Page 432


PORTAGE COUNTY was formed from Trumbull, June 7, 1807; all that part of the Reserve west of the Cuyahoga and south of the townships numbered five was also annexed as part of the county, and the temporary seat of justice appointed at the house of Benjamin TAPPAN. The name was derived from the old Indian portage path of about seven miles in length, between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas, which was within its limits. The surface is slightly rolling; the upland is generally sandy or gravelly, and the flat land to a considerable extent clay. The country is wealthy and thriving, and the dairy business is largely carried on.


Area about 490 square miles. In 1887 the acres cultivated were 118,744; in pasture, 149,678; woodland, 44,233; lying waste, 2,340; produced in wheat, 375,877 bushels; rye, 932; buckwheat, 635; oats, 555,086; barley, 194; corn, 425,143; meadow hay, 29,845 tons; clover hay, 15,164; flax, 64,900 lbs. fibre; potatoes, 183,263 bushels; tobacco, 40 lbs.; butter, 931,376; cheese, 1,786,500; sorghum, 45 gallons; maple syrup, 88,282; honey, 11,993 lbs.; eggs, 966,965 dozen; grapes, 7,990 lbs.; vine, 45 gallons; apples, 166,784 bushels; peaches, 22,301; pears, 1,408; wool 199,946 lbs.; milch cows owned, 12,240. Ohio Mining Statistics, 1888: Coal mined, 70,923 tons, employing 157 miners and 23 outside employees; fire-clay, 308 tons.


School census, 1888, 8,131; teachers, 378. Miles of railroad track, 154.




And Census





And Census




















































































Page 433


Population of Portage in 1820 was 10,093; 1830, 18,792; 1.840, 23,107; 1860, 24,208; 1880, 27,500 of whom 19,940 were born in Ohio; 1,476, Pennsylvania; 1,115, New York; 112, Indiana; 81, Virginia; 24, Kentucky; 918, England and Wales; 750, German Empire; 561, Ireland; 165, British America; 104, Scotland; 46, France, and 22, Norway and Sweden. Census, 1890, 27,868.


The cheese industry in this county, as in others of the Western Reserve, has grown to very large proportions; hence the term CHEESEDOM has sometimes, in slang parlance, been applied to this section of the State. The beginning of this industry dates from the first settlement, when, as soon as the pioneer cabin was up, and the family domiciled, the women prepared for cheese- making. A rail or pole with one end under the lower log of the cabin, and lying across a rudely- constructed cheese-hoop, with a weight attached to the outer end, constituted the primitive cheese-press.


After the settlers had succeeded in enclosing and seeding pastures, cheese-making increased, but great difficulty was experienced in getting it to market. In the summer of 1820 Mr. Harvey BALDWIN took from Aurora the first cargo of cheese to a Southern market. He had less than 2,000 pounds hauled to Beaver Point, Pa., by wagon, there transferred to a pine skiff, and then commenced voyaging down stream, selling cheese at Wheeling, Marietta, and other river towns, until he reached Louisville, Ky., where he disposed of the last of his stock, having made a profitable venture. Later he united with Samuel TAYLOR and Apollis WHITE, purchased several dairies in Bainbridge and Auburn in 1825, and sent cheese down the Ohio river.


In 1826 Mr. Royal TAYLOR and Russell G. McCARTY gathered a cargo of thirty tons of cheese in Aurora and Bainbridge, and took it to Louisville, where it was divided into two lots. McCARTY took his to Alabama. TAYLOR carried his goods to Nashville, but found the market overstocked.


He says: "I hired two six-horse teams, with large Pennsylvania wagons (as they were then called), to haul 8,000 pounds each, over the Cumberland mountains to Knoxville, East Tennessee, at $2.50 per 100 pounds. I accompanied the wagons on foot, and sold cheese at McMinnville, Sparta, and other places where we stayed overnight. The people with whom we stayed overnight usually purchased a cheese, called the family together around a table, and they generally ate nothing but cheese until they had satisfied their appetites, and then the balance (if anything was left) was sent to the negro quarters to be consumed by the slaves. My sales in Tennessee and North Carolina at that time ranged between twenty-five and thirty-seven cents per pound. The trip was somewhat protracted, as the teams could not travel more than ten or fifteen miles each day. On my return to Knoxville I purchased a horse and came home on horseback after an absence of about six and a half months.


"Until after 1834 the Western Reserve cheese had entire control of the Southern markets. About this time the Yankee population on the Darby Plains, in Ohio, commenced its manufacture and came into competition with ours at Cincinnati, Louisville and some other markets. The article they offered was equal, if not superior in quality to ours, but the quantity was much less; consequently they did not greatly diminish our sales. The increase of the consumers at the South and West kept even pace with manufacturers in the North, and hence the enormous quantities now manufactured find a ready sale. I only regret to say that the quality has not improved in the same ratio as the quantity has increased."




