The first white woman to step foot in Cleveland was seventeen year old Talitha EDERKIN, the bride of Job Phelps STILES, both were natives of Granville, Mass., and both had been school teachers in Vermont.
The number of pioneer families who came from Vermont and New Hampshire leads one to suspect that land promoters in the employ of the Connecticut Land Company were kept busy in both those states previous to 1796, and for some years following the date of settlement here.
Job P. STILES and his wife accompanied the Moses CLEVELAND expedition, which arrived at their destination in June of that year. The husband worked for the company, and the wife made herself useful in assisting in the preparation of meals for it.
The couple announced their intention of becoming permanent settlers of the township, and accordingly Talitha STILES won the gift offered by the Connecticut Land Company to the first woman settler. It consisted of three parcels of land two acres in the hamlet, ten acres on St. Clair St., near East 18th Street, and 100 acres on Woodhill Road, all of which she sold in 1841, and while living in Vermont for $150.00.
When the surveyors returned east in the Fall of 1796, they left the young couple in a log cabin erected on their lot, northeast corner of Superior and West 6th Streets. The following winter a little son was born to them, Charles Phelps STILES, Cleveland’s first native white child. The squaws of a Mohawk tribe encamped on the Cuyahoga river attended the mother and her little one in their helplessness and dire need. Charles died in Illinois in 1882, aged eighty-nine years.
The family remained in Cleveland about fifteen years, the greater part of that time on their 100 acre lot on Woodhill Road. Both returned to Vermont where they died very aged in Brandford that state.
Mr. Elijah GUN (Anna SARTWELL) was the second pioneer woman to arrive in Cleveland. The GUN family had accompanied the surveying party into Ohio as far as Conneaut, where it remained until the spring of 1797. It consisted of the parents and four, perhaps six children. The eldest one, Philena, was sixteen years old. She married Capt. Allen GAYLORD, an early pioneer.
The GUNS lived for three years on River Street in a log cabin, then exchanged it for another one on a hundred acre lot on the corner of Harvard and Woodhill Road, which had been donated to Mrs. GUN by the Connecticut Land Company. In company with other settlers, they were driven to higher ground by the prevalence of malaria from the swamps near the river.
Mrs. GUN was best known as a competent nurse, who went in and out of fever-stricken homes, ministering to the need of the sick and dying, attending to the dire necessities of young mothers or relieving the bereaved of last offices for their dead. And all this without money and without price.
Mrs. GUN had a large family of her own, and many household duties while thus holding herself in readiness, by night or day, to respond to the call of duty or mercy. It is to be hoped that this good woman had a far easier life in her declining years than was accorded to her in her younger days. She was thirty-eight years old when she came to Cleveland.
The youngest daughter, Minerva GUN, married and died young. Christopher GUN married Ruth HICKOX, daughter of Abram HICKOX, the Cleveland blacksmith. Charles married Betsey MATTOCK, Horace, Anna PRITCHARD, and Elijah GUN, Jr. Married Eleanor GRANT.
Rebecca FULLER, aged twenty-eight years, daughter of Amos and Mercy TAYLOR FULLER, was the wife of Lorenzo CARTER, the noted Cleveland pioneer. They started from Castleton, Vt., in the late summer of 1796, with three children, respectively two, four and six years of age. When the family reached the small hamlet of Buffalo, it was deemed best to postpone the remainder of the journey and in order to secure shelter, they crossed the Niagara river into Canada. Before spring arrived, another child had been born, little Henry, who was afterwards drowned when ten years of age.
They arrived in Cleveland about the middle of May 1797, and settled in the usual log cabin on a two acre lot near the foot of St. Clair Ave., close to the river bank. The lot cost Mr. CARTER but $47.50. The first log house on the river was the scene of many activities.. It was a dwelling, Indian trading post, store, and headquarters for all the settlement. Here was celebrated in 1801 the Fourth of July with simple refreshments, and with dancing. Soon afterward Mrs. CARTER took possession of a new log house on the northeast corner of Superior and West Ninth Streets. This was a village tavern for several succeeding years, and here Mr. CARTER died of a lingering and painful illness in 1814.
More has been retained of his wife than most of our pioneer women, all of it worthy of perpetuation. She came from Carmel, a beautiful little village in eastern New York, and was descended from fine New England stock. She was spiritually minded, sympathetic, kind hearted, and open-handed. Very timid, she suffered much through fear of the Indians, who, harmless when sober, were a menace when aroused by drink, some of which Mr. CARTER, with the custom of the time, dispensed to them. A drunken brave once chased her, hatchet in hand, around a wood pile, but was caught in the act by her husband, who put a sudden stop to the sport.
Mrs. CARTER had nine children, six of whom married and left descendants. The daughters were Laura, who Married Erastus MILES, and secondly James STRONG; Polly who became Mrs. William PEETS; Mercy married Asahel ABELS; and Betsy married Orison CATHAN.
