THE VILLAGE OF CLEVELAND
On December 23, 1815, the Legislature passed an act incorporating the Village of Cleveland, and on the first Monday
of June in the following year the first village election was held. At this election there were twelve votes cast.
Alfred Kelly was elected president, as the chief officer of the village was then called; Horace Perry, recorder;
Alonzo Carter, treasurer; John A. Ackley, marshal; George Wallace and John Riddle, constables; Samuel Williamson,
David Long and Nathan Perry, Jr., trustees. We are now entering upon an era that brings to our notice pioneers
of a different variety than those who felled the forest and brought it into productive beauty. We are to discuss
to some extent the pioneers of industry, but before we do that it seems appropriate to pay a deserved tribute to
one who represented the first class and who died just before the village was organized and was buried in the Erie
Street (East Ninth Street) Cemetery, Lorenzo Carter. We have suggested that it would be appropriate to erect a
monument to him as an ideal type of the Western Reserve pioneer and place it beside that of Moses Cleveland, one
the architect and the other the builder. Lorenzo Carter was identified with the township alone, his son, Alonzo,
being one of the first officers of the village. Harvey Rice in his biography of Lorenzo Carter says of him: "It
is not so much what a man thinks or believes as what he does that gives him character. It was physical strength
and a fearless spirit that distinguished the brave and the bold in the heroic age of the Greeks. It was these traits
of character that gave Lorenzo Carter his renown as a valiant pioneer in the early settlement of the Western Reserve."
The pen picture by Mr. Rice could be duplicated in marble or bronze. "The Indians found in him an overmatch
as a marksman and a superior in physical strength. He had the muscular power of a giant and not only knew his strength,
but knew when and how to use it. He stood six feet in his boots, and was evidently born to command. His complexion
was somewhat swarthy and his hair long and black. He wore it cut square on the forehead and allowed it to flow
behind nearly to the shoulders. He had a Roman nose and the courage of a Roman. Yet he was as amiable in spirit
and temper as he was brave. He dressed to suit himself and as occasion required. In times of danger he always found
in his rifle a reliable friend. He not only enjoyed life in the wilderness, but soon became master of the situation.
He loved adventure and encountered dangers without fear." Mr. Rice relates an incident that was not given
in the previous chapter, when Mr. Carter returning from a hunting trip found that a band of Indians had broken
into his warehouse of logs, knocked in the head of a barrel of whiskey and drank so much as to become drunk and
dangerously belligerent. Carter marched in among them, drove them out, kicked and cuffed them about in every direction
and rolled several of them who were too drunk to keep their feet into the marshy brink of the river. The next day
the Indians held a council and decided to do away with Carter. They selected two of their best marksmen and directed
them to follow his footprints the next time he went into the woods to hunt and to shoot him at the first favorable
opportunity. The two selected trailed Carter on his next hunt with Indian cunning and at a favorable opportunity
to make sure work both fired at once, but missed. Carter turned on his heel and fired. One Indian fell dead in
his tracks, the other with a terrific whoop ran into the woods out of sight. This event overawed the Indians and
no further attempts were made on Carter's life. His rifle became the law of the land. The Indians became convinced
that he was the favorite of the Great Spirit and could not be killed. While Carter had thus obtained such an influence
over the Indians, he thus became the protector of the settlers on the border. John Omic, who was hung for murder,
was kept a prisoner in Carter's tavern previously to his trial and execution without fear of a raid from the Indians.
