History of Euclid Township, Cuyahoga County, OH Part 2

From: A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
Publishers: The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924


Part 2, link to part 1.

Soon came 1860 and another war more disturbing, but not so close at hand, as that of 1812, disturbed the ordinary course of this community with all the rest. The record of Euclid in the war is creditable and her soldiers' names are recorded in the monument on the Public Square in Cleveland with those of the entire county.

It was after the Civil war that the greatest changes took place in the township. Grape culture began in a small way near Collamer and it grew into hundreds of acres until at one time Euclid was the largest shipping point for grapes in the United States, rivaled only by Dover, which was the second largest. In the deposits over this region, referred to in an early chapter, the soil given Euclid and Dover seemed to be especially adapted to the culture of grapes. The vines needed no protection in winter here. The slatestone in the soil produced a hardy wood that was not affected by the lake winds and also produced a particularly fine quality of fruit. It is a notable fact that the poorest soil for grain, is the best for grapes. Land that was considered almost valueless, before the discovery of its superior quality for grape culture, at once became of great value. It produced fine crops of grapes ten years in succession. After the Civil war, in the '70s, Lewis Harms was one of the largest growers of grapes in the township. He planted the first vineyard on Put-in-Bay Island, but satisfied that Euclid was a better locality moved there. He always said that for certain varieties, especially the Delaware, Euclid was the best section in the state. Three years is required for a newly planted vineyard to come to full bearing. In Euclid this has never failed to be the rule. The varieties most cultivated have been the Concords, Catawbas; Delawares, Martha, Ives, Dianas and Hartford Prolifics, the Concords and Catawbas leading in acreage. Concords produce three tons to the acre. Catawbas two tons, Delawares two tons, Dianas two and a half tons, Ives four tons, and the Hartford Prolifics five tons. Cleveland has been the principal market for this product, but large quantities have been shipped to Chicago, Cincinnati, and Louisville. Large quantities have been made into wine in the township. In later years this industry has languished and the acreage has become smaller and smaller. Whatever the cause of this has been, it was for many years a great source of wealth in the township and brought into prominence an agricultural community that will not be forgotten in the years to come.

Another source of wealth in the township was its stone quarries, not reaching to the volume of the Berea quarries, but of considerable proportions. The superior quality of the Berea stone, of course, made the Euclid quarries of less importance. In 1862 Duncan McFarland opened a quarry on Euclid Creek and in 1871 James and Thomas McFarland opened another on the same stream on the west side. This they sold in 1875 to the Forest City Stone Company and opened a quarry themselves on the other side and built a mill for cutting flagging and building stone. At one time they employed fifteen men. The Forest City Stone Company had their mill in Cleveland and employed over twenty five men in the '70s. In 1873 Maxwell Brothers, the firm name afterwards being Maxwell & Malone, opened a quarry and built a large mill on Nine Mile Creek. They ran six gangs of saws and employed twenty men. They were among the first to use a steam drill in quarrying, sending steam 1,100 feet into the quarry, and such was its force that it would sink a drill into the rock at the rate of 20 inches in three minutes. Slosson & Meeker operated a mill at Nottingham for sawing stone for flagging. The use of cement has taken the place of quarried stone to such an extent that the demand for sawed flagging has greatly lessened.

