History

WAKEMAN TOWNSHIP, Huron County, Ohio from HISTORY OF HURON AND ERIE COUNTIES, OHIO 1879 by W.W.Williams pages 182-195 ORIGINAL OWNERS. In the year 1792 the State of Connecticut granted five hundred thousand acres of land, on the west end of the Western Reserve, to those of her inhabitants whose property had been destroyed by fire by the enemy during the revolutionary war. The grantees organized under the name of "The Sufferers' Land Company," and on the 8th of November, 1808, the directors of the company met in the city of New Haven, Connecticut, and devised a plan for a division of the land among its members, which was made by lot. The four classes drawn for the four sections of Wakeman are exhibited in the following table, the first column of which contains the names of the "sufferers" as the grantees were called. The figures opposite the names show the amount of each individual's loss in pounds, shillings, and pence. The right hand column contains the names of those persons who became owners of the claims, either by purchase or by heirship, and the amounts set opposite their names show the amount paid for the claims in the different sections. The value of each section of the township being arbitrarily fixed at one thousand three hundred and forty-four pounds and seven shil- lings, each classifier was apportioned a quantity of land in the same ratio to the total amount as the amount of his claim bore to the total value. In the distribution of the lands, which, as previously stated, was made by lot, it sometimes happened that a claim- ant received land in each section of the township and in other townships. [the following list of "sufferers" is abridged. Also included was the amount of loss, by whom classified, and amount classified.] Original Grantees: CLASSIFICATION No.1, SECTION 1 Mable Osborne, John Davis, Nathan Godfrey, Caleb Disbrow, Isaac Hays, Isaac Hubbel, Josiah Thatcher, John & Daniel Eversley, Titus Hurlburt, David Burr, N.Thompson Nicholls, N.Thompson Nicholls, John Whitehead, Abigail Thompson, Abigail Wynkoop. CLASSIFICATION No.2, SECTION 2 Reuben Beers, Mabel Osborne, Natn'l Wilson, Thomas Bennit, Sarah Briant, Jason Disbrow, Hezekiah Hull, John Hyde, John Hyde, Jr., Joseph Hyde, Benjamin Maker, Rebecca Nash, Peter Whitney, Josiah Bulkley, Samuel Beers, Francis Forgue, Solomon Gray, Benj. Rumsey, John Davis, Jere'h Miller, Esq., Bridget Ledyard, Seth Sturges, Stephen Suerney, Moses Bulkley, David Beers, David Burr. CLASSIFICATION No.3, SECTION 3 Stephen Thorp, John Smedley, Jesup Wakeman, Olive Bulkley, Abel Gould, David Barlow, Ann Caldwell, Joseph Gould, Hezekiah Jennings, Martha Jennings, James Penfield, Sarah Redfield, Grace Spaldin, Ebenezer Squire, Richard Wain, Gideon Wills, Nathaniel Wilson, Elizabeth Shapely, Jere'h Miller, Esq., Seth Sturges CLASSIFICATION No.4, SECTION 4 Mabel Osborne, Joseph Squire, Stephen Thorp, John & Daniel Eversly, Nath'l Benedict, Titus Hurlburt, Ebenezer Holt, Elizabeth Shapely, Elizah Abel, Nathaniel Burr, Daniel Goreham, Seth Sturges [All of the above sold their claims to Jesup Wakeman, Ebenezer Jesup Jr., or Isaac Bronson.] NAME. The township was named for Jesup Wakeman, one of the original proprietors of its soil. NATURAL APPEARANCE. The surface is generally undulating, the eastern portion being more rolling than the western. The Vermillion river enters the township from the south, near the center of the town line, and running a won- derfully crooked course, passes about a mile east of the center and leaves the township a short distance west of the section line. Brandy creek enters the south line of the township, in the southwest part, 'and forms a junction with the Vermillion a short distance northeast of the center of the town. La Chapelle creek rises in Townsend, enters this township south of the center road and leaves it a mile and a quarter east of the northwest corner. The stream is said to have derived its name from a Frenchman by the name of De La Chapelle, who discovered and explored it to its source, long before the country was settled. The soil is generally a clay-loam with a mixture of sand and gravel in many places, and is adapted to a varied cultivation. The first settlers found this town- ship heavily timbered, the principal varieties being whitewood, white oak, beech, maple, black walnut, butternut, chestnut, hickory and basswood. On the river bottoms the sycamore, elm and sugar maple were chiefly found. NATIVE ANIMALS. The principal species of wild animals originally found in the forests of Wakeman, were the bear, deer, wolf, wild-cat and fox. Bears, though not numerous, were occasionally seen. Deer were very numerous, and were frequently captured. They were the settlers' main dependence for meat, while their skins were used as an article of clothing by the male inhabitants. Suits made wholly of buckskin were worn only when absolute necessity required, a single wetting and dry- mg making them very uncomfortable. It was more generally used for facing the exposed portion of the pantaloons. The neck was sewed on