Carter always treated the Indians when they behaved as they should with kindness and generosity, and was a peacemaker
and arbiter in quarrels among themselves. The story of the hanging of Omic, the first execution in the county,
is necessarily a part of every local history, but its repetition occurs because of its great significance. Many
Indians were present. It was an illustration to them of the majesty of the white man's law, inexorable but based
upon sober judgment. It was an object lesson not long to be forgotten that the safety of the community depends
upon the punishment of crime, that life must not be taken with impunity, but that the sober judgment of the law
and not the idea of vengeance must rule. Omic had killed in cold blood two white men near Sandusky. The testimony
was undisputed, he was convicted and sentenced. Carter, in whose custody he had remained from the time of his arrest,
and who, as we have said, spoke the Indian language fluently, impressed upon the Indian the fact that the white
man's law must be carried out and counselled Omic to die like a man. The time of the execution arrived. A gallows
had been erected on the Public Square ready for the execution, which was fixed at June 26, 1812. When that day
arrived a one horse wagon appeared at the door of Major Carter's cabin. On it was a rough coffin made of boards
unplaned, ready to receive the convict, but first to provide a seat for him on his way to the scaffold. Omic, or
O'Mic as the name is more frequently written in the early annals, had many times after his conviction boasted to
Major Carter that he would show the white men how bravely an Indian could die. He said they need not tie his hands,
but simply adjust the rope and he would jump from the scaffold and hang himself. He decorated himself with paint
and war plumes and when taken out of Major Carter's garret sprang lightly into the wagon and seated himself on
his coffin with the stolid indifference of his race. When he arrived at the scaffold he was taken by Sheriff Baldwin
and assisted by Major Carter compelled to ascend to the scaffold. It may be added that the drive from Major Carter's
had been made under a military escort that marched to the music of the fife and muffled drums to the Public Square,
where a large crowd had collected. On the scaffold the murderer lost his courage and was no longer the brave warrior.
A prayer had been offered, the rope adjusted and the trap ready to be sprung when the prisoner seized a side post
of the gallows and held on with a death grip. Carter reminded him of his professed bravery and the prisoner finally
agreed to let the law take its course on condition that he be given a quart of whiskey. This concession was agreed
to, but the prisoner after drinking the potion again played the same trick and again compromised on the second
quart of whiskey. Before he had completed the drinking of the second the trap was sprung and the prisoner fell,
breaking the rope and his neck at the same time. Before this time the Indians gathered about exhibited great emotion,
and it is said that on account of the storm which was just beginning, but which burst into fury just as the trap
was sprung, the flint locks of the guards were so moist that their guns would have been useless had the Indians
attempted a rescue. The remains of Omic were immediately buried under the scaffold, but were not there the following
morning, which gave rise to many conjectures until it was found that they were in the possession of Doctor Long,
Cleveland's first physician, who used it for clinical purposes. As a final sequel to the incident of this first
execution it is related that Captain Sholes, a patient of Doctor Long, became panic stricken at a sight of Omic's
skeleton in Doctor Long's pioneer hospital. This is referred to as the last appearance of the terrible O'Mic.
The use of the Carter Tavern as a jail did not spoil it as a place of general social activity, for the name of
Lorenzo Carter became known throughout the Reserve. He was highly respected as a worthy citizen and was known as
the famous real pioneer of the Cuyahoga Valley. To the extent that he had the great influence over the Indian he
had the confidence and respect of the white men. The first social dance or ball that took place in Cleveland was
held at the Carter Tavern, the renowned log cabin. It was held July 4, 1801. There were about thirty in attendance.
They came from all around and were dressed in all sorts of style. Some came on foot and some on horseback. The
dancing was in the front room or parlor with its puncheon floor and its walls decorated with deer horns, powder
horns, rifles and shotguns. The dance began at an early hour and lasted until daylight. The orchestra consisted
of a Mr. Jones, who, after tuning up his fiddle, struck up as the first number "Hie, Betty Martin," the
favorite air of that day. Here, as we have said, occurred the first wedding in Cleveland.