RAVENNA was originally settled by Benjamin TAPPAN, Jr., in 1799. He was the afterwards eminent Benjamin TAPPAN, Senator from Ohio, who later removed to Steubenville. In making the settlement at Ravenna he acted as the agent of his father, Benjamin TAPPAN, Sr., who was the principal proprietor. At this time


Page 435


Top Picture

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846




Bottom Picture

From Photograph in 1884




Page 436


there was but one white person, a Mr. HONEY, residing in the county. A solitary log-cabin in each place marked the sites of the flourishing cities of Buffalo and Cleveland. On his journey out from New England, Mr. TAPPAN fell in with the late David Hudson, the founder of Hudson, Summit county, at Gerondaquet, N. Y., and "assisted him on the journey for the sake of his company. After some days of tedious navigation up the Cuyahoga river, he landed at a prairie, where is now the town of Boston, in the county of Summit. There he left all his goods under a tent with one K______ and his family to take care of them, and with another hired man proceeded to make out a road to Ravenna. There they built a dray, and with a yoke of oxen which had been driven from the Connecticut river, and were found on his arrival, he conveyed a load of farming utensils to his settlement. Returning for a second load, the tent was found abandoned and partly plundered by the Indians. He soon after learned that Hudson had persuaded K______ to join his own settlement."


On Mr. TAPPIN "removing his second load of goods, one of his oxen was overheated and died, leaving him in a vast forest, distant from any habitation, without a team, and what was still worse, with but a single dollar in money. He was not depressed for an instant by these untoward circumstances. He sent one of his men through the woods with a compass to Erie, Pa., a distance of about 100 miles, requesting from Capt. Lyman, the commandant at the fort, a loan of money. At the same time he followed himself the township lines to ‘Youngstown,’ where he became acquainted with Col. James Hillman, who did not hesitate to sell him an ox on credit at a fair price—an act of generosity which proved of great value, as the want of a team must have broken up his settlement. The unexpected delays upon the journey, and other hindrances, prevented them from raising a crop at this season, and they had, after the provisions brought with him were exhausted, to depend for meat upon their skill in hunting and purchases from the Indians, and for meal upon the scanty supplies procured from Western Pennsylvania. Having set out with the determination to spend the winter, he erected a log-cabin, into which himself and one Bixby, to whom he had agreed to give 100 acres of land on condition of settlement, moved on the lst day of January, 1800, before which they had lived under a bark camp and their tent."


About the time of Mr. TAPPAN'S settlement at Ravenna, others were commenced in several of the townships of the county. The sketches of Deerfield and Palmyra we annex from the Barr manuscripts.


Deerfield received its name from Deerfield Mass., the native place of the mother of Lewis DAY, Esq. Early in May, 1799, Lewis DAY and his son Horatio, of Granby, Conn., and Moses TIBBALS and Green Frost, of Granville, Mass., left their homes in a one-horse wagon, and arrived in Deerfield on the 29th of the same month. This was the first wagon that had ever penetrated farther westward in this region than Canfield. The country west of that place had been an unbroken wilderness until within a few days. Capt. Caleb ATWATER, of Wallingford, Conn., had hired some men to open a road to township No. 1, in the seventh range, of which he was the owner. This road passed through Deerfield, and was completed to that place when the party arrived at the point of their destination. These emigrants selected sites for their future dwellings, and commenced clearing up the land. In July Lewis ELY and family arrived from Granville, and wintered here, while the first named, having spent the summer in making improvements, returned east. On the 4th of March, 1800, Alva DAY (son of Lewis), John CAMPBELL and Joel THRALL, all arrived in company. In April George and Robert TAYLOR and James LAUGHLIN, from Pennsylvania, with their families, made permanent settlements. Mr. LAUGHLIN built a grist-mill, which, in the succeeding year, was a great convenience to the settlers. On the 29th of June Lewis DAY returned from Connecticut, accompanied by his family and his brother-in-law, Major ROGERS, who the next year also brought out his family.


Much suffering was experienced on account of the scarcity of provisions. They were supplied from settlements on the opposite aide of the Ohio, the nearest of which was Georgetown, forty miles distant. These were conveyed on pack-horses through the wilderness. On the 22d of August Mrs. Alva DAY gave birth to the first child—a female—born in the township, and on the 7th of November the first wedding took place. John CAMPBELL and Sarah ELY—daughter of Lewis—were joined in wedlock by Calvin AUSTIN, Esq., of Warren. He was accompanied from Warren, a distance of twenty-seven miles, by the late




Judge PEASE, then a young lawyer of that place. They came on foot (there not being any road), and as they threaded their way through the woods young PEASE taught the justice the marriage ceremony by oft repetition.


