[From Historical Collections of Ohio, 1849]



CUYAHOGA was formed from Geauga county, June 7th, 1807, and organized in May, 1810. The name was derived from the river, and is said to signify, in the Indian language, " crooked," a term significant of the river, which is very winding, and has its sources farther north than its mouth. The surface is level or gently undulating. Near the lake the soil is sandy, elsewhere generally a clayey loam. The rallies of the streams are highly productive in corn and oats; in other parts, the principal crops are wheat, barley and hay. The County produces a great variety and amount of excellent fruit; also cheese, butter, beef cattle and wool. Bog iron ore is found in the most part, and furnaces are in operation. Excellent grindstone quarries are worked, and grindstones largely exported. The sandstone in these quarries, is beginning to be a prominent article of comerce, being in some cases shipped for building purposes, as far west as Chicago. The following is a list of its townships, in 1840, with their population.





































. The population of Cuyahoga, in 1810, was 1495; in 1820, 6328; in 1830, 10,362, and in 1840, 26,512, or 43 inhabitants to a square mile.

As early as 1755, there was a French station within the present limits of Cuyahoga

mapOn Lewis Evans' map of the middle English colonies, published that year there is marked upon the west bank of the Cuyahoga the words, "French house" which was doubtless the station of a French trader. The ruins of a house supposed to be those of the one alluded to, have been discovered on Foot's farm, in Brooklyn township, about five miles from the mouth of the Cnyahoga. The small engraving annexed, is from the map of Evans delineates the geography as in the original.

 In 1786, the Moravian missionary, Zeisberger with his Indian converts left Detroit and arrived at the mouth of the Cuyahoga, in a vessel called the Mackinaw. From thence, they proceeded up the river about ten miles from the site of Cleveland, and settled in an abandoned village of the Ottawas, within the present limits of Independence, which they called Pilgerruh, i.e. Pilgrim's rest. Their stay was brief for in the April following, they left for Huron river, and settled near the site of Milan, Erie county, at a locality they named New Salem. 

The British, who, after the revolutionary war, refused to yield possession of the lake country west of the Cuyahoga, occupied to its shores until 1790. Their traders had a house in Ohio city, north of the Detroit road, on the point of the hill, near the river, when the surveyors first arrived here in 1790. From an early day, Washington, Jefferson and other leading Virginia statesmen regarded the mouth of the Cuyahoga, as an important commercial position.

The first permanent settlement within the limits of Cuyahoga, was made at Cleveland in the autumn of 1796. On the 4th of July previous, the first surveying party of the Reserve, landed at Conneaut. In September and October, the corps laid out the city, which was named in honor of the land company's agent, Gen. Moses Cleveland.* By the 18th of October, the surveyors quitted the place, leaving Mr. Job V. Stiles and family and Mr. Edward Paine, who were the only persons that passed the winter of 1796 and '7, within the limits of the town. Their lonely residence was a log cabin, which stood near the site of the Commercial bank. The nearest white settlement west, was at the mouth of the Raisin, south or east at Fort M'Intosh, at the mouth of Big Beaver; and northeast, at Conneaut. Those families that wintered at Conneaut, suffered severely for want of food.

The surveying party, on reaching the Resene the succeeding season, again made Cleveland their head quarters. Early this season, Elijah Gunn and Judge Kingsbury, removed here from Conneaut, with their families, and in the fall, the latter removed to Newburg where he still resides, at an advanced age. The little colony was increased also by the arrival of Major Lorenzo Carter and Ezekiel Hawley, with their families.