to the seat, and the balance of the hide on to the front of each leg above the knee. Wolves were plenty, but they were a shy animal, and perhaps were not as often seen as bears. They were exceedingly vexatious to the inhabitants, ren- dering night hideous with their almost incessant howl, and often attacking and killing sheep if not inclosed in pens. Large hunting parties were sometimes formed for the purpose, chiefly, of ridding the coun- try of them, but they were rarely caught in this manner. The wild turkey was the most important of the bird species, and was found in great abundance. INDIANS. For about ten years after the arrival of the first settlers, a band of Indians, consisting of fifteen or twenty families, came regularly into the township twice a year - in the spring to make maple sugar and in the fall to hunt. They were from the region of Upper Sandusky, and were probably of the Wyandot and Seneca tribes. They made their trips in canoes of their own manufacture, which were made usually out of black walnut or white wood. On their return their canoes would be loaded with sugar or furs and venison. In reply to all inquiry from Erastus French, who had a curiosity to know how they would get their boats over the dams across the river, the answer was, "Yankee cow." (They would get a settler with a yoke of oxen to draw their boats around the dams.) They had a sugar camp east of the Vermillion, on land afterwards owned by Mr. Bunce. Their huts were made of elm bark, and their sap-troughs of the same. The last time they visited the place was in the spring of 1827. They left everything, evidently expecting to return, but they never came again. The troughs were carefully packed up inside the huts, the doors were tightly closed, and a stick placed against each one, signifying that no one was at home. On one occasion three Indians came to the house of Erastus French, and presenting a certificate of their honesty from Judge Meeker, asked for a "Yankee hack." Mr. French was unable to understand what they meant, until one of the Indians jumped upon a log and gesticulated as if digging out a canoe, when he rightly inferred that an adz was wanted, but had none to give them. They would frequently call at the houses of the settlers for whisky, for which they would invariably offer something in exchange. When refused on the ground that they would get drunk ("cacoosie"), the plea would be "Injun no cacoosie now; cacoosie to-morrow." They would rarely get drunk away from their camp. Mr. C. C. Canfield relates the following incident of his first sight of Indians: In that portion of the township formerly called the "windfall," there were, in the early settlement, great quantities of blackber- ries. In the summer of 1817, himself, his brother Royal, Lemuel and Bennett Pierce, all lads whose ages ranged from six to nine years, mounted Captain Pierce's old mare, the only horse in the township that year, and started for the blackberry patch. When they arrived at "the windfall," about a mile west of where the depot now stands, they suddenly discovered a party of Indians only a short distance away, mounted upon their ponies and coming directly toward them. The boys stood not upon the order of their going, but went at once. The old nag developed a rate of speed on that homeward trip of which she had never been suspected. Over logs, brush and mud holes she went, and fortunately arrived at Mr. Canfield's without a boy less. The Indians followed along up to the house, greatly amused at the boys' fright, and with many gesticulations described to the family the ap- pearance of the lads during their flight. SETTLEMENT. In 1816, Burton Canfield, Bennett French, Joel Crane, Waite Downs, and other gentlemen living in Southbury, Connecticut, organized themselves into a company and purchased of Wakeman, Bronson and Jesup, section three and subsequently the northern tier of lots of section four, the purchase amounting to about four thousand eight hundred acres, the price per acre being two dollars. This company entered into an agreement with the original proprietors, who recognized the benefit it would be to their adjacent lands to have the tract sold, speedily settled, to furnish one settler each year for each one hundred and sixty acres of the purchase until each quarter section should be thus occupied. As the entire tract contained thirty quarter sections, the company had thirty years in which to fill this pledge, and, long before the limit of time was reached, the agreement had been fulfilled. In consequence largely of the above agreement, the character of the population that took possession of Wakeman was of the genuine Yankee sort; they were, almost without exception, from Connecticut. Most of them came from Southbury, New Haven county, some from Litchfleld and Fairfield counties, and a few from other parts of the State. The first family to take up its abode in the wilder- ness was that of Augustin Canfield. Mr. Canfield started from New Milford, Litchfield county, with his wife and four children, his brother Burton