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MEDINA COUNTY

 

Page 199

MEDINA COUNTY was formed February 18, 1812, "from that part of the Reserve west of the 11th range, south of the numbers 5, and east of the 20th range, and attached to Portage county until organized." It was organized in April, 1818.The county was settled principally from Connecticut, though within the last few years there has been a considerable accession of Germans. The surface is generally rolling, with much bottom land of easy tillage; the soil is principally clay and gravelly loam—the clayey portion scantily watered, the gravelly abundantly. The soil is better adapted to grass than grain.

 

Area about 400 square miles. In 1887 the acres. cultivated were, 103,232; in pasture, 80,523; woodland, 34,475; lying waste, 427; produced in wheat, 391,559 bushels; rye, 641; buckwheat, 54; oats, 647,262; barley, 414; corn, 447,268; broom-corn, 3,240 lbs. brush; meadow hay, 26,527 tons; clover hay, 14,785; flax, 362,664 lbs. fibre,, potatoes, 68,019 bushels; tobacco, 87,311 lbs.; butter, 847,995; cheese,          860,715; maple sugar, 92,162; honey, 17,140; eggs, 472,338 dozen; grapes, 5,200 pounds; wine, 5 gallons; sweet potatoes, 20 bushels; apples, 71,504; peaches, 4,807; pears, 1,160; wool, 241,748 pounds; milch cows owned, 8,828. Ohio mining statistics, 1888: Coal mined, 198,452 tons; employing 370 miners and 43 outside employees. School census, 1888, 6,572; teachers, 273. Miles of railroad track, 48.

 

Township

And Census

1840

1880

 

Township

And Census

1840

1880

Brunswick

1,110

   943

 

Liverpool

1,502

1,339

Chatham

   555

1,006

 

Medina

1,435

1,849

Granger

   954

1,008

 

Montville

   915

1,304

Guilford

1,402

1,872

 

Sharon

1,314

1,995

Harrisville

1,256

1,382

 

Spencer

   551

   898

Hinckley

1,287

   962

 

Wadsworth

1,481

2,837

Homer

   660

   863

 

Westfield

1,037

1,045

La Fayette

   938

1,105

 

York

   782

   992

Litchfield

   787

   853

 

 

 

 

 

 

Population of Medina in 1820 was 3,090; 1830, 7,560; 1840, 18,360; 1860, 22,517; 1880, 21,543, of whom 15,111 were born in Ohio; 1,805, Pennsylvania; 1,379, New York; 68, Kentucky; 57, Virginia; 18, Indiana; 590, England and Wales; 587, German Empire; 144, British America; 125, Ireland; 66, Scotland; and 39, France. Census, 1890, 21,742.

 

The first regular settlement in the county was made at Harrisville, on the 14th of February, 1811, by Joseph HARRIS, Esq., who removed from Randolph, Portage county, with his family, consisting of his wife and one child. The nearest white people were at Wooster, seventeen miles distant.

 

The first trail made through the county north, toward the lake, was from Wooster, a short time after the declaration of war with Great Britain. The party consisted of George POE (son of Adam, the Indian fighter), Joseph H. LARWILL (a famous surveyor of Wayne county), and Roswell M. MASON. They carried their provision in packs, and laid out the first night on their blankets in the open air, on the south side of "the big swamp." It was amusing, as they lay, to listen to the howling of the wolves, and hear the raccoons catch frogs and devour them, making, in their mastication, a peculiar and inimitable noise, which sounded loud in the stillness of the night. In the course of the evening they heard bells of cattle north of them, and in the morning discovered the settlement of Mr HARRIS. From thence they proceeded down to the falls of Black river, at what

 

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is now Elyria, and at the mouth of the stream found a settler, named READ, whose habitation; excepting that of Mr. HARRIS, was the only one between there and Wooster.

 

In the June following Mr. HARRIS’S arrival he was joined by Russell BURR and George BURR and family, direct from Litchfield, Conn. In the summer after, on the breaking out of the war, Messrs. HARRIS and BURR removed their families for a few months to Portage county, from fear of the Indians, and returned themselves in October to Harrisville. The following winter provision was carried from the Middlebury mills, by the residence of Judge HARRIS, to Fort Stephenson, his cabin being the last on the route. The season is adverted to by the old settlers as "the cold winter." Snow lay to the depth of eighteen inches, from the lst of January to the 27th of February, during which the air was so cold that it did not diminish an inch in depth during the whole time.

 

An Indian trail from Sandusky to the Tuscarawas passed by the residence of Mr. HARRIS. It was a narrow, hard-trodden bridle-path. In the fall the Indians came upon it from the west to this region, remained through the winter to hunt and returned in the spring, their horses laden with furs, jerked venison and bear's oil, the last an extensive article of trade. The horses were loose and followed each other in single file. It was not uncommon to see a single hunter returning with as many as twenty horses laden with his winter's work and usually accompanied by his squaw and papooses, all mounted. The Indians often built their wigwams in this vicinity, near water, frequently a dozen within a few rods. They were usually made of split logs or poles covered with bark. Some of the chiefs had theirs made of flags, which they rolled up and carried with them. The Indians were generally very friendly with the settlers, and it was rare to find one deficient in mental acuteness.

