History of Mayfield Township, OH

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


Mayfield, survey township number 8 in range 10, like Chagrin Falls and Orange, includes a portion of the Chagrin River Valley. Originally under the civil jurisdiction of Chagrin, now Willoughby Township in Lake County, it soon formed its own township government and entered into the sisterhood of townships of Cuyahoga County In its pioneer history it has the distinction among other things of furnishing the biggest snake story yet recorded in the annals of the county. The first settlement was made in 1805 by Abner Johnson, Samuel Johnson and David Smith, who came with their families from Ontario County, New York; in that year and located on the west side of Chagrin River a little above the site of Willson's Mills. The next spring three old neighbors came from New York with packs on their backs, guns on their shoulders and a dog by their side. The leader of this hiking or hunting party and the oldest was Daniel S. Judd. He was a large fleshy man who had fought in the French and Indian wars forty five years before, and was also a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He was known as a great hunter of animals as well as men. This trip to the Western Reserve was in one sense a long hunt, as their trail took them through many miles of virgin forest. The others of the party were the two sons of Daniel, Freeman and Thomas Judd. The dog we will call Jack. The four, we must still include Jack, had started for Portage County, intending to settle there, but lost their way and by some turn of fate came upon their old neighbors of Ontario County, New York, whom they had not seen for some time. The fine bottom land of Chagrin River attracted them, and finding their old neighbors here as well, their plans were changed and they began a settlement on the west side of the river above where the others, the first settlers, had located. The Judds immediately began clearing, planting as they cleared, built a log cabin, probably more than one, as the sons had families, and in the fall went back East for their families and household furniture. In the family of Daniel S. Judd was Polly Judd, and she made quick conquest of the heart of John Howton, and in 1807 the first wedding was attended with the usual solemnities in this little community. The contracting parties were Polly Judd and John Howton and the magistrate who attended to the legal part of the programme was Squire Turner of Chagrin Falls. Polly, although the first to marry in Mayfield, was not the first daughter of the old warrior to take that step. In the spring of 1807 James Covert, a son in law of Daniel S. Judd, with a wife and child, came from New York to the Chagrin Valley. He located below the site of Willson's Mills, as that location is now given upon the map. He was twenty six, but other than his interest in realty his possessions consisted of a wife and child, $3 in money, an ax and a dog. He put up a shanty, went on foot to Painesville for a peck of salt, for which he paid $1, bought two pigs for the $2 left, and started in as a pioneer farmer. His biggest asset was his credit with his father in law, Judd. From him he bought a two year old heifer on credit. Not to trace all of the steps nor to know just how much he owed to his wife, the daughter of the old warrior, for his advancement, it is sufficient to say that at the time of his death he owned over 1,000 acres of land and much other property and was long known as the richest man in the township. He was the father of twenty three children; and died in 1878 at the age of ninety seven years. Of his twenty three children fourteen were by his first wife, whose maiden name was Martha Judd. The eighth born was James Covert, Jr., who for many years conducted the "Chagrin Valley Poultry Farm." This was the Abner Johnson farm, originally owned by that first settler, and was located, as we have said, above Willson's Mills. Samuel Johnson and David Smith left before Covert, Sr., came, so that this Abner Johnson farm was the first farm cleared in the township. John Jackson bought the farms of the first two, Samuel Johnson and David Smith, and became a permanent resident. The first birth in the township was a child to the first wedded pair, John and Polly Howton.

