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Marshal of the Day, David L. Wightman.
Executive Committee, Hon. A. J. Williams, R. T. Lyon, Darius Adams, John H. Sargent, W. H. Kerrish, Wilson S. Dodge, Solon Burgess.
On motion the foregoing officers were unanimously elected. On further motion the following persons were elected honorary members of the association: Hon. Allen G. Thurman of Columbus, Dr. John C. Reeve of Dayton, and Mrs. Lydia O'Brien Youngs, late of Ohio, now of Illinois.
The following resolution was introduced by Hon. A. J. Williams :
Resolved, That article i of the constitution be amended by striking out the words, “resided in Western Reserve at least forty years, and are citizens of Cuyahoga county," and insert “are citizens of the Western Reserve and have resided therein at least forty years."
In submitting it Mr. Williams remarked that he did not wish immediate action on the resolution, but desired it to be referred to the executive committee for consideration and report at the next annual meeting. The resolution was so referred.
Mr. Isham A. Morgan, a member of the association, then read a paper, giving his recollections of
THE EARLY SETTLEMENT OF CLEVELAND. “Cleveland,” he said, “and what was subsequently set off as Newburgh township, was all one precinct for about one decade after the settlement began. On the track through the woods from Mill Creek falls to the Public Square in Cleveland, previously marked by blazed trees, might be found, in A. D. 1811, the residences of the following people : Charles Miles and family lived in a log hut on the hill above the falls, where he soon built a frame tavern for the accommodation of travelers from Pittsburgh to Cleveland. It burned down, and his brother, Daniel Miles, built a brick house on the same ground, now occupied by Joseph Turney. About where C. Coolidge's livery stable, in the Twentyseventh ward, now is, was the house of Augustus Gilbert. A few rods west of where the Cleveland Rolling Mills are now was the residence of Sylvanus Burke, father of the late Brasilla B. and Gaius Burke. On original one hundred acre lot No. 319, now Slade place, was the house of Samuel
S. Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin was the first sheriff of the county and executed the penalty of the law for murder upon the Indian, John Omick, in 1812, in the Public Square. Adjoining Baldwin's land, on lot No. 318, there was between one and two acres, partly cleared, where a house was soon built of selected logs, cut from the surrounding trees, which made a home for my father and mother with their five dependents, besides an addition of one four years later. On lot No. 221, where Mrs. Cable and her daughter, Mrs. Cady, now reside, was the house of Dyer Shirman. He was a son-in-law of Judge James Kingsbury. Also on part of lot No. 321 was Christopher Gun's house. He soon sold his betterments to my father, who paid General Perkins, the agent of the land. Christopher Gun moved to Superior street, and was the first regular ferryman on the river. Next to Christopher's place, before he moved, was his father's, Elijah Gun's, place. On lot No. 334, in the rear of where engine house No. 13 stands, was the house of Robert Carr. On the other side of the road Robert Fulton lived. He was not the famed steamboat inventor but may have been a near relative. On the hill, where we first came in sight of the river since the forest has been cleared away, was the house of Samuel Dille. About forty rods from Dille's house was Ira Ensign's house. The next house was Ezekiel Kelly's. On the hill above Clark's landing was Mason Clark's house. On the side hill above the landing was where one of the first schooners of Cleveland was built.
The next house that we came to in those days, after crossing Kingsbury Run, was that of Major Samuel Jones, at the junction of Broadway and Broadway extension. About a half mile from Jones lived Judge John Walworth. His was the last house on what is now Broadway. Then another half-mile took us to the Square. Then turning down Superior street we came to Mr. Morey's house, where the Forest City House now stands.” Mr. Morgan continued in a very interesting way. He said that in the spring of 1812 there were but five frame houses in Cleveland. Several changes occurred among the residents mentioned, within a few years after they settled between Cleveland and Newburg. Ira Ensign moved away. Mason Clarke died and left his property to his three sons, Christopher Gun, as said before, sold out and went to the ferry. John Wightman was the father of Mrs. Lucy Pangborn of Akron, David L. and Sherburn W. Wightman, they being the only survivors of a family of
eight children. Mr. Morgan here related an incident of Mr. Wightman that made everyone laugh. His parents left him at home when a boy and told him to boil the pot, which he did, literally putting it in a larger one and “cooking” it thoroughly. The first water supply for extinguishing fires in Cleveland was a public well eight feet across, with a wheel and two buckets, situated on Bank street, near Superior. In those days nearly every family had a well at their back door of good water for every purpose except for washing. To supply water for washing when rain water failed, Benhu Johnson, a soldier of the war of 181214 (who lost a leg in the campaign and substituted a wooden one), with his pony and wagon supplied as many as needed water for washing, from the lake at twenty-five cents a load of two barrels, and Jabez Kelley furnished the soap at a shilling a gallon, made at his log soap and candle factory, located on Superior street, near the river. Kelley's soap, and candle factory, Joseph and John Webb's bakery, Mathew Williamson's tannery, besides a grocery or two, whisky being the staple article sold, constituted the chief business houses on the hillside for several years.
