History of Strongsville 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


If Strongsville had no other claim, two men that she has furnished to this community would give her a prominent place in our history. Judge Carlos M. Stone, than whom while he lived no man in the county was better or more favorably known, and Dayton Clarence Miller, professor of physics at Case School of Applied Science, author of many works. Carlos M. Stone was born in Strongsville March 27, 1846. A child in the district schools, a student at Oberlin, graduate. at the Ohio State and Union Law College, admitted to the bar, at the age of twenty five we find him prosecuting attorney of Cuyahoga County. This was in 1871. His term of two years expiring we find him practicing law in the firm of Brinsmade and Stone and then in the firm of Stone and Hessenmueller. In 1879 he is again prosecuting attorney and is reelected in 1881, His total service in that office covering a period of seven years, he resumes the practice of law in the firm of Stone, Hessenmueller and Gallup. In 1885 he began a long service as judge of the Common Pleas Court While serving on the bench, at the earnest solicitation of his party friends who believed him to be the strongest candidate that could be named, he contested for the office of mayor of the City of Cleveland. Defeated, he again ran for reelection as judge and won by his old time majority. As a judge he was not considered the most able of an especially strong bench of associates, but he was rarely reversed by the higher courts. His evident fairness in the conduct of trials so impressed the parties in controversy that few appeals were taken.

Dayton Clarence Miller, born in Strongsville, is the author of many works on physics. One hears the very comprehensible tide of "The Science of Musical Sounds." He is considered a great authority on sound and the leading man in that line in this country, if not in the world. Like most men of genius he has a hobby. In his childhood he delighted to play with the fife his father used in the Civil war. He is a collector of flutes, a hobby in line with his study of musical sounds. In an interview in the News and Leader recently he was asked: "What is occupying your attention at present?" His reply was: "Finding out why some sounds are pleasant and why others are unpleasant. I am trying to make photographic records of sounds which shall be finer than the phonograph. I am working to find the scientific causes of tone quality. I study sounds through the flute." "His laboratory at Case School," said the News Leader, "is one of the scientific show places of the world where he is 'canning' sound to last 15,000 years, and where he photographs the human voice." His titles are Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Doctor of Science.

Before it was named, this township was number 5 in range 14. It is the most southwestern township in the county and contains about twenty square miles or 12,800 acres, being not fully five miles square. It was ceded to the Connecticut Land Company by the Indians in 1805 and was surieyed as a township in 1806. It was not settled by the white man until after the War of 1812, when settlements began to he made slowly. It was purchased from the Connecticut Land Company in four parcels and is particularly distinguished by the high character of the original purchasers. In the division by the company, Hon. Oliver Ellsworth took the largest part, paying into the company $13,673 and Governor Caleb Strong nearly the same territory for which he paid $12,000. Two smaller purchasers were assigned the balance for which they paid $414. The principal purchasers, Ellsworth and Strong, were men of distinction. Oliver Ellsworth was born at Winsor, Connecticut, April 29, 1745. He was a statesman and jurist of national repute. He was United States senator from the State of Connecticut from 1789 to 1796, beginning his service with that of Washington as president, was appointed by Washington chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving as chief justice until in 1799 he was appointed envoy extraordinary to France. Caleb Strong was born at Northampton, Massachusetts. January 9, 1745. He was a leading patriot in the Revolution, a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Federalist United States senator from Massachusetts 1789 to 17% and governor of Massachusetts 1800 to 1807 and 1812 to 1816. William Wolcott Ellsworth, a son of Oliver, also served as governor of Connecticut, 1838 to 1842. These distinguished purchasers did not come to the West, but appointed John Stoughton Strong to act for them as land agent and he came from Connecticut with a stag party consisting of Elijah Lyman, Guilford Whitney, William Fuller, Obadiah Church and Mr. Goodell in 1816. Strong was a small, active, energetic, nervous man, a good business manager, but not a typical pioneer. This party drove from Connecticut in sleighs. Strong located his headquarters a little northeast of the Center and all hands went to work on the log house, which was to serve as residence and business headquarters for the land agent of Ellsworth and Strong. The township had not been surveyed into lots and as soon as the headquarters was established and their bachelor's hall in running order the survey began. Strong was not a surveyor, but he engaged a surveyor from Newburgh, and Whitney Goodell, Church and Fuller acted as chain men. Without any information to the contrary we will assume that Lyman acted as cook at the headquarters.