In 1798, Rodolphus Edwards and Nathaniel Doane, with their families, settled in Cleveland. To faintly show the difficulty of travelling at that time, it is stated that Mr Douane was ninety-two days on his journey from Chatham, Conn. In the latter part of the summer and in the fall, every person in the town was sick, either with the billious fever or the fever and ague. Mr. Doane's family consisted of nine persons: the only one of them having sufficient strength to take care of them and bring a pail of water, was Seth Doane, then a lad of thirteen years of age, and even he had daily attacks of the fever and ague. Such was the severity of the billious fever at that time, that a person having daily attacks of fever and ague, was deemed lucky. There was much suffering for the want of food, particularly that proper for the sick. The only way this family was supplied, for two months or more, was through the exertions of this boy, who daily, after having an attack of the ague, went to Judge Kingsbury's, in Newburg—five miles distant—got a peck of corn mashed it in a hand-mill, waited until a second attack of the ague was over, and then started on his return There was at one time a space of several days when he was too ill to make the trip, during which, turnips comprised about all the vegetables the family had. Fortunately, Major Carter having only the fever was enabled, through the aid of his hounds and trusty rifle, to procure abundance of venison and other wild game. His family being somewhat acclimated, suffered less than that of Mr. Doane. Their situation can scarcely be conceived of at the present day. Destitute of a physician, and with a few medicines, necessity taught them to use such means as nature had placed within their reach. For calomel, they substituted pills from the extract of the bark of the butternut, and in lieu of quinine, used dog wood and cherry bark

 In November, four men, who had so far recovered as to have ague attacks no oftenerthan once in two or three days, started in the only boat for Walnut creek, Pa., to obtain a winter's supply of flour for the colony. When below Euclid creek, a storm arose, drove them ashore, stove their boat in pieces, and it was with difficulty they saved their lives and regained the city. During the winter and summer following, the colony had no flour, except that ground in hand and coffee mills, which, for want of proper means to separate from the bran, was made into a bread similar to that of Grahams. In this summer, the Conn. land company opened the first road on the Reserve, which commenced about ten miles from the lake on the Pennsylvania line, and extended to Cleveland. In January, '99, Mr. Doane moved to Doane's corners, and from that time until April, 1800—a space of fifteen months - Major Carter's was the only white family in Cleveland. During the spring of '99, Wheeler W. Williams, from Norwich, Conn., and Major Wyatt, erected a small grist and saw mill at the falls, on the site of Newburg, which being the first mill on the Reserve, spread joy among the pioneers A short time prior to this, each house in Cleveland had its own hand grist mill, in the chimney corner, which is thus described by one of the early settlers. "The stones were of the common grindstone grit, and about four inches thick and twenty in diameter. The runner was turned by hand, with a pole set in the top of it, near the verge. The upper end of the pole went into another hole inserted into a board nailed on the under side of the Joist, immediately over the hole in the verge of the runner. One person turned the stone, and another fed the corn into the eye with his hands. It was very hard work to grind, and the operators alternately changed places."

 In 1800, several settlers came, among whom were David Clark and Major Amos Spafford , and from this time the town slowy progressed. The first ball in Cleveland, was on the 4thof July,1801,and was held at Major Carter's log cabin,on the side hill, John and Benjamin Wood and R. H. Blinn, managers, and Major Samuel Jones, musician and master of ceremonies. The company consisted of about thirty, of both sexes. Mr. Jones' proficiency on the violin, won him great favor. Notwithstanding the dancers had a rough puncheon floor, and no better beverage to enliven their spirits than whiskey, sweetened with maple sugar, yet it is doubtful if the anniversary of American independence was ever celebrated in Cleveland by a more joyful and harmonious company, than those who danced the scamper-down double-shuffle, western-swing and half:rnoon, forty-six years ago in the log cabin of Major Carter.

The Indians were accustomed, at this period, to meet every autumn at Cleveland, in great numbers, and pile up their canoes at the mouth of the Cuyahoga. From thence they scattered into the interior, and passed the winter in hunting. In the spring, they returned, disposed their furs to traders, and launching their bark canoes upon the lake, returned to their towns, in the region of the Sandusky and Maurnee, where they remained until the succeeding autumn, to raise their crofts of corn and potatoes. In this connection we give an Incident, showing the fearlessness and intrepidity of Major Lorenzo Carter, a native of Rutland, Vt., and a thorough pioneer, whose rough exterior covered a warm heart. Some time in the spring of '99, the Chippewas and Ottawas, to the number of several hundred, having disposed of their furs, determined to have one of their drinking frolics at their camp, on the west bank of the Cuyahooa. As a precautionary measure, they gave up their tomohawks and other deadly weapons to their squaws to secrete, so that in the height of their frenzy, they need not harm each other. They then sent to the Major for whiskey, from time to time, as they wanted it; and in proportion as they became intoxicated, he weakened it with water. After a while, it resulted in the Indians becoming partially sober, from drinking freely of diluted liquor: perceiving the trick, they became much enraged. Nine of them came on to the Major's swearing vengeance on him and family. Carter being apprised of their design, and knowing they were partially intoxicated, felt himself to be fully their match, although possessing but poor weapons of defence. Stationing himself be[h]ind his cabin door with a fire poker, he successively knocked down three or four, as they attempted to enter, and then leaping over their prostrate bodies furiously attacked those on the outside, and drove them to their canoes. Soon after, a deputation of squaws came over to make peace with the Major, when, arming himself, he fearlessly repaired to their camp alone, and settled the difficulty. Such eventually became his influence over the Indians, that they regarded him as a magician, and many of them were made to believe that he could shoot them with a rifle, and not break their skins.

