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BENAJAH AUSTIN was born in
Suffield, Cfonn., in 1779, and, after living for some time in Ruport,
Vermont, came to the Western Reserve in 1803. He first
purchased and occupied the Murberger
Farm, and after the one now owned by Mr. Harmon Austin.
He was County Commissioner at the time the old jail was built, and
the Sheriff from 1815 to 1818. He died in February, 1849.
CALVIN AUSTIN was probably in
Warren in 1800. He was a prominent man, and one of the first
Justices of the Peace. He was also Associate Judge. His
sons, Seymour and
Calvin, were prominent merchants.
ASAHEL ADAMS came to Trumbull
County in 1807, and to Warren about 1814. He built the old
Franklin House, on the corner of Market Street and Park Avenue,
where he lived and kept store. Later he built and occupied the
Adams Homestead on Mahoning Avenue, and died in October, 1852,
aged sixty-five years. His wife, whose maiden name was Lucy
Mygatt, still survives him.
ADAMSON BENTLY was born in
Alleghany County, Pa., July 4, 1785, and at an early age came to
Brookfield, Trumbull County. He began life at nineteen years
of age as a Baptist preacher, and was settled in Warren in 1810.
In addition to his work in the ministry he was a merchant, a
cattle-drover, and managed a tavern. He was a director in the
Western Reserve Bank, and built a number of houses. About 1820
Mr. Bently became interested in the doctrines advanced by
Alexander Campbell, and eventually became one of his followers.
He died in November 1864.
was born in Pllymouth County, Mass., April 12, 1791, and came to
Warren in 1811. He buried himself, at first, in teaching
school, but soon was employed as an express messenger between Warren
and Pittsburg, and carried to that last-named city the earliest news
of Perry's victory. In 1813 he married Miss Serina
Strowbridge, of New England. After his return to Warren,
he built the National Hotel, and also engaged in mercantile business
in a framed building standing south of the hotel, and afterward well
known as "Stiles's Store." He attempted to start a
distillery on Red Run, where it is crossed by Woodland Street, but
the enterprise soon failed. Later, he purchased and occupied a
farm in Lordstown, on the
Canfield Road. Having lost his first wife, he married again to
Miss Sarah C. Case, a sister of the late Leonard Case,
of Cleveland. He was for many years prominent as a worker in
the interests of the Disciple Church. He also held the offices
of Sheriff and Representative. His death occurred in Warren,
April 4, 1861.
occupied a farm and house where the Jacob Perkins place is,
on the Bazetta Road, near Red Run. He came to Warren probably
previous to 1808, and was from Ireland.
CAPTAIN OLIVER BROOKS came from
New Jersey, and occupied the old Brooks Homestead, on
LEONARD CASE was born in
Westmoreland County, Pa., July 29, 1786, and died in Cleveland, Dec.
7, 1864. Mr. Case
came to the Western Reserve from Washington County, Pa., where his
parents had been living, in 1800. In 1801 he was prostrated
with violent inflammation in his lower limbs, caused by chasing
cattle through the Mahoning River when he was overheated. He
was confined to his bed a long time, and never entirely regained his
strength. When he was recovering from the long illness that
ensued, he cultivated his love of study, and in a great measure
educated himself. He held during his life many offices of
trust, all of which he filled with credit. Removing to
Cleveland in 1816, he was afterward identified with that city,
acquiring great wealth by judicious investments in real estate.
At the time of his death he was the richest man in Northern Ohio.
SAMUEL CHESNEY was born Mifflin,
Juniata County, Penn., Apr. 18, 1778. He came to the Reserve
in 1803, having previously taught school near Pittsburg. He
for many years held the office of deputy postmaster, and was elected
Justice of the Peace a number of years in succession, until he
declined to serve. His death occurred May 5, 1866.
WILLIAM W. COTGREAVE was in
Warren as early as 1807. He was one of the active men of the
place, and a major in the war of 1812; but he seems to be best known
through the number of buildings that he erected, conspicuous aong
which was a large house, standing upon what is now known as the
Van Gorder property, and sometimes called "Castle William."
He married a daughter of
John Reed, and finally, removing to Mansfield, Ohio, died there.
The following biographical sketch of John Stark
Edwardsis from the pen of William J. Edwards, Esq., of
JOHN STARK EDWARDS came to Ohio
in the Spring of the year 1799. He was a graduate of Princeton
College, New Jersey, studied law at New Haven, attending the
lectures of Judge Reeve at the celebrated law school at
Litchfield, Conn. After having completed his studies he was
admitted to the practice of law at New Haven, March, 1799, being
then in the twenty-second year of his age.
As his father, the Hon. Pierpont Edwards, had
become, in the distribution of the lands of the Connecticut Land
Company, proprietor of the township of Mesopotamia, to that point
Mr. Edwards directed his steps and took measures to open a
settlement. What other persons preceded him or went with him,
or how long he stayed, or what he accomplished, I am not informed,
but I have understood he was specially glad when he got a few trees
cut down to let in the sun. He had the usual experiences of
the time. Of course, every thing was crude. I known of
no incident but only of his first night of Warren, to which he
referred in after times with amusement. The place was the
floor of a cabin, crowded with emigrants, and somewhat promiscuous.
In the Fall of the year he returned to New Haven, where
he spent the Winter. I here insert the first letter written to
him by his father, as showing in interest of his friends in his
enterprise. The letter is addressed to John Stark Edwards,
Esq., at Meadville, County of Alleghany, State of Pennsylvania,
to the care of Messrs. Denny & Beeler, Pittsburg:
"New Haven, July 9, 1799,
"MY DEAR SON, - Yours of the 9th of last month to me,
and of the 14th of the same month of Henry, arrived this day
while we were at dinner. Had you been present to witness the
joy which they caused you would have possessed a new proof of the
interest which we all have in your happiness. This joy was not
confined to your relatives, the servants seemed to be as deeply
affected as any of us, and this moment I hear Tom bawling to
Eli, "MasterStark's slept in the woods in the open air
"All accounts from the Reserve are of a
most flattering kind. Caleb Atwater and Uriel
Holmes, Exq., have written letters which have raised our spirits
very much. I beseech you to spare no cost in getting letters
to us very often I sent for Mr. Mills and Dr. Clark
to peruse your letters; both are very much elated with what you have
written. . . . . No domestic occurrence of
taken place. Mrs. Jonathan Mix, a very valuable woman,
died a week ago.
"Our independence has been brilliant and felicious.
Your enterprise has done you infinite credit, not only among your
acquaintances, but among all who have heard of it. I do not
believe that you could have done any act which would, at a stroke,
have made you so important in the eyes of the world, as your going
to the Reserve. All ascribe to you that firmness, enterprise,
ambition, and perseverance, which must in a few years make you be
considered as the father of that country; indeed, predictions of
your future greatness are already uttered by all our oracular
people. You may assure yourself that nothing which you may
reasonably hope from the general government which respects that
country will be denied you. That you may be happy is the wish
of all your friends; all, all who know you are of that number. Your
mother and all the family join me in every wish for your felicity.