The township was surveyed into lots half a mile square containing 160 acres of land. The western tier of lots, however, were not full, as the township is not five miles square. These lots were numbered beginning with number 1 in the southwest corner, then numbering north and south until number 100 in the northeast corner concluded the survey. As in all the townships of the county the setting of corner stones by the original surveyors was carefully and thoroughly done. Once set, these monuments have been rarely disturbed. "Cursed be he that moveth a corner stone," was adopted by the pioneers as an injunction to be regarded. In the early days this act was looked upon as the basest of all criminal acts. The survey was the principal business at first, but two or three small clearings were made and some crops planted, when in March, 1816, John Hilliard and wife and a little daughter, Eliza, came from Connecticut. They immediately took up residence in the log mansion and Mrs. Hilliard, then only twenty two years of age, with her little daughter to care for, became the housekeeper for the colony, the only woman in the township. Bachelor's Hall was transformed. She had her pioneer shocks and housekeeping drawbacks. After breakfast, while sweeping the floor, she was startled by a sibilant rattle and discovered a large rattlesnake on the hearth. She called in the men, who killed it, and found it to be over five feet in length She continued her sweeping, when another warning sound was heard. The men pulled up the loose floor and killed another rattler, the mate to the first. These incidents, while common in pioneer life, were naturally disquieting to a lone housekeeper in the wilds of Strongsville in 1816.

Another menace aside from wild beasts was the Indians. They were supposed to be friendly after the War of 1812, but the tales of their atrocities so vividly told made their presence even singly a secret tenor. One day in that first summer the men had all gone to a raising in Columbia. Lorain County, leaving Mrs. Hilliard alone with her little girl. A huge Indian armed with gun, knife and tomahawk entered the cabin and gruffly demanded, "Where is the man?" She told him that the men were not at home, answering truthfully. The Indian made no hostile demonstration, but without asking helped himself to a chair and sat down. The little girl with the fearlessness of childhood and that child instinct that detects the harmless and the harmful in human kind walked boldly up to him and gave him a piece of bread and butter which she was eating. The peace offering was a success. The Indian took the little girl on his lap and fondled her while he ate the bread and butter. The mother inwardly fearful looked on, but breathed a sigh of relief when the big warrior, shortly after, left without any parting salutation.

About October 1st of this year, 1816, another family was added to the Strongsville colony. Guilford Whitney came with his wife and children, Havel, Jubal, Vina and Betsey and a young lady, Charlotte Wallace. Miss Wallace was led to the western wilds by some attraction that flesh is heir to, for she was the bride in the first marriage that was solemnized in the township. This wedding occurred the following winter and Hollis Whitney was the other party to the contract. Abial Haynes came prospecting this month of October, 1816, and returned to New England to report. His report was favorable, for he returned with his father, Ahijah Haynes, Sr., his mother and their other son, Ahijah Haynes, Jr. In 1880 these sons were the oldest settlers in Strongsville. In 1817 there was a great shortage of grain in the township owing to the cold summer of 1816. In January, 1817, Mr. Haynes was compelled to go as far as Harrisville, now on the south line of Medina County, to get wheat. The distance was thirty miles and the drive was made with an ox team and sled. After dusk the wolves prowled around but did not come near enough to feel the club which Haynes carried for protection. Arriving at Harrisville, Haynes had to thrash with a flail and winnow by hand the wheat and then pay $1 per bushel for the same, but it was food for the family and he was glad to get it.