The first civil organization was effected in 1802, under the name of Franklin township, embracing all of the present Portage and parts of Trumbull and Summit counties.


About this time the settlement received accessions from New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The Rev. Mr. BADGER, the missionary of the Presbyterians, preached here as early as February 16, 1801. In 1803 Dr. Shadrach BOSTWICK organized an Episcopal Methodist society. The Presbyterian society was organized October 8, 1818, and that of the Discipleas in 1828.


In 1806 there was an encampment of seven Mohawk Indians in Deerfield, with whom a serious difficulty occurred. John DIVER, it is thought, in a horsetrade overreached one of these Indians named JOHN NICKSAW. There was much dissatisfaction expressed by the Indians at the bargain, and NICKSAW vainly endeavored to effect a re-exchange of horses.


On stating his grievances to Squire DAY, that gentleman advised him to see DIVER again and persuade him to do justice. NICKSAW replied, "No! you speak him! me no speak to him again !" and immediately left. On this very evening (January 20, 1806) there was a sleighing party at the house of John DIVER. Early inthe evening while amusing themselves, they were interrupted by the rude entrance of five Indians—JOHN NICKSAW, JOHN MOHAWK, BIGSON and his two sons, from the encampment.


They were excited with whiskey and endeavored to decoy John DIVER to their camp on some frivolous pretence. Failing in this stratagem they became more and more boisterous, but were quieted by the mildness of Daniel DIVER. They changed their tone, reciprocated his courteousness, and vainly urged him to drink whiskey with them. They now again resumed their impudent manner, and charging Daniel with stealing their guns, declared they would not leave until he returned them. With much loss of time and altercation he at last got them out of the house. Shortly after John DIVER opened the door, and was on the point of stepping out, when he espied MOHWAWK standing in front of him, with uplifted tomahawk, in the attitude of striking. DIVER shrunk back unobserved by the company and, not wishing to alarm them, said nothing at the time about the circumstance.


About 10 o'clock, the moon shining with unusual brightness, the night being cold and clear with snow about two feet deep, Daniel observed the Indians standing in a ravine several rods from the house. He ran up and accosted them in a friendly manner. They treacherously returned his salutation, said they had found their guns, and before returning to camp wished to apologize for their conduct and part good friends. Passing along the line he took each and all by the hand until he came to MOHAWK, who was the only one that had a gun in his hands. He refused to shake hands, and at the moment Diver turned for the house, he received a ball through his temples destroying both of his eyes. He immediately fell. On the report of the gun John DIVER ran to the spot, by which time Daniel had regained his feet and was staggering about. MOHAWK was standing a few paces off, looking on in silence, but his companions had fled. John eagerly inquired of his brother what was the matter." I am shot by MOHAWK," was the reply. John instantly darted at MOHAWK, intending to make him atone in a frightful manner for the injury done his brother. The savage fled toward the camp, and as DIVER gained rapidly upon him, MOHAWK threw himself from the road into the woods, uttering a horrid, yell. DIVER, now perceiving the other Indians returning toward him, fled in turn to his brother, and took him into the house. The wound, although dangerous, was not mortal, and he was living as late as 1847.


The Indians hurried to their encampment, and from thence fled in a northwest direction. The alarm spread through the settlement, and in a few hours there were twenty-five men on the spot, ready for the pursuit. Before daylight this party (among which were Alva DAY, Major H. ROGERS, James LAUGHLIN, Alex. K. HUBBARD and Ira MANSFIELD) were in hot pursuit upon their trail. The weather being intensely cold and the settlements far apart they suffered exceedingly. Twenty of them had their feet frozen, and many of them were compelled to stop; but their number was kept good by additions from the settlements through which they passed.


On the succeeding night the party came up with the fugitives, encamped on the west side of the Cuyahoga, in the present town of Boston. The whites surrounded them; but NICKSAW and MOHAWK escaped. They were overtaken and commanded


Page 438


to surrender or be shot. Continuing their flight, WILLIAMS, of Hudson, fired, and NICKSAW fell dead; but MOHAWK escaped. The whites returned to Deerfield with BIGSON and his two sons. A squaw belonging to them was allowed to escape, and it is said perished in the snow. On arriving at the centre of Deerfield, where the tragedy had been acted, BIGSON appeared to be overpowered with grief, and giving vent to a flood of tears, took an affectionate leave of his sons, expecting here to lose his life, according to a custom of the Indians. They were taken before Lewis DAY, Esq., who, after examination, committed them to prison at Warren.