Of Major Carter, Haney Rice has this to say: "Major Lorenzo Carter was the right man in the right place for
the time in which he lived. No man, perhaps, could have accomplished more, or executed his life's work better than
he did under the same circumstances. He accumulated a handsome property, and in the latter part of his life purchased
a large farm, which he improved, and which lay on the west side of the Cuyahoga River, nearly opposite the termination
of Superior Street. This farm, after his death, became the property of his son, Alonzo Carter, who occupied it
for many years, when it was sold to the Buffalo Land Company and cut up into city lots. It has now become an important
business part of the City of Cleveland. The major died February 7, 1814, at forty seven years of age. He was the
father of nine children, three sons, Alonzo, Henry and Lorenzo, and six daughters, Laura, Rebecca, Polly, Rebecca
II, Mercy and Betsey. Lorenzo and both Rebeccas died in infancy. Henry was drowned when but ten years old in the
Cuyahoga River. The other children attained maturity and led exemplary lives. His wife died October 19, 1827. The
descendants of the major are numerous, and are not only worthy, but highly respected citizens. His grandsons, Henry,
Lorenzo, Charles and Edward Carter, reside in the City of Cleveland, and others of his descendants reside in the
vicinity, or at no great distance, and are connected by marriage with prominent families. The Rathburns and Northrops
of Olmsted Falls, the Akins of Brooklyn, the Ables of Rockport, the Cathans of Chagrin Falls, the Rathburns of
Newburgh, the Peets of Ridgeville, Mrs. Crow of Newburgh and others. Major Carter and his wife, Rebecca, were consigned
to their final resting place in the Erie Street Cemetery, near its western entrance. Two marble headstones mark
the spot, and also bear upon their face a brief record that is worthy of a reverent remembrance." Lorenzo
Carter, dying before the age of fifty, left a Cleveland emerging as a border town but still small. If another twenty
five years more of life had been allotted him he would, no doubt, have contributed much to industrial Cleveland.
In 1808 he built the first vessel constructed at Cleveland, a thirty ton schooner named the "Zephyr"
and designed for the lake trade.
The return of peace following the war with England did not bring immediate prosperity to Cleveland. There was a
money stringency. Agricultural products about Cleveland were abundantly on the increase but were excessively cheap.
Transportation East was expensive and that was the only market. The settlers, too, were generally in debt for their
land and their payments must go to the eastern owners. Some business was done but the population was small and
the increase was slow. Five years after the war the condition was most discouraging.
This condition had a tendency to increase the shipping for transportation was in demand. This year Levi Johnson
built another schooner in the same manner as the first. It was built in the woods where the Central Market is now
and was hauled to the river in the same manner as was the Pilot. It was named the Neptune and was a vessel of sixty
five tons. In the year that the village was organized Noble H. Merwin moved to Cleveland and began business as
a tavern keeper in the tavern formerly conducted by George Wallace. This hostelry was located on Superior Street
and Virginia Lane. Merwin was an enterprising citizen. He soon engaged in the provision trade and in ship building.
Miss Bixby, later Mrs. Philo Scovill, who came to Cleveland in 1816, has left recorded recollections of the town
at that time. She says that when she came, Levi Johnson, Alfred Kelly and Phineas Shepard were much in evidence.
Phineas Shepard kept the old Carter tavern. The widow Carter was living on the farm at the foot of Superior Street
and there was a large rye field in front of her house. Doctor Long and Doctor McIntosh, N. H. Merwin and Hiram
Hachett, tavern keepers, Horace Perry and Philo Scovill, afterwards her husband, who kept a drug store, were mentioned.
There was no church nor settled minister. Traveling preachers came from time to time and meetings were held in
the schoolhouse in winter and in the courthouse in summer. The people were called to meeting by the blowing of
a bugle by a Mr. Bliss. The first courthouse was built on the Public Square by Levi Johnson at a cost of $500.
It was built of logs and the raising was in progress when the booming of cannon announced the Battle of Lake Erie.
This was September 10, 1813. A little later a great social event occurred in Cleveland when the citizens gave a
banquet to Corn. Oliver Hazard Perry and Gen. William Henry Harrison The shipwrights of Cleveland were swelled
with pride because they had built two of the ships of Perry's fleet, the Porcupine and the Portage. After the surrender
of the Americans at Detroit and before the victory of Perry, a stockade was built at Cleveland by the government
officer Capt. Stanton Sholes, as a defense. Lorenzo Carter and James Kingsbury were active in its construction.
It was located in a thick wood west df West Third Street and north of Lakeside Avenue. It was a star shaped structure
built of chestnut logs, capable of accommodating a garrison of 200 men and was called Fort Huntington. Its armament
consisted of one cannon mounted on a pair of wagon wheels. This gun commanded the mouth of the river, but its effectiveness
was not demonstrated. "Queen Charlotte" of the British fleet appeared before Cleveland in June of 1813,
but she was driven off by a violent storm, and not by the gun of Fort Huntington.
