We have referred to the passing of the township, that political subdivision of the county, lowest in the scale
of authority, yet closest to the people. Adapted to the needs of a sparsely populated people in a limited area,
fitting in with the neighborly fraternity that characterized the pioneers, it has stood until broken into by the
village and city governments. These changes have come as the natural requirement of increased population, wealth
and industries, when, as Goldsmith expresses it: "Trade's unfeeling train usurp the land." And he adds,
"And thou, sweet poetry! thou loveliest maid, still first to fly." There is a glamor of the romantic
and the poetic that clings to these first organizations formed in the woods of the Western wilderness, while yet
the trail of the Indian is visible and the mounds of their predecessors, the Eries, or Mound Builders, are unexplored.
Royalton and Strongsville are the only townships of Cuyahoga County whose territory and political entity remain
the same as when first formed. A description of Cleveland, England, the north Riding of York, from a history published
in 1808, would seem to describe quite accurately these early township organizations. From Cleveland, England, came
the ancestors of Moses Cleveland and also a number of the early settlers of Royalton, who did not come here direct,
but stopped for seine time in the East. We quote from the history of Cleveland, England:
"Farmers form a very respectable class of society and deservedly rank high among their fellows in any part
of England. They are generally sober, industrious and orderly; most of the younger part of them have enjoyed a
proper education and give a suitable one to their children, who, of both sexes, are brought up in habits of industry
and economy. Fortunately this country is purely agricultural and the inhabitants, solely cultivators of the earth,
are endowed with the virtues of their profession uncontaminated by the neighborhood or vices of manufactures. Justice
is impartially administered and thereby the good order and comfort of individuals and the general happiness and
prosperity of the country are invariably consulted and promoted." The Arcadian atmosphere of Royalton must
have been conducive to long life, for an inscription on the tombstone of John Shepherd, standing in the cemetery
at the Center, who died in 1847, shows his age to have been one hundred and eighteen years, nine months and eighteen
days. And Mrs. Eleanor Jacox, one of the early settlers of Royalton, who died there in 1888, was lacking a few
days of ninety nine years of age at the time of her death. She was the mother of eleven children and had eighteen
grandchildren, twenty four great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren when she died.
This township number 5 in range 13 is bounded on the north by Parma, east by Brecksville, south by Medina County
and west by Strongsville. There are no streams of size in the township, hence little mill power. A branch of the
Cuyahoga, the Chippewa Creek, rises in the township, and a branch of the Rocky River flows through one corner.
The first settlement was made by a Mr. Clark in the southeast part in 1811. This was near the home of Seth Paine,
the first settler in Brecksville, who had authority as a land agent to sell, and it is probable he bought from
him. Clark died and in 1816 his widow married Lewis Carter, who took up his residence on the Clark farm. Lorenzo
Carter, a son of Lewis, was the first white male child born in the township. He died in 1860. Henry A. Carter,
another son, was born on this farm originally taken up by Meizer Clark, in March, 1819. Another son named Louis
died in infancy. Almira Paine or Payne (the name is spelled either way), who married Melzer Clark, and with her
husband had the distinction of being the first settlers, after bearing him three children as we have named, lost
her second husband, who died when Henry A. Carter was but five years of age. She afterwards married Henry L. Bangs
and they had several children. Henry A. Carter married in 1844 Martha S. Frost and they had two children, Bertha
E. Carter and Elwin L. Carter. Bertha married Erwin Paine, a descendant of the first settler of Brecksville, Seth
Paine. Thus the lines of first settlers crossed. Henry A. Carter lived the later years of his life on the old farm
and was succeeded at his death by his son Elwin L., who was married in 1879 to Amanda Snow of Brecksville, and
they have resided on the old farm, the original settlement. By an unfortunate accident in the woods Mr. Carter
was injured and died in 1923. He is survived by four children, all highly esteemed and successful, fit representatives
of those who began, in toil, the building of a new civilization.
