History of Solon 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


Township 6 of range 10, Solon, has the distinction of having formed the organization of a civil township with the smallest list of qualified voters of any in the county. It may be surmised that a community that would select for its name that of the great Athenian lawgiver would be inclined to establish the form and substance of law in its midst as soon as possible. It seems, however, that the selection of a name was brought about by another consideration than that of doing honor to the memory of the man of Athens. In August of 1820 two families "well supplied with teams, household furniture, and especially children, might have been seen making their tedious way on rough roads from Newburgh through Independence to Hudson in the present County of Summit, and thence northeast to Aurora in what is now Portage County, where they made a temporary stop." Leaving their families there, the heads of these two families began a thorough examination of the surrounding territory, searching for desirable unoccupied land. After a long search they decided to locate on the west part of the Williams and Ellsworth tract, which comprised the southern part of township 6, range 10, and was then called Milan, but later became the civil Township of Solon. These men were Cant. Jason Robbins and Samuel Bull, both originally from Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut. They were both along in years, Mr. Bull was forty five and Captain Robbins fifty eight. Not too old to be pioneers, they built log cabins, did some clearing and in November of that year of 1820, moved their families into their new homes. These were the first settlers in the township, and while there were only two families, there were sixteen children in each, so that a colony of sixteen constituted the first settlers. They located on an old route or trail from Pitsburg to Cleveland, which was used during the War of 1812, but afterward abandoned for another touching the more settled region of Hudson, Independence, Newburg, and other towns to Cleveland. This old road had become impassable by reason of falling timber, underbrush and small timber. It was afterwards improved and became the direct thoroughfare between Solon and Aurora. When these first settlers came, their nearest neighbors were two miles southwest in the township of Aurora. Towards Cleveland they could travel without seeing a residence to a point three miles from Newburg and nine miles from home. Westward it was nine miles to their nearest neighbor in that direction residing in the north part of Bedford. Of the four adult first settlers all remained in the township during life. Samuel Bull died in 1838 at the age of sixty three; Mrs. Robbins died in 1850 at the age of seventy seven; Captain Robbins survived her two years, dying at the age of ninety years, and Mrs. Fanny Huntington Bull lived to be ninety four, dying in 1872. Of her family, Pitkin S., Lorenzo S., and Norman A. were living in the township in the '80s. A son of Capt. Jason Robbins, by his first wife, Archibald, or Captain Archibald, for like his father he was a sea captain, came to Solon some years later. His career was so full of remarkable and unusual experiences that we will devote some space to the recital farther on. Jason Robbins was a sea captain for thirty years, his father before him followed the sea, and Archibald, the son, was likewise a sea captain. Captain Jason by his second wife had eight children, Honor, Sophia, Jane, Maria, Eliza, Walter W., Jason, Jr., and Corlenia. Walter W married Sally Ann Reeves, daughter of William Reeves, an old settler of Solon. Their children were three, Cora, Grace, and Ellen.

The third family to come to the new township was that of Oliver Wells. They came from the same locality in Connecticut as the first settlers, and located on lot 40 in the Williams and Ellsworth tract. It was thought by prospective settlers that land was held at too high a price in the township, and settlement was slow. One arrival should be noted shortly after the Wells family came, and that was the first white child born in the township, Delia Wells. After Delia the Wells family were augmented by twins, so that Mr. and Mrs. Wells were not only the parents of the first child but of the first pair of twins born in the township. The first school teacher in the township was John Henry. He got $10 a month and his board. He boarded "around." His pupils numbered four from the. Robbins family and three from the Bull family. Bull paid his share of the teacher's salary in shoemaking, and Robbins paid his in maple sugar. No money passed, and no pay roll robbery is recorded. In 1825 there were eight voters in the township, Robbins, Bull, Wells, P. S. Bull, John C. Carver, C. M. Leach, Thomas Marshall, and Ichabod Watrous. These all lived in the southern part. The eight proposed to have a civil township of their own. This territory at the time of their arrival and since had been under the government of Orange. It was argued that the forming of a civil township would attract immigration. These eight petitioned the county commissioners, and on their petition the commissioners erected the township and ordered an election of officers. As we have said, this township on the arrival of the first settlers was called Milan, but the petitioners had conceded to Bull and Robbins the privilege of selecting the name for the township about to be organized. They desired some name that would perpetuate on record their families as first settlers, but Bulltown and Robbinsburg did not appeal to them, and after much discussion they selected the second name of Mr. Bull's second son, Lorenzo Solon Bull. The county commissioners confirmed the selection and thus the name of the great lawgiver, who flourished before the Christian era, was given to the little township in the woods of the Western Reserve. At the first election Jason Robbins, Samuel Bull and Ichabod Watrous were elected trustees; Jason Robbins, clerk; Pitkin S. Bull, treasurer; Pitkin S. Bull, constable; Pitkin S. Bull, overseer of the poor, and Oliver Wells, justice of the peace. Pitkin S. Bull was numerously elected.

