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and giving her other needed repairs. I sailed on her all that season, and she laid up here. I was with the same ship and captain a part of the next year, until the latter and the owners disagreed. They finally let him have her, to run on shares. I was to go along and keep the accounts. That went along for some time, when Keith quit, and went home to Michigan. I was captain then arıd sailed her until I was taken sick and gave up, when Captain Jonathan Johnson took her. He loaded her for Perrysburgh, up the Maumee river, and got as far as the Huron river, where she froze in the ice. In the spring I took her on up to Perrysburgh, and had her for the rest of the season, until she was sold, when I went into the employment of Dennison & Foster of Cleveland, who had a connection with a line on Lake Ontario, and owned a warehouse on the river, this side of Bath street, or near where the Otis elevator was afterwards located. I was with them three years, and among the vessels I sailed in were the Aurora, Eliza, and Edward Sackett. We went anywhere and everywhere for which a load could be secured. I ended with them in 1835, at the close of the season. In 1836 I was in the employ of the Troy & Erie line, which had a large business on the lakes and canal. Among the owners who resided here I remember Charles M. Giddings, a Mr. Griffith, and Needham M. Standard. Mr. Giddings had been a member of the firm of Giddings & Merwin, which was in business in Cleveland for a long time. During that season I was in charge of the schooner Ohio, and as that was my last year on the water I will relate quite fully the incidents connected with a trip I made to Chicago in the fall, illustrating as it does some of the business methods of that day. It may be surprising that a time ever was when pork was carried to Chicago, which is now the greatest pork market in the world; but such there was, and that only fifty years ago. I loaded with pork, and had instructions from the owners as to the bottom prices at which I might sell, and failing in them the load was to be brought home again. I went first to Michigan City, on Lake Michigan, on this side of it, and near the head of the lake. Two vessels beside mine were anchored there. As I left to go on shore I told my mate that if a heavy blow came on not to hold on until his ship cables gave way, but to let loose and make sail as I had always done under such circumstances. It blew hard that night, and when we three cap
tains went down to the shore the following morning, the other two knew where their vessels were, as they were both piled up on the beach. I did not know where mine was, but at the end of a week I received word from our agent at she had arrived at Chicago. The mate had run her in and got between the piers, but not over a bar that was there. Some of her rigging was gone, and she was pretty badly shaken up. I went around by land, walking to the head of the lake where I remained over night at a tavern some man had built for the purpose of catching just such wayfarers. The landlord said he needed some pork, and I told him to come with me. He did so, and we rode on to Chicago in a two-horse wagon. We had to unload to get our vessel over the bar. We repaired her, and meanwhile I sold what pork I could. In those days we had to take wild cat money. I had about three thousand dollars of it on hand. There was a United States army lieutenant there in charge of the work on the harbor, and he wanted to borrow that sum to pay off his men, offering to give me an order on the old Bank of Michigan at Detroit, where his funds were deposited. I thought the matter over for a while, and then let him have it and took his check on the bank. I then went on to Milwaukee, but could make no sale.
I moved on, and as there came on a blow was driven pretty well across the lake. Next morning I sighted Grand River, now called Grand Haven. I took my chances and went in. I did not know the harbor, and felt a little uneasy, but got in safely. As there was no road up to Grand Rapids, forty miles distance, I made arrangements to canoe it that distance, but before doing so made a sale of all my mess pork at the harbor, and so abandoned the trip. My sale there amounted to fifteen thousand dollars, and I was paid in good eastern money. I had still on hand one hundred barrels of what was called “cargo,” consisting of necks, etc. I had authority to dispose of that at five dollars a barrel, mess pork being sixteen. I went next to Mackinaw, where I traded the one hundred barrels for barreled white fish-barrel for barrel. On reaching Cleveland I found the fish worth twelve dollars a barrel. I had stopped at Detroit and received my three thousand dollars in eastern money, which was worth four per cent. premium. All the profit went to my employers, although I suppose I could have gone to the bank
and exchanged it for Ohio money, pocketing the premium. That ended my life on the water.
I served as a constable for two or three years, and then moved out on the Euclid road on a piece of nine and a half acres I had bought, three miles from the Public Square. I remained there four years, and in the spring of 1845 took charge of the light house that was built in 1830 and was torn down only a few years ago to make place for the present enlarged structure. I remained there four years, and then moved up on Prospect street, next east of the present Normal school building. I resided there four years, and spent the winter of 49-50, during that period, in Columbus, where I held the position of assistant sergeant-at-arms of the senate. Seabury Ford was then governor; Henry B. Payne was a member of the senate, and John Hutchins represented Trumbull county in the house. I next became steward of the United States Marine Hospital at Cleveland, going in under Polk and holding until Lincoln came in in 1861. I then removed to my present location, on the corner of Superior street and Willson avenue. In 1839 I had bought fifteen acres of land there at fifty dollars an acre. It was then all woods, with the exception of one acre that had been cleared, and was considered away out in the country. As an illustration of the cheapness of property in the early days, I may mention that I still hold a piece of land on Euclid avenue, next the Opera house, forty-nine and one-half feet front by ninety-nine deep, that just sixty years ago cost me one hundred dollars.
