> Lakewood History Files Home > 8: Biography
8:1 The McAuley Family
8:2 James McCreary
8:3 Richard Guy McCreary
8:4 McCreary Farm
8:5 Maile Farm
8:6 B. Martin
8:7 Family of Benajah Millard
8:8 Family of Royal Millard
8:9 Mullaly Family
8:10 Munz, James Joseph
8:11 Newell, Charles E.
8:12 Newman Family
8:13 Ezra Nicholson
8:14 Nicholson, Lewis
8:15 Lewis Nicholson
8:16 Nicholson Family
8:17 Nicholson Family
8:18 Oakes, Gardner
8:19 Oviatt, Dr. William H.
8:20 George Peake
8:21 George Peak--Negro Pioneer
8:22 Phelps, Stephen
8:23 Phelps Family
8:24 Aged Couple Are Married for 50 Years
8:26 Pyke, Mrs. Bernice S.
8:27 Ranney, William
THE McAULEY FAMILY
MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (Page 13)
James McAuley arrived in Rockport in the early 60's, coming from Ireland. He was second oldest of five brothers, and one after another the other four and the old mother came. They were protestant Irish, and attended the Episcopal Church. The brothers were Thomas, James, Alexander, William and Robert. Tom was famous as a humorist; James as a powerful worker, who could easily do as much work in one day as 6 "Bohunks" of today; Alexander was an engineer in the far west on the Kansas Pacific, and later a politician, office holder and successful farmer; Bill was a "wild blade" and Robert who with more than average ability, never kept his imagination down, died an employee of the L.S. and M.S. Railway.
The quaint old Irish mother, who believed in the Celtic folk lore, wore her old country dress and lived in a secluded cottage with her son Tom on the old Newman farm.
One of Tom's numerous pranks was to appropriate a pair of half grown pigs one bitter cold Christmas Eve, and leave them in the wood shed of an impoverished family in a shack in Kirtland's woods. When he and Mr. Crum who owned the pigs, called the next day, they heard how their prayers for help in their dire need had been answered - Mr. Crum never got his pigs back. Tom helped to build the local professional croquet grounds where Fry Street now stands - where such famous players as Kershaw, Silver, Lawrence, Albert French, Sr., George Newman, Louis and Clarence Nicholson, Tom Hird and Tom Willows were stars. Tom and Bill McAuley went back to Ireland finally, and Tom died there. Robert lost an arm "braking" on the Lake Shore Railway and at the time of his death, was a switch man on Whiskey Island. Jim amassed considerable property. He now lives on West 93 Street north of Detroit.
After his sojourn in the west, Alec
returned to East Rockport and was for many years prominent in politics, holding
the office of street commissioner for many years. In the early days he ran a
farm at what is now the Winchester allotment, and later the Edwards' farm through
which Fry Avenue now runs. His last active work was the management of the big
estate near Chardon of the late Harry Edwards. After the death of Mr. Edwards
and the sale of the property, he took a vacation to Florida, and is now living
on one of his houses on Newman Avenue. Mrs. Liner, his niece, keeps house for
him. His wife who was the sister of Mrs. James Newman, having died while they
were living on the Chardon farm.
SOURCE: Mrs. Greenley
On August 9, 1860
James McCreary married Emily Hathaway, daughter of Edmund Herrington Hathaway
and Philan Hathaway. They were neighbors from young childhood, going to Finney's
School at Finney's Corners, now Center Ridge and Wooster Rd., Rocky River. An
old brick school is now on this site.
RICHARD GUY MCCREARY
SOURCE: Mrs. Greenley
Born May 5, 1804 - died December 25, 1874 - married Lucinda Harbarger September 27, 1831. Lucinda was born Oct. 5, 1811, died September 7, 1894. Came to Lakewood in a cart drawn by a team of oxen. Bought 42 and a fraction acres. These three roads cut through their farm - Hilliard, Delaware and Riverside - cutting their farm into three parts, and the new Hilliard bridge is also on this old McCreary farm.
They were a very
hard working old couple, as farming was in those days. They did not know that
on the river front of their farm lay one of the best gravel pits in this part
of Cuyahoga County which netted Mrs. McCreary a very comfortable income in her
old age. She lived many years after her husband's demise. She died at the age
of 83 years at the home of her son James.
SOURCE: Mrs. Greenley
McCreary farm was
located at Hilliard bridge, ran down to river and consisted of 43 acres. Hilliard,
Delaware and Riverside Roads cut this farm in three sections. This farm had
the best gravel pit in this part of the country. Gravel from it was used in
paving our Lakewood and Cleveland streets.
SOURCE: MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (Page 7)
Mr. William R. Maile represented the type of pioneer who felt it was necessary to work some, then work some more, in order to establish himself and his family in an honorable and comfortable condition of life. He was contented and ceased his efforts when he thought he had enough of this worlds goods for a comfortable living. He lived the last 20 years of his life on his income, living in his brick mansion at the corner of Detroit and Brockley. He was helpful to his four children, all of whom have prospered.
He was 15 years old when he came to this country from St. Ives, England and it took the sailing vessel six weeks to make the port of New York. His father was a brick maker in England, and when they settled in Cleveland, he and his father opened up the first brick yard in Cleveland, in the valley where the new railroad terminal stands, toward the Public Square. After some prosperous years, a terrible cloud burst washed out the entire yard, even forcing the bricks out of the kilns. It was this calamity which induced him to buy his first 20 acres in East Rockport just before the Civil War. He later bought several times that amount. He never liked farming. His ancestors had been English brick makers for several generations, and he finally opened a brick yard on his farm about where the boulevard now runs, and for many years was the only brick maker of the West Side. He later started a brick yard on the south side of Hilliard near Warren Road, which he later gave to his only son C.R. Maile, who was several times treasurer of Lakewood. Mr. Maile was the first one to introduce strawberries in to East Rockport, having bought the plants from the circus, Sells Brothers, his personal friends. He often said he was too interested in the brick business to see the future of berry raising, for he gave the plants away, only keeping enough for his own family garden. Fortunes were made for strawberry growers for years after he introduced them.
When East Rockport
was organized into the hamlet of Lakewood, Mr. Maile, Mr. Hotchkiss and Mr.
Canfield were the first Board of Trustees chosen by the people. The principal
acreage of the Mailes extended from Detroit to the lake. Cranford and Brockley
were extended and Lake Avenue and Clifton Boulevard, Detroit Street had a southside
frontage. The building of Maile terrace, on the Brockley Street frontage, east
of the old homestead, was regretted by the old settlers, but more than one of
the old settlers found it necessary to improve and build rather than be eaten
alive by taxation. When he first came to Cleveland, Mr. Maile lived on Lake
(now Lakeside) opposite the location of Lakeside hospital. He arrived in Cleveland
with his father, also William Maile, on a sail boat from Buffalo, at the time
before the Lake Shore Railroad or the Pennsylvania Railroad had entered the
city of Cleveland. In the old days, the home of the Mailes was a place to go
for a good time. Among his friends was Mr. Joseph Stanley, father of John Stanley,
head of Cleveland street railway system. Mrs. Alice Rose Maile survived her
husband. The four surviving children are Mrs. Sydney Goss, Mrs. U.W. Hird, and
Mr. C.R. Maile, all of Lakewood and Mrs. J.A. Cannon of Chicago. Mrs. Maile
was born in England, and sailed for New York with her family in July of the
same year her future husband sailed in September. It took six weeks to make
the voyage. The Mailes are related by marriage to a number of pioneer families.
One sister of William R. Maile was the first wife of Mr. Daniel Webb, another
of Mr. John C. Hall. Mr. Charles Asplin, of Dover, is the son of another sister.
Mr. Christopher R. Maile married into the well known Kidd family, two sons of
which received the unusual honor of having two brothers receive appointments
to Annapolis. Both served with distinction in the great war. A daughter Hattie
is the wife of U.W. Hird, grandson of pioneer Hird (Thomas). The husband of
Nellie Maile, Mr. Sydney Goss, had several brothers who saw long service in
the World War, one reaching the rank of Colonel.
ANNALS OF CLEVELAND - Vol. 59 No. 6098
(NEWSPAPER DIGEST, 1821)
"Mr. B. Martin,
a well known resident of Rockport, and a man highly respected by all who knew
him, died in Chicago, on Nov. 14, in the 63rd year of his life. Of late, Mr.
Martin has been engaged in the manufacture of agricultural implements. He was
a man of more than ordinary ability, being the patentee of numerous railroad
implements which are largely used in this country and in Europe. His loss is
mourned by a large circle of friends.
THE FAMILY OF BENAJAH MILLARD
EDWARD CHURCH SMITH
13520 Clifton Boulevard
Lakewood 7, Ohio
March 26, 1946
BENAJAH7 MILLARD (Matthew6, John5, Thomas4, Humphrey3, Jasper2, John1)* son of Matthew6, and Hannah (Merry) Millard, was born, Pittsfield, Mass. Feb. 28, 1778 (a); d. Rockport Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, September, 1839. (b) In 1812 he was living in Pompey, Onondaga County, N.Y. (c) By 1830, however, had settled in Rockport Township, where the U.S. Census for that year shows him living between Aaron Fox and Philip Jordan. This appears to locate him in Section 7, almost exactly where his younger brother, Royal Millard, settled in 1831. The queer fact is that there are no deeds of land on record to Benajah Millard, nor is there a will nor any administration docket for his estate in the county Probate files, But since it is known that Benajah Millard died at the house of his brother, Royal, in 1839, we conclude that he lived there at least part of the time. Perhaps he became an invalid and unable to operate a farm for himself. Since, however, Royal had purchased his farm as early as 1824, we may conclude that Benajah cleared and operated this farm some time before 1830, and had it ready for Royal to settle there when he came in 1831. (d) (e)
Concerning the family of Benajah Millard we have only the following information, but it is well supported by the census record above noted. This shows him, aged 50-60 years, living with a wife 40-50, 1 son and 1 daughter 15-20, 2 daughters 10-15, 1 son and 1 daughter 5-10, and 1 daughter under 5 years of age. Our problem is to identify these persons.