Mr. Cornelius FEATHER, in the papers of the Ashtabula Historical Society, says:


It was heart-rending to visit this group of human misery at Warren and hear their lamentations. The poor Indians were not confined, for they could not run away. The narrator has seen this old, frost-crippled chief BIGSON, who had been almost frozen to death, sitting with the others on the bank of the Mahoning, and heard him, in the Indian tongue, with deep touching emotions, in the highest strain of his native oratory, addressing his companions in misery—speaking the language of his heart; pointing toward the rising, then toward the setting sun, to the north, to the south, till sobs choked his utterance and tears followed tears down his sorrow—worn cheeks.


We now return to the Barr manuscript for another incident of early times, ex�hibiting something of Indian gratitude and customs:


JOHN HENDRICKS, an Indian, for some time lived in a camp on the bank of the Mahoning, with his family—a wife and two sons—and was much respected by the settlers. Early in 1802 one of his sons, a child of about 4 years of age, was taken sick, and during his illness was treated with great kindness by Mr. James LAUGHLIN and lady who lived near. He died on the 4th of March, and his father having expressed a desire to have him interred in the place where the whites intended to bury their dead, a spot was selected near the residence of Lewis DAY, which is to this time used as a graveyard. A coffin was prepared by Mr. LAUGHLIN and Alva DAY, and he was buried according to the custom of the whites. Observing the earth to fall upon the board, and not upon the body of his deceased son, HENDRICKS exclaimed in a fit of ecstasy, " Body no broken !" Some days after Mr. DAY observed these Indians near the grave, apparently washing some clothing, and then digging at the grave. After they had retired, prompted by curiosity, Mr. DAY examined the grave, and found the child's clothes just washed and carefully deposited with the body. Shortly after he inquired of HENDRICKS why he had not buried them at the funeral. "Because they were not clean," replied he. These Indians soon left the neighborhood, and did not return for one or two years. Meeting with Mr. LAUGHLIN HENDRICKS ran towards him, and throwing himself into his arms, embraced and kissed him with the deepest affection, exclaiming, " Body no broke ! body no broke ! "


The first improvements in Palmyra were made in 1799 by David DANIELS, from Salisbury, Conn. The succeeding year he brought out his family. E., N. and W. BACON, E. CUTLER, A. THURBER, A. PRESTON, N. BOIS, J. T. BALDWIN, T. and C. GILBERT, D. A., and S. WALLER, N. SMITH, Joseph FISHER, J. TUTTLE, and others came not long after.


On the first settlement of the township there were several families of Onondaga and Oneida Indians who carried on a friendly intercourse with the people, until the difficulty at Deerfield, in 1806, in the shooting of Diver.


When this region was first settled, there was an Indian trail commencing at Fort McIntosh (where Beaver, Pa., now is) and extending westward to Sandusky and Detroit. This trail followed the highest ground. It passed by the Salt Springs in Howland, Trumbull county, and running through h the northern part of Palmyra, crossed Silver Creek, in Edinburg, one and a half miles north of the centre road. Along this trail parties of Indians were frequently seen passing for several years after the white settlers came. In fact, it seemed to be the great thoroughfare from Sandusky to the Ohio river and Du Quesne. There are several large piles of stones by this trail in Palmyra, under which human skeletons have been discovered. These are supposed to be the remains of Indians slain in war, or murdered by their enemies; as tradition says it is an Indian practice for each one to cast a atone upon the grave of an enemy whenever he passes by. These stones appear to have been picked up along the trail and cast upon heaps at different times,


Page 439


At the point where this trail crosses Silver creek, Frederick DANIELS and others, in 1814, discovered painted on several trees various divices, evidently the work of Indians.  The bark was carefully shaved off two-thirds of the way around, and figures cut upon the wood.  On one of these was delineated seven Indians, equipped in a particular manner, one of which was wtinout a head.  this was supposed to have ben made by a party on their return westward, to give intelligence to their friends behind of the loss of one of their party at this place; and on making search a human skeletonwas discovered near by.


Ravenna in 1846.—Ravenna, the county-seat, so named from an Italian city, is thirty-four miles southeast of Cleveland and 140 northeast of Columbus. It is situated on the Cleveland & Pittsburg road, on the crest of land dividing the waters flowing into the lakes from those emptying into the Gulf of Mexico; the Ohio & Pennsylvania canal runs a short distance south of the town. The engraving represents the public buildings in the central part of the village; in the centre is seen the court-house and jail; on the right in the distance the Congregational, and on the left the Universalist church. Ravenna contains one Congregational, one Disciples, one Methodist and one Universalist church, ten mercantile stores, an academy, two newspaper printing-offices, and about 1,200 inhabitants. It is a thriving, pleasant village, and is noted for the manufacture of carriages.—Old Edition.


