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ERIE COUNTY was formed in 1838 from Huron and Sandusky counties. The surface to the eve seems nearly level, while in fact it forms a gentle slope from the south line of the county, where it has an elevation of about 150 feet above the lake, to the lake level. It has inexhaustible quarries of limestone and freestone.


The soil is very fertile. The principal crops are wheat, corn, oats and potatoes. It is very prominent as a fruit-growing county, productive in apples, peaches and especially so in grapes. Its area is 290 square miles, being one of the smallest in territory in the State. In 1885 the acres cultivated were 78,912; in pasture, 20,638; woodland, 11,825; lying waste, 3,941; produced in wheat, 247,824 bushels; in oats, 294,676; corn, 564,863; potatoes, 301,306, wool, 144,992 pounds; grapes, 1,571,045. School census 1886, 10,929; teachers, 172. It has 90 miles of railroad.


Township And





Township And





















































The population in 1840 was 12,457; 1860, 24,474; 1880, 32,640, of whom 20,899 were Ohio-born; 1,651 New York; 534 Pennsylvania; 4,882 Germany; 1,196 Ireland; 702 England and Wales; and 287 British America.


The name of this county was originally applied to the Erie tribe of Indians. This nation is said to have had their residence at the east end of the lake, near where Buffalo now stands. They are represented to have been the most powerful and warlike of all the Indian tribes, and to have been extirpated by the Five Nations or Iroquois two or three centuries since.*


Father Lewis HENNEPIN, in his work published about 1684, in speaking of certain Catholic priests, thus alludes to the Eries: “These good fathers were great friends of the Hurons, who told them that the Iroquois went to war beyond Virginia, or New Sweden, near a lake which they called Erige,” or “Erie,” which signifies “the cat,” or “nation of the cat”  and because these savages brought captives from the nation of the cat in returning to their cantons along this lake, the Hurons named it, in their language, Erige,” or Ericke.” “the lake of the cat,” and which our Canadians, in softening the word, have called “Lake Erie.”


Charleviox, writing in 1721, says respecting Lake Erie: “The name it bears is that of an Indian nation of the Huron [Wyandot] language, which was formerly seated on its banks, and who have been entirely destroyed by the Iroquois. Erie, in that language, signifies cat, and in some accounts this nation is called the cat nation. This name probably, comes from the large number of that animal formerly found in this country.”


The French established a small trading-post at the month of Huron river, and another on the shore of the bay on or near the site of Sandusky City, which were abandoned before the war of the revolution. The small map annexed is copied, from part of Evan’s map of the Middle British Colonies, published in 1755. The reader will perceive upon the east bank of Sandusky river, near the bay, a French


* These facts are derived from the beautiful “tradition of the Eries,” published in the Buffalo Commercial, in the summer of 1845. That tradition (says the editor).” may be implicitly relied upon, every detail having been taken from the lips of Blacksnake and other venerable chiefs of the Senecas and Tonawandas, who still cherish the traditions of their fathers.”




W. A. Bishop, Photo, Sandusky, 1888




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fort, there described as “Fort Junandat, built in 1754.”  The words Wandots are Map.doubtless meant for Wyandot towns.


In 1764, while Pontiac was besieging Detroit, Gen. Bradstreet collected a force of 3,000 men, which embarked at Niagara in boats and proceeded up the lake to the relief of that post. Having burned the Indian corn-fields and villages at Sandusky and along the rich bottoms of the Maumee, and dispersed the Indians whom they there then found, he reached Detroit without opposition.* Having dispersed the Indians besieging Detroit he passed into the Wyandot country by way of Sandusky bay. He ascended the bay and river as far as it was. navigable for boats and there made a camp. A treaty of peace and friendship was signed by the chiefs and head men.


Erie, Huron and a small part of Ottawa county comprise that portion of the Western Reserve known as “the fire-lands,” being a tract of about 500,000 acres, granted by the State of Connecticut to the sufferers by fire from the British in their incursions into that State+ The history which follows of the fire-lands and the settlement of this county is from the MSS. history of the Fire-Lands, by C. B. Squier, and written about 1540.


The largest sufferers, and, consequently, those who held the largest interest m the fire-lands, purchased the rights of many who held smaller interests. The proprietors of the fire-lands, anxious that their new territory should be settled, offered strong inducements for persons to settle in this then unknown region. But, aside from the ordinary difficulties attending a new settlement, the Indian title to the western part of the reserve was not then extinguished; but by a treaty held at Fort Industry, on the Maumee, in July, 1805, this object was accomplished, and the east line of the Indian territory was established on the went line of the reserve.


The proprietors of the fire-lands were deeply interested in this treaty upon the result of which depended their ability to possess and settle their lands. Consequently, the Hon. Isaac MILLS, secretary of the company, with others interested, left Connecticut to be present at these negotiations. Cleveland was the point first designated for holding the treaty. But, upon their arrival, it was ascertained that the influence of the British agents among the Indians was so great as to occasion them to refuse to treat with the agents of the United States, unless they would come into their own territory, on the Miami of the Lakes, as the Maumee was then termed. Having arrived at the Maumee, they found several agents of the British government among the Indians, using every possible effort to prevent any negotiation whatever, and it was fifteen or twenty days before they could bring them to any reasonable terms. Soon after the conclusion of the treaty, the settlements commenced upon the fire-lands.


It is quite difficult to ascertain who the first settlers were upon the fire-lands. As early, if not prior to the organization of the State, several persons had squatted upon the lands, at the mouth of the streams and near the shore of the lake, led a hunter’s life and trafficked with the Indians. But they were a race of wanderers and gradually disappeared before the regular progress of the settlements. Those devoted missionaries, the Moravians, made a settlement, which they called New Salem, as early as 1790, on Huron river, about two miles below Milan, on the HATHAWAY farm. They afterwards settled at Milan.