The wild denizens of the wood were found by the early settlers here in large numbers They included deer, bear, wolf, "painter" and elk. The stately elk disappeared first. In 1821, the year after the first settlers arrived, Pitkin S. Bull and Warren Warner chased a large buck elk for three days through Milan (Solon) and the adjoining townships. It was finally killed in Northfield by another hunter, who struck the trail ahead of the unlucky hunters from Milan and gained the prize. This was the last elk seen in the township, but the other animals named remained for some years.

The first settlement made in the northern part of the township was in 1827 by John Morse, who located near the old state road leading from Cleveland to Aurora and running near the Bedford line. The next that came were Joseph G. Patrick, Baxter Clough and Mr. Gerrish, all from New Hampshire. These with their families made quite a settlement and this road was called Hampshire road from that time on. John C. Sill settled in the township in 1831. About the same time that the Sills arrived came Walter Stannard, John Hodge and a Mr. Martle, all locating in the northwest part of the township. More rapidly now the white man came. Reuben M. Hanford, who came in 1832 and located on Hampshire Street, one and one half miles from the center of Solon, northwest, found not a tree cut within a mile of the Center, but William Pillsbury that same year bought the land around the Center. No roads were cleared and no wagons could be used here. There were paths through the woods traversed in summer and winter by ox sleds. William W. Higby was then working in Solon but was not a freeholder. He became a permanent resident. In the settling up of the township the next to record takes us to the southeast part of the township in the same year, 1832. Here Elijah Pettibone, William W. Richards, C. R. Fletcher and John Hale, being a delegation from Pettibone, New York, established permanent residences and began the clearing of that section. The first settlers in the north part, or what is called "The Ledge," were Elisha Wilmot and Albert Pond, who located there about 1833. These were followed by Abraham Witter, George H. Mason, Stephen Dunnell and Alvin Harrington, a Maine delegation. Deacon John Barnard settled in the township in the same year. The ground around the Center was low and wet and was the last portion on township 6, range 10 to be settled. It had in forest days a rather forbidding appearance. A story was related by Mr. Hanford illustrative of this appearance. The date of the incident was subsequent to 1833. A civil township must have a Center, and so several roads had been laid out with the Center as the apex. None were cut out but they were marked out by blazed trees. Mr. Hanford, having occasion to go to Twinsburg, had followed the line of marked trees south from the Center and was returning by the same route. When near the end of his homeward journey he met another man on horseback who was peering anxiously about trying to solve the transportation directions without the aid of The Cleveland Automobile Club. "See here, stranger," he said on seeing Mr. Hanford, "I wish you would tell me which way to go to get out of this infernal town." "Well," said Mr. Hanford, "that depends upon where you want to go. This line of marked trees to the south leads to Twinsburg, that one to the southwest leads to Aurora, that one to the north leads to Orange, and that one to the west-" "No matter about that," interrupted the traveler, "I just came from the west through that cursed swamp and I swear I don't want to go that way. I don't care where these other trails lead to either; all I want to know is which is the quickest way to get out of this town." Mr. Hanford gave him the distance to the various points mentioned and the stranger selected the nearest and immediately started on at a rapid pace. He had scarcely gotten out of sight when the wolves were heard howling m the forest, a circumstance which no doubt confirmed the traveler in his opinion of the locality; at least it hurried Mr. Hanford forward on his homeward trip. The first man who built a house at the Center was Freeman McClintock, who settled there in 1832. He lived at the Center for three years before near neighbors came. By 1832 practically all of the land in the township had been bought from the original or speculative owners, by actual settlers. By this time also sufficient land was cleared and crops raised to provide food for the community, but clearing went forward at a rapid rate, and attention was given to roads as a surplus crop must be marketed.