 

In the fall of the same year that Mr. HARRIS settled at Harrisville, William LITEY, a native of Ireland, with his family, settled in Bath township, on or near the border of Portage county. In the winter of 1815, after the close of the war, the settlements began to increase. Among the early settlers are recollected the names of Esquire VAN HEINEN Zenas HAMILTON, Rufus FERRIS, James MOORE, the INGERSOLLS, Jones, SIBLEYS, FRIEZES, ROOTS, DEMINGS, Warner, HOYT, DEAN and DURHAM

 

Medina in 1846.—Medina, the county-seat, is on the stage road from Cleveland to Columbus, twenty-eight miles from the first and one hundred and seventeen from the latter. It was originally called Mecca—and is so marked on the early maps of Ohio—from the Arabian city famous as the birth-place of Mahomet. it was afterwards changed to its present name, being the seventh place on the globe of that name. The others are, Medina, a town of Arabia Deserta, celebrated as the burial-place of Mahomet; Medina, the capital of the kingdom of Woolly, West Africa; Medina, a town and fort on the island of Bahrein, near the Arabian shore of the Persian gulf. Medina, a town in Estremadura, Spain; Medina, Orleans county, N. Y., and Medina, Lenawee county, Michigan.

 

On the organization of the county in 1818, the first court was held in a barn, now standing half a mile north of the court-house. The village was laid out that year, and the next season a few settlers moved in. The township had been previously partially settled. In 1813 Zenas HAMILTON moved into the central part with his family, from Danbury, Conn. His nearest neighbor was some eight or ten miles distant. Shortly after came the families of Rufus FERRIS, Timothy DOANE, Lathrop SEYMOUR, James MOORE, Isaac BARNES, Joseph NORTHROP, Friend IVES, Abijah MANN, James PLAMER, William PAINTER, Frederick APPLETON etc., etc.

 

Rev. Roger SEARLE, an Episcopalian, was the first clergyman, and the first church was in the eastern part of the township where was then the most population, It was a log structure, erected in 1817. One morning all the materials.

 

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were standing, forming a part of the forest, and in the afternoon Rev. Mr. SEARLE preached a sermon in the finished church.*

 

From an early day religious worship in some form was held in the township on the Sabbath. The men brought their families to "meeting" in ox-teams, in which they generally had an axe and an anger to mend their carts in case of accidents, the roads being very bad. The first wedding was in March, 1818, at which the whole settlement were present. When the ceremony and rejoicings were over each man lighted his flambeau of hickory bark and made his way home through the forest. The early settlers got their meal ground at a log-mill at Middlebury; although but about twenty miles distant, the journey there and back occupied five days. They had only ox-teams, and the rough roads they cut through the woods, after being passed over a few times, became impassable from mud, compelling them to continually open new ones.

 

Owing to the want of a market the products of agriculture were very low. Thousands of bushels of wheat could at one time be bought for less than twenty-five cents per bushel, and cases occurred where ten bushels were offered for a single pound of tea, and refused. As an example: Mr. Joel BLAKESLEE, of Medina, about the year 1822, sowed fifty-five acres in wheat, which he could only sell by bartering with his neighbors. He fed out most of it in bundles to his cattle and swine. All that he managed to dispose of for cash was a small quantity sold to a traveller, at 122 cents per bushel, as feed for his horse. Other products were in proportion. One man brought an ox-wagon filled with corn from Granger, eight miles distant, which he gladly exchanged for three yards of satinet for a pair of pantaloons. It was not until the opening of the Erie canal that the settlers had a market.

 

From that time the course of prosperity has been onward. The early settlers, after wearing out their woollen pantaloons, were obliged to have them seated and kneed with buckskin, in which attire they attended church. It was almost impossible to raise wool, in consequence of the abundance of wolves, who destroyed the sheep.

 

The view given on the annexed page of the public square in Medina was taken from the steps of the new court-house; the old court-house and the Baptist church are seen on the right. The village contains 1 Presbyterian, 1 Episcopal, 1 Bap­tist, 1 Free Will Baptist, 1 Methodist and 1 Universalist church, 7 dry goods, 5 grocery, 1 book and 2 apothecary stores, 1 newspaper printing office, 1 woollen and 1 axe factory, 1 flouring mill, 1 furnace, and had, in 1840, 655 inhabitants, since which it has increased.—Old Edition.

 

MEDINA, county-seat of Medina, twenty-eight miles southwest of Cleveland, about one hundred miles northeast of Columbus, is the centre of a farming region, the principal products of which are grain, butter and cheese. It is on the C. L. & W. R. R.

 

County Officers, 1888: Auditor, Alfred L. CORMAN; Clerk, Nicholas VAN EPP Commissioners, Richard FREEMAN, John PEARSON, Noah N. YODER; Coroner, Aaron SANDERS; Infirmary Directors, William F. NYE, Henry MILLS, Samuel B. CURTIS; Probate Judge, John T. GRAVES; Prosecuting Attorney, Jesse W. SEYMOUR; Recorder, Jacob LONG; Sheriff, Norman P. NICHOLS; Surveyor, Amos D. SHELDON; Treasurer, Joseph HEBEL. City officers, 1888 : F. O. PHILLIPS, Mayor; Hiram GOODWIN, Clerk; Wm. F. SIPHER, Treasurer; Frank HEATH, Solicitor; John ESDATE, Street Commissioner; S. FRAZIER, Marshal. Newspapers: Medina County Gazette and News, Republican, GREEN & NEIL, editors and publishers; Sentinel, Democrat, M. L. DORMAN, editor and publisher; Gleanings in Bee Culture, A. I. ROOT, editor and publisher. Churches: 1 Congregational, l Episcopal,

________________________

* Father Finley, in his autobiography published by the Methodist Book Concern in 1853, states, "Mr. Howe, in his History of Ohio, says: `The first sermon preached in Medina township was by an Episcopal clergyman,' but it was a fact that Mr. (John C.) Brooke had preached there the year before, and had a regular preaching place."

 

Page 202

 

Top Picture

“How doth the busy bee

Improve each shining hour!”

 

BEE-HIVE FACTORY, MEDINA.

 

Middle Picture

Drawn by Henry Howe in 1846.