We all love you.
"Your affectionate father,
"JOHN STARK EDWARDS, ESQ."
The settlers and pioneers of the early day were
unquestionably men and women of great enterprise, resolution, and
courage to break away from the conveniences and comforts of settled
life in old established communities, and to go many hundred miles
beyond the bounds of civilization to enter upon all the hardships
and privations of a new and heavily wooded country, where it was
only "fresh, untouched, unbounded, magnificent wilderness.''
Many of these were of marked character and individuality. With
such was Mr. Edwards associated in the early labors to
found a civilized community and cultivated life in these western
In July of 1800 he was commissioned, by Governor St.
Clair, Recorder of Trumbull County, which office he held till
his death in 1813. He made Mesopotamia the place of his
residence until 1804. In a letter to his sister, Mrs.
Johnson, of Stratford, Conn., dated
July 26, 1800, he speaks of his trip to Cincinnati:
"The route leads through a new country; of course, the
accommodations are very indifferent; my blanket and the softest
plank that I could find in the floor were generally my bed and
bedding.'' He speaks of the country between the Muskingum and
the Scioto as being "excellent; perhaps the sun never shone on a
which is at present the principal product of the country, is raised
in great abundance. It is frequent to raise one hundred
bushels to the acre, and sixty or seventy bushels is a common crop.
There is, in
one field upon the Scioto, about six miles below
Chillicothe, twelve hundred acres in corn. This would be
considered wonderful in Connecticut, but my authority is not to be
He spent the Winter of 1800 and 1801 in New Haven.
June 21, 1801, he writes from Mesopotamia:
"While writing this I am seated in a log house, on an
ash bench, and by the side of a white-oak table, all, fortunately,
clean, which I am under the necessity of using for want of better;
but I know not but that my ideas flow as easily, and that my spirits
are as good as if they are better; but this would not be the case if
it were not for hope, which 'springs, eternal, in the human breast.'
'Man never is, but always to be, blest.' This hope is our sole
support, it is our life; if it were not, our situation would be
deplorable indeed; but at present, with a rapidly settling country,
and still more rapid increase of property, the people are happy and
contented. I found my settlement in a prosperous situation.
Another year and it will be able to support itself and have no more
occasion for my fostering care, a time which I most earnestly hope
In this letter he speaks of meeting Mrs. Tod and
others at Pittsburg - Mrs. Tod in fine spirits. In
July, 1801, he writes to his father, "Mr. Noyes arrived in
Mesopotamia, with his family, on the 6th of July, all in good health
and spirits. He is much pleased with the land chosen for his
farm, and immediately set the boys at
work. The settlement is generally doing well. Mr.
Sperry is reaping his wheat. His son passed this
yesterday on his way to mill with some wheat. His crop has
turned out well; his corn looks promising. I am now living
with Mr. Noyes in my own house in the center of the
In August, 1801, to his sister: "My settlement is doing
finely. We this day have had a lecture delivered by a
clergyman. There were about forty people present. Every
part of our country is rapidly increasing in numbers. You can
have no idea what pleasure is derived from the improvements that are
daily making; every day brings a new inhabitant; a neighbor opens a
new road, raises a new house, or begins a new farm. Indeed,
the Scripture is fulfilled when it says, 'the wilderness shall be
made to blossom as the rose.' Our country does literally flow
with honey. Bees are, beyond calculation, numerous. Go
into a corn-field in blossom and you are stunned with their noise.
Trees of them are found in every direction. The rich variety
of flowers which our woods afford it would give you pleasure to see.
"Mrs. Huntington's, Mrs. Tod's, and Mr. Noyes's
very fortunate in their journeys. They were short,
and were without accident or incident. All are in good health and
In October, 1801, to his sister: "I have, at times,
thought that I made too great a sacrifice in making this country the
place of my residence and in tearing myself from my family and
friends, but I feel that it is a sacrifice made in the place of
others still greater. It is a sacrifice made to pride and
ambition." In this letter he directs letters to him to be sent
to "Warren, Trumbull County, North-western Territory."
To his sister, visiting at Fayetteville, North
Carolina, Jan. 11, 1802, he writes from Youngstown: "I am now with
Mrs. Tod, who is in fine health and spirits, and
continues well pleased with her prospects and situation. Our
Winter has, as yet, been fine and pleasant. We have had but
little snow or cold. Mrs. Huntington, when I
last heard from her, was in good health and spirits. She lives
From Mesopotamia, to his sister at Stratford,
Connecticut, June 7, 1802: "Your description of the furniture of
your house at the mills" (which her husband had been erecting in
North Carolina) "perfectly coincides with what mine was the first
Summer; but I have now so far improved, in one respect, to be beyond
you. I have a large, cross-legged table of white wood, and
chairs enough for all the family to sit on, and one for a stranger,
if he chances to visit me. In one respect you have improved
beyond me, for you have a separate room to cook in, while we cook,
eat, drink, and sleep in the same apartment. Your experience
will doubtless teach you that food tastes as well, and that sleep is
as sweet, in a log as in a framed house. It is not quite so
convenient, and our pride is not so well gratified; but, from not
possessing much of the latter, and for the present submitting to the
former, I make my situation very comfortable. Our friends,
Tod and Huntington, are doing well. Mrs.
Noyes died of the consumption, four weeks last Friday.*
Mr. Noyes will return to Connecticut with his family this
Fall. I have never attempted to persuade him from it, for I
believe it best. Mrs. Huntington and Mrs.
Tod are well. I shall visit the former next week, when
I expect to see the latter."
July 28, 1802, to his brother-in-law, Samuel W.
Johnson: "Yours of the 27th I have received. I feel much
indebted to you and my sister for your kind congratulations of me on
the advances of my
*Probably the earliest death on the Reserve.
country in population and wealth. Though nature has not endowed me
with a very strong imagination, yet I often experience much real
pleasure in contemplating the future greatness of this flourishing
and rising country. I can behold cities rising which shall
equal in populousness and splendor those of the Atlantic States, a
rich, well improved, and highly cultivated country, and as great a
share of luxuries and enjoyments of life as are necessary for our
happiness. He have trebled in numbers within the last two
years, and at no time, since I have been acquainted with the
country, have the emigrations been so great as they have the present
season. My situation, in some respects, is unpleasant; but
future prospects make me contented. My farming is doing well.
I have six acres of first-rate corn, and shall put in twelve acres
of wheat, six of which will be sowed by the 1st of September, and
the remainder by the 1st of October. I am fearful that I shall
get too much attached to my present life, unless I quit it soon.
I grow daily more fond of it. Friend Noyes works like a hero; it
comes hard, but he bears it like a soldier. He has cleared,
since he came into the country, as much as any man in town. He
bears the loss of his wife extremely well; but in the loss of her he
has lost his guide. He was, for a time, entirely unhinged."
The following is a part of the letter to which the foregoing was an
''Your good sister requests me to acknowledge the receipt of yours
of the, and to congratulate you on the regular advances of your
country in population and wealth. She repines at the necessity
of your seclusion from the society of all your nearest connections,
and can only console herself with the hope that your residence in so
retired a country will eventually be compensated by a rapid
advancement in the dignities of life. We trust that the
forming the North western Territory into a State will be beneficial
to your interest, and that, as you grow with its growth, we shall,
in due season, see you descending the waters and crossing the
mountains to advocate your country's interest at Washington.
We wish you success in all your political as well as other
undertakings, and trust that the more sacrifices you now submit to
the more amply you will hereafter be repaid by the felicity of
domestic and the honor of public life." He writes from Warren,
on his return from Connecticut, Apr. 21, 1803:
"I arrived in M the 12th inst, in good health, found my affairs in
as good a situation as I expected. I was fortunate in having
good weather and roads. My horse stood his journey very
well, lost but little flesh, and every thing turned
out according to my wishes.
"I saw at anchor, opposite Pittsburg, a ship of two
eighty tons, ready for sea, with one thousand nine hundred barrels
of flour on board—a sight somewhat curious two thousand two hundred miles up a river above tide water. This is a business of
there will probably be a vast deal done on the Ohio and its
"I am heartily tired of living alone. I must and am
I will be married. You must look me up a wife. Things are likely
to take such a course as will give us a tolerable society in this
where I must eventually settle down."
"Mesopotamia, July 14, 1803. I was at
Warren on the Fourth of
July, where I attended a ball. You may judge of my surprise at
meeting a very considerable company, all of whom were well dressed
with neatness and in fashion, some of them, elegantly. The ladies
generally dressed well; some of them would have been admired for
their ease and grace in a New Haven ball-room. It was held on the
same spot of ground where, four years since, there was scarcely the
trace of human hand, or anywhere within fifteen miles of it. We improved well the occasion; began at two o'clock in the afternoon of
Monday, and left the room a little before sunrise on Tuesday
We dance but seldom, which is our apology."
"Warren, September 29, 1803. Our country is
usual, and I begin to feel more flattered than ever with my
With a little patience things will do well. Business of all kinds is
rapidly increasing. I have obtained the appointment of Recorder in
spite of very considerable opposition.
"On Thursday next there will be a ball in the
have been invited, but shall not do myself the honor to attend. Great
preparations are making for the occasion by the gentlemen and
The company will be collected from the distance of from ten to
miles, principally. Some of the beaux will ride sixty miles to get
their girls to the place of meeting. Must not this be enjoyment!
"Mesopotamia, February 4, 1804. We have been, as it
about six weeks shut out from the world, during the greater part of
which time the snow has been from two to three feet deep, and the
creeks and rivers almost impassable. Our mails have been very
"As to myself, who am ever the first person in letters
to my friends, things pass on as usual. I live as formerly,
but, having a stiller house and my business better arranged, am able
to pay more atten-
tion to my books, and have, for the last six months,
spent all my leisure time at them, and shall continue so to do.
Law business is generally very much increasing, and my share of it
in particular. Though I live very much out of the way of
business, I commenced for the coming court as many suits as either
of my brethren. I have not as yet removed to Warren, but still
have it in contemplation. Our country is rapidly improving.
The prospects of the settlement about me begin to brighten. Next
Spring we elect our militia officers from a Brigadier-general down.
The public mind begins to be considerably awakened at its near
approach, and there will be a vast deal of heart-burning. As I
shall seek for no promotion in that line, and of course shall not
receive any, I shall remain an idle spectator of the scene.''
"Warren, March 9, 1805. A few days since I
returned from Chillicothe, after an absence of more than three
months. I have not since
my return visited Mesopotamia, but learn that all things are well.
During my absence a grist-mill has been started in the town, which,
I am told, does business to advantage. My object in going to
Chillicothe was to obtain a division (in opposition to the
representatives of our county) of the county of Trumbull. I
obtained my division in the House of Representatives in spite of
opposition, two votes to one.
By the Senate it was deferred to the next session."
His home, at this time, was with General
"June 15, 1805. The business of my profession
alone is sufficient to support me handsomely, independent of my
Recordership, and I have the satisfaction to believe that mine is
the best of any of my brethren. Mr. Tod has lately been
appointed Colonel of the militia."
In the Autumn of the year 1805 Mr. Edwards made
a trip to New England, and on suggestion of his brother made an
excursion into Vermont to see the young lady who subsequently became
March 17, 1806, he writes to his sister:
"Father's land in this country is generally good, but at present
will not sell very rapidly, being considerably removed from the old
settlements and from those parts of this country that are most
settled, but I hope the time is not far distant when it will come
into market. The emigration into our country is great, but, as
it is extensive, all can not be immediately sold. The settlements
were at first begun in almost every part, but the greatest was in
the south-east corner, and they have been constantly extending
themselves from that quarter to the north, the west, and the
north-west. To get to Mesopotamia it
has been necessary to go fifteen miles through the
woods over a very bad road. From this you will perceive that
the settlements could not be very rapid in that town."
"Warren, July 7, 1806. We are but just
well through the Fourth of July. It was celebrated at Warren
with great splendor. About one hundred citizens of Trumbull
sat down to a superb dinner provided for the occasion.
Seventeen toasts were drunk in flowing bumpers of wine under a
discharge of firearms. The whole was concluded with a feu-de-joie
and a procession. The greatest harmony and hilarity prevailed
throughout the day. In the evening we attended a splendid
ball, at which were present about thirty couple. You would
have been surprised at the elegance and taste displayed on the
occasion, recollecting that within seven years, upon the same spot
of ground, the only retreat from the heavens was a miserable log
house, sixteen feet square, in which I was obliged to take my
lodging upon the floor, wrapped up in my blanket. But,
farther, not. satisfied with dancing one evening, we assembled again
on the fifth and had a very agreeable and pleasant ball.
Before we dined, on the Fourth, we had an oration. So much for New
Connecticut. Do you now think we live in the woods, or is it
surprising that we forget that we do? The emigrations into this part
of the country have been very large this Spring. Mr.
Tod is made Judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio."
In the Fall of the year 1806 Mr. Edwards
returned to New England and spent the Winter. Feb. 28, 1807,
he was married at Springfield, Vermont, to Miss Louisa Maria
Morris, daughter of General Lewis R. Morris, of that
place; and in the Spring of the year returned to Ohio, bringing with
him his wife. They made their home with General and Mrs.
Perkins until he had prepared his own dwelling, which was in the
south-east part of the village, and subsequently became the
residence of Hon. Thomas D. Webb. Here he spent a few
years of happiness. Here were born to him three sons, two of
whom died soon after his own death; the third and youngest being the
writer of these pages. I give another extract or two as
indicative of Mr. Edward's standing professionally:
"October 17, 1808. I had no idea that so long a
time had elapsed since writing to you as you state. The
multiplicity of my employments and the constant attention which I am
under the necessity of giving to business leaves me but little
leisure, and months pass away with a rapidity heretofore unknown.
. . . Of my lot in life I have every
reason to be satisfied. In my profession am very successful,
having much the largest share of the business within the circuit of
Have surmounted the inconveniences of a new country
so far as to be able to live as well as in any country.''
"January 22, 1810. I have every success in my
profession which I have any right to expect. ... I am able to do
considerably more than support my family, and the style of my living
is equal to that of any of the people about me. I am not in
the way of receiving any of the honors of office; and whether I
could gain them if I wished, I do not know, having never made the
experiment, believing my present situation preferable to any which I
should attain to in the possession of any of the offices of our
State Government. . .
"During the last Summer I have made considerable
addition to my house.* It is now forty-eight by thirty-three
on the ground. Upon the lower floor I have two front rooms
seventeen by eighteen, a large kitchen, small bedroom adjoining, and
one bedroom occupied by Mrs. Edwards and myself, with
a fire-place. It communicates with one of the front rooms and
the kitchen, and has a plentiful supply of closets."
In 1810-11 Mr. Edwards and his brother,
Ogden, having purchased from their father the Put-in-Bay Islands,
undertook the improvement, and the stocking of the same with sheep,
having caught the prevailing epidemic of the time—the sheep fever,
induced by the importation of Spanish merino sheep into New England
by Col. David Humphreys, Minister to Spain. In the year 1811
they had one hundred and fifty sheep, and about four hundred hogs of
all descriptions on the islands. The enterprise seemed
promising, as he says, in the eyes of judicious men, but the
disturbances on the frontier, caused by the war of 1812, and his
death in the early part of 1813 brought the project to an end with
considerable losses. In March, 1811, he was commissioned
Colonel, Commandant of the Second Regiment, Third Brigade, Fourth
Division of the Ohio Militia. On the receipt of the news of
the surrender of Gen. Hull at Detroit, Aug. 15, 1812,
he with others made strenuous endeavors to put the country in a
state of defense, a general and great alarm being felt, as by that
surrender the whole country lay exposed to all the dangers of
invasion, dread of Indian plunderings and massacres being prevalent.
He marched with a portion of his regiment to Cleveland.
While there new arrangements were made by the military authorities,
* Now belonging to Mrs. T. D. Webb.
his services as an officer not being longer required,
he returned home. In the October election for members of
Congress, Mr. Edwards was elected to represent the
Sixth District, being the first congressional election after the
division of the State into districts. Gen. Beall,
of Wooster, was the opposing candidate. The district comprised the
counties of Trumbull, Ashtabula, Geauga, Cuyahoga, Portage,
Columbiana, Stark, Tuscarawas, Wayne, Knox, and Richland.
He did not live to take his seat. In the month of
January, 1813, he left home with the intention of going to the
islands to see if any property had escaped destruction. Mr.
George Parsons and Mr. William Bell
(then a merchant at Warren, afterwards at Pittsburg) went with him.
(Mr. Bell had married, some time before, Miss
Margaret Dwight, a cousin of Mrs. Edwards,
who had come from New England to make her home with Mrs.
Edwards. He was a man of great worth, genial and
gentlemanly.) They got as far as Lower Sandusky, but a thaw
coming on, they thought it prudent to return. On the 24th they
set out for home. The streams had risen, and in crossing one
they all got wet. Mr. Edwards was taken that
night with vomiting and violent pain in the side. The cabin in
which they were, was most miserable. The snow came in from
every direction. They, however, had a number of blankets with
them, which they hung round him, and secured him as well as possible
from the storm. He was bled the next morning, which greatly
relieved him. They then removed him about a mile and a half to
a place where he could be comfortable. The waters were so high
they could not move in any direction. When Mr. Bell
left for home it was at the hazard of his life. Mr.
Edwards was then apparently better.
Mrs. Edwards was in hourly expectation of seeing
him, when Mr. Bell returned and gave information of
his illness. It was not imagined that he was dangerously ill,
but they thought it best for Dr. Seeley, in whom all
had most confidence, to go out. Dr. Seeley was
living about four miles from town; he came in a little after dark.
Mrs. Edwards describes her feelings as most gloomy,
yet not apprehending what was to happen. Commending her
sleeping little ones to their Maker, she went forth hoping to nurse,
comfort, and restore her husband.
They left Warren about eight o'clock. The night
was dark; the flood excessive; the traveling bad, in many places
dangerous. They, however, proceeded about nine miles, and then
stopped a few hours.
Setting out again before day-break, they
had got about forty-five miles from Warren when they met the sleigh
bearing the dead body of Mr. Edwards . .
Mr. Parsons alone was with it. They
were then fourteen miles from a house, just before sundown, in a
snow-storm, and they were obliged to return that distance to get
even the shelter of a cabin. For four hours after dark was
that coffin followed.
They reached home on Monday
afternoon at three o'clock. Mr. Parsons's
account of his death was, that about fifteen minutes before he died,
Mr. Edwards got up and walked, and then sat down,
saying he thought next morning he should be able to set out for
home. Mr. Parsons turned from him; in a moment
he heard him choking; he turned again and saw him falling.
When placed again upon the bed, he grasped Mr. Parsons's
hand, moved his lips as if to speak, but could not. He
struggled not, gasped once or twice, then closed his eyes and ceased
to live. This was on the 22d of February. He was then in
the thirty-sixth year of his age. His remains were deposited
in the old grave-yard of the village of Warren, and a monument, such
as deep affection would suggest, was placed over his grave. In
later times this monument, by the same affection, was replaced by
one more substantial.
Mr. Edwards is described as "a man of
fine appearance, in stature about six feet, stoutly built, of a
florid complexion and commanding presence."
In 1860 Hon. John Crowell, of Cleveland, gave to
the public a sketch of the life and character of John
Starke Edwards as a member of the bar in the Third
Judicial Circuit. It is believed to be a just estimate of him
as a man, a lawyer, and a citizen. He accords to him the
highest traits and all that could recommend him to the esteem of his
associates and acquaintances, and to the warmest regards of his
relatives and friends. His death was deeply felt, and, in the
language of Judge Crowell, "shed a sadness and gloom
over the whole country."
WILLIAM J. EDWARDS.
JOHN ECKMAN was born in Lancaster
County, Penn., Mar. 24, 1789. In 1802 he came to the Reserve
from Fayette County, Penn., with his father, a gunsmith.
Although they settled in Weathersfield Township, Eckman was
always, more or less, in Warren. He helped to build the
furnace on the old Eaton place, and speaks of having seen the
first bar of iron manufactured there. Adam Victory, of
was the hammer-man. Mr. Eckman is still living (1876),
at the advanced age of eighty-seven years.
THE FUSSELMANS came early, and lived
many years on what is known as the Fusselman farm - one of
the earliest settled farms in Trumbull County.
HENRY HARSH came to Warren in 1801, and
purchased and built a house and blacksmith-shop upon the lot now
occupied by Adams's
book-store. Mr. Harsh was one of the first blacksmiths
in Trumbull County. He died June 5, 1828.
FRANCIS FREEMAN was born in
Dutchess County, New York, June 8, 1779, and died at Warren Sept. 8,
1855. Mr. Freeman came to the Reserve in 1803, and
settled upon a farm in Braceville, which was afterward transferred
to his brother. In 1804 he located permanently at Warren.
Mr. Freeman was Treasurer of Trumbull County for a number of
years, and was also Associate Judge for seven years. His name
also appears in the list of original directors of the Western
DR. JOHN B. HARMON was born in Rupert,
Bennington County, Vermont, Oct. 19, 1780. He came to this
country with his father, Reuben Harmon, who, locating
at the Salt Springs, it is said, in 1797, attempted the manufacture
of salt. Mr. Reuben Harmon removed his
family to the Reserve in 1800, and died in August of that year.
Young Harmon studied medicine in his
sixteenth year with his brother-in law, Dr. Blackmer,
in Rupert, Vermont, and, after his father's death, with Dr.
Leavitt, who farmed and doctored on the Reserve at a very
early day. After a few years' practice in Warren, Dr.
Harmon spent some time in Vermont again, studying with Dr.
Blackmer; but, eventually, he returned 'to Warren. He
was, at least, the first physician who practiced regularly in this
place. In 1812 he was in the war as a surgeon of the Second
Regiment of Ohio Militia, under the command of Col. W. W.
Cotgreave, and was present at the attack on Fort Mackinaw.
Dr. Harmon was highly esteemed by his fellow-citizens,
nnd his reputation as a physician was very extensive. He died in
LEVI HADLEY, who came to Warren in
1815, and followed the business of a wool-carder and hotel-keeper,
soon left and became a judge in the Sangamon country, in Illinois.
Later, he committed suicide by jumping from a steamboat into the
RICHARD IDDINGS was
born in Berks County, Penn., Aug. 18, 1786. He came to Warren in
September, 1805, but returned to Reading in 1808, where, in January,
1809, he married Miss Justina Lewis. In February he
started for the Reserve with his wife, and reached Warren April
20th. He was in the War of 1812, and was afterward chosen Major in
the militia. He was elected to the Legislature in 1830-31. His
death took place Mar. 26, 1872.
At his golden wedding, in 1859, Mr. Iddings
gave the following description of his trip to the Reserve with his
''I first came to Warren in September, 1805, and
remained here until the Fall of 1808, when I returned to Berks
County, my native place. I married Miss Justina Lewis,
at Reading, Penn., on the evening of the 15th of January, 1809, at
eight o'clock —just fifty years ago. On the 8th of February we
started for Ohio in a two-horse sleigh, with our household
furniture, for which there was plenty of room. When we reached
the top of the Alleghany Mountains the snow was four feet deep; but
we learned there was no snow at the foot of the mountain, nor
westward to Ohio. Therefore, we went to the house of. an uncle
to my wife, who resided in Fayette County, some twelve miles from
Brownsville. Leaving her, the sleigh, and one horse, I
proceeded to this place on horseback. Here I hired a canoe,
and, engaging Mr. Henry Harsh to assist me, I
went down the Mahoning and Beaver Rivers to Beavertown, and up the
Ohio and Monongahela to Brownsville. Taking my wife and a few
household fixings on board, we floated down to Pittsburg, where I
purchased a barrel of flour, and went on to Warren. The
weather was quite cold, and the settlers few and scattering.
Some nights we lodged in houses near the river, and sometimes on its
bank, without shelter. Some times we had plenty to eat, and
sometimes we went without food for a whole day. We were two
days getting over the falls of Beaver River. Mr.
Harsh and myself were most of the time in the water (frequently
up to our waists), pulling up the empty canoe, while my wife sat on
the shore watching the goods which we had landed. At the
mill-dams on the Mahoning the same process was repeated. We
reached Warren on the 20th day of April, having been twenty-one days
coming from Brownsville."
KING* was born May 1, 1789 at Suffield Conn. He married,
Oct. 12, 1814, Julia Ann Huntington daughter of Hon.
* Furnished by D. L. King, of Akron
Hezekiah Huntington, of Hartford, Conn., and died at
North Bloomfield, Trumbull County, O., Sept. 19, 1S56, at the
residence of his son-in-law, Charles Brown.
Mr. King removed from Westfield, Mass., where he
was engaged in the mercantile business for a few years, to Warren,
Ohio, in 1817, where he continued the same business until 1833.
At that time, be coming interested in the project of building the
Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal, he abandoned mercantile life, and
devoted the most of his time to forwarding that enterprise; and it
was mainly through his energy and labor that it was finally
constructed—he being for a long time the president of the company.
He filled the position of Associate Judge of the Court of Common
Pleas, and represented the Trumbull District for two successive
sessions (1835-39) in the State Senate. He was a decided
Abolitionist, although elected as a Whig, and at each session
persistently introduced and advocated a bill to repeal the infamous
"Black Laws" which then disgraced our statute-books. After the
spirited Presidential contest of 1840 he identified himself with the
few who organized the Liberty party, and was the first candidate for
Governor nominated by that party in 1842; and he was re-nominated in
1844. As the champion of that forlorn hope he thoroughly
canvassed the State, discussing its platform of principles in every
county and in almost every school district. He was President
of the first United States Liberty Party Convention, held in Buffalo
in 1844, which put in nomination James G. Birney as
candidate for President, and Thomas Morris as
Vice-President of the United States. In 1847 Mr.
King was the nominee for Vice-President, with John P. Hale
for President; both, however, afterward declined the nomination in
favor of Martin Van Buren and Charles Francis
Adams as candidates of the Free-soil party—the Liberty
party thereafter being merged into this new party of anti-slavery
principles. After the death of Mrs. King, January 24, 1849,
Mr. King withdrew from politics, although he continued,
until the day of his death, a warm advocate of the principles for
which he had declined all political preferment and personal position
from the old Whig party.
The earnest zeal with which he sowed the seed through
the State of Ohio required but a few years to bring forth an
abundant harvest of right sentiments, and had its due share in the
successful contest for human rights, which resulted in placing
Abraham Lincoln in the Executive chair in 1861.
_____ MOSSMAN kept a
tavern in a house which stood opposite the present resident of
Mr. Geo. Van Gorder, and which was known as the "Button Place."
CALVIN PEASE was born at Suffield,
Conn., Sept. 9, 1776, and married Laura G. Risley, daughter
of Benjamin Risley, June 22, 1804. Soon after
his admission to the bar in his native State he emigrated to Ohio,
then a Territory, where he sustained the hard ships incident to
pioneer life, and rose to distinction among his fellow-citizens,
He was appointed prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas and
Quarterly Sessions for the county of Trumbull, under the Territorial
Government, in the year 1800, which office he held for two or three
years, and, on the admission of the State of Ohio into the Union, in
1803, he was appointed President Judge of the circuit, which, at
that time, embraced a large section of the eastern portion of the
State. In 1810 he resigned this office, and continued in
practice at the bar till the year 1816. During this interval,
in the Fall of 1812, he was elected a Senator to the State
Legislature. In 1816 he was elected Judge of the Supreme Court, and,
having been re-elected in 1823, continued in this office till 1830,
being a period of fourteen years, during a part of which time he was
Chief-Judge of the Supreme Court. After leaving the bench he
resumed practice at the bar. For a few of the last years of
his life he felt admonished, by increasing infirmities of age, to
retire from active business to the enjoyment of private life.
He died at his residence, Warren, Ohio, Sept. 17, 1839.
EDWARD POTTER, born Sept. 20, 1793,
came to Youngstown May 11, 1798, a learned his trade of Richard
Young, a celebrated chair-maker. He came to Warren in
1817, and (1876) has occupied his present residence since 1828.
GEORGE PARSONS was born in
Enfield, Conn., in 1781, on the 9th of April, he came to Warren in
1803, June 3d. In the Fall of that year he took a school for
the Winter. It was the first school in Warren. In time he
became one of the most prominent citizens in the place. He was
appointed Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas in 1806, and held that
office until 1838, a period of thirty-two years. In 1838 he
was chosen President of the Western Reserve Bank, an office which he
filled with honor until his retirement in 1863. During twenty-two
years he was Clerk of the Supreme Court. He died Aug. 20,
SIMON PERKINS* was
born at Norwich, Conn., on the 17th of September, 1771. His
father was a captain in the army of the Revolution, and died in
camp. He emigrated to Oswego, New York, in 1795, where he
spent three years in extensive land operations. A portion of
the "Western Reserve" in Ohio having been sold by the State of
Connecticut, the new proprietors invited Mr. Perkins
to explore the domain and report a plan for the sale and settlement
of the lands. He went to Ohio for that purpose in the Spring
of 1798. He spent the Summer there in the performance of the
duties of his agency, and returned to Connecticut in the Autumn.
This excursion and these duties were repeated by him for several
successive Summers. He married in 1804, and settled on the
"Reserve" at Warren. So extensive were the land agencies
intrusted to him that in 1815 the State land tax paid by him into
the public treasury was one-seventh of the entire revenue of the
State. Mr. Perkins was the first post master on
the " Reserve," and to him the Postmaster-General in trusted the
arrangement of post-offices in that region.
For twenty-eight years he received and merited the
confidence of the department and the people. At the request of
the Government in 1807, he established expresses through the Indian
country to Detroit. His efforts led to the treaty of
Brownsville, in the Autumn of 1808, when the Indians ceded lands for
a road from the "Reserve'' to the Maumee or Miami of the Lakes.
In May of that year he was commissioned a
Brigadier-General of militia, in the division commanded by
On hearing of the disaster to Hulls's army at
Detroit, he issued orders to his colonels to prepare their regiments
for active duty. To him was assigned the duty of protecting a
large portion of the North-western frontier.
"To the care of Brigadier-General Simon Perkins I
commit you," said Wadsworth on parting with the troops of the
Reserve, "who will be your commander and your friend. In his
integrity, skill, and courage we all have the utmost confidence."
He was exceedingly active. His scouts were out far and near
His public accounts were kept with the greatest
clearness and accuracy for more than forty years. "No two
officers in the public service at that time," testifies the Hon.
Elisha Whittlesey, "were more energetic or economical than
Generals Harrison and Perkins."
* From Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812.
When, in 1813, General Harrison
was sufficiently re-enforced to dispense with Perkins's command, he
left the service (Feb. 28, 1813), bearing the highest encomiums of
the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the North-west.
President Madison, at the suggestion of
Harrison and others, sent him the commission of colonel in
the regular army, but duty to his family and the demands of a
greatly increasing business caused him to decline it.
General Perkins was intrusted with the arrangement and
execution, at the head of a commission, of the extensive canal
system of Ohio. From 1826 until 1838 he was an active member
of the "Board of Canal Fund Commissioners." They were under no
bonds and received no pecuniary reward. In the course of about seven
years they issued and sold State bonds for the public improvements,
to the amount of four and a half millions of dollars.
Among the remarkable men who settled the "Western
Reserve" General Simon Perkins ever held one of
the most conspicuous places, and his influence in social and moral
life is felt in that region to this day. He died at Warren,
Ohio, on the 19th of November, 1844. His widow long survived him.
She died at the same place, April, 1862.
JACOB PERKINS was born at Warren,
Sept. 1, 1822, being next to the youngest of the children of
General Simon Perkins. In his early years
Jacob Perkins developed a strong inclination for study,
acquiring knowledge with unusual facility and gratifying his intense
passion for reading useful works by every means within his power.
He commenced fitting himself for college at the Burton Academy, then
under the direction of Mr. H. L. Hitcheock, afterward
President of the Western Reserve College, and completed his
preparation at Middletown, Conn., in the school of Isaac
Webb. He entered Yale College in 1837. While in
college he was distinguished for the elegance of his style and the
wide range of his literary acquirements. He delivered the
Philosophic Oration at his junior exhibition, and was chosen second
editor of " Yale Literary Magazine," a position in which he took
great interest, and filled to the satisfaction and pride of his
class. His college course was, however, interrupted by a long
and severe illness before the close of his junior year, which
compelled him to leave his studies and (to his permanent regret)
prevented him from graduating with his own class. He returned
the following year and was graduated with the class of 1842.
He entered his
father's office at Warren, and was occupied with its business until
upon the death of his father, some two years after ward, he became
one of his executors.
During his residence at Warren he appeared occasionally
before home audiences as a public speaker, and always with great
acceptance. In politics he early adopted strong antislavery
principles, then not the popular doctrine, and they were always
freely and openly advocated. Of an address delivered in 1848,
which was published and attracted very considerable local attention,
the editor of the Chronicle remarked, " We have listened to the best
orators of the land from the Connecticut to the Mississippi, and can
truly say, by none have we been so thoroughly delighted in every
particular as by this effort of our distinguished townsman."
The oration discussed the true theory of human rights and the
legitimate powers of human government, and the following extract
gives the spirit of his political principles on the subject of
"The object of law
is not to make rights but to define and maintain them; man possesses
them before the existence of law, the same as he does afterward.
No matter what government may extend its control over him; no matter
how miserable or how sinful the mother in whose arms his eyes opened
to the day; no matter in what hovel his infancy is nursed; no matter
what complexion an Indian or an African sun may have burned upon
him, this may decide the privileges which he is able to assert but
can not effect the existence of his rights. His self-mastery
is the gift of his Creator, and oppression only can take it away."
Without solicitation he was nominated and elected a
member of the Convention that framed the present Constitution of
Ohio. His associates from the district were judges Peter
Hitcheock and R. P. Ranney, and although "he was the
youngest member but one of the Convention, and in the minority, his
influence and position were excelled by few." He was one of
the Senatorial Presidential Electors for Ohio on the Fremont ticket
in 1856. In the intellectual progress of the young about him,
and the building up of schools and colleges, he took especial
He first suggested and urged the adoption of the
conditions of the present "Permanent Fund of Western Reserve
College" rather than to solicit unconditional contributions, which
experience had proved were so easily absorbed by present
necessities, and left the future as poor as the past. In
connection with his brothers he made the first subscription to that
The wisdom of his suggestion was
subsequently shown when, during the rupture and consequent
embarrassment under which the College labored, the income of this
fund had a very important, if not vital, share in saving it from
abandonment, and afterward proved the nucleus of its present
endowments. He was always efficient in favor ing improvements.
He was associated with Hon. F. Kinsman and his brother in
founding the beautiful Woodland Cemetery, at Warren. The land
was purchased and the ground laid out by them, and then transferred
to the present corporation.
Soon after his return from the Constitutional
Convention he be came interested in the Cleveland and Mahoning
Railroad. He was most influential in obtaining the charter and
organizing the Company, of which he was elected President, and
became the principal, almost sole, financial manager. Owing to
prior and conflicting railroad interests, little aid could be
obtained for his project in either of the terminal cities, Cleveland
and Pittsburg, and the work was commenced in 1853 with a
comparatively small stock subscription. A tightening money
market prevented any considerable increase of the stock list or a
favorable disposition of the bonds of the road, and the financial
crisis, a few years afterward, so reduced the value of the
securities of this, as of all unfinished railroads, as practically
to shut them out of the market. In this emergency the alternative
presented itself to Mr. Perkins and his resident
directors, either to abandon the enterprise and bankrupt the
Company, with the entire loss of the amount expended, or to push it
forward to completion by the pledge and at the risk of their private
fortunes, credit, and reputations. In this, the darkest day of
the enterprise, Mr. Perkins manifested his confidence in its
ultimate success, and his generous willingness to meet fully his
share of the hazard to be incurred by proposing to them jointly with
him to assume that risk, and agreeing that, in case of disaster, he
would himself pay the first $100,000 of loss, and thereafter share
it equally with them. With a devotion to the interests
intrusted to them, a determination rarely equaled in the history of
our railroad enterprises, they unanimously accepted this
proposition, and determined to complete the road, at least to a
remunerative point in the coal fields of the Mahoning Valley.
The financial storm was so much more severe and longer continued
than the wisest had calculated upon, that for years the result was
regarded by them and the friends of the enterprise with painful
In the interest of the road Mr. Perkins
spent the Spring of 1854 in England, without achieving any important
financial results. At
length, in 1856, the road was opened to
Youngstown, and its receipts, carefully husbanded, began slowly to
lessen the floating debt—by that time grown to frightful
proportions, and carried solely by the pledge of the private
property and credit of the president and Ohio directors. These
directors, consisting of Hon. Frederick Kinsman and
Charles Smith, Esq., of Warren; Governor David Tod, of
Briar Hill; Judge Reuben Hitcheock, of Painsville; and
Dudley Baldwin, Esq., of Cleveland, by the free use of their
widely known and high business credit, without distrust or
dissension sustained the president through that long and severe
trial—a trial which can never be realized, except by those who
shared its burdens. The president and these directors should
ever be held in honor by the stockholders of the Company, whose
investment they saved from utter loss, and by the businessmen of the
entire Mahoning Valley, and not less by the city of Cleveland, for
the mining and manufacturing interests developed by their exertion
and sacrifices lie at the very foundation of the present prosperity
Before, however, the road was enabled to free itself
from financial embarrassment so as to commence making a satisfactory
return to the stockholders, which Mr. Perkins was exceedingly
anxious to see accomplished under his own presidency, his failing
health compelled him to leave its active management, and he died
before the bright day dawned upon the enterprise.
He said to a friend, during his last illness, with
characteristic distinctness, ''If I die, you may inscribe on my
tombstone, Died of the Mahoning Railroad;" so great had been his
devotion to the interests of the road, and so severe the personal
exposures, which its supervision had required of him, who was
characteristically more thoughtful of every interest confided to his
care than of his own health.
He was married Oct. 24, 1850, to Miss Elizabeth O.
Tod, daughter of Dr. J. I. Tod, of Milton, Trumbull
County, Ohio, and removed his family to Cleveland in 1856. Of
three children only one, Jacob Bishop, survives him.
Mrs. Perkins died of rapid consumption June 4, 1857, and his
devoted attention at the sick-bed of his wife greatly facilitated
the development of the same insidious disease, which was gradually
to undermine his own naturally vigorous constitution. The
business necessities of his road, embarrassed and pressing as they
were, united with his uniform self-forgetfulness, prevented his
giving attention to his personal comfort and health long after his
friends saw the shadow of the destroyer falling upon his path.
was finally, in great prostration of health and
strength, compelled to leave the active duties of the road, and
spent the latter part of the Winter of 1857-58 in the Southern
States, but returned in the Spring with little or no improvement.
He continued to fail during the Summer, and in the Fall of 1858 he
again went South, in the vain hope of at least physical relief, and
died in Havana, Cuba, Jan. 12, 1859. His remains were embalmed
and brought home by his physician, who had accompanied him, and were
interred at Warren in Woodland Cemetery, where so many of his family
repose around him. A special train from each end of the
Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad brought the Board of Directors and
an unusually large number of business and personal friends, to join
the long procession which followed "the last of earth" to its
One of the editorial notices of his death at the time
very justly remarks of him:
"He was a man of mark, and through strength of talent,
moral firmness, and urbanity of manner, wielded an influence seldom
possessed by a man of his years. In addition to his remarkable
business capacity, Mr. Perkins was a man of high literary
taste, which was constantly improving and enriching his mind.
He continued, even amid his pressing business engagements, his
habits of study and general reading.
"Mr. Perkins belonged to that exceptional class
of cases in which great wealth inherited does not injure the
An editorial article in a Warren paper, mentioning his
"He was born in this town in 1821, and from his boyhood
exhibited a mental capacity and energy which was only the promise of
the brilliancy of his manhood. To his exertion
his affections were with us, and he always
regarded himself of our number. He visited New Haven
frequently during the latter part of his life, in connection with a
railway enterprise in which he was interested, and exhibited the
same large-heartedness and intellectual superiority which won for
him universal respect during his college
was born in Cumberland County, Penn., in 1770, and came to the
Reserve in 1809-10. He was conspicuously engaged in mercantile
business for a long time, and was also a stock-dealer. He died
SAMUEL QUINBY, the eldest son of
Ephraim Quinby, was for many years one of the prominent men of
Warren. He was born in Williamsport, Washington County, Penn.,
Nov. 27, 1794, and moved to the Reserve with his father in the
Winter of 1799. From 1820 to 1840, he lived to Wooster, Ohio,
but returned finally to Warren. He was long and prominently
connected with the old Western Reserve Bank, and it successor, the
First National Bank of Warren. His death occured Feb. 4, 1874.
JAMES REED kept a tavern on the
corner of Market and Main Streets, where the Smith block now
stands. Mr. Reed
must have been here in 1803.
BENJAMIN STEVENS is the son of
Jonathan Stevens, and was born in Litchfield County,
Conn., on the 20th of July, 1 7S8. When he was about fourteen
months old his father and mother removed to Luzerne County, Penn.,
where Mr. Stevens lived until he was twelve years old.