Early in the spring previous, a small boat, containing a Mr. Hunter, wife and child, a colored man named Ben, and a small colored boy, who were moving to Cleveland were overtaken on the lake by a squall of wind, and driven ashore east of Rocky river. The bluff being perpendicular, they mere unable to ascend. They, however, climbed up the rocks as far as possible—the surge constantly beating over them—with the vain hope the the storm would subside; but on Saturday it increased, and during Sunday, Mrs Hunter expired, the children having died previously. On Monday, Mr. Hunter expired. Black Ben held out until Tuesday, when, the storm subsiding, some French traders going in a vessel from Cleveland to Detroit, discovered him, took him aboard, and returned with him to Cleveland. Thus, for three days and four nights, had he been without sleep or food, and with little clothing, exposed to the continued surge, and holding on for life to some small bushes in the crevices of the rocks. Ben was treated with great kindness by Major Carter, in whose family he remained an invalid over a year.

Early the second spring succeeding, a similar incident occurred near the same place. Stephen Gilbert, Joseph Plumb, Adolphus Spafford and Mr. Gilmore started on a fishing expedition, for Maumee river, in a Canadian batteaux. They had aboard some goods and provisions, sent by Major Perry to his son Nathan, at Black river, and a hired woman, named Mary, as a passenger to that place. A Mr. White, of Newburg, and two sons of Mr. Plumb, not arriving in time, started by land for the mouth of Black river, intending to overtake the boat at that point. Pursuing the Indian trail, on the bank of the lake, they discovered, when about half way, the wreck of the boat on the beach, by the rocky shore, about sixty feet below them, in what is now Dover, and near it, Mr. Plumb, seriously injured, and suffering with cold. From him, they learned that a squall of wind had upset their boat, when about a mile from shore, and that all but him had drowned.

They were all good swimmers but Plumb, who luckily got astraddle of the boatafter it had upset, and floated ashore. The others made for the shore, Gilbert telling his companions to divest themselves of their clothing as much as possible: but all their efforts failed, the coldness of the water chilled then, so that they could not swim. Having learned the circumstances from Mr. Plumb, they made every effort to reach him, but were prevented by the steepness of the rocks. Mr. White and one of Mr. Plumb's sons hastened to Black river, to procure means of relief, leaving the other son to comfort his father. After they Ieft, he climbed up an iron-wood sapling, which bent with his weight, and dropping about thirty feet perpendicular, joined his parent. In the night, Quintus F. Atkins and Nathian Perry returned with White, and recovered Mr. Plumb, by hauling him up the bank with a rope, by the light of a torch. This was no easy task for men worn down by by fatigue, Mr Plumb's weight being 220 pounds. The corpses of Gilmer and Spafford were afterwards found and buried at Cleveland; that of the colored woman was discovered and interred at Black river. This was a melancholy event to the colony. Of the eighteen deaths that had taken place among the inhabitants of Cleveland, from the first settlement period of twelve years, eleven had been by drowning. During this time, the nearest settled physicians were at Hudson, 24, and Austinburg, 50 miles.*