A study of Cuyahoga records discloses that there were no fewer than ten Millard young people who were married between 1820 and 1850, and since no Millards were living in Cleveland during this period, and none of these ten was a child of Royal Millard, some of them, at least, may well have been among Benajah's seven children enumerated in 1830. (f) Furthermore, a study of deeds of land in Rockport Township has shown the formation of a group of properties owned by various Millards, which for convenience we shall call the "Millard Settlement," located in the general neighborhood of Detroit Avenue and Riverside Drive in Lakewood. Whether this was a sort of joint farm or market garden enterprise, or whether the families actually lived there for mutual assistance or protection, we shall probably never know. But during the years from 1834 to 1841 the following Millards had land in Section 23 in the northwest corner of that part of Rockport which is east of Rocky River. Royal Millard, to be sure, had acquired 23 acres here in 1824. (e) But the first Millard settler here seems to have been one Harry B. Millard in 1834, as shown in detail below. Sarah (Millard) Brainerd was actually living here in 1836. Fidelia (Millard) Alexander had land here five years later. On Feb. 6, 1841 (which was after the death of Benajah) Royal and Anna Millard sold small pieces of land for one dollar to Harry B. Millard, Armelia Millard, Delilah (Millard) Harper, and six acres to Royal Millard 2nd. Since none of these was a child of theirs, it looks as though Royal and Anna were trying to help their orphaned nephews and nieces to establish homesteads of their own. Since Fanny (Millard) Andrews had land next to that of the Harpers, and since William Healy, husband of Susan Millard, witnessed several of the deeds, it looks as though these Millards were closely related, and probably among the children of Benajah Millard. And since one Alfred Millard of Dover Township near by appears during this period, we have included him in the detailed discussion which follows.
This man was born in New York State about 1801; married in Cuyahoga Co. June
14, 1822, Lura Smith, born about 1802 in Ashfield, Mass. who was living in Dover
Township as early as 1815. (g) (h) Alfred Millard bought land in Lot 37, Dover
Twp. of David Ingersoll, Feb. 22, 1825. (i) He was enumerated in Dover in the
Census of 1830, with wife 20-30 years old. 1 son 5-10 and 1 son under 5 years
of age. (j) Since he appears in Cuyahoga County in the same decade that Benajah
came and both were from New York State, it is possible that Alfred was the oldest
son of the later, and settled in Dover only a few miles from where Benajah lived
in the Royal Millard farm in Fairview. Alfred had at least two children:
I. John L. Millard, b. in Ohio, about 1824, a farmer in Dover, living with wife
Susan in 1850. She was b. about 1830 (k)
II. Ozias S. Millard, who had settled in Saginaw by 1850. (1)
Alfred and Lura Millard were living in Waupaca, Wis. in 1857. (m)
Since Alfred was born about 1801, almost ten years before the estimated birth of Harry B. Millard, there may be some doubt of his belonging to Benajah's family. But except for Philo Millard of Strongsville, no other Millard family was living in the county in 1830, and he was quite too young to be Alfred's father.
HARRY B. MILLARD. He first appears when he bought land of Samuel and Julia Flewelling, Sept. 20, 1834, located in Lot 7, 2nd Div. Section 23, Rockport Township. (n) In 1836, he sold 29 rods of land to Sarah (Millard) Brainerd, who was then living on this plot of land in Lot 7 (o). On Feb. 6, 1841 Royal and Anna Millard sold to Harry one acre of land in Lot 8, bounding west on Lot 7, half an acre being north of the State Road (Detroit Ave.) and the rest south of that road. They also sold him ten acre Lot No. 32 in the same, Division. All this was for the nominal sum of one dollar. (p) In September, 1841 Harry sold to Fidelia (Millard) Alexander his half-acre south of the road in Lot 8. (q) Charles Harper, husband of Delilah Millard witnessed this deed. (In one deed (n) Harry's name is given as "Harvey" B. Millard.
Harry B. Millard and Polly Lockwood were married by his neighbor W. D. Beall, Justice of the Peace in Rockport, Dec. 3, 1835. (r) Harry was still of Rockport when he sold his Lot No. 32 to Thomas Stroud late in 1843. (s) He may then have moved to Lorain County, O. where his wife, Polly may have died, for a deed of October, 1848 shows him a resident of Avon Township, when he sold his last holdings in Rockport, the part of Lot 8 north of the State Road, to Jacob S. Becker. In that deed his wife's name is Eliza Ann Millard.
If Harry was born about 1811, he would have been 24 year of age when he married Polly Lockwood. He could have been the son, 15-20 years of age in Benajah's family in 1830. We cannot, however, explain why Harry was not enumerated in Rockport in 1840, either alone or in Royal's household. He may have moved to Avon. Was Harry B. Millard's middle name Benajah? Benajah's youngest brother, Harry, died early in 1810, and he might have named a son in his memory.
FIDELIA (Phidelia) MILLARD married at Rockport, Aug. 3, 1830, Charles G. Alexander. (u) They lived in Dover Township. In September, 1841, Harry B. and Polly Millard sold to Phildelia Alexander of Dover the half acre, south of the State Highway, in Lot 8. (v) Charles Harper, husband of Delilah Millard, witnessed this deed. That same day the Harpers sold to Polly Millard a part of their tract in Lot 8, which bounded west on Phidelia's plot previously described. Susan (Millard) Healy was a witness of this deed. (w) Phidelia owned land in Lot 7 adjoining late in 1841. (x)
If Fidelia was born about 1810 she would have been 20 years of age when she married Mr. Alexander. She had evidently left home before the census enumeration of 1830, and so was not listed in Benajah's family. But the relations and connections with the "Millard Settlement" seem to indicate that she was related to the other Millards.
SARAH MILLARD, b. Aug. 7, 1812; d. Aug. 31, 1865; m. in Brooklyn, Twp. Cuyahoga Co. O. May 24, 1829, Hervey Hulet6 Brainerd, son of Enos5 and Sally (Brainard) Brainard of Middle Haddam, Conn., and Brooklyn, O. b. Middle Haddam, Aug. 10, 1800; d. Apr. 11, 1867. He was a cooper by trade. (y) (z) They were living in Rockport 1840-60. They had seven children in 1850. In 1836 Sarah Brainerd bought of Harry B. Millard the 29 rods of land in Lot 7, 2nd Div. Sec. 23, on which she then lived. (&) (o) This places her early in the "Millard Settlement."
This Sarah Millard was under 17 years of age when she married Mr. Brainerd. But she had left home before the census of 1830 and so was not enumerated in Benajah's family. Royal Millard had a daughter, Sarah, B. Aug. 25, 1815, but she would have been but thirteen and quite too young to marry in 1829.
DELILAH MILLARD and Charles Harper were married Dec. 7, 1833 by Joseph Dean, a Justice of the Peace in Rockport Township. On Feb. 6, 1841 Royal and Anna Millard sold to Delilah Harper a small tract of land in Lot 8, south of the State Road, next to Harry B. Millard's plot on the west side of the same lot. It bounded south on land they had just sold to Armela Millard. (aa) (bb) In September, 1841, the Harpers sold this plot to Polly, Harry Millard's wife. (w) This connects the Harpers clearly with the "Millard Settlement." Charles Harper witnessed the deed last mentioned.
If Delilah was born about 1814 she would have been 19 years of age when she married Mr. Harper. Also she would account for Benajah's daughter 15-20 years old, enumerated in 1830.
SUSAN A. MILLARD and William S. Healy were married by W. D. Beall, Justice of the Peace of Rockport, Mar. 29, 1836. (cc) While they do not appear to have lived in the "Millard Settlement" William Healy was a witness to all four deeds of Royal and Anna Millard, dated Feb. 6, 1841, when the Settlement began to expand.
If Susan were born about 1816 she would have been 20 years old when she married Mr. Healy. Also she would account for one of Benajah's two daughters, 10-15 years of age enumerated in 1830.
ARMELIA MILLARD. On Feb. 6, 1841, Royal and Anna Millard sold to Armelia Millard of Rockport, for $1.00, 100 rods of land in the south end of Lot 8, 2nd Div. Sec. 23 in that township. It bounded north on piece land sold that day to Harry B. Millard and Delilah Harper. (dd) In another deed she is called "Anna Armelia" Millard. (w) Because she is not styled "Widow" we judge she may have been a daughter rather than wife of Benajah Millard. By these deeds she is clearly associated in the "Millard Settlement."
If Armelia was born in 1818, she would qualify for the other of Benajah's daughters, aged 10-15 years, enumerated in the census of 1830. She was not married in 1841, and no marriage record for her is found in Cuyahoga County.
ROYAL MILLARD 2ND. Royal and Anna Millard sold to Royal Millard 2nd six acres of land in in Lots 15 and 16, in 2nd Div. Sec. 23 Rockport Twp. Feb. 6, 1841. (ee) This piece was but a short distance east of the plots sold to Harry, Armelia and others in the "Millard Settlement". Royal Millard 2nd seems to have been a single man, no marriage record for him being found in Cuyahoga County.
If Royal 2nd was born about 1820, he would account for the second son of Benajah Millard, aged 5-10 years when enumerated in 1830. He may have been the young man, aged 15-20 years, enrolled in Royal Millard Sr.'s family in 1840. Royal had no son of that age living at that date. He may have died before 1850 or moved away, as he is not listed in the census of that year. (d) (ff)
FANNY MILLARD. Fanny M. Millard and Erastus Andrews were married Nov. 14, 1840 by Elder Horace Mack. (gg) That this family appears to be connected with our other Millards is evidenced by the fact that land in the "Millard Settlement", sold by Charles Harper to Polly Millard, Harry's wife, was bounded "by a piece of land owned by Fanny Andrews." (w)
If Fanny Millard was born about 1822 she would have been 18 years old when she married Mr. Andrews. She would account for the daughter of Benajah Millard, 5-10 years of age enumerated in 1830.
JULIA MILLARD and Charles Morrison were married April 29, 1848, by E. Messenmueller, J.P. of Cleveland. (hh) We have found no specific connection for her with the Rockport Millards.
But if Julia Millard had been born about 1827 she would have been about 21 years old when she married Mr. Morrison. Also she would account for the youngest of Benajah's daughters, the one under five years of age, enumerated in Rockport in 1830. Note: There are other Millard marriages in Cuyahoga County, not accounted for above:
Vol. 3, Page 37. Aaron Riley and Margaret Millard m. by David D. Towner, J.P.
Nov. 7, 1833
Vol. 4, Page 7. John Kent and Sophia Millard, m. by Gordon Fitch, J.P.
Jan 1, 1837.
Vol. 5, Page 163. John Millard and Maria Carroll, m. by Thomas Strong, J.P.
at Ohio City, Oct. 17, 1851.