The civil township of Euclid is no more. The original territory has been taken up by various villages and the township has no existence as such. In 1880, Euclid Village, once East Euclid or Euclid Creek, had a church, a schoolhouse, two stores, one hotel, a steam basket factory, a wagon shop, a shoe shop, two blacksmith shops, and about thirty dwelling houses. Its rival, at that time, Nottingham, had two stores, a stonemill and a feedmill, two blacksmith shops, and about thirty dwellings. The original Village of Euclid as first incorporated in 1877, included nearly all the territory of the township. The next year the people voted to surrender their corporate existence and go back to the former township existence. About this time a brick town hall was built at the natural village and in the south part of the township a frame building called temperance hall. This was built by popular subscription and was used mostly by an organization called the Sons of Temperance. The Village of Collinwood, now a part of the City of Cleveland, after the Civil war, was built up in part in Euclid township. The main street of Collinwood was the line between the townships of Euclid and East Cleveland. The villages formed out of the original territory of Euclid include Euclid Village, Richmond Heights Village, Eudidville, formed in part from other territory and now called Lyndhurst, South Euclid Village, formed in part from Warrensville, Nottingham and a portion of Collinwood, which has now been annexed to Cleveland. The Village of Euclid or Euclid Village, was formed by petition to the county commissioners June 5, 1876. This petition was granted August 7th of the same year, but in the year following the people voted to go back to the old township government and the village corporation was abandoned. Then in 1903 it was organized as a village but did not include so much of the territory of the township as did the original village formed. In 1911 some additional territory was annexed to the village. It has this special distinction as given in Howe's history. but this long before its incorporation. Here he says was built the first frame meetinghouse, with a spire, on the Western Reserve. This historical structure, or historical spire, was built in 1817. The present officers of the village are: Mayor, Gen. Charles X. Zimmerman, a hero of the World war; clerk, Charles H. Cross; treasurer, Herman B. Cook; assessor, John Davis; councilmen, Leo F. Coulton, Irving F. Collins, Charles Ettinger, Carl D. Fletcher, Joseph Irr, and David C. Wright. The partiality of the village for military men is shown in the fact that General Zimmerman succeeded Col. D. H. Pond, who had served for several terms as mayor of the village. The former clerk of the village was H. S. Dunlap.

Nottingham was made a village by action of the county commissioners November 5, 1873, out of the territory of Euclid. This organization was allowed to lapse. It was again incorporated in 1899. November 8, 1911, certain territory was annexed, and November 5, 1912, it was annexed to Cleveland by a vote of the people. At this time a portion of the Village of Euclid was also annexed to the City of Cleveland. Euclidville was formed from territory in the southeast portion of the township. Three years ago certain territory was annexed from Mayfield, and the Common Pleas Court changed the name to Lyndhurst. The present officers of the village are: Mayor, Edmund J. Thom; clerk, S. C. Vessy; marshal, A. Weidner; treasurer, Earl Kohler; assessor, William Bruggemeier; councilmen, Percy H. Baster, C. C. Bolton, Harry Brainard, Ray C. Hawthorne, Frank Hildebrand, and Henry Sherman. The present officers of Richmond Heights Village are: Mayor, William R. Zeits; clerk, Henry Schroeder; treasurer, Paul Keyerleber; assessor, Edward Trebisky; councilmen, J. H. Belcher, Charles Court, George M. Berg, George W. Pyphers, W. E. Robbins, and Joe Shebanek. Richmond Heights Village is officered as follows: Mayor, Charles Havre; clerk, Paul H. Prasser; treasurer, Walter Eckert; assessor, John L. Feilitz; justice of the peace, J. Whigham; marshal, J H Bilkey; councilmen, Henry Faust, D. E. Fierbaugh, W. E. Dougherty, C. W. Davis, H. G. Stalnaker, and O. H. Whigham. For the more simple administration of justice all of these villages have been made townships by action of the county commissioners. These are judicial townships and thus retain something of the original, so far as administration of justice is concerned, but the original township of Euclid has vanished from the earth.