Mr. Morgan related a great many other interesting incidents, and concluded by saying : “ The early settlers and their experiences are passing away, and, when we think of it, it brings forth a sigh of sorrow. May the remaining old pioneers enjoy the remainder of their days as men and women ought to enjoy their declining years, who have made the wilderness blossom like the rose. And especially may our honorable president of this association long remain to conduct and enjoy these meetings of the Early Settlers' Association of Cuyahoga county."
The following is a very interesting paper written for the occasion by Mr. George Watkins, an active member of the association, and one of the few living pioneers who saw or experienced what he narrates, all of which has a historical value worthy of permanent record :
EARLY DAYS. It is just sixty-eight years ago that I took my first look at Cleveland from the back of a covered wagon drawn by oxen. It was natural that
the tide of emigration from Connecticut should flow to the “Western Reserve." My father's family, in company with five others, were caught in the flow and emigrated in the summer of 1818. It was my father's original intention to go to Illinois, but we stopped to visit the Strong families in Cleveland for a few days, and were soon induced to remain. So our loaded ox team, weary with five week's journey through the woods, was halted in front of a log cabin on Euclid avenue, which was destined to become the home of our family for one year. This house had neither doors nor windows, nor were they added during our year of occupancy. I only mention this as one of the discomforts. I can't remember that anybody ever complained of it. Complaints were seldom indulged in by the pioneers. What they could better they did, but what they were not able to compass they accepted as a part of the inevitable, with no flings at the hard fate that brought them into the wilderness to encounter incessant toil, privations and dangers. As I recall that far-off time and understand better what it all meant for those who enjoy the fruits of that sad time, I appreciate, as younger men cannot, the heroic endeavor of those devoted men and women to make the best of everything ; to start churches, and schools, and institutions even when the bare necessities of life could be obtained with the utmost difficulty.
Those were times that tried men's souls. Earnest, honest, God-fearing men were the rule, not the exception. This Western Reserve was settled by men whose word was just as good as a bond. There was no chicanery—no double dealing. Life was simple, earnest, sincere. I have told you in former papers of our manner of living, the tools we used and the organization of schools and churches. I have given by name the pioneers from Doan's brook to Erie street, and told you just where they built up their homes and had their clearings on the great Buffalo road, now Euclid avenue. I have been so repeatedly urged to continue these sketches that I invite you to attend with me a Fourth of July, a logging-bee, and a singing-school.
Of all the days in the year the Fourth of July, or Independence Day as it was then called, was the one most longed for and the longest remembered. It was the grand holiday of holidays. It was planned for months ahead. The hoeing was done and the haying never touched
until this memorable day had passed. To these early settlers it was truly “the glorious Fourth.” Many of the pioneers had taken part in the struggle for independence. It was nearer to them in point of years than our own great civil war is to us to-day.
The war of 1812 with its stinging disgrace—Hull's surrender of Detroit and all the territory of Michigan-and the brilliant successes that followed were a part of their personal history. This national huliday had for them the deep meaning of a victory that had brought them out of oppression into the light of a better day.
When this day was to be ushered in, long before the dawn appeared, in East Cleveland, Kilberry's old blacksmith's anvil had been fired off by the boys to wake up the people, and every one was astir earlier than usual. Several days before a president of the day and a committee for various things had been appointed.
That everything might be ready, this committee met the previous day and constructed a bowery in the orchard back of Job Doan's tavern. The liberty pole was also brought from the woods and set up. There was a good deal of work about it, but it paid well.
This orchard of Job Doan's was used for the Fourth of July celebra. tion for a good many years. It was directly back of the present East End postoffice. The bowery was made after the following fashion : Crotched sticks were stuck into the ground at regular intervals over a space of one hundred feet or so in length and wide enough to inclose a table with seats upon either side. The table and seats were made of rough boards, and the top of the bowery was covered with fragrant hemlock boughs upon the eventful morning. The first thing was to raise the flag and then the jollification began. Even now I imagine I can see those pioneers coming up to the old orchard for such a day of rejoicing as we never see any more. Every heart was fired with patriotism and a sincere desire to honor the day that marked our national liberty. Yes, there they come in force, Andrew Cozad, Clark Cozad, Samuel Cozad, and their wives and children ; Dr. Groves, who was the first physician in this part of the town, and his family ; Elijah Ingersoll, Nathan Ingersoll, Levi Ingersoll, Job Doan, Richard Kilberry, Benjamin Clarke, Rufus Dunham, James Strong, John O. Willard, John Shenefelt, John Riddle, Timothy Watkins, Benjamin Crawford, Harvey Sumner,