, and California, m company with his wife, in the hope of arresting the progress of the fatal disease, but without effecting the desired result.  She died at Sacramento, California, Dec. 28, 1873.  From this time until his second marriage, Oct. 6, 1881, Mr. Button lived entirely alone at Mesopotamia.  The maiden name of his present wife was Louie Humphries, daughter of Richard and Ann H. Humphries, of Ashtabula county.

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WILLIAM LAIRD

     William Laird, son of James Laird, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, Nov. 20, 1809.  He came to Mesopotamia in 1811.  His father moving there at that time, and bringing his wife and eight children, was the eleventh settler in the township.  His father and mother both died in 1826, and William, who was the youngest son, lived with an older brother until he arrived at the age of eighteen, when he commenced life for himself.  He resided m Mesopotamia until 1874, at which time he went to Dakota Territory, where he pre-empted a claim in the Vermillion valley and became a citizen of that Territory.  In 1832 he was married to Hannah Chambers, of Champion, Trumbull county, a daughter of John Chambers, with whom he lived forty-two years, and buried in Dakota, Oct. 9, 1874. In 1877 he came to Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1880 he was married a second time, to Mrs. Eliza Sartin, of Cleveland, and now resides at No. 34 Herman street, in that city.  Of his children, five in number, Matthew A., the oldest son, married Rachel McDonald, of Toledo, Ohio, and is now a manufacturer and dealer in Kansas
City, Missouri; John Chambers, his second son, died in 1855 at the age of eighteen and lies in Mesopotamia; Elizabeth M., his only daughter, married William B. Fauss, of Mesopotamia, and
now resides with her husband and three children at Elk Point, Dakota, in the town where her mother is buried; Edwards W. married Ada E. Williams, daughter of Justin Williams—he is a member of the law firm of Marvin, Laird & Cadwell, of Cleveland, and resides at No. 266 Franklin avenue, in that city; Marcellus G., his youngest son, died in Dakota, Aug. 20, 1874.  Maggie Pierce, his wife, and daughter of Deacon Joseph Pierce, of Champion, Ohio, died Sept. 21, 1874, in the same Territory, and son and
daughter he by the side of the mother in Elk Point.  William Pierce, their son, and the namesake and only grandson, died in May, 1875, the house of his grandfather, in Champion.  Mr. Laird is of Scotch descent, being of the third generation born in this country.  He has been a member of the Presbyterian church for more than fifty years, and was for many years one of its ruling officers.  His early life as well as a part of his later years, has been spent on the frontier and his whole life has been an active one, yet at the age of seventy-three he is hale and hearty, retaining all his faculties.  Though residing in Cleveland, he retains his old home in Mesopotamia, and says he will as long as he lives, and when he says home it means either Cleveland or Mesopotamia, the meaning of the word depending upon which place is spoken of.
SHARON WICK'S NOTE:  Both addresses listed are no longer in existence.

SETTLEMENT NOTES.

     TIMOTHY COX was born in York county, Pennsylvania, Apr. 12, 1799.  His father, John Cox, was of English descent.  He removed from Pennsylvania to Ohio with his family in 1805 and settled in Bristol township, where he was one of the earliest pioneers.  The family consisted of twelve children, three of whom are living.  Mr. Cox was one of the most energetic farmers and pioneers in Bristol, where he died in 1856.  Timothy Cox, the only surviving son, remained at home until the age of twenty-one years.  He then took a contract to clear forty acres of land, receiving in payment forty acres of wild land.  Mr. Cox married in 1824 Sarah Bonner, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1805.  They had a family of ten children — Joseph A.; Ephraim; Mariah A., wife of Martin F. Smith, residents of Mesopotamia; Harriet, wife of Eben E. Caldwell, resident of Cleveland; Seymour A., killed in battle of Perryville, Oct. 8, 1862; Clarissa P., wife of John Ritter, resident of Washington, District of Columbia; Louisa M., resident of Mesopotamia; Aaron P., resident of Cass county, Nebraska; Phebe, wife of Edwin Brigdon, of Mesopotamia; and Enos S., resident of Nebraska.  Mrs. Cox died Feb. 12, 1882.  Mr. Cox lived in Bristol township until 1865, when he removed to Mesopotamia.

     CHAUNCEY BATES was born in Geauga county, Ohio, July 19, 1835.  His father, William M. Bates was a native of Norwich, Connecticut, the date of his birth being 1808.  He came to Ohio and settled on a farm near his present residence in 1829.  In 1831 he married Rachel, daughter of Wallace Winter one of the pioneers of Mesopotamia township.  She was born Jan. 28, 1810.  The family of William and Mrs. Bates consisted of five children of whom four are living.  Edwin the oldest son,

[Page 501]
was a volunteer in the One Hundred and Seventy-ninth Ohio volunteer infantry, and died in the hospital at Nashville, Tennessee, in June, 1865.  Chauncey Bates, after passing through the common schools attended the seminary at Orwell three terms.  He subsequently taught school eighteen winters.  He was married Oct. 14, 1858, to Eliza H. Hart, a native of Geauga county.  They have a family of three children—Frank A., born June 3, 1860; Earl H., born Jan. 25, 1872; and Blanche E., born Jan. 5, 1877.  Mr. Bates enlisted in the United States service in 1865.  He has served several years as clerk of the township, and has also filled other public positions.  He is a member of the Congregational church, leader of the choir, and superintendent of the Sunday-school.

     EDWARD P. GRIFFIN, the son of Edward and Leah Griffin was born in Mesopotamia township, Trumbull county, Ohio, in 1848.  He followed farming until 1872, when he took charge of the hotel at Mesopotamia center, where he still continues.  He married in 1870 Ella, daughter of Ellory and Saloma Williams.  She was born in Mesopotamia in 1852.  They have a family of three children. Lulu, Maud, and Walter.

     SEBA and JANE ENSIGN, with their family came to Mesopotamia from Cataraugus county, New York.  They were among the early settlers of the township, settling in the northwest part. Seba Ensign, Jr., married .Almira Smith, daughter of Edmond Smith, one of the early, and now one of the oldest residents of the township, having been born in 1800.  His wife, Polly, is still living also.  Mr. Ensign has been a carpenter and joiner by trade.  For the past seventeen years he has been an invalid, being afflicted with dyspepsia, and has endured much suffering, on one occasion going without food for over twelve days.  Mr. Ensign has a family of one daughter and two sons, viz: Julia, wife of Irvin E. Brigden, of Cleveland; Eugene J., in the same city, and Frank, engaged in merchandise in Garretsville, Ohio.  The latter married Jessie Holcomb, of Cleveland.  E. J. Ensign was born in Mesopotamia, June 23, 1850; married Betsey, daughter of Stephen W. Irwin, a well-known and early family of Mecca township.  Two children have been born of this union, Leon E. and Carrie Bell.  Mr. Ensign removed to Cleveland in 1881, and is now engaged in business there.

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