 

PUBLIC SQUARE, MEDINA.

 

Bottom Picture

A. G. Erwin, Photo., Medina, 1887.

 

PUBLIC SQUARE, MEDINA.

 

Page 203

 

1 Methodist, l Disciples, 1 Baptist, 1 Catholic. Bank: Phoenix National, J. H. ALBRO, president, R. M. McDOWELL, cashier.

 

Manufactures and Employees.— H. Brown & Co., planing mill, 14 hands; A. B. Bishop, carriages and wagons, 6; George Weber & Co., stove hollow-ware, 25; A. I. Root, bee supplies, 96; Medina Carriage Co., carriages and wagons, 4; Hickox Brothers, planing mill, 3; O. C. Shepard, flour and feed, 3.—State Report, 1888. Population in 1880, 1,484. School census, 1888, 505; J. R. KENNAN, school superintendent. Census, 1890, 2,073.

 

Medina has an extensive bee culture interest, combining the cultivation of bees with the manufacture of implements connected therewith. Its beginnings and growth are related in the catalogue of A. I. ROOT, whose immense establishment covers nearly three acres of land. The grounds are beautifully laid out with shrubbery and vines, and contain nearly one thousand hives of bees. Says Mr. ROOT:

 

In 1865 a swarm of bees chanced to pass overhead where I was working. A fellow-workman asked what I would give for them. I answered, "A dollar," little dreaming that he would succeed in getting them. 'To my astonishment, he returned with the swarm. With this as a nucleus of what is now a large business, I began the study of bees in earnest. In spite of the fact that some of my good friends assured me that "bees didn't pay any more" and in spite of the usual blunders of a beginner, my apiary began to increase, and my enthusiasm developed into the unmistakable" bee-fever." In 1867 from 20 stocks I took the first thousand pounds of honey ever taken with an extractor, and increased to 35. In 1869 I extracted 6,162 pounds of honey from 48 colonies, and sold the product at 25 cents per pound. As the hives then in use were ill adapted for the extractor, I saw no other way than to manufacture the implements I recommended. The sale of supplies gradually developed into a very extensive business, until at the present time this establishment's capacity is about 1,000 hives per day, besides a large amount of other work. A newspaper is published devoted to bee culture interests, and the shipments during the busy season sometimes aggregate a car-load and a half by freight and a car-load of express matter per day.  It is the largest establishment of the kind in the Union.

 

We are indebted to Captain Milton P. PEIRCE for several valuable articles upon early events in the history of this region which here follow. The first is upon the "GREAT HINCKLEY HUNT," which he originally published in the American Field, of Chicago, January 4, 1890. It is reproduced, together with the engraving, which, of itself, is an oddity, inasmuch as the artist represents the Western Reserve farmers going hunting in dressing gowns and with such countenances as one might have found among the bogs of the Emerald Isle, but then there is compensation in the natural aspect of the bears, wolves, panthers, turkeys, etc.

 

Probably the most successful well-managed hunt for wild game ever known in this country occurred December 24, 1818, in the county of Medina, Ohio. Several accounts of the matter were published many years ago, but quite imperfect, particularly in introductory matter.

 

The first settlement of the Western Reserve was made at Cleveland, and a large portion of the tract was sold by townships, each five miles square, to numerous wealthy residents of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Many of these parties gave their own names to townships owned by them. Judge HINCKLEY, of Northampton, Mass., owned three townships, one of which took his name. This is the northeast township of Medina county, and the centre of the township is about fifteen miles due south from the city of Cleveland. It was heavily timbered, and this forest was full of game, embracing bears, deer, wolves, panthers, turkeys and a great variety of smaller game. It was settled mainly by Massachusetts and Connecticut people, mostly agriculturists. Comparatively few of these people had a penchant for hunting, but those who did were never excelled as hunters. They had the beat of arms and knew how to use them.

 

The writer of this sketch was born in the Green Mountain range, in Western Massachusetts, and, being left an orphan at an early, age, was brought by relatives to the Western Reserve while a small boy, over fifty years ago. Immense quantities of game were still left, but before I was large enough to manage a rifle the bears and wolves were one. But I had an opportunity to shoot a few deer and many wild turkeys. I never lost an opportunity to spend an evening with

 

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some of the old hunters many of whom still lived in the region, and I never tired hearing them relate their hunting experiences. The more notable of these is as vividly impressed upon my memory as it was the neat day after hearing it. I knew several of those who participated in the celebrated Hinckley hunt, and particularly one man who was one season a "mouth band" upon our farm, and a thoroughly reliable man. This man was about twenty years of age at the time of the hunt and remembered the details vividly. In the different accounts of the hunt which I heard from the lips of the participators, as well as those which I have read, there has been but little variation, and that caused by the fact that at the commencement of the "drive" these men were on different lines, five miles apart, and the incidents naturally varied somewhat.

 

It is proper to state here that these New England settlers were thoroughly accustomed to raising sheep while in their native States, and they very naturally desired to engage in the industry at their new homes, but were seriously embarrassed by reason of the superabundance of wolves. Their pig-pens were also frequently raided by bears. I can myself remember when over one hundred sheep were killed by wolves in one night, upon a few farms in our immediate neighborhood, our own flock suffering. And I vividly remember that my thumbs and fingers subsequently suffered from "pulling the wool" from the same sheep. In the early days of sheep-raising upon the "Reserve," quite a number of hunts were organized, in which quite large tracts of forest were surrounded by the settlers and many bears, wolves and deer were killed. Quite a number of persons were also wounded by careless firing of guns, and one or more killed.