Lucy CARTER, sister of Lorenzo CARTER, married Ezekiel HAWLEY of Casstleton, Vt., and with her husband accompanied her brother’s family on their trip to Ohio. Little can be gleaned of her life in Cleveland save that she was every inch a CARTER or a BUELL, on the maternal side, whichever it was that handed down to her and her brother characteristics of courage, self reliance, fortitude, and the instinct for wisely directing and guiding others.
Her family of living children was small, but others may have died young. Pioneer life took constant toll of infancy. Her daughter Fanny married Theodore MILES, and her son Alphonso married Juliette JACKSON.
The HAWLEY family lived first on West 9th Street, near the corner of Superior Ave., and within three years removed to a more healthy location on Broadway near Woodhill Road. The parents were victims of the epidemic of fever that swept the township in 1827.
Eunice WALDO was the daughter of John and Hannah CARLETON WALDO. Her grandfather, Lieut. John CARLETON, her father and his two brothers reinforced the garrison of Ticonderoga when it was besieged.
She married Judge James KINFSBURY of Alstead, N.H. He was caught in the Ohio land boom of 1796, and with his family of wife and three children, the youngest an infant, and a nephew named CARELTON, started for the future Cleveland. They brought with them a horse, cow, yoke of oxen and a few household necessities.
Probably no pioneer woman of this day endured the hardship, privation and actual suffering that Eunice WALDO KINGSBURY experienced in that western trip. After reaching Conneaut her husband returned to New Hampshire on a business errand leaving her alone in the wilderness with her little ones. Winter set in before his return. Meanwhile another child was born, In this case, also, squaws attended her. But the friendly Indians left Conneaut. The cow died from eating poison leaves and there was no milk for the children. Fever dried up her natural sustenance and the infant starved. Mr. KINGSBURY was stricken with malarial fever upon his arrival in his eastern home and his recovery and return barely saved the lives of his whole family. The story is a thrilling one and can be found in detail in “The Pioneer Families Of Cleveland, Volume 1.”
Upon the arrival of the family here, it took refuge in an old trading hut on the east side of the river, until a cabin was built. It stood on lot 63, the present site of the Post Office and East 3rd Street. Malaria drove them within three years to the northeast corner of Kinsman and Woodhill Roads. Here Mrs. KINGSBURY lived for forty-five years, dispensing a generous hospitality to near neighbors and Cleveland friends. Memories of it lingered with the early settlers as long as life lasted, and traditions of it have been handed down to posterity.
Eunice Kingsbury was a good, kind hearted woman, prompt to relieve necessity in any form. She had a family of nine children, four sons and five daughters. Of the latter, Abigail marred Dyer SHERMAN; Elmira was Mrs. Perley HOSNER; Nancy became Mrs. Caleb BALDWIN; Caluta married Runa BALDWIN, and Diana married Buckley STEADMAN.
All of these daughters must be reckoned as pioneer women, three of them were here in the township before 1804. Their father very early invested largely in real estate near the river which eventually brought wealth to his children.
Mrs. Eunice KINGSBURY died in 1843 aged seventy-three years; therefore she was but twenty-six when as a mother of four children she suffered such dire experiences in the wilderness. What was mortal of her lies in Erie Street Cemetery. May her ashes never be disturbed.
The first wedding in Cleveland was that of a little Canadian maid, who accompanied the CARTERS from Canada to Cleveland in order to help Mrs. CARTER with her little children. Her sweetheart, William CLEMENT, followed her to Cleveland shortly after, and claimed her hand in marriage. The wedding was solemnized July 4th, 1797. The Rev. Seth HART officiated, and as custodian of the Connecticut survey’s stores, he supplied the materials for the wedding feast. The father of CLEMENT was an American Tory, who at the close of the Revolutionary War settled on the Canadian side of the Niagara river.
The future life of the bride, Chloe INCHES, was one of prosperity and ease. Her three sons became well known citizens in their places of residence, and the twin daughters, Ann and Margaret CLEMENT, married Richard and William WOODRUFF of Connecticut, who settled in Niagara in 1804. The only living grandchild of Chloe INCHES CLEMENT, bearing the name, was , in 1896, a wealthy farmer aged seventy-six years, living in St. Davids on the Niagara river. Margaret CLEMENT’s son was also living at that date, aged eighty-five. He was a civil engineer, and for many years superintendent of the Welland Canal.
East 17th Street, north of Euclid Ave. runs straight through the pioneer homestead of Nancy DOAN, wife of Samuel DODGE. Here in 1804 was built a log cabin for the bride, who was daughter of Timothy and Mary CAREY DOAN, who had settled in East Cleveland two years previous. Mrs. Nancy DODGE drew water from the first well dug in Cleveland. Other pioneer women had to drink rain water or that hauled from the river. The stones used for the purpose had formerly been part of Indian fireplaces, occasionally built by them in or near their wigwams.