In 1817 other families had arrived and the colony was augmented by births. Chipman Porter, the son of Edwin, was the first white child born in the township and a few days later Frank Hilliard, the eldest of John and Mrs. Hilliard, was born and was the second birth among the pioneers. Before the year closed many families had taken up land in the township. The people came more readily to the high, dry and healthy farms of Strongsville than to the level but wet ground of Middleburgh with its richer soil. Among the heads of families may be noted George F. Gilbert, James Nichols, David Goodwin, Wheeler Cole, Thatcher Avery, James Bennett, Thaddeus Hall and John and James Smith. This was a large immigration for one year. Axes were heard in all directions and log houses arose like mushrooms in the field. John Bosworth cleared fifty acres for Mr. Strong and thirty were sown to wheat. And many small clearings were made, and sown to wheat so that the township became independent of the outer world for food. In this situation Mr. Strong decided he could now bring his family and you can see that the food supply was important as the family aside from his wife consisted of Warren C., Lyman W., John. Chipman, Emery, Benda, Franklin and Lavania. These came from Connecticut in 1818. The Olds family came this year. Among them Edson B. Olds, who in 1842 and 1843 served as a member of the Ohio General Assembly, then living in Pickaway County. There was G. L., L. W., C. N. and Dr. Benjamin B. Olds. The last named began the practice of medicine immediately on his arrival and had the distinction of being the first doctor in the township. This year also came Liakini Lyon and family, Josiah Carpenter and family, including Caleb, Zackary, David and Rufus, Zara D. Howe and family, including Manser Howe, A. P. Howe and Z. D. Howe, Otis and N. D. Billings, Mrs. McNeil, Mrs. G. C Olds and Apollo S. Southworth. Ansel G. Pope came this year and opened the first blacksmith shop. He lived in the township to a ripe old age. We have thus enumerated the first settlers, the first woman resident, the first marriage, the first birth, the first doctor and the first blacksmith. D. S. Lyon said that when he came there was hardly a stick of timber cut between Strongsville and Cleveland. The main road, afterwards the turnpike, was marked out four rods wide. The underbrush and saplings were cut but the large trees remained and the roadway wound about them. Liakim Lyon settled about a mile from the south line of the township. The Goodwins and Bennetts were the only near neighbors. Lyon occupied Bennett's house for a time. He said they were often disturbed by the howling of the wolves at night At one time annoyed by the wolves he attempted to drive them away by setting his dog upon them, but the dog was quickly driven in with his tail at half mast. In the summer of 1818 John S. Strong built a frame barn, the first frame building built in the township. At the raising all of the men in Strongsville and some from Middleburg and Columbia assisted. When the frame was raised, in accordance with some ancient custom, the men ranged themselves on one side of the plates and a bottle of whiskey was passed from mouth to mouth, as in the later custom of passing the loving cup in celebrations. When the last man was reached he imbibed the last of the contents and threw the empty bottle as far as he could.

The peopling of the township was now progressing so rapidly that application was made to the county commissioners for the erection of a township to include the territory of number 5, range 14. A town meeting was called and the name Strongsville chosen in honor of John S. Strong. On February 2, 1818, the first election was held. It was presided over by Ephraim Vaughn of Middleburg. The judges of election were James Nichols, David Goodwin and Chipman Porter. John Dinsmore, James Nichols and James Smith were elected trustees; Seth Goodwin, clerk, and Guilford Whitney, treasurer. The fence viewers chosen were James Bennett and Benjamin G. Barber; constables, James Nichols and G. F. Nichols, and the superintendents of the highways, John Bosworth, John Dinsmore and Benjamin G. Barber. Barber declined to serve and Abial Haynes was appointed in his stead. In June the election for justices of the peace was held and James Nichols and Ahijah Haynes, Jr., elected Like the City of Cleveland in some of its history, Strongsville did not always keep within its income as to expenditures. At the March meeting of the township trustees, held in 1819, the expenditures were reported as $16.50, while the receipts were only $8.30.