The first regular settlers upon the fire-lands were Col. Jerard WARD, who came in the ring of 1808, and Almon RUGGLES and Jabez WRIGHT, in the autumn succeeding. Ere the close of the next year, quite a number of families had settled in the townships of Huron, Florence, Berlin, Oxford, Margaretta, Portland and Vermillion. These early settlers generally erected the ordinary log-cabin, but others of a wandering character built bark huts, which were made by driving a post at each of the four corners and one higher between each of the two end corners, in the middle, to support the roof, which



*Lanman's Michigan.

Whittlesey's address on Bouquet’s expedition.

+For some facts connected with the history of the fire-lands, see sketch of the Western Reserve, to be found elsewhere in this work.



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were connected together by a ridge-pole. Layers of bark were wound around the side of the posts, each upper layer lapping the one beneath to shed rain. The roof was barked over strips being bent across from one eave over the ridge-pole to the other and secured by poles on them. The occupants of these bark huts were squatters, and lived principally by hunting. They were the semi-civilized race that usually precedes the more substantial pioneer in the western wilderness.


For two or three years previous to the late war, the inhabitants were so isolated from other settlements that no supplies could be had, and there was much suffering for want of food and clothing; at times, whole families subsisted for weeks together on nothing but parched and pounded corn, with a very scanty supply of wild meat. Indeed, there was not a family in the fire-lands, between 1809 and ‘15, who did not keenly feel the want of both food and clothing. Wild meat, it is true, could usually be procured; but living on this alone would much enfeeble and disease any one but an Indian or a hunter accustomed to it for years.


For even several years after the war raccoon caps, with the fur outside, and deerskin jackets and pantaloons, were almost universally worn. The deerskin pantaloons could not be very well tanned, and when dried, after being wet, were hard and inflexible: when thrown upon the floor they bounded and rattled like tin kettles. A man, in a cold winter’s morning, drawing on a pair was in about as comfortable a position as if thrusting his limbs into a couple of frosty stove-pipes.


To add to the trials and hardships of the early settlers, it soon became very sickly, and remained so for several years. The following is but one of the many touching scenes of privation and distress that might be related:


A young man with his family settled not far from the Huron river, building his cabin in the thick woods, distant from any other settlement. During the summer he cleared a small patch, and in the fall became sick and died. Soon after, a hunter on his way home, passing by the clearing, saw everything still about the cabin, mistrusted all was not right, and knocked at the door to inquire. A feeble voice bade him enter. Opening the door he was startled by the appearance of the woman, sitting by the fire, pale, emaciated, and holding a puny, sickly babe! He immediately inquired their health. She burst into tears and was unable to answer. The hunter stood for a moment aghast at the scene. The woman, recovering from her gush of sorrow, at length raised her head and pointed towards the bed, saying, “There is my little Edward—I expect he is dying—and here is my babe, so sick I cannot lay it down; I am so feeble I can scarcely remain in my chair, and my poor husband lies buried beside the cabin !” and then, as if frantic by the fearful recital, she exclaimed in a tone of the deepest anguish,” Oh! that I was back to my own country, where I could fall into the arms of my mother!”  Tears of sympathy rolled down the weather-beaten cheeks of the iron-framed hunter as he rapidly walked away for assistance. It was a touching scene.


A majority of the inhabitants of this period were of upright characters; bold, daring and somewhat restless, but generous-minded. Although enduring great privations, much happiness fell to the kind of life they were leading. One of them says: “When I look back upon the first few years of our residence here, I am led to exclaim, O ! happy days of primitive simplicity! What little aristocratic feeling any one might have brought with him was soon quelled, for we soon found ourselves equally dependent on one another: and we enjoyed our winter evenings around our blazing hearths in our log-huts cracking nuts full as well, aye! much better than has fallen to our lots since the distinctions and animosities consequent upon the acquisition of wealth have crept in among us.”


Another pioneer says: “In illustration of that old saw, “A man wants but little here below, Nor wants that little long,” I relate the following. A year or two after we arrived, a visit was got up by the ladies, in order to call on a neighboring family who lived a little out of the common way. The hostess was very much pleased to see them, and immediately commenced preparing the usual treat on such occasions—a cup of tea and its accompaniments. As she had but one fire-proof vessel in the house, an old broken bake kettle, it, of course, must take some time. In the first place, some pork was tried up in the kettle to get lard— secondly, some cakes were made and fried in it—thirdly, some shortcakes were made in it—fourthly, it was used as a bucket to draw water—fifthly, the water was heated in it; and sixthly and lastly, the tea was put in and a very sociable dish of tea they had. In those good old times, perfectly fresh to my recollection, the young men asked nothing better than buckskin pantaloons to go a courting in, and the young ladies were not too proud to go to meeting barefoot.”

The following little anecdote illustrate, the intrepidity of a lady in indulging her social feelings. A gentleman settled with his family about two miles west of the Vermillion river without a neighbor near him. Soon after a man and wife settled on the opposite side of the river, three miles distant; the lady on the west side was very anxious to visit her stranger neighbor on the east, and sent her a message setting a day when she should make her visit, and at the time appointed went down to cross the river with her husband but found it so swollen with recent rains as to render it impossible to cross on foot, There was no canoe or horse in that part of the country. The obstacle was apparently insurmountable. Fortunately the man on the other side was fertile in expedients;


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he yoked up his oxen, anticipating the event, and arrived at the river just as the others were about to leave. Springing upon the back of one of the oxen he rode him across the river, and when he had reached the west bank, the lady, Europa-like, as fearlessly sprang on the back of the other ox, and they were both borne across the raging waters, and safely landed upon the opposite bank; and when she had concluded her visit, she returned in the same manner The lady still lives on the same spot, and is noted for her goodness of heart and cultivated manners.