The difficulty that attended the pioneers generally in the county, the handicap of bad roads, was perhaps greater in Mayfield in its early history than in some other townships, as being under the civil government of Chagrin Township, now Willoughby, the few residents were called out to work their road tax in that township and the work done at home was voluntary road work. The Chagrin was much more healthful than the Cuyahoga and there was very little fever and ague, which was so prevalent in many parts of the county in the early days. Young calves and pigs were often killed and eaten by the bears, but Mr. Covert solved the problem by keeping together so large a drove of hogs that they would join together and fight Bruin to a finish. Failing in the pig baffles, the bears would resort to small depredations about the house by night and day. One morning Mrs. Judd put cream in the churn ready for churning, set it out on a temporary porch and went about her other household duties. When she came out to churn she found the churn upset and the cream licked up neatly and completely. Bear tracks all about revealed the identity of the robbers. James Jackson, who boarded with the Judds, planned a ruse to get the robbers. He put a pail of milk on the porch at night and waited with trusty flintlock. Soon he heard a lapping in the direction of the milk pail, and shooting at the sound in the darkness shot a large black bear. The wolves were very destructive among the sheep. Mr. Covert bought two sheep and two lambs, paying $2.50 per head. The first night the wolves got the lambs; then Covert built a protection fence and yarded the two. From these he raised a large flock. He was an expert with the gun and he and James Jackson did much to thin out the wild enemy to his flocks and herds. At one time he was badly bitten by a wounded bear that he had approached too closely, and was confined to the house for a long time. Among the settlers who came after Covert were P. K. Wilson, Benjamin Wilson, Luke Covert, Benjamin Carpenter and Solomon Moon. Supposedly these were heads of families in the main. These early settlers of Mayfield were largely Methodists in religion, and as early as 1809 a class in that denomination was formed under the charge of Reverend Mr. Davidson, who was an eloquent speaker and active worker. The meetings were held in private houses, as there was not even a log schoolhouse built at that time. The first death in the township was that of the venerable Daniel S. Judd, veteran of two wars, who died of apoplexy in 1810. After his death Mr. Covert became in a sense the dean of the settlers. In later years he used to relate how he would often take a bushel of corn on his back to the mill at Chagrin, now Willoughby, attended on his return home by packs of wolves. These would follow and howl, rather unpleasant company, but rarely attacked man even in the night time. Once, as he related to a group of children, he was thoroughly scared. He said: "I had been reaping wheat for a man who lived several miles from the river in Chagrin, and was coming home after dark. It was difficult to follow the sled path in the night, so I took off my shoes, carrying them in my hands so that I could feel the path with my feet. When about two miles from home I could see a row of fierce eyes within a few feet all about me. Wolves, generally cowardly, rarely came so close to a person and I was thoroughly scared. I felt in the darkness for a tree that I could climb and my hands came upon two sticks. These I threw with all force at the row of eyes and the animals scattered in the darkness. They followed me all the way home, but at a safer distance on each side, howling at intervals."

War is destructive of the ordinary processes of civilization, and the War of 1812 stopped everything in the line of increased settlement in township 8, range 10. Not until 1816 was there a schoolhouse in the township. It was a log building erected on land of Anthony Sherman. This became the only public hall and was used for a long time as a schoolhouse, church, and town hall. In 1815 Seth Mapes and family came into the pioneer life of the township. They stayed twelve years and then moved to Orange. In 1819 the little community took action towards forming a township government. It has been historically true that in all the history of Cuyahoga County and its constituent townships, as in the entire Western Reserve, orderly and complete civic authority was early established and all the forms of government put in force. It would seem that the failure of the French government to establish a more permanent foothold in this country was due to its form of settlements. The trading post established in the most attractive points for trade and commercial advantage did not take root and become a fixed and integral part of an empire such as they designed to establish. The township, a small but actual division of the greater county, the officers drawn from its people in most familiar and actual contact with all the rest, intrusted with the dignity and burden of local self government, was a little world in itself. It had in itself political strength and independence and yet as the athlete trains the smaller muscles to make the powerful and complete man, so these communities self trained in government are factors in building up and maintaining a great republic. On June 14, 1819, a town meeting was held in the log schoolhouse in township 8, range 10. At a previous meeting the name Mayfield had been selected and the county commissioners had approved of the selection, taken all the necessary steps, and granted the request for the organization. The meeting was organized by choosing Daniel S. Judd, Daniel Richardson, and Adam Overacker as judges of election, and John Jackson as clerk. Twenty men were present and voted and thirteen out of the twenty were elected to office. These first officers of the township were: Trustees, Adam Overacker, Seth Mapes, and Daniel Smith; clerk, John Jackson; treasurer, Benjamin Carpenter, Jr.; overseers of the poor, James Covert and Philo Judd; fence viewers, John Gloge and Michael Overacker; appraiser, Francis Mapes; lister, Henry Francisco; justice of the peace, Michael Overacker. We have said that previous to the organization of the township it was a part of the civil Township of Chagrin. The Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland has preserved an interesting record connected with the separation when the Township of Mayfield was formed. The Township of Chagrin settled with its seceding neighbor in strict equity. The record is in the form of a receipt and reads as follows:

"Received of the Township of Chagrin November tenth three dollars and eighty eight cents, being our proportion of the money in the treasury at the time of the division. Amount of tax levied in 1818, $76.00. Amount paid by Mayfield $6.80. Remaining in the treasury at the time of the division $43.05. Belonging to Mayfield $3.88.

"Paid by John Jackson three dollars and eighty eight cents to the Trustees of Mayfield, money drawn from the treasury of Chagrin and expended between them and the township clerk as a compensation for their services during the year one thousand eight hundred and nineteen."

To one given to figures it is easy to compute the ratio and show that Chagrin (Willoughby) paid over the exact proportion due the new township.

The increase following the organization of the township was two or three families per year. Bears and wolves began to diminish in numbers, but rattlesnakes were numerous in all parts. Solomon Mapes, and his achievement is authenticated by others, Dr. A. L. Dille related the story in the '80s, Solomon Mapes killed sixty three rattlesnakes, the inhabitants of a single hollow log. This was in 1825. He discovered the presence of the reptiles in the log, armed himself with an efficient weapon, and then with a rousing tap on the log would kill the snakes, one by one, as they came out. His count was verified by others. The first sawmill was built by Abner Johnson and Seth Mapes in 1824 north of Mayfield Center. The next year Mr. Johnson built the first gristmill in the township. It was located on a branch of the Chagrin River near the site of Willson's Mills. In 1826 Halsey Gates came to the locality afterwards known as Gates' Mills. He brought with him the gearing for a sawmill and immediately started the building, and the same year began operations. This was in the southeast section of the township. The next year he put up a gristmill, and these two most essential industries centered the settlement which is now the Village of Gates' Mills. Lyndon Jenks was an early resident here.