RAVENNA, county-seat of Portage, about 125 miles northeast of Columbus, about thirty-five miles southeast of Cleveland, at the junction of the C. & P. and N. Y., P. & O. and P. C. & T. Railroads, is the shipping-point for a fine farming district; the principal shipments are grain, wool, cheese, etc. It is also a considerable manufacturing centre. County officers, 1888: Auditor, S. R. Freeman; Clerk, A. E. SEATON; Commissioners, John L. THOMPSON, Wanzer HOLCOMB, Wesley HUBBARD; Coroner, A. M. ERWIN; Infirmary Directors, William FOX, Thomas C. STEWART, F. B. CANNON; Probate Judge, C. D. INGALL; Prosecuting Attorney, E. W. MAXON; Recorder, Sidney J. POST; Sheriff, James JONES; Surveyor, Jedediah COLE; Treasurer, Marvin COLLINS. City officers, 1888: Mayor, J. W. HOLCOMB; Clerk, Arthur SEATON; Treasurer, W. T. GRUNDEL; Marshal, William DIETCH. Newspapers: Democratic Press, Democratic, S. D. HARRIS & Son, editors and publishers; Republican, Republican, John MEHARG, editor and publisher. Churches: one Methodist Episcopal, one Catholic, one Episcopal, one Congregational, one Lutheran, one Disciples, one United Brethren, one Universalist. Banks: First National, Newell D. CLARK, president, R. B. CARNAHAN, cashier; Second National, E. T. RICHARDSON, president, W. H. BEEBE, cashier.


Manufactures and Employees.—Merts & Riddle, coaches, etc., 50 hands; Johnston, Johnston & Co., cigar boxes, 8; Buckeye Foundry, iron castings, 2; E. & R. Knapp, pumps, 3; Ravenna Glass Co., glass bottles, etc., 83; Ravenna Mills. flour, etc., 2 ; D. L. Baldwin & Son, planing-mill, etc., 8; Quaker Mill Co., oat meal, 83; O. A. Bissell, cooperage, 5; Ravenna Woollen Mills, woollen goods, 5; Seyrnore & Olin, flour, etc.; Diamond Glass Co., window glass, 58—State Report, 1888.


Population, 1880, 3,255. School census, 1888, 1,061; D. D. PICKETT, school superintendent. Capital invested in industrial establishments, $443,800. Value of annual product, $604,500.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1887.

Census, 1890, 3,417.


The first settler, Benjamin TAPPAN built his cabin in 1799 in the southeast part of the township; in 1808 he laid the foundation for the town. He offered a towns lot as a prize for the first child born on the site. This prize fell to the son of a David THOMPSON, born in 1810. TAPPAN also gave a graveyard, which came into use in 1809. Nathan CHAPMAN, aged 51 years, was its first tenant. The present cemetery was laid out in 1813. A few years later Ravenna had quite a village appearance. Jesse R. GRANT, father of General Grant, when a young man of about 23 years of age, carried on a tannery here. It was nearly opposite


Page 440


the site of the Presbyterian church, on the northeast corner of the street.  The shop stood a little back from the street, and in the yard in front were the tan-vats.  In 1835 Dr. Isaac Swift lived opposite, and had a little drug-store by his house.


A sign which read




then leaned endways against the old building, which was then used as a tannery, although GRANT had left years before. A few years ago the old vats were taken up, and some of the wood made into walking-sticks.


Kent in 1846.—Mills [now Kent] is six miles west of Ravenna, on the Cleveland road, Cuyahoga river and Mahoning canal. In the era of speculation a large town was laid out here, great prices paid for “city lots," and in the event large quantities of money changed hands. It, however, possesses natural advantages that in time may make it an important manufacturing town, the Cuyahoga having here two falls, one of seventeen and the other of twenty-five feet. The village is much scattered. It contains one Congregational, one Baptist, one Episcopal and one Methodist church, four mercantile stores, two flouring mills, two woollen factories and about 400 inhabitants—Old Edition.


KENT, formerly Franklin Mills, is six miles west of Ravenna, on the Cuyahoga river and N. Y., P. & O., C. & C. and P. Y. & C. Railroads. The Cuyahoga river furnishes inexhaustible water-power. City officers, 1888: Mayor, James WARK; Clerk, Frank ARIGHI; Marshal, James LOGAN; Treasurer, M. G. GARRISON; Street Commissioner, E. MINNICK. Newspapers: Courier, Independent, Charles H. SCOTT, editor and publisher; News, Democratic, H: E. GRIDLEY, editor; Saturday Bulletin, Republican, N. J. H, MINICH, editor and publisher: Churches: one Universalist, one Catholic, one Methodist, one Congregational, one Disciples, one Baptist, and one Lutheran. Banks: City, D. L. ROCKWELL, president, M. G. GARRISON, cashier; Kent National, Marvin KENT, president, Charles K. CLAPP, cashier.