Early in the settlement of the fire-lands the landholders injudiciously raised the price of land to $5 per acre. The lands belonging to the general government on the west were opened for sale at $2 per acre; immigration ceased, and as most of the settlers had bought their land on a credit, the hard times which followed the last war pressed severely u upon them, and the settlements languished. Money was so scarce in 1820 and 1822, that even those who had their farms paid for were in the practice of laying up sixpences and shillings for many months to meet their taxes. All kinds of trade were carried on by barter. Many settlers left their improve­ments and removed farther west, finding themselves unable to pay for their lands.


The first exports of produce of any consequence commenced in 1817; in 1818 the article of salt was $8 per barrel; flour was then $10, and a poor article at that.


There was no market for several years beyond the wants of the settlers, which was sufficient to swallow up all the surplus products of the farmer; but when such an outlet was wanted, it was found at Detroit, Monroe and the other settlements in the upper regions of Lake Erie. As to the commercial advantages, there was a sufficient number of vessels on the lake to do the business of the country, which was done at the price of $2.50 per barrel bulk, from Buffalo to this place, a distance of 250 miles. Now goods are transported front New York to Sandusky City as low as forty-seven cents per hundred, or $9 per ton. Most kinds of merchandise sold at a sale corresponding to the prices of freight. Domestic shirtings from fifty to sixty-two cents and satinets $2.50 to $3.50 per yard; green teas $1.50 to $2.50 per pound; brown sugar from twenty-five to thirty cents per pound; loaf from forty to fifty per pound, etc., etc. Butter was worth twenty-five cents, and corn $1.00 per bushel. As to wheat there was scarcely a price known for some of the first years; the inhabitants mostly depended on buying flour by the barrel on account of the want of mills.


The Indians murdered several of the inhabitants in the fire-lands. One of the most barbarous murders was committed in the spring of 1812, upon Michael GIBBS and one BUEL, who lived together in a cabin about a mile southeast of the present town of San­dusky. The murderers were two Indians named SEMO and OMIC. The whites went in pursuit of them; OMIC was taken to Cleveland, tried, found guilty and executed. SEMO was afterwards demanded of his tribe, and they were about to give him up, when, anticipating his fate, he gave the war-whoop, and shot himself through the heart.


In the late war, previous to Perry’s victory, the inhabitants were in much dread of the Indians. Some people upon Huron river were captured by them, and also at the head of Cold creek, where a Mrs. PUTNAM and a whole family by the name of SNOW (the man excepted) were attacked., Mrs. SNOW and one little child were cruelly butchered, and the rest taken captive, together with a Mrs. BUTLER and a girl, named Page, and carried to Canada. They were, however, released or purchased by the whites a few months after. Other depredations and murders were committed by the savages.


SANDUSKY IN 1846.—Sandusky, the county-seat, is situated on Sandusky bay, 105 miles north of Columbus, and 60 from Cleveland and Detroit. Its situation is pleasant, rising gradually from the lake, and commanding a fine view of it. The town is based upon an inexhaustible quarry of the finest limestone, which is not only used in building elegant and substantial edifices in the town, but is an extensive article of export. A few hundred yards back from the lake is a large and handsome public square on which, fronting the lake, are the principal churches and public buildings. The first permanent settlement at Sandusky City was made in 1 June, 1817, at which time the locality was called Oqontz place, from an Indian chief who resided here previous to the war of 1812. The town was laid out under the name of Portland, in 1817, by its proprietors, Hon. Zalmon WILDMAN, of Danbury, Ct., and Hon. Isaac MILLS, New Haven, in the same State. On the first of July of that year, a small store of goods was opened by Moores FARWELL, in the employment of Mr. WILDMAN. The same building is now standing on the bay shore, and is occupied by Mr. WEST. There were at this time but two log-huts in the place besides the store, which was a frame, and had been erected the year previous. One of the huts stood on the site of the Verandah hotel, and the other some sixty rods east. The first frame dwelling was erected by Wm. B. SMITH in the fall of 1817, the second soon after by Cyrus W. MARSH, and a third


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in the succeeding spring by Moores FARWELL. The Methodist Episcopal church a small frame building, and the first built, was erected in 1830; the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches in 1835; the Wesleyan chapel in 1836, and the rest since. Sandusky contains 1 Episcopal, 1 Methodist, 1 Congregational, 1 Reformed Meth­odist, 1 Catholic and 1 German Lutheran church, 1 high school, a large number of dry-goods and grocery stores, several forwarding and commission houses, 2 furnaces, 1 oil mill, 2 extensive machine shops for the manufacture of the iron for railroad cars, 2 printing offices, 2 banks, and a population estimated at 3,000. This town is now very thriving, and promises to be, here many years, a large city. A great impetus has been given to its prosperity by the construction of two railroads which terminate here; the first, the Mad River and Little Miami railroad, connects it with Cincinnati; the other connects it with Mansfield, from which place it is constructing through Mount Vernon and Newark to Columbus: a branch will diverge from Newark to Zanesville. This last is one of the best built railroads in the country, and is doing a very heavy transportation business. The commerce of Sandusky City is heavy, and constantly increasing. The arrivals at this port in 1846 were 447, clearances 441; and 843,746 bushels of wheat were among the articles exported. On the farm of Isaac A. MILLS, west of the town, are some ancient works and mounds. In the late Canadian “patriot war,” this city was a rendezvous for “patriots” they had an action on the ice near Point-au-Pelee island with British cavalry in the winter of 1838. They were under Capt. BRADLEY, of this city, who has since commanded a company of volunteers in the war with Mexico: In this action the “patriots” behaved with cool bravery, and although attacked by a superior force, delivered their fire with steadiness, and repelled their enemy with considerable loss.—Old Edition.