 

Judge HINCKLEY made no effort to dispose of the lands in the township bearing his name for some years and each of the adjoining townships had, by 1818, gained a good many settlers who cleared numerous tracts of land. Hinckley was still an unbroken, virgin forest of the heaviest timber, and became a harbor for large game which devastated the surrounding settlements. It was not unusual for a settler to lose his entire little flock of sheep in a single night, even though penned within the shadow of his buildings. Finally, late in the fall of 1818, quite a number of meetings were held in the townships surrounding Hinckley, to make arrangements for a war of extermination upon the bears and wolves. Committees were appointed, and the various committees met for consultation, and made arrangements for a grand hunt which should embrace the entire township of Hinckley and forest hinds adjacent thereto. Four captains were appointed, one of whom had supreme command of the entire battalion. Surveyors blazed a line of trees upon a circle half a mile around the centre of the township. The programme, which was advertised in various ways so that it was fully known for twenty miles in every direction around Hinckley, was as follows: The drive was to take place on December 24. Able-bodied men and large boys joining in the hunt were to assemble as follows: Those from Cleveland, Newburg and Royalton and adjacent neighborhoods, on the north line of the township of Hinckley. Those from Brecksville, Richfield and adjacent neighborhoods, on the east line. Those from Bath, Granger and adjacent neighborhoods, on the south line. Those from Medina, Brunswick, Liverpool and adjacent neighborhoods, on the west line. All were instructed to be on the ground at sunrise.

 

As the last war with Great Britain had closed only three years before, there were plenty of officers who understood the handling of such bodies of men. Most families also had serviceable muskets, such as the laws of their respective States had required each able-bodied man between the ages of eighteen and forty-five to own. But still, there were not sufficient firearms to go round. Bayonets were mounted upon poles, butcher-knives and improvised lances were similarly mounted and some carried axes, while many carried hatchets and butcher-knives in waist belts. It should be understood that the virgin forests of that region were of large timber, few with limbs nearer than thirty feet from the ground, and as there was but little underbrush in the forest, it was practicable to drive a team with sled, wherever there were no streams to interfere. Many of those from a distance came on sleds, and some reached the ground on the evening of December 23. Nearly six hundred men and large boys were on the lines at sunrise, eager for a start for a few deer and turkeys had been killed before reaching the lines, and many had been driven in.

 

Soon after sunrise the commanding officer gave the words, "All ready!" The words were loudly repeated around the lines to the right, and came round to the starting point in just forty seconds, showing a good organization. Many of the boys and some of the men were provided with horns and conch-shells, and most of them with sonorous voices. The signal to start was by the horns, shouts, etc. The captains and their assistants along each line kept their lines properly spaced (like skirmishers) and each line made its share of noise. In a few moments deer began to show themselves along Many all the lines, but were quickly fired upon. Many escaped, but about one hundred had been killed before the half-mile limit had been reached; also, a few turkeys.

 

By previous arrangement, a general halt was made at the line of blazed trees, half a mile from the centre of the township. There was occasionally a large fallen tree, the top of which afforded hiding-places for the bears and deer. All such within the circle were subsequently found to be occupied by these animals, too much frightened to show fight. Quite a number of dogs had been led by boys and men who did not have firearms. Deer were to be seen running in every direction within the circle, and occasionally a bear or

 

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THE GREAT HINCKLEY HUNT, DEC. 24, 1818.

 

 

206

 

wolf. The signal, were released and soon created great commotion within the circle created great deer made constant attempts to break through the cordon of men and most of them were shot upon nearing circle. The officers constantly cautioned men not to fire, except toward the centre. Finally, after the fire had slackened materially and upon a given signal, the most experienced hunters, previously selected, advanced toward the centre with orders to kill all the bears and wolves, if they could without endangering each other or those in the lines. They soon succeeded in killing most of those animals within the circle. Then, upon signal, the hunters climbed trees in order to make plunging shots and not endanger those in the circular line, who were ordered to advance upon the centre without firing, except after an animal had succeeded in passing through the line. A stream, now frozen over and with high banks, was soon reached by a portion of the line. An excellent hiding-place was afforded by this stream, and bear, wolves, deer and turkeys were found under the edge of its banks. As plunging shots could be safely fired here, a lively rattle of musketry took place, and most of the game there hidden was killed. The hunters in the central trees were now kept busy, and many with muskets and ammunition joined them as the line doubled and trebled in ranks by concentration. Finally, late in the afternoon the slaughter ceased, as the game was all killed. Most of the turkeys saved themselves by dint of their wings, but several were killed; one was killed by a farmer with a long-handled hay-fork, as it flew low over his head. Several deer were killed with bayonets, pikes, hay-forks, etc., while jumping over the heads of those forming the circle.

 

Orders were then given to each line to return and bring all the game into the centre. The boys and old men had kept the teams well up to the lines, and these were brought into requisition where necessary. The first work in order was the gathering and scalping of the wolves, for their scalps had a fixed cash value (a $15. bounty, according to legend), and a trustworthy man was started with these (with horse and sled), to purchase sundry supplies. He returned before dark, and found over 400 men awaiting his coming. Over fifty of the men and most of the boys had returned home to do the chores. The game had all been collected at the centre and counted. A large bear had been dressed and prepared for a barbecue, and was being roasted, when the man returned with the supplies. Said supplies were quickly set upon one head while the other head was as quickly knocked in with an ax. Tin cups were brought into requisition with surprising rapidity. Soon the fat was dripping copiously from the roasting bear, and one of the lively men, rendered extra frisky perhaps by the cheering nature of the supplies just partaken of, cut off a large chunk of the fat and ran a muck through the crowd, oiling scores of faces in a hasty attempt to oil hair and whiskers. Bears' oil was known to be specially beneficial for both hair and whiskers, and several others who had already tested its efficacy for a few minutes also sliced off lumps of, the fat and showed a willingness to let all share in the benefits of the high-toned unguent. Within a very brief space of time every person in the crowd knew how it was himself, and every face glistened in the glare of the fires now blazing around the camp, for it had by this time become a full-fledged camp for the night. Those who came prepared to stay all night had ample supplies of cakes, bread, salt, etc., and, with an ample supply of bear and venison meat, enjoyed a rare game feast as well as a night of hilarity seldom experienced, even during the lifetime of the average frontiersman. All accounts agree that, among that entire party, not one became intoxicated, but the old survivors (and there are several still living) say it was because of the honest whisky made in those days.