In 1833 the first marriage took place in the township. The contracting parties were Baxter Clough and Hannah Gerrish, both of Hampshire Street. The officiating magistrate was Captain Jason Robbins, the second justice of the peace in Solon. Having steered so many voyages safely on the ocean, he no doubt felt confident that he could at least start this matrimonial craft on its way properly. The first death in the township was that of Mrs. Thomas Marshall, who died in 1834, fourteen years after the township was organized. Her body was taken to Aurora for burial and several who followed her in death were taken there for burial in after years. The first physician in the township was Dr. Alpheus Morrill. He came in 1834 and was the only professional man in the township for many years. This last statement should be modified if we include the preaching profession, for religion was early taught in the community and ministers came from time to time to encourage and teach. As early as 1832 the Presbyterians held meetings at Mr. Hanford's house and the Methodists had held a number of meetings in various meeting places. In 1834 a Presbyterian Church was organized by the New Englanders of Hampshire Street and a year or so later the first church building was erected at the Center. This was the second frame building in the town and on account of the wet ground was set up on stilts or high posts as a health precaution. Of these churches we will speak later, giving some of the early members and pastors.

Sam Weller, the philosopher of Pickwick Papers, said: "I have noticed it as a werry particular and oncommon circumstance that verever you see a sausage shop you never see no dogs." This vague connection comes to mind in going over the annals of Solon and noting the fact that when the first doctor came to town in 1834 the bears (shall we say instinctively?) left. This joke loses its force when it is related that the bears did not move away but were killed. Four were killed that year, one by Thomas Marshall, one by S. S. Bull, one by William W. Higby and the fourth, a very large one weighing 400 pounds and the last in the township, by Jason Robbins, Jr. Deer hunting continued long after the bears became extinct. The young men were rivals in that direction but William W. Higby stood at the head as the best deer hunter in the township. He was excelled, however, by Hiram Spofford of Bedford, who hunted in the township but was a resident of Bedford. Neither of these men considered it a very remarkable feat to kill from six to eight fat deer in a day. Of lesser game, such as raccoons, wild turkeys, etc., they killed hundreds. Of the rattlesnakes, that were a menace to the pioneer invasion all over the county, many stories are told but no fatalities are recorded, except to the snakes.

Solon exported three commodities in the early years that relieved the stringency of the money market, maple sugar and syrup, black salts, made, as we have already related, from ashes lye, leached from the abundance of that product in clearing the land, and deer skins. Their market was Newburg. Grain was unsalable, as transportation cost as much as it was worth in the market. The problems that confronted the pioneers are still before the farmers of the great West. In the marketing of maple sugar and syrup, each man who had a surplus would load up for Newburg or Cleveland. The trip with ox team and wagon occupied two days. They would take along a pair of steelyards and drive from house to house, selling from ten to fifty pounds in a place. Sometimes a barrel of sugar would be sold in one place and then the Solon farmer considered himself a wholesaler. In the tide of humanity that poured into the Western Reserve there were many young bachelors who came individually and not with families. A considerable number of these detached individuals came to Solon. The method of these home founders was to make a clearing, build a log cabin, surround it with a garden of vegetables and flowers, and then repair to the nearest settlement, hunt up a good looking girl and court her with persistent energy. And they were usually successful in gaining the object of their selection. As Aurora in Portage County was the oldest settled township in the vicinity and most convenient of access, and was blessed with an ample supply of "handsome, agreeable and industrious" young ladies, the young bachelor pioneers of Solon, led by the God Hymen, would repair to that town and with eminent success. A larger percentage of pioneer mothers of Solon came from Aurora than from any other town.