Sandusky City, on Sandusky bay, an inlet of Lake Erie, is 100 miles north of Columbus and midway between Cleveland and Toledo. It is on the line of the L. S. & M. S.; I. B. & W.; L. E. A. & S.; and S. M. & N. railroads. County Officers in 1888: Probate Judge Albert E. MERRILL; Clerk of Court, Silas E. BAUDER; Sheriff, Thos. A. HUGHES; Prosecuting Attorney, Cyrus B. WINTERS; Auditor, Wm. J. BONN; Treasurer, Jas. ALDER; Recorder, John STRICKLAND; Surveyor, Albert W. JUDSON Coroner, Louis S. SZENDERY; Commissioners, William ZIMMERMAN, Jas. DOUGLASS, John L. HULL. Newspapers: Register, Republican, J. F. MACK & Bro., editors and proprietors; Journal, Democratic, C. C. BITTUR, editor and publisher; Democrat, German, Democratic. Churches: 1 Congregational, 4 Episcopal, 3 Catholic, l Baptist, l Colored Baptist, l Presbyterian, l Friends, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Colored Methodist, 4 German Evangelical, 1 German Lutheran and 1. German Methodist. Banks : Citizens' National, A. E. MERRILL, president, Henry GRAEFE, cashier; Moss National; A. H. MOSS, president, Horace O. MOSS, cashier; Second National, R. B. HUBBARD, president, A. W. PROUNT, cashier; Third National, Lawrence CABLE, president, E. P. ZOLLINGER, cashier.


Principal Industries and Employee—-D. J. Brown & Co., hoops, etc., 35 hands; Germania Basket Company, baskets, 31; George W. Icsman, saw mills; Sandusky Tool Company, edge tools, 230; Ohlemacher Lime Company, lime, 34; J. B. Johnston & Co., lime, 14; Kilbourne & Co., cooperage, 20; J. T. Johnson, planing mill, 31; B. & O. R. R. Shops, railroad repairs, 130; B. & O. Grain Elevator; J. M. Soncrant, cooperage, 20; Johnson, Kunz & Co., lime; Schoeffle & Sloane, doors, sash, etc., 45; Woolsey Wheel Company, carriage, wheels, etc., 143; B. B. Hubbard & Son, planing-mill; August Kunzman, carriages, etc., 10; Lea, Her­bert & Co., planing-mill, 22; Sandusky Machine and Agricultural Works, en­gines, reapers; etc., 45; Barney & Kilby, engines, etc., 206; J. C. Butler & Co., doors, sash, etc., 142; Eureka Lumber Company, planing-mill, etc., 44; I. B, & W. R. R. Shops, railroad repairs, 164; The Sandusky Wheel Company, carriage wheels, etc., 260; Anthony Ilg & Co., lager beer, 12; Albert Schwehr, cigar boxes, 37; Portland Boiler Company; Frank Slang, lager beer, 15; J. Kuebler & Co., lager beer, 22; Hinde, Hansen & Co., paper, 18; J. S. Cowdrey, crayons, chalk,


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etc., 42; G. B. Hodgeman Manufacturing Company, cooperage, 112.—State Report for 1887. Population in 1880, 15,838. School census in 1886, 5,861; Alston ELLIS, superintendent.


Sandusky has the largest and best harbor on the great chain of lakes, having the advantage of a large and land-locked bay, while the other lake ports are mostly but the mouths of rivers. This bay is eighteen miles in length, furnishing ample room for all the water craft that ever could be required.

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.


It is claimed for Sandusky that in the manufacture of wheels and other wood implements that it exceeds any other city of the Union; that of the 1,800 hands in its shops and factories an unusual per cent are skilled mechanics, and married men, and very largely own the houses in which they live.


Ohio Soldiers” and Sailors’ Home—In the latter part of the year 1885 P. R. BROWN, Commander of the Department of Ohio, G. A. R., learned that some old soldiers, survivors of the civil war, were living in county infirmaries. He immediately set inquiries on foot and learned by the end of the year that there were 300 such; and that many others, equally destitute, were supported by private benevolence, Soon after Gov. FORAKER’S inauguration; in January, 1886, Commander BROWN conferred with him, and found his sympathies warmly enlisted.


A bill was introduced in the legislature and met with such general favor, that on the 30th of January an act was passed to establish “The Ohio Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home,” for all honorably discharged soldiers, sailors and marines who have served the United States government m any of its wars, and who are citizens of Ohio at the date of the passage of this act, and are not able to support themselves, etc., etc., and who cannot gain admission to the national military homes.


The Governor appointed I. F. MACK, of Sandusky; R. B. BROWN, of Zanesville;; Durbin WARD, of Lebanon; W. P. ORR, of Piqua; and Thomas T. DILL, of Mansfield, trustees. Durbin WARD dying, Thomas R. PAXTON, of Cincinnati, was appointed in his place, and I. F. MACK was elected president, and R. B. BROWN, secretary.


The board, on the 31st of July, having previously examined many titles in various parts of the State, resolved to establish the Home near Sandusky. On the 9th of August, they selected as the site ninety acres of breezy land, partly wooded, a mile outside the corporate limits of the city; the land being donated to the State, and guarantees being given for the construction of a large stone sewer from the grounds to the lake, of mains for water, gas, electricity, a railway switch to the grounds and two fine avenues 700 feet in width as outlets. The grounds will be beautifully ornamented, the attractive features including a chain of lakes and shelter house.