The Township of Cleveland continued after the formation of the village and the election of village officers. From
the records, the last general election, electing a full quota of township officers, was held in 1838, April 2nd.
The trustees were H. H. Dodge, John A. Vincent and T. H. Watkins; justices of the peace, A. D. Smith and George
Hoadley; clerk, Henry Sexton; treasurer, N. Dockstader; fence viewers, S. W. Baldwin, R. Dunham and Levi Billings;
constables, and it seems these officers were multiplied in number to form a sort of police force for the village
and the embryo city, Lewis Dibble, Henry Morgan, Elijah Peet, Almon Burgess, Seth A. Abbey and Seth M. Billings.
There was elected at this time also supervisors of the highways, as follows: J. R. Waters, S. Giddings, B. Crawford,
S. Erwin, W. O'Connor, W. Cleveland, John Blair and R. Scovill to represent the various road districts. The previous
year, in April, a justice election was held and J. F. Benedict and Joseph Adams were the choice of the electors,
but this election was contested and another held in May, when Samuel Underhill and Isaac T. Benedict were elected,
J. F. Benedict receiving only a few votes. The records show that this contested election cost the township $29.50.
There were three school districts at this time and the enrollment is recorded as twenty eight in number one,
twenty six in number two, and 137 in number three. This enrollment was probably of residents and not "scholars,"
for it includes the names of Nathan Perry, Phil Scovill, Peter M. Weddell, A. W. Walworth, Irad Kelley, Leonard
Case, Abraham Hickox, Samuel Williamson and other well known names: Fence viewers were elected at the last election
recorded, but apparently the township was not adequately fenced for the records show that twenty four citizens
filed with the clerk ear marks for cattle, sheep and swine, indicating that a joint pasturage was used by the settlers.
This completes the record of the township after the forming of the village and from this time Cleveland Township
soon became merely a judicial township and so existed until the establishment of the Municipal Court, when it passed
away, except in history.
But to return to the village proper - if one had come to Cleveland in 1816 with Leonard Case he would have found
as did Mr. Case, Water Street a winding path in the bushes and Vineyard Lane and Union Lane paths leading down
to the river, a street called Mandrake Lane, and West Third and West Sixth streets, all woods, between Saint Clair
and Lake streets, a slashing, that is, the large timber cut down, but the small left growing, and with the walls
of Fort Huntington still standing. There was a new schoolhouse where the Kennard House now is located. It was 18
by 20 feet and had a stone chimney. Between the river hill and the river it was a swamp. In what is now the wholesale
section of the city, there were improved lots and the rye field of Mrs. Carter. Ontario north of the Square, Superior
east, and East Ninth Street were deep woods.
Superior and Water streets were the business streets of Cleveland. On Superior Street lived Noble H. Merwin, his
wife Minerva, his clerk William Ingersoll and his boarders, Thomas O. Young, Philo Scovill and Leonard Case. There
was Hiram Hachett, wife, and five children, Silas Walworth and wife, James Gear and wife, hatters. It is said that
these pioneer hatters of Cleveland made the broad pioneer hat, the predecessor of the famous Stetson, and, for
statesmen real and aspiring, the tall white hat always associated with Gen. William Henry Harrison. On this street,
but we are advancing too fast in history, for it was called at that time Superior Lane, we would have found Darius
B. Henderson, his wife and daughter, Dr. David Long, his wife, Juliana, and two children, A. W. Walworth, postmaster
and collector of the port, Daniel Kelley and sons Alfred, Joseph R., Thomas M. and Irad. Joseph It and Irad Kelley
were merchants associated in business. Almon Kingsbury had a store on Superior with his father, James Kingsbury.