Can- field, Seymour Johnson and his hired man, for the Fire-lands on the 29th day of April, 1817. While journeying through the "four-mile woods" west of Buffalo, the emigrants experienced a break-down, one of the axletrees of the wagon breaking off at the wheel. The company fortunately possessed sufficient mechanical skill to repair the damage, cutting out a piece of timber from a tree and splicing it on to the remaining part of the axle, and thus completed. the journey without further mishap. Many anecdotes are related illustrative of the con- dition of the roads through Cattaraugus Swamp, or, more particularly, that portion of it known by early settlers as the "four mile woods." A traveler, seeing a hat floating on the mud, procured a pole and tried to secure it, when a voice from below cried out, "Let me alone; I have a good horse under me, and I shall get through all right." Mr. Canfield and his associates arrived in Wakeman on the 23d day of May, performing the long journey in about three weeks. He settled on lot number twenty-three in the third section, building his cabin near the location of the present residence of John G. Sherman. The house was fourteen feet square, built of rough logs, with a roof of elm bark and a floor of the same. Two large boxes, or trunks, placed to- gether constituted the only table in the house, and upon which the scanty meal was spread. The house being without a fire place, the cooking was done by a log fire outside. This primitive habitation was occu- pied about six weeks, when it was replaced by a more substantial log house, in which the family lived until 1822, when it was sold; with seventy acres on the south part of the lot, to Justin Sherman, Mr. Can- field taking up his residence on the north part of the same lot, where he spent the remainder of his life. He died September 16, 1848, aged nearly sixty-five. Mrs. Canfield died in February, 1861 at the age of nearly seventy-two. They raised a family of five children. C. C. Canfield, the eldest, married Mary E. Hanford, daughter of Jabez Hanford, who settled in Wakeman in 1831. Mr. Canfield has resided in the township for a period of sixty-two consecutive years. Royal R. Canfield was a physician, and died in North Carolina. Sarah Ann (now Mrs. N. W. St.Johns) resides at Oberlin. Harriet (widow of Curtiss Burr), and Burton M. Canfield reside in this township. The following incident which occurred in the sum- mer of 1817, when there were but three families in the township, will give some idea of the newness of the country at that time. While Mr. Canfield was assisting Captain Pierce in his logging, his family went over to spend the day. At night a thunder shower came up, and it being regarded hazardous for Mrs. Canfield and the children to undertake a journey of half a mile, they remained at Mr Pearce's over night. But there was a cow at home to be milked, and Mr. Canfield had to go. He started on horse- back, with his little son Calvert on behind. After going a short distance he lost his path, and being utterly unable to find it again, had no alternative but to make a night of it in the woods. The storm was of great violence, and there was no shelter to be had. He therefore took the saddle from the horse, and placing it on the riven end of a tree that had been blown down by the storm, formed a cover for the boy, while he himself bore the pelting rain, and thus they spent the night. When daylight appeared he found that he had wandered only about thirty rods away from the path. Burton Canfield, who came in with Augustin Can- field and family, as previously mentioned, returned to Connecticut a few weeks afterward: remained there five or six years, when, with his family of wife and son, he removed to this township. The next man that penetrated the forests of Wake- inan was Amial P. Pierce. He arrived with his family, consisting of wife and four children, and a hired man, about three weeks after the Canfields, making the journey from Connecticut with an ox team. He made his location on the adjoining lot, number twenty-two. He always resided on this location. He was a man of large size and of great physical strength; excelling in this respect, any other of the pioneers with the exception of Mr. Bristol. He had borne the rank of captain in Connecticut, and the title was applied to him here for many years, and until that of "Squire," owing to his long service as justice of the peace, was substituted. Mrs. Pierce is said to have been a woman of "strong emotions, firm Christian faith and deep religious experience." She was the only professing Christian in the first three families, and her example and influence was most salutary. It is said that she found it very hard to become reconciled to the new life upon which she had entered. The change from the comforts of a pleasant home in the midst of churches, schools and all the appliances of civiliza- tion, to a home in a rude log cabin, girt about with impenetrable forest, with hardly the necessaries, to say nothing of the comforts, of life, was a severe trial to her. Her