At that time his parents returned East to Addison County, in
Vermont, at which place he resided until 1816. In the early
Summer of that year, in company with a Mr. Edward
Flint, he started for the Western Reserve. They came by
wagon to Batavia, New York, thence by stage to Buffalo, and the
remainder of the journey was accomplished in a schooner on Lake
Erie. They arrived at Cleveland in June, and Mr.
Stevens began a horse-back trip down to Chillicothe. Not
admiring that part of the country, he retraced his steps and went to
Painsville, via Hudson, and very soon thereafter, in July, hearing
of a business opening, came to Warren. In due time he
purchased a carding-machine of Levi Hadly. Mr.
Hadly had used this machine during the previous Summer, and a
Mr. Thomas Wells was then contemplating the erection
of a manufactory for cloth. But Mr. Stevens also
bought out Mr. Wells's interest in the
matter, and himself founded an
establishment for making satinet and fulled cloth. This was
the first establishment of the kind in Warren, although a
carding-machine had been in operation in Youngstown. The site
of Mr. Stevens's building was near the west end of the
bridge across the Mahoning River, at the foot of Market Street.
On the 31st of March, 1825, he was married to Miss
Mary Case, a sister of Mr. Leonard
Case, late of Cleveland. The Spring of that year was very
mild, and on the wedding day the peach-trees were in bloom.
The newly married couple went to live in the house that Mr.
Stevens had built in 1822, and which is now known as the old
Stevens Homestead, standing across the river. In that
house they lived for forty-five years, until they removed to the
present residence on Mahoning Avenue, in 1869. Mrs.
Stevens died in 1873, on the 18th of April. Five children
had been born to them; Mary and Harriet, now living
with their father; Benjamin, who died an infant; Lucy,
married to General Opdyke in 1857; and Leonard,
who died in October, 1856, at the age of twenty-three. Mr.
Stevens has been a member of the Methodist Church for nearly
fifty-five years (1876).
JUSTUS SMITH came to Warren from
Glen Falls, Washington County, New York, in 1810, with a view of
making an exchange of property with Royal Pease, who was then a
citizen of Warren, and who owned the whole lot upon which the First
National Bank stands. An exchange was effected, and Mr.
Smith returned East to settle up some business, sending out
his family the next year. Took posses sion of the building
vacated by Mr. Pease on the bank lot, and Mr. Smith
returned later in company with Jacob H. Baldwin, and on foot.
Mr. Smith occupied the Pease property
until 1815, in which year he died, leaving a widow and five
children. Mrs. Smith then sold her lot to the bank,
and purchased the lot on the corner of High Street and
Mahoning Avenue, now owned by Warren Packard.
There she lived until 1836, when she sold her property, and passed
the remainder of her life with her children.
STONE came to Warren in 1823, and acquired considerable
prominence at the profession of the law. He was elected to the
Legislature in 1833.
EDWARD SPEAR was born in Huntington
County, Penn., Oct. 12, 1792. He moved to Warren in 1818.
For seven years Mr. Spear was Associate Judge of the Common
Pleas, and held the office
of Justice of the Peace until the time of his death. HE was
for many years prominent as an elder in the Presbyterian Church of
Warren, and also as a Mason. His death occurred on the 31st of
HENRY STILES was born in Danbury,
Conn., May 6, 1798, and removed to Warren in 1812. He was for
many years one of hte prominent business men of the town. His
death occurred at his residence Aug. 11, 1869.
SYLVANUS SEELEY, born in Jefferson,
Green County, Penn., Jan. 5, 1795; came to the Reserve in 1802 with
his father, Dr. John Seeley who located in Howland, in 1801.
Dr. Sylvanus Seeley served during the war of 1812 as Surgeon's
mate to Dr. John B. Harmon, and was present at the attack on
Fort Mackinaw. About 1814 he married a daughter of Col.
George Jackson, of Virginia, and practiced in that State for
some time. Later, he returned to warren, and until his death,
which occurred in 1840, occupied a high position among the
physicians of the Reserve.
JAMES SCOTT was born in Carlisle,
Penn., Mar. 17, 1774, and moved to the Western Reserve in 1801.
Mr. Scott built the jail that stood on the bank of the river,
which was burned in 1804. He also had the contract for
building the old court-house 1813-16. He died in Jan. 31,
ELIHU SPENCER, a gentleman of
culture, came to Warren in 1816, and lived in a house which stood on
Liberty Street, on the present site of the building erected by
Isaac Van Gorder from the bricks of the old
court-house. He died in 1819, leaving a wife and child, who
returned to the East, where the son, although dying young, attained
some eminence in the literary way.
JAMES L. VAN GORDER was born in
New Jersey in 1785, and came to Warren in 1803 or 1804. In
1811, having previously married Miss Elizabeth
Prior, he removed to Suffield, where he remained for ten years.
His death occurred in September, 1858. His wife still survives
him (1876). Mr. Van Gorder was for many years connected
with a number of the most prominent flour-mills in the country, and
was for twenty years proprietor of the Pavilion Hotel on Market
Street; that is, the old "Castle William'' extensively repaired.
He also built four locks, and made one mile of excavation for the
Canal Company, being one of the few who did not "throw up" his
THOMAS D. WEBB, one of
the prominent lawyers of Warren, arrived in 1807. In 1812 he
began the publication of a paper known as the Trump of Fame, in a
building standing on the north-west corner of Main and South
Streets. In 1814 Mr. Webb was appointed
Collector of Internal Revenue for what was then the Eighth District,
in which the village of Warren was. He was twice elected to
the Senate of Ohio, but once declined to serve. He was
remarkable for his great knowledge and research in all cases
involving titles to land, and was thoroughly posted in the records
of the Connecticut Land
Company. He died March 8, 1865.
one of the earliest inhabitants of Warren, lived for many yeas in a
home recently torn down, but then standing on the south-west corner
of Pine and Market Streets.
ZEBINA WEATHERBEE, a prominent
merchant, came to Warren very early, probably about the year 1803.
He died young, about 1812, leaving a widow, the sister of the late
Freeman, Mrs. Weatherbee* is now living, at the
advanced age of ninety years, with her daughter, Mrs.
Marshall, of Erie, Penn. Weatherbee was probably
the third person in Warren to engage in mercantile business, as has
been previously noted. In 1803 Mr. Weatherbee had a
contract to remove the trees felled upon the public square.
Warren has nurtured a number of men who have distinguished
themselves both at home and abroad. The following names will
not soon be forgotten: Gen. Simon Perkins, Judge Calvin Pease,
Hon. Leonard Case, Hon. John Stark Edwards, Hon. Thos. D. Webb, Gov.
David Tod, Judge Humphrey, H. Leavitt, Mr. Joseph Perkins, Hon. R.
P. Spaulding, Hon. Jacob Perkins, Gen. John Crowell, Judge R. P.
Ranney, Gen. J. D. Cox, Gen. M. D. Leggett, Hon. John Hutchins,
Judge Leicester King.
Cleveland is indebted to Warren for many of its
prominent and worthy citizens.
* Died, July 1876
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