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 History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties, Ohio
Published:  Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bros.

Pg. 561

This township, by location in the original survey of the Reserve, was known as township seven in range three, the townships numbering from the south line of the Reserve north, and the ranges from the Pennsylvania line wet.  The members of the Connecticut Land company who owned it were Messrs. Parkman and Greene, of Boston, who had it surveyed into sections one mile long east and west, and one-half mile wide north and south, the northwest corner section being number one.
     The general surface is level, with the eastern part  rolling and sloping west.  The soil in the eastern part is clay, with sand enough mixed through it to make it a clay loam, the quantity of sand increasing towards the central part, the farms near Mosquito creek valley being quite sandy.  The west half of the township at some remote period was undoubtedly overflowed with running water, which formed numerous gravelly ridges and knolls of slight elevation.  The soil of the level land surrounding the ridges and knolls is a mixture of muck and sand, and being easily drained is very productive.
     At least two-thirds of the farms are well supplied by streams and springs with good water, and for mixed farming that is combining dairying and stock-raising with growing grain and potatoes, the township will rank above the average of the Reserve.


     Mosquito creek is the largest stream in the township.  It rises in Cherryville, Ashtabula county, and flowing across the corner of Wayne and through Colebrook, it enters this township about one mile west of the northeast corner.  Following a southwest course for the first two miles it turns, and with it course due southwest and a little east of the center it crosses the rest of the township, and continuing south through Mecca, Bazetta, Howland, and into Weathersfield, it empties into the Mahoning river at Niles.  In early days it was quite a mill stream in this township, furnishing water power for two grit=mills, three saw-mills, and one woolen-mill.  It supplies some thirty farms with water, but the mills are gone, and it makes its water power felt only in great freshets, as in September, 1878, when in a single night it made a clear sweep of all the rail fences in its valley from the north to the sough line of the township.  There are seven large brooks that empty into the creek from the east and two from the west.  In the northwest part there is a large brook that makes one of the headwater branches of Rock creek, a branch of Grand river, so that the township is partly in the Mississippi valley, and partly in the valley of the lakes.
     There are no prehistoric mounds or works in the township.  Indian relics are numerous and indicate that this was a hunting and sugar-making region for the Indians.


     Early in the spring of 1817 six men, John and William Harrington, John Wakefield, Ephraim Rice, Roswell Bartlett, and Ichabod Merritt,  came into the township to examine the soul, timber, etc.  Selecting sections seven, fourteen, and seventeen, they went to Warren and bought them of the owner's agent, General Simon Perkins, at $2.50 per acre, paying one-third down.  The following boundaries by local points will include the purchase:  Beginning at the old cemetery on the east bank of Mosquito creek, thence north one and one-half miles to the east and west road, at a point about thirty roads west of Mineral Springs Cheese factory, thence east along that road - except when it angles to the south at the mill - to the west line of Timothy Higgins' farm, thence south to the northeast corner of the Sloan farm, thence west to the old cemetery, and contained nine hundred and sixty acres of land.  This tract they divided into six equal parcels, each one mile long east and west and eighty rods wide.  To Ichabod Merritt - he being the youngest - they gave the first choice.  He took the north piece because there was a factory now stands.  William Harrington being next in age took the south piece.  John Harrington too next to Merritt, and John Wakefield next to William Harrington, Ephraim Rice taking the north, and Roswell Bartlett the south middle pieces.  That spring Ichabod Merritt, Ephraim Rice, and John Wakefield built three log cabins, sixteen feet square and seven feet high.  The roofs were made of oak shakes held on with poles; the floors, of puncheon, were made by splitting out flat pieces from logs and smoothing them with axes.  Merritt's mother occupied the first cabin built, keeping house for her two sons, Ichabod and Aaron.
These cabins were followed by ones for John Harrington, Bartlett, and William Harrington.  That fall Ebenezer Kee bought part of section four, just west of Merritt, and built a cabin and moved into it.
     In the spring of 1818 David Rice came and bought out Ichabod Merritt, who purchased the northeast part of section thirty-four, and built a cabin on it.  Ephraim Kee came that spring and bought what was called the wild plum lot in section thirty-four, joining Merritt, and settled on it.  There being no roads laid out and each purchase of land except Ephraim Kee's and Merritt's being crossed by the creek, the building sites were selected near that stream and the first road cut out started from E. Kee's, near where the south cemetery now is, and went north to J. Merritt's then northwest to W. Harrington's cabin, near the old cemetery, and then followed up the creek to John Wakefield's, Bartlett's, E. Rice's, John Harrington's, and David Rice's, to Ebenezer Kee's.  In 1819 John Martin, J. B. Spring, H. P. Higgins, James Bascom, and C. P. Hayford settled, and in 1820 Timothy Higgins, John M. Jestin, Robert Evans, and Samuel Hayford, moved in. 
     In 1821 Levi Rice, Ephraim Rice, second, and Wyman Wakefield became settlers, and Noah Bowen located on section forty-nine in the south part of the township.
     In 1822 Ami Churchill and his sons, Major and Barnabas, with Noah Coleman, Levi Bailey, Steward Kee, Sr., Ira Kee, and ___ Sloan, father of John and Isaac Sloan, built cabins and bought land.   From 1822 until 1840 the township settled up rapidly, and probably had at the latter year nearly as many inhabitants as at any time since.