Pliny Mowry kept a tavern on the site of the Cleveland Hotel of today. There was Horace Berry and his wife Abigail,
Abram Hickox, the blacksmith, survivor of the explosion in celebrating the dawn of peace, with his wife and family,
Amasa Bailey, Christopher Gun, who operated the ferry across the Cuyahoga, George Pease and Phineas Shepard, who
kept tavern in the old Carter house, part log and part frame. Nathan Perry and wife, who kept a store with a very
large assortment for that day, John Aughenbaugh and family, the town butcher, a negro family, the names not known,
Dr. David O. Hoyt, who moved soon after to Worcester, George Wallace, another tavern keeper, his wife Harriet,
four children and steady guests or boarders, James Root, S. S. Dudley, H. Willman, William Gaylord and C. Belden.
There was Asahel Abell, cabinet maker, and David Burroughs, Sr., and David Burroughs, Jr., blacksmiths, all pioneer
business men of this main street of the Village of Cleveland.
On Water (West Ninth) Street could be found Samuel and Mathew Williamson, tanners, the widow of Major Carter, John
Burtiss, brewer and vessel builder, John A. Ackley, afterwards the first marshal of the Village of Cleveland, and
two lake captains with their families. William C. Johnson and Harpin Johnson. On the west side of the river, as
Mr. Case remembered, there was only one family, that of Alonzo Carter, son of Lorenzo, the first treasurer of the
This gives a human glimpse of industrial Cleveland at that time, but the line of industries and commercial activities
were growing. The next year a Mr. White put up a tailor shop, the first in the town, but he was obliged to go to
Newburgh for a painter, as there were none in Cleveland. Newburgh was more widely known then as letters were frequently
addressed to Cleveland, Ohio, six miles from Newburgh. The warehouses on the river were of logs, but already buildings
were coming into existence of better construction. In 1817 Leonard Case and William Gaylord built the first frame
warehouse on the river. It was north of Saint Clair Street. Soon Levi Johnson and Dr. David Long built another
nearby, and John Blair another The price of lots in the village were steadily advancing and in 1816 the assessed
value of the property in the village was $21,065. On Bank (East Sixth) Street, Abel R. Garlick began cutting stone,
which added another industry to swell the total.
Money was beginning to circulate and in 1816 the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie was started with Leonard Case as
cashier, but there was not enough business to support it and after three years of life it went out of existence,
only to be revived later as greater business activity made it necessary. This was the first financial institution
in Cleveland. Some advance was made in 1818 and new additions to the citizenry. Orlando Cutler, a man with a vision,
who foresaw the growth of the town, opened a store with a twenty thousand dollar stock of goods, a large addition
to the town. Reuben Wood, a lawyer, who was afterwards governor of Ohio came that year. James Kingsbury sold to
Leonard Case fifty acres of land which included the present site of the Federal Building, the Cleveland Postoffice,
for $100 per acre. This was the most extensive real estate transaction up to that time. But the beginning of the
great era of progress touched the life of Cleveland when "Walk in the Water," the first steamboat to
ply the lakes came to the town that year. Of course all the population of the village came to the shore to view
the marvel, which made very good time for a beginner. Cleveland, the capital of the Western Reserve, must have
a newspaper, and in 1818 The Cleveland Gazette and Commercial Register was started and the next year The Cleveland
In enumerating the early settlers of Cleveland and recounting their deeds it is with especial pride that we speak
of Alfred Kelley, who came to Cleveland in 1810. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1787, he received a common
school and academic education and studied law. He came to Cleveland in company with his uncle, Judge Joshua Stowe,
and Dr. Jared P. Kirtland. Admitted to the bar on the year of his arrival he became the first prosecuting attorney
of Cuyahoga County and continued in that office for twelve years. He was elected to represent this county, Ashtabula
and Geauga in the Legislature, and was reelected when Huron, having been detached from Cuyahoga, was included in
his district. He was the first president (mayor) of the Village of Cleveland. He was an advocate of advanced ideas
in the law, in finance, and in internal improvements, and as included in the latter he was a foremost promoter
of the building of the Ohio Canal, and was superintendent of its construction when the project was finally under
way. Fortunate for the town founded by Moses Cleveland it certainly was that a Cleveland man was in the councils
of the projectors for if the lake terminus of the canal had been other than at the mouth of the Cuyahoga the growth
of the city must have been delayed many years. But it is not of this that we wish particularly to speak.