Manufactures and Employees.—J. Turner & Sons' Manufacturing Co., worsted goods, 175 hands; H. A. & M. Kent, flour, etc., 2; N. Y., P. & O: Railroad Shops, repair shops, 320; T. G. Parsons, planing mill, 10; Williams Bros., flour, 30; Railway Speed Recorder Co., 88; GROHE Bros., planing mill, 5; John F. BYERS, machine work, 5; C. T. Goeppinger, tannery, 4.—State Report, 1887.


Population, 1880, 3,309. School census, 1888, 369; A. B. STUTZMAN, school superintendent. Capital invested in manufacturing establishments, $484,500. Value of annual product, $956,250.—Ohio Labor Statistics, 1888.


Census, 1890, 3,481.


Franklin, the township in which Kent now is, comprising 16,000 acres in 1798, was bought for twelve and a half cents an acre, or $2,000, by Aaron OLMSTEAD, of Hartford, Conn. As early as 1803 Benjamin TAPPAN and others built a bridge over the river about four yards from the spot where Brady made his leap. The first settlers were the HAYMAKER family, German Pennsylvanians, who temporarily occupied a hut built by OLMSTEAD’S surveyors.


One day, while they were in this hut, a party of Indians gave them a call, when a squaw among them leaned a board, to which she had, in Indian fashion, tied her pappoose, against the hut After the mother had gone in a wild hog came through the brush, and grasping the Indian baby, ran off with it. The mother, hearing the noise, ran to its rescue; but the infuriated hog would not give up its prize until he was badly beaten.


A son of one of the family, Frederick HAYMAKER a bright, educated man, became the private secretary of Aaron Burr, and it is said knew the secret plans of Burr;


Page 441


Top Picture

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.



When pursued by the Indians, after his leap, Brady secreted himself under a log in this pond.



Bottom Picture

F. E. Poister, Photo., Kent



On the Cuyahoga river, a few hundred yards above the bridge at Kent.



Page 442


the rocky channel, while, a short distance above, the stream is at least fifty yards wide. As he approached the chasm, BRADY, knowing that life or death was in the effort, concentrated his mighty powers, and leaped the stream at a single bound. It so happened that on the opposite cliff the leap was favored by a low place, into which he dropped, and grasping the bushes he thus helped himself to ascend to the top of the cliff. The Indians, for a few moments, were lost in wonder and admiration, and before they had recovered their recollection, he was half-way up the side of the opposite hill, but still within reach of their rifles. They could easily have shot him at any moment before, but being bent on taking him alive, for torture, and to glut their long-delayed revenge, they forbore to use the rifle; but now, seeing him likely to escape, they all fired upon him; one bullet severely wounded him in the hip, but not so badly as to prevent his progress. The Indians, having to make a considerable circuit before they could cross the stream, BRADY advanced a good distance ahead.


His limb was growing stiff from the wound, and as the Indians gained on him, he made for the pond which now bears his name and, plunging in, swam under water a considerable distance, and came up under the trunk of a large oak, which had fallen into the pond. This, although leaving only a small breathing place to support life, still completely sheltered him from their sight. The Indians, tracing him by the blood to the water, made diligent search all around the pond, but finding no signs of his exit, finally came to the conclusion that he had sunk and was drowned. As they were at one time standing on the very tree beneath which he was concealed, BRADY, understanding their language was very glad to hear the result of their deliberations, and after they had gone, weary, lame and hungry, he made good his retreat to his own home. His followers also returned in safety. The chasm across which he leaped is in sight of the bridge where we crossed the Cuyahoga, and is known in all that region by the name of BRADY'S Leap.


Beside BRADY'S Pond there are quite a number of small lakes in this part of the county. One, just south of Ravenna, is called "Mother Ward's Wash Tub." It is a phenomenal reservoir, with a hidden outlet eastward, and the water is very soft and remarkably well adapted for washing purposes.


The late Col. Charles Whittlesey, a few weeks before his decease in the fall of 1886, sent me from Cleveland the following communication, in the course of which he speaks of a noted natural object in Kent:


In your first edition, in Lucas County, you have " Roehe de Beuf,"—an error of the printer, probably. It should be Roche de Bout, the French for standing stone or rock on end. They are natural columns, common in Ohio and in the Northwest.


Lancaster, Ohio, was at first known as the "Standing Stone." There was a very singular one in the gorge of the Cuyahoga at Kent, Portage county. It stood in the midst of the rushing waters with a small pine on the top, not far above the present bridge and near where BRADY made his famous leap. The great Indian trail to the lake, Old Porte and Sanduaky, crossed just above the ace, being known as the "Standing Stone." The rock here is conglomerate, that at Maumee limestone. There was another in Randolph, Portage county, about a mile southwest of the centre, and another in the channel of the south fork of Mahoning river, where the east line of Deerfield crosses it. These were sandstone. I gave sketches and descriptions of these in Portage county in the Family Visitor, Hudson, 1850, edited by Prof. G. P. Kirtland, of which there are files in our Historical Society.


There are on our files here several literal reports of interviews with old settlers, of which the professional county historians made very little use. Also, a statement of the "Boston Bankers," alias the counterfeiters, Jim Brown, Wm. Ashley and their confederates, most of whom I knew.




LUCIUS FAIRCHILD was born in Franklin, Portage county, Ohio, December 31, 1831. At the age of 16 he removed with his parents to Madison, Wisconsin. In 1849 he went from Wisconsin, where his family had moved, to California; but six years of speculating and mining did not bring substantial returns, and he returned to Madison. In 1859 he was admitted to the bar; and was the first man from the Badger State to head a recruiting party when the war broke out. As lieutenant-colonel of the Second Wisconsin he made a noted career in the field. He was the last man to leave the field at the second battle of Bull Run. He lost his left arm at the shoulder in a desperate charge at Gettysburg. His military career closed with the rank of brigadier-general at the age of 34. He was originally a Democrat, but the Republicans of Wisconsin elected him secretary of state in 1864 and governor in 1865, re electing him in 1867.In 1869 he was elected governor for the third time. In 1871 he was appointed consul to Liverpool, and remained abroad nearly ten years, as he was transferred to Paris as consul-general and to Madrid as


Page 443


minister. In 1866 he was elected Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic.


FLORUS B. PLIMPTON was born in Palmyra, Portage county, Ohio, September 4, 1830. His father, Billings O. PLIMPTON, removed from Connecticut at the beginning of the century and engaged in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church as an itinerant. He died the day after Florus was born, aged 90. Florus worked on his father's farm in Hartford, Trumbull county, attended Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., for three years, and in 1851 entered into journalism at Warren, Ohio. In 1853 he married, Miss Cordelia A. BUSHNELL, of Hartford, Ohio. He was connected with newspapers in Niles, Mich., Ravenna, Ohio, and Elmira, N. Y., until 1857, when he became one of the editors of the Pittsburg Dispatch. In 1866 he became one of the staff of the Cincinnati Commercial, and his labors with it and with the Commercial-Gazette continued without interruption for: quarter of a century, and were of an unusually important character, breadth and responsibility. He died April 23, 1886, and in accordance with his request his remains were cremated.


Mr. Murat Halstead his intimate associate and friend for more than twenty-five years, said of him: "He was a man of absolute probity, of perfect truthfulness, of unquestioned sincerity. He was a man of marked characteristics and individuality, whose opinions, whose modes of thought, whose methods of labor were all his own. He was a man of singularly fine independence, and there was never any doubt or question as to where he was to be found."


Mr. PLIMPTON was a born poet and began to write poetry as a boy. To devote himself to poetry would doubtless have been the ideal life for him, but the arduous duties of a journalist did not admit of his devoting much time to his muse. The small collection of his poems gathered by his wife, and pub�lished after his death, bear testimony to his genius. His lines are very musical, and owe their melody to an inborn sense of rhythm.


We quote the last three verses of a poem of the Police Court, in dialect, and entitled.





Shaking’ her gray hairs backward

  Out of her eyes and face ;

“It’s thrue that ye say, yer Honer,

  It’s thrue is my disgrace.

It wasn’t the coat I cared for ;

  It’s stharving I was to ate,

And I want a friendly shilter

  Out av a friendless athrate.

Sind me back to the prisin,

   For the winter it is cold,

An’ there isn’t a heart that’s warmin’,

   For t he like av me that’s ould ;

There isn’t a heart that’s warmin’,

   Nor a hand that takes me in—

If I sthale to kape from stharvin’,

   May God forgive the sin !


Then kindly spakes his Honer :

  “Well, Mary, will it do

If I sind ye to the prisin

     For jist a month or two ?”

“The prisin’s a friend,” says Mary ;

    “I fear the winter more—

An’ it’s all the same, yer Honer,

   Ye’ll plaze to make if FOUR.





ALBERT RIDDLE was born in Monson, Mass., May 28, 1816. A year later his father removed to Geauga county, Ohio, where he died when Albert was seven years of age. The family was broken up and Albert was apprenticed to Seth HARMON, a farmer living near, Mantua, Portage county. In 1831 he returned to Geauga county, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and became a famous advocate, with great power as an orator. He was a member of the Ohio legislature of 1848-49, and called in 1848 the first free-soil convention in Ohio. Two years later he removed to Cleveland. His able conduct, in 1859, of the celebrated Oberlin "slave rescuers" case gave him a wide spread reputation. He was elected to Congress as a Republican in  1861, and made the first speeches delivered in Congress in favor of arming slaves. In 1863 he was appointed United States consul at Matanzas. For the past twenty-five years he has practised law in Washington. He aided in the prosecution of John H. SURRATT for the murder of President Lincoln; from 1877 to 1889 was law officer for the District of Columbia, and for several years had charge of the law department of Howard University.