After the building of the Presbyterian Church at the Center, it was difficult for the ministers to find their way to the house of the Lord through the thinly populated woods of Solon. There was no resident minister. Professor Reuben Nutting, of Western Reserve College, Hudson, who occasionally preached there, got belated one cool Saturday night in the fall while on his way there, and got completely lost within a mile of his destination. He wandered around for some time and finally became satisfied that he must wait for daylight. He was a believer in the injunction that one must keep his feet warm and his head cool in sleeping. He had no trouble with the latter proposition, for it was a cold night. But as to the feet. After hitching his horse to a tree, he cut his comforter in two, wrapped the halves about his feet, put a foot in each saddle bag, where reposed the sermon, and slept in the dryest place he could find. The next morning, much exhausted, he found his way to the meeting house, but was too much used up to preach. He recovered sufficiently, however, to preach in the afternoon, showing the pioneer spirit. It was not until 1840 that Solon was far enough advanced to support a store. The first store in the town was opened that year by Capt. Archibald Robbins, son of Capt. Jason Robbins, the first settler. Capt. Archibald, the son, came many years after the father, Capt. Jason. It seems appropriate here to discuss the dramatic history of this sea captain, son of a sea captain, who was the first settler of Solon, of Capt. Archibald Robbins, who settled down as the first storekeeper of Solon, enamored of its quiet, uneventful but attractive reaction from a life filled with most uncommon experiences. Two books in the Cleveland Public Library cover much of this history, one a large illustrated volume of over 600 pages, by Capt. James Riley, under whom Captain Robbins once served as a seaman, and another by Capt. Archibald Robbins himself. In his book Captain Robbins relates that he was born in the town of Wethersfield, Connecticut, a pleasant and fertile town situated on the west side of the Connecticut River, that the date of his birth was November 19, 1792. He remained at home until twelve years of age, when he went to Middlebury, Vermont, in which town he relates is situated a university which begins to rank among the first in New England. He thus spent three winters in getting a common school education. At the age of fifteen he was employed as a sailor on a vessel partly owned by his father. On the fourth voyage, which was in 1813, and during the War of 1812, he was captured by the British frigate Surprise and landed at St. Bartholomew, a neutral port. After some time he was returned by a cartel to New York. On a fifth voyage from New Haven the vessel was captured by a British squadron and he was taken to Halifax. He was there about two months but apparently was not confined as a prisoner and took passage on a Swedish vessel for St. Bartholomew, having entrusted to his care certain merchandise by merchants of New York. On the return trip he was captured by the British brig Borer and again sent to Halifax. Here he was confined as a prisoner on the island of Melville until the close of the war. After getting home from prison he found himself familiar with only one occupation and he shipped as a sailor on a new vessel, the brig Commerce, under the command of Capt James Riley. The first mate was George Williams, second mate Aaron R. Savage, and the crew consisted of William Porter, Thomas Burns, James Clark and himself. They sailed for New Orleans with a small cargo, the object being to get freight for the foreign market. At New Orleans they took on a cargo of flour and tobacco for Gibraltar. They landed in Gibraltar in just forty five days. Here they took on a cargo of brandy and wine for New York and were wrecked on the African coast between twenty six and twenty seven north latitude. This occurred about 10 o'clock at night, August 28, 1814. It is the details of the wreck and the subsequent experiences of the officers and crew that are set forth in the two volumes mentioned. While the boat lay helpless on a reef, Captain Riley, who had reached shore in a small boat, was seized by the natives, a wild tribe on the Barbary coast. His life was saved by the sending of a bucket full of gold coin from the vessel, but this was only temporary, as the natives were treacherous and attempted to hold him longer, but he escaped by plunging into the sea and returned to the vessel, which was rapidly breaking up. The sufferings of the crew as they attempted to escape in the long boat are told, how they sailed for seven days, suffering from hunger and thirst, and finally landed on the coast of Africa but farther south Here they were captured by a tribe of Arabs and made slaves. They were divided up and Robbins became the slave of Ganus. He kept something of a record and fixes the date of the beginning of his slavery at September 8, 1815. This was on the Desert of Sahara. He relates that his master led him off to the camels stationed at a small distance in the keeping of two young women, who afterwards proved to be his sisters. The details of his suffering are most harrowing. He tied knots in a string to keep track of the days. The Arabs were all Mohammedan and their slaves were Christian dogs. After eighteen days as a slave, this free born son of New England assumed to have been converted to Mohammedanism, but it only mitigated in some degree his condition. Williams and Barrett were stolen from their masters by other Arabs but recovered, for it was said a slave was about the only piece of property that an Arab would not give up. The slaves were not permitted to have much clothing, but his master permitted Robbins to use the colors of the brig. Robbins cut a hole in the flag so that it would slip over his head and form a doak and said this was the first American flag ever hoisted on the Sahara Desert. Escape was impossible, as death by thirst was as sure as would have been death by drowning in attempting to escape in mid ocean. Various white slaves would often meet on the desert and Robbins met a Spaniard who had been a slave seven years. Robbins' second master was Mahomet Meaarah and his mistress Fatima. When sold, Ganus had taken off his trousers and the new master expressed the same resentment that the purchaser of a horse might have if the original owner tried to keep the halter. At this time he lived mostly on wild locusts. Meaarah was not a nomad and lived near the ocean. He was next sold by Meaarah to a wandering Arab, whose name was Hamet Webber and went with a caravan. By this time he had learned the habits and language of the Arabs, and to show the adaptability of the New Englander was comparatively happy, except that he was a slave. The previous hardships and privations made his present lot seem exceedingly pleasant. He was sold by Hamlet Webber to a chief named Bel Cossim, who already had five black slaves and several wives. This transaction was consummated at a town called the capital of the Sahara. Here he found a shipmate, Porter, who had become the slave of a wealthy merchant and had begun negotiations for a ransom. He was here eleven months. Bel Cossim had been the owner of many white slaves, whom he had held for large ransoms. An Arab of a tribe called Shilluh began negotiations for the purchase of Robbins. Bel Cossim offered to sell for $200, but the Shilluh only offered $150. Bel Cossim said the money was sent for a ransom, but the Shill said he only wanted to buy Robbins for his own slave. Cossim came down to $175, but the Shilluh rode off. The Shilluh country was under the dominion of the Emperor of Morocco, and at Mogadore, a seaport town of Morocco, there lived an English merchant by the name of Willshire, who had become very wealthy and used his wealth in freeing many of the white slaves. As soon as he heard of one among the Arab tribes he began negotiations for his ransom. Robbins wrote to Mr. Willshire and to the Spanish Consul at Mogadore. The Shilluh, it seems, was an agent of Mr. Wiltshire, and he returned and completed the purchase or ransom. He was only negotiating with the thought of getting the best bargain possible. The book of Captain Riley was published in 1817 and was widely read at the time. Captain Robbins' book was published in 1851, after he had lived for many years the quiet life in the new township where he was honored and respected. He followed the sea for many years after the shipwreck and slavery, was in chief command of various vessels. He kept store at Chagrin Falls for a few years and then came to Solon, where he died in 1859 at the age of sixty seven. Besides his store at the Center, he conducted an ashery where he made black salts and pearl ash, which brought money to the growing township.