While spoken of as "the father of the Ohio Canal," Mr. Kelley was the father of a reform movement of
far reaching and heart gripping import. In the session of the Legislature he introduced a measure for the abolishment
of imprisonment for debt. This session was held in 1816 and 1817 and was the Fifteenth General Assembly of Ohio.
The bill did not pass and become a law at that time but it began the agitation. The old annals recite that this
was the first bill to abolish imprisonment for debt that was introduced in any legislative body in the world. After
the publication of the poem on the subject by Whittier the reform spread and was adopted in all the states of the
Union and in other parts of the world. The lines of Whittier, incorporated in the school readers, are familiar
and we quote from them by way of calling attention more particularly to the subject and to the author of the bill
referred to, Hon. Alfred Kelley. In the thirty sixth legislative session, when Leverett Johnson represented Cuyahoga
County, by act of March 19, 4838, imprisonment for debt was abolished in Ohio.
"What has the gray-haired prisoner done?
Has murder stained his hands with gore?
Not so; his crime's a fouler one;
God made the old man poor!
For this he shares a felon's cell,
The fittest earthly type of hell!
For this, the boon for which he poured
His young blood on the invader's sword,
And counted light the fearful cost,
His blood gained liberty is lost!
Down with the law that binds him thus!
Unworthy freemen, let it find
No refuge from the withering curse
Of God and human kind !
Open the prisoner's living tomb
And usher from its brooding gloom
The victim of your savage code
To the free sun and air of God;
No longer dare as crime to brand
The chastening of the Almighty's hand."
While in the Legislature Mr. Kelley drew the state bank statute, and which nearly a century later served as a model
for our present national banking law. He labored hard to give the state a just and equitable system of taxation,
a problem that seems to be still unsolved. In the grave crisis of 1841 he saved the state from the disgrace of
repudiation by pledging his own personal fortune to secure the money with which the obligations of Ohio could be
met. Ohio has furnished to the nation many financiers of wide reputation. Alfred Kelley was the pioneer of all.
He was a typical pioneer in this, that he raised a large family. He was married in 1817 to Mary Seymour Welles,
daughter of Major Melancthon W. Welles of Martinsburg, New York. Their children were Maria, Jane, Charlotte, Edward,
Adelaide, Henry, Helen, Frank, Annie, Alfred and Katherine. Besides being the "father" of the Ohio Canal
with its northern terminus at the mouth of the Cuyahoga, Mr. Kelley served as one of the fund commissioners, having
charge of the funds necessary to prosecute the various canal enterprises of the state. And more it is interesting
to follow the career of this man, who was associated so intimately with the early days of Cleveland railroads came
and he was chosen to superintend the construction of a number. He was the first president of the Columbus &
Xenia Railroad (1845), was president of the Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad (1847), now a part of
the Big Four System, and was president of the Cleveland, Painesville & Ashtabula Railroad (1857), now a part
of the New York Central Railroad. His entire life was devoted to efforts to develop the state. And he devoted many
years of service for when first in the Ohio Legislature he was the youngest member. He died at Columbus, December
In a narrative history it is of course impossible to even mention, much less discuss, all who by their activities
in the building up of Cleveland deserve a tribute. The very early years, with its sparse population, brought out
in bolder relief the characters, who laid the foundation of the present great and growing city. Into this little
community of promise in 1818 came Ansel Young, settling out at Doan's Corners. He was a man of scientific attainments
and was an intimate friend of Jared Sparks, the famous scientist, preacher, and author. Young was known as a maker
of almanacs, an occupation followed by his friend Sparks also.
We have mentioned the first newspapers. From the early files we find much interesting data. The files of a well
conducted newspaper contain a living breathing history. From a copy of the Herald of 1819 we learn that Ephraim
Hubbell was putting up carding machines at the mills in Newburgh, that he would soon do carding and that his charge
would be 6 1/4 cents per pound, that Dr. David Long was selling salt, plaster, iron, buffalo robes and many other
staple articles, that E. Childs was selling fanning mills, and John Morgan making wagons, and that H. Foote was
keeping a book store. One issue told the readers there was no news from Columbus as no mail had arrived since the
last week's issue. Among the arrivals in Cleveland the next year were Mr. Weddell and Michael Spangler, one engaging
in mercantile pursuits and the other starting the first restaurant in the town. The term restaurant was not used
then and the hotel came later. Spangler kept The Commercial Coffee House where meals were served and Mr. Weddell
after succeeding in business built the Weddell House on Superior Street, for years the finest hotel in Cleveland.