If this John is John F. Millard, Royal's youngest son, he would have been 23 years old when he married. But no wife is mentioned in Royal's will (ii) nor yet in Anna's will (jj). In 1865 the wife of John F. was named Ellen. (kk)
From our study of dates and places of marriage, officiating Justices, their association in the "Millard Settlement," the evidence from census records and deeds, we offer the hypothesis that the following named persons may well have been among the children of Benajah Millard:
I. Alfred, B. N.Y. State, abt. 1801; m. July 14, 1822, Lura Smith
II. Fidelia, b. about 1810; m. 1810; m. Aug. 3, 1830, Chas. G. Alexander
III. Harry B., b. about
1811; m. 1st Dec. 3, 1835, Polly Lockwood;
m. 2nd Eliza Ann _____
IV. Sarah, b. Aug. 7, 1812, m. May 24, 1829; Hervey H. Brainerd
V. Delilah, b. about 1814; m. Dec. 7, 1833, Charles Harper
VI. Susan A., b. about 1816; m. Mar. 29, 1836, William S. Healy
VII. Anna Armelia, b. about 1818; Unmarried in 1841
VIII. Royal Millard 2nd, b. about 1820
IX. Fanny M., b. about 1822; m. Nov. 14, 1840, Erastus Andrews
X. Julia, b. about 1827; m. April 29, 1848, Charles Morrison
The birth dates, for all but Alfred and Sarah, are estimated. Alfred is doubtful, though others who died may have been born to Benajah and his wife between 1801 and 1810.
We know that Sarah lived at the "Millard Settlement" in 1836, and that Harry, Fidelia, Delilah, Armelia, Royal 2nd and Fanny, all had land there at one time or another before 1842. Susan's husband witnessed four deeds in 1841. Julia was evidently of proper age to fill the 10th place, but we have no additional evidence in her favor.
(a) Birth Records, Pittsfield,
Mass. Vol. I page 195
(b) Millard Family Bible Records. F.H. Giddings. From Mrs. R. Pearl
(c) Deeds. Berkshire Co. Mass. Pittsfield. Vol. 50, page 307-8
(d) U.S. Census. Cuyahoga Co., Rockport Township. 1830 page 72
(e) Deeds. Cuyahoga Co., O. Vol. E, page 123
(f) Cuyahoga County, O. Marriages. Vols. 2, 3, 4 and 5. (See below)
* Family of Humphrey, Millard. Smith. 1946. Am. Genealogist, Vo. XXII, page 141
(g) Cuyahoga County, O. Marriages Vol. 1, page 192
(h) Women Who Came to Western Reserve Prior to 1840. Cuyahoga Co. page 27
(i) Cuyahoga Co. Deeds Vol. e. page 291
(j) U.S. Census. Cuyahoga Co., O. Dover Twp. 1830 page 78
(k) Ibid. 1850 page 224
(l) Cuyahoga Co. Deeds Vol. 48, page 558
(m) Ibid. Vol. 91, page 349
(n) Ibid. Vol. T, page 548
(o) Ibid. Vol. X, page 517
(p) Ibid. Vol. 29, page 474
(q) Ibid. Vol. 31, page 2
(r) Cuyahoga Co. Marriages, Vol. 3, page 186
(s) Cuyahoga Co. Deeds, Vol. 33, page 574
(t) Ibid. Vol. 58, page 466
(u) Cuyahoga County. O. Deeds Vol. 31, page 2
(v) Cuyahoga Co. O. Deeds Vol. 31, page 2
(w) Ibid. Vol. 30, page 291
(x) Ibid. Vol. 30, page 632
(y) Gen. Brainerd Family in Am. L.A. Brainerd. 1908. Vol. 1, page 199
(z) Cuyahoga Co. O. Marriages Vol. 2, page 173
(&) U.S. Census. Cuyahoga Co. O. Rockport 1850 page 228
(aa) Cuyahoga Co. O. Marriages. Vol. 3, page 52
(bb) Cuyahoga Co. O. Deeds Vol. 30, page 277
(cc) Cuyahoga Co. O. Marriages. Vol. 3, page 208
(dd) Cuyahoga Co. O. Deeds Vol. 30, page 520
(ee) Ibid. Vol. 29, page 559
(ff) U.S. Census. Cuyahoga Co. O. Rockport 1840 page 219
(gg) Cuyahoga Co. O. Marriages Vol. 4, page 68
(hh) Ibid. Vol. 4, page 487
(ii) Cuyahoga County, O. Probate Records. Record of Wills. Vol. A, page 306
(jj) Ibid. Vol. C, page 560
(kk) Cuyahoga County Deeds. Vol. 138 page 458
MATERIAL FOR A HISTORY OF ROCKPORT TOWNSHIP GENEALOGY
THE FAMILY OF ROYAL MILLARD
EDWARD CHURCH SMITH March 22, 1946
Royal7 Millard (Matthew6, John5, Thomas4, Humphrey3, Jasper2, John1)* son of Matthew6, and Hannah (Merry) Millard, was b. Pittsfield, Mass. Jan. 26, 1787 (a); d. Rockport Twp. O., Dec. 29, 1854 (b); m. Pittsfield, Feb. 20, 1809, Anna Francis, dau. John6 and Anna (Hubbard) Francis of Wethersfield, Conn. and Pittsfield, Mass., b. 1786; d. Rockport, shortly before January 15, 1865. (c) (d) She joined the First Church in Pittsfield, Sept. 11, 1814. (e) While living in Pittsfield, Mr. Millard purchased of his brothers, Edmund, Matthew and Benajah, who had moved to New York State, their shares in their father's farm. (f) He was living in Lenox, Mass. when he caught the "Ohio fever", and in 1924 bought of Dodge, Chittenden and others land in Section 7, Rockport Township, 323 acres, 65 acres in Section 6, and 23 acres in Section 23, I Div. Lot 49; and in II Div. lots 8, 15, 16, 31, 32 and 63, as well as some land in Trumbull County. In 1828 he was one of several who petitioned for a division of land in Rockport Township, 130 acres known as the "Miner Mill Lot." (g) (h)
Royal Millard came to Rockport in 1831, where he and his wife were charter members of the Baptist Church organized there May 27, 1832. (i) (j) His home was located in the northeast corner of Section 7, west of Rocky River near the intersection of Lorain and Wooster Roads in Fairview. Mr. Millard became a prominent and respected citizen, elected Township Treasurer in 1842 and 1844, Clerk in 1847, and Trustee in 1850. He was also Justice of the Peace. In 1841 he was Chairman of the Committee on Farms for the Cuyahoga County Agricultural Society. (k) In 1841 Royal and Anna Millard sold for one dollar each small parcels of land, east of Rocky River in Div. II of Section 23, to Harry B. Millard, Armelia Millard, Royal Millard 2nd and Delilah (Millard) Harper. Since none of these was Royal's child, it seems probable that they were children of his late brother, Benajah Millard, and that Royal and Anna were trying to help their orphaned nephews and nieces to establish homes of their own. (1)
Children of Royal and Anna (Francis) Millard, b. Pittsfield Mass. (m):
Mary Charlana, b. Jan 26, 1810; d. Ravenna, O. Aug. 27, 1863; m. Rockport,
Nov. 19, 1833, Uriah S. Bristol, b. Conn. 1808; d. Mar. 11, 1863; lived in
Ravenna. (n) (o)
ii. Hanna Charlotte, b. Aug. 24, 1811; d. Pittsfield, Sept. 12, 1817
iii. Sarah, b. Aug. 25, 1815
iv. Anna Marilla, b. Jan. 21, 1818; d. Kelley's Island, O. Sept. 3, 1885;
m. Rockport, Oct. 12, 1837,
Addison Kelley, son of Datus and Sara (Dean) Kelley, b. Rockport, June 11,
1812; d. Kelley's Island, Jan. 31, 1895. They moved from Rockport to
Kelley's Island in 1854. Five children. (p) (q)
v. Lucy Francis, b. Oct. 7, 1819; m. Oct. 16, 1845, Elijah Murray, lived in
Rockport with her mother until after the latter's death, then they moved
to Kelley's Island. (i) (r)
vi. Son, b. Dec. 1824; d. Mar. 1825. (s)
vii. John Francis, b. July 31, 1828; d. Cleveland, O. Jan. 5, 1869. m. Ellen _____.
Lived in Rockport and Cleveland. He is buried in Fairview Cemetery. (t) (u)
* Family of Humphrey Millard. Smith. 1946. Am. Genealogist. Vol. XXII, page 141.
(a) Birth Records. Pittsfield, Mass. Vol. 1. page 195.
(b) Cleveland Plain Dealer. Dec. 30, 1854.
(c) Cuyahoga County O. Probate. Wills, Vol. A-306. Vol. C-560
(d) Descendants of Robert Francis. C.E. Francis. 1906. Page 125.
(e) Records of First Church, Pittsfield, Mass. page 341, 358.
(f) Berkshire Co. Mass. Deeds. Vol. 50, pages 307-308
(g) Cuyahoga Co. O. Vol. E, page 119, 123; Vol. K, p. 254.
(h) Cleveland, O. Herald. Aug. 8, 1828.
(i) Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve. Vol. 1, p. 273
(j) History of Cuyahoga Co. O. Crisfield Johnson. 1879, p. 505
(k) Cleveland, O. Herald. Nov. 26, 1841.
(l) Cuyahoga Co. O. Deeds. Vol. 29, p. 474, 559; Vol. 30, p. 277, 520.
(m) Birth Records, Pittsfield, Mass. Vol. I. p. 195.
(n) Cuyahoga Co. O. Marriages. Vol. 3, p. 41
(o) Cemetery Inscriptions. Ravenna, O. Maple Grove Cem. Vol. 3, p. 517
(p) Genealogy of the Kelley Family. Hermon A. Kelley. 1897. p. 52, 93.
(q) Cuyahoga Co. O. Marriages. Vol. 3, p. 307
(r) Ibid. Vol. 4, p. 308.
(s) Pittsfield, Mass. Sun. Mar. 31, 1825.
(t) Cuyahoga Co. O. Deeds. Vol. 138, page 458.
(u) Cleveland Daily Herald. Jan. 7, 1869.
MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (Page 5)
Of the old families of East Rockport, only one has been found of pure Irish descent, the Mullalys, through whose broad farm land now runs three streets extending from Detroit to Madison Avenue, Orchard Grove, Westwood and Rosewood Avenues, and not one of these streets is named after the old pioneer who bought his land in 1861. John Mullaly was born in Ireland, coming here when he was five years old with his parents. He learned the trade of a cooper and earned enough money to buy his farm. He married Mary Farrell, also of Irish descent, who was born in Buffalo, New York. She and her sister Josephine, who married John Walsh, went to school to Dr. Richard Fry when he taught school on St. Clair Street, where Engine House No. 1 now stands. Mr. Mullaly was an old man when he came to East Rockport, and knew nothing about farming or fertility of the soil. He had almost decided to buy the land later bought by Dr. Fry, but changed his mind and went 2 miles further west where he was told the soil was better. He bought at a cheaper rate, as he was so far from the city. Many of his descendants still live in Lakewood. Mr. Thomas Mullaly lives on Orchard Grove Avenue, two doors south of Detroit. Mr. John Mullaly, 2nd, on Hilliard Avenue, and Mrs. Mary T. O'Marah, corner of Hilliard and Westwood. Another daughter is Mrs. Kate Broa, whose late husband was prominent in Republican circles.