At the time of the organization of the township of number 5, range 14, now given the name of Strongsville, thus to remain, with territory at the present as at first formed, the two most important questions before the officials of the State of Ohio were education and highways. The message of Governor Thomas Worthington to the Legislature which adjourned January 30, 1818, was devoted largely to these subjects. In the previous Legislature a large number of turnpike companies were authorized and incorporated and more than 100 public roads ordered opened and improved out of the three per cent United States funds. Governor Worthington in a previous message had urged that the state join with individuals and private corporations in the construction of turnpikes and pointed out that the state's share of the tolls collected would reduce the tax rate. This method of providing better transportation became general and Strongsville was blessed with a turnpike toll road. Incidents regarding the difficulties of early travel will show what a step in advance this must have been. In the year 1819 the settlement was augmented by the coming of Jonathan Pope and family, Ebenezer Wilkinson and family, Seth Bartlett and family, James Waite, Mosel Fowle, Chester G. Tuttle and Ezra Tuttle, Jr., John Colton and family and Jeduthan Freeman and family. Two deaths occurred in this year, of young people, the first since the settlers came, Stoughton Strong, aged nineteen, and Polly Strong, wife of Lyman, aged twenty one. A log house was built at the Center to serve as town house, schoolhouse and meeting house. This building served as a meeting house for all denominations of religious belief. The settlers transplanted their New England religion as a crop to be planted early. In 1817 the first church of Congregationalists was organized. Rev. William Hanford and Rev. Luther Humphrey brought this about. The first members were Ahijah Haynes and Jerusha, his wife, Guilford Whitney and Anna, his wife, Hollis Whitney and Barincey Hilliard. Guilford Whitney was the first deacon and Ahijah Haynes the second. There was no regular minister. Sermons were read and occasionally a traveling minister preached, the meetings being held in houses until the town house was built. This log house was replaced in 1825 by a frame building, which was used as was the former building for a schoolhouse, town house and church. In this year the First Congregational Church engaged a settled minister, Rev. Simon Woodruff. He served till 1834 and was followed by Rev. D. C. Blood and he by Rev. Myron Tracy. In 1842 a division occurred and a free Congregational Church was formed and in 1853 a brick church was built. This was called the second Congregational Church Among the Congregational pastors of Strongsville have been Revs. Elias Thompson, Timothy Williston, Charles E. Adams, Harvey Lyon, Amzi B Lyon, A. W. Knowlton, James W. Turner, Gideon Dana, William Bacon, Lucius Smith and C. S. Cady. During the summer of 1819 a Methodist society was organized at the house of Jonathan Pope by Rev. Ira Eddy and Rev. Billings O. Plynpton. The first circuit pastors were Rev. M. Goddard and Rev. Charles Waddell.

To continue chronologically, in 1820 the first tavern was opened by John H. Strong. It was in a frame building built by Mr. Strong and was the first frame residence building, if it might be so called, in the township. Up to this time grinding had been done for the settlers at Vaughn's mill in Middleburg or Hoadley's in Columbia. Sometimes the water power gave out and the people had to go to mill as far as Tallmage or Painesville on the Chagrin River. Strong, the promoter, the energetic, the bundle of nerves, decided that this must not be. In the fall of 1820 he built a gristmill on the branch of Rocky River at a point, later, the site of Albion, of poetic memory. E. Lyman was his millwright and A. J. Pope did the iron work. Thaddeus Lathrop, father of Mrs. Benjamin Tuttle, came from Middleburg and boarded the hands, who worked on the mill and was the first miller. A sawmill was built there about the same time. At the Center the only mercantile establishments were stores of small stocks of goods sold from the homes by John S. Strong, E. Lyman and John Bosworth. In this year Timothy Clark opened a store at the Center with a larger stock of goods and perhaps should be called the first merchant of the town. His stock was, however, not large. Other arrivals this year were Moses O. Bennett, Jesse Root, Benjamin Schofield, Cyrus Harlan and Nathan Britton and family.

At this time the Hinckley Hunt, referred to in another chapter, had thinned the wild animals, but venison was common and mutton scarce. An expert with the rifle would shoot forty or fifty deer in a season, but the wolves were still in sufficient numbers to get the sheep ahead of the butcher. There was still that lurking fear of wolves and panthers. This gave rise to some jokes on the settlers that became the theme of conversation in the store and blacksmith shop. Abial Haynes related how his father's family were disturbed for several nights by the screams of a panther. Finally this became so terrifying that one night he sallied forth with rifle in hand to end or be ended. Discovering a pair of shining eyes in the woods which he decided were the panther's, he fired and hastily retreated to the home fortress. The next morning on visiting the scene of the night's adventure he found a dead owl, whose screams had been silenced by his shot. Indians frequently came in bands of hunting parties and would stay for a week or two in camp hunting game. One band made camp at Albion on the river, another on the "East Hill," and at one time a band of fifty red men on a hunt camped at the Center. They were friendly and not more unwelcome than the gypsy bands that appear to this day.