     At the time of the first settlement of the township Kinsman, Gustavus, and Greene were organized as one township and called Greene, Kinsman being the place for holding the elections and meetings to transact the affairs of the township.  At the township election in the spring of 1819 the voters living wet of Pymatuning creek not voting to suit those living east, they petitioned to be set off as a township with Kinsman as a name, which was granted, leaving Gustavus and Greene under the old organization, Gustavus being the place for meeting to transact township affairs.  At the election in the spring of 1820 the voters from the new settlement not voting to suit the more populous and wealthy east part, the people of the east half petitioned to be set off as the township of Gustavus, which being granted left the new settlement the township's name but without township officers.  The new settlement applied for and was reorganized as a township that year, and held the first election at William Harrington's, in September (1280).  The voters elected Ebenezer Kee, clerk; Ephraim Rice, John Harrington, and Roswell Bartlett, trustees; David Rice, treasurer; Ephraim Rice and John Wakefield, overseers of the poor; W. A. Bascom, constable; William Harrington, David Rice, and Ephraim Kee, road supervisors; Wyman Wakefield, fence viewer.  The next spring Roswell Bartlett was elected justice of the peace, and in the spring of 1823 Noah Coleman was elected to the same office.
     Up to this time but one wagon and one cart were owned in the township, and but one horse, owned by Roswell Bartlett, whereof a little story.  Bartlett, Merritt, and William Harrington started for Gustavus one morning, and Bartlett, mounted on his horse, proposed that he would ride on ahead and inform the people at Gustavus that they were coming.  "Look here, Bartlett," said Jek, who had a poor opinion of Bartlett's horse, "by hines we can beat you and your old boss there," and away he started on a hunter's lope, closely followed by Harrington, jumping the brooks and fallen timber, and dashing through swales and brush, arrived in Gustavus far in advance of Bartlett would be there sometime that day if "his old boss didn't give out."  Oxen were the teams used the settlers took as much pride in owning a nice, well-matched pair of oxen as our horsemen of today do in a span of matched horses.
     The principal article produced that would sell for money was black salts, and made by leaching the ashes gathered from burnt log-heaps and boiling the lye down into the salts in a large kettle.  Black salts looked somewhat like very brown maple-sugar, and found a ready sale among the trading merchants at $3 per hundred pounds.  The means used to transport the salts to market was a large trough.  The trough was made from a large poplar log, hewed flat on one side for the bottom; then one end tapered up and into a notched point for hitching the chain to; then the log was dug out with axes, making the inside as wide and deep as the size of the log would allow.  With a good yoke of oxen hitched to one of these troughs, loaded with black salts, the settler could push through the woods to New Lyme, or cross the big swamp to Bloomfield, or ford the Pymatuning to Kinsman, without taking the risk of broken wheels or axles.  For crossing swamps and swales, fording bridgeless streams, getting over fallen trees and logs or turning sharp corners around stumps and among trees no modern vehicle will equal one of the settlers' troughs.  Loaded with bags of corn and wheat it was ready for mill and on Sunday carried the women and babies to meeting.






     The first birth was Deborah Harrington, daughter of John Harrington, born in March, 1818.
     The second was Edwin Wakefield, now Rev. Edwin Wakefield, of this town, son of John Wakefield, born Oct. 18, 1818.
     The first marriage was John M. Jestin,  to Ruth Higgins, in November, 1820.  The second was William Harrington to Charlotte Bascom in March, 1821.
     The first post-office was kept at the middle corners, Major Churchill, postmaster.  The mail came through from Warren to Jefferson once a week, and was carried on foot by Caleb Leonard, of Barzetta, for $65 per year.
     The first merchant was Jonathan Worthen, who came with a wagon load of goods and set up in a small building at the east corners.  He also put in machinery for carding wool, driven by horse-power.  George Hezlep and Stoddard Stevens were merchants at the east corners in early days, and were followed by George P. Curtis, who commenced about 1835, and continued in business at the same stand for thirty-five years.
     For forty years the east corners was the main business point in the township.  Since the war the center has been the business as well as the geographical hub of the township.
     Elk, deer, and wild turkeys were plenty, and bears and wolves were frequently seen.

    WILLIAM HARRINGTON purchased the first two sheep owned in the township, in Barzetta.  Tying them together he drove them home.  It getting dusk before he reached his clearing, the wolves began to howl as if on his track.  He cut a heavy cane from a young hickory and prepared for a fight.  It was not long before the wolves were close to him and placing himself between the sheep so as to hold them from running, he fought the wolves off and then started his sheep on.  Three times before reaching his log barn he had to fight the wolves to save the sheep.

     ISAAC B. SPRING, better known in later days as Dr. Spring, went to Warren in March, 1820, to transact some business.  On his return he reached Mosquito creek in Bazetta about sundown, and being on foot got his feet wet in crossing.  He sat down on a log and took off his shoes and wrung the water out of his stockings.  While he was doing this he could hear the wolves howling, and just as he was putting on his shoes he heard the brush rattle, and looking around he saw a wolf looking at him through a clump of bushes; soon he saw another, and another, till some half dozen were around him.  Making a spring for a limb, he climbed a tree for safety.  The wolves were kindly disposed towards the doctor, and to keep him awake so that he would not fall, howled around the tree till daylight the next morning, then trotted off, and the doctor got down and tramped on to Greene.

     ICHABOD MERRITT had been a successful hunter in Canada, and on settling here where game was plenty became the most noted hunter in the settlement.  While hunting in the latter part of the winter of 1822, in company with Isaac Mowrey, Leonard Wheeler, and a new comer who had been a sailor, they struck a bear track in the west part of Gustavus.  Following it to a large poplar tree, they found the bear had climbed it.  Up son sixty feet the tree was broken off, leaving two large limbs below the break.  No bear being in sight it was evident to them that the stub above the limbs was hollow and made a den for the bear.  Having but one ax with them, and the tree being very large, they were about to give up getting the bear, when the sailor said that if they would chop a beech tree that stood near and lodge it against one of the limbs of the poplar, he would go up the beech and shoot the bear in its den.
     The offer looking favorable for getting the bear, as well as a chance of seeing a novel hunting exploit, Merritt and the others agreed to it, and chopped the beech, lodging it as the sailor directed.  Taking a loaded gun he started up, Merritt boosting him as far as possible, but after several attempts the sailor could not get any higher than Merritt could boost him.  Suspecting that his courage had oozed out or failed, and that they had spent time and labor for nothing, Merritt got angry and said, "Come down out of the way; by hines I can climb better than that my self."  Tying his gun to his back so as to have free use of his hands and arms in climbing, up he went to the top of the beech, and stepping from that onto the large limb and straightening up, he could look down into the hollow, where he could see two eyeballs glaring at him in the dark.  Telling his companions what he saw, he gave directions to them to stand ready to shoot the bear should it come out, as he was going to shoot down into the den.  Planning which was the quickest way to get from the limb on which he stood back into the top of the beech, and placing a bullet between his teeth ready to re-load, he turned the butt of his gun up with the muzzle in the hollow and fired.  Without waiting to see the effect of his shot he clambered up the top of the beech, and pouring some powder from his horn into the gun he dropped the bullet in and gave the but a jam against a limb to "jar" the bullet down and prime the gun.  While Merritt was getting from the poplar limb into the beech and re-loading, the bear came out of the hollow growling with rage, and made directly for Merritt.  Mowrey tried to follow Merritt's directions, but his gun snapped.  Wheeler, frightened out of his wits, began yelling, "You're gone Jek, you're gone Jek!" and fired his gun off in the air; then thinking what he ought to do, rammed a bullet down his gun without powder, broke his ramrod, still yelling, "Your're gone Jek; jump down Jeck; Oh Lord, Jek!"  Just as the bear jumped from the large limb into the beech at Merritt, he brought his gun to his shoulder and fired, with the muzzle close to the bear's head, and it rolled off and dropped to he ground dead.  Two cubs climbed out of the hollow and ran out on the limbs.  Mowrey, having reprimed his gun, shot one, and Merritt, re-loading where he was, shot the other, and then descended and saluted Wheeler with, "By hines, Wheeler, I ain't a gone Jek yet."*


     DEACON WILLIAM HARRINGTON, now aged eighty eight, is still residing in Greene with the wife of his youth, where he settled sixty-five years ago.  He was one of the original six purchasers of land in Greene, and the only survivor of that company.  He was born in Brookfield, Orange county, Vermont, Feb. 5, 1794.  His father died when he was young, and he attended school but little after he was ten years old.  Yet he was an apt scholar, and acquired a good common school education so that he subsequently taught school a number of terms.  When twenty-four, in the spring of 1817, he came to Greene in company with the first three families, and assisted in making the first improvements in the township.  His purchase comprised one hundred and sixty acres in section seventeen, where he still lives.  Mar. 6, 1821, he married Helena Bascom, daughter of James and Helena Bascom, born in Chester, Massachusetts, Dec. 15, 1801.  Mrs. Harrington's parents came out in the spring of 1819, and settled in the neighborhood of the Harrington'sDeacon Harrington was the leader in the Congregational church in Greene during its existence, uniting with it about 1831.  He was many years ago justice of peace for six years, and held other township offices.  But the position to which he looks back with the greatest pride, as he says, was that of president of a temperance society in Greene for a period of thirteen years.  This society was a very flourishing one in its day, having enrolled in its membership nearly every citizen of the township.  Mr. and Mrs. Harrington are the parents of five children - C. A. Harrington, a well-known attorney at Warren; Corydon, a resident of Painesville; Ashley, who married Helen Ross, and occupies the home farm with his father; Frederick, in Rock Creek; and Ermina (Ashley) in Colebrook Ashtabula county.
Source #2:
History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties - Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bro. - 1882 - Page 565

     EPHRAIM RICE, SR., one of the first purchasers of land in Greene, was a native of Worcester county, Massachusetts.  He moved out with his family in 1817, settled on the creek where Samuel Jerauld now lives, and resided there until his death.  He was born in the year 1772, and died July 3, 1869, in the ninety-eighth year of his age.  He was the father of four children, as follow:  Rhoda (Martin), Eli F., and Ephraim, all living in Greene, the oldest over eighty, and Rebecca (Gill), dead.  Eli F., the oldest son, was born July, 1803; married Mary P. (Alger) McKee, who died Jan., 1882.  Their children are William A., married and lives in Mecca; Edward S., married and lives in Greene; Mary, living at home, and Eli F., Jr., married and occupies the farm with his father.

     ORIN CORY was born in Derby, Vermont, in 1809, where he lived until 1830, when he removed to the State of New York.  There he engaged in the lumber business for several years.  In 1837 he married Polly Phillips and the same year came to Trumbull county, and purchased land in Greene township, where he settled.  His wife died in 1875 aged sixty-eight.  They have had a family of four boys and four girls.  The patriotism of this family is attested by the fact that four sons were in the army during the war
[pg. 566]
of the Rebellion.  Dwight enlisted in the Sixth Ohio volunteer cavalry as private and came out as captain.  Nelson had an army experience of about four years.  J. B. enlisted in 1862 in the Ohio volunteer infantry, and served one year.  Charles served about five months.  Mr. Cory was married a second time, in 1875, to Lizzie Ayres, of Stark county, born in 1834.

     LUCIAN RICE was born in Williamsfield, Ashtabula county, Ohio, Aug. 15, 1810.  His grandfather, Aaron Rice, came to Ohio about 1829, and settled in Greene township, Trumbull county.  He was a soldier of the war of the Revolution.  He died at an advanced age about 1832.  Aaron, Jr., son of Aaron and Anna (Yale) Rice, was born in New York State in 1871, and married Submit Jones, born Oct. 20, 1786.  He served in the War of 1812, and died in 1865.  Lucian Rice was married Mar. 27, 1839, to Lovina Hays, born in 1815, and died May 11, 1855.  In 1856 he married Sarah White, born in 1823.  By his first marriage he had five children, and by his second one son.

     WILLIAM C. TUTTLE, son of Chester and Elizabeth (Cowden) Tuttle, was born in Oneida county, New York, Aug. 20, 1816.  When fourteen, in February, 1831, he came to Greene, Trumbull county, Ohio, and has resided here since.  He learned the trade of tanning with his uncle, Alexander Cowden, with whom he came to Ohio and who had a tannery where George F. Curtis now lives.  He married in September, 1838, Emeline Coleman, of Green Township, who came to Greene with her parents in 1821.  Her father, Noah Coleman, was one of the prominent early residents of Greene, having held the office of justice of the peace for the period of twenty-five years.  He was one of the pioneers of Colebrook, Ashtabula county.  Mr. Tuttle bought the business of his uncle when twenty years of age, and carried on the business at the old location util the spring of 1847, when he established his business where he has since located, one mile east of the center of Greene.  His business is that of tanning and harness making, and he formerly carried on shoemaking.  Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle are the parents of five children, three living and two deceased.  Sylvia married Charles P. Jerauld, and died in Nebraska City Feb. 27, 1882.  Chester Tuttle, employed in business with his father; he was a member of company C, One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Ohio volunteer infantry, in the war of the Rebellion; served two years and nine months and was discharged for wounds received in a skirmish at Lovejoy's station, Georgia.  Mary E. Tuttle, until lately engaged in school teaching, now at home with her parents.  Clinton, who died young; and Charles A., residing at Little Valley, New York.    




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