On the 26th of June, 1812, an Indian, named O'Mic, was hung for murder, at Cleveland, on the public square. Fearing an attempt at rescue on the part of the Indians, a number of armed citizens from this and the adjoining counties assembled. At the hour of execution, he objected to going upon the scaffold; this difficulty was removed by the promise of a pint of whiskey, which he swallowed, and then took his departure for the land of spirits. In 1813, Cleveland became a depot of supplies and rendezvous for troops engaged in the war. A small stockade was erected at the foot of Ontario street, on the lake bank, and a permanent garrison stationed here, under Major (now General) Jessup,of the US army. The return of peace was celebrated by libations of whiskey and the roar of artillery. One worthy, known as "Uncle Abram," was much elevated on the occasion. He carried the powder in an open tin pail, upon his arm, while another, to touch off a gun, carried a stick with fire at the end, kept alive by swinging it through the air. Amid the general excitement, a spark found its way to Uncle Abram~s powder, about the time the gun was discharged; and his body was seen to rise twenty feet in the air, and return by its own gravity to the earth, blackened and destitute of clothing. He was dead, if his vociferations were to be believed; but they were not, and he soon recovered from his wounds.

CLEVELAND is at the northern termination of the Ohio canal, 139 miles NE. from Columbus, 255 from Cincinnati, 130 from Pittsburg, 190 from Buffalo, 455 from New York, and 130 from Detroit. It was incorporated as a village in 1814, and as a city in 1836. Excepting a small portion of it on the river, it is situated on a gravelly plain, elevated about 100 feet above the lake, of which it has a most commanding prospect. Some of the common streets are 100 feet wide, and the principal business one, Main street, has the extraordinary width of 132 feet. It is one of the most beautiful towns in the Union, and much taste is displayed in the private dwellings and disposition of shrubbery. " The location is dry and healthy, and the view of the meanderings of the Cuyahoga river, and of the steamboats and shipping in the port, and leaving or entering it, and of the numerous vessels on the lake under sail, presents a prospect exceedingly interesting, from the high shore of the lake.

 "Near the canter of the place is a public square of ten acres, divided into four parts, by intersecting streets, neatly enclosed, and shated with trees. The court house and one or two churches front on this square.

"The harbor of Cleveland is one of the best on Lake Erie. It is formed by the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, and improved by a pier on each side, extending 425 yards into the lake, 200 feet apart, and faced with substantial stone masonry. Cleveland is the great mart of the greatest grain-growing state in the Union, and it is the Ohio and Erie canals that have made it such, though it exports much by the way of the Welland canal to Canada. It has a ready connection with Pittsburg, through the Pennsylvania and Ohio canal, which extends from the Ohio canal at Akron to Beaver creek, which enters the Ohio below Pittsburg. The natural advantages of this place are unsurpassed in the west, to which it has a large access by the lakes and the Ohio canal. But the Erie canal constitutes the principal source of its vast advantages; without that great work, it would have remained in its former insignificance." The construction of two contemplated railroads, the first connecting Cleveland with Wellsville, on the Ohio; and the last, with Columbus, will add much to the business facilities of the place.

 The government of the city is vested in a mayor and councils which consists of three members from each of the three wards into which the city is divided, and also an alderman from each ward. The following is a list of the mayors of the city since its organization, with the time of their election: John W. Willey, 1836 and1837; Joshua Mills, 1838 and 1839; Nicholas Dockstader, 1840; John W. Allen, 1841; Joshua Mills, 1842; Nelson Hayward, 1843; Saml. Starkweather, 1844 and 1845; George Hoadley, 1846 and J. A. Harris, 1847.


Medical College

The Cleveland medical college, although established but four or five years, is in a very flourishing condition, and has gained much in public estimation, as to be equalled in patronage by only one or two similar institutions in the west. It has seven professors and all the necessary apparatus and facilities for instruction.

In 1837, the government purchased nine acres on the height overlooking the lake, for the purpose of erecting a marine hospital; up to the present time, but little more than the foundation has been laid. It is to be of Ionic architecture, of hewn stone, and will combine convenience and beauty.

There are in Cleveland a large number of mercantile and mechanical establishments, 4 banks, 3 daily, 6 weekly, and 1 semi-montly newspapers, and 21 religious societies, viz: 3 Episcopal, 2 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Baptist, 1 Catholic, 1 Bethel, 1 Wesleyan Methodist, 1 German Evangelical Protestant, 1 German Mission Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 1 German Evangelical Lutheran, 1 Evangelical Association of North Amererica, 1 Associate Presbyterian, 1 Seceder, 1 Disciples, 1 Jewish, 1 Universalist and 2 Second Advent. The business of the port of Cleveland both by canal and lake, is very heavy, and constantly incrementing. The number of arrivals by lake, in 1845, was 2136; of these 927 were steamers. The tonnage then owned at this port, amounted to 13,493 and number of vessels, of all kinds, 85. The total value of the imports and exports by the lake, was over $9,000,000.