On June 2, 1816, the second settlement was made, five years after Melzer Clark and wife located. Robert Engle and
family and with him his father in law, John Shepherd, came from New York State and located on a farm half a mile
from the Center. We have referred to Mr. Shepherd and the great age to which he lived. Mr. Shepherd had served
as an attendant to a French officer under Braddock in his unfortunate Indian campaign and was present at the memorable
defeat, was familiar with the historic interview when Washington, who knew of the dangers of Indian warfare, then
a volunteer aide de camp to General Braddock, attempted to advise that gentleman. "High time," said Braddock,
"high time when a young stripling can teach a British officer how to fight." Robert Engle was quite famous
as a hunter and trapper and when he died his daughter married Simpson Enos, or the marriage may have been before
his death, but the couple remained on the farm. Up to the time when this farm was occupied, for five years, the
Clark family were the only white people in the township. In 1816 Thomas and Henry Francis brothers, settled on
adjoining farms half a mile north of the Center. Both spent their lives on their farms. Rhoda Francis, a daughter
of one, was the first white child born in the township. In December of the same year, 1816, John Coates came with
his family from Geneseo, New York, and settled on section 21. He built a house of round logs and the next year
replaced it with a double log house. He was familiarly known as "Uncle Jackie Coates." He bought 3,500
acres of land, known as the Coates tract, and the house was located near what is now called Walling's Corners.
The double log house was built by Boaz Granger, who took his pay in land. It was the first house in the township
to have a cellar and was regarded as an aristocratic mansion. It was located on a high ridge overlooking a large
area of the new purchase. Jane Elliott Snow in a history published in 1901 gives this interesting sketch of this
Royalton settler of 1816: "John Coates was born in Yorkshire, England, and in early manhood was known as a
sportsman. He kept his pack of hounds and was a Nimrod of the true English type. He owned an interest in a valuable
trotting horse, and at one of the races bet all that he had on the fleetness of his horse. Fortunately for his
family he won. A member of the family says he won a fortune of many pounds. At a later period in his life his tastes
changed and his interest in the fast horse was exchanged for the nucleus of a library. The possession of books
inspired him with a desire to learn their contents, and soon the careless sportsman was changed to the thoughtful
student. He became thoroughly well read and in his later years was noted as a man of scholarly tastes and acquirements.
For Shakespeare he had an excessive fondness, and his volumes of that work, still preserved, bear marks of careful
reading On coming to this country he brought many of his works with him, and here in the wilderness of Ohio they
were looked upon as a library of no little value. Oscar O'Brien, also a pioneer, said he often visited the Coates'
home, and to his boyish fancy that little library equaled in magnitude the famous Alexandrian library of ancient
renown. Living as he did to witness the long struggle between England and her American colonies, his heart went
out in sympathy for the scourged, bleeding, yet triumphant sons and daughters of liberty across the sea. He was
a great admirer of Washington and it is related of him that at a dinner party he proposed a toast to that hero,
and so offended some of his friends that he was to a certain extent socially ostracised. He then declared that
he would not live in a country where he could not honor so good a man as George Washington. With his wife and family
of two sons and one daughter, the eldest son John coming with wife and two children, he sailed for America in 1803.
Thirteen years later, there being then four heads of families, all came to Royalton, Ohio. Environment changed
and fashions changed, but 'mine host' in the double log house continued to wear the short breeches and shoe buckles
that were the style in his youth."
"Uncle Jackie" was sixty seven years old when he came to his tract of wild land in Royalton, past the
age when he would be expected to engage actively in the clearing of the wilderness. He had sons and daughters,
grandsons and granddaughters, who became typical pioneers. His interest it would seem was tinged with sentiment.
The topography of the Cuyahoga Valley is strikingly similar to that of the Leven in Cleveland, England. Call Lake
Erie the North Sea, take away the great city which has arisen since he came, and you have Cleveland, England. The
writer in 1910 visited Cleveland, England, to verify the striking similarity in soil and topography of the two
Clevelands. In coming to this locality John Coates located his purchase and built his home where he could survey
a section very like his beloved Cleveland, England, but in a country whose government accorded with his democratic
opinions. He died at the age of eighty one. A long line of descendants have been farmers in Royalton. Catherine
(Coates) Teachout, daughter of John Coates 2d, was the second white female child born in the township.
In 1817 Jonathan Bunker came from New York. He had traded fifty acres of land near Palmyra, New York, for 150 acres
in Royalton. Bunker belonged to that historic family that gave its name to Bunker Hill. Two of his brothers fought
in the battle on Breed's Hill, nearby, June 17, 1775, one being killed and the other badly wounded. Ephraim Moody,
a neighbor, accompanied Bunker to the West. They came in a sleigh drawn by a pair of horses. It must have been
a well balanced trip for each one owned a horse. Some neighborly deal must have been consummated, however, for
Moody stopped before reaching Royalton and Bunker completed the trip alone. He reached the new farm in the morning
and by night had a shanty built. For eight months he worked and when his family came they found a comfortable log
house, a clearing, and crops well advanced. In all this intervening time Bunker had worked in solitude, often disturbed
by wild beasts. Like others he hunted and trapped for recreation and profit. He was an expert rope maker and for
some time in his early residence in Royalton furnished Cleveland with about all the white rope used there. For
its manufacture he used flax raised on his own farm and hemp bought of Mr. Weddell in Cleveland. He started the
first nursery in Royalton and the orchards that were planted over the town were largely from his stock. In the
year previous came Chauncey A. Stewart, John Ferris, Solomon and Elias Keys. Boaz Granger, already mentioned, came
in 1817. He was a neighbor of Bunker in New York and it seems likely that he brought Bunker's family with him,
as he boarded at Bunker's for some time after arriving. He bought land of John Coates on section 11, and in part
payment built the double log house referred to and later built for him a frame building for a barn, which was the
first frame building in Royalton. In this year of 1817 there were a number of new arrivals. Samuel Stewart, a surveyor,
who located on the State road, and was agent for Gedeon Granger for his Royalton land, Eliphalet Tousley, David
Sprague, Francis Howe, Abial Cushman, Warren P. Austin, John Smith, Israel Sawyer, David Hier, Knight Sprague,
Benjamin Boyer, Mr. Claflin and Mr. Hayes came that year. Samuel Stewart voted at the first election in 1818 and
was the first clerk of the township. Was justice of the peace with Lewis Carter in 1819. Tousley settled in the
southwest part of the township where his son James had made a clearing. James went back to school in New York and
later returned to Royalton. The father resided in Royalton until his death. James removed to Brooklyn, where he
died in 1879. David and Knight Sprague, brothers, came from Royalton, Vermont. Knight Sprague was blind, having
lost his sight while working in a blacksmith shop in Vermont. He was astonishingly energetic and seemed to make
up for his loss of sight by energy and some natural instinct. He was thought by his neighbors to locate objects
as well as those who could see. An old record of the township recites the fact that in 1821 Mr. Sprague was elected
fence viewer. How successful a blind man could be in that position we leave to the imagination, but it is a fact
that he built the first town hall owned by Royalton. His activity and sagacity must have been unusual. It is related
of him that at the organization of the township he succeeded in having it named Royalton, after his native town,
Royalton, Vermont. He stated afterwards that it cost him a gallon of whiskey to get the designation. Just how the
payment was made we also leave to the imagination. He died on the farm where he first lived. His brother David
removed to Middleburgh. John Smith came from Vermont and was killed by a falling tree in 1823. His farm was located
on section 7. Of the Hier brothers, who came in 1817 and located near the Strongsville line, John Hier died in
Hinckley and David at Bennett's Corners.
In 1818 there were new additions to the Royalton colony. Among them, Henry Hudson, a doctor, fanner and Baptist
preacher; James Baird, Asa and Samuel Norton, Kersina and John Watkins, Smith Ingalls and O. C. Gordon. Mr. Baird
was one of Jonathan Bunker's neighbors in New York, and what should be more appropriate than that he should locate
next to Bunker here, which he did. To make the neighborly bond more close he married Bunker's oldest daughter.
They moved away in 1827. Asa Norton bought land of John Coates and paid for it in days' work. The only time he
had to devote to his own land, until it was paid for, was nights and Sundays. Samuel Norton earned his way as a
teamster between Cleveland and Medina and then took up a farm on section 11. Both Nortons lived out their lives
in the town they had helped to found. Smith Ingalls settled for life on a farm next to David Sprague's. He had
the distinction of being the first postmaster of Royalton. The first store was opened at the Center by Royal Taylor
in a ten by twelve log house about 1827. Later he moved to Brooklyn and his brother Benjamin took the store and
in addition to his duties in connection therewith practiced medicine. Located near the Center at this time were
William and James Tonsley, Kersina and John Watkins and a Mr. Bostwick. Meanwhile the clearings grew larger, grain
ripened in the fields, the sickle and the flail were in capable hands, the orchards were bearing, some propagated
from the nursery of Jonathan Bunker, and some grown in part from seed brought with care by the settlers from the
East. The flocks and herds had grown. Gardens flourished in the new soil and flowers were about the homes of the
In the log house days wrestling and other feats of strength came in as recreation and amusement for the hard working
pioneers. A man's ability to lift and wrestle beyond his fellows was a distinction that gave him. prominence. Scuffling
in a good natured way was one of the off duty recreations. Mrs. Snow gave me this Royalton incident illustrative
of the ministering hand of woman in certain emergencies. At the Annis home, a log house, two or three sons and
the hired man slept in the loft. In a scuffle before retiring one man's trousers were thrown into the fire and
were burned. As a result of this accident, the wardrobes of those days not being so complete as in later years,
the owner of the lost trousers stayed in bed all day while Mrs. Annis made him a pair out of an old military cloak.
The days of the sewing machine had not arrived.
In 1828 York Street was laid out and on it Mr. Briggs, William Ferris, William Gibson, John Marcellus, Page Claflin,
John Tompkins, James Bunker and George Abrams built houses. In the west part of the township Samuel Gibson built
a sawmill and afterwards Thomas and James Goss built another. These were steam sawmills, there being, as we have
said, little water power, but the abundance of timber made them profitable. In the southeast part of the township,
in 1830, Harvey Edgerton built a steam sawmill and here located Sardis and Harvey Edgerton, Barlow Brown, Mr. Akins,
John Edgerton, Lewis Miller and Otis Billings. The first marriage in the township was that of Asa Norton to Lovey
Bunker. The knot was tied by Squire J. B. Stewart, and this was that officer's maiden effort in that line. He,
no doubt, became hardened to the ordeal with a larger experience, but the justice of the peace in Royalton who
held the record as the marrying justice was Squire Edwin Wilcox, whose record exceeded all others. He married for
himself Jane, a daughter of John Coates II.
There was no gristmill in Royalton in the early days and the nearest was Vaughn's log gristmill, the site now included
in the boundaries of Berea. Vaughn was an enterprising fellow, and, as the way led through a dense forest, he would
meet his customers half way. Freeman Bunker used to relate how he went to mill with three bushels of corn on horseback
and how the wolves had gathered around him at the tryst and how they would scatter as he hallooed for Vaughn. He
said bear and deer were plentiful and wild turkeys too common to notice. There was no frame dwelling in the township
until 1827. This was built by Jonathan Bunker. In 1821 was held the first Fourth of July celebration. There are
no minutes as to the speakers but we will assume that the Declaration of Independence was read and listened to
with interest. The first tavern was kept at the Center by Francis Howe. It is claimed by some that the first tavern
kept in the township was one operated by Charles Coates. This was in the north part of the township and on the
site for so many years occupied by the Asper House. Across from the hotel was the Sherwood home. Here Judge W.
E. Sherwood, familiarly known as Ned Sherwood, was born and spent his boyhood. He was a rare soul. After serving
in various public positions in Cleveland he was in 1889 elected to the Common Pleas bench and served but a short
time when death called. The writer remembers him when he began his work upon the bench and until his death was
in close relationship. In his presence the social thermometer always went up. He had a personality most charming,
a rare gift of expression, and as a judge was frank, knightly and fair. Gallant, gifted, brilliant Ned Sherwood!
Too soon the summons came.
Until 1825 the people of Royalton had to go to Cleveland for their mail. This was usually worked out by changing
accommodations. One person having an errand to Cleveland would bring the mail for the rest. Finally James W. Weld
of Richfield established a sort of mail route, entirely unofficial. He brought letters and papers to different
residents for fifty cents per week, making his trips to and from his home in Richfield, Summit County. In 1825
a postoffice was established and Smith Ingalls appointed postmaster, but as he lived in a part of the township
away from the Center he deputized S. K. Greenleaf, who lived there, to transact the business of the postoffice.
A weekly mail was established, and with the letters came the weekly newspaper, by reading of which the pioneers
were well posted in real news. Among the early postmasters were William Tousley, Tristram Randall, Lorenzo Hopkins,
W. W. Stockman, Charles W. Foster, S. W. Chandler, Lewis Granger, Joseph W. Smith, M. S. Billings, Byron Babcock
and Thomas Coates.
Royalton being elevated so much above the sea level, being the highest territory in the county, a signal station
was established here by the Government, when this system was first put in use in connection with the Weather Bureau.
The station was located north of the Center and because of its height and the mystery of its operation was an object
of interest for some time. It has been abandoned for many years.
The Teachouts came to Royalton in 1837 and Abraham Teachout, Sr., was the first man to do away with liquor at raisings.
Mr. Teachout had entered into a partnership with Robert Brayton to build a sawmill. At the raising the usual whiskey
was expected. After the neighbors had put the sills in position they called for the whiskey. They were informed
that this was to be a temperance raising. This was thought to be impossible. Church brothers offered to buy the
whiskey, arguing that the frame could not go up without it. Teachout mounted a log and delivered an eloquent temperance
address, concluding by informing the men that if they were not willing to do the work without liquor they could
go home. They finally, after much consultation, decided to try it out. Many argued that there was danger that some
one would get hurt, as whiskey was supposed to supply the necessary strength at critical moments and thus avoid
accidents. It is a historical fact that the frame went up and no one was injured. In place of the whiskey a fine
feed was given the men and after a game of ball the men went home to relate the novel experience. This mill was
completed and put in operation November 10, 1845. The son, Abraham Teachout, Jr., followed in the footsteps of
his father on the temperance question. While in Royalton and after removing to Cleveland, where he built up the
great industry still operated under the name of A. Teachout and Company, he was an unswerving advocate of prohibition.
He was at one time a candidate for mayor of Cleveland on the prohibition ticket and received the largest vote ever
given a candidate for that office on that ticket.
Before 1819 Royalton was under the jurisdiction of Brecksville and in that year, October 27th, the county commissioners
set off number 5 of range 13 as a separate township. The first election was held at the house of Robert Engle,
November 9, 1818. Robert Engle and David Sprague were chosen judges and Chauncey A. Stewart, clerk of election.
The officers elected were: Trustees, David Sprague, Francis Howe and Elias Keys; clerk, John B. Stewart; treasurer,
Chauncey A. Stewart; fence viewer, Benjamin Boyer; appraisers, Robert Engle and Elias Keys; superintendent of roads,
Abial Cushman; justices of the peace, John B. Stewart and Samuel Norton; constable, Abial Cushman. Through some
lack in procedure the election of justices of the peace was set aside as illegal and a new election ordered. At
this election John B. Stewart and Lewis Carter were elected and their commissions were dated August 10, 1819. At
this first township election in which David Sprague was elected trustee and preceding which, in town meeting, the
blind brother as well as David had been active in securing the name of Royalton in honor of their native town,
Royalton, Vermont, we notice that David was also judge of election. The Spragues were active in township affairs
for many years. In the Brooklyn Bridge Beacon, a small local paper published by the Union Trust Company, we quote
a recent item reciting the death of a descendant, Calvin Sprague, who was well known over the county: "Mr.
Calvin Sprague of Broadview Road, one of Brooklyn's Civil war veterans, died on September 13th. He was born July
24, 1837, in Royalton, Ohio, and lived there until his enlistment in the Union army in 1861. He was one of the
first men to enlist from Royalton. He saw service with the Sixth Ohio Cavalry. Mr. Sprague returned to Royalton
and married Miss Sarah Garlock of Parma. He operated the old Pearl Street House fifty years ago, afterwards being
connected with the old Brooklyn car line under Tom L. Johnson. Interment at Royalton."
Since the death of Mr. Sprague, Justin Bark of West Thirty third Street, Cleveland, Ohio, is the oldest living
of the early residents of Royalton. He related to the writer an incident of his early childhood in which the joke
is most assumedly on the preacher. Death and destruction were preached more in those days than the sunny side of
religion. While a very young child Mr. Bark was permitted to attend the funeral of Boaz Granger. Other children
had told him that at a funeral you could see the corpse. In his seat in the church by his mother he peered in all
directions but no corpse was visible. Finally from behind the pulpit a sallow austere countenance arose to begin
the service. The little fellow was all excitement, his curiosity had been rewarded. "Oh, Ma!" he cried
aloud, "there's the corpse."
Among those who have served as township trustees were David Sprague, James Bird, Francis Howe, Eliphalet Tousley,
Elias Keys, John Ferris, Lewis Carter, John Smith, Jonathan Bunker, Parley Austin, Israel Sawyer, Ezra Leonard,
Isaac Isham and Isaac Isham, Jr., Samuel Norton, Jr., C. A. Stewart, Boaz Granger, Smith Ingalls, William Teachout,
James Tousley, John Watkins, James W. Wild, Edward Schofield, W. D. Eastman, R. K. Tousley, C. Brunson, Zara Searles,
John Coates II, Ebenezer Bostwick, John B. Stewart, O. C. Gordon, Harvey Edgerton, J. B. Stewart, Robert Wilkinson,
Francis Bark, Edwin Wilcox, William Farris, Daniel A. Miner, Rowley Leonard, Joseph Teachout, Asa Varney, S. M.
Wilcox, Rufus D. Gibson, Thomas Bark, Thomas B. Coates, Sardis Edgerton, John Marcellus, Charles Bangs, John Tompkins,
Henry Akins, W. W. Stockman, B. S. Tyler, Charles Robinson, O. H. Claflin, Orvill Bangs, Thomas Bolton, William
Spencer, Simon Wilkinson, Hamlin Miller, George Mathews, Oliver Taylor, Freeman Norton, Joseph Turney and Justin
The spelling of some of the family names has changed with the years. Searles was originally written Sarles and
old silver in the possession of the family is marked Serls. Howe was written How and Tousley, Towsley. Among the
clerics of the township have been J. B. Stewart, James Tousley, Charles Teachout, Abram Teachout, Joseph Smith,
William Hodlcinson, Thomas Coates, George S. Morrell, John M. Wilcox, M. G. Billings, Farnum Gibbs and A. E. Akins.
Among the treasurers have been C. A. Stewart, Thomas Francis, Parley Austin, John B. Davis, John Watkins, Francis
Howe, O. C. Gordon, H. M. Munson, Lewis Howe, Edwin Wilcox, Alonzo Searles, William Searles, Martin S. Billings,
James Tousley, L. S. or Lambert Searles and Oliver Taylor. In the history of the township there have been no defalcations.
After L. S. Searles had held the office of treasurer for twelve consecutive terms it was charged that he had appropriated
township funds and was short in his accounts. On that rumor he was defeated for reelection, but when the new treasurer,
Oliver Taylor, took office Mr. Searles turned over to him at once the funds of the township, to a penny, in currency,
leaving that gentleman a little worried for the time being as to their safe keeping. The present officers of the
township are trustees, Thomas Hurst, J. E. Thompson, G. H. Edgerton; clerk, B. W. Veber; treasurer, E. C. Cerney;
assessor, Jan Dolezel. As to the justices of the peace, L. W. Craddock was elected, as shown by the books of the
county auditor, but the records of the county clerk show only O. D. Clark as acting justice at the present time.
The constable is J. H. Brunner.
The first church organized in the township was the Baptist. Rev. Henry Hudson was the organizer and pastor until
his death some twenty five years later. It was formed in 1818. The first members were Henry and Priscilla Hudson,
William Dyke, James, William, Lydia, John and Clarissa Teachout, Relief Austin and Merrick Rockwell. William Dyke
was the first deacon. Reverend Hudson served at an annual salary that rarely exceeded $50. Rev. S. S. Watkins followed
Mr. Hudson for a long period. Reverend Conley was the third pastor. For a long time the meetings were held in schoolhouses,
but in 1850 a building committee consisting of Thomas Redrup, Francis Norton and John Edgerton was appointed and
the stone church at the Center built. The Disciples were the next in order. On invitation of Ezra Leonard, Reverend
Hayden held services at his house in 1828. Others came and preached in houses and barns. At one time services were
held in the barn of John Ferris and a number of converts were baptised. In 1829 a church was organized in a schoolhouse
by the efforts of Reverend Hayden, with Jewett M. Frost as elder. This church now has a building at the Center
Next in order came the Free Will Baptist and the Methodist Episcopal churches. The Free Will Baptists began meetings
at the Center in 1836. In 1843 the place of meeting was changed to Coates' Corners (now Walling's Corners). An
entry on the church records reads as follows: "February 18, 1843, Brethren in Royalton met in monthly meeting,
had a good time but under some trials. Received three members, J. Bunker, M. Varney and S. Horton, and moved the
church down to Coates' Corners." Services there were held in a scholhouse until 1850, when the church was
built north of the Center. Thirty years later the pastor was Rev. J. H. Baldwin; trustees, George Kendall and Francis
Miner; deacons, George Kendall and Francis Bark. The Royalton Methodist Episcopal Church began its meetings, like
the rest, in a schoolhouse. The first meetings were held in 1836. Rev. Hugh L. Parish and Reverend Fitch, circuit
riders, were the first preachers. This church has never had a settled pastor, being on a circuit, first the Brooklyn
Circuit, then Brunswick, then Hinckley and then Brecksville. The first elders were Jewett M. Frost, John B. Stewart,
Adin Dyke and William Buck; deacons, Almon Eastman and Henry Bangs.
Mrs. Jane Elliott Snow, who was born in Royalton and lived there until her marriage, in writing of her early life
"On Sundays we were all carefully dressed and taken to a church some three miles distant. In those days James
A. Garfield, then a student at Hiram College, and others of his classmates came there to preach, and such audiences
as there were. People came from many miles around. They filled the seats, the aisles, the vacant space around the
pulpit, they crowded at the door, and, in summer, they crowded outside the open door to listen to the eloquent
sermons that were being preached. In those days of the Disciple Church none but able men, eloquent men and men
zealous for the cause were chosen to expound their doctrine. Not all the religious meetings in country towns in
those early days were as interesting and profitable as those I have mentioned. Many of the preachers were wholly
uneducated and some of them exceedingly noisy. As there were two schools of churches in town, one Calvinist, the
other Free Will Baptist, the question of the future state of the soul was a prolific theme of discussion. It was
not unusual to see groups of men standing outside of the schoolhouse during recess at religious meetings. I learned
as I grew older that they were discussing the question. Whether or not a man could work out his own salvation?
One argued that if a man was born to be saved he would be saved and if he was born to be damned, no earthly power
could save him. Occasionally a Universalist minister would conduct services in the little schoolhouse. At that
time I was familiar with a Child's History of the United States, that was well filled with bright colored pictures
representing various scenes and incidents in our country's history, among them being one of Mr. Dustin and his
family escaping from the Indians. As the savages advanced nearer and nearer to the fleeing family. Mr. Dustin thought
he would sacrifice one child to their fury, with the hope of saving the rest. But which child could he spare? Alas,
none! For he loved them all alike. This was the illustration the Universalist minister, Rev. Mr. Hull, used to
prove his doctrine. This sermon created a general discussion throughout the neighborhood, which continued for some
As all the churches in the town believed in immersion for baptism, and as none were equipped with an artificial
font, the ceremony had to be performed in some natural reservoir. A pond of clear water located in the midst of
a wood belonging to my uncle, Thomas Coates, and at least a quarter of a mile from his house was the place frequently
chosen for these spiritual washings. Winter was the time usually chosen for the ceremony, and though the person
baptised had to ride in a lumber wagon or sled, to the house with nothing but a quilt or blanket over their wet
clothes, it was the claim of the believers that no serious effects had ever resulted from the ceremony. People
were baptised in this pond when the ice had to be broken and the water constantly stirred with a rake to prevent
its freezing before all the candidates were immersed. Besides theology, two other questions in my childhood days
occupied the public mind, one was temperance, the other slavery. In my tenth year I attended the exercises at the
dose of a term of school in an adjoining neighborhood, when song and recitations bearing upon these two subjects
made up the programme."
In 1854 there were nine Catholic families in Royalton. At their request Bishop Rappe came out fro Cleveland and
held services at the house of Thomas Montague at Royalton Center. Others followed in similar meetings, Fathers
Hannan, John and Rally. In 1868 the building now used as a church was purchased. The first trustees were Patrick
Flynn, William Manny and James Morris.
July 5, 1859, Empire Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Royalton, was instituted. The charter members
were Charles and Orval Bangs, Joseph W. Smith, John Marcellus, William Frost, Thomas S. Bark, Wesley Pope, J. T.
Akers, Edwin Banks, George Johnson, Charles Heath and L. S. Searles. In 1864 the lodge built a building at the
Center with lodge room above and room for a store below. In 1878 twenty of the members withdrew to form the Brecksville
Lodge. This is the only fraternal order now represented in the town. The Grand Army Post has gone with the years,
and the Good Templars Lodge with the trend of events.
And now as to the schools and the first teachers, William Tousley and Oren Abbott have both been mentioned as the
first teacher. The consensus of opinion however gives the honor to Eunice Stewart, who taught in the northeast
corner of section 5. John B. Stewart was the second teacher there. In a log schoolhouse put up on section 19, William
Tousley was the first teacher and Abial Cushman the second. In 1830 the township was divided into four school districts,
number one with thirty five families, number two with twenty two, number three with sixteen and number four with
seventeen families. Later the number increased to nine districts. Fractional districts were established in many
parts of the county to better accommodate the pupils. These including portions of several townships, were located
according to the demands of the settlers. The woods, the heavy roads and the winter snows made them necessary.
The fractional district at Bangs' Corners was made up of territory from four townships and at one time there were
pupils attending the school from four townships and three different counties. The advent of good roads which has
made possible and brought about the use of school busses and the centralizing and classification of the schools
has not been fully taken advantage of by the township, owing to the lack of buildings. There are still some schools
operated in the "Little Red Schoolhouse." There is a high school at the Center and the town hall is used
for school purposes. In November of 1922 a bond issue for $90,000 was voted by the people for additional school
buildings. Plans are being drawn by Fulton, Taylor and Cahill of Cleveland for the enlargement of the high school
building at the Center to include larger facilities for the high school and grade schools as well. Among the teachers
of the early days Sam Chandler is well remembered as a disciplinarian of so vigorous a type that he has left a
lasting memory. In 1880 the school enumeration of the township was 365.
In 1866 James Wyatt opened a cheese factory in the township and in 1869 Charles Bangs and L. S. Searles continued
in the same enterprise. Mr. Wyatt removing to Brecksville to continue the same business there, left the field to
the latter firm. In 1871 Bangs went out of the firm and started a factory of his own and Mr. Searles formed a partnership
with A. E. Akins, which continued for three years, whereupon he continued alone until 1877. Royalton being a dairy
section, these industries were important until the demands of the City of Cleveland for milk warranted their discontinuance.
The first death in Royalton was that of Catherine Coates, wife of Charles Coates, mentioned as the first tavern
keeper. She was buried on the family lot on the tract at Wallings' Corners and later was removed to the cemetery
at the Center.
Like all the townships, Royalton has made its contribution to the county. We have referred to Judge W. K Sherwood
and to Jane Elliott Snow, author, lecturer, student and biographer. Another comes to mind as we dose the chapter,
Albert E. Akins, the apostle of dean politics, who served in various capacities in the courthouse and then as county
auditor, was the first president of the Tippecanoe Club, after its incorporation, one of the builders of the Cleveland
& Southwestern Railway, he devoted his life to its service and gave it. Still another, Abraham Teachout, whom
we have mentioned, who built up in Cleveland the great industry in sash, doors and blinds, that has been a part
in the great industrial life of Cleveland.