But something of the early and later religious organizations, connected with the original township and its brood of villages that have taken its place, are given, as history that attaches to both periods. From a sketch of the Euclid Baptist Church prepared by Rev. S. B. Webster and previously published we glean this information: On April 27, 1820, six brethren and five sisters organized the church. Of these eleven members none were living in 1880; Calvin Dille, the last of the original members, died in 1875. Before the church was organized there had been. meetings held, conducted by Elder Goodell and others at various places. In September of 1824 Elder Hanks, Deacon Dille and a Mr. Libbey were sent as delegates by the church to secure admission to Grand River Conference. Their mission was successful and the church was thereupon duly admitted. Ten years later they entered the Rocky River Association. The church was then given wide jurisdiction, with headquarters at Euclid Creek. Meetings were held at Chagrin River, at the residence of S. D. Felton on the ridge, and a frame church was built on land given for that purpose by John Wilcox. This building was thirty feet square. The first proposition in financing the building was the sale of pews at $12 each. That was changed, the pews to be sold at auction, 20 per cent to be paid in ashes and the balance in grain. Wheat was rated at $1 per bushel, rye at 75 cents, and corn at 50 cents John Wilcox, William Treat, and S. D. Felton were the building committee. Two years before this, Elder Hanks had been engaged as pastor, he to give two thirds of his time and his compensation fixed at 200 bushels of wheat. The scarcity of money required all contracts to be made in this way. Practically all business was by barter and trade. The following year the pastor's salary was increased to 300 bushels of wheat, but he was required to devote his whole time to the church. Of this church, Solomon Dominick was pastor in 1830, and in 1845 it was incorporated. Two years later a new brick church was built, or rather started, for it was not completed for several years. Most of the contributions were in wheat and ashes. Rev. S. B. Webster, from whose sketch these facts were taken, was the pastor in the '70s, and the deacons were: John Aiken and S. D. Felton; clerk, J. S. Charles, and trustees, Henry Friday, L. J. Neville, S. S. Langshare, and Warren Gardner. Saint John's German Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in 1845 with twelve families. They bought an acre of land on the State Road and built a frame church and schoolhouse. Rev. H. Keuhn was the first pastor and the first teacher. Soon after they bought ten acres more of land and built a residence for the pastor. In 1862 they built a new church, using the old church building for a schoolhouse. Reverend Ernst was the first pastor and he was succeeded by Rev. W. Human, who was the first pastor in the new building. Ernest Klaustermeier, and Ernest Melcher, and F. Melcher of Euclid, F. Rolf and Harry Dreman, of East Cleveland, and Henry Klaustermeier, of Mayfield, have served as deacons. The First Presbyterian Church of Nottingham was organized in 1870. Rev. Frank McGinnis was the first pastor and he was followed by Rev. M. A. Sackett. Before, that, however, Saint Paul's Catholic Church was organized. It was located between Nottingham and Euclid Village in 1861 and a church was built that year. The first pastor was Rev. Thomas Salenn. Rev. Edward Harman, and Rev. Anthony Martin were among the early pastors. In 1877 Saint Joseph's Chapel of Collinwood was separately organized, but put under the care of the pastor of St. John's. In connection with this was founded a parochial school, which began with a large and growing attendance. In all the history of the townships we have given something of the early history of the churches. At the first meeting of the Early Settlers' Association held in 1880, with Harvey Rice as its president, Judge Tilden was one of the speakers. Among other things he said: "Well, we had religion then. I think I was more pious in those days than I have been since. I know that those old Methodist preachers, who came around with leggings all covered with mud, used to meet at the school house, and there was a kind of earnestness about them, a force and incisiveness in their talk that made a very deep and powerful impression on my young mind at that time, more so than since. (Laughter.) There was no ostentation, no display; everything plain and straightforward. I recollect that there was a period during the early history when religion was the main topic of conversation. Every old farmer who was interested in religion had a rusty old book in his pocket, and there was a controversy between my Brother Hayden's sect, called Campbellites, and the Orthodox believers, and many a long tedious struggle have I heard between them. Every man was gifted upon that subject. They would quote the text of Scripture, fire, and fire back, and it was entertaining and instructive, and cultivated a very high moral feeling in all classes of society."