The population of Cleveland on the east side of the Cuyahoga, was in the year 1796,3 ; 1798,16,; 1825, 500 ; 1831, 1100 ;1835, 5080; 1840, 6071, and 1846, 10,135. Of the last, 6780 were natives of the United States; 1472 of Germany; 808 of England; 632 of Ireand. 144 of Canada; 97 of the Isle of Man, and 96 of Scotland.

OHIO CITY is beautifully situated on a commanding eminence on the west side of the Cuyahoga, opposite Cleveland. It was incorporated as a city, March 3d,1836,and its goveronent vested in a mayor and council The city is divided into three wards, and is well laid out and built. There are three churches, viz.: 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist Episcopal and 1 Episcopalian —the last of which is a Gothic structure of great beauty. The population of Ohio city, in 1840, was 1,577, and in 1815, 2,462.

The village of Chagrin Falls is in the new township of the same name, on Chagrin river, 17 miles SE. from Cleveland.

The name Chagrin, originally applied to the river, then to the present village of Willoughy, in Lake county and later to this town, " is supposed to have been derived from the sore disappointment of some surveyors who mistook it for the Cuyahoga river, and followed their respective lines to the lake. It had, however, long been previously known by that name, in consequence, it is said of the wreck and sufferings of a French crew near its mouth, the particulars of which have not been preserved." In Evans, map, published in 1755, the river is called "Elk " Prior to the war of 1812, the Indians were numerous in this vicinity. In July, 1817, a person now living in the village, in company with another, visited the spot and killed a variety of wild game, such as bears, deer, turkeys, &c, and a short distance east, alarmed a drove of from 40 to 50 elk. There were then several ancient mounds and burial places on the village site. On the 1st of April, 1833, two families commenced the foundation of the settlement and on that day the first blow was struck with an axe upon the village site, and shortly after a log house and saw mill built where furnace now stands. In the succeeding fall the town was laid out by Noah Graves and Dr S S. Anderson. It was commenced without cash capital, and has been built up by the indefatigable enterprise of its inhabitants, many of whom are of Connecticut origin. For want of money, and exchange of labor has been extensively practised. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, the village has scarcely an equal in Ohio in its rapid progress from a wilderness to a flourishing town. All that it requires to make it a large place, is a canal or railroad, to furnish transportation facilities to Lake Erie

Chagrin Falls contains 1 Congregational, 1 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Wesleyan Methodist and 1 Free Will Baptist church; 1 academy, 9 mercantile stores, 1 axe and edge tool, 1 sash, 1 wheel and wheel head, 1 wooden bowl and three woolen factories; 1 paper 2 flouring and 3 saw mills; 1 printing office and bindery; 1 furnace and machine establishment, 1 carriage, 2 tin, 3 harness and 3 cabinet shops, and about 1,200 inhabitants. The Cleveland and Pittsburg stages pass through the town, and a carriage daily runs to the former place. Near the village is an inexhaustible grindstone quarry, which is extensively worked. The township of Chagrin Falls was organised in June, 1844, within which, including the village, there is a fall of 225 feet in the river, about one third of which is improved. The view shows the village as it appears from an elevation below, called either the side or slide bank. It was drawn and engraved by Mr. Jehu Brainerd of Cleveland. In the distance represented, the river has about one hundred feet descent.