The old pioneer had a rugged face, regular features, rather prominent nose, and one was reminded of the dignified country squire. His son, now 71 years old, did most of the farm work. Both sons were active in politics. Mr. John Mullaly married Miss Gleason, daughter of a pioneer. Mr. Thomas Mullaly lives in a modest house, 100 feet or so south of the place where the brick homestead once stood. He recalls the time when there were only 27 democrats in East Rockport, including himself. His immediate family consisted of eight daughters. Rockport was then the legal township and when it came to election of township officers, the votes in East Rockport were always pitted against those of what is now West Park. The town hall was opposite Sixt's corner of Berea and Lorain.
Many times Mr. Mullaly (Thomas)
drove across muddy Warren Road with East Rockport voters, hoping to out vote
the strong Teutonic vote of the south end, but he did not recall a time when
the lake dwellers won. In those days, berries were the principal export and
fertilizer the principal import, in the district.
MUNZ, JAMES JOSEPH
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY AND CLEVELAND
W.R. COATES -- Volume II, Pg. 267-269
Following many years of successful activity in commercial lines and as a blooded stock raiser in Pennsylvania, James Joseph Munz came to Cleveland as an executive of one of the motor companies of the city, but now gives his time and ability to the Lakewood Savings and Loan Company, of which he is secretary. He is a resident of Lakewood.
Mr. Munz was born at Elysburg, Pennsylvania, June 9, 1872. His father, Charles Munz, was a native of Berlin, Germany, and was liberally educated in the German universities. His mother was Mary Reardon, who was born in Northumberlandshire, England, daughter of Squire J. Reardon.
James J. Munz was educated in the public schools at Elysburg and also in an academy there. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State Normal School at Lock Haven in 1894, and for several years was prominently identified with educational work and institutions. For two years he was also a student at Kickinson College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His active work as a teacher covered a period of five years, first as principal of ward schools at Shamokin, Pennsylvania, and then as principal of city schools at Plymouth in the same state.
Mr. Munz in 1898 became associated with the International Correspondence School at Staunton, Pennsylvania. He was identified with that institution and corporation for fifteen years. One of the properties of this corporation was the Lackawana Coal and Lumber Company, and it was with this industry that Mr. Munz was identified during most of his connection with the International Correspondence School. When he resigned in 1913 he was general manager and general sales manager of the company.
For several years prior to that Mr. Munz had been conducting a high class stock farm at Mercer, Pennsylvania. This farm specialized in the raising of registered Jersey cattle, Oxford sheep and Berkshire Hogs. After resigning his connection with the International Correspondence School, Mr. Munz gave his undivided attention to the operation and management of his farm. He took his registered stock all over the country, and continued the business on a very prosperous basis until 1918. In that year he sold his farm and moved to Cleveland. He assisted in organizing and financing and became an executive officer of the Temple Motors Company. He resigned from this company in 1920, and took a much needed rest from business affairs. Then, in October, 1922, he became secretary of the Lakewood Savings and Loan Company, an institution that had been organized in March, 1921. The primary purpose of this company is to finance home building in Lakewood. The company has an authorized capital of $500,000. All the stock has been sold, and the institution is one of the strongest financially and in service facilities in this field of financial organizations in Ohio.
Mr. Munz is a member of the Lakewood
Chamber of Commerce, the Cleveland Yacht Club and the Lakewood Methodist Episcopal
Church. In Masonry he is affiliated with Lodge No. 316 at Franklin, Pennsylvania,
and the Royal Arch Chapter at Oil City, Pennsylvania. On February 17, 1903 he
married May Jackson, of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Her father, Walker Jackson,
was a prominent importer of Percheron horses from France. Mr. and Mrs. Munz
have two children. Walker, who graduated from the Lakewood High School in 1921,
is now a junior in Oberlin College, and plans to prepare for the medical profession.
Paul J., the second son, graduated from the Lakewood High School in 1923, and
is specializing in agriculture at Ohio State University.
CHARLES E. NEWELL
NEWSPAPER CLIPPING - October 13,1934
Charles E. Newell, for many years active in Lakewood civic affairs, passed away at his home, 1113 Forest road, Clifton Park, Sunday morning October 1st, at the age of 71 years.
Mr. Newell, a member of the Lakewood Council from 1903 to 1910, was active in the Cleveland Pump and Supply Co. for twenty years. He held membership in Gaston G. Allen Masonic Lodge.
Funeral services were held at the Lakewood Congregation Church, of which the deceased was a devout member, Tuesday, afternoon October 3rd, with Rev. Roy E. Bowers pastor, officiating. Burial took place in Lakewood Park cemetery.
His wife, Mrs. Helen
Bassett Newell, three sons, Horace B., and Kenneth D. Newell of Cleveland and
Laurence E. Newell of Marion, Ohio and one daughter, Miss Margaret Newell of
Mentor, Ohio, survive him.
MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (Page 3)
James Thomas Newman came to Lakewood, then Rockport, in 1843. He often worked 20 hours a day, and $100 dollars a month was considered a wonderful salary. His youngest son was George A. Newman of Newman Avenue. He came to this country from England in 1842, at the age of 11 years, having been born in London. His father was the third pastor of the Swedenborgian church. His mother, brother and sister came at the same time. At the age of 12, he cut wood to help out the meager resources of the family, and did any work at odd times he could find to do. The family lived in a log house as was customary at the time. At the age of 18, he helped Edwin Cowles operate the hand press to print "The Herald" and to add to the resources of the newspaper, he operated a ferry across the Cuyahoga River, one month being able to contribute $2.00 toward payment for a sufficient supply of print paper. The west side of the Cuyahoga River was then known as Ohio City, and was rather larger than the east side. Afterwards the Herald became the Cleveland Leader, and when the enterprise got on its feet, he was made foreman of the composing room, which position he held until 1876, when he resigned to go into other business. He came first to Rockport as a land owner in 1860, when he purchased of Thomas Heid 25 acres through which Newman Avenue now runs. He immediately built the homestead still standing on the hill corner of Newman Avenue and Detroit. He then began to work all night in the composing room and most of the day on the farm. The old timers remembered the gossip of their elders, It beats all how Jim Newman can work 24 hours a day and not break down." He always had a cheery smile for every one and he walked like one who had unlimited vitality. He drove down to the Leader office, and hitched his mare in the alley, now Long Street. He was held up one night at the Lake Shore Railroad crossing and robbed by four men, who no sooner left him than he hunted up policemen and searched for them the rest of the morning without success.
At one time there was a saloonkeeper in the alley near the Leader, who had a vicious dog. Mr. Newman warned him to look out for his dog, and one day the dog nipped him. He told the saloonkeeper that next time he would kill the dog. The saloonkeeper said if he did, he would kill him. (It was a bull dog). The next night the dog bit him again and received a load of shot that killed him. The saloonkeeper looked the printer over and went back into his saloon without another word. There was no woman more helpful and sympathetic in those days than Mrs. Newman. She was Miss Elizabeth Armstrong of Ogdensburg, N.Y. before she married Mr. Newman in 1853. She was very gentle and no gossip. Once when she had fed a ragged tramp in the kitchen, the tramp filled his pockets with silverware. Mr. Newman, who was no coward or weakling, put the tramp out of the kitchen on the toe of his boot. Another time a tramp whom she had asked to wait outside while she got him something, finding her alone, came into the house. She frightened him away with an unloaded rifle her husband had made for James, Jr., on condition the younger James stop chewing tobacco. Jimmie did not stop until he got possession of the rifle.
It was in 1892 after
the Henry's had laid out and graded Hopkins Avenue that Mr. Newman surveyed
Newman Avenue, putting in sidewalks and maple shade trees. When completed from
Detroit to Madison, the street was a half mile long, all through the Newman
farm. He adopted a plan which was never used before or since by the big property
owners, that of building houses for rental rather than selling. Meanwhile he
sold off the 5 acres on the west corner of Newman Avenue. Many of the houses
on Newman Avenue today are the property of the Newman estate, of which the three
sons Edwin, James T. and George A. are the managers. Sons and father took part
in building those houses. Before moving to Lakewood, the family lived for several
years on Woodbine Street in Cleveland, and old Mr. Newman belonged to the Old
Cleveland Volunteer firemen. His characteristics were an engaging smile, piercing
black eyes with a humorous twinkle. He was broad shouldered, and though of medium
height, he was of powerful and compact build. Mrs. Newman was as blond as her
husband was dark. She was regarded as handsome in her time, but all who knew
her intimately, recalled her gentleness and kindness of spirit, Mrs. Newman
passed away December, 1901, and her husband followed her less than two years
after in May, 1903. The three sons survived, all living on the street which
bears their name. Of the second generation are married, Mrs. Zoe Newman Meredith
and Alice Newman, daughters of Edwin; Arthur, James and Dewey George, sons of
James T.; George Armstrong and Robert Whittaker, sons of George A. Newman, Arthur
James, the only one of age served in the war as instructor of wireless telegraphy.
CLEVELAND NEWS January 10, 1940
Ezra Nicholson died at the age of
80 at his home on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood in January, 1915, 25 years ago.
Nicholson Avenue in Lakewood was named after him. Grace Avenue was named after
a daughter and Clarence Avenue was named after a son. Ezra Nicholson was a pioneer
of East Rockport Township out of which a little hamlet was carved some 50 years
ago. Ezra Nicholson was the first clerk and treasurer of the hamlet and was
a member of the committee that chose Lakewood as its name.
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY - C. JOHNSON - 1879
Opposite pg. 506
The ancestors of this gentleman were from Massachusetts, and removed in the early part of this century to the unsettled country of the West. Hailing from a State that early had the reputation of producing men of education and culture, in removing to other localities they carried the same characteristics with them. Out subject's father, James, was born at Chatham, Barnstable county, Massachusetts, April 16, 1783. When four years of age his father changed his residence to Connecticut. Arriving at the age of manhood he emigrated to Trumbull county, Ohio, where he was married, May 5, 1812, to Miss Betsey Bartholomew, who was born at Waterbury, Connecticut, November 9, 1793. In 1818 he removed to Rockport, Cuyahoga county. At that time there was but one house between his residence and the west bank of the Cuyahoga River. He was engaged in agricultural pursuits, and ended a peaceful life November 11, 1859. His wife survived him nearly a score of years, but departed this life January 8, 1879.