I remember very little about Cleveland before 1816. About that time one, on leaving Doan's corners, would come in a little time to a cleared farm. Then down about where A. P. Winslow now lives, a man named Curtis had a tannery. There was only a small clearing, large enough for the tannery and a residence. The brook that crossed the road there was called Curtis brook. There was nothing else but woods until Willson avenue was reached, and there a man named Bartlett had a small clearing, on which there was a frame house, the boards running up and down. Following down the line of what is now Euclid avenue, the next sign of civilization was found at what is now Erie street, where a little patch of three or four acres had been cleared, surrounded by a rail fence. Where the First Methodist church now stands a man named Smith lived
in a log house. I don't remember any building between that and the Square, which was already laid out, but covered with bushes and stumps. About that time a man named Morey built a tavern where the Forest City house now stands. It was called the Cleveland house ever since it had a name, although in those days the public inns generally went by the owners' names-Morey's tavern, etc. Morey was married to Rhoda Curtis, daughter of the man who kept the tannery. Before that period a man named Wallace had kept a tavern where the Miller block now is, half way between Bank and Seneca streets. The old jail and court house building stood where the fountain is now in the Square. It had two cells, one called the “dungeon,” for criminals, and one that was a little more comfortable, for those imprisoned for debt. An old ropewalk, built when I do not know, was where the post-office building now is, and ran back for some length. It was owned by a man named Prather. The first thing I can remember of the post-office was when Irad Kelley kept it in a building on the south side of Superior street, a little west of Bank. A hewed log house stood back of where the Leader office now is, and I was told Governor Huntington occupied it once. Major Lorenzo Carter's house, clapboarded over when I saw it but with the original logs under the boards, stood near the present corner of Water and Superior streets, and a little back from the road. I don't remember ever seeing Carter himself, but knew his children well. His son Alonzo, who lived in Newburgh, sold most of the land on which the iron mills are now located
I never saw many Indians about here, and there were not many remaining in this section after 1816. Deer were in plenty, and wolves. After we moved out to Doans' Corners and were located some sixty or eighty rods from Euclid avenue, along the line of Fairmount street, near Cedar, they would come howling about at night in a manner that one who had never heard of them could not think possible. We paid no attention to them, having got used to them, and sleeping right along through their music. They were sly, and in the daylight would keep at their distance. We had to shut the sheep up at night, as they were very partial to mutton and young calves. My brother was a good hunter, and shot a great
I have, when a boy, seen a number of exciting horse races on Water
street. From Lake street to Superior was counted a good quarter of a mile. Once a man named Hines owned a little racer that he was willing to match against anything. Nathan Perry owned a horse that was good in a one-quarter race. They made a match that was the talk of the town, and when it came off Judge Tod, who was holding court here, adjourned it so that he and the lawyers could go down and see the sport. Hines won the race. They used also to run along the Euclid road between the Square and Erie street. They would commence about at Erie, and run to within thirty rods of the Square, which was counted a quarter. One race held there I shall never forget. A little mare called Portage Polly had beaten everything at home, and a lot of the Portage county men came up here with their pockets full of money to back their favorite against a Cleveland horse named Black Billy, that as yet had made no record. Great pains were taken to mark out the course, and get the roadway in good order. Everybody was here, as the race had been long talked about, and made as much excitement as a meeting of the Northern Ohio Fair Association in later days. I stood by, a mere boy, but an excited and interested spectator. Black Billy won the race, and the Portage county men felt so cut up that they were bound to have another. One man was rushing around shaking a roll of bills in the faces of the Clevelanders, and offering to bet five hundred dollars on the Portage favorite. Noble H. Merwin had been riding about on a large horse, and when he could stand the talk no longer putspurs to his horse and galloped down town. Very soon he came back, with his hands full of bills, crying out, "Here's the five hundred for Black Billy against your Portage Polly! Portage against Cuyahoga! Cuyahoga against Portage.” With that the Portage men quieted down and offered no more bets.
I remember an accident that occurred once on Euclid road, thirty or forty rods east of Wilson avenue. Six men were riding along during a storm when an immense limb of an oak tree that stood by the roadway, was blown off, and crashed down upon them. It went through the wagon-box, smashed in a barrel of flour, and broke both arms and legs of a man named Cole. He lived only a short time.
I was here in the two cholera scares. We had heard a great deal of it, and some marvelous tales were told of men walking along the streets