Page images
PDF
EPUB

November 2, 1808, Captain Edward Paine writes his wife (who is visiting at Casenovia, New York) that “Mr. P. and Lydia (Captain Paine's sister) have not yet commenced house-keeping, and perhaps will not before you return. They behave very well for children.” “Mr. P.” was afterwards a well known attorney throughout the Western Reserve, and “Lydia” became the mother of Mrs. J. F. Card, Mrs. Lydia P. Noble and Samuel W. Phelps, Jr.

When the county-seat was removed to Chardon, Captain Edward Paine, who was the clerk of courts froin 1806 to 1828, went to Chardon and died there in 1848.

On the twelfth of February, 1812, Capt. Skinner was commissioned by the Ohio Secretary of State to open a road from the mouth of Grand river to the south line of Geauga county-afterwards known as the Warren State Road. Mr. Paine exhibited the original commission.

In June, 1812, Governor Huntington, General Simon Perkiras, Calvin and Seymour Austin of Warren, and Captain Skinner laid out the town of Grandon, known as Fairport-and business developed so rapidly that Captain Skinner was licensed by the United States Commission of Revenue, January 19, 1814, to sell by retail, domestic spirits at his home in New Market. Mr. Paine exhibited the original license.

In 1816, General Perkins and Calvin Austin sold their interests in Fairport. Governor Huntington died in 1817. Seymour Austin died in 1820. Captain Skinner lived to see Cleveland secure the Ohio canal, and died in 1826, being the last of the original proprietors of Grandon.

The Painsville Telegrah, October 16, 1824, was shown, containing a list of 65 advertised letters in the postoffice, one for the postmaster himself, Jediah Hills. It would seem the postmaster advertised every letter in his office September 30, 1824. for the benefit of the printer.

Mr. Paine also read extracts from a letter by “ Jesse ” to “ Edwin," dated at Chardon, August 6, 1827, as follows :

“ Dear Sir-I must inform you that I am not married yet, and you will probably say I never will be.

"I am inclined to be a convert to the doctrine laid down by Lord Littleton. He supposes that human souls come forth in pairs of male and female from the hands of their Creator, who gives them to the winds of heaven to bear them to our lower world, where, if they arrive safe and

meet again, they instinctively impel the bodies they animate towards each other and produce a hymenial union.

"I think it probable that the dear precious soul designed for my partner in this life is cast on some inhospitable shore, perhaps in Greenland, or Iceland, or Lapland, or Newfoundland, or some other land far from the land of Ohio, and the distance being so great between us that all the power of attraction, adhesion, cohesion, or gravitation, will never be able to unite us.”

The interesting fact in connection with this letter is that a good looking son and a beautiful granddaughter of “ Jesse” are now (1886) living in Painesvile.

Mr. Paine exhibited the resolutions adopted by a meeting of the friends of the present administration' held at Painesville, September 5, 1829, at which a committee of 35 was appointed to promote the object of the meeting—and the last name and only survivor is Addison Hills.

In 1829 the father of the speaker, Eleazer Paine, jr., who had made his home with Captain Edward Paine, after the death of his father. Eleazer Paine, sr., built a store in Chardon. The original account of the cost of the store was exhibited. On the outside was a “ time table" as follows :

GROG HOURS.

Bitters in morning.
Grog at 10 A. M.

do do 12 at noon.
do do

3

P. M.

do do 572 P. M. May 18, 1829, the day the old store was moved to clear the ground for the new trick store, 4 gallons of whisky or “grog” were absorbed.

From 1830 to 1836 business revived at Fairport and the harbor threatened to rival Cleveland, although Cleveland had got the canal. The Fairport & Wellsville R. R. the Painesville & Fairport R. R. and the Ohio R. R. were organized and Mr. Paine exhibited certificates of stock in all the companies, which he asserted had never been “watered," but kept perfectly dry for 50 years and yet these stocks were flat on the market. With the crash of 1836–7 all the railroad projects collapsed, and Fairport's boom bursted.

Having got within fifty years of to-day and his alloted time of ten minutes having expired, Mr. Paine retired, omiting all reference to many other old pioneer documents in his possesion.

The audience was now favored with an old-time song, "Dull Cares," sung by H. M. Addison, accompained by the violin played by himself, which was received with evident delight.

PIONEER LIFE AND ITS CONTRAST.

BY JOHN M. WILCOX.

Individual life is the sum-total of individual impressions. He who has seen most has lived most.