 

A beautiful Christmas morning dawned upon the jolly campers, who were soon visited by numerous parties from surrounding settlements, and some even from twenty or more miles away, who had come to see the game and to spend a jolly Christmas, make acquaintances among neighboring settlers, and have a rare time generally. And they scored a decided success.

 

A committee was appointed to make an equitable division of the game, which they did among the four parties forming the four lines that surrounded the township the previous morning. The few deer which were killed outside the township lines, while the parties were coming to their respective lines in the early morning, were not brought in, but were taken on the return home by those who killed them. An accurate enumeration of the game collected at the centre resulted as follows: seventeen wolves, twenty-one bears, 300 deer. The few turkeys killed were not taken into account, they being taken home by parties returning the first night. A few foxes and coons were killed, but were not taken into account. When a part of the line reached the frozen stream where the large accumulation of game was hiding, a load of buckshot fired from a musket at a glancing angle happened to be in range of a man at a considerable distance away, and he received a buckshot in the shoulder and another in the leg, both flesh wounds, painful but not dangerous. There was no other casualty whatever.

 

During the past fifty years the writer has read sufficient hunting literature to form several large volumes, and doubts whether there has ever been recorded so successful a hunt in America, or one so well planned and managed.

 

Page 207

MODE OF CLEARING OFF THE VIRGIN FORESTS.

When the hardy sons of New England reached the Western Reserve they were confronted by dense forests of gigantic timber, of which the land had to be cleared before it could be cultivated. The first work after locating the farm was to clear away a few trees and build a cabin. Once established therein, the herculean task of clearing the forest commenced. Although inured to hard work, but few of these settlers had had much experience in clearing off virgin forests, and trees were cut one at a time, the brush and limbs piled into huge heaps, trunks cut into logging lengths, and the land thus cleared sown with grain. It sometimes took a single man from three to four weeks to chop down a single acre of hard-wooded forest.

 

Soon after the grain had been harvested and during a dry spell the brush and log heaps were fired. The brush heaps were soon consumed, but the log heaps required weeks of laborious attendance unless the weather remained dry. The logs required constant rolling together and repiling, which was heavy and dirty work.

 

The second year some attempt was made to plow between the stumps and break off such roots as were sufficiently rotted. These were piled, and when dried were burned. The second crops were generally corn, with sufficient potatoes for family use.

 

After fifteen or twenty acres had been cleared as described, a different plan was generally adopted, namely, that of "slashing." This was a more rapid and cheaper plan, but required an expert to manage it successfully.

 

Slashing Described.—The slasher carefully studied his field of operations to ascertain which aide the prevailing winds would strike with the greatest force. He then examined the trees, especially their tops, to learn whether they were bushy or not. Depending now upon his judgment as to the width of the strip which he can surely embrace in his "windrow," he commences on the leeward aide of the tract, chopping the trees perhaps half, one-third, or one-fourth off at the stump, the amount of chip or "kerf " taken out depending upon the inclination of the tree. Continuing backward toward the windward side of the tract, he thus cuts notches of greater or less depth in all the trees over a tract of about thirty feet in width, deepening the notches as he approaches the windward side of the tract. These notches are cut so that in falling the trees will incline toward the middle of the at If, upon finishing the notching of the entire strip, the wind is favorable, the last large tree selected for a "starter" is felled against its neat neighbor in line, which in turn falls against its neighbor, and so on until a terrific crashing is inaugurated which commands the instant attention of every living thing in sight or hearing. The indescribable crashing may continue for some minutes, if the tract is a long one. The noise is appalling, and only equalled by that of a terrific cyclone sweeping through an immense forest. When all is still, a marvellous change has come over the scene. Where a few minutes before stood a wide expanse of virgin forest, a mighty swath has been cut as though some giant reaper had been mowing the forest as a farmer does his grain. Rising several feet above the earth, there appears a prodigious abatis, which would arrest the onset of the mightiest army. In this manner the slashing progresses, strip by strip, until the entire tract lays in, windrows. The brief time required to slash a given tract seems incredible to those who are not familiar with this branch of forest pioneer work. Two shashers, accustomed to working to ether,. will fell more than double the area of forest that either one can alone. Good workmen will average about one acre per day, if the timber is heavy—and the heavier the better. Two workmen can in company slash twenty acres in nine days.

 

It was rarely that an expert slasher could be induced to undertake less than ten acres certainly not without a materially increased price, because it would be impossible to slash five acres in half the time required to slash ten acres.

 

Slashings are usually allowed to lay two or three years, when, during a dry spell of weather and with a favorable wind, they are fired. If the tract is a large one, several men and boys commence firing simultaneously. After the fire has done its work, the remaining trunks of trees are cut into logging lengths. This is sometimes done with the age, and sometimes they are "niggered" off.

 

Niggering consists in laying large poles or small logs crosswise on top of the large logs, and kindling a fire at the junction. Although the fire soon burns off the pole or upper log, it also eats rapidly into the under log. When the upper one is nearly off, it is slipped along a foot or more, and the process is repeated. By "sawing" the upper piece in the burned kerf of the lower one, the charred portions are rubbed off, and the fire takes hold with renewed activity, rapidly cutting off the lower log. One experienced. man can attend to quite a large area, and, nigger off faster than the best chopper could do the same work with an axe.