neighbor, Mrs. Bristol, on one occasion during a visit, wishing to induce a more cheerful state of mind, hazarded the prediction that she "might some day see a big meeting-house with a bell in it!" Mrs. Pierce died many years ago, but she lived to see changes, physical and social, such as the most vivid imagination had never painted. She was the mother of seven children, as follows: Lemuel B., Bennett, Minott, Ann, David, Fanny and David. Minott Pierce, living in this township, and Mrs. Dr. Johnson, living at Oberlin, are the surviving mem- bers of the family. About a month after Mr. Pierce, came Samuel Bris- tol, with his wife and one son. They started on their western journey with two yoke of oxen and one horse ahead, on the 28th day of May, and arrived in Ver- million, Erie county, where friends of the family were then living, on the 4th of July following. The mother and child remained a few weeks in Vermillion, while Mr. Bristol came on to Wakeman and com- menced the work of preparing a home for them. He erected his cabin, north of his neighbors, on lot num- ber eleven. Two years afterwards he exchanged his farm for land on lot twenty-one in order to be on the road. Mr. Bristol was a man of untiring industry, by which, combined with economy and good manage- ment, he acquired a fine property. He spent the later years of his life in the home of his son, Nelson, in Florence, Erie county. During his residence there an event occurred which, not improbably, hastened his death. He and his son, Nelson, owned a large amount of property, both real and personal, the latter consisting mostly of United States coupon bonds, which were kept in an iron safe in the house. In the dusk of the evening, June 26, 1866, a gang of bur- glars, five in number, entered a room in which the family were gathered, and on the pretense that they were government detectives in search of stolen bonds, demanded access to those in their possession, for the purpose of inspection. The members of the family were tied together with a cord taken from the bed, and after an hour of argument and threats the safe was opened by Mr. Nelson Bristol, and the thieves secured sixteen thousand five hundred dollars in bonds and money, two thousand four hundred dollars of which belonged to two other farmers in the neighbor- hood. The robbers were captured, tried and at first convicted, but were eventually cleared on proof of an alibi. Samuel Bristol died in Florence, Erie county, at the residence of his son, August 13, 1867, within a week of eighty years of age. He possessed a large, stalwart frame, and corresponding physical strength and capacity for endurance, excelling in this respect any other man in the settlement. Mrs. Bristol still survives, having reached the advanced age of ninety years. She is blind, but otherwise retains her facul- ties unimpaired. The first year of the settlement, wheat was two dol- lars and potatoes one dollar and seventy-five cents per bushel, pork thirty dollars per barrel, and oftener of the "shack" variety than otherwise. Until the land was brought under cultivation provisions were gener- ally obtained in the surrounding earlier settlements. Erastus French joined the little band in the woods of Wakeman in the fall of 1817. He was then a young man twenty years of age. He made the jour- ney with one horse and a light wagon, coming by way of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, then called the "southern route." On arriving in Wakeman, he directed his course toward the cabin of Captain Pierce, the bright, cheerful hearth fire of which he could see for some distance through the unchinked cracks between the logs. When he arrived there he was in a sorrowful condition. Recent rains had so swollen the streams, that, in order to ascertain whether it would be safe to drive into them, he would first wade through them, and thus became wet nearly from head to foot and almost covered with mud. And so the first thing in order after his arrival was to put himself in a condition for association with civil- ized people; but a bath in a mud-puddle near the cabin hardly produced the desired effect. He selected a location on lot thirty-two and began the work of improvement; but what could a man do in the Wake- man wilderness without a wife? For three years the young man worked out the problem in this way: He boarded at Mr. Pierce's for a time at two dollars and fifty cents a week; but afterwards, in order to save expense - an important consideration with him at that time - he bought his own provisions and paid Mrs. Pierce fifty centy[sic] per week to cook them for him, eating his simple meal at a separate table. His bill of fare was less varied than wholesome, consisting generally of mush, milk and corn bread. In May, 1820, he was united in marriage to Ruth Squire, daughter of Joab Squire, an early settler in Florence. A short time afterwards he made a visit to Connecticut to obtain some money, and performed the entire journey - with the exception of eighteen miles by lake, which consumed three days - alone on foot