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during the whole season of 1823-4 and finally early in the year 1825, determined on commencing at Cleveland, and ending at Portsmouth on the Ohio river, a distance of three hundred and fifty miles.
All this being done, Judge Bates, of Rochester, New York, was appointed chief engineer ; every other necessary preparation being made, the canal commissioners and all our constituted authorities, invited DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York, to be present and dig the first shovelfull of earth, which was to be done on the Licking ummit, in Licking county, about three miles or more westwardly of Newark, on the fourth of July, 1825.
Governor Clinton was a warm friend and advocate of internal improvements throughout the United States by the general government, and was on that account looked upon as a probable presidential candidate at the next ensuing election and was considered the father of the Hudson and Erie canal. He wrote that he would arrive in Cleveland the last day of June.
The Superior was due that day, but it was uncertain whether he would come on the steamboat or in the stage.
My father sent me down to Condit's tavern in Euclid, where the stage horses were changed, to see if Governor Clinton was in the stage and told me to come home lively; in half an hour the stage arrived but that very distinguished gentleman was not among the passengers.
I mounted my horse and started at a lively gait; just as I passed the residence of Nathan Perry, he took the bit in his teeth and ran away with me. As I came to the public square my hat fell off, and I came through the square and Superior street John Gilpin-like, my hair flying in the wind, my coat tails at right angles with my body and my hands clinched in the mane. Fortunately the stable door was shut and I received no injury.
Many of the citizens, learning of my errand to Euclid, on seeing me return in such a very unceremonious manner came to me and inquired if Governor Clinton was on the stage; being answered in the negative, we all went down to the bank of the lake to see if the boat was in sight. She was about ten miles off.
It was a heavenly day, not a cloud in the sky, the lake calm as the river, its glistening bosom reflecting the fierce rays of an almost tropiical sun; she soon passed Water street, dressed with all her flags, and came to anchor about a mile opposite the mouth of the river and fired her usual signal gun.
Her commander, Captain Fisk, ordered the steps to be let down and her yawl boat to be placed along side of them; then taking Governor Clinton by the hand seated him in the stern of the boat, and was followed by his aids, Colonel Jones, Colonel Read, and Colonel Solomon Van. Rensallaer, who had traversed the state when a wilderness, as an officer under General Wayne. Messrs. Rathbone and Lord, who had loaned us the money with which to commence the canal, and Judge Conkling, United States District judge, of New York.
They came up the river, the stars and stripes waving over them and landed at the foot of Superior street, where the reception committee with carriages and a large concourse of citizens awaited them and took them to the Mansion house, then kept by my father, where Governor Clinton was addressed by the late Judge Samuel Cowles, who had been selected by the committee to make the reception address.
Governor Clinton made an eloquent reply. In a part of his remarks he made the statement, “that when our canals were made, even if they had cost five million dollars, they would be worth three times that sum ; that the increased price of our productions, in twenty years would be worth five millions of dollars; that the money saved on the transportation of goods, to our people, during the same period would be five million of dollars, and that the canals would finally pay their tolls, refund their entire cost, principal and interest.”
De Witt Clinton was a man of majestic presence. In his person he was large and robust, his forehead high and broad, his hair black and curly and his eyes large, black and brilliant, and, take him all in all, looked as though he was born to command. As the weather was very
arm and the distance to Licking county about one hundred and fifty miles, it was thought best to get an early start in the morning and take breakfast at Mother Parker's, who kept a tavern at the foot of Tinker's creek hill about one and a half miles down the creek west of Bedford. She was a black eyed, steel trap style of a Vermont woman, and a good cook. Half an hour after daylight an extra stage came and the party left.
A small swivel, used for celebrations, had been left at some former occasion on the brow of the hill on the west side of Vineyard lane, now called South Water street. My father woke up the late Orlando Cutter, his store was where the Atwater block stands—and got some powder and when the stage got a few rods up Superior street, gave the party a parting salute; then mounting his horse he soon passed the stage and rode on to give Mrs. Parker information who was coming and that she must prepare a good breakfast. He also inquired where her husband, Cordee, was and if he had taken his bitters, of which the jolly old fellow was very fond. She said he was out at the barn, where my father found him with as heavy a load as his buckskin breeches could waddle under. My father quietly picked the old fellow up and took him in the granaray, returned to the house and assisted in getting the breakfast by grinding and making the coffee, while mother Parker fried the ham and eggs and made some biscuits. The party sat down and did justice to the fare set before them, as my father said.