 

Logging-Bee—After settlements were well established it was the custom to hold "logging bees” in most neighborhoods. These were occasions for rare fun. A keg of whiskey was usually the leading factor in these "bees."

 

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The women of the household prepared large baskets of fried cakes and old-time gingerbread, such as none but Yankee women knew how to make. All the men, boys and ox-teams of the neighborhood were assembled in the logging-field, and divided into "teams." A logging-team consisted of a yoke of oxen, their driver, two "lever men," and two boys to handle the chain and assist with levers. A first-class logging-bee had two captains, who chose sides, the field was divided and a choice settled by flipping a penny. The captain winning the choice gave the word, and the work commenced in earnest. The captains selected the points for the log heaps, preferably where several logs could be piled without hauling. The teamster sought the nearest log, and as he turned his team to the proper end, one of the chain-boys carried the end of the chain to the end of the log, where the other boy seized it three or, four feet from the end, and the two drew it under the log, which had already been raised sufficiently for the purpose by the two lever men. The chain was quickly "hitched," and the team as quickly started for the pile. The lever men had properly placed the "skids" before leaving the pile, and by the time the boys had the chain unfastened the lever men had the log rolling to its position on the pile. The large logs were systematically laid at the bottom, the captains keeping a sharp eye out for every possible advantage.

 

Jollities.—By the time the whiskey had passed around two or three times, the charcoal blacking began, especially upon the faces of all. Not a white spot permitted to remain on man or boy. Even the white spots on the oxen were carefully blackened. It was a part of the program to test the capacity of each side for making a noise. All was bluster and commotion. Even the sluggish oxen entered into the spirit of the occasion and frequently snapped strong chains when their log chanced to strike a root or other obstruction. There were generally among the lever men a few of the strolling, rough element of frontiersmen, who scented every logging-bee in their region. They filled themselves with whiskey and sometimes a fight was the result, but on the Reserve there was generally a constable or justice, or both, present at the gatherings, and fighting was promptly supressed. The "bee" usually wound up with such recreation as wrestling, jumping and rifle-shooting. The quantity of logs piled at these bees would appear incredible to any one who had never witnessed the operations.

 

Potash establishments were generally located in most of the considerable settlements, and as soon as the log-heaps were burned, the ashes were gathered and leached and the lye boiled down to crude potash, thus creating a staple article of commerce.

 

Clearing off Stumps.—After all the fatiguing work heretofore described, the ground was not in proper condition for the plough. Stumps had to be cleared out and this took years. The smaller ones from time to time were pulled out and burned, but the large, deep-rooted ones were allowed to decay or burned during a dry spell and the roots ploughed out when sufficiently decayed. After the year 1900 but few persons will be left on the Reserve who can form an adequate conception of the years of toil required to clear the forests from that vast fertile area.

 

Some years elapsed before crops of grass could be secured. Little progress was made in "dairying," now such an important industry on the Western Reserve. The plan essentially as described by Mr. PELTON had to suffice for the pioneer stock. Mr. PELTON was one of the early settlers in Litchfield, Medina county, and once told me how he managed his cattle. He got a better start with cattle than most of the neighboring settlers, as he drove from the East several head of young cattle with two or three milch cows for immediate use. The first year they lived almost entirely in the woods, but such trees as bore tender shoots relished by the cattle were almost daily felled for them to feed upon. The straw from the first crop of grain was carefully stacked by the cabin and surrounded by an open fence which would permit the cattle to get their heads between the poles and barely reach the straw. A little brine was now sprinkled upon the straw and the cattle allowed to get a good taste of it. In the meantime fresh trees were felled at the edge of the clearing, and the dogs were let loose and the cattle driven to the newly felled trees. One by one they would steal back to the straw stack, to be again dogged back to their browse. The pole fence was from time to time moved closer to the stack to enable the cattle to steal the straw. These operations were repeated while the straw lasted, "and the cattle kept fat." With the possible exception of the last clause this was literally true.

GETTING MAILS AND SUPPLIES FOR THE PIONEERS.

One of the men who often related incidents of the Hinckley Hunt was quite fond of relating the experiences of the early settlers of that part of Medina county where he first settled. The settlement was about thirty miles from Cleveland, which was the nearest post-office, as well as the nearest point where supplies of any kind could be obtained. The men of the settlement took turns in going to Cleveland regularly each week for mails, medicines and such light supplies as were indispensable. An air-line route had been established by surveyors and trees well blazed marked the track.

 

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The trips were made on foot. A large haversack was used for carrying the mail and supplies. This, with a rifle, comprised the outfit of the weekly messenger. Upon one occasion, when this informant took his turn, he had the then solitary Cleveland gunsmith change the old-fashioned percussion "pill" lock to the then new "cap" lock, as unscrupulous dealers were in the habit of mixing mustard or turnip-seed with the little percussion pills, which they so nearly resembled that it was impossible to detect the cheat. The result was that much game was lost and much vexation caused by mis-fires. Upon the trip in question, when the messenger was about half-way to Cleveland, he discovered that he was being gradually surrounded by a very large drove of wild hogs, immense numbers of which then roamed through the forests of that region.

 

Discovering a large fallen tree ahead which had turned up by the roots, he hastened to and climbed upon the same, perching upon the high roots some fifteen feet above the ground. He was not a moment too soon, for the hogs had closed around him and some of the old boars, with their tusks protruding from their villanous jaws and the froth dripping from their mouths, attempted to climb up the roots upon which he was perched. He lost no time upon firing upon them whenever he could fire his rifle, which he had to snap eight or ten times for each discharge, because of the preponderance of seeds among his percussion pills.