The terms have been fulfilled by the county, the city, and by citizens. The legislature has been liberal in making appropriations from time to time; the trustees have been earnest in the work and have enjoyed the hearty co. operation of the governor.


Plans have been adopted for buildings to accommodate about 1,000 inmates, and are now in course of construction; they consist of thirteen cottages of four different designs, dining and kitchen building, power-house, laundry and bath-rooms, hospital, chapel, conservatory, and the administration building, in which are located the offices of the commandant and his assistants and of the Board of Trustees. The buildings are of the best Ohio limestone and sandstone, and from an architectural point of view present a handsome appearance.


The land lies between forty and fifty feet above the level of the lake, and no higher land is near. The buildings are admirably designed, and are thoroughly built, with exterior walls of stone and partitions of brick. No building is more than two stories high. They will be comfortable and healthful, and


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the architectural effect of the mass will be handsome and imposing.


The board is to be congratulated on its choice of Gen. M. F. FORCE, of Cincinnati, for commandant, a gentleman of rare ability, singular modesty and worth, under whose management the Home will assuredly meet the best purposes for which it is designed.


When the Civil war of 1861 was fairly inaugurated Gen. FORCE was a practicing attorney in Cincinnati. He joined a military company, and was soon after promoted to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the Twentieth Ohio, and at Camp Chase proved to be an excellent drill officer. The history of the Twentieth shows what efficiency he developed as a commanding officer of the regiment, the brigade, and eventually of the division. Stooping over his wounded friend, Adjutant Walker, in the terrible conflict at Atlanta, he received a bullet through his face just below the eye, and he now bears upon his frontlet the honored scar of battle for his country. When the army disbanded Gen. FORCE returned to civil life, and was elected a judge of the Superior Court of Hamilton county, which office he held until his resignation in 1887.


The late Col. Charles Whittlesey wrote of him: “From his father, the late Peter FORCE, of Washington, he inherits a taste for literature, especially for history and ethnology. His publications, especially those upon the theory of evolution, devised by Darwin, and upon the character of the Mound Builders, also upon his war memoranda, filling one volume of the. Scribner Series, display calm and faithful investigation with a clear and facile mode of expression. His address delivered at the first reunion of the Twentieth Regiment, on the anniversary of the battle of Shiloh Church, April 6, 1876, shows the finish of his style and the close personal rela­tions that existed with his men,”


Ohio State Fish, HatcheryOn the eastern margin of Sandusky, by the water-side, in a small, one-story, frame building of two rooms, is located the Ohio State Fish Hatch Hatchery Small and unpretentious as the quarters are, nevertheless a work of great importance goes on within their limits, and it is to be hoped that our State government will take measures for the greater development of this useful institution. With great increase in the needs of its people, a wise government makes provision for keeping its food supplies unimpoverished. The Ohio State Fish Hatchery was founded some twelve years ago at Toledo. Some years later the Sandusky branch was started, and then owing to a cutting down of funds that at Toledo was closed.


The establishment at Sandusky is under the charge of Superintendent Henry DOUGLASS, assisted by George W. LITTLETON and six or seven extra assistants engaged during the hatching seasons. But two kinds of fish have as yet been hatched, pickerel and white fish; of these, 65,000,000 pickerel and 100,000,000 white fish were hatched during the past season, 1887-1888.


About April lst the pickerel eggs are taken and about October lst the white fish eggs. These are procured from fish caught in nets on Lake Eric. From the females (which can be distinguished by their. unusual size) the eggs are squeezed in three-gallon pans (eggs from three females to each pan). Next six male fish are picked out and the impregnating fluid squeezed from them into the pan. Males and females are then thrown back into the lake, and the pans containing the impregnated eggs are taken to the hatchery.


In the larger of the two rooms of the hatchery are ranged on each side and in the centre a series of wooden troughs, and below each trough a row of glass jars about two feet high and six or seven inches in diameter. Above each jar is a wooden faucet connected by a rubber hose a few inches long to a thick glass tube in the centre of the jar and of the same length as the ,jar. Four small “feet” at the bottom of the tube permit the water to flow from it up through the jar to its top where it is discharged into another thence through other jars and so on. The impregnated eggs are placed in these jars and the water turned on. The water is lake water supplied from the city water works. It is kept cold, sometimes freezing, as the eggs and the fish have to be kept cold until placed in the streams.


After the eggs are placed in the jars they must be kept constantly moving, and are watched night and day, that they may not adhere to each other or the sides of the jars as soon as an egg spoils (which is discovered by its failure to change color) it must be removed; this is done with a feather.


At the first the eggs have a kind of cream color, from which they change in a month to a much darker color, then in six weeks back to their original hue, and alternate colors in that manner until hatched, which is about two to four weeks for pickerel and five months for white fish. When hatched the pickerel are about one-quarter of an inch long and the white fish half an inch. Each fish is found to have a food sack containing a viscid colorless substance which sustains its life from three to four weeks, but what they live on after that is unknown. In about a year they grow to weigh a pound and increase in weight


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each succeeding year, until the pickerel attains a weight of fifteen to eighteen pounds and the white fish a weight of twenty pounds.


The freshly hatched fish are given away to any one making application for them, the only requirement being that they be placed in some inland stream or lake. They are put up in cans similar to milk cans and are distributed according to order by the agents of the hatchery who travel through all parts of the State. Pickerel only are placed in streams as the white fish will not live in streams, but large numbers of the young white fish have been placed in Lake Erie, resulting in an apparent increase in the supply.


