« PreviousContinue »
they will be, and consequently more interesting to future generations.
The Rev. J. T. Avery was called for, but declined to make any remarks, owing to the lateness of the hour.
Mr. R. T. Lyon offered the following resolutions which were unanimously adopted:
Resolved. That the thanks of this association be extended to the officers of this church for the free use of their fine and comfortable building to hold this, our first convention; also, to the speakers, organist, and the Arion Quartett Club for their efforts, which have added so much to our enjoyment.
Resolved. That we favor the proposition of Mr. S. E. Adams that a monument be erected in this city to the memory of Moses Cleaveland, and that this association take measures to favor that object.
And thereupon the convention united in singing the doxology, and then adjourned to meet next year at the call of the Executive Committee.
Written Statement received from Geo. B. Merwin, Esq.
My father came to Cleveland in 1815, the family in February 1816. There were six houses on Superior street, George Wallace's tavern, Dr. Long's office, (he lived in
a double log house in his garden back of the office on the lot where the American House now stands,) Ashbel W. Walworth's house and office on same lot, Irad Kelley's store and house opposite Bank street, Uncle Abram Heacox's blacksmith shop where E. I. Baldwin's store now stands, on one side of his sign were the words “ Uncle Abram works here,” on the other a gentleman on horseback saying “Can you shoe my horse?” “Yes, sir.” And a two story framed building where the Forest City House now stands, called Mowrey's tavern, were on the south side. Nathan Perry's store and house, corner of Water and Superior street, and the Weddell House lot, extending to St. Clair, were fenced in with rails, having a peach orchard in the north half of the lot. Here one morning I picked up sixteen pigeons which my father killed at one shot. An old red building in which the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie was established by Alfred Kelley in 1817, stood on the corner of Bank street; the hay-scales stood where Ogden Crittenden's jewelry store now stands, and in the back part of this old red building the Cleveland HERALD was established in 1819.
The letter “a” in the name as spelled by General Moses Cleaveland, was omitted by the printers, who having ordered a new set of type for a new heading, it was found that the size of the type extended the name too far across the paper to make a good job, the letter “a” was therefore omitted. The paper upon which it was printed came from Pittsburg, once not arriving in time, an edition was issued on foolscap. David Burroughs blacksmith shop was on the opposite corner of Seneca; his large flock of geese occupied a part of Superior street, opposite his shop every time it rained.
The old red court house and log jail stood on the square in front of the late Dr. Aiken's church; the court room was used for religious services—a masonic lodge and general elections; the stumps of the gallows upon which the Indian Omic was hung for the murder of two trappers at Sandusky, were visible in front of it. Omic was anatomized by Dr. Long. I have seen his bones many times.
When the bank was established, a suitable person for cashier was required. Judge Kingsbury, happening to be in town one day, was asked if he knew any one among his acquaintances who could fill the position. He said he knew a young man by the name of Leonard Case, who wrote a good hand and was said to be a good accountant; and he thought he would answer. He was engaged and was the first cashier and Alfred Kelley the first president.
In 1817–18 small change was very scarce and the trustees of the village to relieve the wants of the people, after consulting with the business men, concluded best to issue corporation scrip, called by the people “Corporation Shinplasters," to the amount of one hundred dollars, in denominations from
six and a quarter cents to fifty cents. I have two of these bills signed by Daniel Kelley, president, Horace Perry, clerk.
There were financiers in those days as well as in modern times; a silver dollar was divided into nine pieces, each passing for a shilling, and a pistareen worth eighteen and threequarter cents, went for a shilling also.
Judge Samuel Williamson lived on the corner of St. Clair and Water streets. Alfred Kelley in a brick-house near the bank of the lake, north of his house he had a field of two acres in wheat, north of this was a road leading to the mouth of the river.
Water street was fenced in, the corners of the fence full of elders and stumps. Levi Johnson lived on the corner of Lake and Water. St. Clair street was fenced in on the south side as far as Seneca. Bank street was fenced in on each side with two or three houses upon it. At the foot of Bank street was a stockade fort, erected during the war of 1812, which wonld hold 250 men, it was constructed of chestnut slabs, pointed with port holes for musquetry, part of the slabs were standing and were cut down for fire wood as occasion required. This work was called Fort “Hungerford” by the boys, from the fact that a widow of that name lived in the bushes near by and was frequently visited by the commanding officer; the boys to show their appreciation of his devotion to the lonesome widow, one night placed a tub of soft soap at the rear
door, then knocking at the front door, the escaping officer landed in the tub of soap up to his knees. In those days in the spring of the year the bank of the lake used to crack off and fall down several feet below the plain. I remember going along there one spring, the bank had cracked and fallen, exposing about half of a coftin made of Chestnut slabs, pinned together with wooden pins; looking down I discovered the skull and other bones of some poor fellow who had been laid there to take his rest, not with his “martial cloak around him,” but in his red Hannel shirt and an army blanket.
The first school house, a small frame, was built in the spring of 1817 on a lot adjoining the Kennard House; twentyfour scholars attended the first school; several of the young men in the village contributed to help pay the teacher; in this house religious services were held every sabbath. Judge Daniel Kelley offering prayer, some young man reading a sermon, and my mother leading the singing. The first winter a man by the name of Parsons was the teacher. I have a feeling recollection how very particular he was to warm the chestnut sprouts in the ashes, and how nicely they fitted to the hollow of my back.
On the river, at the foot of Lighthouse street, Levi Johnson had a small frame store house; Matthew Williamson a tannery at the foot of Union Lane; my father a log storehouse at the foot of Superior street. Christopher Gun kept