Nancy DOAN DODGE had but one daughter, Mary, who married Ezra B. SMITH and died young. Her sons Henry and George DODGE perpetuated the name and honor of the family for long years, and their descendants are yet leading citizens of Cleveland. Henry DODGE married Mary Anne WILEY, niece of the city’s first mayor, and George C. DODGE married Lucy A. BURTON, a sister of the late Dr. BURTON of Windermere, a suburb of this city. The renaming Cleveland streets was never more regrettable than when Dodge Street became East 17th Street, on that bears no significance, no cherished tradition.
For two years after arrival in 1798, Mrs. Radolphus EDWARDS (Anna MERRILL) lived in a log cabin at the foot of Superior Street. She had two children at that time, one a young step-daughter, and the other an infant of her own. She was a woman of uncommon good sense and judgment, qualities much needed in those pioneer days. The family removed to what is now Woodhill Road, and for six long years kept a tavern there. Six children were added to the two brought from Tolland, Conn., all born in the old tavern.
Besides the family of ten to care for, and the uncertain traveling public to entertain, there was spinning, weaving, soap making, candle dipping, and numberless other tasks which she performed faithfully and well. Not astonishing that she died in early middle age, when her youngest child was not fifteen years old.
Sally EDWARDS, only daughter of Rhoda BARNETT EDWARDS, (first wife of Rudolphus) married Patrick THOMAS. Anna MERRILL EDWARDS’ daughters were Rhoda (Mrs. Lyman RHODES); Cherry (Mrs. Samuel STEWART); Clara (Mrs. David BURROUGHS); Anna (Mrs. Noble OLMSTEAD); and Lydia (Mrs. Lymon LITTLE). There were also two sons, Stark and Rudolphus Jr.
Mrs. Amos SPAFFORD, (Olive BARLOW) of Orwell, Vt. Had a strenuous pioneer life, one of long struggle, exposure, peril, sorrow and disappointment. She arrived in Cleveland with her husband and five children, in the year 1800, and lived on the south side of Superior Street, close to its western end. Her daughters, Anna and Chloe, were married soon after their arrival; the former to John CRAW in 1801, and the latter to Stephen GILBERT, who was drowned four years later, together with Mrs. SPAFFORD’s youngest son Adolphus, eighteen years old. Her daughter Anna died six years after marriage, leaving two sons, three and five years of age.
In 1810 Major SPAFFORD was appointed postmaster of Fort Meigs, now Toledo and his wife had to begin all over again another pioneer life. The two sons, Samuel and Aurora, accompanied their parents, but Anna CRAW and her two young children remained in Cleveland, and were cared for by Mr. and Mrs. John WALWORTH.
During the War of 1812 a party of British and Indian swooped down upon the settlers of that region, who had to flee for the lives. The SPAFFORDS escaped in an open boat to the Huron river, up which they rowed eight miles to Milan, Ohio.
At the close of the war, and upon their return to their Maumee home, Mrs. SPAFFORD lived in a shack made out of the wreck of an old transport, until a better shelter could be erected. For their former home was burned and all live stock gone. The family had to begin life anew. Their property untimely became valuable, but Mrs. SPAFFORD did not live to enjoy the ease and comfort that came to her children through it.
Sarah ADAMS (Mrs. Nathaniel DOAN) was twenty-seven years old when she reached Cleveland in 1798. Her husband had been the blacksmith of the surveyors who measured and laid out the streets of the future city. He was promised a town lot if he would settle here, an offer he accepted, and the family lived in a log cabin on the north side of Superior Street near West 3rd Street. The only son, Job, was nine years old, and there were three daughters in their teens: Sarah who married Richard BLINN in 1802, secondly David LITTLE, and Mercy who became Mrs. Edward BALDWIN. There was also a Cleveland-born daughter Rebecca (Mrs. Harvey HALLIDAY).
Mr. DOAN brought with him a young nephew, Seth DOAN, son of Timothy. His presence in the family was most providential, for that first year on Superior Street every member of it but Seth was very ill with malarial fever. To add to their suffering there was little food to be obtained in the settlement. For weeks at a time the hamlet lived on corn meal which was procured in Newburg. The lad carried corn there and had it ground, walking all the distance of six miles there and return. He alone ministered to his suffering relatives, setting an example of fortitude and courage seldom equaled by one so young.
In less than a year, Mr. DOAN moved to a farm on Euclid Ave. where he kept a country tavern and a store. There was much travel westward along that road for many following years. Many of the pilgrims stopped off at the DOAN tavern, others encamped in Wade Park over night, and prepared their own meals. To these Mrs. DOAN was ever kind and accommodating, lending often of her own supplies of food and bedding. Her husband died in 1815 and she remained a widow for forty years. Her life had been one of great change and vicissitude, also one of much sorrow. But like most women of that day, she accepted everything the befell her, whether for good or ill, with patient resignation.