Mr. Riddle is the author of a “Life of Garfield," also one of Benjamin F. Wade, a number of novels and other publications. His "Bart RIDGERLY, a Story of Northern Ohio," is a work of great power. "The Portrait, a Romance of Cuyahoga Valley," describes many of the scenes and events of his boyhood life in Portage county.


MARVIN KENT was born at Ravenna, Portage county, Ohio, September 21, 1816. He attended Tallmadge Academy, and in mercantile pursuits early displayed unusual sa-


Page 444


Top Left Picture


Lawyer and Author.


Top Right Picture


Journalist and Poet.


Bottom Picture



The institution where Garfield received his early education and of which he was subsequently President.


Page 445


gacity and executive ability. In 1850, while engaged in manufacturing in Franklin Mills (now Kent), he devised, planned and projected Western the Atlantic & Railroad, designed to connect the Erie with the Ohio & Mississippi, forming a grand trunk line from New York to St. Louis. He was elected president of the company then incorporated, and conducted its affairs through all its trials and vicissitudes, save for a period of three years, until the completion of the road in 1864. The construction of this road encountered, perhaps, more obstacles and greater opposition than any other in the country.


Upon its completion Mr. Kent retired from active business life. In 1875 he was elected to the State senate. He has been a generous promoter of the interests of the city of Kent, which bears his name.


Mrs. FANNIE B. WARD, correspondent, is a literary lady of Ravenna, who wields an interesting and instructive pen. Moved by a spirit of professional enterprise, early in the eighties, she singly and alone went down into Mexico and lived among the people that she might properly describe the domestic life of these, our neighbors and thus has greatly added to our knowledge of them.


HIRAM occupies the highest elevation on the Reserve, being 1,300 feet above sea-level, which gives it great salubrity and healthfulness. This is a fine fruit and dairy region. It is twelve miles northeast of Ravenna, two miles from the N., Y., P. & O. Railroad. It has one newspaper (Bugle Echo), D. H. BEAMAN, editor, and about 500 inhabitants. It is especially noted as the seat of Hiram College, the institution where James A. Garfield was educated. Its president is George H. McLAUGHLIN. It was opened in 1851 as the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, received its charter in 1867, and was rebuilt and enlarged in 1886.


Jo. Smith--The Morman Prophet.ln the winter of 1831 JOSEPH SMITH and SIDNEY came to Hiram, held meetings and made many converts to the then new faith of the Latter-Day Saints, or Mormonism. But after a while it was rumored that they designed eventually to get possession of all the property of their converts. The people became alarmed; among them were some of their dupes, who went to the house of Smith and Rigdon, stripped them, gave them a coat of tar and feathers, and rode them on a rail—whereupon they left the place.


Jo. Smith in his personal appearance was well adapted to impose upon the weak and credulous. His complexion was of corpselike paleness and waxy, his expression grave and peculiarly sanctimonious, his words few and in sepulchral tones. At Nauvoo he claimed a revelation from Heaven to take spiritual wives and established polygamy.



GARRETTSVILLE 15 twelve miles northeast of Ravenna, on the N. Y., P. & O. Railroad. Newspapers: Journal Independent, Charles B. WEBB, editor and publisher; Saturday Item, Independent, O. S. FERRIS, editor and publisher. Churches: one Congregationalist, one Methodist and one Baptist. Bank: First National, W. B. McCONNELL, president, J. S. TILDEN, cashier. Population, 1880, 290; School census, 1888, 290; J. J. JACKSON, school superintendent. It is in a rich agricultural and dairy region.


EDINGBURG is seven miles southeast of Ravenna. It has one Congregational and one Methodist Episcopal church. School census, 1888, 66:


MANTUA is twelve miles north of Ravenna. It has one Methodist, one Disciples and one Congregational church. Population, about 750. School census, 1888, 159.


MANTUA STATION is nine miles north of Ravenna, on the Cuyahoga river and N. Y., P. & O. Railroad.  it has one newspaper, Gazette, Independent, D. B. SHERWOOD, editor; one bank Crafts, Hine & Co., and a population of about 600.


PALMYRA is one and a half miles from Palmyra Station, on the L. E. A. & S. Railroad.  It is eleven miles southeast of Ravenna.  School census, 188, 120.


RANDOLP is nine miles south of Ravenna.  School census, 1888, 77.


WINDHAM is twelve miels northeast of Ravenna, on the N. Y., P  & O. Railroad.  School census, 1888, 100. It has one newspaper the Hearla, F. D. SNOW, editor; one Congregational and one Methodist Episcopal church; and tub and pail and basket factory, and stoen quarries.



Image button58061219.jpg