After years of effort it has been found impossible to hatch bass or perch. The difficulty lies in obtaining the impregnating fluid from the males, who at the season of impregnation go into deep water and defy all efforts to capture them. Experiments have been made by keeping them in captivity, but without avail.


The only way that lakes can be stocked with bass is to catch the young fish with nets and transport them to where they are wanted.


This is often done. A year ago a lot of herring were hatched and placed in some lakes east of Cleveland, and if they thrive the hatching of herring will be made one of the features of the hatchery. Lake Erie abounds with them. They are a small fish, weighing but a pound when full grown, but are very good eating. Some experiments in the propagation of cat-fish are also to be undertaken shortly.

When the first settlers under the Fire-Lands Company arrived at Sandusky they found on the present site of the town a village of Ottawa Indians, and on the peninsula some French-Canadian settlers.



The whole settlement was under the control of an Indian chief named OGONTZ. He was in many respects a remarkable man. Having been found when a babe in an Indian village in the far Northwest, whose inhabitants had all either died off or fled from smallpox, he was taken charge of by French Catholic priests near Quebec, and educated for a missionary among the Indians, and about the time of the outbreak of the Revolution went among the Ottawas to preach Christianity.


He had a strong dislike of the British provincial government, and having gained great influence among the Ottawas, he induced two tribes and some French people in the neighborhood to locate at Sandusky, he going with them as priest or father; at his direction the French settled on the peninsula and the Indians on the other side of the bay.


Finding he could be more useful to these people as chief than priest, he gave up his holy office, was adopted into one of the tribes, and became its chief.


In an account of his life which he related to his friend and neighbor, Mr. Benajah WOLCOTT, who, in 1809, had settled on the peninsula, he said:


“In my heart I had never been a good Catholic, though I had tried to be a good Christian. I found it, however, much easier to make Catholics than Christians of other Indians. What I mean is, that they were much more willing to observe the forms than to obey the laws of Christianity, and that they grew no better under my preaching.                I became discouraged, and feared that my preaching was an imposition and I an impostor."


As priest the chief of the other tribe had been guided by him and profited by his counsels, but when OGONTZ became a chief his jealousy was aroused, and during a drunken orgie he approached OGONTZ from behind and tried to stab him, but OGONTZ was on his guard, and instead of slaying him he was himself slain by OGONTZ.


peace Although OGONTZ had slain his rival in self-defence a council was held to decide his fate. The Indian law is “blood for blood,” and it was very rarely that this law was departed from, and as OGONTZ sat on a log facing the lake, a few rods off, the council debated the question of life and death; and, having decided, the messengers of the council approached him. If the decision had been death they would have gone up behind and tornahawked him as he sat. As they neared him the solemn chief sat motionless, looking out upon the expanse of water before him, when the messengers made a slight detour and approached him face to face. The council had spared his life.


OGONTZ adopted the son of the chief, and brought him up as his own, knowing that some day that son would kill him to avenge his father’s death.


OGONTZ was ever for peace. Foreseeing the war of 1812, he led his people back to Canada, as they could not stay at Sandusky and remain neutral. He said: “I have done these people (Indians and French) all the good I could and have kept them at peace with each other, and, so far as I could, with all the world; but trouble will come on us all very soon. I had hoped to spend all my days near this bay. Your people will take our present corn-fields for themselves, but we could find others near enough if we could be at peace. A war between your people and the British is close at hand, and when that comes we must fly from here—all of us. Indians are great fools for taking part in the wars of the white people, but they will do so. Ottawas will join the British and Wyandots will join your people. I will not fight in such a war. I wish your side success, but I must go with my people.”


When peace was declared between the


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United States and Great Britain he and his tribe went from Canada to Maumee river, and at a pow-wow held there he was murdered by his adopted son, meeting the death he knew was in store for him when he adopted the son of the chief he had slain in self-defence.


The lodge of OGONTZ was on the site occupied by the national bank on Columbus avenue, between Market and Water streets. The bank building was originally the residence of Eleutheros COOKE, and built by him. His son, the celebrated banker, Jay COOKE, was born here in 1821. The family knew OGONTZ very well. When a child, OGONTZ at times carried the boy Jay on his shoulders. Out of respect to his memory, Mr. COOKE in after years, when fame and fortune were his, built a magnificent country-seat at Chelton Hills, near Philadelphia, which he named OGONTZ. The name of OGONTZ is perpetuated at Sandusky by a street, flouring mills, a Knight Templars’ lodge, a fire company, etc. When making investigations years since for a railroad in the Lake Superior country Mr. COOKE found the name OGONTZ still perpetuated among the Indians, and in the person of a boy whose acquaintance he made, and who proved to be a grandson of the chief.


Three miles north of Sandusky, in her land-locked bay, lies JOHNSON’S ISLAND, Its area is about 300 acres; nearly a mile long and half that in breadth, gradually rising in the centre to a height of fifty feet. It was originally covered with heavy timber, and a favorite resort of the Indians, who came here in the fishing season, engaged in festivities, and brought their captives for torture.


Its first owner was E. W. BULL, and it was called Bull’s Island, until 1852, when it was purchased by L. B. JOHNSON and its name changed to Johnson’s Island.


In 1811 an effort was made to found a town on the island, and steps taken to lay out village lots; the custom house of the port was located here, but the attempt was unsuccessful and abandoned.


In 1867 the property was leased by the government as a depot for rebel prisoners. The necessary buildings having been erected, the first prisoners were installed in their quarters on April, 1862, under the charge of Company A, Hoffman Battalion, which was subsequently increased to a full regiment, the 128th O. V. I.


The number of prisoners was constantly varying, the largest number at any one time being over 3,000; but, from the period of its establishment until the close of the war, over 15,000 rebels were confined here, and owing to its supposed security, the prisoners were largely composed of rebel officers.


As the war progressed floating rumors of an intended rescue by rebel sympathizers in Canada came to the ears of the Federal authorities, and the steamer “Michigan,” the only United States war vessel on Lake Erie, was stationed here. In September, 1864, a conspiracy was concocted to release the prisoners, at that time numbering about 2,400, arm them, burn Sandusky, Cleveland and other defenseless lake cities, secure horses, ride through Ohio, raiding the country on the route, and Join the rebel army in Virginia; at the same time the “Michigan” was to be captured and co-operate with the released prisoners on laud. The narrative of the occurrences which follows is abridged from that in the Lake Shore Magazine:


John Yates BEALL, a Virginian of great wealth and a graduate of Virginia University called “The Pirate of Lake Erie,” was the prime mover in this conspiracy, and was aided in the enterprise by that arch traitor and fiend Jacob THOMPSON, the agent of the Confederate government.


September 19, 1864, the steamer “Philo Parsons,” plying, between Detroit, Sandusky and the adjacent islands, was boarded at Sandwich on the Canadian shore by four men, and at Malden by twenty more, who brought an old trunk with them. No suspicions were aroused, as large numbers of fugitives were constantly travelling to and from Canada at that time. After leaving Kelley’s Island, the clerk, who was in command of the boat, was suddenly confronted by four men with revolvers pointed at his head, the old trunk was opened, the whole party armed themselves, and with BEALL at their head took possession of the boat. Hey course was altered and turned back to Middle Bass Island. Here the “Island Queen,” a boat plying among the islands, came along-side; she was immediately boarded, and although her captain (G. W. ORR) made a determined resistance, she was soon at the mercy of the conspirators, together with a large number of passengers. The engineer of the “Queen,” refusing to do the bidding of the captors, was shot through the cheek.


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But no discourtesy was offered to any one of us beyond the absolute necessity of the case, the conspirators being largely educated men from the best families of the South.


An oath of secrecy for twenty-four hours was extorted from the passengers, and they were then put ashore, the captain of the “Queen” being retained as pilot, a capacity in which he refused to act. The two steamers were then lashed together and put off toward Sandusky; but after proceeding a few miles the “Island Queen” was scuttled and the “Parsons” continued alone; she did not enter, but cruised around the mouth of Sandusky .Bay, waiting for the signal from the conspirators on land. That part of the plot had, however, failed.


A Confederate officer named COLE, to whom the operations at Sandusky had been entrusted, had, as a Titusville oil man, been figuring very largely in social circles, a liberal entertainer, giving wine suppers and spending money very freely. He had formed the acquaintance of the officers of the “Michigan” and had invited their to a wine supper on the evening of September 19th. The wine was drugged., and when the officers had succumbed to it a signal was to notify BEALL, who was then to make the attack on the “Michigan.” But COLE had performed his part of the plan in such a bungling manner that the suspicions of the officers were aroused and the commanding officer of the “Michigan,” Capt. CARTER, arrested him on suspicion at the very moment when success seemed assured.


In the meanwhile BEALL and his comrades waited outside the bay for the signal; but, as the time for it passed by and it was not given, they realized that the plot had failed, and made for the Canadian shore, passing Middle Bass Island, where he had left the “Island Queen” and “Parsons” passengers, who saw the “Parsons” pass “with fire pouring out of her smoke-stacks, and making for -Detroit like a scared pickerel.” The captain and others who had been kept to manage the “Parsons,” were put off on an uninhabited island, and when the Canadian shore was reached, she was scuttled and the conspirators disbanded.


This daring venture excited great consternation among the lake cities and served to call attention to their defenseless condition.


BEALL was captured a few months later, near Suspension Bridge, charged with being a spy both in Ohio and New York, also with an attempt to throw an express train from the track between Dunkirk and Buffalo. He confessed to much of the evidence brought against him, was found guilty and hung on Governor’s Island, February 24, 1865.


COLE after being arrested managed to warn his accomplices in Sandusky of whom he had a great number, and who, thus warned, escaped arrest. He himself was confined for some time on board the “Michigan,” afterward transferred to the island, then to Fort Lafayette in September, 1865, and was ultimately released after the close of the war.


The treatment of the rebel prisoners on Johnson’s Island was considerate even to the verge of indulgence; their wants were said to have been better filled than those of the soldiers guarding them; this was owing to their being supplied plentifully with money by their friends; they were well fed, clothed and housed and were allowed every privilege consistent with security.


The prisoners were all confined within an enclosure of about eighteen acres surrounded by a stockade eighteen feet high, made of plank, with a platform near the top, about four feet wide, where the sentinels walked. This is shown in the engraving. At the east and west corner was a block-house with small brass cannon. The soldiers’ and officers’ quarters of the guard were at the left of the enclosure. The open space shown by the flag was the parade ground. On the left of the road was a line of small buildings, hucksters” shops, etc. Beyond appears Fort Hill. It was an earthwork and mounted a few guns. The graveyard was in the grove on the extreme right, where to this day are relics.




Sandusky impresses one with the extreme solid appearance of its business and public buildings. It is because the whole city lies upon an inexhaustible quarry of the finest limestone, and all the people have to do for structures is to blast and rear. The outlook upon its harbor is extremely pleasant; it is so expanded and well defended. In the very heats of summer the breezes come from the lake with a refreshing coolness, while the thought that steamers are continually plying to the beautiful cluster of islands beyond the bay to give the visitor any needed change he may require of scene, adds to the attractions of the city as he may walk its solidly lined streets.


Four things come in mind in connection with Sandusky, viz., lumber, fish, lime, and grapes. It is a great lumber mart, the lumber coming mainly from Michigan, and it is the greatest fish market on the globe. Vast quantities of lime are burnt, especially over on the peninsula, that body of land forming the western boundary of the bay, and put on the map as Ottawa county; and as to grapes, there seems to be no end. In this county alone the vineyards aggregate nearly five square miles, viz., 3,083 acres. In 1885 the amount of wine manufactured amounted to 71,170 gallons. One gentleman in Sandusky, Gen. MILLS, an octogenarian, has in a single body a vineyard of eighty acres, the largest, I believe, in Ohio. From this he makes a “Mills” superior article of sparkling Catawba wine—”Mills” Brand “—that, having once tasted for “medicinal purposes only,” a Rechabite in temperance in a season of despondency would be sorely tempted for a revivification merely to yield his willing lips. The general tells me there is no money in the manufacture of this, a pure, honest article. The public demand is for cheap wines. The consequence


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is they largely get adulterations, with which any vineyard has but slight connection, and as a return for their parsimony, the imbibants suffer from disordered stomachs and splitting headaches.


Looking on the map again one will see forming the east boundary of the bay a strip of land about three miles long and a quarter of a mile wide, terminating in a point, called Cedar Point, on or near which is a lighthouse. In the summer season a steamer, the “R. B. HAYES,” continually passes to and from the city, carrying parties thither for picnics in the groves and bathing. The beach there on the lake side is safe and beautiful for bathing, and so expansive the view that one standing there is affected by the same emotion as if, gazing upon the ocean.


Johnson’s Island, at the mouth of the harbor, is in plain sight from the dock at Sandusky. It will always be an object of interest to travellers as the spot where the officers of the Confederate army were confined. Mr. Leonard JOHNSON, son of the owner of the island, has given me some interesting items. He was then a boy of about eight years, and often went into the prison with his elder brother.


The prisoners were always glad to see children, welcomed, and petted them. For amusement they had athletic games and theatricals. In summer, he told me, they were allowed to bathe in the lake, about 100 at a time, under guard. One of their amusements was whittling and carving finger-rings, watch charms, etc., from gutta-percha buttons, their work being sometimes very ingenious and beautiful.


The guard were principally men recruited for this purpose in the lake neighborhood, and many- had their families on the island.


Two men were drummed off the island—one for stealing blankets, and the other a teamster, for an offence of a different character. The latter had a placard in front and one in the rear proclaiming his malfeasance thus:






His hands were tied behind, and he was marched in the middle of a squad of soldiers, with their bayonets pointed toward him, those in front having their guns reversed. To the music of drums and fifes he was conducted to the boat, thence through the streets of Sandusky to the depot. It was an occasion of great fun and frolic, and the derisive shouts of the following crowd added to the mortification of the teamster, who was employed to cart away offal, but “Sold whiskey to the rebels.”


Prominent among the public men in Sandusky at the time of my original visit was ELEUTHEROS COOKE, born in Granville, N. Y., in 1787, died in Sandusky in 1864: a large, fine-looking, enthusiastic gentleman; social, pleasing to meet, and universally respected. He was by profession a lawyer, was in the State Legislature and in Congress, and a pioneer in railroad enterprises, having been the projector of the Mad River railroad. He had a wonderful command of language, was an orator very flowery and imaginative, and indulged largely in poetical similes. on an occasion in Congress, when Mr. Stanberry, of Ohio, was assaulted on Pennsylvania avenue by Felix HOUSTON, of Texas, for words spoken in debate, he declared, in a speech, that if freedom of discussion was denied them he would “flee to the bosom of his constituents,” an expression that his political opponents, ran the changes upon for a long time after.


He could talk for hours upon any given topic, and on an occasion when it was necessary to get a new writ from Norwalk to detain for debt an arrested steamboat man with his vessel, he talked to the court sixteen hours continuously to stave off a decision upon the defective writ by which he was held. In order to illustrate the legal question before the court, he had gone into a review of the history of the human race, and gut from the Creation down to the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus when the necessary papers arrived; then he stopped the harangue, allowed the old writ to be squelched, the new writ was then served, when the defendant paid his debt, and sailed away in his steamer.


Mr. COOKE had one trouble—it was lifelong—stuck to him closer than a brother. It was in his name, Eleutheros. He was born in 1787, the year of the framing of the Federal Constitution, and the name was given in commemoration : it was from a Greek term signifying to set free. It showed his parents must have been fanciful and so he got his name alike with poetical tendencies from them. But the name liked to have been his ruin, that is political ruin. He lost one election by its misspelling, more particularly by the German voters. They spelt it in various ways, taking with it most unwarrantable liberties spelling, “Luther,” “Lutheros,” “Eliutheros,” “Eilros,” etc. When he had boys of his own, taking warning from experience, he started them with names after great statesmen. The first was Pitt COOKE, the second was Jay COOKE, and the third was to have been, perhaps, Fox COOKE, or something like it, when the mother rebelled and the child was given the good old-fashioned name of Henry D. COOKE. Pitt died at fifty; he was a partner with his brothers in the banking business. Henry D. became an eminent journalist, had an interesting and valuable life; was the first Governor of the District of Columbia, appointed by Grant, and died in 1881. The history of Jay COOKE, the great financier of our civil war, is dwelt upon under the head of Ottawa county. where lies Gibraltar his beautiful summer island home in the lake, where he entertains his friends with abounding hos-




[Like all prisoners held under the American Flag, those at Johnson’s Island were given comfortable quarters and good food, with occasional bathing in the lake; but being mostly officers, the gentlemen of the Confederate Army, they made no complaint because not allowed fishing privileges therein.]




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