By 1840 pioneer times seems to have ended and the township of Solon took on the appearance of a cultivated country. Frame houses took the place of log ones, as in other townships, roads and byroads were improved and made more passable. The ox team was still much used, but horses attached to light vehicles were seen and were beginning to be used in the heavy farm work. The wild denizens of the wood had given place to flocks and herds of the farmer. Matches were used instead of the tinder box and the family album appeared on the parlor table with family pictures done in chemicals. A small village grew up at the Center, where the farmers sold a portion of their products; the market of growing Cleveland took more. There was a steam sawmill at the Center before the Civil war, built by John Anderson, which was later owned by John Cowen. Later another was operated in connection with a cheese box factory by Calvin Gilfert. When the Civil war came the first detachment of recruits from Solon joined the Twenty third Ohio, President Hayes' regiment, then Colonel Hayes. Each man was presented on leaving with a pistol by the patriotic ladies of Solon. An incident growing out of this presentation of pistols shows with what intense favor these gifts were regarded. Corporal Sheridan E. Bull, son of Lorenzo Bull, was seriously wounded at Antietam. He fell just as the regiment was compelled to give way before a sudden assault of the enemy. He carried one of the pistols which he had marked with his initials S. E. Bull. Seeing the enemy advance, he hastily dug a hole and buried it where he was stretched upon the ground. One of his comrades noticed the act and made a survey of landmarks around the spot. Both men were captured and Bull died in prison from his wounds. The other soldier; named Henry, recovered and was exchanged. Sixteen years later Mr. Henry, then principal of the public schools at Coshocton, Ohio, revisited the battlefield, located the spot where the pistol was buried and dug it up. The rusty weapon was sent to L. S. Bull, who was at that time postmaster at Solon.

An important event in the development of Solon was the building diagonally through the township of the Cleveland branch of the Atlantic & Great Western Railway. The depot, which was built a short distance northwest of the Center, soon drew the village in that direction. In 1878 a narrow gauge railroad was built from Chagrin Falls to Solon. As indicating the growth of the town, at this time Solon Center had four general stores, one drug store, one tin shop, one hotel, two blacksmith shops, one shoe shop and one steam sawmill.