The Strongsville settlers were comparatively free from sickness. The high, dry and rolling ground was free from the ailments that many of the settlers contended with. There was some fever and ague along the river. In the treatment of this disease there were some standing remedies. Petroleum V. Nasby, in his humorous articles about the "Confederate Cross Roads," says the Negroes took quinine and whiskey for the ague and the Whites took the same remedy for the same disease, which they took omittin' the quinine. Be that as it may, it is an historical fact that John S. Strong, the virile, built, in 1821, a distillery down on the river near his gristmill and operated it for a short time. In 1822 came the third death in the township. Dr. B. B. Olds, whom we have mentioned as the first physician and who married a daughter of Mr. Strong, died this year. We should note the arrival of Rev Luke Bowen, the first resident minister and school teacher. Of note this year also was the sale by Mr. Strong of his Albion property. He immediately built another gristmill on Rocky River, two miles east of the Center. As some one expressed it, there was not business for two mills, but Mr. Strong was of such a temperament that he could not keep still. This stir, quite considerable for the little pioneer settlement, caused a boom in prices and land went up from $3 an acre to $5, and this at an unfortunate time. Congress had just changed the plan of selling government land in large tracts to large buyers and began offering it in quarter sections at $1.25 per acre. The emigration to Strongsville fell off and finally the boom fell off and land was reduced to two dollars an acre in order to get buyers. Thus in 1824 there were only twenty four votes cast for president in the township. Of these Henry Clay received twenty three and John Quincy Adams one.

At this time the clearings had increased in size and crops were correspondingly large, but grain was so low in price as to hardly pay for marketing. Money was extremely scarce. Again we see the active mind of John S. Strong at work. One commodity which the settlers could produce was much in demand in Cleveland and had a ready sale, potash and pearlash. Mr. Strong built an ashery at the Center and operated it for many years. The ashes of the monarchs of the forest brought relief to the people. The product in so condensed a form overcame the handicap of transportation. When hauling to Cleveland it was customary for two men with two four ox teams to drive in company with sled or wagon, so that they could assist each other on the way. A trip was a campaign. They usually carried an axe, refreshments, which included a jug of whiskey, and sleeping robes or blankets. The round trip occupied four extremely long days. Two barrels of potash holding from 400 to 500 pounds each was a load for two yokes of oxen. It brought, in Cleveland, from $4 to $5 a hundred. The only money the settlers got for some time was from this product. They would boil down the lye from ashes into what were called black salts and this product was sold to Strong for the manufacture of potash.

Some scattering families came to the township before 1825 which have not been mentioned, Ezra Tuttle and son Benjamin, Ebenezer Stone, who bought a mile west of the Center, and Ebenezer Pomeroy, who was the first settler west of the Center. Walter F. Stone, a son of Ebenezer, was Common Pleas judge in the '60s and '70s. In 1825 a frame town house, or townhouse, schoolhouse and meetinghouse, replaced the log building that was first so used. Dr. William Baldwin came this year and filled the place vacated by the death of Doctor Olds. He practiced in the town for about twelve years. In 1826 there were only eighty nine householders in the township.

Torches made of hickory bark were used by those who were out in the evening. Young people were often compelled to walk a long distance through the woods after an evening at the spelling school, the singing school or the geography school, and the torch had a double mission, that of furnishing light on the way and of frightening away wild beasts of the woods. They were constructed so as to burn for a long time. A torch three feet long would burn during a walk of three miles. They were good for a mile for each foot in length. At one of these evening meetings a long line of torches would be leaning against the walls of the schoolhouse and at the close the gallant would pick his best girl, light his torch and see her home, the flame perhaps suggestive of that inner flame that told of love's sweet dream.