with his knapsack on his back. He averaged nearly forty-five miles per day, a remarkable pedes- trian feat considering the condition of the country, much of his course leading through swamp and dense woods. But nature provided Mr. French with a good pair of walkers and few men could keep up with him in his younger days. During the journey mentioned he fell in with a traveler whose company was very agreeable, but he was unable to keep along with Mr. French, and, after a day or so, was left behind. His first wife died June 19, 1845, and, in 1851, he married Mrs. William Doughty, with whom he is now living a short distance north of his original location, aged eighty-one. In May, 1818, Dr. Harmon M. Clark and wife moved into town. His father's family came to Ohio at the same time, settling in Medina county. Dr. Clark located on lot twenty-four, where George Mor- doff now lives. He was a practicing physician, and was a valuable acquisition to the settlement. A rela- tion of the hardships attendant upon his practice would be a revelation to some of the younger mem- bers of the profession of the present day. He traveled on foot, with his saddle-bags on his arm, through this and adjacent settlements, wading through streams, and often picking his way through the forest only by means of blazed trees, ministering to the necessities of all, without regard to compensation. If a patient was able to pay, a moderate fee was taken, which was frequently paid in produce, while from others nothing whatever was received or expected. He subsequently went as a missionary among the Indians, on the Maumee, but did not remain long. He and his wife eventually took up their residence with their son-in- law, Dr. Bryant of Amherst, and Mrs. Clark died there in 1863. He afterwards made his home with his son, Dr. Henry Clark of Ashland, and subse- quently died there. They had a family of five chil- dren, four of whom are now living, but none in this township. Barzilla S. Hendricks, his wife and adopted son, came into the township in the spring of 1819, and settled where George Denton now lives. Mr. Hen- dricks was killed by an accident, February 5, 1830. He and his wife had been to the Centre in attendance upon a meeting of some kind, and when near Merritt Hyde's, on their return home, a part of the harness gave way, the sleigh was wrecked, and Mr. Hen- dricks received injuries which caused his death the following day. His first wife died in the early years of their settlement, and he married again a few years afterward. His second wife is yet living. Abram Bronson, a brother-in-law of Mr. Hendricks, with his wife, a son and hired man, came in with the Hendricks family, and settled where Mr. C. C. Can- field now lives. He died on this place a little more than a year after his arrival - August 29, 1820. Sheldon Smith and family and Burton French arrived in October, 1820. Mr. Smith took up his residence on the place first occupied by Mr. Hen- dricks. His wife, who was a daughter of Mr. Silas French, died in Wakeman in February, 1831. Mr. Smith subsequently married again, and removed to the township of Berlin, Eric county, where he after- wards died. Silas French, the father of Burton and Erastus, with his family, the wife of Burton and Miss Sally Sherman, joined the settlement in June, 1821. Mr. French made his location in the western part of the township, and lived there until his death, in May, 1842, aged sixty-nine. Erastus French is the only surviving member of the family. Burton French lived with Erastus until the arrival of his wife, when he settled near his father. In June, 1821, Justus Minor, with his wife and two children, moved into the place. The family found shelter in the log school house near Mr. Can- field's until a house could be erected on their selected location at the center of the town, on lot forty-six. Mrs. Minor died at the school house a short time after their arrival, and her remains were borne to the center for burial, a path being underbrushed from the school house to the center, a distance of about two miles, for the funeral procession. Mr. Minor's settlement was the first in the township, outside of the third section. He chose the center as being in his view the most natural place, in the township, for a probable future village, and especially for the church, the location of which he had determined to have fixed there. Dis- sension and division had been experienced in the church of which he was a member in Connecticut, occasioned by the location of the church remote from the center of the township, and he resolved to prevent a similar difficulty here. As a preliminary step in the accomplishment of his design he offered to board a settled minister the first year without charge, and the Rev. Mr. Betts, on his arrival a few years after- wards, as pastor of the Congregational church, first took up his abode at his house. He was unable, how- ever, to completely carry out his plan. The mills had been located on the Vermillion, half a mile north of the center, and they formed the nucleus of a settle- ment