Lewis, the second son of the couple, was born in the town of his father's adoption February 6, 1820. His education was limited to what could be procured at the public schools, with two terms passed at an academy located at Kirtland, Lake county, Ohio. After leaving school he determined to devote himself to the vocation in life pursued by his father, and accordingly purchased a farm of one hundred acres in Rockport, which is the same on which he now resides. In 1850, he embarked in the nursery business in connection with farming, and has given much attention to that branch ever since.
Mr. Nicholson has been twice married. September 8, 1840, he married Adelaide, daughter of Adnah VanHorn, of Rockport. She was born May 11, 1820, at Providence, Rhode Island; for nearly a quarter-century she was his companion, but passed away December 10, 1870. Becoming tired of his lonely life, he married, September 1, 1874, Miss Amanda Sears, a native of Delaware county, New York, who was born on February 29, 1828.
Republican in politics, Mr. Nicholson has been called by his fellow-citizens a number of times to fill local offices.
In religious belief he is an earnest follower of the doctrines of Swedenborg, and is a member of that church.
Mr. Nicholson is
one of the true sons of the soil, who in all things is conscientious and unpretending,
and not ambitious above his vocation in life, in which he has had a full measure
SOURCE - MISS ANSLEY'S NOTE BOOK
(An interview with Arthur Hall)
Miserly - lovable character - near Manor Park
Had running brooks - remains in yard. Died from the effects of falling when reaching for an apple.
Streets - Lewis
- Grace - Clarence - Nicholson - one of first to divide up land.
HISTORY OF THE CITY OF LAKEWOOD - F.C. LOWING
As James Nicholson was the first man to establish a permanent home between the west bank of the Cuyahoga River and the east bank of the Rocky River, no history of Lakewood would be complete without sketching the annals relating to his life and the life of his family.
James Nicholson like the majority of the people who settled in the Western Reserve, was a typical Yankee; and as he was born and reared about Chatham, on Cape Cod, he was in reality a "born Yankee". He was born in 1783 and as soon as he attained his majority packed his few belongings and started for New Connecticut, as the Western Reserve was called by many at that time. He was induced to buy a tract of land near Conneaut--between that place and the Pennsylvania line--and he began to clear the land and erected a log cabin on that site.
It was in 1804 that James Nicholson broke ground in the forest near Pennsylvania, and he spent several years on that farm, and made quite an impress on the forests that had to be cleared away before a home could be established. It was here that he married Betsy Bartholemew, a young miss who had come out from Connecticut a few years before he had started on his pioneer life, and who came into this western wilderness when she was yet in her early teens. She knew much of pioneer life and proved a wise helpmeet for this young Easterner who had yet to learn the ways of pioneering in the forest of this then new West.
While plucking away at the sleeve of nature in an effort to found a comfortable home in the northeast corner of Ashtabula county, Mr. Nicholson and his young wife were visited one day by a pioneer who had purchased a tract of land west of the Cuyahoga River, and who, tiring of his purchase or being more nearly satisfied with the prospects of Mr. Nicholson, wished to make a trade with him.
At this time Mr. Nicholson had never been further west than Vienna, and only knew of conditions on the banks of the Cuyahoga River from hearsay. But the stranger's description of his lands--which proved to be within the site of the present city of Lakewood--interested him and after talking the matter over with his young wife, he decided to visit the new settlement at the mouth of the Cuyahoga and then, if pleased with what he saw there, to wander out to his timber tract and look it over.
The soil on his home farm was a clay, and Mr. Nicholson had cultivated it long enough to know that it could never be made as productive as certain other lands with which he was familiar. He had learned much of pioneer life, and of the nature of soils, in the few years he had labored to make a home for himself on the borders of Pennsylvania. With this new-found knowledge he felt confident in his ability to pick a better farm site than the one he was striving to make into a home.
So Mr. Nicholson visited Cleveland, talked with the few pioneers settled there, and then journeyed out to Lakewood and looked over the prospect offered him in the proposed trade. Examination convinced him that much of this new soil was of a sandy loam--easy to cultivate, easy to properly drain, and with skillful handling, very productive. Satisfied with the prospect he returned home and made an advantageous exchange. This was true if both sections had remained farm-land prospects; but with Lakewood soon budding forth as a suburb of Cleveland, it proved a very profitable business venture.
As Mr. Nicholson had made considerable headway in establishing a home where he lived, and had a comfortable log house in habitable condition, with fields and gardens under cultivation, sheds erected for the housing of his cattle and crops, he found no trouble in securing a considerable cash bonus in exchange, which made it possible for him to forge ahead fast in the new neighborhood in which he chose to cast his lot.
The present Nicholson home on Detroit Street, at the head of Nicholson Avenue stands about the center, adjoining the two tracts, the first 160 acre tract that came into James Nicholson's possession in the trade made. Later he purchased a second 160 acre tract further east, which has since been sold in parcels to friends and neighbors. As soon as he landed on his home site--he made the trip with a yoke of oxen and an old wagon--he erected a log cabin, a log shed for his cattle, and then girdled a big park of fine chestnut trees that they might die and make it possible for him to raise a crop of wheat the coming season.
When the elder Nicholson crossed the Cuyahoga River and set up his home site in the then wilderness there was one other family that lived just across the Cuyahoga--Superior Viaduct--Lorenzo Carter, who had a cabin on the bank of the Cuyahoga River near the foot of Superior street. Carter, among other duties incumbent upon him as a pioneer, operated a ferry across the Cuyahoga for some years, and at the same time James Nicholson moved within the confines of Lakewood this ferry was the only means of communication between the great western wilderness and the settlement on the east bank of that river. Later, however, the ferry proving a poor means of revenue, Carter and his family gave up their residence on the West Side, thus leaving the elder Nicholson the honor of being the first permanent settler between the Cuyahoga and Rocky Rivers.
There was no road in any direction west of the Cuyahoga River at this time--1812. A blazed trail extended from the Cuyahoga River to the Rocky River, and some distance west. Some little effort had been made to cut away the small trees and brush growing in this trail, and certain of the more obstructive roots of trees had been chopped away, but only a crude wagon could be used on this rough way and much of the Nicholson farm, was on the ridge running a short distance from Lake Erie, there was a swail that pushed its way across this ridge at a point where Alameda and Cohasset Streets enter Detroit Avenue, that even at this early day made necessary a corduroy bridge to make it passable. And it was through this crooked road--cut from the dense forest on either side--and over this rough bridge that the elder Nicholson and his family wended their way to the new home in the unbroken wilderness where now the flourishing city of Lakewood spreads itself in beauty and peacefulness.
When in a reminiscent mood, Mr. Nicholson would often tell of one of his early experiences while traversing this rough road. This road was the only way to town, as the little settlement at Cleveland was then called; and in going and coming it was necessary to cross this corduroy bridge, as the water and mud was deep on either side. As there were no street lamps to light up this way, and as the deep wood in itself added much to the dense character of the darkness, one who attempted to traverse this road at night was forced to make his way more by feeling than seeing. These conditions were existent on the night that Mr. Nicholson, being detained in town until after dark, was literally feeling his way through the woods on his return home. Walking along at the best speed possible over so rough a way he approached this piece of corduroy road at the slough. Feeling along carefully, with a stick he carried, so that he might not step off the end of the logs into the water and mud, he ran into a huge bear that gave a big "UGF!" into the face of Mr. Nicholson. That the young pioneer was startled is putting it mildly.
Mr. Nicholson had no gun with him, and could not have seen to shoot had he possessed one. But realizing the danger he had just escaped, and still having in remembrance the hot breath forced into his face by the bear as it emitted its startled cry, he pushed on home as fast as he could, well pleased that the bear had not attacked him in the dark before he knew of its presence.
The date of this early settlement was in 1812. Cuyahoga county had been organized and named some two years before, and about this time, or a little later, the township on the east bank of Rocky River had been given the name of Rockport, extending to Dover Road line.
The cabin of James Nicholson was the first permanent structure of any kind built within the present limits of the city of Lakewood. The present frame home of E. Nicholson was the first permanent still-existing home built in Lakewood. After the original log home had been built other pioneers moved in and built log homes, and a few built cheap frame homes in the interim, but about 75 or 80 years ago the present frame structure was erected and since that day the old log homes, and the first few rough frame homes, have passed away so that not only did the elder Nicholson build and own the first home of any kind within the Lakewood confines, but these older structures of all kinds have passed away one by one until now the oldest home structure in the city is the comfortable frame home now owned and occupied by E. Nicholson and family, until his death, January 15, 1915, in his 80th year.
Making his settlement in Lakewood in 1812, Mr. Nicholson had scarce put his home into comfortable condition until the War of 1812 broke out. At first volunteers supplied all the soldiers needed, but as the war continued it was finally incumbent on the military to begin to draft soldiers from the ranks of the civilians. Mr. Nicholson was drafted and went to the training camp to learn the few essential tactics necessary to becoming a soldier in those early days. As ammunition was so scarce the men were trained with old muskets, but at no time were these raw recruits permitted to shoot off their guns, and thus waste good ammunition; they might aim the gun, and imagine they were shooting, but the real powder and ball was saved for the English.
Mr. Nicholson, however, never got beyond the training camp, as in a few weeks after he was drafted to the service the war ended and all the men in training were sent home to "make crops for the winter feeding of their families".
While Mr. Nicholson was in camp he had been given an old musket to use in training, and when sent home he was allowed to take this gun with him. While he had never fired it off when in camp, yet it was kept in the home, within easy reach and heavily loaded for any emergency that might arise. This emergence did arise one day later--in the mind of Mrs. Nicholson--in the form of a chicken hawk bent on securing a dinner from one of her young fowls. The hawk picked up its victim, arose to the branches of a tree in the yard and settled down to pick its bones. Mrs. Nicholson, remembering the old musket, ran into the house and brought it forth to do battle. Aiming the gun carefully at Mr. Hawk, she pulled the trigger--and the gun did the rest. When Mrs. Nicholson recovered her senses she found herself on her back, the hawk gone, and she had been kicked over by the heavy recoil of the old musket. Three days later a dead hawk was found a short distance from the house, in the forest, and Mrs. Nicholson lay claim to it as an evidence of her prowess.