The schools have kept pace with the march of events, the district school, handmaiden of the survey and civil township, has passed with the township. Except the Village of Euclid, which has its own school government, the schools are under the government of the county school superintendent. South Euclid Village has two buildings, the high school and the grammar school, with a force of twenty two teachers, and an enrollment of 585 pupils. The graduating class of this year numbered sixteen. Lyndhurst has one building, employs seven teachers, and has an enrollment of 150 pupils. Richmond Heights has one building, employes two teachers, and has an enrollment of sixty four pupils. These schools comprise what is called the South Euclid district and are under the direct care of Superintendent O. J. Korb. The high school building at South Euclid is exceedingly attractive and is located on a site commanding a beautiful view of the territory, once a wilderness. The schools of Euclid Village are housed in five buildings, the Euclid High School on Chardon Road, the Shore High School, on Lake Shore Boulevard at the junction of Bill and Babbett roads or streets, the Roosevelt School, a grade school, on Cut Road at Monterey, and the Noble School, a grade school, on St Clair Avenue and Babbett Road, and the Boulevard School, on Lake Shore Boulevard, near Upton. The principals are: R. B. Sharrock, of Euclid; D. E. Melts, of Shore; Edna Felt, of Roosevelt; Bessie Wills, of Noble, and Rubie Hahn, of the Boulevard School. The total number of teachers are seventy five and the enrollment 1,800. There were twenty three in the graduating class this year. The superintendent is Wilbert A Franks, who will enter upon his fourth year in September. He has given many years to the teachers' profession, although a man in the prime of life. He has taught in other parts of Ohio, and was thirteen years a teacher in Colorado, and during a portion of that time was an instructor in the State Normal School of Colorado. The Village of Euclid, once rivalled by Collier and Collinwood, has a population of 7,000 and is the largest child of the township.

As the township of Euclid exists only in history it will be interesting to give some of the officers who have served in the early days. Among the trustees have been Elisha Graham, David Dille, Thomas Mcllrath, *Samuel Dodge, Abraham Bishop, Christopher Colson, L. R. Dille, Elis Lee, Jedecliah Crocker, Dan Hudson, Seth Doan, Nehemiah Dille, James Strong, Samuel Mcllrath, John Ruple, Thomas Gray, Enoch Murray, John Wilcox, J. Shaw, Elihu Richmond, Abijah Crosby, William Case, John Aikens, Ahaz Merchant, Asa Weston, William Camp, Benjamin Jones, Samuel Ruple, S. D. Pelton, Peter Rush, John Cone, Abraham D. Slaght, John Smith; Wakeman Penfield, John Welch, William Upson, William Treat, Asper Hendershot, John Stoner, William Not, John Doan, Hiram McIlrath, John D. Stillman, Henry Shepherd, Benjamin B. Beers, Virgil Spring, B. B. Beers, Anson Aikens, Joseph Pelton, William West, J. L. Aldrich, Jonathan Farr, H. M. Eddy, C. S. White, Wells Minor, George Rathbun, James Eddy, William Marshall, Charles Moses, G. W. Goodworth, A. B. Dille, David Waters, William Gaylord, Ernest Melchor, S. Woodmansee, Justice Shaffer, and George Smith. Among the clerks have been Lewis R. Dille, William Coleman, John Wilcox, M. W. Bartlett, T. T. White, Aaron Throop, Charles Farr, S. W. Dille, Henry Moses, E. J. Hulbert, A. C. Stevens, E. P. Haskell, A. S. Jones, L. J. Neville, Joseph Day, W. W. Dille, and Stephen White. The treasurers from 1910 to the '80s, a period of seventy years, have been Abraham Bishop, Enoch Murray, David Diller, Samuel W. Dille, Alexander Mcllrath, Samuel Ruple, Timothy Doan, S. D. Pelton, Elihu Rockwell, John Wilcox, John Storer, Alvin Hollister, P. P. Condit, Sargent Currier, Myndert Wimple, Johnson Ogram, Charles Moses, Charles Farr, Nelson Moses, L. J. Neville, Morris Porter, A. C. Gardner, and E. D. Belton:

Louis Harms, whom we have mentioned in connection with the grape industry, always refused public office, hence his name does not appear in the foregoing list. His family consisted of Carl, born on Kelly's Island, Louis, Julia, and Richard, born on Put-in-Bay Island, and Hulda and Irma, born at Euclid. He died in 1888. It may be said of his enterprise outside of the grape industry that he was the first man in the township, perhaps the county, to bore for natural gas, sinking a well 855 feet. A. D. Walworth, another vineyardist, served as justice of the peace in Nottingham for twenty years. Morris Porter was prominent for many years in county politics and was a member of the Sixty ninth General Assembly of Ohio. Of John Doan, who was one of the early trustees, we quote from the annals of the Early Settlers' Association of 1881, being an article taken from the Sunday Voice: "John Doan, of Collamer, the oldest living pioneer of Cuyahoga County, came to Cleveland in 1801. He was born June 28, 1798, and is now eighty three years old. The distinction of being the oldest male inhabitant of the county (the person with the longest residence in the county is probably the idea intended to convey) invests him with public interest. The subject of this sketch was born in 1798 and was brought to Cleveland in 1801, so that he has been a resident here seventy eight years." We have referred to the tavern opened by Paul P. Condit a little after 1814. His hostelry was called the "Farmers' Inn." He married Phebe McIlrath, "a young lady of Euclid, who possessed just the amiable, patient yet efficient traits of character that are requisite in a wife destined to share the trials and hardship of pioneer life." Mr. Condit and his wife conducted the tavern and gave it a wide reputation for good cheer and ample fare. Thus it received a liberal and profitable patronage. Mr. and Mrs. Condit conducted this inn or tavern for thirty years and it was a favorite resort not only of travelers but of social parties from the region around. Mrs. Condit lived to be nearly ninety years of age. While mistress of the Farmers' Inn she raised five children, did nearly all the housework, cooking and getting meals for travelers, washing and caring for her children, and spinning the flax and wool required for clothing the family. She often would spin in the evening so that the noise of her wheel would drown the howling of the wolves and save the children from getting scared She paid three dollars a pound for tea, which was brought from Pittsburg in saddlebags, and it was only used in the family on special days, Sundays and washing days. They made their own ink out of maple bark and copperas, found wild goose quills on the bank of the lake for pens, and paid 25 cents postage on letters. The school in that neighborhood was taught by the husband of a McIlrath, the sister of Mrs. Condit's father, a Mr. Shaw. He it was who endowed the old Shaw Academy. Mrs. Condit said that when the new frame church was built, with a steeple, it was the marvel of the times and people came from miles around to see it. Mrs. Condit related that her Aunt Shaw invited company one day and was expecting flour from the mill to make a shortcake, but was disappointed. It took three days to go to mill as they went to Willoughby. Being disappointed in the flour, Aunt Shaw stewed a pumpkin and flavored it in such a way that it made a good substitute for cake. It is constantly the case in studying the annals of the early days that reference is made only to the head of the family, the man, but the last incidents will show something of the woman's side of pioneering.

We will quote in closing this chapter on Euclid the closing remarks in an address by the Hon. Harvey Rice:

"We live in an age of marvels. In fact, the age of miracles has not passed. The century is full of them, full of marvelous inventions and improvements, which have comparatively relieved labor of its servility, and elevated the laborer. It is the divinity of modern science that has wrought these marvels. If such are the marvels of this century, what will be the wonders wrought in the next century, or in the next ten centuries? These are unanswerable questions. Yet we know that Nature has a language of her own, and that she patiently awaits interpreters.

It is contrast as well as distance that 'lends enchantment to the view.' The living present is destined to become in turn the remote past. Its relics will then be sought and treasured as curiosities. There will ever be a present and a past. The one will ever smile at the peculiar manners and customs of the other, while each will ever assume to be wiser than the other. Thus life has its phases, and every age its mirror. If we would acquire true wisdom, we must interrogate the past, and appropriate its lessons. In doing this we should not only acknowledge the merits of the past, but aspire to still sublimer heights in the scale of true manhood, a manhood that exalts itself and is worthy of divine exaltation."

*NOTE - Samuel Dodge was the grandfather of Samuel D. Dodge, who served as United States district attorney at Cleveland, whose sister married Horace A. Hutchins, a brother of John C. Hutchins, former judge of the Common Pleas Court.

Return to part 1 of Euclid History.


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