which grew faster than that at the center, and the meeting houses were eventually located between the rival points. A few years after his first wife's death, Mr. Minor was united in marriage to Miss Delia Palmer of Fitch- ville, and in 1832 removed to that township and re- sided there a number of years, and then returned to Wakeman, residing here the remainder of his life. he was the father of four children, one of whom (Cyrus Minor), resides at Collins, Townsend township, aged seventy-eight. Chester Manville came from Litchfield county, Con- necticut, to Wakeman, in May, 1822. He came afoot and Peter Sherman with him, though not for the purpose of settlement at that time. He came to take charge of the remains of a brother who had lost his life a short time before on the Ohio river. Nor, in- deed, did young Manville come out to remain, but rather to see his sweetheart, Miss Dotha Minor, who had emigrated hither with her parents the year pre- vious. He naturally protracted his visit, not return- ing to Connecticut until the next winter, when Mr. Sherman returned with him, again making the jour- ney on foot. The following spring, Mr. Manville and a sister, who afterwards became the wife of Amos Clark, moved out, with a horse and single wagon. They brought with them a few household goods, and Miss Ruth rode in the wagon and drove the horse, while the brother accompanied her on foot, making for the third time the journey in that manner. He married Dotha Minor, March 31, 1824, and settled where he now resides, on lot twelve, section three, paying two dollars and seventy-five cents per acre for his land. His wife died February 8, 1842, in the forty-fifth year of her age. Mrs. Manville was a most excellent woman, loved and honored by her fam- ily, and highly esteemed by all who knew her. Mr. Manville was subsequently twice married, but death took from him his last companion some years since. One son and two daughters are now living, viz: James H. Manville, on the old homestead; Mrs. Pel- let, in New York, and Mrs. Ellis, in Clyde, Ohio. His oldest son, John, when nineteen years of age was kicked by a horse, causing his death forty-eight hours afterwards - June 12, 1847. Mr. Manville is now living at the residence of his son James, in Wakeman, aged eighty-three. In his younger days, and when the country was new, he often pursued the business of hunting as a pastime. He reports to the writer the killing of nearly one hundred deer and wild turkeys, and smaller game too numerous to mention. Next in order was Justin Sherman, with his family of wife and five children, in September, 1822. He came through with a four-horse team, and made an unusually quick trip. He purchased of Augustin Canfield the south part of lot twenty-three, and took up his abode in the old log house of Mr. Canfield, which his purchase embraced; this was replaced five years afterward by a substantial frame house, the first in the township. His wife died in 1824, and he sub- sequently married a Mrs. Redding. His own death took place in August, 1865, at the advanced age of eighty. Mr. Sherman established the first store in the township, and was the first postmaster. His surviving children are, N. G. Sherman, living at Norwalk; Mrs. Colonel Gideon Waugh, in Kansas; George B. and John G., in this township. The son, Lewis, was accidentally killed in the spring of 1832. While at work by the side of a burning log-heap in his clearing, he was struck on the head by a fall- ing tree - burned at the root - crushing his skull. He fell into the fire and, when found, he was burned almost beyond recognition. He was twenty-four years of age at the time of his death, and left a young wife to mourn his untimely loss. Philo Sherman came in at the same time, and set- tled south of his brother Justin. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was its first class-leader in Wakeman. Leveritt Hill came in about this time. He was then unmarried, but afterward married Miss Esther Strong, a sister of Cyrus Strong, and settled in the western part of the township. His father, Isaac Hill, and his family moved in a few years after, and settled in the same neighborhood. The Hills were from Rootstown, Portage county. In May, 1823, Merritt Hyde and family arrived and located on the section line west of the center. Mr. Hyde was postmaster for a number of years, and a worthy citizen. His widow still resides in Wake- man. A son, Monroe Hyde, was killed September 28, 1834, by being thrown over a horse's head, and breaking his neck. The accident occurred in Flor- ence, on the farm now owned by the widow of Simon Sprague. In the summer of 1823, Amos Clark, a brother of the doctor, came in from Medina countv. His land which he received from his father, was embraced in the same lot as that of his brother. May, 1826, he married Ruth Ann Manville, who came in with her brother Chester, as previously stated, and began housekeeping on the farm on which be has ever since resided. Mr. Clark is now aged seventy-seven. His wife died April 2, 1878. Russell Barnes and family