There was one other settler who had started a home west of the Cuyahoga River at this time--a Mr. Taylor, who had built a cabin on the banks of Rocky River. Taylor and his family had been settled on Rocky River's shores for several years, and had quite a clearing made. At the outset he had imagined that the big city to be founded on the south shore of Lake Erie would be built at Rocky River's mouth, and he had invested in lands under such a belief. But when the United States government built its store house at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, and later settled a few soldiers in a blockhouse built on the shore of Lake Erie where the Cuyahoga flows into the larger body of water, that seemed to give the site of Cleveland the necessary advantage to win over Rocky River, and the Taylors became discouraged and moved away.
In these early days the mouth of the Cuyahoga River was blocked with an immense sand bar, that has since been removed, and this led some to think that Rocky River would be the steam chosen by commerce on the south bank of Old Erie. It is perhaps fair to say, in fact, that the Cuyahoga River was practically valueless as a harbor until the national government united with local interests and removed this bar to navigation.
Soon after Mr. Nicholson settled in Lakewood a town site was laid out at Rocky River, and given the name of Granger. Town lots were sold at a fancy figure, effort put forth to overtake the little progress that had been made at Cleveland, but the impetus which the sanction of the site by the national government gave Cleveland in establishing its storehouse and barracks in the latter seemed too much for Granger and it died an early death.
The first home built on the Nicholson farm was a log cabin erected a short distance west of the present residence and north of Detroit Street.
In 1838 the present home was built. All the timber was cut on the farm, the drying was done on the home site, and the door-frames, window-frames, doors and window sash were made by hand on the place. Nearly everything used was hardwood lumber, making slow progress a certainty in the building of a home.
The dwelling as originally completed was much as it is now. The great difference noticeable is the change in the windows; as first built there were 24 in main part, 12 small lights in each sash, while now there is but one. Parquet floors have been laid over the ash floors in parlor, sitting room and dining room, and a few other improvements added.
Mr. E. Nicholson was the only survivor of his father's family. He was 80 years of age at his death and was the youngest member of the family. When born, he was fifteen years younger than the brother preceding him, and because in the difference in age outlived the other members of his father's family. He always lived in the old home, and came into possession of a large slice of his father's estate. He was married at the age of 28 to Miss Alice S. Fowles, who when married was living with her uncle in Lakewood--Capt. John Spaulding, a well known sailor on the lakes. Theirs was a happy and prosperous union and both enjoyed good health, with sons and daughters living in comfortable homes about them.
Mr. Nicholson, although
in his 80's was hale and hearty and was active engaged in business in Cleveland.
He had large landed interests in Cleveland and Lakewood and the lands which
came into possession of the elder Nicholson on the payment of a few hundred
dollars are now worth many thousands. Mr. Nicholson always enjoyed living in
the old home, where he led a quiet life. His career had not been eventful but
he had always been a most estimable citizen, had taken an active interest in
the business and political life of his home city and had stood for peace and
prosperity for himself, his friends and his neighbors.
MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (page 2)
Ezra Nicholson was the son of James and Betsey Bartolemew Nicholson, who built the first permanent home in what is now Lakewood, 108 years ago on the site of the Wallace place, Detroit opposite Waterbury. Waterbury was named after the Connecticut town where the wife of James Nicholson was born. He was born in Chatham, Benstable County, Mass. When 21 years old James traveled by foot from Massachusetts to Cleveland, just 10 years after Mad Anthony Wayne had broken the power of the savages at Fallen Timber, 60 miles west of the Cuyahoga River. He first settled in Ashtabula, where he married. He lived there 6 years, when a homesick traveler, who lived in the wilderness 5 miles west of the Cuyahoga River, came to see his former friends, and offered to trade with Nicholson and give him additional money. Being a true Yankee, Nicholson walked to Lakewood to see the land before he closed the deal. Since there was no better way to travel, he brought his bride to his new home driving the 75 miles with a team of oxen, taking several days more time than an express train takes to cross the continent. Before the log house was built, he was drafted into the war of 1812 and had to leave his young wife alone in the wilderness. While he was away a bear came and carried off the family pig. The same bear was killed by the musket which he had carried to the war. With clearness of vision, he bought 160 acres in addition to his first purchase from the Connecticut Land Company, paying for it out of the earnings from his purchase. His holdings then extended from the west line of Cohasset Avenue to the east line of Elbur Avenue and here was never a lien or mortgage on the estate. When he built his first home in 1812, the only habitation between the Cuyahoga and another on the east bank of Rocky River. Business was so poor the former closed up shop and the latter moved soon after Detroit Street was a blazed trail thought the woods.
The second home was built on the hill on the west side of Nicholson Creek. It was fastened together by wooden pins--no nails, so swayed and creaked in windstorms. Twenty-five years after this log house was built the present fine house opposite Nicholson Avenue was erected in a chestnut grove, a former camping place for Indians. The raising was a gala event, whole families coming miles, the women to visit and the men to help erect the heavy timbers. All feasted and made merry on the bountiful food Mrs. Nicholson had provided. Ezra Nicholson was then two years old. There were seven children born to James and Betsey and to each as they married, the pioneer gave a farm.
Lewis, 15 years older than Ezra, was given 50 acres opposite Robinwood Avenue, extending to the lake. He left no children. Ezra inherited the old homestead, he being the youngest in the family. Two sisters received farms outside of Lakewood. This shows how this Yankee prospered. He became converted to the Swedenborgian faith and was active in converting others, among them being Mars Wagar, first. The first Swedenborgian Church built was on land where the present Church of the Redeemer now stands.
Ezra Nicholson was
a man of vision always ahead of his time. He invented the "Nicholson log" which
is in universal use in the navy. This determines in all weather the speed and
position of ships. He was the first capitalist to see the importance of natural
gas which was an unknown agent 50 years ago. The first gas well in this part
of the world was put down by Ezra Nicholson just south of Scenic Park. It was
a gusher, more then 50 years ago. Inability to pipe it, forced its abandonment.
Not discouraged, he bored another just west of the homestead, which is still
in use. He put in pipes as far as Cove Avenue and told the neighbors to hitch
on free of cost. He organized the first rapid transit, the Rocky River Railroad
with Dan P. Rhodes and Elias Sims, and was the first President. The old depot,
(McGuires then), still stands, the third house west of 58th Street, north side
of Bridge Avenue, the eastern terminus. It ran to the Cliff House, Rocky River,
and car fare was 20 cents. George Mulhearn was the first conductor. Later Mr.
Nicholson negotiated the right of way for the Nickel Plate, which bought the
Rocky River road as a preliminary move. He was the first clerk of Lakewood Hamlet,
and served on the committee that selected the name. He was Clerk of the Board
of Education which started the first high school and the first grade schools.
His name was found in all progressive movements. In 1894, with his sons, he
began to allot the old homestead, and opened up Grace Avenue, the first paved
street then west of Kentucky Avenue, (now 38th Street) Wise ones smiled when
he bought what is now Clifton Park and offered it to Cleveland for a park as
a gift. Much humorous stuff was printed in the papers and many communications
from "Vox Populi" poking side splitting satire at the visionary who proposed
to locate a park so far out in the country. He was a wise man, a credit to his
New England ancestry and a benefactor to the town. He was an inventor and in
a degree a genius. His wife was Samantha Fowles. She was born in Wisconsin and
was of Puritan stock. They were married in 1833. Three of the six children born
to them survived; Louis Nicholson, Clarence Nicholson and Mrs. Clarence Thompson
of Erie (Grace Nicholson). There are four grandchildren -- Louis has a son,
Clarence has a son and daughter (all of age), and Mrs. Thompson has a daughter.
The permanent home of the sons is still in Lakewood.
MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (Page 10)
Gardner Oakes was the "Fiddler" of the pioneer days. All evidence points to the fact that he must have been quite a local character. He was always in demand as a fiddler, especially during the bleak days of winter. A belle of that yesterday said that no one could fiddle better than he. He was no violinist, just a fiddler. "He just scraped the bow across the strings. He never took any lessons, and played by ear." She said Mr. Oakes never missed a dance or a circus, no matter how bad the weather was.
His cabin stood just in the middle of the present Edwards block, corner of Fry and Detroit. The slope of the roof was toward Detroit, and covered a long narrow porch across the front of the house. Although the time the cabin was built is unknown. Dr. Richard Fry when he purchased the Oakes acres in 1863, found the structure pretty well rotted away, and tumbling down with age. Dr. Fry dug an excavation, tumbled in the rotted logs, covered them up with soil, and planted choice roses over the remains. A crescent shaped row of low evergreens, bordered the north of the rose bed, and acted as a wind break. When the excavation for the Edwards block was made in 1906, evidence of the old cabin were found, and a hand full of old coins antedating 1860, many as early as 1840. Although he owned many acres, Mr. Oakes often found it difficult to get the 25 cents necessary to go to the circus.
One old settler told how Mr. Oaks used to add to his resources by filling a crazy old one horse wagon with chips, driving his old dobbin to Cleveland, and selling the chips for enough money for the circus.
He was a tall thin man, with black eyes in which there was always a merry twinkle, and he always had a smile on his face. He was married twice. His first wife was Abbie Fowler and his second, Anne Berthrong. There were three children by the first wife, Ellen Eugene and Dan. Some of the old settlers used to say of Gardner Oakes that "he did not amount to much", that "he was a ne'er do well" and that "he was only a fiddler", yet he seemed to fill a very necessary place in the lives of those early pioneers, for he supplied the relief needed in those strenuous days by the relaxation of music, and the supply of humor which all workers need. His receipt for sowing turnip seed is related in another story (that of Dr. Fry I think.) Perhaps a more accurate version of the story is as follows; "Put a pound of turnip seed in the pocket of one's jeans with pin hole in the pocket and run like the old scratch through a ten acre lot, and then the dumb seeds will be planted too thick".
He was one of the oldest settlers of East Rockport. One rumor says that he was one of the original draftees of the Connecticut Land Company. His father may have been draftee and he the heir (See Connecticut Land Company records).
From Lakewood, the
family moved to Irving, Wis.
OVIATT, DR. WILLIAM H.
LAKEWOOD PRESS -- August 15, 1918 Pg. 3
Dr. William H. Oviatt, living at 1421 Spring Garden, is a veteran of three wars, but he is as keenly alive to the developments of the great world war that is in progress as any man of half his years. Although he was born July 29, 1834 celebrating his 84th birthday last month, he is as active in his touch with affairs as he was when he served in the Mexican War as a youngster or served in the Civil War in the prime of his professional army career, or served in the Spanish-American war, at the conclusion of his service in the United States.