By 1830 wild game was getting scarce and early settlers soon were relating to their children the story of the last bear hunt. A female bear with two cubs was discovered and followed by some twenty men. The old bear while turning to defend her cubs was shot, one cub took to a tree and the other escaped in the darkness. The men waited all night by the tree containing the cub and at daybreak it was shot. The other cub was never seen again and no further bear stories could be told. Now log houses began to disappear and frame houses took their places. In 1833 Ebenezer Prindle was keeping tavern, and there were two stores at the Center, one kept" by Emery and Warner Strong and a brick store with John S. Strong as proprietor. New arrivals were many, times were flush, paper money was abundant and Strongsville Center was thriving.

In 1834 a rival to John S. Strong, in enterprise, came to the settlement from Albion, New York, Benjamin Northrop. He located at the lower mill on the east branch of the Rocky. River and built a carding and fulling mill. He seemed at once to have the respect and good will of the people. For his building the settlers sold him timber on credit. Later he built a woolen factory in connection with his carding factory and again the settlers assisted in the same way, taking their pay later in cloth and work. This settlement was named Albion in honor of Mr. Northrop's native town. A large number of houses were built. There were several stores and shops and the new settlement went ahead of the Center. A Baptist Church, an Episcopal and a Methodist were located here. Albion was incorporated as a borough. In the financial crisis of 1837 the growth of Albion continued unchecked. It issued script signed by Benjamin Northrop as mayor, which passed current, and tided over the difficulty. In 1843 it had six stores, four blacksmith shops and several other shops and about forty dwellings. The dwellings were on the main road on top of the hill overlooking the mills, factories and the distillery on the river below. To paraphrase from Goldsmith we might say:

Sweet Albion! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheered the laboring swain,
Where smiling Spring her earliest visit paid,
And parting Summer's lingering blooms delayed.
Sweet, smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn.

In this year of 1843 the first calamity came. A fire destroyed a large part of the village. Starting in the mills on the river the wind drove it up the hill and many houses were burned. Fourteen families were made homeless and others had great loss. The decline of the village did not begin at once from this loss. Some houses were rebuilt and some lines of business reestablished. Travel on the turnpike was brisk and made business for the tavern and stores. Trask and Tuttle built a tannery on the river and did a thriving business for some years. Four and six horse teams drove through to Cleveland with big wagons carrying produce for the market. Albion seemed to be regaining its past prestige, when in 1851 the railroad was built through Middleburg. Then travel left the turnpike and "the glory of Albion faded away." The Center, its rival, continued on the even tenor of its way. While Albion was at its best, the voting place was at the Center and it remained the capital. In 1849 Benjamin Northrop, the founder of Albion, sold his woolen factory to Dr. St. Clair and moved to Cleveland, having been the previous year elected by the Legislature, associate judge of the Common Pleas Court.

Among those who served in the first half century and more of the organized existence of the township, and the list represents capable men, are trustees, David Goodwin, John Densmore, James Nichols, John S. Strong, William Fuller, A. J. Pope, Liakim Lyon, Henry Wait, Thad Lathrop, Luke Bowen, E. Wilkinson, James Smith, E. Bosworth, Joseph Olds, Leonard Peabody, Asa Drake, Ebenezer Stone, Boswell Trask, Charles Tupper, Caleb Carpenter, E. H. Reed, D. S. Lyon, James Preston and William Richards; clerks, Seth Goodwin, Benjamin B. Olds, Warner Strong, Ansel J. Pope, Emery Strong, M. E. Stone, Montravill Stone, Ebenezer Prindle, Timothy Clark, David Harvey, Banford Gilbert and Milo S. Haynes; treasurers, Ebenezer Stone, Lyman Strong, Curtis Stone, M. E. Stone, Warner Strong, Jubal Whitney, M. E. Gallup, E. H. Reed; justices of the peace, James Nichols, Ahijah Haynes, Henry Wait, Timothy Clark, John S. Strong, Harmon Stone, James Fuller, Norton Briggs, Warner Strong, John Miller, M. E. Stone, Lester Miles, D. K. Drake, David E. Heir, F. J. Bartlett, Henry W. Merrick and Alanson Pomeroy; assessors, Chipman Porter, James Wait, Lyman Strong, Chester Tuttle, Zara D. Howe, A. P. Howe, Ebenezer Merrill, A. H. Hoyt, Roswal Trask, C. T. Rogers, John Watson, Edward Haynes, M. S. Haynes and B B. Heazlit. The present officers of the township are trustees, A. L. Sanderson, L. E. Bedford and Carl Lyman; clerk, R. W. Frank; treasurer, J. A. Frank; assessor, J. F. Pierce; constable, George J. Seidel, and justice of the peace, Grant G. Atkinson.