Such was the manner and style of the reception and departure of Governor Clinton and his distinguished friends in Cleveland. I cannot, sir, close this narrative without adding to it, my humble tribute of respect to the memory of the late Alfred Kelley, acting commissioner, then a citizen of Cleveland, and a prominent actor in the civil polity of our state and to whom in my opinion, Cleveland is indebted for its selection as the termination of this great work, and also for its early commencement and completion. He was a man of energy, preeminent talents and enlightened policy.
A PAPER READ BY JOSEPH GLIDDEN.
DEAR FRIENDS OF THE ASSOCIATION :
What I propose to bring before you at this time, is in the nature of a panorama. I have selected a few names of people that I have known in the last half century on the Reserve, and I propose to pass them rapidly before you, just giving you an opportunity to glance at them,
and renew the impression upon the tablet of your memories which in many instances is almost, or quite obliterated. But perhaps you will permit me by way of introduction to say that I am not one of the pioneers of the Western Reserve. I have no experiences to relate, of hardship and privation and danger, incident to pioneer life in Ohio. But I know something of the life of a poor farmer at that early day, under the shadow of the Green Mountains, ir the state of Vermont. I know how the reluctant soil had to be urged to induce it to bring forth food for man and beast. I know what is meant by the wide, open fireplace, the oven, the back. log, the fore-stick, the lug-pole and the crane. I know something of the boy power that was required to keep the chimney glowing through the long winter months. I know that the pile of flax that lay upon the scaffold in the stormy month of March had to be broken, swingled, hatcheled, spun and woven and made into shirts and trousers for the month of June. I know that the warm garments for next winter depended upon the wool that was growing on the backs of the sheep in May, and I remember that in the intervals of all this toil, the boys and girls in the pursuit of useful knowledge, flocked joyously to school in “summer's heat and winter's cold.” Many of the grandfathers and grandmothers who hear me to-day have had just this experience. And I love to indulge the thought that it is because of thi experience, and this early training in ways of industry and virtue, and because they have daily and hourly taken up the common burdens of life and borne them faithfully and cheerfully, that they are permitted to stand here to-day with the weight of more than three quarters of a century of years resting so lightly upon then. My own first advent upon Ohio soil was in Cleveland in the afternoon of the fourteenth of May, 1834. It was a memorable day in the annals of the Western Reserve, and all the northern portion of this country, on account of a very severe storm that had prevailed during the day and night previous. In the Eastern States the snow fell in some places more than a foot in depth. There was no snow in Cleveland, but that morning, in Erie, as we looked out upon the deck of the steamboat, we found it covered with snow, and it was very cold. As I stepped upon the wharf in Cleveland I heard a
“We had ice here this morning an inch thick.” This was probably a slight exaggeration ; but it was cold enough to destroy all
vegetation. I have never since that time experienced such cold weather so late as the middle of May. The first man here whose name I learned was the proprietor of the Mansion house, a hotel that stood on the south side of Superior street, near the junction with South Water street. His name was E. M. Segur. He was a bachelor then, and I wondered how he could keep a hotel without a wife. The only thing that I remember about his table is that at frequent intervals along the table there stood a bottle and a glass. I had the curiosity to sample the contents of one of those decanters, and I found that it was not a rare quality of old wine, but simply Ohio or Kentucky whisky. It was not an expensive beverage, for the wholesale price of whisky was only about seventeen cents per gallon. In the summer of 1835 there was a large fire in that locality, destroying all buildings from the Mansion house up to and including the present site of the American house. Mr. Segur was burned out, and was soon after married to one of the Wolverton girls, whose father kept the Lighthouse at that time.
The next picture is that of Captain Sartwell, the stage agent. I went there to buy a ticket to Medina. He was also a bachelor, and always remained so ; but
very few married men have had so many children to rise up and call them blessed. by a liberal provision in his will, the Protestant Orphan asylum was placed upon a firm foundation, and enabled to go forward in its career of usefulness. He was one of Cleveland's early benefactors. But I did not go to Medina, for when I came to pay my bill at the Mansion house my last five dollar bill proved to be counterfeit, and I had less than a dollar in silver ; and so I must in some way earn some money. I happened to meet a young man who wanted some one to take care of a shopmate of his, who was sick at the house of their employer, Mr. John Erwin, who had a tin shop on Superior street, and lived on Bank street, corner of Frankfort. I went and took care of him a few days until he died. At the bedside of that dying man I first saw Dr. David Long. I formed a high opinion of him then, which I never had occasion to change. He was an old and substantial citizen then, having come here in 1809. He lived in a stone house at the corner of Superior and Seneca streets, where McGillin's store now is. He owned the lot where the American House now stands, which was originally a ten-acre lot running back to