On the occasion of recent birthday, Dr. Oviatt prepared a brief sketch of his career, at the behest of some of his descendants. This sketch which, after some solicitation, the Lakewood Press representative was permitted to read and make extracts from, is all too brief to give even an adequate notion of the wonderful life this veteran has lived, who is in his declining years enjoying a peaceful existence in Lakewood. Here are some of the salient points in the sketch:
"William H. Oviatt, the son of M. Oviatt, and the grandson of Isaac Oviatt, was born July 29, 1834. He entered the Mexican War in June, 1846, and was discharged at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 13, 1848. He then entered Yale College in 1851 and was graduated June 26, 1854. He entered Vermont Medical College in 1854 and was graduated in medicine in 1857. He entered the Albany Law School in 1857 and was admitted to the bar in 1858.
"He went to Scotland in 1859 and entered the University of Edinburgh, where he was graduated in 1862. He then returned to America and entered the United States army July 29, 1862, as major surgeon of the Third New York cavalry. He served one year in the volunteers and was transferred, July 29, 1863, to the regular United States army.
"He was transferred
to the United States navy and ordered to Buffalo to await orders. While there
he entered the medical department of the Buffalo university and was graduated
in the class of 1869. On May 12, 1869, he was admitted to the bar of the United
States supreme court at Washington. On June 10, 1869, he was ordered to Pensacola,
Florida, and went on board the Atlanta, sailing for two years. He was placed
on detached duty in 1880 in charge of the epidemic diseases of the Mississippi
Valley and served along general lines until after the Spanish-American War.
He was honorably discharged by reason of the age limit in 1899."
E. GEORGE LINDSTROM'S UNPUBLISHED MATERIAL
One of the early pioneers in the Cleveland area was a colored man, George Peake (1722-1827), variantly spelled Peek and Peeke. As might be expected, there is only scant biographical data about him and his family but bits of information patiently pieced together show him to be a unique and interesting character.
Peake was a native of Maryland, and also lived some time in Pennsylvania before coming to the Western Reserve. In the French and Indian War, he was a soldier in the British army and served at Quebec under General Wolfe.
His residence in the Cleveland area dates from 1809. In 1810 it is recorded that he assisted Asahel Porter in erecting the latter's log house in Dover. Porter was one of the first settlers in Dover, a suburban village west of Cleveland.
On December 31, 1811 the deed records of Cuyahoga County show that Peake bought 103½ acres of land in Rockport--Tp. 7; Range 16--from John Walworth. On June 17, 1816, possibly in anticipation of death, Peake divided his farm and deeded it to his three sons, Henry, 23 ½ acres; Joseph, 40 acres; and James, 40 acres. A further record indicates that in 1826 George Peake, Jr. and his wife, Hannah, deeded all or a part of this tract to Calvin Gooding. It would seem that George Peake, Jr. was a grandson who may have acquired his land by inheritance.
The federal census of 1830 lists James, Joseph and Nathaniel Peek as living on Detroit Road in what was then called Ohio City, which later became a part of Cleveland by annexation.
George Peake came into prominence and was remembered because he gave to the community a highly prized labor-saving device. It was a new type of hand mill. Prior to his advent a rather crude instrument was used for producing grain meal. It was described as a 'stub mortar and spring pestle', from which it can be inferred that grain was laboriously crushed into a rather coarse meal in this contrivance. It is obvious that Peake's hand mill was superior to this pestle and mortar both as a labor saver, and in the quality of meal ground, and it is equally obvious that the improved hand mill was a distinct contribution to the community.
Not much is known of the feminine side of the Peake family, although it is said that Peake had one or more daughters. His wife, reputed to have been a white woman, was, in those pioneer days, a woman of some means. She is said to have had a half-bushel of silver dollars. This would not mean much today, but over a century and a quarter ago when the prevailing commercial medium was barter and trade, the possession of a quantity of hard money was a mark of distinction. Further, the ability to purchase a hundred acre tract of land is evidence that Peake compared favorably, in this world's goods, with other pioneers.
George Peake died
in 1827 at the patriarchal age of 105. It is unfortunate that the place of his
interment is unknown, as the last resting place of the first permanent colored
resident in Cleveland's metropolitan area ought to be appropriately marked.
(Harry E. Davis)
GEORGE PEAK--NEGRO PIONEER
S.J. KELLY PLAIN DEALER
Cleveland's second Negro settler was George Peak, who arrived in the early spring of 1809. The stalwart, white-haired settler was 87 when he first saw stump-covered Public Square without a real road and only a wagon trail or two crossing it. He brought his wife and tow sons, George Jr., and Joseph.
Born in Maryland in 1722, 10 years before the birth of Washington, Peak had a clear recollection of the Revolution and was to live more than 40 years after its close. Eighteen of these were spent as one of the first two settlers on the West Side.
In 1808 no road ran through the forests west of the Cuyahoga. Early in 1809 the Ohio Legislature granted an appropriation for one from Cleveland to the mouth of the Huron. Ebenezer Murray of Mentor, Nathaniel Doan and Lorenzo Carter of Cleveland were appointed to superintend its opening.
The only pathway west was an Indian trail on the first low ridge south of the lake. Said to be the shore of a prehistoric lake, this was selected for the new road, known as the Cleveland and Huron, later as the Milan State Road; then as the Detroit Road, and today as the avenue west from High Level Bridge at W. 25th Street.
I started a search to locate the "Barnum Tract" where George Peak, the second Negro to arrive in Cleveland, is said to have settled.
I studied an old chart of Rockport Township lands, west of Rocky River. Out Center Ridge Road, a mile west of where the river starts on its first big bend, I found the tract once owned by G.T. Barnum.
Center Ridge Road is the third oldest highway south from the lakeshore. It runs its quiet way southwesterly through quarry regions. This Barnum oblong tract of 80 acres straddles the road and is divided into two parts. The northern parcel, through which the road cuts its way, contains 48 acres; the southern part 32 acres.
Evidently George Peak drove his wagon with part of his family across Rocky River to the west bank. Perhaps he crossed on some old log bridge or by ford. Where Center Ridge runs west was perhaps a trail or rough road to a primitive quarry. Peak followed it. Maybe he had directions--an ax blaze on a tree or a stake drive by the trail.
Negroes who reached Cleveland in early days had plenty of friends as witness the escape of Ben, the slave, a year or two before. Peak probably reached the Barnum tract, turned left, drove south to its southern end and settled on its 32-acre half, as far from the trail as he could get. Mail records and public trading transactions show that the family lived in the township for years.
The south end of the tract reaches well down toward the sharply slanting Elyria Road on which some of the H. Crossley family lived. This may account for their name being connected with property where Peak made his home.
When the Peak family reached the banks of Rocky River on the new Cleveland and Huron Road, they turned south past the present great arching span of the Detroit Avenue bridge and down a slope where the new highway zigzagged to a primitive floating log bridge. All early wooden bridges were southward upstream from the present high concrete arch. They continued upstream, through dense woods on a mere wagon trail, skirted the first big looping river bend and settled about a mile from its mouth on what was to be known as the Barnum tract. Part of this became the home of the Crossley family.
George Peak and his sons built a log house. Then they built the first grist mill in Rockport Township near a "hogsback," a high cleft hill facing the river. The mill stones were 20 inches in diameter. This was decided advance over a hollow stump fashioned into a mortar with a pounding pestle of log suspended from a bent sapling. Government records show that the Peaks were receiving mail directed to "Rockport," years after they settled there.
In 1819, a published notice stated that Joseph Peak, a son, had loaned Henry Alger over $300, taking five promissory notes as security for the debt, to be paid with merchantable meat cattle on Nov. 1, 1820, at Alger's new home.
Establishing his home near Rocky River in 1809, George Peak became the first Negro head of a family on the primitive West Side. John Haberton, a white settler, had built a dwelling in 1807, at the top of the hill, and a Canadian named Granger must be mentioned. He built the first cabin home west of the river. Authentic history refers to its site, "Granger Hill," as being on the South Side, and states that Granger was a "squatter" who never purchased the land from the Connecticut Land Co.
George Peak, the second Negro to come to Cleveland and a pioneer whose story is remembered, was a member of the British forces with Wolfe at the Heights of Abraham. When Quebec fell, he was among the victors who marched into that city and who helped forever destroy the domination of the French in what is now Canada. It is said that he was a mulatto.
It is strongly hinted that Peak was an escaped slave who enlisted in Canada, that he returned quietly to Maryland and from there sought freedom in the wilds of Pennsylvania. In the wilderness of the William Penn state, he married a woman of his own race who, in the parlance of the time, "owned a half-bushel of dollars." Here Peak raised a family. Years later, as the region became settled, he turned from the east when past fourscore and trailed over the mountains northwest seeking seclusion in the far-west settlement of Cleveland. In the family wagon were his wife and two oldest sons, George and Joseph. His next sons, James and Henry, followed later.
Was George Peak
the oldest resident who ever lived in Cleveland? Records show that he died at
his Rockport home in the fall of 1827 at the age of 105 years. I searched every
available death record of the city's veterans of the Revolution and other wars,
from Jabez Brainard who lived to be 94; up to those who lived more than a century;
through citizens and residents who lived to a great age, one of whom had welcomed
Lafayette in 1825. I found none to exceed George Peak.
MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (Page 10)
A typical Yankee, coming overland by canal from Lockport, New York in 1840. Stephen Phelps settled in East Rockport. Phelps Avenue was named after him by his grandson, A.C. Bartter of 1455 West Boulevard, who is the only descendant living in Lakewood and who lives not a half mile from the place where his mother's father built a log cabin in the woods.
There were four daughters and two sons. The latter, Hiram and Joel, moved out of the state. There is a tradition in the Phelps family that they originally came from an old Colonial family in Connecticut which has produced many ministers, including a United States minister to England.
Stephen R. Phelps was tall and thin, a fitting model for an Uncle Sam. He was a hard worker on his 60 acre farm, but found time to earn some extra dollars by following his carpenter trade. As the family grew prosperous, he built with his own hands the rather (for those times) pretentious house still standing at the corner of Kenilworth and Detroit Street. It was built over 60 years ago, for use evidently, as the framework i made from logs hewed out in the rough. Mr. A.A. Bartter, of Columbia, Lorain County, father of A.C. Bartter, whose first wife was a daughter of the old pioneer, and Mrs. Nora G. Phelps, whose husband was of the English Phelps family, gave the information. The greater part of the Phelps land extended along the lake shore from the east end of Clifton Park to Webb Road. The home was a half mile south on Detroit Avenue. It is recalled that the old pioneer hated the long walk to drive the cow up to milk and that this was one of the reasons why he sold the northern part in 1869 for $100.00 an acre. The cow lane used at this time followed the line of what is now Kenilworth Avenue, and when a property owner tried to close up this path, he had trouble in doing so, as it had been in use so long by the public.