Sarah DOAN BLINN lived on a farm on Woodhill Road. She died in young womanhood, leaving a little son who died in California, unmarried.
Delia DOAN taught the first school in Euclid Village. Mercy DOAN BALDWIN died young. Her husband, Edward BALDWIN, was County Treasurer. Harriet WOODRUFF was the wife of Job DOAN. She was nineteen years old at her marriage. She was a tall, fine looking woman, one of a remarkable Christian character, faithful, kind and generous. As a landlady of the DOAN Tavern, she was a worthy successor of its first and former mistress, Sarah ADAMS DOAN.
Although she left many descendants in this vicinity, it has been difficult to learn much concerning the personality of Ruth GRANGER, wife of W.W. WILLIAMS, the pioneer miller of the city and one who filled offices of trust and stood high in the community. The couple came from Suffield and Norwich, Conn., and Ruth was thirty-five years old when she arrived in 1800 in Newburg, long since a part of the city. Mrs. WILLIAMS had four brothers who were offices in the War of the Revolution, and his wife’s family, the GRANGERS, were notable New England people.
The family settled on what is now Woodhill Road, and there Ruth WILLIAMS died. She was small, alert, and very intelligent. Years before her death, she was stricken with blindness, but developed such acute hearing that no one could enter her room, ever so cautiously, but she would know and tell who it was. Her daughter Mary married Amos CAHOOD, and Martha married Elijah PEET, well known pioneer. They lived on West 3rd Street for some years. They were charter members of the First Methodist Church, and their memory is revered by that society.
David CLARK and his family of four son and two daughters accompanied the SPAFFORDS form Dorset, Vermont, The author of “The Pioneer Families of Cleveland” spent many years of research in securing the maiden name of Mrs. CLARK, notwithstanding her descendants are yet citizens of this community. Finally the data was furnished through a great-grandson, living in Manitoba, Canada. Her maiden name was Margaret BRANCH. She was thirty-nine years old when she became a resident of Cleveland. Her daughter and namesake was fourteen and Lucy twelve years of age. The CLARKS lived on the west side of old Water Street (now West 9th St.) and were close neighbors of the CARTERS who lived on the corner. Margaret married Elisha NORTON, the pioneer postmaster, and they lived across the street in the house Ezekiel HAWLEY occupied for the three previous years.
Lucy CLARK married Seth DOAN, the heroic lad who nursed his Uncle Nathaniel DOAN’s family when ill from malarial fever, and doubtless saved their lives. Thenceforth Lucy lived in East Cleveland. Mr. CLARK died in this West 9th street home in 1806.
The NORTONS lived later in Painesville, Ohio, where it is presumed the husband died. His widow, Margaret CLARK NORTON returned to the city and resided many years on the east side of West 6th street. The old Academy of Music was built either on this site or contiguous to it.
The CLARK sons, Rufus, Mason, Martin and Jarvis, all settled in western states in after years.
The mother lies in an isolated cemetery in Mesopotamia, Ohio, How it happened that at the age of seventy-six she was interred so far from the graves of her Cleveland daughters is a mystery not solved. One of her sons may have lived for a time in the vicinity.
“Aunt Phenie” was a term of endearment given to the pioneer mother, Mrs. James HAMILTON, whose home from 1801 until her death was in Newburgh. Mrs. Augustus GILBERT (Olive PARMELY) and the second wife, Irene BURK, were her neighbors.
Susannah HAMILTON of Chester, Mass., changed her life but not her name when she married Samuel HAMILTON. With her six children she arrived, cold and hungry at the cabin of an old neighbor. This was in the spring of 1801, and they continued their journey to Newburgh soon after. Only three years elapsed before she was left a widow, and her oldest son but fourteen years old. Mr. HAMILTON was drowned in Buffalo Creek while on his way to his former home, where he had been called by business matters.
Mrs. Susannah was, as has been before stated, the noblest type of pioneer mother, living, working and sacrificing for her fatherless children. She was well remunerated for all this in the honor and respect accorded in after life by her children. Her grandson, Judge Edwin T. HAMILTON, was an eminent jurist of this city, a man of superior attainments.
Her daughter, Electa, was the second wife of Richard BLINN. They removed to Perrysburg, Ohio, where with her family, suffered incredible hardship from the prevalence of malaria in that section. Julia HAMILTON became Mrs. Edmond RATHBUN, and in 1819 Lyma married Samuel MILES. The sons of Samuel and Susannah HAMILTON were Chester and Justus. The former married Lydia WARNER and moved his family to the west. Justus married Salinda COCHRAN, a sweet-tempered, valuable woman in the community.