During the time of Cleveland, the village, the religious advantages were few. Trinity Episcopal Church was organized
in 1816, but with only occasional services by a minister. In 1820 a few residents engaged Rev. Randolph Stone,
pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Ashtabula, to give one third of his time to Cleveland and the First Presbyterian
Church was organized with fourteen members.
By the following year the village was emerging from the pioneer stage for wolves had entirely disappeared. Hunters
were still getting deer and it was the hunting of big game that called out the men and dogs with no game laws to
interfere. It was a common sight to see a deer pressed by the dogs to swim out into the lake for a mile or more
and then turn again to the shore and seek a safe landing place. Business rivalry was keen and in 1822 a merchant
in the village advertised that all goods mentioned could be found in his little white store notwithstanding the
insinuations put forth from the big brick store. This year the first bridge was built across the Cuyahoga. It was
built by contributions and not by a tax. Some gave money, some wheat or rye, some lumber, some whiskey and many
labor. In this year also a brick school building was put up and a school opened for higher education. It was called
the Cleveland Academy and two years later Levi Johnson built the first steamboat. It was called the "Enterprise"
and was a steamer of 220 tons, the most pretentious vessel yet built in Cleveland. There was a small cluster of
houses on the west side called Brooklyn, but Josiah Barber and the thrifty pioneers over there were yet to become
rivals of the city surveyed under the direction of Moses Cleveland. The dream city of his founding was yet a village
but it looked out to the lake and dreamed of a harbor where boats laden with commerce should ride and it was not
an idle dream. At this time a bar at the mouth off river prevented large vessels from entering the river and even
small ones had difficulty. Like the business rivalry between the little white store and the big brick store in
local affairs there was a rivalry between the ports along the lake. In 1825 the Sandusky Clarion indulged in ridicule
of the Cleveland harbor. It said that yawls, which unloaded vessels at Cleveland stuck in the bar at the mouth
of the river. The Cleveland Herald replied that canoes entering Sandusky Bay ran afoul of catfish and were detained
until shaken off by ague fits of the crew. Attention was now turning more particularly to the matter of internal
waterways and accompanying cheap and adequate tiansportation. July 4th of the year 1825, when Cleveland had a population
of five hundred souls; ground was broken for the Ohio Canal, which was to traverse the state from the mouth of
the Cuyahoga to the Ohio River. This was the turning point in the history of Cleveland. Twenty five years, a quarter
of a century, had elapsed since the city had been laid out and yet it was a small village. The opening of work
on the canal brought an army of workers. Cleveland became in a short time a boom town and its growth was constant
and rapid. In 1831 its population was 1,100, the next year 1,500, the next 1,900, the next 3,323 and in 1835, the
last year of its existence as a village it had a population of 4,250. The boom was apparent on both sides of the
river, Brooklyn across the river that had only 200 people in 1825, under the impetus given to it by the building
of the Ohio Canal, gained in a corresponding ratio and became a rival of Cleveland, and as we have stated in a
former chapter beat out Cleveland a short time in forming a city government. In this year John W. Allen came to
Cleveland and was later president of the village. There is an overlapping of authority between the township and
the village and the city as the township continued with full civic authority until 1850, when the aldermen of the
city became trustees ex-officio of the township, the city clerk in the same way clerk of the township and the city
treasurer, treasurer of the township.
