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MR. WILLIAMSON'S REMINISCENCES.
Mr. S. Williamson was called on next. He said: MR. PRESIDENT:
I suppose you will not expect an address at this time from me, and all that I shall attempt to do in the five minutes allowed to me will be to refresh some of your recollections about the early condition of Cleveland. Probably most of you, like myself, cannot very well remember Cleveland in connection with your childhood so that you can fix upon a thing as haring occurred at this or that or the other time. But I will give you some of my recollections of Cleveland, and will occupy but a brief time. I will say that at my earliest recollection Water street had been opened; that is, the timber had been cut out and a wagon road was run down through the center of the street from Superior street to Bank street, so called. It had grown up, however, with elder bushes, thick all the way along. There were occasional trees and some houses upon it. The house nearest the lake was that of Alfred Kelley, who has been referred to here, and was the first brick house built in this city. It stood upon the corner of Water and Bank streets, so-called. Mr. Kelley, as you well know, was also the first lawyer here. I may also mention that the first bank, known as the Old Commercial Bank of Lake Erie, was or ganized by him. The next house was a small one-story wooden house occupied by Dr. Long, the first physician here, standing upon Water street where the light-house now stands. Two or three houses, amongst them one occupied by my father, at that time, according to my earliest recollections, were all there were upon Water street. There was a clearing on each side of Water street from Superior street to the lake; on the west side of Water street to the river, and on the east side to about where Bank street is, and the lower part of it from St. Clair street—there being no St. Clair street there then-to the lake was occupied by Mr. Carter as a farm. One year, I remember, he had it covered with rye from Water street up to about Bank street. There was one log house standing upon Lake street, a little east of Water street. The only house there was upon those premises. Under the hill there were several log houses, warehouses, etc., and one or two dwelling houses. Commencing at Superior street and going down toward the lake, when you got down below what was Mandrake street there were woods, and from that down under the hill it was mostly swamp or wet land.
Perhaps I might say here, the first brewery built in this city was built under the hill on the Lighthouse street lot, and I remember after I came here the first fire in this city was at that brewery, which was destroyed.
On Superior street it was cleared of timber, so far as I remember, up to the Public Square, and the Public Square partly. The old court house stood on the northwest corner of the square. The street was full of large stumps, but otherwise than that it was clear. There were upon that quite a number of houses. Amongst the rest was one kept by Mr. Wallace, and afterwards by Mr. Merwin, and there were some others on the other side. Mr. Newberry kept the store on the corner of Water and Superior streets and occupied the land from Water street up to about Bank street. When I say he occupied it, I mean there was a fence around it, and he had planted some fruit trees, peaches mostly, and it was a suitable place for pasturing cows, and it was a good place for picking strawberries. As you came up this way the only clearing was a field right opposite where we are now, but there was a wagon track from the square. Going south of Ontario street there was a wagon track until you reached where Mr. Walworth owned. There was an opening there extending down the hill, and that was the only clearing there was there for some distance in that direction.
The first vessel, I may say, built here, the vessel that has been referred to, was built by Major Carter on top of the hill between Water and Union streets. It was built at an early date, and was afterwards destroyed by the British in the war of 1812. At the same time Levi Johnson built a smaller vessel just east of the Public Square. He was a common Carpenter and had no experience in building vessels; but he watched the building of Mr. Carter's and succeeded in building that. Of course, they had to haul it down to the river to be launched. It was a small vessel. He ran it for a few years until he was able to build a better one, and did build a better one in 1817.
One word in reference to schools. The first school of which I have any recollection was taught in a barn which stood back of the American House, between that and the brow of the hill; and I should not remember that, perhaps, but for one or two circumstances. I know a severe, heavy storm of wind, rain and hail came from the west, and blew through the cracks and knotholes of the barn, and the school was broken up for that day. Of course, it was not a finished building at all, it was merely built of planks, logs, sticks, etc. That was the first sehool of which I have any recollection. Afterwards there was a shed, so-called, that stood where the Commercial buildings now stand. There was a school also taught by the late Benjamin Carter, in a little old building that stood on Water street. It was kept there, I think, two winters. Afterwards we went to the old Court House, and occupied, in the first place, the family room. Afterwards we went up stairs and occupied the room when the court was not in session. It was kept there until the small building was erected on St. Clair street, west of Bank street, which remained there until a very few years ago. From that the school was transferred to the Academy, a brick building erected on the opposite side of the street. At the time that little building was erected on St. Clair street, the opposite side of the street was wood. When I say “wood,” I mean brush, with occasional trees. Of course, schools in those days were taught but a short time by one person. The first teacher we had was Miss Hickox. There were two Misses Hickox, one at one time and another at another. They were the first teachers in this city of whom I have any recollection. [Applause.
HON. JOHN A. FOOTE'S REMARKS. Somewhere about 1836 a weather-beaten man, with some marks of dissipation came to our office to have us commence a suit for slander against his brother. It seemed that the wife of this man-Captain Reuben Turner-had been called as a witness in a suit where his brother-William Turnerwas a party, and that'she had testified against William. That William at once arose and denounced her to the audience as a bad woman. Upon this the old Captain, probably then under the influence of liquor, advanced to her, and, throwing his arms about her neck, exclaimed: “Now mind, Mima, old Uncle Reuben loves you yet!” We brought suit and recovered a judgment. The old captain soon came in and reported to us that his brother William had called on him and complained that he, the captain, would ruin him by collecting that judgment. He told us that he replied to his brother that he did not wish to injure him. That he did not want a cent of his