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JOHN W. ALLEN AND E. WATERMAN.
A man by the name of Plymet robbed one of the banks of Pittsburgh, and leaving town came to Cleveland and started a store, thinking thus to escape the clutches of the law. He was detected, however, tracked to this place, and John W. Allen, then a prominent lawyer here, was employed by the bank to secure from the government a requisition for his arrest.
During the proceedings, which were held before Mr. E. Waterman, a justice of the peace, Mr. Allen offended the justice in some way, who threatened to have him arrested for contempt of court, but finally the difficulty between them was amicably settled.
Mr. Allen succeded in effecting the arrest of Plymet and he was sent back to Pittsburgh, at which he was so incensed that he vowed if he ever came out of this trouble he would show Mr. Allen the bottom of the East river. He was sentenced to the penitentiary, and must have afterward thought better of his threat, for he never carried it out.
FIRST FIRE ENGINE. The first engine house was located either on Bank street, between the Weddell House and the bank, or near the market house. The engine was worked by means of brakes, placed on each side, and the company was a volunteer one, consisting of prominent business men of the town, merchants, lawyers, etc., such as Messrs. Lemmon, Spangler, and others. They met at stated intervals for drill, and whenever there was a fire the church bells were rung, and all turned out to aid in putting it out.
AN INCIDENT ILLUSTRATING THE INCREASE IN THE VALUE OF PROPERTY.
In 1836-7 a lady owning a lot on St. Clair street, where the Hoyt block now is, was offered ten thousand dollars for it, but refused to take it. She had bought it from her brother, a mason, and paid quite a sum for it. She has always kept the property, and now receives a good income from the rental of a building, which has since been erected upon it.
THE CHOLERA PLAGUE. During the time that the cholera raged so fiercely in this region, it was reported that the steamer Henry Clay, which was approaching the city, had a case of the disease on board. The city authorities immediately
gave orders for her to anchor outside of the pier, and directed that no person should be allowed to leave or go on board the boat, for fear of bringing the infection into the city. It was a bright, clear day, and it seemed as if the entire populace turned out, and gathered on the hill where the Bethel now stands, to make sure that the instructions of the government were obeyed.
In spite of these precautions, the disease soon began to break out all over the city, and soon became so common, that it was thought no more of than the ordinary fever and ague ; and the bodies of the dead were carried out two or three at a time for burial. It seemed to take peculiar hold upon any one who ate green fruits of any kind. One instance of this was in the case of a family by the name of Kent, living on Orange street. They ate very freely of water-melon, and were immediately atacked with cholera, and the next day the entire family were dead.
At one time, the only way of getting from the east side of the river to the west was by the means of a ferry, which started at the foot of Superior street, and a fee of twenty-five cents was charged for every trip. It was impossible to have a bridge across at this point, as it would interfere with the boats passing from the lake into the river. After a few years, however, the authorities had a floating bridge constructed of white-wood logs, where the present Centre street bridge now stands. This was arranged to swing round to allow the vessels to pass through, and was brought back into place by means of ropes.
This important institution stood about on the side walk south of the little rustic bridge in Monumental park, and the Court house was near it.
FUSS ABOUT THE FIRST BRIDGE FROM EAST TO WEST SIDE.
The first bridge from West Side (or Ohio City as it was then called), to the East Side, was built and presented to the city, by James S. Clark. The road over which it was built was formerly called the Ox Track, and the hill had to be graded down in order to make way for it. The people of Ohio City were very much opposed to its erection, fearing it would injure their trade, and take away the travel from Detroit street,
which, previous to this time, had been the thoroughfare between the two sides. The feeling on their part became so intense that they resolved it should not stand ; and, accordingly, a conspiracy was formed for its destruction. One night, a large quantity of powder was placed beneath the bridge, and at a cartain time, when the coast was clear, the powder was ignited, and the bridge blown to atoms. No one could ever find out who did the work, as the arrangements were made with such profound secrecy that no clue to the identity of the conspirators could be obtained.
AN INCIDENT ABOUT THE EARLY RAILROAD. The first horse-cars used in the town were on the old State Cleveland and Newburgh road, and were quite different from those now in use. The drivers seat was outside, on top of the car. Before making his trip, one of the drivers, whose name was Billings, had occasion to leave his car, just in front of the Wright House, to go in and get his coat. A lady was the only passenger in the car. While the driver was gone, the horse became frightened at something, and started off on the run, resisting all attempts to stop him. He coutinued to run until he reached the barns, which were located where the Forest City House now is, when he turned in very suddenly, and in so doing the shaft went into his body and killed him instantly.