 

However, he killed a dangerous boar at each discharge. As each one fell, with a slight squeal of distress, the others would go and smell the blood, actually placing their ugly snouts to the bullet-hole. They at once began to utter a peculiarly ominous grunt and one by one withdrew from the scene and the messenger hastened forward, reaching Cleveland at a late hour. Early next morning he had the lock of his rifle altered, provided himself with proper ammunition, and with his mail and other supplies (medicines, etc.), started on his return trip, hoping to have a little more experience with the wild hogs. He reached the scene of the previous day's. episode and counted the result of the same, finding sixteen dead boars, but no live ones about, nor did he see any except a few at a distance.

 

THE GREAT COMPETING SLEIGH-RIDES OF THE WINTER OF 1855 AND 1856 OF SUMMIT, CUYAHOGA AND MEDINA COUNTIES.

 

The following completes the series of articles by Mr. PEIRCE from details largely supplied by Hon. Thomas PALMER, of Lafayette, this county. The event at the time created interest, not only the leading newspapers in our country giving full accounts, but those of Europe. The London Times, among them, it is said, chronicled it as one of the novelties in the line of amusement the Western Yankees had originated.

 

During the winter of 1855 and 1856 there were about one hundred days of almost continuous sleighing throughout Northern Ohio. In February the people of Solon township, Cuyahoga county, organized a sleigh ride consisting of seven four-house teams, add drove to Akron, Summit county. It seems that there had already been several smaller parties there from Medina and several other counties, and it was understood that the Solon party intended to eclipse any previous party, for among other decorations used by them was a small cotton flag (33 x 55 inches) painted with the regulation number of stars and stripes, and containing in addition a profile with thumb to the nose and fingers extended.

 

This was interpreted by the people of the townships through which the party passed as a banter and invitation to take the flag if they could muster a larger party; indeed, an Akron paper published an evidently authorized challenge to that effect. The people of the township of Twinsburg, through which the Solon party drove, concluded that they could easily capture the flag, and upon .trial mustered fourteen four-horse teams and went to Solon. The flag was gracefully surrendered to them and was carried to Twinsburg. The people of Royalton, Cuyahoga county, concluded that the flag must come back to their county. They rallied thirty-eight four-horse teams and appeared at Twinsburg, when the flag was duly surrendered to them. The matter now became a county affair; Cuyahoga, Summit and Medina entering into the competition.

 

The competing delegation met at Richfield, Summit county (which township adjoins both Cuyahoga and Medina counties), on the 14th day of March. Medina had 144 four-horse teams, Cuyahoga had 151, and Summit, 171; in all 466 four-horse teams and sleighs, each containing an average of fourteen persons, total, 6,524, and 1,864 horses. In addition to these there were a large number of single sleighs with their loads, which did not enter into the count. In each party were a number of brass bands, for in those days nearly every township in that part of the Reserve had a brass band. Of course, Summit captured the flag and took it to Akron. As the competition had been mostly between Cuyahoga and Summit counties, the Medina delegation upon their return trip decided that the correct thing would be to have the flag removed into Medina county, and four days later (March

 

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18, 1856,) they appeared at Akron about noon with 182 four-horse teams, and one team of four mules. They carried a great number of banners and devices, and were accompanied by numerous brass bands. They were received by the citizens of Akron with extravagant demonstrations, including the ringing of bells, firing of cannon and uproarious cheers. Word was passed back from the head of the line to the last load, which commenced cheering, and the cheers came swelling back up the line, and were taken up by the rapidly con re congregating citizens until the town was in one deafening roar of human voices. The flag was presented to the delegation by President PEIRCE, of Hudson College, with appropriate remarks, which were responded to by Charles E. BOSTWICK, chief marshal of the delegation. Two songs, composed expressly for the occasion, were then sung, after which refreshments were served, and the delegation returned to Medina county with the flag, probably the largest and most joyous party of the kind ever assembled. No accident occurred, and, like the Hinckley Hunt, no one got drunk.

BIOGRAPHY.

BURKE AARON HINSDALE, educator, was born in Wadsworth, this county, March 31, 1837. He was a pupil of James A. Garfield, in Hiram College, and from 1870 to 1882 was its president, and then four years Superintendent of the Public Schools of Cleveland. He is the author of various books, religious, historical, educational, and edited the "Life and Works of James A. Garfield," of whom he was a strong personal friend and admirer.

 

RUSSELL A. ALGER—SOLDIER.                      EDITH M. THOMAS—POETESS.

 

General RUSSELL A. ALGER, ex-Governor of Michigan and ex-Commander-In-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Republican party of Michigan’s favorite candidate in 1888 for the Presidency, is a native of this county, and here he passed his early years. The family graveyard is at West Richfield, a short distance east of the Hinckley line in Summit county, where rest the remains of his parents and oldest sister. A beautiful monument stands there, erected to their memory by the illustrious son and brother.

 

WILLIAM T. COGGESHALL, journalist, at one period resided in Wadsworth, where, in 1851, his daughter Jessie was born: He was born in Lewistown, Pa., and in 1841, then 17 years old, came to Ohio and connected himself with the Cin-

 

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cinnati Gazette, published The Genius of the West in 1854-1856, and was State Librarian in 1856-1862.  In the beginning of the war he was appointed aid to Governor Dennison, with the rank of colonel.         In 1865 he took charge of the Ohio State Journal, at Columbus. In 1866 he was appointed United States Min­ister to Ecuador, hoping that his declining health, brought on by exprosure when on secret service in the war time, might be restored by the pure air of Quito; but he died the next year. He wrote much for magazines, published various books—the one, perhaps, of most lasting value, was “Poets and Poetry of the West," Columbus, 1860. He was a man of cheerful temperament, companionable and loving.

