Archiver > OH-FOOTSTEPS > 1999-10 > 0940208644

From: Gina Reasoner <>
Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 21:04:04 -0400



At one time early in October, the second year, 1803, Singenog, the young
Indian, persuaded his uncle, Pondega Kauwan , a head chief, and two other
Chippewa dignitaries to visit the missionary, and presenting to him a
string of wampum. Pondega Kauwan made a very non-committal, dignified
speech to the effect that there was no use of his going among them; that
the Great Spirit did not put them on the ground to learn much things as the
white people. If it was not for rum they might listen, "but," concluded the
"RUM is our MASTER." And later he said to Singenog, "Our father is a great
man and knows a great deal; and if we were to know so much, perhaps, the
Great Spirit would not let us live."
After a residence at Mackinaw of about two years and all prospects of
success hopeless, the Missionary Society ordered him to New Connecticut,
there to itinerate as a missionary and to improve himself in the Indian
language, etc. About the 1st of August, 1804, with his wife and two
children, the youngest an infant, he sailed for Detroit. From thence they
proceeded in an open canoe, following the windings of the shore, rowing by
day and sleeping on land by night, till having performed a journey of near
200 miles, they reached, about the middle of October, Cleveland, then a
mere hamlet on the lake shore.
Leaving his family at Hudson, he went on to Hartford to report to the
Society. He went almost entirely on foot a distance of about 600 miles,
which he wearily trudged much of the way through the mud, slush and snow of
winter. An arrangement was made by which he could act half the time as
pastor at Hudson, and the other half travel as a missionary to the various
settlements on the Reserve, by the old Puritan mode of colonizing, by
founding a religious colony strong enough and compact enough to maintain
schools and public worship.
An ordinary township, with its scattered settlements and roads at option,
with no common central point, cannot well grow into a town. The unity of a
town as a body politic depends very much on fixing a common centre to which
every homestead shall be obviously related. In no other rural town,
perhaps, is that so well provided as in Tallmadge. "Public spirit, local
pride," writes Dr. Bacon, "friendly intercourse, general culture and good
taste, and a certain moral and religious steadfastness, are among the
characteristics by which Tallmadge is almost proverbially distinguished
throughout the Reserve. No observing stranger can pass through the town
without seeing it was planned by a sagacious and far-seeing mind."
It was fit that he who had planned the settlement, and who had identified
with it all his hopes for usefulness for the remainder of his life, and all
his hopes of a competence for his family, should be the first settler in
the township. He did not wait for hardier adventurers to encounter the
first hardships and to break the loneliness of the woods. Selecting a
temporary location near an old Indian trail, a few rods from the southern
boundary of the township, he built the first log cabin, and there places
his family.
I well remember the pleasant day in July, 1807, when that family made its
removal from the centre of Hudson to a new log house, in a township that
had no name and no other human habitation. The father and mother, poor in
this world's goods, but rich in faith and in the treasure of God's
promises; rich in their well-tried mutual affection; rich in their
expectation of usefulness and of the comfort and competence which they
hoped to achieve by their enterprise; rich in the parental joy with which
they looked upon the three little ones that were carried in their arms or
nestled among their scanty household goods in the slow-moving wagon -were
familiar with whatever there is in hardship and peril or disappointment, to
try the courage of the noblest manhood or the immortal strength of a true
woman's love. The little ones were natives of the wilderness -the youngest
a delicate nursling of six months, the others born in a remoter and more
savage West. These five, with a hired man, were the family.
I remember the setting out the halt before the door of an aged friend to
say farewell, the fording of the Cuyahoga, the day's journey of somewhat
less than thirteen miles along a road that had been cut (not made) through
the dense forest, the little cleared spot where the journey ended, the new
log house, with what seemed to me a stately hill behind it, and with a
limpid rivulet winding near the door. That night, when the first family
worship was offered in that cabin, the prayer of the two worshippers, for
themselves and their children, and for the work which they had that day
begun, was like the prayer that went up of old from the deck of the
Mayflower or from beneath the wintry sky of Plymouth.
One month later a German family came within the limits of the town; but it
was not till the next February that a second family came, a New England
family, whose mother tongue was English. Well do I remember the solitude of
that first winter, and how beautiful the change was when spring at last
began to hang its garlands on the trees.
The next thing in carrying out the plan to which Mr. Bacon had devoted
himself was to bring in, from whatever quarter, such families as would
enter into his views and would co-operate with him for the early and
permanent establishment of Christian order. It was at the expense of many a
slow and wary journey to older settlements that he succeeded in bringing
together the families who, in the spring and summer of 1808, began to call
the new town their home. His repeated absences from home are fresh in my
memory, and so is the joy with which we greeted the arrival of one family
after another coming to relieve our loneliness; nor least among the
memories of that time is the remembrance of my mother's fear when left
alone with her three little children. She had not ceased to fear the
Indians, and sometimes a straggling savage, or a little company of them,
came by our door on the old portage path, calling, perhaps, to try our
hospitality, and with signs or broken English phrases asking for whiskey.
She could not feel that to "pull in the latch-string" was a sufficient
exclusion of such visitors; and in my mind's eye I seem now to see her
frail form tugging at a heavy chest, with which to barricade the door
before she dared to sleep. It was, indeed, a relief and joy to feel at last
that we had neighbors, and that our town was beginning to be inhabited. At
the end of the second year from the commencement of the survey, there were,
perhaps, twelve families, and the town had received its name, "Tallmadge."
Slowly the settlement of the town proceeded, from 1807 to 1810. Emigration
from Connecticut had about ceased, owing to the stagnation of business from
the European wars, and the embargo and other non-intercourse acts of
Jefferson's administration. Mr. Bacon could not pay for the land he had
purchased. He went East to try to make new satisfactory arrangements with
the proprietors, leaving behind his wife and five little children. The
proprietors were immovable. Some of his parishioners felt hard towards him
because, having made payments, he could not perfect their titles. With
difficulty he obtained the means to return for his family. In May, 1812, he
left Tallmadge, and all "that was realized after five years of arduous
labor was poverty, the alienation of some old friends, the depression that
follows a fatal defeat, and the dishonor that falls on one who cannot pay
his debts." He lingered on a few years, supporting his family by travelling
and selling "Scott's Family Bible" and other religious works, from house to
house, occasional preaching. He bore his misfortunes with Christian
resignation, struggled on a few years with broken spirits and broken
constitution, and died at Hartford, August 17, 1817. "My mother," said Dr.
Bacon, "standing over him with her youngest, an infant, in her arms, said
to him, 'Look on your babe before you die.' He looked up and said, with
distinct and audible utterance, 'The blessing of the God of
Abraham, Isaac, and of Jacob, rest upon thee.' Just before dawn he
breathed his last. 'Now he knows more than all of us,' said the doctor;
while my mother, bathing the dead face with her tears, and warming it with
kisses, exclaimed, 'Let my last end be like his.'"

