Archiver > OH-FOOTSTEPS > 1999-10 > 0939152145

From: "Maggie Stewart" <>
Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 15:35:45 -0400

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From: Gina Reasoner <>
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Sent: Monday, October 04, 1999 11:19 PM

HISTORY OF OHIO By Henry Howe, LL.D., 1886


SUMMIT COUNTY was erected from Portage, Medina and Stark, March 3, 1840.
It derived its name from having the highest land on the line of the Ohio
canal, originally called "the Portage Summit." Along the Cuyahoga it is
uneven and hilly; elsewhere level or undulating. It has immense beds of
bituminous coal and fine clay. The soil is fertile and produces excellent
fruit. The principal productions are wheat, corn, hay, oats, cheese,
butter, potatoes and fruit.
Area, about 420 square miles. In 1887 the acres cultivated were 105,569;
in pasture, 56,922; woodland, 23,513; lying waste, 4,343; produced in
wheat, 552,269 bushels; rye, 1,11; buckwheat, 241; oats, 581,260; barley,
600; corn, 451,232; meadow hay, 26,082 tons; clover hay, 16,245; potatoes,
124,424 bushels; butter, 657,527 lbs.; cheese, 1,011,957; maple syrup,
14,944 gallons; honey, 3,903 lbs.; eggs, 345,814 dozen; grapes, 39,820
lbs.; wine, 349 gallons; sweet potatoes, 200 bushels; apples, 75,006;
peaches, 8,990; pears, 2,067; wool, 86,801 lbs.; milch cows owned, 11,501.
Ohio Mining Statistics, 1888. -Coal mined, 112,024 tons, employing 231
miners and 40 outside employees; fire clay, 3,000 tons. School census,
1888, 15,339; teachers, 379. Miles of railroad track, 154.

Akron city and Middlebury
township co-extensive 16,512
Bath 1,425 1,039
Boston 845 1,221
Copley 1,439 1,184
Coventry 1,308 2,305
Cuyahoga 2,294
Franklin 1,436 2,203
Green 1,536 1,827
Hudson 1,220 1,817
Northampton 963 977
Northfield 1,031 1,076
Norton 1,497 2,066
Portage 2,382 2,540
Richfield 1,108 1,253
Springfield 2,332
Stow 1,533 911
Tallmadge 2,134 1,455
Twinsburg 1,039 776