As has been stated, a Congregational or Presbyterian Church was organized in Solon in 1834. This was brought about by Rev. John Seward of Aurora. The first members were Joseph and Amanda Patrick, husband and wife; Baxter and Hannah Clough, husband and wife; Samuel and Betsey Gerrish, husband and wife; John Moore, his mother and sister Prudence; Asa and Susan Stevens husband and wife: R. M. and Nancy Hanford, husband and wife; William Pillsbury and wife and Horace Merry. Asa Stevens was one of the first deacons. Before the frame church was built the meetings were held at the house of Mrs. Morse, northwest of the Center. For eleven years the church had no settled pastor, the pulpit being filled by students from Western Reserve College and by readers. In 1845 the organizer, Rev. John Seward, became the permanent pastor. Rev. James Webster was pastor in the '80s. The Disciples of Solon held meetings in 1840 and November 29th of the following year a church was organized with thirteen members. Among the ministers who have for a shorter or longer time served this church have' been: J. H. Rhoads, J. H. Jones. T. B. Knowles, James A. Garfield, H. W. Everest, John Smith. O. C. Hill, John Atwater, A. B. Green and C. W. Henry. Among the elders have been L. S. Bull and H. P. Boynton and C. S. Carver. T. H. Baldwin. M. J. Roberts and W. W. Robbins have served as deacons and F. H. Baldwin, W. W. Robbins and J. J. Little as trustees. The Methodist Church that began holding meetings at the Ledge in 1840, and then in the schoolhouse at the Center, built a house of worship in 1854. Among the pastors have been Reverends Vernon, R. Latimer and Burgess.

The names of the trustees of the township who have served in the first sixty years of the civil life of the township include some family names known over the county: Samuel Glasier, James M. Hickox, Jarvis McConougliy, William Higby, Ralph Russell, S. M. Hickox, J. S. Patrick, Theodore S. Powell, Morris Bosworth, Obadiah B. Judd, Ebenezer Gove, Daniel Morse, Caleb R. Fletcher, Joel Seward, Simeon T. Shepard, Sanford H. Bishop, S. H. Smith, W. W. Richards, L. S. Bull, H. W. Hart, E. Cook, C. R. Fletcher, Simon Norton, Henry E. March, Leander Chamberlin, William R. Sill, Richard Dewey, Francis Pettibone, Robert Smith, C. R. Smith, W. W. Robbins, Orris B. Smith, Dexter McClintock, Calvin T. Reed, Augustus Pettibone, R. M. Hanford, C. H. Baldwin, H. N. Slade, James Webster, Alfred Stevens, Royal Taylor, Jr and J. N. Blackman. Of the clerks who served in the first half century and more we can mention Capt. Archibald Robbins, Joseph G. Patrick, John M. Hart, H. W. Hart, L. S. Bull, John Deady, William R. Robbins, S. B. Smith, L. Chamberlin, G. G. Hickox, Alfred D. Robbins, A. M. Smith, J. M. Hickox, J. S. Chamberlin, W. F. Hale, R. K. Merrill, W. F. Hanford, F. A. Hale and A. H. Chamberlin. Of the treasurers of the township since its organization may be noted Freeman McClintock, Reuben M. Hanford, Seymour Trowbridge, Asa Stevens, Joel Seward, S. T. Shepard, Capt. Archibald Robbins, J. M. Hickox, John M. Hart, J. G. Patrick, William B. Price, William K. Ricksecker, C. B. Lockwood, Hiram Chapman, R. K. Merrill, A. D. Robbins, E. C. Blackman, L. L. Chamberlin, R. W. Collins, W. F. Hale, Erskene Merrill and W. C. Lawrence. The present officers of the township are: Justice of the peace, Ralph Blue; trustees, L. S. Harrington, O. R. Arnold and W. A. Hawkins; clerk, H. E. Gildard; treasurer, E. D. Rhodes; assessor, C. H. Craemer; constable, C. M. Hickox.