The man who has lived during the last sixty years in Northern Ohio, has had a sum of impressions such as perhaps no person dying before the commencement of those sixty years ever enjoyed. Such a man has seen the giants of the forest facing him upon every hand and tossing their massive arms at him as in defiance. He has seen these giants laid low by the weapons of man, and has stood by their funeral pyres. The smoke of their burnings was around him during many long and weary years. Where the light of the log-heap drove back the shadows of the environing forest, he sees the furnace gleaming, and notes the sinuous white streak made by the half molten metal as it rushes back and forth between the rolls. He has borne a hand at the raising of the log-house or barn, has swigged from the inevitable jug, and has joined in the game of town ball that always followed. The log-house is no more. On its site stands a palace. The jug has gone with the log-house, and a thousand saloons have taken its place for the worse. The game of ball has become too intricate for his comprehension. The professional player, drawing a salary greater than that paid to the governor of a state, would laugh himself to weakness seeing a representation of the game of sixty years ago. Yet that old game, which man and boy so loved to play in those young days, was the rude thought that by slow evolution came at last to be the complex cluster of ideas, making a game of sport, that, from its greatness, we, by one accord, have qualified as "national. ”

Laugh no more, you high-priced favorite of the base-ball field! But for the old-time games and ways and thoughts, take heed that you too are not making light of that which had to be that you might be !

The ox-cart, in which the man who has lived during the last sixty years went to mill and to meeting, has gone with the oxen that drew it. That man comes to this meeting in a palace car. An hour ago he was forty miles from here.

The sycthe that caused so many a boyhood backache no longer smooths the open field. It has been degraded to the office of looking after the fence corners and the weeds of the garden. We cut the grass and grain to-day riding upon a grander chariot than that behind which Achilles dragged the body of Hector around the walls of Ancient Troy

our modern chariot rolls to scatter life and love and laughter, not death and hate and tears. From the sad heroics of the past have come the glad humanities of to-day.

The shriek of the wild-cat and the howl of the wolf, that sixty years ago made the hair of youth to stand upon end, have given place to the scream of the locomotive and the groan of the shop horn. The wild man of the woods has been supplanted by the wild man from central and southern Europe. The messenger, once floundering through mud and stream, guided by “blazed” trees by day and the faithful stars by night, is no longer needed. We step to the telephone, or the telegraphic in. strument, and call upon the lightning to go carry our message to a distant friend, and lo, the word has gone and the answer has come, be fore the old-time courier could have reached the turn in the road and signal farewell by a hand wave.

The old spinning-wheel is in the dime museum, and the one who turned it has been succeeded by one who paints pictures, talks politics and philosophy, plays upon the piano, presides at societies whose objects are to relieve human ignorance and misery, and who very justly, in the opinion of your speaker, demands that she may vote, and in all other respects be held to be as good as a man. Think not that she who turned the old spinning-wheel is to be held in less esteem than her successor, Not so.

But I venture the statement that the good mother of the olden time would have done as her daughter now does, if she could have done so. Woman.nature cannot have changed much in sixty

years. Then, as now, it must have loved duty and the beautiful, and these two loves always prompt the ambition that would compass all the comforts and luxuries that surroundings permit.

In sixty years the red “warmus” has differintiated into the swallowtail”—a tremendous metamorphosis! If any one shall insist that in this case there has been no gain, I shall not make war upon him. The phenomenon, "accident," seems to be the accompanying parasite to every law or system. It is probable the “swallow-tail ” should be classed as an "accident."

In sixty years the railroads have drawn into the great terminal cities the most of the business and the best of the brains of the former thriving villages. We may doubt that in this there has been a gain, and the doubt may be just. But it takes the city to give us the best as well as the worst of life. ' Cheap clothes, and shoes, and tools, and books, and newspapers and pictures ; good lawyers and doctors and financiers-all these seem to be better assured through the dynamics of great cities. But the twin of “good” is “evil.” Look where you may the duality of things holds good. Much good means some bad, hence the tramp, the pauper, the purse-proud, the anarchist, the prostitute—the thousand-andone forms of the hideous "double” of virtue, are inseparable from the

Is it sad, that it is so ? Yes, but not so sad as not to be able to tell good when we see it. Yet how should we know good unless we had some bad to compare it with. When comparison ceases we have nihilism. Even the modern“ dude" serves a purpose, for by com. parison with him, the big armed, strong-brained, honest artisan, shows to much better advantage than otherwise.

Sixty years ago the farmer tried-and usually with little hope-by studying the signs of nature to portend the weather. Now he reads the morning paper and finds that a man in the signal office at Washington puts down what to expect for a day to come in the matter of metrological phenomenon. That man at Washington rarely makes mistakes.

The flail is gone out of the barn, we thresh wheat by steam ; the pine knot, torch and tallow dip “pale their ineffectual fires” before kerosene and electricity. But the knot and the tallow have not been lost to the world. Of the knot we make beautiful veneerings and ornaments. Of the tallow we make butter, or rather what no save a good

great cities.

one

« PreviousContinue »