Population of Summit in 1840, 22,469; 1860, 27,344; 1880, 43,788; of whom
29,198 were born in Ohio; 3,354, Pennsylvania; 1,644, New York; 182,
Indiana; 124, Virginia; 42, Kentucky; 2,081, England and Wales; 2,275,
German Empire; 1,321, Ireland; 499, British America; 207, Scotland; 200,
France; and 109 Sweden and Norway. Census, 1890, 54,089.
Summit county is the centre of a region that for a radius of about forty
miles differs from any other in the State in the existence of a number of
natural lakes, such as Silver, Congress, Myers, Springfield, Long, Summit,
Turkey Foot, Chippewa, etc. The origin of these lakes was glacial, and they
were formed during the same era that produced the varied natural formations
peculiar to the region in the vicinity of Cuyahoga Falls. This region is
one of great interest to geologists, and furnished opportunity for study
and research as to the forces producing the external formation of the State.
The map given herein, which is from Prof. G. Frederick Wright's work on
"The Ice Age in North America" (D. Appleton & Co., 1890), shows that the
waters of the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers intermingled at one period of
time. (See "The Great Dam at Cincinnati in the Ice Age," Hamilton county,
also, "Glacial man in Ohio.")
Here, at one of the highest points of the State, the dividing ridge
separates, with but a few miles between them, the Cuyahoga, flowing north
to Lake Erie, and the Tuscarawas, whose waters, through the Muskingum,
reach the Ohio river. During the occupation of the Indians the region had
many important advantages for the red men. It could be reached from the
lake in canoes, and by carrying their birch-bark canoes, seven miles,
navigation was clear to the Ohio river. Fish and game were plentiful. OLD
PORTAGE, at the head of navigation on the Cuyahoga, became a trading-post
for whites and Indians. It was a recognized landmark in the western
boundary line of the United States, in the treaty of Fort McIntosh in 1798.
In the war of 1812 it was the rendezvous of the troops furnished by the
Western Reserve.
The old Indian PORTAGE PATH was part of the ancient boundary between the
Six Nations and the Western Indians. Its exact course is thus described
with reference to present sites.
It left the Cuyahoga at the village of Old Portage, about three miles
north of Akron. It went up the hill westward about half a mile to the high
ground, where it turned southerly and ran about parallel with the canal to
near the Summit lake; there took the low ground nearly south to the
Tuscarawas, which it struck a mile or two above the New Portage. The whole
length of the path was, by the survey of Moses Warren, in 1797, 8 miles, 4
chains and 55 links.
The First Settlement made in this county was at Hudson, in the year, 1800,
by Mr. David Hudson, the history of which we derive from a series of
articles written by Rev. J. Seward, and published about the year 1835 in
the Hudson Observer.
In the division of the Western Reserve among the proprietors, the
townships of Chester and Hudson fell to the lot of Birdsey Norton and David
DANGEROUS TRAVELLING. -In the year 1799 Mr. Hudson came out to explore his
land in company with a few others. On the way he fell in with Benj. Tappan,
since judge, then travelling to his town of Ravenna. They started in his
boat from Gerondigut bay, on Lake Ontario, early in May, and soon overtook
Elias Harmon, since judge, in a boat with his wife, bound to Mantua. On
arriving at Niagara, they found the river full of ice. They had their boats
conveyed around the falls, and proceeded on their dangerous way amidst vast
bodies of floating ice, having some of the men on the shore pulling by
ropes until out of danger from the current of the Niagara. Arrived at the
mouth of the lake, they found it full of floating ice as far as the eye
could reach, and were compelled to wait several days ere they could
proceed, which they then did along near the shore. When off Ashtabula
county, their boats were driven ashore in a storm, and that of Mr. Harmon's
stove in pieces; he proceeded from thence by land to Mantua. Having
purchased and in a manner reparied Harmon's boat, Mr.Hudson shipped his
effects in it, and they arrived at Cleveland on the 8th of June.
LOCATING A TOWNSHIP. -Morse's Geography having given them about all the
knowledge of the Cuyahoga that they possessed, they supposed it capable of
sloop navigation to its forks. The season being dry, they had proceeded but
a few miles when they found it in places only eight or ten inches deep, and
were often obliged to get out, join hands, and drag their boats over the
shallow places, and made but slow progress. After a lapse of several days,
they judged they were in the latitude of the town of which they were in
search. Mr. Hudson went ashore and commenced hunting for a surveyor's line
much too far north, and it was not until after six days' laborious and
painful search that he discovered, towards night, a line which led to the
southwest corner of his township. The succeeding day being very rainy he
lodged under an oak tree, without any covering except the clothes he wore,
with the grateful pleasure of resting on his own land. In the morning he
returned highly elated to the boats and gave information of his success.
bought a yoke of oxen, and Hudson two yoke and two cows. These eight cattle
they committed to the care of Meacham, a hired man in Tappan's service, who
brought them safely on the Indian trail through Buffalo, until they found
near the lake the west line of the seventh range on the Reserve. This line,
it being the cast line of the towns now named Painesville, Concord,