Among the young men of my boyhood days was one by the name of Grove Mack, who was noted for his propensity for getting into all kinds of roguery, though not vicious in disposition. If there was a trick to be played on any person, he was sure to be at the head of it.
He never attended school regularly, but went whenever the fancy seized him. At that time the main building of the First Presbyterian church had not been completed, and the meetings of the congregation were held in the basement. One evening when the weekly prayer-meeting was in session, Grove was near the church with a number of companions. Grove proposed that we should have some fun by throwing stones at the windows and then running away. I would not consent to this proceeding, and threatened if they did so to expose them all, and finally succeeded in dissuading them from their purpose.
It was little wonder that Grove led a reckless life, as his father, a prominent physician of the town, was a very dissipated man.
One day the doctor started out with a friend named George Kirk, to go to the race course, the trance to which was where George Cushing's place is now. Both men were very much under the influence of liquor, and on the way fell to betting on the result of the races. Doctor Mack became so excited that he fell from his horse and was killed, but George Kirk managed to keep his seat and reached his home without accident. Grove Mack finally went to the Mexican war and was killed in battle.
MRS. E. F. GAYLORD INTERVIEWED, JANUARY 18, 1886.
Mrs. E. F. Gaylord was called on by a representative of the Early Settlers' Association, and in answers to questions gave the following recollections of her life in Cleveland :
“I came to Cleveland in 1833. We traveled on the Erie canal to Buffalo, and without setting foot on land were transferred direct from the canal packet to the steamer that was to bring us to Cleveland. I do not remember the name of that vessel. It was the year of the great frost that, in the last week in May, had done a large amount of damage. As we came along the canal and lake we could see the trees on the banks with their leaves all dried up and shriveled as they would be by the heavy frosts of the fall. There was a second growth of foliage, but no fruit that year. We had no peaches then in the colder regions of New York from which I had come, and were promised peaches in Ohio, but the frost compelled us to wait for another season for them. On reaching Cleveland we went to the Commercial house, which stood on the corner of Superior and Seneca streets, and that was standing at a lower point on Seneca street only a few years ago. Mr. Gaylord was then a member of the firm of Stickland & Gaylord, doing a drug business on Superior street, next to the American house. He had been in Cleveland and established himself in business the year before I came here."
[It may be properly placed on record here that Mr. Gaylord was born in Torrington township, Litchfield county, Connecticut in 1795,
and that Mrs. Gaylord was born November 21, 1801, in Madison county, New York. They were married at Madison, Madison county, New York, on January 23, 1823, and on the same date of 1883 com. morated, in the old homestead on Woodland avenue, the sixtieth anniversary of that event.)
In answer to a question touching the size of Cleveland on her arrival and its prospects for the future, Mrs. Gaylord said : “ There were about three thousand people here. I remember that a Mr. Patton was here from the east, and in the course of an address he delivered at the Stone church he uttered a prophecy that the time would come within the life of some of those present when Cleveland would have a population of fifty thousand. I shook my head at this idea, and said to myself, 'Oh you visionary man! I also remember when Elder Tucker, in 1835, prophesied that the time would come when there would be a railroad to the Pacific ocean. The statement struck me as absurd as one would now touching a railroad to the moon. I thought of the long distance, the great mountains, and other natural barriers in the way. Dr. Long was the leading Cleveland physician in those days, and Mr. Peter M.Weddell the merchant. He had a store on Superior street, a little west of Bank, on land now covered by a part of the Weddell house. William and Thomas Beckwith were his clerks. I remember we had a Baptist and a Presbyterian church, but do not recollect as to a Methodist. Rev. Mr. Keep had charge of the Presbyterian church for a time, and was followed by Dr. S. C. Aiken, who was installed as pastor in November of 1835.
He remained with us through many useful years, and was a noble and earnest man. He was not a sensational worker, but laid good foundations of work, and laid them sure and strong.” When asked of the cholera troubles of 1834, Mrs. Gaylord said :
“I remem. ber the excitement fully, but had no knowledge of it personally. The nearest it came to us was the death of a young man named Kendall, who clerked in Mr. Gaylord's store.
were new arrivals and had not become acclimated, our physician was afraid that we were in more danger than most of the people here, and advised us to go into the country. We accordingly did so, and were in Aurora for a number of weeks. Yes, I remember the war of 1812. My father, General Erastus Cleveland, served in that war, and I can remember when he