The district schools, like those over the county, are no more. The schoolhouses, once used for all kinds of assemblies, have been removed or diverted to other uses and three buildings now house the pupils of the township, a high school building and two grade school buildings nearby at the Center. There are 14 teachers employed and 375 pupils enrolled. The present superintendent is F. C. Gilmore and he is under the direction of the county superintendent of schools, A. G. Yawberg, who has held that position for nine years. The high school building is being enlarged for the better accommodation of the schools. The new addition to the high school building is up to date, with a fine auditorium and school rooms and equipment of the best. Not having a water system in that township, the building will be served by a pressure tank and motor engine. The auditorium besides having the usual comfort, cloak, and dressing rooms, is equipped with an operating room for moving pictures.

Strongsville furnished seventy soldiers in the Civil war. Among them Carlos Stone, whom we have mentioned; E. J. Kennedy, now of Berea, of whom we will speak in the chapter on Middleburg; George H. Foster, lawyer and legislator; George A. Hubbard, orator and clergyman, chapplain of his regiment, and James E. Wyatt. philosopher, who, when the Old Seventh Ohio was surprised at breakfast, filled the pockets of his blouse with roast pork, notwithstanding the excitement, and, when the battle of Cross Lanes was over, deliberately pulled out his prize to the astonishment of his hungry copatriots; Samuel A. Carpenter, who lost an arm in a rather unexpected campaign with Sherman, from Atanta to the sea, and Frank Cunningham, father of Wilbur Cunningham of Cleveland. No Grand Army post has ever been formed in the township, the men eligible preferring to join the Berea and other posts in the county. Samuel A. Carpenter is the only soldier of the Civil war now living in the township. He was a member of Company A of Col. Oliver Payne's regiment, the One Hundred and Twenty fourth Ohio. In command of his company was Captain William Wilson. Although nearly eighty, Mr. Carpenter and his good wife are active in seeing that the graves of the soldiers are remembered with flowers on Decoration Day each year. In 1822 there was a reunion of the surviving members of the One Hundred and Twenty fourth Ohio, Mr. Carpenter's regiment, at Strongsville. There were fifteen present and some letters were read from absent ones.

This chapter is written of a quiet agricultural community, a section of the county in an extreme corner, away from the busy whirl. It has had no canal and no railroad and few exciting local events. The settlers transplanted here the sterling virtues of the Puritans, without their austere severity. They set up the school, the church, and civil authority early. They did not forget the precept of their Puritan mothers nor the God of their Puritan fathers in the woods of the western wilds. Graduated from this township have been three Common Pleas judges, Benjamin Northrop, who served in the '40s; Walter F. Stone, who served as Common Please judge before and after the Civil war, and Carlos M. Stone, judge of the same court in later years. Of its lawyers, aside from these, may be mentioned L. L. Bowen, Sidney Strong, Myron Sabin, Erastus F. Miles and George H. Foster. Of its literary characters, Henry E. Foster, editor and miscellaneous writer, is a notable example. Of its legislators are Edson B. Olds and George H. Foster. It has produced a scientist of unusual attainments in Dayton Clarence Miller.

Thus, in closing we are reminded of the lines that were so often declaimed in the "Little Red Schoolhouse":

"What constitutes a state?
Not high-raised battlements or labored mound,

Thick wall or moated gate;
Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned,

Not bays and broad armed ports,
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;

Not starred and spangled courts,
Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride-

No-men, high-minded men
With powers as far above dull brutes endued,

In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude."


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