Chardon, Monson, Newburg, Auburn, Mantua, Shalersville and Ravenna, they
followed due south more than forty miles, crossing the Grand and Cuyahoga
rivers, and striking the Salt Spring Indian trail near the southeastern
corner of Ravenna. They followed this trail westwardly until they came to
the new line recently made by Hudson and Tappan, which they followed to the
spot where the boats were lying on the Cuyahoga, in Boston.
The difficulties encountered by these men in driving this small drove
about three hundred miles on an obscure, crooked Indian path, and in
following town lines through swamps, rivers and other obstacles fifty miles
farther, almost through an uninhabited wilderness, were appalling; and what
rendered their circumstances truly unpleasant, and in some cases hazardous,
was that they were strangers to the country and without a guide. Their mode
of travelling was to have several bags of flour and pork, together with two
blankets and an axe, well secured on the backs of the oxen. They waded
fordable streams and compelled their cattle to swim those that could not be
forded, passing across those streams themselves with their provisions on
rafts hastily made of sticks.
VICIOUS FLIES. -Mr. Hudson's company being thus collected, his first care,
after making yokes for his oxen, was to open some road to his land. The
gullies they crossed were numerous and frequent, and often abrupt to an
angle of forty-five degrees or more. On this road, bad as it was, they
performed all their transportation in the year 1799, while their oxen were
tormented and rendered almost unmanageable by immense swarms of large
flies, which displayed such skill in the science of phlebotomy, that, in a
short time, they drew out a large share of the blood belonging to these
animals: the flies actually killed one of Tappan's oxen this season.
After having conveyed their small stock of provisions on to the southwest
corner of this town and erected a bark hut, Mr. Hudson's anxiety became
very great lest he and his company should suffer for want of provisions,
his stock being very much reduced in consequence of the Indians having
robbed his boat. Not hearing from Lacey, a man he had left behind in
Western New York to bring on stores, and dreading the consequences of
waiting for him any longer. Mr. Hudson started to meet him. Taking a boat
at Cleveland, which was providentially going down the lake, on the 2d of
July he found Lacey lying at his ease near Cattaraugus. With difficulty he
there obtained some provisions, and having a prosperous voyage arrived in
season, to the joy of those left in the wilderness, who must have been put
upon short allowance had his arrival been delayed any longer.
DIFFICULTY OF OBTAINING PROVISIONS. -The company being thus furnished with
provisions, they built a large log-house. Mr. Hudson also set his men to
work in clearing a piece of land for wheat, and on the 25th of July he
commenced surveying. The settlement now consisted of thirteen persons. In
August every person except Mr. Hudson had a turn of being unwell. Several
had the fever and ague, and in the progress of surveying the town into
lots, the party frequently had to wait for some one of their number to go
through with a paroxysm of ague and then resume their labors. By the middle
of September they found to their surprise they had only nine days'
provisions on hand; and as Mr. Hudson had heard nothing from his agent,
Norton, at Bloomfield, New York, he was once more alarmed lest they should
suffer for want of food.
He immediately went to Cleveland and purchased of Lorenzo Carter a small
field of corn for $50, designing to pound it in mortars and live thereon in
case of necessity. He hastened back to his station, and having previously
heard that Ebenezer Sheldon had made a road through the wilderness to
Aurora, and that there was a bridle-path thence to Cleveland, he thought it
probable that he might obtain pork for present necessity from that quarter.
He accordingly set out on foot and alone, and regulated his course by the
range of his shadow, making allowance for change in the time of day. He
found the Cleveland path near the centre of Aurora, then a dense forest.
Thence he proceeded about two and a half miles to Squire Sheldon's cabin,
and on inquiring found that he could obtain no provisions within a
reasonable distance in that direction. The next morning on his return, he
found that the boat had arrived with an ample supply of provisions.
A PERILOUS VOYAGE. -Having completed his surveying on the 11th of October,
Mr. Hudson left on the next day for Connecticut, to bring out his family,
in company with his little son and two men. Being disappointed in not
finding a good boat at Cleveland, he took the wreck of one he had purchased
of Harmon, and embarked upon the dangerous enterprise of crossing the lake
in it. It was so leaky that it required one hand most of the time to bail
out the water, and so weak that it bent considerably in crossing the waves.
During their passage, the weather was generally cold and boisterous; three
different times they narrowly escaped drowning by reason of the darkness of
the night or violence of the wind. Being under the necessity of lying five
days on Chatague point, they lived comfortably during that time on boiled
chestnuts, in order to lengthen out their small stock of provisions.
Arrived at Goshen, Conn., Mr. Hudson found his family in health, and by the
1st of January, 1800, was in readiness to leave his native State with all
its tender associations. "Thus," says he, "ends the eventful year 1799,
filled with many troubles out of all of which hath the Lord delivered me."

-continued in part 2

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