The trustees of the township have been Amos Spafford, Timothy Doan, William W. Williams, James Kingsbury, Lorenzo
Carter, David Dille, Augustus Gilbert, James Hamilton, Nathaniel Doan, Philemon Baldwin, Harvey Murray, Rudolphus
Edwards, Theodore Miles, Daniel Warren, Samuel Williamson, George Aiken, Horace Perry, Asa Brainard, Job Doan,
Isaac Hinckley, Daniel Kelley, O. Brainard, Jr., Phineas Shepherd, Seth C. Baldwin, Ahimacz Sherwin, Eleazer Waterman,
James Strong, Leonard Case, Andrew Logan, Moses Jewett, Wildman White, Peter M. Weddell, Henry L. Noble, Philo
Scovill, D. H. Beardsley, Andrew Cozad, Robert Cather, Rufus Dunham, Charles L. Camp, Ansel Young, Gordon Fitch,
Sylvester Pease, John Barr, Silas Baldwin, H. H. Dodge, John A. Vincent, T. H. Watkins, Timothy Ingraham, Benjamin
Crawford, Abijah Wheeler, George Witherell, Benjamin Rouse, Horatio Ranney, R. T. Lyon, M. M. Spangler, William
T. Goodwin, Benjamin S Decker, John Pritchard, John M. Bailey, and B. M. Spangler.
The clerks have been Nathaniel Doan, Stanley Griswold, Erastus Miles, Asa W. Walworth, Horace Perry, Daniel Kelley,
Hershel Foote, S. J. Hamlin, Dudley Baldwin, Edward Baldwin, George C. Dodge, S. S. Flint, Henry Sexton, Loren
Prentiss, Jesse P. Bishop, Charles L. Fish, Ellery G. Williams, George W. Lynch, D. W. Cross. As indicating the
character of the men who have served the township and their standing in the community it may be noted that Stanley
Griswold, the second township clerk, was elected and took office immediately after serving as United States senator.
Edward Tiffin resigned as senator and Stanley Griswold was appointed by Governor Huntington to fill the interim
until the Legislature should meet to elect his successor.
The treasurers of the township have been Timothy Doan, James Kingsbury, Lorenzo Carter, Nathaniel Doan, Stanley
Griswold, George Wallace, Horace Perry, David Long, Asahel W. Walworth, Irad Kelley, Timothy Watkins, Hershel Foote,
Daniel Kelley, Peter M. Weddell, Ahimaz Sherwin, Jr., Daniel Worley, Nicholas Dockstader, James H. Kelley, George
B. Tibbits, Henry G. Abbey, William T. Goodwin, George F. Marshall, D. W. Cross, and S. S. Lyon. The office of
justice of the peace for Cleveland Township continued for many years after the city officers assumed by virtue
of their position the duties of other township officers. The list therefore is very large. Among those who served
as justices of the peace for the first seventy five years of the township's existence are: Amos Spafford, Timothy
Doan, Nathaniel Doan, Theodore Niles, Samuel S. Baldwin, William Coleman, James Kingsbury, Erastus Miles, George
Wallace, Horace Perry, Samuel Williamson, Cyril Aikens, Job Doan, Samuel Cowles, Eleazer Waterman, Asahel W. Walworth,
Harvey Rice, Gordon Fitch, Orvill B. Skinner, Barnum J. Card, Andrew Cozad, George Roadley, Samuel Underhill, A.
D. Smith, Isaac F. Benedict, John Day, John Gardner, J. Barr, Isaac Sherman, Edward Hessentnueller, Charles L.
Fish, M. Barnett, James D. Cleveland, George W. Lund, J. T. Philpot, Almon Burgess, H. H. Holden, Isaac C. Vail,
George H. Benham, Henry Chapman, John R. Fitzgerald, Madison Miller, Wells Porter, Samuel Foljambe, Julius H. Brown,
Joseph S. Allen, Horace N. Bill, Perry W. Payne, John P. Green, H. P. Bates, E. A. Goddard, Charles H. Babcock,
Albert H. Weed, Felix Nicola, A. J. Hamilton, Truman D. Peck, W. K. Smith and H. P. Bates
There were ten presidents of the Village of Cleveland before the city government was established, that is from
1815 to 1836. Their names in the order in which they served are Alfred Kelley, Daniel Kelley, Horace Perry, Leonard
Case, E. Waterman, Samuel Cowles, D. Long, Richard Hilliard, John W Allen, and Samuel Starkweather.
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