The agricultural interests of the township were keeping pace in some degree with the educational and industrial
advancement. In 1876 the outlet of Lake Abram was enlarged and a large area of new land brought into cultivation.
The soil is a black muck, extremely fertile, and the finest onion land in the world. Immense quantities were raised
of that marketable product and the soil proved to be almost inexhaustible. It represents the accumulated mold of
untold centuries. Eight hundred bushels per acre have been raised on this land and to facilitate shipping a railroad
switch was extended into these onion fields and the onions loaded directly on the cars. From the days when John
Baldwin carried the pattern of a mandrel on his shoulders to Cleveland to the time when blocks of stone weighing
1,000 tons have been moved in the quarries by modern appliances and sliced up by gang saws, great changes have
taken place. All this has not been accomplished without some drawbacks. In the turning of grindstones a fine grit
arose that breathed into the lungs of many workmen caused death in a few years. Grindstone or grit consumption
was a terrible scourge. This became more prevalent and distressing as steam power was applied and the wheels turned
with lightning speed. It remained for John Baldwin, Jr., whose memory should be ever fragrant, to eliminate this
danger and save the lives of workmen. He invented a patent blower by which the dust is carried away, and the disease
has disappeared. Is it any wonder that the name of Baldwin is a sacred name in the annals of Middleburg and her
Among those who have served in the early years of the civil administration of the township have been: Trustees,
Amos Briggs, David Harrington, Abram Fowls, Richard Vaughn, Thaddeus Ball, Buel Peck, Silas Becket, Elias C. Frost,
J. Vaughn, Valentine Gardner, Benjamin Colby, Patrick Hurniston, Charles Green, Clark Goss, Libbeus Pomeroy, John
Baldwin, Enoch C. Watrous, Moses Cousins, Sheldon J. Fuller, David Gardner, Lewis A. Fowls, J. Sheldon, A. Lovejoy,
James Wallace, G. R. Whitney, C. C. Bennett, S. W. Smith, W. Sutton, James S. Smedley, William Newton, Conrad Stumpf,
William Pritchard, T. J. Quayle, S. B. Gardner, Henry Bevares, Amos Fay, S. W. Perry, William Engles, John McCroden,
William Lum, William Humiston, J. C. Nokes and John W. Landphair; clerks, Jared Hickox, Benjamin Tuttle, Eli Osborn,
John Baldwin, Merritt Osborn, F. Humiston, Russell Gardner, Philemon Barber, J. Melt Lewis, S. H. Woolsey, M. Hepburn,
Harmon P. Hepburn, John Watson, George S. Clapp, William B. Rogers, A. S. Allen, J. P. Mills, E. C. Martin, S.
S. Canniff, J. C. Nokes, C. W. Medley and Abner Hunt; treasurers, Abram Fowls, Silas Gardner, Isaac Frost, Amos
Gardner, Philo Fowls, Isaac Meacham, L. Pomeroy, G. R. Whitney, David Goss, J. Fuller, Jonathan Pickard, Silas
Clapp, Robert Wallace, John S. Miller, J. S. Smedley, T. J. Quayle, W. W. Noble, E. J. Kennedy, T. C. Mattison,
Joseph Nichols and E. Christian; justices of the peace, Ephraim Vaughn, Benjamin Colby, Jere Fuller, Henry R. Ferris,
P. Barber and Jared Hickox.
The present officers of the township are: Trustees, C. F. Eckert, C. F. Sprague and W. R. Schrivens; clerk, J.
M. Patton, who has also served as justice of the peace, and is now solicitor of the Village of Berea; treasurer,
George C. Goette; assessor, George F. Gray; constables, E. W. Carman and Charles F. Poots. The original territory
of Middleburg has been broken into by two villages, Berea, named from the postoffice and unofficial designation,
and Brook Park Village in the north. Berea was organized as a village March 23, 1850. Naturally the first mayor
was John Baldwin. Others who served in the early days are G. M. Barber, J. V. Baker, W. N. Watson, Joseph Jones,
Silas Clapp, Jacob Rothweiler, James Smedley, John Baldwin, Jr., Alex McBride, S. S. Brown, Lyman Baker, D. R.
Watson, George Nokes and Joseph Nichols. A town hall was erected in 1874. The present officers of the village are:
Mayor, Carl J. Eckert; clerk, C. E. Fox; treasurer, J. B. Pomeroy; assessor, George Gray; councilmen, E. C. Haag,
C. M. Jordan, P. G. Mohler, D. Gilchrist, Harry Wismer and John Baesel. The former clerk was J. M. Patton. Brook
Park Village has been more recently organized. It has its own school district and an efficient municipal government.
The present officers are: Mayor, W. J. Sifleet; clerk, S. H. Pincombe; treasurer, G. J. Gage; assessor, Carl F.
Rohde; councilmen, Louis Grosse, Y. C. Schmidt, Jacob Walter, J. T. Waddups, Ole Olsen and William Wensink. Many
of these men who served in the township and village have served the county in a larger capacity, and others not
included in the list. There is G. M. Barber, who served as common pleas judge; E. J. Kennedy, who served as state
representative, county recorder and county commissioner; John Asling and T C Mattison, who served as county commissioners;
George Nokes, Robert Wallace and C. F. Lane, who served as state representatives, and M. A. Sprague, who served
for a long time as county school examiner.
Middleburg was provided with the district schools scattered over the township to better accommodate the sparsely
settled territory, but the educational development kept pace with the business advance. Shortly after the village
of Berea was incorporated a union school was established there. This was the first graded school to be established
outside of the city. Thus Berea can boast of having the first college in Cuyahoga County, and the only one for
many years, and one of the first graded schools. It was governed by the township board of education and, like a
sub district, by a board of directors. James S. Smedley was the first teacher. After him came Goddard, Milton Baldwin,
Israel Snyder, Bassett, Eastman, Goodrich, Kendall, Huckins, Pope, and Hoadley. These were teachers in the old
frame building. The first school building was replaced by a brick building and the first principal in this building
was B. B. Hall. He was succeeded by Mr. Millets, and he by M. A. Sprague, who was in charge for a long period,
and brought the school up to a high grade of efficiency and more perfect classification. Efficient officers after
the new building was in operation were: President of the board, E. Christian; clerk, C. W. Sanborn; treasurer,
A. H. Pomeroy; directors, T. C. Mattison, M. McDermott and E. G. Worcester. In the new building in 1895 was held
the County Teachers' Institute, an annual meeting provided by law, and due to the fact that it was held in a college
town and to the active interest of Mr. Sprague and his corps of assistants, it was a great success. The public
schools of Middleburg are now a part of the general system operated under the direction of the County Board of
Education and the county superintendent, Mr. Yawberg. S. S. Dickey is township superintendent of schools. Besides,
the large and well equipped high school building at Berea, there are grade buildings including a school building
for orphans, which is under the same general supervision. There are thirty one teachers employed and an enrollment
of 888 pupils. Brook Park Village has its separate school district. In its schools are engaged seven teachers and
there are 182 pupils enrolled. Mr. Frank Blair is superintendent.
Berea College has ever been under the auspices of the Northern Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
John Baldwin has been one of the large contributors. The buildings of Baldwin Institute were transferred to the
college and each year Mr. Baldwin paid in the interest on $10,000. The first faculty consisted of Rev. John Wheeler,
president, and professor of mental and moral science; Rev. Jeremiah Tingley, vice president and professor of natural
sciences; Rev. William Barnes, professor of Latin and Greek; Gaylord H Hartupee, professor of mathematics; Misses
Rosanna Baldwin and Emily A. Covel completed the teaching force, to which, however, must be added the teacher of
music, Eugenia A. Morrison, and of French, Sarah A. Storer. In 1858 a German department was added, under the tutelage
of O. Henning, Ph. D. He was followed by Jacob Rothweiler, who was very successful in increasing the number of
students, and building up the interest generally in this branch of study. In 1863 German Wallace College was established
as a separate institution, but the relationship of the two schools was very close. Students entering the German
Wallace College were privileged to attend classes in the other school and vice versa. Berea College was stronger
in Latin, mathematics, and natural sciences, and German Wallace College in Greek, French, and music. In 1868 a
college of pharmacy was added, but it was abandoned three years later for want of support, there not being enough
prospective druggists to support the school by their attendance. But the colleges were growing generally and new
buildings added. In 1868 Hulet Hall was built. This building was named in honor of Fletcher Hulet, who was a large
contributor. Ladies' Hall was built in 1879. Among the early presidents of the first named college were W. D. Godman,
who followed President Wheeler; Aaron Schuyler, whose series of mathematical text books were introduced and largely
used in multitudes of schools over the country for many years, and William C. Pierce, Doctor of Divinity. The history
of this, the first college in the county, deserves more than a passing notice. It was in August, 1845, that John
Baldwin appeared before the North Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in session at Marion, Ohio,
and offered a fifty acre campus, a large three story building, thirty building lots, and fifty acres of additional
land at Berea for the purpose of founding an institution of learning at that place. This gift was accepted and
a board of commissioners appointed, who with Mr. Baldwin organized Baldwin Institute and obtained a charter for
it in December of that year. In 1855 the institution was reorganized and rechartered as Baldwin University. In
1856 a new department was organized to provide for the educational needs of the German Methodist Episcopal Church
of Berea. The demand for the study of German increased to such an extent that it was deemed necessary to organize
a separate institution under the control of its own board of directors. James Wallace donated the building and
grounds for this departure, and in 1863 the new school was organized and chartered under the name of the German
Wallace College. These two colleges continued as separate entities, but with the close relationship, already referred
to, until August, 1913, when they were united under the name of Baldwin Wallace College. This action was endorsed
by the Conference and Board of Education of the Methodist Church and by patrons of the two institutions. Various
endowment funds have been given to the school, which have added to its interest and efficiency. Among these the
name of Baldwin appears not infrequently. There is the Milton T. Baldwin fund of $3,000 to be used as prizes in
the school, and the Gould Baldwin fund of $20,000 for the support of the school in the payment of salaries to professors,
both given by Mr. and Mrs. John Baldwin; a fund of $20,980 for establishing a chair of modern languages, given
by the Association of Former Students, and the Nast fund of $25,000 for a chair of theology, given by Mrs. Fanny
Nast Gamble. Twenty five thousand dollars was given by Colonel and Mrs. H. A. Marting to establish the Henry and
Isabella Marting chair of theology, and $20,000 by J. G. Kalmbach to establish the Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Kalmbach
chair of theology. Another bequest by Fanny Nast Gamble of $25,000 was received to establish a president's chair,
and one of $13,000 given by Sarah V. and C. V. Wheeler to establish a John Wheeler fund. Rev. and Mrs. John Marting
gave $30,000 to establish the Henry and Louise Duis chair in the college. The largest single donation for the support
of the school was the Philura Gould Baldwin memorial fund of $40,000 given by Mr. and Mrs. John Baldwin, Jr. Seventeen
other smaller endowments have been received since the college was founded, not enumerated here.
There are twenty five acres of campus. The buildings are in two groups and there is the north campus and the south
campus. The chief structures are of Berea sandstone. There is the fine Memorial Building on the south campus for
the administrative offices. This contains the conservatory and the Fanny Nast Gamble Auditorium with seats for
2,000 people and one of the finest of pipe organs. The college chapel, the men's dormitory, Dietsch Hall, a residence
for women students, and the gymnasium are here. At the north campus is located Wheeler Hall, Carnegie Science Hall,
the Philura Gould Baldwin Memorial Library Building, erected as a gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Baldwin, Jr., in memory
of their daughter, Philura Gould Baldwin, who was a graduate of the college and its first librarian. Here is also
the Home Economics Cottage, the Smith Observatory, and Hulet Hall, a residence halal for women, erected out of
the stone of old Hulet Hall of 1868, which was the main building on the old Baldwin Campus. In this growth into
a large institution the original ideas of the founder have not been lost sight of, although in its diversity of
studies and variety of modern appliances great changes have taken place. In the last college bulletin this statement
is made: "It is the desire of the college to produce such an atmosphere as will make the Christian life the
standard for the normal student. In the regular exercises of the college religious life finds both expression and
John Baldwin attended a school in his youth where only reading and writing were taught, a school not up to the
standard of the district school of the pioneers. We are giving something of the college he founded, which may be
more interesting by comparison. The department of physics occupies six rooms in Carnegie Hall. In the basement
are the electrical laboratories, and a photometer room. On the first floor is the general laboratory, the office,
and a large lecture room with lantern and apparatus for its use. The Chemical Laboratories Department is furnished
with apparatus such as electrically heated and controlled drying ovens, steam baths and electric furnaces for both
crucible and combustion work, important in the analysis of iron, steel, and alloys; an outfit for determining molecular
weights and conductivities, and Beckman thermometers for freezing point and boiling point determination. There
is a laboratory with apparatus for courses in sanitary chemistry, with an auta-clave, steam sterilizers, electric
incubators and microscopes, also used for bacteriological work. There are the Biological Laboratories with apparatus
for the study of botany, zoology and physiology, in which are twenty five dissecting microscopes, which are equipped
with mechanical stage and oil immersion objectives, sliding microtomes, camera lucida, eyepiece micrometers, stains,
and all usually found in a biological laboratory. The college has a Home Economics Laboratory, a Textile and Clothing
Laboratory, and a cottage where household management is taught as in an equipped household. There is the Herman
Hertzer Museum, begun by Professor Hertzer, its first curator, of whom mention is made in a former chapter His
collection of fossils is there, with additions made by Dr. D. T. Gould and Dr. William Clark, whom we have also
mentioned. In this museum we find the United States series of rocks, containing 150 specimens, and ethnological
specimens from China, India, Egypt and Assyria, given by Revs. F. Ohlinger, C. F. Kupfer, G. Schaenzlin, F. Bankhardt
and Prof. W. N. Stearns. In the biological department there is the Harry Hamilton collection, presented by Mrs.
H. W. Ingersoll of Elyria, and the A. J. Brown collection, presented by the Brown family.
All freshmen and sophomores are required to take work in physical training under competent instructors and intercollegiate
sports are fostered. Athletics in the college are conducted by an Athletic Board, and the physical director selected
has as his assistant the football coach. Fraternities are not permitted, but there are in the college seven literary
societies. There are, however, honorary fraternities, the Pi Kappa Delta and Theta Alpha Phi. The first has a membership
based on excellence in debate and oratory and including also intercollegiate debate and oratory, and the second
based on dramatic work. There is maintained a Slavonic Literary Society for candidates for the Slavonic ministry
wherein the members are trained in the language and literature for their work. There is a Chinese Students' Club,
a branch of the Chinese Alliance of North America, a Home Economics Club, a Young Men's Christian Association,
a Young Women's Christian Association, a Theological Society, for fellowship and practice preaching, and a Students'
Volunteer Band, to awaken interest in foreign missions. There is a Choral Union for the study of oratorios and
cantatas of the great masters, a Science Seminar Club for the study of mathematics, science and philosophy, to
keep pace with the advancement of the world in these lines, and an Alumni Association, that meets yearly at commencement
Prizes are distributed annually, and this feature adds to the interest and incites to greater endeavor among the
students of the college. The Milton T. Baldwin gift of John Baldwin, Jr., has been placed in a trust fund and from
the proceeds each year $25 is given to the student having the highest rank in study, and $25 to the one presenting
a theme highest in thought and composition. The Board of Home Missions of the Methodist Church also gives three
prizes, first, second and third, $25, $15 and $10, for the best essay or oration on the church and Americanization.
In common with other colleges, Baldwin Wallace also participates in the Cecil Rhodes scholarship, awarded on scholarship,
character, athletics, and leadership in extra curriculum activities. The winner of this prize gets a scholarship
to Oxford and $1,500 per year for three years.
College publications are an interesting feature of the school. There is published The Exponent, an official student
publication, devoted to the various phases of student life, published weekly; The Grindstone, a junior and senior
class biennial, and the Alumnus, a quarterly, published by the Alumni Association. In this school hazing is strictly
forbidden. There are courses in biology, business administration, chemistry, economics and sociology, education,
which is preparatory for teaching, English language and literature, foreign languages, history and political science,
home economics, mathematics, philosophy, physics, a pre medical course, agriculture, engineering and surveying,
astronomy, Bible, geology, Greek and Latin, journalism, missions, music, physical education, public speaking, and
Slavonic languages. The Nast Theological Seminary has a faculty of six, the Conservatory of Music a faculty of
thirteen, and the Cleveland Law School a faculty of fourteen. There are over 1,000 students enrolled. The faculty
consists of Albert Boynton, president, and professor of history; Delo Corydon Grover, vice president, and professor
of philosophy; Carl Riemenschneider, president emeritus; Archie M. Mattison, professor emeritus of Latin; Elisha
S. Loomis, professor emeritus of mathematics; Victor Wilker, professor emeritus of French and Spanish; Charles
W. Hertzer, professor of sociology; Edward L. Fulmer, professor of biology; Emory Carl Unnewehr, professor of physics;
Carl Stiefel, professor of the Bible; Frederick Kramer, professor of philosophy; Vaclav J. Louzecky, professor
of the Slavonic languages; Oscar Dustheimer, professor of mathematics and astronomy; Arthur C. Boggess, professor
of economics and missions; John M. Blocher, professor of chemistry; Harry Lu Ridenaur, professor of English; Frederick
Roehm, registrar and professor of education; Ethel Sapp Tudor, associate professor of home economics; William C.
Pautz, associate professor of history, mechanical drawing and physical education; Dana Thurlow Burns, assistant
professor of English and public speaking; Mame A. Condit, instructor in education; Helen Marie Bull, instructor
in chemistry; Charles R. Baillie, instructor in modem languages; Sam Lee Greenwood, same; Marie Caldwell Bums,
instructor in history and English; Maurice Hill Kendall, instructor and supervisor of the Slavonic department;
Walter J. Lemke, director of athletics, and Eva E. McLean, instructor in physical education. Judge Willis Vickery
is dean of the Law School, which is a department of Baldwin Wallace College but located in Cleveland.
John Baldwin, the pioneer, was plain even to eccentricity in dress. When wealth came he retained the same simplicity.
His dress was always of the same simple character and he would be seen on the streets barefoot and unkempt. It
was one of his favorite diversions to be taken for a derelict. He illustrated the lines of Burns:
What tho' on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden-grey, and a' that;
Give fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
A man's a man, for a' that.
Many stories are related of Mr. Baldwin, the man of wealth and influence, in his simple disguise as just a man.
At one time he was put off a train by a conductor, who mistook him for a tramp. He was compelled to walk a long
distance, no doubt chuckling to himself over the incident. Imagine the surprise of the conductor when he learned
that he had expelled from the train a high official of the road. We can assume, to make the picture complete, that
there were on this train, as there have been on many trains, men in rich clothes, whose proper destination was
a prison cell for crimes committed. Following the institution and assured success of this educational institution
in Berea Mr. Baldwin became interested in education in the South. Following the Civil war he invested there and
attempted to build up a school after his democratic ideas, but race prejudice and generally apathy interfered.
He wrote a letter to Doctor Newman of New Orleans Institute as follows: "I have bought for $20,000 the Darby
plantation of 1,700 acres in Saint Mary's Parish, Louisiana, which has since been increased to 4,000 acres. There
is a fine site of thirty or forty acres on the bank of the river containing fifteen or twenty houses, which the
brethren of the Mission Conference can occupy for religious education as soon as they choose, provided there is
no sex or color discrimination. When a corporate body is organized by said Conference, I will deed the above named
site and secure to said corporation enough capital to make $20,000." The terms of this offer would have been
acceptable in the North, but could not successfully be carried out there. This plantation is now Baldwin, Louisiana,
and a grandson of John Baldwin is in charge. Both John Baldwin and John Baldwin, Jr., are dead. John Baldwin did
build a suitable building for a school on the plantation, and it was operated for some years as an academy, but
its pupils were white. This has now been turned over to the authorities and used for a public school.
In 1880 the business center of Berea contained one hotel, one tinshop, two hardware stores, two wagon shops,
two harness shops, three drug stores, three blacksmith shops, three jewelry stores, two barber shops, four 'shoe
shops, four millinery shops, five dry goods stores, six saloons, and seven groceries. By the operation of the local
option law, passed by the Legislature of Ohio in 1886, the saloons were closed. The growth of the village has been
steady from year to year. In 1870 the Berea Street Railway Company was organized and a street railway built through
the town to the depot, something over a mile in length, at a cost of $6,000. This was operated for some years and
then the Cleveland & Southwestern Railway, a suburban line, was built through the town and served the village
both for local and general travel and traffic. In renewing their franchise a difference arose between the road
and the council of the village which was not adjusted, and the line wads changed to pass east of the village. Some
inconvenience resulted, but the advent of motor busses which pass through the village have in a measure relieved
this. Among the large industrial plants in the village are the Dunham Foundry, the Ohio Nut and Bolt Company, the
Liberty Metal Products Company, and the Fox Novelty Company. There are two banks in the village, the Commercial
and Savings Bank of Berea, E. J. Kennedy, president, with assets of $970,310, and the Bank of Berea, Percy Neubrand,
president, with assets of $1,713,933. Two loan companies complete the list of financial institutions, the Gibraltar
Savings and Loan Company, a branch, and the Suburban Building and Loan Company. The first newspaper in Berea was
published in 1868. It was called The Advertiser, and the publisher was the Berea Job Printing Company. This was
enlarged in size under the name of the Grindstone City Advertiser. In November, 1869, a cylinder press was installed,
a great improvement over the old slow press in use. On July 1, 1870, C. Y. Wheeler bought the paper, publishing
it until February, 1871, when it was transferred to P. B. Gardner and John M. Wilcox. Mr. Gardner acted as business
manager and Mr. Wilcox as editor. This was the first newspaper venture of Mr. Wilcox, who later in life became
editor of the Cleveland Press, which position he held at the time of his death. Berea has never had other than
a weekly paper. In September of 1872 Mr. Wilcox dropped out and Mr. Gardner continued the publication as editor
and proprietor. In 1874 he sold to W. B. Pierce, who three years later transferred his right to E. D. Peebles,
who commenced the publication, with Henry E. Foster as editor, under the name of The Cuyahoga Republican and Advertiser.
Two years later the name was changed to The Berea Advertiser, with Mr. Peebles as editor and proprietor. In 1898
a new paper was started by Warner and Pillars called the Enterprise. Mr. Warner soon dropped out, leaving A. J.
Pillars in sole charge. He is the publisher today of the Enterprise and without any rival, for some years ago he
took over the good will and assets of the Berea Advertiser. Mr. Pillars showed the writer the files of newspapers
in his office with the remark that in those files was a pretty comprehensive history of Berea. To be historically
exact we should state that for a short time the Enterprise was owned and published by G. L. Fowls, who afterwards
transferred it back to Mr. Pillars. Mr. Fowls is now employed on the paper and active in its publication.
Among the early physicians of Berea, other than Doctor McBride the first, were Dr. Henry Parker, Dr. A. P. Knowlton,
Dr. A. S. Allen, Dr. F. M. Coates. To these may be added Dr. N. E. Wright, Dr. William Clark and Dr. Lafayette
Kirkpatrick. Doctor Parker and Doctor Knowlton served in the Civil war of 1861. Dr. L. G. Knowlton of Berea, a
practicing physician with an office in Cleveland, is a son of Dr. A. P. Knowlton, and the widow and son of Dr.
F. M. Coates, Mrs. Anna Coates and Frank M. Coates have been continuous residents of the village. One of the very
talented writers of Berea is Miss Hanna Foster, an active member of the Early Settlers Association of Cleveland
and the Western Reserve. At the time of the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the first settlement
of Cleveland a large cash prize was offered by the city for the best poem appropriate to the occasion, which Miss
Foster won over a large field of competitors, and the production was published in the centennial volume put out
by the city. Mrs. W. A. Ingham lived in Middleburg before her marriage. Her book, "Women of Cleveland,"
published in 1893, with introductory chapters by C. C. Baldwin and Sarah K. Bolton, is a work of great and compelling
interest. She is now living in Los Angeles, California, at the advanced age of ninety two years.
It is often the problem of historians to decide just what facts to relate, but a history of the primary social
and political subdivisions of the county particularly covering the period of the pioneer and the development of
these settlements into orderly and healthy communities, must contain much of the religious development. In Middleburg,
as we have stated, a Methodist Society was formed shortly after the War of 1812, supplied by circuit riders. There
is no written record left of this start. Rev. Henry O. Sheldon was the first resident minister in the township,
he coming in 1836, but he did not confine himself, as we have shown, to ordinary pastoral labors. The first record
starts with 1846 and with Rev. William C. Pierce (in the church established by the "Community") as its
pastor. This was located north by the depot. Reverend Pierce covered the Berea Circuit, which included Olmsted
and Hoadley's Mills. A stone church was built or rather started in 1856, which was dedicated in 1858. This was
located on the east side of the river near the university. On account of the rules of the Methodist Church, requiring
frequent changes, the pastors were many, but the list includes many who are identified with the history of the
county in its educational and civic life. For the first fifty years there were Revs. W. C. Pierce, Thomas Thompson,
J. M. Morrow, U. Nichols, Hiram Humphrey, A. Rumfield, Liberty Prentiss, C. B. Brandeberry, Charles Hartley, William
B. Disbro, John Wheeler, George W. Breckenridge, T. J. Pope, D. T. Mattison, Hugh L. Parish, E. H. Bush, I. Mower,
Aaron Schuyler, I. Graham, W. D. Godman, T. K. Dissette, John S. Broadwell and J. W. Buxton. In 1879 the German
Methodist Church, which was organized earlier, had 157 members. Its meetings are held in the college building and
sermons preached by one of the professors of the college. The first Congregational Church was organized June 9,
1855. Its first members were Caleb and Myra Proctor, David and Elizabeth Wylin, John and Nancy Watson, and Mary
J Crane, seven members. Ten new members were enrolled in the fall. The first pastor was Rev. Stephen Cook, the
first deacons James S. Smedley and Caleb Proctor and the first trustees James S. Smedley, James L. Crane, B. F.
Cogswell, Isaac Kneeland and Caleb Proctor. A brick church was built and dedicated March 6, 1856, which was the
first meeting house completed in the township. This little organization suspended in 1862, during the stress of
the Civil war, but was reorganized in 1868. A new church was built on the site of the old and opened for services
in 1872. A revival conducted by Reverend Westervelt, the following year, added thirty seven to the membership of
the church. The early pastors were Revs. Stephen Cook, E. P. Clisbee, Z. P. Disbro, L. Smith, H. C. Johnson, G.
F. Waters, C. N. Gored, J. S. Whitman and E. H. Votaw.
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church was formed in 1855. The first resident priest was Father Louis J. Filiera, who
resided at Olmsted Falls until 1866. A frame church was built and then a stone structure on the same site. This
is 100 by 48 feet and cost $20,000. It is built of dressed Berea stone. Father Filiera was succeeded by Father
John Hannon and he by Father T. J. Carroll. The councilmen in the '70s were Thomas Donovan, Joseph Bulging and
James Barrett. At this time there were 120 families represented in the church.
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church was organized October 9, 1861, with P. Harley senior warden, T. McCroden junior warden,
and the services were conducted by Rev. George B. Sturgis, who preached for two years, but the number of Episcopalians
was so small that the church dissolved in. 1866. In 1873, by a consolidation with the church at Albion and Columbia,
it was reorganized. The first officers under the reorganization were Joseph Nichols, junior warden; William James,
W. W. Goodwin, E. F. Benedict, M. McDermott, C. W. Stearns, Thomas Church ward and J. S. Ashley, vestrymen. After
the reorganization a frame building was moved from the west to the east side of the river and fitted up as a church.
The first rectors in the order of service were R. R. Nash, A. V. Gorrell and I. M. Hillyer. St. Paul's German Lutheran
Church of Berea was organized July 28, 1867, by Rev. G. H. Fuehr.Meetings were begun in the north part of the township
a year before. The full title is "The Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Saint Paul." The first pastor
was succeeded by Rev. F. Schmaltz. With only fourteen members it built a frame church. Connected with the church
there has been conducted a school and a Sunday school, taught by the pastor
A Polish Catholic Church called "Saint Adelbert's Church" was organized in 1874, with Victor Zarecznyi
as its pastor. A church building 80 by 42 feet was constructed between Berea and the depot at a cost of $6,000.
Here a school also has been conducted, taught by the Sisters of Humility. Thus, while the Methodist Church has
been the leading religious factor, there is a diversity of religious expression.
The fraternal orders did not come into existence until after the Civil war. Berea Lodge No. 382 of Free and Accepted
Masons was organized February 20, 1867. The charter members were F. R. Van Tine, G. M. Barber, S. Y. Wadsworth,
C. Vansise, G. B. Sturgess, D. S. Fracker, N. D. Meacham and W. P. Gardner. The first master was F. R. Van Tine,
senior warden G. M. Barber, junior warden S. Y. Wadsworth. Following Van Tine as masters have been G. M. Barber,
S. Y. Wadsworth, D. R. Watson, W. W. Goodwin, W. A. Reed, Joseph Nichols and C. W. L. Miller, covering the early
years. Berea Chapter number 134 of Royal Arch Masons was organized October 2, 1872. Its charter members were F.
R. Van Tine, D. R. Watson, W. W. Noble, Edward Christian, W. L. Stearns, G. M. Barber, Robert W. Henry, Theodore
M. Fowl, S. E. Meacham, H. D. Chapin, Aaron Schuyler, Samuel Hittell. The first officers were F. R. Van Tine, high
priest; R. W. Henry, king; and W. L. Stearns, scribe.
Besides a post of the Grand Army of the Republic, which for years following the Civil war was a virile social and
political factor in the town, with its related patriotic orders, there came Rocky River Lodge No. 236 Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, Berea Encampment No. 152 of Foresters, a lodge called the Sweet Home Division of the Sons
of Temperance, Ancient Order of Hibernians, No. 2, Grindstone Lodge No. 324 of Woodmen, and a number of others.
In these the brotherly helpfulness that began from log house to log house in the woods pierced by the early settlers,
Return to part 1 of Middleburg History.