About 1828 a temporary blight affected the growth and impeded the development of the new township. This was nothing more or less than an outbreak of Mormonism. We have ref erred to the address of Sidney Rigdon at Chagrin Falls in which he predicted that the "Saints" would soon occupy the Chagrin Valley. Mayfield became an especial camping ground for Mormon preachers, priests, and prophets, before this prediction was made, and there were many converts. It is authenticated that they held out the inducement that those joining the Mormon Church, if they had sufficient faith, would never die, but if death came it was as a result of sin. Recent investigations into the operations of The House of David at Benton Harbor, Michigan, have brought out the fact that this sect held out the same inducement. The House of David was founded by Joanna Southcott, an English religious fanatic, who was born in Devonshire in 1750, a domestic servant. Originally she became a Methodist and soon pretended to have supernatural gifts. She dictated prophecies in rhyme, proclaimed herself to be the woman mentioned in the Apocalypse, and, although sixty four years old, affirmed that she was to be delivered of "Shiloh" on the 19th of October, 1814. When this date arrived she was surrounded by her followers but "Shiloh" failed to appear. It was then given out that she was in a trance, but she died of dropsy in ten days. Her publications number over sixty, and are all "equally incoherent in thought and grammar," but a lady named Essam left by will a large sum of money for printing and publishing the "Sacred Writings of Joanna Southcott." This bequest was contested in court by a niece on the ground that the writings were blasphemous, but the Court of Chancery sustained the will. This cult grew and at one time there were 100,000 followers. Then it gradually died out, but never became wholly extinct. The House of David, Shiloh, at Benton Harbor, Michigan, was of this cult. They held to the claim that its followers would not die. When the influenza swept the country it was published in the newspapers that there were no cases in Shiloh and while the outside world were dying the members of the House of David were perfectly healthy. Later developments in court in connection with the immorality charges proved against King Benjamin Purnell, have brought out the fact that deaths in the colony were concealed and secret burials were employed to conceal the fact of death, at least to the outside world. This cult, as will be seen, was founded only a short time before Mormonism, and the founders of Mormonism at first adopted this taking idea of immunity from death as a good talking point for their missionaries. As we have said, there were many converts in Mayfield, and some were perfectly crazy in their new faith. Families were broken up by the fanatical Mormonism of some of the household. Besides the resident converts many Mormons moved into the township and "squatted" on land in the sparsely settled portions of the township, on farms in the western and central parts. These were social groups. In some instances there were several families on one farm. But developments at Kirtland and plans of the leaders there changed the drift and in 1831 they moved away to join the westward progress of the colony. Mayfield breathed freer now and the coming of settlers of a character to build up the best interests of the township began. Samuel Dean had come to Gates' Mills in 1829. By that time nearly all the lots had been bought on credit from the original owners. The clearings were small, the houses log, and if frame houses were seen they were as rare as rail fences are today. The farms were mostly sold on land contracts running from twenty five to thirty years. When the terms were broken by failure of the purchaser to keep up his payments in full, they were renewed from time to time. If the owner got his interest he was satisfied and sometimes it was difficult to get enough to pay his taxes. After the Mormons left, a more enterprising class came in. They bought up the old improvements, paid for their lands in a reasonable time and a change came over the township for the better. Whatever may be said of the thrift of the Mormons in the West, they were not a benefit to Mayfield and in so far as their influence and history touches the township of Mayfield, and thereby enters into the history of Cuyahoga County, they were a blight.

Soon after 1830 the immigration became rapid. Frederick Willson came and gave his name to Willson's Mills. Elton Wait and Daniel McDonald built the first store in the township in that locality. This passed to Willson and McDonald, who continued in business for five years. Col. Ezra Eddy settled in the township and opened a tanning and currying establishment near Gates' Mills. This he carried on for many years. The first frame schoolhouse was built at the Center in 1830 and took the place and occupied the site of the old log school, which was the first built in the township. Like its predecessor the new schoolhouse was used for church and town meetings. Elections were held in it as late as 1848. When Jeniah Jones settled near the Center in 1831 that part was still a wilderness. Soon after his arrival he helped to open the state road from the Center eastward. There were no buildings along the line then. Rufus Mapes, who came in 1830, was long and favorably known over the county. Of those who came to the East Hill before this year Rufus Mapes outstayed them all. South of the Center Joseph Lenty, Elijah Sorter and sons, Harry, Charles and Isaac, took up land. They bought from the Mormons, paying $4 per acre. The grandfather of Elijah, Henry Sorter, better known as Uncle Hank, was of Dutch descent and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. Grandmother Sorter was also of Dutch descent, was once captured by the Indians. At another time another member of her family was made a captive and was released on the payment of twenty two pounds of tobacco. Some such ransom was paid for the release of Grandmother, as she was not long in captivity. Other settlers, who came about the time that the Sorters arrived, were S. Whaling, Lucas Lindsley, and others. The farmers were getting into sheep raising, and in 1832 Erwin Doolittle started a carding machine and cloth dressing establishment, north of Willson's Mills and on the same stream on which Abner Johnson located his mill.

The first physician in the township was Dr. A. L. Dille, who came from Euclid and settled at Wilson's Mills and engaged in practice there in 1834. Here was the only postoffice in the township until this year and all residents went there for their mail. Then a postoffice was established at Gates' Mills, a mail route being opened from Cleveland to Chardon, Geauga County. The year before Willson and McDowell built a tavern at Willson's Mills, and Hiram Folk opened one at Gates' Mills. The year following Halsey Gates put up a. fine frame hotel at Gates' Mills, with a ballroom, and for years this was the scene of many a joyous gathering. The same year Willson and McDowell built a sawmill and fiouring mill near the site of their store and tavern. These mills were burned in 1839 and rebuilt, Gen. Frederick Willson owning a whole or part until they passed into the hands of his son. By 1839 all the land in the township had been bought from the original owners and a large part cleared. There were some deer still in the woods. Doctor Dille says he only heard the wolves howl once after 1834. Mayfield was no longer a wilderness. In 1849 Dr. T. M. Moon began practice at Gates' Mills, and Dr. Alexander Charles at Mayfield Center. Doctor Charles was commissioned a surgeon in the volunteer army in the Mexican war, went to the front and died while serving in the army in Mexico. The first church building was put up by the Methodists at Mayfield Center in 1842. In 1856 a number of enterprising citizens secured a charter for a school of higher grade in the township. It was known as the Mayfield Academy and was under the direction of the Mayfield Academy Association. A building was erected in the southwest part of the township. This school flourished for many years and gave opportunity to the youth of the township for a more liberal education than the district schools afforded. In the Civil war Mayfield gave its full quota to the Union cause, and the names of her soldiers are recorded in the soldiers' monument on the public square at Cleveland. In 1877 a plank road was built from East Cleveland through Euclid and Mayfield to the top of the hill one half a mile east of Gates' Mills. Of this road three and one half miles was built in Mayfield Township. In 1879 there were three postoffices in the township, located at Willson's Mills, Gates' Mills, and Mayfield Center. At Gates' Mills there were twenty residences, a gristmill and sawmill, a rake factory, and a store. Two churches gave opportunity for religious services to which all were invited. At Mayfield Center there were the town hall, a church a store and a sawmill. Of the Methodist churches of the township one was located at the Center, one at Gates' Mills, and one on the east line of the township called East Hill. These churches were on a circuit and among the pastors have been in the early years Reverends Mix, Graham, and Excell, and Revs. B. J. Kennedy, E. C. Latimer, Hiram Kellogg, D. Rowland, J. B. Goodrich, D. Mizener, J. K. Shaffer, and James Shields. The United Brethren Church was organized in 1870, and a church building erected at Willson's Mills. A Disciple Church was organized at Gates' Mills in 1871. They bought a schoolhouse and converted it into a church. Truman Gates, L. P. Shuart, Luther Battles, and Lyndon Jenks have served as trustees.

Of the schools, notwithstanding many recent changes in the local government by the formation of villages out of the territory of Mayfield, they are all under the supervision of one superintendent, W. L. Shuman. The buildings are located in different parts of the original township, but operated as if all were centrally combined. There is one at Willson's Mills, one at Gates' Mills, one at Highland Heights, and one at Mayfield Center. There are, all told, twenty one teachers, and the total enrollment of pupils is 600.

The year of 1920 witnessed radical changes by the forming of villages out of the township, and four villages were formed as if by a concerted arrangement, and a portion of the township annexed to another village in an adjoining township the same year. The villages were formed by action of the trustees of the township, B. A. Shepard, W. P. Fisher, and J. W. Southwick, and a vote of the people. The township clerk at this time being S. E. Miner. Riverside Village in the northeast section, comprising Willson's Mills, petitioned and the agents of the petitioners were Fred Willson and P. J. Sherman. The population of the territory to be included was 200. Election was held May 27th, and the vote was twenty eight in favor and seven against the proposition. The people in the north center of the township, west of Riverside, petitioned for a village to be called Mayfield Village. The agent of the petitioners was L. E. Brott. The election on the proposition was held July 6th, and the vote was thirty two for and five against it. The number of inhabitants was given as 300. The residents in the northwest part of the township petitioned for the formation of a village to be called Highland Heights. The agents of the petitioners were Myron Willis and Aloys Stenger. The number of inhabitants was given as 200. A vote was taken at an election held May 18th and the vote was thirty two for the proposition and none against it. The inhabitants of the southwest portion of the township, which includes Gates' Mills, petitioned, and the agent of the petitioners was L. H. Elliott. An election was called for November 29th, and here a much larger vote was had, the result being 105 for the formation of a village and 4 against. The name selected was Gates' Mills Village. In this same year of 1920 S. C. Vessy, solicitor of the Village of Lyndhurst, lying on the southwest border of Mayfield, and formerly called Euclidville, petitioned the county commissioners for the annexation of certain contiguous territory in Mayfield Township to that village. This petition was granted, and this territory in the southwest portion annexed to that village. Perhaps no township in the county has mothered so many municipal corporations in a single year.

Commencing at the northwest, the officers of Highland Heights Village are: Mayor, Myron Willis; clerk, Grant Straight; treasurer, Clark Parker; marshal, James Holoday; assessor, Charles S. Marquis; justice of the peace, Otto F. Moses; councilmen, John Franz, John Hager, John Herman, Frank Holoday, Frank McGurer, and Ora Parker. To the west comes Mayfield Village. The officers are: Mayor, G. A. Bennett; clerk, Maynard Covert; treasurer, Carl Schwering; marshal, Seman Grootegood; assessor, W. F. Sickman; councilmen, H. M. Locker, Herman Schulz, D. M. Brott, Dorr Knapp, W. R. Oatese, and Percy Parker. West of this lies the Village of Riverside. The officers are: Mayor, W. G. Schmunk; clerk, F. J. Willson; treasurer, J. A. Southwick; marshal, James Murney; councilmen, N. Battles, E. A. Brigham, I. S. McClintock, J. W. Rogers, P. J. Sherman, and H. O. Stine. The officers of Gates' Mills Village, in the southwest portion of the original township, are: Mayor, F. R. Walker; clerk, H. L. Huncher; treasurer, F. H. Ginn; marshal, C. C. Clark; councilmen, George W. Brown, L. H. Elliott, J. H. Fleming, H. C. Gallimore, R. B. Hayes, and E. S. Miner.

Notwithstanding the swarming of so many political entities from the original hive the Township of Mayfield formed so long ago in the wilderness has still an active existence and its territory, diminished, surrounds the Mayfield Center of the years gone by. The present officers of the township are: Trustees, B. A. Shepard, John Southwick and W. P. Fisher; clerk, Stanley Miner; treasurer, L. D. Hine; assessor, Charles Marquis; justice of the peace, Horace Neff; constable, S. Grootegood. Among the officers up to the '80s we will recall many scions from the original pioneer stock as well some of the pioneers. Among those who have served as trustees are: Truman Gates, L. P. Shuart, Luther Battles, Lyndon Jenks, Rufus Mapes, E. A. Johnson, H. S. Mapes, Osbert Arnold, Herman Jacobs, Daniel Shepherd, N. C. Sebins, Harry Sorter, David Hoege, J. A. Dodd, J. Bennett, Leonard Straight, C. N. Sorter, C. Russell, William Apthorp, J. B. Sorter, Alva Hanscom, J. Sherman, H. Webster, Gordon Abbey, Nelson Willson, A. Granger, L. Jenks, W. D. Seldon, E. D. Battles, John Aikens, T. Gates, Milo Rudd, George Covert, John Law, William Neville, William O. Southwick, Ira Hoffman, A. F. Williams, A. A. Jerome and Henry Covert. Among the clerks, some of whom served quite long terms, we note, Jeniah Jones, W. Brainard, L. Straight, J. A. Cutler, William Miner, Tracy E. Smith, Wilbur F. Sorter and H. W. Russell. The treasurers also have served quite long terms. Among them have been D. Wakeman, Charles N. Sorter, H. C. Eggleston, L. Straight, Harry Sorter, J. T. Battles, A. Straight, L. M. Gates, Jr., and A. Granger.

Before closing the chapter on Mayfield we are constrained to give something more of a few of the characters identified with the township and county of which it is a part. Col. Ezra Eddy was born in Orange County, New York, in 1805. He was colonel of a regiment of militia, which drew its membership from all that portion of the county east of the Cuyahoga River. For six years he was county commissioner. Frederick Willson was born in the Township of Phelps, Ontario County, New York. He has been mentioned as coming to the township in 1830 and giving his name to the locality, Willson's Mills. He served in the militia of New York before coming to Mayfield and was lieutenant and then captain in the light artillery service. He was elected captain of the first company of militia formed in Mayfield. They drilled and made great preparation for going to the front in the "Toledo war," which was a controversy over the boundary line between Michigan and Ohio, but Uncle Sam stepped in and averted the appeal to arms. In 1834 he was elected major of the First Regiment, Second Brigade, Ninth Division of the Ohio Militia. In 1835 he was elected lieutenant colonel, and then colonel, and in 1838 he was elected a brigadier general, and ever after held the title of General Willson. He married Miss Eliza Henderson of Orange Township. He was a member of the Masonic fraternity for sixty years. His sons were inclined to military service. George A. was a member of the Cleveland Grays, First Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was killed at the battle of Resaca in the Mexican war. James P. served during the war in the First Ohio Battery, and died soon afters his return home. M. H. Willson, the oldest son, succeeded his father, General Willson, in owning and operating Willson's Mills. He was so engaged for a quarter of a century. It may be mentioned that General Willson's grandfather, Henry Willson, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. The wife of General Willson, who gave him nine children, was of New England stock. In coming to Mayfield the Willsons took claim to a tract of government land. Harry Sorter came with his father, Elijah, to Mayfield in 1831. He got his education in the district school, which was kept in a log schoolhouse. Perhaps it would be more exact to say that he finished his education there, for he had attended school some in New York before the family came to the Western Reserve. Elijah Sorter bought his land of the Mormons. Harry, when only twelve years of age, drove an ox team to Cleveland, carrying a load of Mormons. He spent his early life on the farm clearing. In 1875 he was elected to the Legislature and served in the Sixty second General Assembly. He served six years as township treasurer. W. A. Thorp was long a resident of Mayfield. His father, Warren A. Thorp, was born in Cleveland. He was a grandson of Yale Thorp. 'Yale Thorp built Yale College in Connecticut and left an arrangement whereby his posterity could be educated there free of charge. W. A. Thorp served for a number of years as township trustee and held other township offices. A. A. Jerome was born in Orange Township. His father, Asahel Jerome, was a native of New York State and his mother, who before her marriage was Miss Lavina C. Sabin, was a native of Connecticut. A. A. Jerome served in the Union army throughout the Civil war. He was twice wounded, the last wound received at the battle of Winchester, when he fought under Sheridan, resulted in the loss of an eye. Enlisting as a private he was promoted to be sergeant. He served six years as county commissioner. George A. Bennett was born in Mayfield, where he was a blacksmith for thirty years. His father, Jacob Bennett, was an early settler and was a blacksmith by trade. His shop was the first one in town and after his death George continued the business. George A. Bennett was treasurer of Mayfield Township for fifteen years and served as county commissioner. James H. Gates, for a long time postmaster of Mayfield, was the son of Charles Gates. Just what relationship there was to Halsey Gates, who gave his name to Gates' Mills the annals do not disclose. The Gates family were of Scotch ancestry. The Battles family enter largely into the history of Mayfield. The annual family reunions held in the township have been events of interest. An address delivered at one of these gatherings held in 1888, by Luther Battles, is preserved and is full of historical interest Mary Ann Battles was chosen historian for the association. The meeting referred to was held at the residence of Lorenzo Baffles, the old homestead. Luther Battles in his address paid this tribute and we quote it because so largely the history of the county is made up of the doings and' transactions of men and the women are "understood" as factors but not specifically mentioned. He said: "I ask, who was the great central figure and loving sympathizer in all our trials and vicissitudes, our griefs and disasters, our hopes and fears, who heard every cry and felt the throbbing of every heart? None but mother."


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