The village of Cuyahoga Falls is four miles northeast of Akron, on the
line of the Pennsylvania canal and on the Cuyahoga river. Manufacturing is
already carried on here to a large extent, and the place is perhaps
destined to be to the West what Lowell is to the East. The Cuyahoga has a
fall here of more than 200 feet in the distance of two and one half miles,
across stratified rocks, which are worn away to nearly this depth in the
course of this descent. In the ravine thus formed are a series of wild and
picturesque views, one of which is represented in an engraving on an
adjoining page.
The Indians called Cuyahoga Falls "Coppacaw," which signifies "shedding
tears." A Mr. O., an early settler in this region was once so much cheated
in a trade with them that he shed tears, and the Indians ever afterwards
called him Coppacaw.
The village was laid out, in 1837, by Birdseye Booth, grew rapidly, and in
1840 was the rival of Akron for the county-seat. It contains 1 Episcopal, 1
Wesleyan Methodist and 1 Presbyterian church, 1 academy, 7 mercantile
stores, 1 bank, 1 insurance office, 4 paper, 2 flouring and 1 saw mill, 2
furnaces, 2 tanneries, 1 fork and seythe, and starch factory, 4 warehouses,
and about 1,200 inhabitants.
The view was taken from near the Cleveland road, above the village, at
Stow's quarry. On the right are seen the Methodist and Episcopal churches,
in the centre the American House, and on the left the Cuyahoga river, the
lyceum and Presbyterian church. -Old Edition.
CUYAHOGA FALLS is four and a half miles north of Akron, on the C.A.& C.
and P.&W. Railroads. The Cuyahoga river furnishes abundant water-power for
manufacturing purposes.
City officers, 1888: John T. Jones, Mayor; Frank T. Heath, Clerk; George
Sackett, Treasurer; Orlando Wilcox, Solicitor; George W. Hart, Street
commissioner; Harry Westover, Marshal. Newspapers: Home Guest, Home Guest
Publishing Company, editors and publishers; Reporter and Western Reserve
Farmer, Independent, E.O. Knox, editor and publisher. Churches: 1
Disciples, 1 Episcopal, 1 Congregational, 1 Methodist.
MANUFACTURERS AND EMPLOYEES. -Thomas Brothers, stoneware, 21 hands; Camp &
Thompson, sewer-pipe, etc., 50; Empire Paper Mill, 24; Phoenix Paper Mills,
14; Reeve & Chester, wire, 63; Glen Wire Manufacturing Co., 16; Sterling
Chain and Manufacturing Co., 72; John Clayton, carriages; William Barker,
blacksmithing; William Blong, carriages; C. Kittleberger, tannery, 9;
Hoover & Co., flour, etc.; David Hahn, cooperage; George W. Smith, planing
mill; Turner, Vaughn & Taylor, machinery, 40; The Falls Rivet Co., 133;
American Foundry and Machine Works, 9. -State Report, 1887.
Population, 1890, 2,614. School census, 1888, 691; Frederick Schnee,
superintendent of schools. Capital invested in manufacturing
establishments, $150,000. Value of annual product, $175,000. -Ohio Labor
Statistics, 1888.
Cuyahoga Falls has become a great place of resort for summer
excursionists, and improved approaches, stairways, etc., have been
constructed to make the romantic glens and nooks more accessible to the
visiting multitudes. The High Bridge, Lover's Retreat, Fern Cave,
Observation Rock, Grand Promenade and Old Maid's Kitchen are some of the
features that go to make up the romantic interest of this rock-bound gorge.
The beautiful Silver Lake is a short distance above Cuyahoga Falls. It is
nearly a mile long and a third of a mile wide. Steamers ply on the lake. It
is surrounded by woods with picnic grounds, and near it is a railroad
station for the accommodation of visiting parties.

-continued in part 8

This thread: