Page 118


Lorain County was formed December 26, 1822, from Huron, Cuyahoga and Medina.  The surface is level, and the soil fertile and generally clayey.  Parallel with the lake shore are three sand ridges, which vary from 40 to 150 rods in width; they are respectively about 3, 7 and 9 miles from the lake, and are fertile.  Area about 500 square miles.  In 1887 the acres cultivated were 110,032; in pasture, 106,403; woodland, 37,191; lying waste, 2,817; produced in wheat, 324,480 bushels; rye, 1,346; buckwheat, 104; oats, 763,875; barley, 6,405; corn, 423,270; broom-corn, 500 lbs. brush; meadow hay, 47,843 tons; clover hay, 2, 434; flax 34,100 lbs. fibre; potatoes, 115,446 bushels; butter, 843,460 lbs.; cheese, 3,233,589 (the greatest in the State); sorghum, 1,433 gallons; maple sugar, 54,786 lbs.; honey, 5,020 lbs.; eggs, 422,855 dozen; grapes, 1,259,200 lbs.; wine, 334 gallons; sweet potatoes, 1,009 bushels; apples, 72,312; peaches, 14,308; pears, 833; wool, 121,809 lbs.; milch cows owned, 15,171, next to Ashtabula County, largest in the state.  School census, 1888, 11,418; teachers, 345.  Miles of railroad track, 179. 




And Census





And Census














La Grange,



Black River,







































































Population of Lorain in 1830, 5,696; 1840, 18,451; 1860, 29,744; 1880, 35,526, of whom 22,448 were born in Ohio; 2,717 York; 668 Pennsylvania; 225 Virginia; 115 Indiana; 99 Kentucky; 2,819 in German Empire; 1,759 England and Wales; 767 Ireland; 458 British America; 172 Scotland; 76 France, and 33 Sweden and Norway.  Census, 1890, 40,295. 


There was found in this county, a few years since, a curious ancient relic, which is best described in the Lorain Republican, of June 7, 1843:


"In connection with our friend, Mr. L. M. Parsons, we have procured to views of sketches of the engravings upon a stone column or idol, found upon the farm of Mr. Alfred Lamb, in Brighton, in this county, in 1838.  The following is a side view of the pillar or column. 


"It was found about three-fourths of a mile from Mr. Lamb's house, covered with a thick coat of moss.  Upon three different places are engraved the figures 1533.  The horns represented are now broken off, but their place is easily defined.  A flat stone, eight inches in diameter and one and a half inches thick, was found beneath this column, on removing it from its erect position, upon which the figures 1533 were discovered also engraved.  Another stone was found about ten feet distant, of like quality.  It was about six inches long and three in diameter (6 sided), supported by three pillars about three inches long, of pyramidal form.  No marks or tools were upon it.  Upon the top part of the first mentioned pillars,


Page 119


above shown, was an engraving of a vessel under full sail, in form, as near as now can be ascertained, as herein.  The engraving was most unfortunately nearly obliterated by the boys cracking hickory-nuts upon it.  These are about all the facts connected with these curious relics which have come to our knowledge." 


Early History. 


Moravian mission. - The first actual settlement in Lorain county was made by the Moravian missionaries who came from Detroit in 1786, with the design of going to their old home on the Tuscarawas, the scene of the massacre of 1782.  They had reached a point on Cuyahoga, as far as Independence township, known as "Pilgrim's Rest," when they received such information that they were fearful of proceeding farther inland.  After remaining about a year, they journeyed westward until they arrived at the mouth of Black river, where they designed to make a permanent settlement.  A few days only elapsed, when a chief of the Delawares sent them a message warning them to depart.  They then settled on the Huron river, two miles north of Milan, remained five or six years, were persecuted and driven away, and found a permanent asylum on the river Thames, in Canada. 


A trading-post was established in 1807 by Nathan PERRY at the mouth of Black river.  Actual clearers of the woods, said to have been from Vermont, planted themselves at that point in 1810.  In 1808, Columbia received her first settlers; Ridgeville, Amherst, and Eaton in 1810, all mostly from Waterbury, Conn.  Very few settlers came into the county until the close of the war in 1812.  The first settlement made in Elyria was in 1816, and by a Mr. Beach, with his family, who settled in the western part near the site of the present Haag's mill. 


Col. James SMITH, who was taken prisoner by the Indians in 1755 in Pennsylvania, in the narrative of his captivity, gives some of his experiences in this county which are quite interesting.  He speaks of the Canesadooharie, the Indian name for Black river, which a party he was with struck near its source, and finally followed south until they came near the East Falls, now within the corporate limits of Elyria, where they buried their canoe and erected a winter cabin, which is supposed to have been located on Evergreen Point.  The narrative then says:


"Indian hunting. - 'It was some time,' writes SMITH, 'in December when we finished our winter cabin; but then another difficulty arose - we had nothing to eat.  While the hunters were all out exerting their utmost ability, the squaws and boys (in which class I was) were scattered in the bottom, hunting red haws and hickory-nuts.  We did not succeed in getting many haws, but had tolerable success in scratching up hickory-nuts from under a light snow.  The hunters returned with only 2 small turkeys, which were but little among 8 hunters and 13 squaws, boys and children.  But they were divided equally.  The next day the hunters turned out again, and succeeded in killing one deer and three bears.  One of the bears was remarkably large and fat.  All hands turned out the next morning to bring in the meet. 


" 'During the winter a party of four went out to the borders of Pennsylvania to procure horses and scalps, leaving the same number in camp to provide meat for the women and children.  They returned towards spring with 2 scalps and 4 horses.  After the departure of the warriors we had hard times, and though not out of provisions, we were brought to short allowance.  At length TONTILEAUGO had fair success, and brought into camp sufficient to last ten days.  The TONTILEAUGO then took me with him in order to encamp some distance from the winter cabin.  We steered south up the creek ten or twelve miles and went into camp.' "


Elyria founded. - In the spring of 1817


Page 120


Heman ELY, of West Springfield, Mass., being the possessor of 12,500 acres of land lying around the falls of Black river, originally the property of the Connecticut Land Company, came out to make preparations for settlement.  He had built a dam and erected a grist and saw-mill on the east branch, near the foot of the present Broad street, Elyria.  He also had built a log-house where were boarded the men engaged in the construction of the mills. 


Returning home, he sent, about the 1st of January, from Massachusetts, three men with axes in their hands, to commence clearing land.  They made the entire distance, 600 miles, on foot, and before Mr. ELY arrived in March, they made quite a hole in the woods. 


The township of Elyria was organized in 1819, and included the present township of Carlisle, and named by adding to Mr. Ely's named the sole "ria," suggested by the great Greek name Illyria.  It was wrongly stated in our first edition that this termination was from that of the name of his first wife, Maria, an error both in application and in fact, as her name was Celia.  In the winter of 1821-2 Mr. ELY visited Columbus to secure an act for the organization of the county.  He became lost in the woods the first day from home; he finally made his way out, returned home, and on another day made a successful effort.  The county took its name from Lorraine, in France, in which province Mr. ELY spent some time while in Europe.  The village of Elyria was incorporated in 1833.  The township was slow in settling.  Mr. ELY was eminently just as a landed proprietor: He usually sold his land on four years' time.  He was a thorough businessman; was for a while a member of the State Board of Equalization, and also Associate Judge of the county. 


Early in life he was a shipping merchant in New York, during which period it was he was in France. 


Elyria in 1846. - Elyria, the county seat, is seven miles from Lake Erie, twenty-four west of Cleveland, and 130 northeast of Columbus.  The first settler in the town and township was Mr. Heman ELY, from West Springfield, Mass., who came out here in March, 1817, and built a cabin about twelve rods southeast of his present residence.  He brought with him some hired men, to make improvements on his land, a large tract of which he had purchased at this place and vicinity.  The village was soon laid out, and sometime in the succeeding year Mr. ELY moved into his present residence, the first frame house erected in the township.  Upon organization of the county, the old court-house was built, which was used as a church by the Presbyterians, until they built a house of worship, the first erected in the village.  Elyria is a beautiful and thriving village; in its centre is a handsome public square, shown in the engraving; the large building in front is the court-house; beyond, on the right, is the public square, on which are seen, facing "Beebe's block," the "Mansion House" and the "brick block."  The Gothic structure on the left is the Presbyterian church, designed by R. A. SHELDON, of New York, and erected in 1846-7 by H. J. & S. C. BROOKS, of Elyria; it is one of the most elegant churches in Ohio, built of sandstone, and finished throughout in a tasteful and substantial manner, at an expense of about $8,000. 


The village stands on a peninsula, formed by the forks of Black river, on which, near the town, are two beautiful falls, of forty feet perpendicular descent, highly valuable for manufacturing purposes.  At the falls on the west fork the scenery is wild and picturesque; the rocks are lofty and overhang the valley for, perhaps, some thirty feet.  At that point is a large cavern, of a semi circular form, about seventy-five feet deep, 100 feet broad at the entrance, with a level floor, and wall from five to nine feet high, forming a cool and romantic retreat from the heats of summer.  The sandstone bounding the valley is of an excellent quality, and is much used for building purposes.  Elyria contains one Episcopal, one Methodist, one Baptist, one Disciples, and one or two Congregational churches; one classical academy, six dry-goods, three grocery and three drug-stores; one newspaper printing-office, one woolen, one axe, and sash and blind factory; one furnace, one machine shop, three flouring mills and 1,500 inhabitants. - Old Edition. 


Elyria, county seat of Lorain, twenty-six miles southwest of Cleveland, 110 miles northeast of Columbus, on the C. L. & W. and L. S. & M. S. Railroads, is the centre of an agricultural district, dairying being the special feature.  County officers, 1888: Auditor, Oscar HERRICK; Clerk, Henry J. LEWIS; Commissioners, Alfred FAUVER, David WALLACE, Tasso D. PHELON; Coroner Ranson E. BRAMAN;


Page 121


Infirmary Directors, Albert FOSTER, Isaac S. STRAW, Daniel M. Hall; Probate Judge, Edgar H. HINMAN; Prosecuting Attorney, Amos R. WEBBER;  Recorder, William E. CAHOON; Sheriff, Melville A. POUNDS; Surveyor, Clement H. SNOW; Treasurers, Everett E. WILLIAMS, Judson E. WILLIARD.  City officers, 1888: N. B. GATES, Mayor; L. C. KELSEY, Clerk; T. M. BRUSH, Treasurer; C. H. SNOW, Civil Engineer; N. A. REDMOND, Marshall; Daniel EASON, Street Commissioner.  Newspapers: Democrat, Democratic, F. S. REEFY, editor and publisher; Republican, Republican, George WASHBURN, editor and publisher.  Churches: one Episcopalian, one German Reformed, one German Lutheran, one Catholic, one Baptist, one Congregational and one Methodist.  Banks: National of Elyria, Herman E. ELY, president, John W. HULBERT, cashier; Savings Deposit, T. L. NELSON, president, J. C. HILL, cashier. 


Manufacturers and Employees. - Ohio Co-operative Shear Co., shears, 60 hands; Henry COPAS, road machines, etc., 4; C. W. PLOTCHER Bottling Co., bottling works, 6; Thomas ARMSTRONG, general machinery, 3; the TOPLIFF & ELY Co., carriage hardware, etc., 44; C. PARSCH, planing-mill, 18; J. W. HART, planing-mill, 17; Elyria Canning Co., canned goods, 147; Western Automatic Machine Screw Co., machine screws, 78; G. REUBLIN, flour and feed, 3; ROSS & INGERSOLL, general machinery, 8. - State Report, 1888.  Population, 1880, 4,777.  School census, 1888, 1,621; School Superintendent, H. M. Parker.  Census, 1890, 5,611. 




Elyria, in a certain sense, may be regarded as a sort of suburb of Cleveland, it being a ride by cars of only about forty minutes between the two places, and the communication frequent.  Hence, many doing business in that city have their homes in Elyria.  The situation, on a plain in and around the forks of Black river, is very pleasant.  As the depot is but two minutes' walk from the public square, no time is lost by excess of pedestrianism at either end, as the cars at the Cleveland end also stop near its business centre, at the Superior-street station. 


The public square at Elyria is an oblong of about four acres.  Around or near it are the principal churches, the hotels and business blocks.  Upon it is an elegant court-house, the floors of which are laid with the noted Zanesville encaustic tile, equal to the English tile.  It cost about $175,000, but this does not fully give an idea of its real value, as its material is a home production, the beautiful sandstone on which the town rests.  It is this possession that has enabled Elyria to lay down many miles of sandstone pavement with slabs of the full width of the sidewalk - in this respect having a valued distinction above most towns in Ohio. 


The public square has upon it a soldiers' monument; a fine growth of maples is ornamented with a pretty fountain, flower-beds, rustics seats and board placards, "Keep off the grass."  A library of 10,000 volumes, open to the public, is close by, founded by the late Charles Arthur ELY, who lived to do good to mankind; and for a term of years, up to the war period, Elyria had a flourishing Natural History Society; under its auspices free lectures were weekly given by various and gentlemen, residents of Elyria, and their educating influence was very great upon the citizens. 


At Elyria are located the works of the Western Automatic Screw Company, employing about 125 hands.  It makes screws of various sizes; some-watch screws-so small that 200 can be put into a lady's thimble.  The machine is more than human in its work, as the screws are simply perfect. 


Mussey's Quarry. - The northern part of Lorain and the western part of Cuyahoga counties are underlaid with sandstone.  Mr. Eugene K. MUSSEY took me to see the grindstone quarries of H. E. MUSSEY & Co., on the west fork of Black river, about a mile west of the town.  As we neared the place, he told me that a stranger pedestrian, on his way thither, said he discovered he was close by, "for," said he, "I took out my knife, and was enabled to sharpen it on a fence board, and so found it was grit."  On our way thither we passed along the margin of the river.  In places it was shallow, and in others there was no water; but everywhere instead of earth, its bed was a sandstone floor.  The quarries produce some building-stone, but are almost exclusively used in the manufacture of grindstones, varying from twelve pounds to 700 pounds in weight, which are shipped to all parts of this country and Canada. 


The sandstone deposit in this vicinity is very deep, being now worked to a depth of


Page 122


Top Picture

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.



Bottom Picture



Page 123


about seventy-five feet, while drilling shows the deposit to be one hundred and seventy two feet deep. 


The largest quarry was, perhaps, one hundred feet square, a huge boxlike hole, and seventy-five feet deep.  Standing on the margin and looking down the workman seemed dwindled and size.  The huge blocks were being cut to be hoisted out by derricks and deposited in railcars, to be taken to the buildings to be modeled by machinery into the requisite form.  It was pleasant to look upon the smooth sides and floors of the quarries.  The work could not have looked smoother if the material had been cheese instead of rock. 


Falls and Caves of Black River. - The forks of the Black river, which unite at Elyria, just north of the centre, have each a perpendicular fall of forty feet.  Below the falls the river gorge is seventy or eighty feet deep, with a very wild picturesque scenery, in places dense woods with aged hemlocks springing up, their roots finding nurture through the fissures in the rocks.  Mr. George E. WASHBURN took me down into the gorge at the foot of the falls on the west branch to show me a noted cave.  It is formed by a shelving rock.  It is in the form of a semicircle, with a cord of about one hundred and twenty feet: in front, about fourteen feet high, and then the wall, which is massive and arched, gradually sinks until at a distance of about ninety feet it terminates, the rear wall being only three or four feet high.  The floor was rocky, cleared of incumbrances and the place would hold a multitude.  It was evidently much visited.  Public meetings could be held there, but no speaking had, owing to the roar of the cataract, close upon which it intrudes. 


Upon the wall above the cave numerous names have been painted, which to inscribe must have required ladders.  There, about twenty feet high, is painted as below:


Q. A. GILMORE, 1844. 


This is the mark of General GILMORE, the distinguished engineer officer, who at that date was a pupil of the high school in Elyria.  His name, as well as others, were in black paint; and it stood from the surface in bas-relief.  The oil in the paint had preserved the stone from the influence of water, sun and air upon the general surface of the rock, which where exposed had worn away. 


There was a time when the forks had united to the north of their present junction, which is now a hundred yards to the east of the west falls. 


The Black River Basin. - The ancient place of union of the forks was a locality called, the "Basin," a wide expansion of the river into which the East fork poured directly by its cataract, and the West fork after having reached the level of the basin by its then cataract a short distance only above.  This basin covers about an acre or two.  Below it is an island covered with majestic woods, provided with rustic seats.  Pic-nic parties assemble here and enjoy the wild and beautiful scenery of the basin, which is indescribably grand; rocks are piled on rocks in endless confusion. 


Black River writes its history like Niagara as it works its way into the interior.  As we returned to the town my companion pointed to me a huge rock in the bottom of the gorge, just below the east falls.  This had been a shelving rock until a few years ago.  A fissure had been discovered at its rear.  It gradually widened, and as a precaution a path in front which led to the mill was fenced, as it seemed but a work of time when it would fall. 


A Rock Fall. - About six o'clock, Tuesday morning, July 23, 1872, the whole town was aroused by a deep dull sound, followed by the rattling of windows and causing many to rush from their houses as though it had been an earthquake.  It was the fall of this rock I saw, which fell about forty feet.  Its dimensions taken at the time were as follows: length, 90 feet; breadth, 25 feet; height, 30 feet; estimated weight, 4,500 tons; and with the detached portions about 6,500 tons. 


The freezing of water in rock fissures in time will split the strongest stone.  Mr. WASHBURN, after pointing out this rock, said: "My father, a New Hampshire farmer, split granite rocks in his mica quarry by drilling deep holes, then filling them with water, which upon freezing split the largest rocks asunder.  The more modern rocks were frequently split by drilling channels and driving in pine wedges, which being expanded by either frost or water would separate the rock. 


A Secluded Retreat. - I know of no town anywhere that has such a secluded retreat within two minutes walk of its very center as has Elyria in Washington avenue.  It lies north of the town in a loop of the East fork, on a spot which only a few years ago was an ancient and magnificent forest of pine, oak, ash and maple.  The avenue was laid out one hundred feet broad, on ground level as a floor.  It is entered by an iron bridge, one hundred and eighty five feet long across the stream, just above the falls, and not over six hundred feet in a direct line from the public square. 


The residences there are fine home lots, large, without fences and everyplace backs upon the stream, while around are the grand old woods.  Mr. David C. BALDWIN is especially favored in his home, as he can look down from the forest retreat, which he has provided with rustic seats, upon the falls of Black river and listen to their unceasing roar.  They call the spot the "Nixen-Wald", the water-spirits' wood.  Nothing can be more wild than the gorge at that spot, with its falling waters, overhanging cliffs, dark solemn woods, where hemlocks spring from out of the crevices of the everlasting rocks and cast their somber shades.  As I left there in the gathering shadows of a summer evening, a bird sent forth from his seclusion one solitary, delicious note.  "What is that?" I inquired,


Page 124


"That," replied Mrs. B., "is the wood-robin, Audubon's favorite bird." I thought, as she told me, to us men it enhances the pleasure of hearing a pleasant thing when it comes from the lips of a woman. 


Old Men's Croquet Club. - Near the brink of the East Falls, at this spot, the old gentleman of Elyria have put up a building devoted to the game of croquet.  They often go early in the day and play and talk into the night.  It is in charge of a janitor, and in winter is heated and lighted.  Here gather men from 60 to 80 years of age, who have mostly finished the active business of life, and engage in the game with the zeal and hilarity of so many boys.  It is not probable there is another just such a club anywhere; but its influence upon the health, spirits and social welfare make it an excellent example for those "in the sere and yellow leaf" everywhere, for it fortifies the limbs against rheumatic twinges and takes the mind from graveyard contemplations. 


In his "Antiquity of Man" the late Col. Charles WHITTLESEY published an account of what he calls the "Elyria Sheltered Cave," and therein states that it was "on the west bank of Black river, a short distance below the forks at Elyria, in a romantic gorge through which the river flows."  It was examined by him in April, 1851, in company with Prof. E. W. HUBBARD and Prof. J. BRAINERD.   This shelter rock is still there, and also another on the same side of the river, but higher up above the junction on the west fork, where many Indian relics have been found.  We did not visit either of them.  Below is Mr. WHITTLESEY'S description:


This is one of numerous instances where the "grindstone grit" of Northern Ohio, resting upon soft shale, presents a projecting ledge, forming a grotto capable of sheltering a large number of persons, being about fifty feet in length by fifteen feet broad.  This and others in the vicinity which have not been explored correspond to the European "shelter cavern" where human remains are always found.  These retreats constituted the domicils of our race while in their rudest condition.  We dug to the depth of four feet on the floor of this cave, composed of charcoal, ashes and bones of the wolf, bear, deer, rabbit, squirrel, fishes, snakes and birds, all of which existed in this region when it became known to the whites. 


The place was thoroughly protected against rains.  At the bottom, lying extended upon clean yellow sand, their heads to the rear and feet outwards, or parts of three human skeletons; two of them nearly entire.  Two of them were preserved by Prof. BRAINERD.   They were decided to belong to the North American race of redmen by those who had an opportunity to examine them. 


The skulls were exhibited at the Cincinnati meeting of the American Association, in 1851, but were afterwards destroyed by a mob, together with the entire museum of the Homeopathic College at Cleveland.  The position of the skeletons indicated that they were crushed by a large slab of the overhanging sandstone falling off upon the party while they were asleep at the back of the grotto. One of the skulls was that of an old woman, the other of a young man.  Flint arrowheads, such as the Indians once used, were scattered throughout this mass of animal remains.  Judging from the appearance of the bones, and the depth of the accumulations over them, two thousand years may have elapsed since the human skeletons were laid on the floor of this cave. 


The most noteworthy event, perhaps, in the history of education in Ohio was the establishing of Oberlin.  In its early days it was regarded by many well-meaning people as a sort of monstrosity, but time has demonstrated the strength of its foundation ideas, and today is a highly prospering institution with an imperishable history.  In 1883 was held its semi-centennial anniversary, since which five new buildings have been added, built of the beautiful brown sandstone quarried in the neighborhood.  What it was on the issue of our first edition is here told. 


Oberlin in 1846. - Eight miles southwest of Elyria is the village of Oberlin, so named from Rev. John Frederick OBERLIN, pastor of Waldbach, Switzerland, who was remarkable for his great benevolence of character.  He was born in Strasbourg, in 1740, and died at Waldbach, in 1826.  The town is situated on a beautiful and level plan, girted around by the original forest in its primitive majesty.   The dwellings at Oberlin are usually two stories in height, built of wood, and painted white, after the manner of the villages of New England, to which this has a striking resemblance.  Oberlin contains 3 dry-goods and 1 bookstore, a Presbyterian Church, the collegiate buildings, and about 150 dwellings.


Page 125


The Oberlin Evangelist, which has a circulation of 5,000, and the Oberlin Quarterly Review are published here.  The engraving shows, on the right, the Presbyterian Church, a substantial brick building, neatly finished externally and internally, and capable of holding a congregation of 3,000 persons; beyond it, on a green of about 12 acres, stands Tappan Hall; and facing the green, commencing on the left, are seen Oberlin Hall, Ladies' Hall and Colonial Hall, all of which buildings belong to the Institute.   By the annual catalog of 1846-7 there were at Oberlin 492 pupils, viz.: in the theological department, 25; college, 106; teachers' department, 16; shorter course, 4; male preparatory, 174; young ladies' course, 140; and ladie's preparatory, 28.  Of these there were males, 314; and females, 178. 


The annexed sketch of Oberlin was written by Jay A. HARRIS, editor of the Cleveland Herald, and published in that print in 1845:


The Oberlin Collegiate Institute is emphatically the people's college, and although some of its leading characteristics are peculiar to the institution, and are at variance with the general public opinion and prejudices, the college exerts a wide and healthy influence.  It places a useful and thoroughly practical education within the reach of indigent and industrious young men and women as well as those in affluent circumstances; and many in all ranks of life avail themselves of the rare advantages enjoyed at Oberlin.  The average number of students the last five years is five twenty-eight, and this, too, be it remembered, in an institution that has sprung up in what was a dense wilderness but a dozen years ago.  To remove all incredulity, we will give a concise history of its origin and progress. 


The Rev. John J. SHIPHERD was a prominent founder of Oberlin.  His enterprising spirit led in the devising and incipient steps.  Without any fund in the start, in August, 1832, he rode over the ground for inspection, where the village of Oberlin now stands.  It was then a dense, heavy, unbroken forest, the land level and wet, almost inaccessible by roads, and the prospects for a settlement forbidding in the extreme.  In November, 1832, Mr. Shipherd, in company with a few others, selected the site.  Five hundred acres of land were conditionally pledged by Mssrs. STREET and HUGHES, of New Haven, Conn., on which the college buildings now stand.  A voluntary board of trustees held their first meeting in the winter of 1832, in a small Indian opening on the site.  The legislature of 1833-4 granted a charter with university privileges.  Improvements were commenced, a log-house or two were erected, people began to locate in the colony, and in 1834 the board of trustees resolved to open the school for the reception of colored persons of both sexes, to be regarded as on an equality with others.  In January, 1835, Mssrs. MAHAN, FINNEY and MORGAN were appointed as teachers, and in May of that year Mr. MAHAN commenced housekeeping in a small log-dwelling.  Such was the beginning - and the present result is a striking exemplification of what obstacles can be overcome and what good can be accomplished under our free institutions by the indomitable energy, ernest zeal, and unfaltering perseverance of a few men, when they engage heart and soul in a great philanthropic enterprise. 


Oberlin is now a pleasant, thriving village of about two thousand souls, with necessary stores and mechanics' shops, the largest church in the state, and a good temperance hotel.  It is a community of teetotalers from the highest to lowest, the sale of ardent spirits never having been permitted within its borders.  The college buildings number seven commodious edifices.  Rev. A. MAHAN is president of the College Institute, assisted by fifteen able professors and teachers.  Endowments - eight professorships are supported in part by pledges; 500 acres of land at Oberlin, and 10,000 acres in West Virginia. 


Objects of the Institution.  


1.  To educate youths of both sexes, so as to secure the development of a strong mind in a sound body connected with a permanent, vigorous, progressive piety - all to be aided by a judicious system of manual labor. 


2.  To beget and to confirm in the process of education the habit of self-denial, patient endurance, a chastened and moral courage, and a devout consecration of the whole being to God, in seeking the best good of man. 


3.  To establish universal liberty by the abolition of every form of sin. 


4.  To avoid the debasing association of the heathen classics, and make the Bible a textbook in all the departments of education. 


5.  To raise up a church and ministers who shall be known and read of all men in deep sympathy with Christ, in Holy Living, and in efficient action against all of which God forbids. 


6.  To furnish a seminary, affording a thorough instruction in all the branches of an education for both sexes, and in which colored persons, of both sexes, shall be freely admitted, and on the terms of equality and brotherhood. 


We confess that much of our prejudice against the Oberlin College has been removed by a visit to the institution.  The course of training and studies pursued there appear admirably calculated to rear up a class of healthy,


Page 126


useful, self educated and self-relying men and women - a class which the poor man's son and daughter may enter on equal terms with others, with an opportunity to outstrip in the race, as they often do.  It is the only college in the United States were females enjoy the privileges of males in acquiring an education, and where degrees are conferred on ladies; and this peculiar feature of the institution has proved highly useful.  By combining manual labor with study, the physical system keeps pace with the mind in strength and development, and the result in most cases is "sound minds in healthy bodies."  Labor and attention to household duties are made familiar and honorable, and pleased as we were to note the intelligent and healthful countenances of the young ladies seated at the boarding-house dinner table, the gratification was heightened shortly after by observing the same graceful forms clad in tidy, long aprons, and busily engaged in putting the dining hall in order.  And the literary exercises of the same ladies proved that the labor of the hands in the institution had been no hindrance in the acquisition of knowledge. 


Young in years as is Oberlin, the institution has sent abroad many well qualified and diligent laborers in the great moral field of the world.  Her graduates may be found in nearly every missionary clim, and her scholars are active co-workers in many of the philanthropic movements that distinguish the age.  It is the people's college, and long may it prove an increasing blessing to the people. - Old Edition. 


Oberlin is nine miles southwest of Elyria, on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad.  It is the seat of Oberlin College and Oberlin Conservatory of Music.  City officers, 1888; C. A. METCALF, Mayor; W. P. M. GILBERT, Clerk; H. H. BARNUM, Treasurer; I. L. NEWTON, Marshall; D. G. PROBERT, Street Commissioner.  Newspapers: Lorain County Exponent, Prohibitionist, L. WEBSTER, editor; News, Republican, William H. PIERCE, editor and publisher; Review, Colored, Union Library Association, editors and publishers; Faith Missionary, Evangelist, O. M. BROWN, editor and publisher; Bibliotheca Sacra, Congregationalist, G. Frederick WRIGHT, W. G. BALLENTINE and Frank H. FOSTER, editors.  Churches: two Congregationalist, two Methodist, one Baptist, one Episcopal.  Bank: Citizens' National, Montraville STONE, president; Charles H. RANDALL, cashier.  Population, 1880, 3,242.  School census, 1888, 1,260; George W. WAITE, school superintendent. 


The founders of Oberlin were not originally abolitionists, but rather favored the colonization scheme.  They were Whigs in politics.  About the year 1835 it received a great impulse from accessions from Lane Seminary, which institution was for the time broken up because the students there had been forbidden by the trustees to discuss the subject of slavery.  Four-fifths of the Lane students in consequence left, and most of them, with Professor MORGAN and Rev. Asa MAHAN, also Rev. Mr. Finney, of New York city, came to Oberlin.  Here was then established for their wants a theological department, and, by their suggestion, a rule adopted that all persons in respect of color should be admitted into the seminary.  This, with large donations from Arthur Tappan, of New York, and other abolitionists, enabled them to put up the necessary buildings, and placed the institution on a lasting foundation.  At Oberlin the subject of immediate abolition was then freely discussed, with the result of converting the Oberlin people to the views of the seceders of Lane, so that Oberlin soon became a hive from which swarmed fourth lecturers under the auspices of the American Anti-Slavery Society.  Through the influence largely of Oberlin, Northern Ohio became strongly leavened with anti-slavery sentiment, finding devoted friends, bitter enemies and encountering ferocious mobs. 


Oberlin was not designed as an institution for blacks.  But its founders, taking the teachings of Christ as their guide, could not find any reason for their exclusion, and so they were admitted.  Of the 20,000 different pupils from the beginning, 19,000 have been white.  Of both sexes only sixty colored persons, thirty-two males and twenty-eight females, have completed a course.


Oberlin has always been a temperance community.  Tobacco is prohibited.  If used by a student, he is required to resign.  No monitorial system is adopted; no rating of scholarship and no distribution of honors.  For the first 25 years a majority of the graduates supported themselves by school-teaching and manual labor, and many now do the same.  At the beginning seventy-five cents a week was paid for board in the hall, if the students and dispensed with meat; twenty-five cents was added for meat twice a day.  Then the entire expense of living, aside from clothing,


Top Picture



Bottom Picture

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.



The building with a tower on the right was the only one standing in 1886.


Page 128


ranged from fifty-eight to eighty-nine dollars during the forty  weeks of term time.  Now board can be had for three dollars per week.  The average annual expense of a student, outside of clothing, etc., is about two hundred and fifty dollars. 


The teaching of music, more especially sacred music, is now a prominent feature here.  The number of teachers Oberlin has sent forth, as well as missionaries to foreign lands, is extraordinary, probably unequaled anywhere. 


The central idea of Oberlin was as a missionary center.  In this idea not education, but religion.  Christianity, as comprehensive, active, aggressive and progressive, is supreme.  The Oberlin philosophy as defined by Mr. Finney was that "the foundation of moral obligation is the good of being, and that true virtue or righteousness consists in willing this good of being, including one's own, so that the whole life will be devoted to its promotion.  This is the love enjoined in the Scriptures, the fulfilling of the law."  In other words, the true end of life is found in doing good, and that was the principle on which Oberlin was founded.  The education of youth had that as its sole aim. 


Oberlin was an important station on the underground railroad, and of the multitudes of fugitives who came, not one was ever finally taken back to bondage.  Every device was resorted to for their concealment and safe embarkation to Canada.  Says President Fairchild in his work, "Oberlin, the Colony and the College:"


"Not to deliver to his master the servant that had escaped from his master, seemed to the people of Oberlin a solemn and pressing duty.  This attitude exposed the College and the community to much reproach, and sometimes apparently to serious danger.  Threats came from abroad that the college buildings should be burned.  A Democratic Legislature at different times agitated the question of repealing the college charter.  The fourth and last attempt was made in 1843, when the bill for repeal was indefinitely postponed in the House by a vote of sixty-six to twenty-nine. 


"The people in the neighboring towns were, at the outset, not in sympathy with Oberlin in its anti-slavery position.  They agreed with the rest of the world in regarding it as an unmitigated fanaticism.  The feeling was often bitter and intense, and an Oberlin man going out from home in any direction was liable to be assailed with bitter words; and if he ventured to lecture upon the unpopular theme, he was fortunate if he encountered words only.  Of course the self-respectful part of the community would take no part in such abuse, but fellows of the baser sort felt themselves sustained by the common feeling.  On the Middle Ridge road, six miles north of Oberlin, a guide-board put by the authorities stood for years, pointing the way to Oberlin, not by the ordinary index finger, but by the full length figure out of a fugitive running with all his might to reach the place.  The tavern sign, four miles east, was ornamented on its Oberlin face with the representation of the fugitive slave pursued by a tiger.  Where the general feeling yielded such result, not much could be expected in the way of sympathy for fugitives.  But even among these people the slave-catcher had little favor.  They would thwart his pursuit in every way, and shelter the fugitive if they could.  Only the meanest and most mercenary could be hired to betray the victim.  Now and then an official felt called upon to extend aid and comfort to the slave-hunter who claimed his service, but he could expect no toleration from his neighbors in such a course.  A whole neighborhood would suddenly find themselves abolitionists upon the appearance of a slave-hunter among them, and by repeated occurrences of this kind, as much as by any other means, Lorain county and all of Northern Ohio became, at length, intensely anti-slavery in feeling and action. 


It was on a Saturday afternoon in July that I approached Oberlin in the cars; the tall spires loomed up on a perfectly level country half a mile from the depot.  On alighting I was accosted by an old lady, perhaps 60 years old, with a basket of fresh newspapers which she was selling.  She had a refined face, and the incongruity of her vocation, with her evident cultivation, was striking as she presented a countenance aglow with its best selling-smile.  I was told she had a greenhouse nearby and cultivated flowers, and this was a diversion. 


Eccentricities are to be expected in such a place as Oberlin, with its extraordinary history, which began fifty years ago, outraging popular ideas of that day on the questions of the equal claims of all men, irrespective of race, and the co-education of the sexes; and with the result of winning a topmost position in regards of the regardful.  I believe Oberlin has sent forth more female teachers to our own country, and more missionaries to foreign lands, than any other spot anywhere. 


Oberlin is well spread out for the uses of its peculiar population, whose business is the capture of knowledge, and not for learning’s sake, but for its use in the amelioration of human woe.  The walk to the centre was through a fine avenue of homes, homes largely without fences, open to view; some with luxuriant arbor vitae hedges.  Their odor was fragrant, and grateful was the site of plump-bodied robins hopping on the lawns. 


Arrived at the centre and I found a surprising


Page 129


change.  The newness, the crudity of the old time had vanished; but one of the buildings shown in the view of 1846 is standing.  The square is an open space of some twelve acres, the college buildings mainly detached, and in scattered spots around it.  These are noble structures of Amherst and LaGrange sandstone; no material can be more elegant or more substantial; the old signs of a poor and struggling institution had vanished. 


A handsome soldiers' monument is there to test the heroism of the sons of Oberlin.  The foundation idea of Oberlin had conquered.  Through agony, through blood, the great question, "Am I not a man, and a brother?" has been answered in the affirmative. 


As I left this unique place to resume my seat in the cars, I passed a young woman of regular features, refined and thoughtful expression, although a full black complexion,.  She was one of the transformations of Oberlin.  Its founders had got the best they could find from a very old book and applied it direct in the line of humanity, and lo! - songs of gladness for the clank of chains. 


North Amherst is six miles northwest from Elyria, on the L. S. & M. S. Railroad.  Newspaper: Reporter, Independent, H. K. CLOCK, editor and publisher.  Churches: one Baptist, one Catholic, one Congregational, one Evangelical, one Evangelical Reformed, one Lutheran.  Population in 1880, 1,542. 


One of the most important quarry districts in the United States mainly lies in the counties of Lorain, Cuyahoga and Erie.  The sandstone goes under the general name of Berea grit.  These quarries are now mainly under the control of the Cleveland Stone Company.  (See pages 525-6.)  North Amherst has grown almost entirely from the development of its own industry.  "The whole northern and western part of the township, and extending in Brownhelm, may be said to fairly bristle with heavy, iron-rigged derricks, which, worked by powerful engines, swing ponderous blocks of stone from the deep, rugged-walled caverns, to the ground above, and deposit them upon railroad cars or swing them to the saw-mill and turning-lathe.  Hundreds of men, assisted by the giant slave - steam - are toiling in the ledges and pits, taking out the rough stone to be modeled into shapes of grace, beauty and strength, to lend majesty to the buildings in the great markets of the world."


Vast amounts of stone have been taken out of these quarries at Amherst, Brownhelm and vicinity.  The material obtained goes under the general name of the Amherst building stone, and is regarded as the best building stone upon the earth.  The supply is practically inexhaustible.  Estimating the thickness of the stone at an average of fifty feet - and good authorities say it must be nearer 100 - the number of cubic feet in an acre would be over 2,000,000, which to quarry out would take 100 men ten years.  The stone lies almost entirely above the ground, and above the drainage level, and the huge blocks sent to all parts of the United States and Canada, and even South America, are quarried without any of the obstructions found in other parts of the country.  The close proximity of the great railroads gives another great advantage for transportation. 


The texture of the stone is fine and homogenous, usually without iron and with very few flaws or breaks.  Its strength is equal to 10,000 pounds to the square inch, four times that of the best brick, and much stronger than the best marble or granite, and, as was illustrated in the great Chicago fire, it will resist the action of fire where limestone, marble and granite are entirely destroyed.  Its durability is greater than any other sedimentary rock; being nearly pure silex but it resists the erosive action of the atmosphere to wonderful degree, equaling the very best Scotch granite. 


The foregoing facts are from J. TERRELL'S articles in WILLIAMS' "County History." ORTON'S Geological Report" supplies the remainder. 


The Amherst quarries, in Lorain county, are located in a series of ledges, which were once the shore cliffs of Lake Erie.  The elevated position of these is a very great advantage, since the light and uniform color is due to the fact that this elevation produces a free drainage, and the stones have been traversed by atmospheric waters to such a degree that all processes of oxidation which are possible have been nearly completed. 


An idea of the arrangement of the strata in quarries can be obtained from the following section, which is exhibited in the HOLDERMAN quarry at Amherst:



Drift material                                        1 to 3 feet. 

Worthless shell rock                            6 "  10  "

Soft rock, for grindstones only                 12  ". 

Building stone                                              3  ". 

Bridgestone                                                   2  ". 

Grind stone                                                   2  ". 

Building stone or grindstone                     10  ". 

Building stone                                      4 "    7  ". 

Building stone or grindstone                     12 ". 





The floor of the quarry, moreover, consists of good stone, which has been drilled for twelve feet, indicating a still greater thickness of stone which could be extracted. 


The other quarries of the region exhibit a

Page 130


Top Picture

J. N. Bradford, del., Ohio State University.



From a picture in possession of Col. Frank C. Loveland, U. S. Pension Agent, New York


Bottom Picture



Page 131


similar diversity of material, although the arrangement is not often the same.  As regards color, the stones may be divided into two classes, called buff and blue.  The buff stone is above the line of perfect drainage, and in the section above given, this extends as far down as the two feet of bridge stone, forming a total depth twenty-three to twenty-seven feet.  In most of the Amherst quarries the relative amount of buff stone is greater. 


As will be noted from this section, the different strata are not applicable alike to the same purposes, and the uses for which the different grades of material can be employed depend principally upon the texture and the hardness of the stone.  The softest and most uniform in texture is a special especially applicable for certain kinds of grinding, and is used for grindstones only, and production of these forms an important part of the quarry industry. 


The stone which is especially applicable for purposes of construction is also variable; that which is of medium hardness and of uniform texture is used for building purposes or for grindstones; some is too hard or not sufficiently uniform in texture for grindstones, and is used for building purposes only; and the material, sometimes found, which is difficult to quarry and to dress, is used for bridge building purposes only. 


As regards appearances, there is much diversity in the material produced in this region.  There are differences due to the diversity of textures, of colors, and of methods of stratification; yet these are seldom recognized by the casual observer.  Differences in color give rise to the terms "Blue" and "buff," previously referred to, and differences in methods of stratification give rise to the terms "split-rock," "spider-web," and "liver-rock."  The regularly and evenly stratified stone is classified as split-rock; that in which the stratification is irregular and marked by fine, transverse and wavy lines is classified as spider-web; the homogenous stone, which exhibits little or no stratification, is classified as liver-rock. 


When first taken from the quarry it contains several per cent. of water, and as long as this is retained the stones cut easily; upon its loss they harden.  The stone is extracted during only eight months of the year, since it is injured by being quarried in the winter and subjected to hard freezing while containing this quarry water.  The winter months are, therefore, occupied in stripping and channeling. 


Many very fine buildings, both in the United States and Canada, have been built of the so-called Amherst stone, among which may be mentioned the Canadian Parliament buildings, and most of the public buildings in Toronto; and there is no city in the Union in which stone is extensively used where examples cannot be found in which the stone is used for trimmings and ornamental work. 


Wellington is thirty-six miles southwest from Cleveland, fifteen miles southwest of Elyria, on the C. C. C. & I. & L. E. & W. R. R.  City officers, 1888: W. R. WEAN, Mayor; R. GOODWIN, Clerk; Wm. CUSHING, Jr., Treasurer; Edward HACKETT, Marshall.  Newspaper: Enterprise, Republican, J. B. SMITH, editor and publisher.  Churches: one Methodist, one Baptist, one Catholic, one Congregational.  Bank: First National, S. S. WARNER, president; R. A. HORR, Cashier.  Population, 1880, 1,811.  School census, 1888, 592; R. W. KINNISON, school superintendent. 


This county is the greatest cheese producing county in Ohio.  Its annual production about enough for a pound to every man, woman and child in the State, while Wellington bears with Little Falls, New York, the reputation of being one of the two greatest cheese producing places in the Union. 


The greatest event in the history of Wellington is that widely known as


The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue Case. 


About the last attempt to recover a fugitive in Northern Ohio, under the fugitive slave law of 1850, occurred September 13, 1858.  John PRICE, a fugitive slave from Kentucky, had been some time in Oberlin, when by a ruse he was seized by United States Marshall LOWE and his Deputy, Samuel DAVIS, of Columbus, accompanied by two Kentuckians Mssrs. MITCHELL and JENNINGS, and driven over to Wellington, eight miles, to Wadsworth’s Hotel, with the design of taking him south by the first train. 


There was a large crowd in Wellington, drawn by the occurrence of a fire, and soon word was received of the fact, and being joined by a large body from Oberlin, they surrounded the hotel and rescued a fugitive. 


The grand jury of the United States District Court found bills of indictment against thirteen persons in Wellington and twenty-four in Oberlin, leading citizens, for aiding


Page 132


in the rescue, and arrested them.  On April 5 their cases were called at Cleveland before the United States Court, when the Wellington defendants, with a single exception (Matthew GILLET), entered a plea of nolle contendre, were fined each twenty dollars and costs and sent to jail for twenty-four hours. 


They were, Matthew GILLET, Matthew DE WOLFE, Loring WADSWORTH, Ely BOYCE, John MANDEVILLE, Henry NILES, Walter SOULES, Lewis HINES said, William SIPLES, and Abner LOVELAND: a son of the latter is Col. Frank C. LOVELAND, successor of General SIGEL in the highly responsible position of United States Pension Agent in New York. 


Two of the Oberlin men, Simeon BUSHNELL and Charles H. LANGSTON, where convicted and sentenced: BUSHNELL to sixty days imprisonment and a fine of six hundred dollars; Langston, a colored man, who made a strong speech for his course, was fined one hundred dollars and sentenced for twenty days. Twelve of the Oberlin men remained in the jail in Cleveland. 


The prisoners on the whole had a rather enjoyable time.  On the 24th of May an immense mass meeting was held at Cleveland, attended by people from all parts of Northern Ohio, to express their intense hatred of the fugitive slave law.  There was great enthusiasm; an immense procession with banners marched through the streets and gathered in front of the jail.  They were addressed by Joshua R. GIDDINGS, Gov. CHASE and others.  The first was bold and defiant, Mr. CHASE wary and circumspect; but the resolutions were decided and radical, savoring strongly of "State rights."  Visitors came in throngs to see the prisoners, and letters of sympathy and funds to meet expenses poured in upon them. 


Mr. Fitch, of Oberlin, one of the prisoners, had been superintendent of the Sabbath-school there for sixteen years.  The children, now numbering four hundred, came over in a body to visit him by invitation, and as guests of the Sabbath-school children of Plymouth Church, Cleveland.  Then they filed into the jail, filling all its corridors and open spaces, when brief addresses, interspersed with music, were given. 


When the prisoners were released, after an imprisonment of months, it was a day of jubilee.  They were escorted from the prison to the train by several hundred citizens, headed by HECKER'S band playing "Home, Sweet Home," and the firing of a hundred guns on the public square. 


On their arrival at Oberlin they were escorted to the great church where, until midnight, the pent-up feelings of the people found expression in song and prayer and familiar talk over the experiences of the preceding weeks.  A Cleveland administration paper that evening said: "So the government, at last, has been beaten, with law, justice and facts all on its side, and Oberlin with its rebellious higher law creed triumphant."


President James H. FAIRCHILD, of Oberlin, describes an attempt to obtain relief during this imprisonment, by an appeal to the State Courts.   Its possible consequences are of great historic interest:


"A writ of habeas corpus was granted by one of the judges of the Supreme Court, commanding the sheriff to bring BUSHNELL and LANGSTON before that court, that the reason of their imprisonment might be considered.  The case was ably argued before the full bench, at Columbus, for a week; but the court, three to two, declined to grant a release.  This was a severe blow to the men in jail.  They had counted with much confidence upon relief from that quarter.  It is idle to speculate upon the possible results if a single judge had held a different opinion.  Salmon P. CHASE was governor at that time, and it was well understood that he would sustain a decision releasing the prisoners by all the power at his command; and the United States government was as fully committed to the execution of the fugitive-slave law.  This would have placed Ohio in conflict with the general government in defense of state rights, and if the party of freedom throughout the North had rallied, as seemed probable, the war might have come in 1859, instead of 1861, with a secession of the North instead of the Southern states.  A single vote apparently turned the scale, and after a little delay the party of freedom took possession of the government, and the party of slavery became the seceders."


There was no sufficient proof of title to John as his slave, in the claimant who issued the power of attorney, and on the 6th of July the prisoners were all released.  The four men who had seized him had been indicted on the charge of kidnapping in Lorain County, became alarmed, and so, by mutual consent, all further proceedings on both sides were stopped. 


Lost in the Woods. 


The county history gives several instances of persons being lost in the woods at an early day.  One, the case of Mrs. Carroll TILLOTSON, who came in 1810 with her husband and three children from Waterbury, Conn.  Mr. Tillotson put up the first cabin in Ridgeville. One morning Mrs. Tillotson went to a spring some thirty rods from her cabin to get a pail of water, and then concluded to go a little farther to see how her husband was progressing with a new cabin he was building.  She started, as she supposed, in the right direction, but soon became bewildered and lost in the dense woods, and could find neither husband nor home where she had left little children.  After wandering about in the woods nearly all day through brush and over logs, she came by chance upon the Indian trail which led to the mouth of Black river.  This she took and finally arrived at home in a wretched and terribly worn condition. 


Mr. David BEEBE, a neighbor of Mrs. TILLOTSON, which lost in the fall of 1811, and passed four days and three nights in the woods. 


Page 133


Early in the morning he went in search of his horses, and the day being cloudy he became lost and wandered about all day without the least idea of where he was or in the direction he was going.  Night overtaking, he crept into a hollow tree, and there passed a sleepless night.  The next day he moved about unceasingly to discover some object he knew, but in vain, when to his great amazement in looking for a lodging place he discovered the same hollow tree in which he had passed the preceding night. 


Convinced by this that he had been traveling in a circle, he adopted the plan the following day of selecting three or more trees in a range, and in this way was enabled to travel in a direct course.  Another night was spent in the woods, making his bed under one of the trees selected in line.  On the forenoon of the fourth day he reached the lake shore in Avon, and, making his way westward, reached the cabin of John S. REED at the mouth of Black river.  While in the woods he had subsisted on a few hickory nuts he had carried in his pockets; but he was in a weak and almost famished condition.  Every possible effort had been made to find the unfortunate man, men from adjoining towns assisting neighbors in the search.  It was common then when parties gathered to search for the lost to go with horns to blast and give notice to the bewildered one.  To illustrate the often lonely condition of the first settlers, when the Beebe family emigrated to Ohio Mrs. Beebe was the first white woman that Mrs. Terrell had seen in three months.  They had been neighbors in Connecticut, and were so overcome at meeting that neither could for some time speak a word. 


The sensation of being lost in the woods is most graphically described by Colonel Charles WHITTLESEY in his essay, "Two Months in the Copper Region," in 1845.  He had himself twice experienced that.  He says it is a species of delirium.  It oppresses and injures every faculty like any other intense and overwhelming emotion.  Even the most experienced woodsman, Indians and Indian guides, frequently become subjected to it, become bewildered, miscalculate their position, make false reckoning of distances, lose courage and abandon themselves to despair and to tears.  He thus details the sensation:


"With the mind in a state of perplexity, the fatigue of traveling is greater than usual, and excessive fatigue in time weakens not only the power of exertion but of resolution also.  The wanderer is finally overtaken with an indescribable sensation - one that must be experienced to be understood - that of lost-ness. 


"At a moment when all his faculties, instincts and perceptions are in full demand, he finds them all confused, irregular and weak.  When every physical power is required to carry him forward, his limbs seem to be yielding to the disorders of his mind.  He is filled with an oppressive sense of his inefficiency, with an indefinite idea of alarm, apprehension and dismay.  He reasons, but trusts to no conclusions.  He decides upon the preponderance of reason and fact, and is sure to be decided wrong."


"If he stumble into a trail he has passed before, even within a few hours, he does not recognize it, or if he should at last, and conclude to follow it, a fatal lunacy impels him to take the wrong end.  His own tracks are the prints or the feet of some other man, and if the sun should at last penetrate the fog and clouds that envelop his path, the world for a time seems to be turned and for end.  The sun is out of place: perhaps to his addled brain far in the north coursing around to the south, or in the west moving towards the east.  At length, like a dream, the delusion wears away, objects put on their natural address, the sun takes up its usual track, streams run towards their mouths, the compass points to the northward; dejection and weakness give place to confidence and elasticity of mind."


Sand Ridges


A very interesting feature of the lake counties are the beautiful sand ridges which run through this country nearly parallel with the lake east and west.  Upon these ridges of the pioneer built his first cabin; upon them ran the first roads, and these were the first places cultivated, because of their light sandy soil and easy cultivation.  There are three continuous sand ridges running through the county beside several local ones, and the belief is by some geologists that they are old beach lines left by the receding waters in their successive stages of rest.  They vary from forty to one hundred fifty rods in width, and are respectively three, seven and nine miles from the lake, the highest - Butternut ridge - the one farther inland, being the first formed.  It has an altitude of two hundred and four feet above the lake, while North ridge, the one nearest to it and parallel, has an altitude of only from ninety to one hundred feet.  Centre ridge, which formed a continuous ridge nearly if not the entire length of the lake, has an altitude of one hundred and sixty-two feet.  This ridge was used as the first wagon road in the county, and was the Old Stage Road between Buffalo and Detroit.  J. TERRELL says: "The ridges were formed from the sand that was worn from the rocks by the action of water; hence these ridges are only found within the limits of the horizon of sandrock exposure.  .  .  .   The main ridges all run parallel with the lake, and hence presented a natural barrier to the drainage of the land.  The water coming down from the higher lands south settled in behind these ridges, forming ponds or small lakes which, as vegetation slowly accumulated, finally became swamps.  Hence are found swamps on the north side of all the ridges."


In the July number of Silliman's Journal, 1850, Colonel WHITTLESEY says: "My opinion has been for a number of years that the ridges are not 'ancient beaches' of the lake, although some of the terraces maybe.  It is indispensable to a beach that its foot or water line should


Page 134


be perfectly horizontal.  The lake ridges are not so; and this fact, taken in connection with the external form which they assume, clearly gives them the character of sub-marine deposits. "


There are points on this coast where there are four ridges rising in succession from the lake, as in the town of Ridgeville, Lorain county.  In other places there are three, as from Geneva to Ashtabula; from Euclid through Painesville to Geneva, 2; and from Cleveland to Euclid, 1.  There are places where it is difficult to trace any; and in others, as in the city of Cleveland, where there are two branches or divisions of one ridge for short distances, all about the same level and liable to terminate suddenly.  The ridges are sometimes on the crest of a terrace, and sometimes lie like a highway of water washed sand, on the gently inclined surface of a plane that descends toward the lake.  From a regular and beautiful elevated roadway the ridge occasionally breaks into sand knolls, as at Avon Centre, Lorain county; at Ohio City, near Cleveland, and at Painesville, Lake county. 




Quincy Adams GILMORE was born in Black River (now Lorain), Lorain county, O., February 25, 1825, and died in Brooklyn, N. Y., April 11, 1888.  His early life was passed on a farm.  In 1849 he graduated at West Point at the head of his class. 


His first great distinction was achieved in the siege and capture of Fort Pulaski, Georgia, February 19 to April 11, 1862.  As commander of the forces engaged in this siege, he boldly discarded the traditions of attack upon fortified places, and planting his breeching batteries at distances never thought of before, succeeded in less than 2 days of bombardment in rendering untenable a work which the most eminent engineers had, in view of its peculiar situation, pronounced impregnable. 


In fact, General Gilmore's cannonade and capture of Fort Pulaski revolutionized the naval gunnery of the world, and extended his fame throughout Europe as well as America. 


For this service he received the brevet of lieutenant-colonel, and was made a brigadier-general of volunteers, April 28, 1862. 



General Q. A. GILMORE.


Gen. Q. A. Gillmore.His next notable success was with the noted "Swamp Angel," a gun used in the siege of Charleston.  The gun was apparently planted in the edge of the sea, but really in the shallow marsh between Morris and James islands.  There a firm foundation was laid, a low breastwork put up in a circle around the gun, and one-hundred-pound shells were "dropped" into Charleston.  But it was only fired thirty-six times, exploding at the last discharge.  Other guns soon after did as effective work, but the "Swamp Angel" is remembered because it first proved the practical ability of the method. 


Later, with his (Tenth) corps, he took part in the final operations of the army on the James river.  He received brevets of brigadier-general and major-general for services before Charleston, resigning his volunteer commission as major-general in December, 1865. 


After the war he was engaged upon important engineering works, and his name is most intimately associated with the improvement of the harbors at Charleston and Savannah, with other like works along the Atlantic coast, and as president of the Mississippi River Commission with the great works which have been projected for the rectification of that important waterway.  Outside of his military record, General GILMORE gained a high reputation by his published studies in cements and mortars, concrete and building stone, and road-making and paving, and his treatises on these subjects are regarded as of the highest authority. 


Asa MAHAN was born in Vernon, N.Y., November 9, 1800.  Graduated at Hamilton


Page 135


College in 1824, and at Andover Theological Seminary in 1827.  In 1831 he was pastor of the Presbyterian church at Cincinnati, and four years later accepted the presidency of Oberlin College, which he held for fifteen years.  After leaving Oberlin he was president of Cleveland University, and later, Adrian College, Michigan.  He received the degrees of D. D. and LL. D., and after 1871 resided in England.  He is the author of a number of theological works. 


Charles Grandison FINNEY was born in Warren, Conn., August 29, 1792, and died at Oberlin, Ohio, August 16, 1875.  As a young man he began the study of law, but having been converted in 1821, was licensed to preach in the Presbyterian church.  He was a very successful evangelist.  In 1835 he accepted the professorship of theology at Oberlin.  From 1851 to 1866 he was president of Oberlin, during which period he spent three years as a revivalist in England, and gained a very great reputation for eloquence.  His "Lectures on Revivals" was translated into several foreign languages. 


John Mercer LANGSTON was born in Louisa, Summit county, Va., December 14, 1829.  At the age of six he was emancipated from slavery.  Appleton's "Cyclopedia of American Biography" says of him: "He was graduated at Oberlin in 1849, and at the theological department in 1853.  After studying law he was admitted to the bar of Ohio in 1854, and practiced his profession there until 1869, during which time he was clerk of several townships in Ohio, being the first colored man elected to an office of any sort by popular vote.  He was also a member of the Board of Education of Oberlin.  In 1869 he was called to a professorship of law in Howard University, Washington, D. C., and became dean of the faculty of the law department, and active in its organization, remaining there seven years.  He was appointed by President Grant a member of the Board of Health of the District of Columbia, and was elected its secretary in 1875.  In 1877-85 he was United States Minister and Consul-General in Hayti.  On his return to this country he was appointed president of the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute in Petersburg, which office he now (1887) holds.  In addition to various addresses and papers on political, biographical, literary and scientific subjects, Mr. LANGSTON is the author of a volume of select addresses entitled 'Freedom and Citizenship,' Washington, 1883."


Charles Carroll PARSONS was born in Elyria in 1838; graduated at West Point in 1861.  In the war he took command of the battery, "Parson's battery," which was famous in both Union and Confederate armies, and many stories are told of his courage and daring.  In one instance he remained with his guns until dragged from them by the order of General McCOOK. 


After the war he was chief of artillery in Gen. HANCOCK'S Indian expedition.  Later he took orders in the Protestant Episcopal church.  He died September 7, 1878, at Memphis, during the yellow-fever epidemic, from overwork in his heroic ministrations as nurse and clergymen. 


Stevenson BURKE, so eminent as a lawyer, jurist, president of many railways and other corporations, passed his early youth and manhood in this country, where he was admitted to the bar in 1848, and is now residing in Cleveland.  From penury he fought his way to such success that few great cases have been tried in Northern Ohio within the last 25 years in which he has not been engaged.  He possesses untiring powers of application, executive capacity, with genial, winning ways. 


Lorain is on Lake Erie, at the mouth of the Black river, on the N. Y. C. & St. L. and C. L. & W. Railroads.  It is eight miles from the Elyria, thirty miles from Sandusky, and twenty-eight from Cleveland.  City officers: Mayor, Otto BRAUN; Clerk, John STACK; Treasurer, T. F. DANIELS; Marshall, H. OSGOOD; Street Commissioner, James WHITE.  Newspaper: Lorain Times, Independent, Thomas G. CHAPMAN, editor.  Churches: one Methodist, won Congregational, one Disciples, one German Evangelical, one German Lutheran, one Catholic, and one Baptist.  Bank: First National, David WALLACE, president, T. F. DANIELS, cashier. 


Manufacturers and Employees. - The United Brass Co., brass goods, 310 hands; Lorain Iron Foundry, castings, 6; C. L. & W. R. R. Shops, railroad cars, 36; C. L. & W. R. R. Repair Shop, railroad repairs, 90; Lorain Lumber and Manufacturing Co., planing mill, 5; WILLIAMS, BARROWS & Co., flour, etc., 6. - State Reports, 1887.  Population, 1880, 1,595.  School census, 1888, 1,059.  Capital invested in manufactures, $105,000.  Value of annual product, $130,000. - Ohio Labor Statistics, 1888. 


Lorain, as a village, is comparatively new; but, being at the mouth of Black river, the point has long been an important one.  The harbor here is one of the best on the lake.  For over three miles the stream exceeds a width of 200 feet, with an average depth of about fifteen feet, sufficient for the largest craft on the lake.  It has long been an important point for shipbuilding.  In 1836 was formed here an association called the "Black River Steamboat Association." Up


Page 136


to 1876 the number of steamboats, brigs, schooners, barks and sloops built here had  aggregated 125, besides many scows - beginning with the "General Huntington," built in 1819.  The place was first called Black River.  In 1836 the village was incorporated as Charleston, and was growing into importance as a shipping point for grain, when the Cleveland & Toledo and other railroads diverted its trade, and the place of fell into ruin.  In 1874 it was reincorporated under its present name, having obtained railroad connections and giving evidence of a returning life. 


Grafton is about eight miles southeast of Elyria, on the C. C. C. & I. and C. L. & W. Railroads.  It has churches: one Presbyterian, one Methodist, and one Catholic, and about 700 population. 


La Grange is on the C. C. C. & I. Railroad, seven miles easterly from Wellington, and has about 500 inhabitants.  School census, 1888, 156.


Image button58061219.jpg