 

EDITH M. THOMAS, poetess, was born in Chatham, August 12, 1854, daughter of a successful and talented teacher. She was educated at Geneva, Ohio, Normal Institute, where, until recently, many years of her life have been passed. Now New York city is her home. She has contributed largely to the "Century," and other first-class magazines, and has published, in book form, "A New Year's Masque and Other Poems" (Boston, 1855); "The Round Year" (1866), and "Lyrics and Sonnets" (1887). She is deemed by many of the Eastern critics as, in that higher class of poetry, the subjective, with few peers. Her poems touch the finer chords as from the song of a spirit unseen, and grow into fuller appreciation by familiarity. R. H. Stoddard calls her "an American Keats," and as "possessing the greatest gift any poet can have-quality." These specimens illustrate her power:

 

EXILES.

 

They both are exiles ; he who sailed

  Great circles of the day and night,

Until the vapory bank unveiled

  A land of palm-trees fair to sight.

 

They both are exiles ; she who still

  Seems to herself to watch, ashore,

The wind, too fain, his canvas fill,

  The sunset burning close before

 

He has not sight of Saxon face.

  He hears a language harsh and strange ;

She has not left for native place,

  Yet all has undergone a change.

 

They both are exiles; nor have they

  The same stars shining in their skies.

His nightfall is her dawn of day.

  His day springs westward from here eyes.

 

Each says apart.—There is no land

  So far, so vastly desolate.

But, had we sought it hand in hand,

  We both had blessed the driving fate.

 

 

 

THE HOUR GLASS.

 

Time is no rushing torrent, dark and hoarse,

  As thou hast heard from bards and sages old ;

  Sit here with me (wouldst thou the truth behold)

And watch the current hour run out its course.

 

See how without uproar or sullen force

  Glides the slim, shadowy rill of atom gold,

  Which, when the last slow guileful grain is told,

Forever is returned unto its source !

 

This is Time; stream, by whose repeated fall

  Unnumbered fond ones, since the world was new,

  Loitered as we, unwarned of doom the while ;

Wouldst think so slender stream could all ?

  But as we speak, some eddy draws us too—

  Meseems dim grow thine eyes and dim thy smile.

 

 

 

 

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FRAILTY’S SHIELD.

 

Look what arms the fenceless wield,--

Frailest things have frailty’s shield !

Cockle-boat outrides the gale

That has shred the frigate’s sail ;

Curlew skims the breaker’s crest ;

Swings the oriole in its nest ;

 Flowers  a single summer bred

Lightly lifts it jaunty head

When it past the storm whose stroke

Laid the pride of  centuried oak ;

Where with fire the soil was bathed

The white trefoil springs unscathed.

 

Frailest things have frailty’s shield :

Here a fly in amber sealed ;

There a bauble, tossed aside

Under ancient lava-tide,

Meets the musing delver’s gaze.

Time the king’s manorial lays,

Touching it with sportive staff,

But spares Erotion’s epitaph.

 

 

Frailest things have frailty’s shield.

 Guarded by a charm concealed ;

So the gaunt and ravening wild

Softens towards the weaning child,

And along the giddy steep

Safe one glideth, blind with sleep.

 

Art thou mightly ?—challenged Fate

Chooseth thee for wrestling mate !

Art thou feeble ?—Fate disarmed,

Turning, leaveth thee unharmed.

Thou that bendest shall not break ;

Smiling in the tempest’s wake,

Thou shalt rise, and see around

How the strong ones strew the ground ;

Saving lightness thou dist wield.—

Frailest things have frailty’s shield !

 

WADSWORTH is eleven miles southeast of Medina, on the N. Y., P. & O. Railroad. Newspapers: Banner, Independent, James E. CORY, editor and publisher; Enterprise, Independent, John A. CLARK, editor and publisher. Churches: one Methodist Episcopal, one Evangelical Lutheran, one Reformed, one Disciples, one Congregational, one Baptist, one Colored Baptist, one Church of God. Bank: Wadsworth, C. N. LYMAN, man, president, J. K. DURLING, cashier. Population, 1880, 1,219. School census, 1888, 698 ; Arthur POWELL, school superintendent. Capital invested in manufacturing establishments, $29,700; value of annual product, $31,000.—(Ohio Labor Statistics, 1888.)The famous Garfield ejectors and injectors are made here. It is in a rich farming region, with abundance of coal on the east.

 

SEVILLE is ten miles south of Medina, on the C. L. & W. Railroad. Newspaper : Times, Independent, C. C. DAY, editor and publisher. Bank: Exchange (Wildeman Shaw & Co.), F. P. WIDEMAN, cashier. Population, 1880, 589. School census, 1888, 186.

 

LIVERPOOL is on the Rocky river, nine miles northwest of Medina. Population, 1880, 198.

 

LODI is eleven miles southwest of Medina, on the W. & L. E. Railroad. Newspaper: Review, Independent, H. E. BASSETT, editor and publisher. Churches: one Methodist Episcopal and one Congregational. Bank: Exchange, John TAYLOR, president, A. B. TAYLOR, cashier. School census, 1888, 134.

 

CHIPPEWA LAKE is on the C. L. & W. Railroad, five miles southerly from Medina. There is a hamlet with an United Brethren church, express and telegraph office. The lake is nearly two miles long, half as broad, and in places sixty feet deep. The lake is a popular summer resort for fishing and boating. A small steamer plies on its waters. There are there a hotel and pleasure grounds, where, campers stretch their tents.

 

 

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