The wedding dress of Philena GUN when she married Captain Allen GAYLORD from Goshen, Ct., was of calico, very scant in the skirt, but very full as to sleeves. She was sixteen years old when she came with her parents to Cleveland and twenty-eight upon her wedding day. Her daughters were Ann, Minerva, Caroline and Desdemona. The latter never married and was living as the only survivor of the family as late as 1898.
The first wife of Augustus GILBERT of Vermont was Olive PARMELY. She came in 1801 and succumbed to the extreme privation of those early days, dying in a log cabin of the wilderness in 1807. The care of her seven children, the oldest but sixteen years of age, fell upon Irene BURKE, who, as the second wife of Mr. GILBERT, gave to the motherless children the measure of care and affection they sorely needed. Her step-daughters were Dotia, Harriet, Maria, Emily, Lovice and Althea, all of whom, save Emily, married. Augustus Jr. was the only son of the family.
Irene GILBERT had two daughters of her own, Louise born in 1810, and Irene. The latter married Rev. A.P. JONES, associate editor of the Plain Dealer sometime in the ‘30s.
Hannah HUNTINGTON of New London, Conn., was another young woman who did not change her name at marriage, for her husband was Samuel HUNTINGTON. Hannah was the daughter of Judge Andrew HUNTINGTON and his wife Lucy COIT. She was born in Norwich, Ct., and there became a bride.
The family of four children arrived in Cleveland in May, 1801. Amos SPAFFORD had built for Mr. HUNTINGTON a double log house, the largest in the settlement. It stood on the bluff back of the present side of the American House, south side of Superior St. near West 6th, and it commanded a beautiful view of the Cuyahoga river valley.
Mrs. HUNTINGTON’s experience while living here without any of the comforts or luxuries of her eastern home, and her efforts to conform to the privation, dreariness, and constant ill-health of her present one would be an interesting story. Her nearest neighbors, Mrs. SPAFFORD and Mrs. CARTER, were almost as unfitted, save in loyalty, courage and patience, as she for such a life.
She was thirty-one years old and brought six children with her to Cleveland. The only daughter, Martha, married Dr. John H. MATHEWS of Painesville, Ohio. The sons were Francis, ten years of age, Julian, five years, Colbert, six years, Samuel, three years and Robert but a year old. Little Samuel died in Cleveland at the age of five. All the others lived to manhood.
Mr. HUNTINGTON, afterward governor of Ohio, exchanged his large land holdings here in 1806 for equal property at the mouth of the Grand River, near Painesville, previously owned by Judge WALWORTH. He took his family to the Newburgh Heights and remained there for a time, then took possession of his property at Fairport. Here both parents died, and now rest in Evergreen Cemetery, Painesville.
Joel THORP, son of Yale THORP of New Haven, put his young wife, Sarah DAYTON, and her three children into an ox cart, and started for Ohio about 1799, ending in Ashtabula County and twenty miles from any other white family. Here again was a family threatened with starvation in the absence of the husband and father. They were reduced to the last extremity of eating the grain that stuck to the straw of their straw ticks. At this crisis almost a miracle happened. A wild turkey lighted on a stump near the cabin, and Mrs. THORP managed to shoot it. It is to be hoped that it was young and tender and that it quickly supplied food for the starving children.
The family came to Cleveland in 1801 and settled on Lake Ave. in a log cabin. Just before the War of 1812, Mr. THORPE, who was a carpenter, received a contract to build house in Buffalo, to which place he removed his family. He lost his life at Lundy’s Lane as a sharpshooter in that conflict and when the British and Indians burned Buffalo, poor Mrs. THORP lost everything in the way of clothing, bedding and household belongings. She made her way somehow and in some way to Cleveland. How she ever managed it with her seven children, is one of the marvels of the average pioneer woman’s heroism and wonderful adaptation to every circumstance of the life of that day. She died at the residence of her youngest son, Ferris THORP, in Orange township.
Mary SAYLOR, second wife of David DILLE, Jr., and her sister Frances SAYLOR, Mrs. Asa DILLE, came here in 1803. David was a revolutionary soldier. He bought property in Euclid and his brother Asa settled on Euclid Ave. near Mayfield Road. Their wives rode all the way from Wheeling on horseback, each carrying an infant in her arms with another child seated behind her and holding on to mother for dear life. And all this on merely a bridle path. Both sisters were noted for their unselfish hospitality.
Mary Anne DILLE, maiden name unknown, was the wife of Samuel DILLE, nephew of David and Asa. Her home was on Broadway, one and a half miles from the Public Square. She died in 1815, leaving a family of five children, and was buried in Harvard Grove Cemetery. She had two grandsons who gave up their lives for their country during the Civil War.
Clara EDWARDS married the son of a neighbor, David BURROUGHS, who settled on Woodhill Rd. in 1805. The son, David, Jr., removed to the hamlet, set up a blacksmith shop, and built a home on Superior St., northwest corner of West Third St. Clara BURROUGHS was an estimable woman, kind and friendly to every one. She was quite a stout woman with the good nature that usually accompanies embonpoint. She kept a big flock of geese, the ganders of which village children feared and long recalled in after years.