We introduce an incident in the life of an early settler, a lady who was recently living but a few miles distant from Chagrin Falls

Joel Thorp, with his wife Sarah, moved with an ox team, in May, '99, from North Haven, Connecticut, to Millsford, in Ashtabula county, and were the first settlers in the region. They soon had a small clearing on and about an old beaver dam, which was very rich and mellow. Towards the first of June, the family being short of provisions, Mr Thorp started off alone to procure some through the wilderness, with no guide but a pocket compass, to the nearest settlement, about 20 miles distant, in Pennsylvania. His family consisting, of Mrs. Thorp and three children, the oldest child, Basil, being but eight years of age, were before his return reduced to extremities for the want of food. They were compelled, in a measure, to dig for and subsist on roots, which yielded but little nourishment. The children in vain asked food, promising to be satisfied with the least portion. The boy Basil remembered to have seen some kernels of corn in a crack of the logs of the cabin, and passed hours in an unsuccessful search for them. Mrs Thorp emptied the straw out of her bed and picked it over to obtain the little wheat it contained which she boiled and gave to her children. Her husband, it seems, had taught her to shoot at a mark, in which she acquired great skill. When all her means for procuring food were exhausted, she saw, as she stood in her cabin door, a wild turkey flying near. She took down her husband's rifle, and, on looking for ammunition, was surprised only sufficient for a small charge. Carefully cleaning the barrel, so as not to lose any by its sticking to the sides as it went down, she set some apart for priming and loaded the piece with the remainder, and started in pursuit of the turkey, reflecting that on her depended the lives of herself and children. Under the excitement of her feelings she came near defeating her object, by frightening the turkey, which flew a short distance and again alighted in a potato patch. Upon this, she returned to the house and waited until the fowl had begun to wallow in the loose earth. On her second approach, she acted with great caution and coolness, creeping slyly on her hands and knees frown log to log until she had gained the last obstruction between herself and the desired object. It was now a trying moment, and a crowd of emotions passed through her mind as she lifted the rifle to a level with her eye. She fired; the result was fortunate: the turkey was killed and herself and family preserved from death by her skill. Mrs. Thorp married three times. Her first husband was killed, in Canada, in the war of 1812, her second was supposed to have been murdered. Her last husband's name was Gardiner. She died in Orange, in this county Nov. 1st, 1846.

Bedford, on the Pittsburg road, 12 miles from Cleveland, has 1 Methodist and 1 Disciples church; 3 stores, 1 flouring and 3 saw millS, 1 woolen factory and about 80 dwellings. Newlberg, 6 miles from Cleveland, on the same road with the above, has 1 Presbyterian and 1 Methodist church and a few dwellings. Euclid, a beautiful village, 8 miles east of Cleveland, has 1 Presbyterian, 1 Disciples church, 1 academy, 4 stores and 42 dwellings. Two miles east of it is the smaller village of East Euclid, which has 1 Baptist and 1 Methodist church. The Presbyterian church at Euclid, built in 1817, was the first frame meeting-house, with a spire, erected on the Reserve.

The township of Euclid (says the Barr MSS.) was purchased of the Western Reserve Land Company under peculiar circumstances. While the surveyors of the Reserve were about to commence operations, they found some disposition among their men in camp to strike for higher wages. To settle this difficulty, Gen. Cleveland, the agent, agreed that a township should be surveyed and set apart, so that each individual of the party who should desire might have the privilege of purchasing a lot on long credit and at a stipulated price. This settled the difficulty, and this township was the one selected. In 1798, Joseph Burke and family, and in 1801, Timothy Doane and family, settled in Euclid.

Albion and Strongville are two connecting villages, scattered along on the Cleveland and Columbus road, about 14 miles from the cornier, and contain 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist, 1 Baptist and 1 Episcopal church; 3 stores, 1 woolen factory and about 80 dwellings. On the same road, about 4 miles from Cleveland, and separated by a creek, are the small villages of Brooklyn Centre and Brighton, jointly containing 1 Presbyterian and 2 Methodist churches. In the western part of the county, on branches of Rocky river, are the small but thriving manufacturing villages of Norris Falls and Boreal Rockport, Doan's Corners and Warrensville, are small places. At or near the latter, is a settlement of Manksa term applied to natives of the Isle of Man.


*1 GEN. MOSES CLEVELAND was born in Canterbury, Conn., about the year graduated at Yale College, in 1777. He was bred a lawyer, and practised his in his native town. He married a sister of Gen. Henry Champion, of Colchester at Canterbury, in 1806, leaving a large fortune. He was a man of note among his towns-men, and often represented them in the legislature of Connecticut. In person, medium stature, thick set and portly, and of a very dark complexion.

*2 The preceding part of this historical sketch, is mainly from the MSS. of John Barr Esq., of Cleveland, who is collecting materials for a history of the Western Reserve



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