Of some of the early officers some notice biographical would be appropriate in this connection. Royal Taylor was born in Aurora, Portage County, October 5, 1812. His father, Worthy Taylor, was a native of Blanford, Massachusetts, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. The Taylors came to Aurora in 1806. An uncle, Col. Royal Taylor, was an officer in the War of the Rebellion. Royal Taylor came to Solon in 1843, cleared a farm of 233 acres and was thirty years in the dairy and stock and later in real estate. He married three times. James W. Harper was born in Orange township and was educated in the district schools of that township. He manufactured cheese in Solon for many years. He was the son of James and Sarah Harper, born near Belfast, Ireland. He has eight children. Jacob Strohm was the son of Michel and Barbara Strohm. Jacob was a soldier in the Civil war and came to Solon in 1868. He was appointed postmaster of Solon in 1893. Robert Thompson, another soldier in the Civil war, was born in Solon in 1844. His parents were Christopher and Elizabeth Thompson. The father was from Yorkshire and the mother from Durham, England. They lived in a log cabin for a number of years. James Potter was the son of Thomas Potter, who came to Solon in 1836. He is of Scotch-Irish descent. His log house stood in a small clearing of two or three acres and all about was a dense wilderness. His family consisted of nine children: Eliza, Robert, Jane, Thomas, W. J., Andrews, James, Henry, and an adopted daughter, Angeline G. Potter. James Potter II and Thomas Potter were soldiers in the Civil war. Thomas was a quartermaster and was under Sherman in his march from Atlanta to the sea. Thomas Potter, Sr., besides being a farmer, was a stone mason and worked on the Weddel house when that historic structure was built. For years he worked for William Hutchins doing stone work in the county. He died at the age of eighty one years. The Morrison family should be mentioned. Perry Morrison and his father, John Morrison, and his mother, Lucy Perry Morrison. Both of Perry Morrison's grandfathers were soldiers in the War of 1812. We have already given something of the biography of Capt. Archibald Robbins and his father, Capt. Jason Robbins.

One village has been formed from the territory of Solon. It was formed from territory constituting the southwest corner of the township originally and is called Glenwillow. There are two methods under the statute for the organization of villages, one by petition to the county commissioners and the other by petition to the trustees of the township from whose territory the village is to be formed. In the latter case a vote of the qualified electors residing in the territory, which is to constitute the village, must be taken and a majority found in favor of the project. Under the first method the commissioners must find that the petition contains all the matter required, that its statements are true, that the name proposed is appropriate, that the limits of the proposed corporation are accurately described and are not unreasonably large or small, that the map of the plat is accurate, that the persons whose names are signed to the petition are electors residing in the territory, that notice has been given as required, and that there is the requisite population for the proposed corporation, before they make the order. The township trustees, under the law, must receive a petition signed by at least thirty electors of the territory from which the village is to be formed, a majority of whom shall be freeholders. If the village proposed includes territory from more than one township the application must be made to the trustees in the township where a majority of such inhabitants reside. This petition must contain a request for an election. The township, satisfied that all the provisions pertaining thereto have been complied with, or rather the township trustees, must order an election for ascertaining the opinion of the voters on the question of forming a village, and, if that carries, then they must order an election for village officers.

Glenwillow. Village was formed by petition to the trustees and vote of the resident voters. J. D. Davis, S. Orchard and C. A. Roselle were the township trustees. The petition was filed December 18, 1913, and contained thirty seven signatures. W. O. Avery was named as agent of the petitioners and the number of residents in the proposed village was stated to be 150. An election was held and the vote was for the village. Village officers were elected in 1914 as follows: Mayor, W. O. Avery; clerk, A. Balder; treasurer, J. W. Davis; councilmen, Frank Parmelee, S. D. Stolifer, L. D. Yonker, William Knox, W. E. Sheets and L. C. Wills; marshal, August Arndt; board of education, J. D. Davis, George Raster, William McGregor, Amanda Balder and Hattie Avery, being officers of the board for the separate school district of Glenwillow. In this new village was located the Austin Powder Company and a large number of the signers of the petition were employees and officers of that company. The present officers of the village are: Mayor, W. O. Avery; clerk, A. Balder; treasurer, E. A. Snyder; assessor, Ed Boose; justice of the peace, Arthur E. Smith; councilmen, T. C. Wells, William McGregor, F. Parmelee, Henry Koch, George Haster and John Resabek.

The district schools of Solon are now all abolished and the centralization that is practically accomplished throughout the county is completed. The school are in one building at Solon Center. There are eleven teachers employed and 250 pupils enrolled. The superintendent is J. J. Deets. In the graduating class of the junior high school, which includes the seventh and eighth grades, this year there are fourteen and in the graduating class of the high school there are twelve. The special school district of Glenwillow has two teachers and an enrollment of forty five. Although not yet officially accomplished, Glenwillow schools are soon to become a part of the Solon schools and are already under the supervision of J. J. Deets.


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