The daughters of Clara BURROUGHS were Mary (Mrs. LYMAN) and Phoebe (Mrs. Orin HOUGHTON).
Sophia Leonora ROOT was the daughter of the Rev. Benijah and Elizabeth GUERNSEY ROOT, and about 1789 married Major Nathan PERRY, Sr., of Rutland, Vt. Her husband purchased a farm and mill near Buffalo, N.Y., where Mrs. PERRY experienced pioneer life, and again in Cleveland hamlet where the family removed in 1806, making their home on the northeast corner of Superior and West 9th streets. Mrs. PERRY was a dignified and reticent woman. She had a sister living in Newark, Ohio, and often went there on visits, riding all the way on horseback. She outlived her husband many years. It has been claimed that at her death she was buried in her wide deep lawn on Euclid Ave., but like many other traditions the may have no foundation in fact.
Her only daughter Sophia was a lovely young woman, whose marriage to Peter M. WENDELL lasted but a few years. Mrs. Horace PERRY (Abigail SMITH) became a bride in 1814 and lived in a large frame house on the south side of the Public Square. The only daughter of Horace PERRY (Pauline) married Charles N. WILLEY, nephew of the first mayor of Cleveland.
Pauline SKINNER, who married Nathan Perry, Jr., in 1816, was the daughter of Captain Abram SKINNER of Painesville. She was born in Hartford, Conn., was twenty-three years old, and eight years the junior of her husband. She has been recalled by old citizens as a woman of pleasing personality with kind and helpful ways. Her first Cleveland home was on lower Superior St. and afterward for long years in a spacious house yet standing on the corner of Euclid Ave. and E. 21st St. the PERRY homestead. This old landmark is very attractive, wonderfully interesting and should be preserved intact.
Julianna MORGAN, wife of Judge John WALWORTH, was a type of the pioneer woman of her day and generation. She brought to Cleveland in 1806 all the culture acquired in her London, Conn., home of ease and plenty. And to this were added great self-reliance and prompt resource gained by the experience of hardship and peril in reaching her destination, which was a farm of 390 acres, long since become the very heart of the city.
The family first settled in Fairport, Ohio. Then exchanged property with Governor HUNTINGTON, pioneer settler of Cleveland, and started in an open boat on Lake Erie for their new home. The boat was wrecked on the way, and its occupants all precipitated into the water. Judge WALWORTH’s life was saved by the closest margin.
Mrs. WALWORTH lived for six years where the Friendly Inn now stands, Central Ave. and Broadway, and for the rest of her life on Euclid Ave. below E. 9th St. Her two daughters were Juliana, who married Dr. David LONG and lived in the Huntington log house all her early years on the southwest corner of Superior and West 6th Sts.; and Hannah, who became Mrs. Benjamin STRICKLAND. Mrs. LONG was a notable member of early Cleveland society. Wonderfully kind-hearted and generous, the sick, the poor and the sorrowful naturally gravitated to her doorstep, sure of help and comfort. Her sister Hannah was an estimable woman but very quiet and reserved.
Mrs. Philo TAYLOR (Zerviah DAVENPORT) came to Rocky River from New England in 1808, where she lived in a log tavern. Here her eighth child was born, the first birth in that township. In 1816 she was occupying a home on Superior St., where she died in 1823 and was laid away in Erie St. cemetery.
Two of her daughters, Sophia and Prudence, were the wives of the BURKE brothers, Gaius and Brazilla, of Newburgh. Wealthy, Amanda Loviea and Julia TAYLOR all married Cleveland or Newburgh men and are said to have had lovely characteristics, and were valuable women in the community.
The first wife of the famous Cleveland blacksmith, Abram HICKOX, was Jemima TUTTLE, who with her five grown daughters came all the way from Waterbury, Conn., in a wagon that also contained household effects and provisions. The father walked, as did the women folks at intervals, taking turns with each other in the wagon.
These pioneer daughters, Ruth, Oriagna, Lucy, Lucinda and Dorcas were fine women, greatly respected in the community. Lucinda kept a private school for years. Lucy died unmarried at an advanced age. Ruth married Christopher GUN.
The dwelling of the HICKOX family was close to the blacksmith shop, which stood on the site of the Rockefeller Bldg. The mother succumbed to the hardships of pioneer life within six years, and Phoebe STONE, widow of Elisha DIBBLE, succeeded her in the HICKOX home.
Levi JOHNSON, the Cleveland carpenter and ship-builder, met his future wife Margaret MONTIER, while on business in Huron County. She became the “next-door” neighbor of the HICKOX family. A tavern built upon the site stood there for long years and but recently made way for the western end of the Rockefeller Building. The eldest daughter, Harriet JOHNSON, married the well-known pioneer Alexander SACKETT.