One of the peculiar
things of those old days was the strange death of one of Mr. Phelps horses.
He owned horses for use, not for adornment, and was satisfied to go the 8 miles
to Cleveland in two and a half hours. He always made a day of it when he went
to Cleveland. On his return from town one day, his old horse, pretty well sweated
up, attracted bees which happened to be swarming at that time, and was stung
to death. Mr. Phelps ran to safety.
Many a potpie was
enjoyed from the carrier (wild) pigeon in this old farm house. Mr. A.A. Bartter
said that he had seen them in such numbers that their flights darkened the sun.
The old farmer after a life of hard and honest labor met a tragic end. He was
on his way home in 1874 when a breeching broke when he was going down Vineyard
Hill (later South Water Street.) The horse ran away as the wagon bumped into
his flanks, and Mr. Phelps was thrown out and received injuries from which he
never recovered. Mrs. Phelps lived until about 1880 with her son-in-law Mr.
MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (Pages 8, 9)
In the 40's of the last century, Walter Phelps left the suburbs of London, landing in New Orleans from the deck of a sailing craft which had taken nearly two months for its stormy passage. There was no reason for his going to the Creole city, for he knew no one there. But that particular ship was going to the country of "great opportunities." He had no capital, in fact there was but one dollar in his waistcoat when he stepped ashore.
He was strong and husky, and was determined. The first thing he did was to buy an ax at the first hardware store he came to. This was in the day of slavery and this seemed the only way a young white boy could earn his way. He literally chopped his way north where he found his opportunity, and later married the daughter of an East Rockport pioneer, Ellen Bell, and raised six children.
At his death, he was the owner of a 70 acre estate just across Rocky River from Lakewood. For some years, the family lived across the street from the old Nicholson place at the corner of Nicholson Avenue in a part brick house which had been one of the primeval school houses. Mr. Phelps rented many acres from Mr. Nicholson (Ezra) and was so energetic and successful that he later gradually acquired the acreage across the river which included the present property of Mr. Albert Stein. For a number of years he worked both properties, but the double effort proved too much for him and he gave up the rented farm and devoted himself to raising small fruits and his own farm.
The Rocky River Railway was put through in 1867 and the engine house and shops were located on his property.
His son Arthur, used to play around the place, and to this day points with pride to a scar on his forehead where a wound he had gotten was sewed up by Dr. Kirtland This injury was received when Alfred Nicholson, son of Ezra, playfully pushed him off a bench when he persisted in getting in the way.
Mr. Arthur Phelps said that his father, at the request of his grandfather, Mr. Bell, had in the 50's gone to Warren, Ohio, to try to buy the section now known as Clifton Park. Mr. Phelps offered the owner $40.00 an acre for it, but the owner stuck out for $45.00 and the deal fell through. Grandfather Bell once owned the island where the Cleveland Yacht Club is now located, and Mr. Arthur Phelps was at one time commodore.
The family consists of Rose, who married Francis Wagar; Mary, who married Junius Elwell, son of General J.J. Elwell; Walter, living on the east side; Holden, a resident of Toledo; Arthur, a retired farmer; and William, long in the Federal service. Rose Wagar, before her marriage, taught for some years in the East Rockport schools. She was the oldest of the family.
Those were the days
when the farmer pointed to great bins of potatoes and said with pride that he
had sold the lot of 50 cents a bushel, when he took berries to market by the
ton, and at 10 cents a quart money just rolled in. A fine young chicken sold
for 25 cents.
AGED COUPLE ARE MARRIED FOR 50 YEARS
October 19, 1933
Hundreds of friends and relatives visited Mr. and Mrs. Henry N. Pleasance at their home at 1571 Wyandotte ave., Sunday, offering congratulations and best wishes to the aged couple who were that day celebrating their golden wedding anniversary.
Mr. Pleasance, who is 77, and Mrs. Pleasance, who is 73, were married 50 years ago in a little church at the corner of Bridge and Kentucky aves. The church is still standing. The officiating clergyman was Rev. Angleburger, and the organist was the late Jacob H. Schoen, who later became Judge Schoen.
Mr. Pleasance was for many years active in the railroad business. He has always been an active member of the Masonic order, and is past master of the Lakewood lodge, No. 601.
There are three
sons, Howard, George and Richard; and one daughter.
MISS ANSLEY'S NOTE BOOK (An interview with Arthur Hall)
Old retired English
gardener - his place was a land mark for its beauty - Hall bought Pollard place
- business transacted between Pollard daughter and Mr. Hall - "hair black as
a raven's wing eyes that pierced through one - Helen of Troy had nothing on
her for beauty.
PYKE, MRS. BERNICE S.
HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY AND CLEVELAND
W.R. COATES -- Volume II, Pg. 30-32
Mrs. Bernice Secrest Pyke, of Lakewood, whose ability, poise and gracious personality have given her prominence and influence in the social, political and civic affairs, is one whose activities have been so directed as to prove the distinct value of women in the domain of public affairs. With the democratic party in Ohio she holds a position similar to that held in the republican party by Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, of Warren, and as an ardent and resourceful exponent of the cause of woman suffrage her active service was initiated at an earlier date than was that of Mrs. Upton, who likewise is making a record of splendid service.
Mrs. Pyke was born at Frankfort, Ross County, Ohio, and is a representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of the Buckeye State. Her father, the late Samuel Frederick Secrest, was born at Hartford, Guernsey County, Ohio, in 1846, and his father, John Secrest was an infant at the time the family came to Ohio from Winchester, Virginia, and made settlement in Guernsey County. The original representative of the Secrest family in America came from Germany to this country prior to the War of the Revolution, in which the family gave patriot soldiers to the Continental forces. It is worthy of mention also that members of the Secrest family served as soldiers in both the Union and Confederate armies in the Civil War. In his earlier life Samuel F. Secrest was a successful teacher in the public schools of Ohio, and served as a high school superintendent. For forty years prior to his death he was engaged in the retail hardware business in the historic old Ohio City of Chillicothe, the judicial center of Ross County, and the first capital of Ohio, but his death occurred at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Pyke, in Cleveland, where he passed away in the year 1919. Mr. Secrest was a man of sterling character and broad intellectual ken, and his was a benignant influence in connection with community affairs and the directing of public policies. He was an ardent advocate of temperance, and never abated his deep interest in educational affairs. He was an eloquent and forceful public speaker, and in this connection his services were much in demand. He gave a long period of effective service as a member of the Board of Education at Chillicothe, and held the office of president of the board for a number of years. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Jane Miller was born at Frankfort, Ross County, December 26, 1846, a daughter of Isaac Miller, who was born at Winchester, Virginia, of Holland-Dutch ancestry. Mrs. Secrest still survives her honored husband, and is now one of the venerable native daughters of Ohio.
In the public schools of Chillicothe, Mrs. Pyke continued her studies until her graduation from the high school, as a member of the class of 1898, and for three years thereafter she was a student in the Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware. In 1902 she was graduated from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, from which institution she received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Thereafter she gave effective service as teacher of mathematics in the high school at Tuscola, Illinois, and also in that of her old home City of Chillicothe. In 1906, was solemnized her marriage to Arthur B. Pyke, who was born in China, where his parents, Rev. James H. and Belle (Goodrich) Pyke, have been missionaries of the Methodist Episcopal Church continuously since shortly after their marriage. Arthur B. Pyke was graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University and after leaving college he became associated with a carbon manufacturing enterprise at Kokomo, Indiana. Later he joined with the organization of the National Carbon Company at Cleveland, with which he continued his alliance until 1918, since which year he has been successfully engaged in the real estate business in the Cleveland metropolitan field. Mr. and Mrs. Pyke have one son, John Secrest Pyke, who was born December 31, 1906. He graduated from Lakewood High School as valedictorian of the class of 1923, and is now a student in Ohio Wesleyan University, class of '27.
Mrs. Pyke is a member
of the Lakewood Board of Education, to which she was elected first in 1918.
As a speaker for the National League of Woman Voters she travels extensively
and is doing splendid work. She has the distinction of being the only woman
from Ohio to have membership in the national democratic committee, and as a
delegate to the democratic national convention of 1920 she was the first woman
to be thus honored in the annals of American history, with the result that her
appearance in the convention attracted much attention and led to the publication
of her portrait and biography in many of the leading newspapers of the United
States, as well as in numerous papers abroad. At the national convention to
which she was thus a delegate she had charge of the woman's work in advancing
the interests of Governor Cox of Ohio, who was chosen as the candidate for the
presidency. Mrs. Pyke was an unsuccessful candidate for the office of mayor
of Lakewood in 1921, making a brilliant campaign, as did she also for the position
of democratic nominee for the Ohio State Senate in 1923. She was chairman of
the literature committee of the Ohio Federated Clubs during a period of eight
years, and gave four years of service as chairman on the literary department
of the Cleveland Sorosis. In the World War period, Mrs. Pyke was secretary of
the Woman's Committee of Council of National Defense, and also had charge of
an Americanization center during eighteen months. She was the only woman member
of the executive committee on Liberty Bond campaigns. The high civic ideals
of Mrs. Pyke have not been merely a matter of sentiment, but have been translated
into constructive action, in which she has brought to bear the full force of
her splendid and loyal personality. She has significantly honored and been honored
by her native State of Ohio.
MRS. TOWNSEND'S SCRAP BOOK (Page 12)
Of the family of one of the oldest merchants of Cleveland, one of the settlers of East Rockport in the later pioneer days was William Ranney. He was the son of S. Ranney who had a shoe store on Superior Street 70 years ago, to which the old settlers resorted. It stood a few doors east of Bank Street (now West 6th) on the north side of Superior Street and was the elite shoe store of Cleveland, when Superior Street was the shopping center. It was at its height before the time the old viaduct was built in 1878. The only exit to the west side was by steep Superior hill or South Water street now west 9th, to the low level bridge, to the long Detroit Street climb on the west shore. In this shop Will Ranney did some work after leaving school, and later his son did a very little, and the family finally gave up the shoe business to live on its income.
William Ranney was a "wild blade" in his day. Tall, dark and thin, he was extremely popular both for his good looks and his entertaining ways, and this was true in regard to the belles of East Rockport even before his father purchased for him the 25 acres through which Winchester Avenue now runs. He finally married Nellie Winchester of the well known pioneer family. She was one of the handsomest and wittiest of the pioneer set, and so it came that many years later when the estate was allotted, Mr. Ranney named the street after his wife's family.
Mr. Fitch Taylor
Ranney, the only son, and his mother now live in California. William Ranney
died in Cleveland some years ago. Fitch Ranney never married.
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