Lucretia, Minerva and Sybil, the three daughters of Holden ALLEN, lived in Buffalo previous to the War of 1812. Lucretia married Captain Harpin JOHNSON, Minerva married Captain Jonathan JOHNSON, brother of Levi. She was an expert needle woman and when the old steamship “Columbus” was launched, received five dollars for making its flag, a sum equal to $15.00 at the present day.
One of the most notable women of the time was Mrs. Samuel WILLIAMSON (Isabella McQUEEN) of Crawford County, Penn. The arrival of the family, Mr. and Mrs. WILLIAMSON, their three children and Mathew WILLIAMSON, advanced the Cleveland census to fifty-seven names of all ages.
Mrs. WILLIAMSON spent the first years of her life in the hamlet on West 9th St,, then but a path wide enough for an ox cart. This was in 1810. She was one of the earliest members of the Old Stone Church. Afterward with her unmarried daughter Sarah, she resided on the north side of Euclid Ave., just west of East 6th St. She out-lived her husband twenty-five years and died at the age of seventy-seven. She is recalled as a “Dear old lady.” Her grandson, Rev. James D. WILLIAMSON, who married Miss ELY of Elyria, Ohio, is yet living an honored and beloved member of greater Cleveland.
Mrs. Robert WALLACE (Harriet MENOUGH) was a woman of much executive ability despite a delicate constitution. She was the landlady of the village tavern which was filled with the sick and wounded one year of the War of 1812. Although threatened with an attack at any hour by the British troops and the Indians, she would not seek safety leaving the invalids to face such an ordeal alone. Her daughter Emmeline was born in the tavern in 1814 and became the bride of Thomas WILSON, first sheriff of Portage County.
Mrs. Noble MERWIN (Minerva BUCKINGHAM) was a power in the village that was to be consulted in all matters of civics and religion. Also a big-hearted, unselfish woman who served herself last. Many stories concerning this trait have been handed down to the present generation.
She also was a landlady assisting her husband in entertaining westbound travelers, in their tavern at the foot of Superior St. Her grandmother was a sister of Roger SHERMAN of Rhode Island. Of her two daughters, Minerva married George ATWATER and the youngest, Mary, died in young womanhood.
The young landlady of MOWREY’s Tavern was Rhoda CURTIS who married Pliny MOWREY in 1816. The tavern stood on the Public Square, the site of the present New England Hotel. She was the daughter of a tanner living near Doan’s Corners. Her sister Lydia CURTIS married, the following year, James BLISS. The result of Plina MOWREY’s financial difficulties and misfortunes led the young couple to remove elsewhere.
Polly JOHNSON, sister of Levi and Jonathan, became Mrs. Thomas RUMMAGE and lived on Euclid and East 4th St., occupied in late years by the Opera House.
Phoebe STONE (Mrs. Elisha DIBBLE) escaped with her family in an open boat, pursued by the enemy during the War of 1812, from some town in Michigan. The family took refuge with Rudolphus EDWARDS on Woodhill Rd. until their own log cabin was built near Doan’s Corners. Phoebe DIBBLE’s husband and three children died within three years of their arrival and a son followed soon afterwards. In 1816 she became the second wife of Abram HICKOX and thenceforth her home was No. 27 Prospect St.
No woman in early Cleveland was better known than the widow CALAHAN who lived on the Flats in the river valley. Her husband was a Canadian soldier who at intervals came and went. The latter won out at last and she was left with a family of little ones to support by her own efforts. Her beautiful flower garden, her flocks of ducks, geese, chickens and the pigs scrupulously tended were made to contribute to the family larder. Her children were a credit to her and an honor to the town.
The arrival of Jemima STOW KELLEY with her husband Daniel KELLEY in 1814 was an event far reaching in effect even to this day. She was a devoted mother and when her son Alfred left his home in Middletown, Conn., and came to Ohio, his two years of absence and her longing for him impelled her to be readily in sympathy with Daniel KELLEY’s plan to follow their son to Cleveland. She had near relatives in Ohio, her brothers Jushua and Silas STOW, large landed proprietors in the Western Reserve.
Irad, Reynolds and Thomas KELLEY were her younger sons. Each of them married young and their wives were unusually fine women. Mrs. Jemima KELLEY began her local housekeeping in a frame dwelling not far from where a modern brick cottage was being prepared for her near the foot of West 9th St. But she died before it could be completed. She was a reader, had a strong sense of humor, and her shrewd, keen remarks were quoted in many following years.
Harriet PEASE (Mrs. Irad KELLEY), Betsey GOULD (Mrs. Reynolds KELLEY), Lucy LATHAM (Mrs. Thomas M. KELLEY) and Mary SEYMOUR WELLS (Mrs. Alfred KELLEY) were all early pioneers of the city.
Mrs. Amasa BAILEY (Sally EATON) of Cummington, Mass., was the first woman to live on the southeast corner of Superior St. and the Public Square, opposite the Post Office.
Mrs. Richard BAILEY (Polly WHITE) was a daughter of the pioneer Levi WHITE. She had a family of nine children all born in Cleveland, and all but one in after years moved to the far west. Probably Mrs. Polly BAILEY aided and abetted her husband in one of Cleveland’s epidemics, when he is said to have worked in his grocery all day and sat up more than half the night administering to the sick and suffering.
Esther THOMPSON (Mrs. George PEASE) of Goshen, Conn., came to Hudson, Ohio, with her parents in 1801, and to Cleveland in 1816. Her sons Sylvester and Jesse were the schoolmates of many of our oldest citizens and were very popular young men. Her daughters Harriet, Hulda and Lucretia were charming young women and as the wives of Irad KELLEY, Morris HEPBURN and Prentiss DOW, all prominent merchants of the town, they held a conspicuous place in Cleveland’s social life in those early days.
Anna DUNLAP married Elisha TAYLOR of Schenectady, N.Y. She was one of four sisters who also were residents of that town. The year of the family’s arrival, 1816, was one of great poverty and suffering all over the country of what was termed “the cold summer,” when frosts occurred every month, cutting down grain and vegetables when half matured.
Mrs. Anna TAYLOR died and Elizabeth ELY, of a distinguished Massachusetts family, a calm, quiet woman of thirty-five years, became Mr. TAYLOR’s second wife and took excellent care of the three motherless children of Anna TAYLOR.
For long years the family of Deacon Moses and Mary ANDREWS WHITE were prominent members of the little community and later on after Cleveland became a city. Their young daughter, Minerva WHITE, was the first burial in Erie Street cemetery. At that time it was all woods.
Among other accomplishments, Mrs. WHITE was a skillful needle worker, notable cook, and best of all, a most successful mother-in-law, never entering her son’s home without bearing some offering of interest and affection. Her only daughter Eliza married Judge Jesse BISHOP of this city, long a well-known jurist. The WHITE family lived on Superior St. near the American House.
Four gentle refined sisters from Windsor, Conn., arrived in 1816. They were of a distinguished family, their father, Albert WOLCOTT, being a son of the Brig. General Erastus WOLCOTT and a grandson of the famous Roger WOLCOTT. He also was a nephew of Gov. Mathew GRISWOLD. The family brought with them the family Bible of Roger WOLCOTT, all of which was a social asset appreciated by their pioneer neighbors. Mr. WOLCOTT’s wife had died in Windsor. The oldest daughter, Cynthia, was Mrs. William BLISS. She lived on the south side of Superior near the corner of West 3rd St. and was about twenty-eight years of age when she began her Cleveland housekeeping on that spot. Her sisters, Hannah, Laura and Elizabeth lived with their father near by.
Jonathan BLISS, brother of William, also lived on the south side of Superior St. His wife’s maiden name probably was Hannah KENT. The couple had a little adopted daughter, Pamelia TOWNSEND, who had been made an orphan in one of the epidemics that swept Cleveland. She married Herschel FOOTE who kept a very early bookstore on the corner of the Public Square, the site now occupied by Marshall’s drug store.
Jonathan BLISS died in 1823 of malarial fever, and his widow lived her later years in Washington, D.C., and Saratoga, N.Y.
Ruth WHITE, wife of Seth Cogswell BALDWIN, died in Ballston Springs, N.Y., at the birth of her eighth child and namesake. Some time after the sad event Miss Abigail KELLOGG assumed the care of the motherless children as Mr. BALDWIN’s second wife, and another son and daughter were added to the family. Abigail lived but a short time after her arrival in Cleveland, the unaccustomed hardships having proved too much for her delicate constitution. Her son Dudley BALDWIN, then but nine years of age, lived the remainder of his years in the city, one of its best known and honored citizens.
His wife was Henrietta HINE, daughter of Homer and Henrietta SKINNER HINE of Youngstown and a niece of Mrs. Nathan PERRY, Jr. The early home of the young couple was on West 6th St. now covered by the Rockefeller Building.
Mrs. Dudley BALDWIN was very fond of flowers and her little garden at that spot blossomed gaily, attracting all passersby. Her next and last home on East 21st St. with its ample grounds gave more opportunity to indulge in her beloved pastime and here her daughters, Mary BALDWIN and Anne BALDWIN SCHULTE keep alive the floral tradition of that earlier day.
This incomplete sketch of Cleveland pioneer women, which is all that space allows, covers the first twenty years of the town’s settlement and sixteen years before it became a full-fledged city. Much additional information concerning the women mentioned, with personal and interesting facts regarding hundreds of women who came to the city later, will be found in “The Pioneer Families of Cleveland 1796-1840.”
Gertrude VAN RENSSELAER WICKHAM