arrived in the spring of 1824, and took up his location on lot number twenty- six in the fourth section. He finally moved to Ver- million where he died of cancer in 1851. William Beers settled a short distance west of Can- field's Corners, but subsequently moved to the south part of the township. In the summer of 1826 Sheldon Barnes and his family, consisting of his wife and one child, came in. At Buffalo they took a vessel for Huron or Sandusky, but were driven by a storm into the mouth of Black River, and from there they came to Wakeman, the mother and child on horseback and the father on foot. After a stay of a few mouths with his brother-in-law, Johnson Wheeler, in Townsend, Mr. Barnes settled in Wakeman, near the west line of the township. He was a carpenter by trade and frequently changed his location as the prosecution of his work required, and a part of the time lived in other townships. One day, soon after their settlement, Mrs. Barnes was out in the woods, not far distant from the house, with her child in her arms, and met a bear in her path. They parted on good terms, though without an em- brace. Mr. Barnes died in this township in 1860, aged sixty-seven. Two children are now living in Wake- man - George A., where Peter Sherman formerly lived, and Mrs. A. P. Phillips, on the old homestead. Rufus J. Bunce and family arrived in Wakeman in September, 1827, and, during the erection of his house near the center, took up his abode in a log house near the mills east of the Vermillion river. There were no settlers on that side of the river at that time. During their occupancy of the house near the mills the Vermillion was swollen bv rains to an unusual heighth, and Mr. Bunce was in the habit of ferrying people across, as occasion required, using for this purpose an Indian canoe. On one occasion he came very near losing his life. He was crossing for Burton French when his oar broke in the middle of the stream. The current was rapid and he was quickly swept over the dam below, in going over which he was thrown out of the boat. For a moment his rescue seemed impossible, but he succeeded in getting away from the angry water under the dam and was carried by the current nearly to the bridge, when, with the timely assistance of Mr. French, he succeeded in reaching the bank. Mr. Bunce's perma- nent location was on the hill, a short distance east of the center. The place is now owned by Mr. Lucius Hall. The house, although not in a very advanced stage of completion, was considered ready for occu- pancy by January. The household goods, with the mother and children, were loaded on a flat-boat, which the father and some of the neighbors, with a rope, pulled up the river to the mouth of Brandy creek, where a landing was made. Mr. Bunce died in Wakeman on his original loca- tion in January, 1873, aged sixty-two. His widow is yet living and is seventy-eight. Two daughters - Mrs. Lucius Hall and Mrs. David Pierce - reside in Wakeman. The late Edward J. Bunce, a son, was a man of more than ordinary intelligence and held the offices of justice of the peace and postmaster for a number of years. In the year 1827, Isaac Todd, then a young man eighteen years of age, came into the township, and the year following bought the farm where he now lives, on lot eighty-seven in section one. There was no improvement east of him at that time. In 1830, he married Fanny Booth, sister of Mrs. Bunce. He felt unequal to the expenditure necessary to obtain a marriage license, in the absence of which, the law required the publication of the banns from the pulpit. he accordingly requested his pastor, Rev. Mr. Betts, to make the announcement, adding that he didn't think he should be present on the occasion. "Don't let that keep you away from church," said Mr. Betts, "I can make the announcement at the beginning of the service and you can come in a little late; but come to church as usual." He followed his pastor's good advice, and when Sunday came, went to church, entering the house at a stage of the service when he was sure the notice had been made. But instead of his pastor, a stranger was in the pulpit, and to the young man's surprise and mortification the announce- ment was made immediately after he took his seat, after the preliminary services instead of before, as was intended. This was enough; but when the preacher announced for the text, "Remember Lot's wife" which, in his embarassment, Mr. Todd thought had special reference to him, he was crushed, and retains only an indistinct recollection of the rest of the ser- vice. He thinks Mr. Betts made a blunder in ex- changing pulpits without informing the officiating minister of the previous arrangement. Mr. Todd seems to have had a hard struggle of it in the Wakeman forest. Prosperity came slowly. For sometime after his marriage he was destitute of a pair of boots or shoes, and in attending church, his wife would wear her every day shoes, carrying her Sun- day's best, until near the church, when she would take them off for her husband to wear, and put on her best ones. Afterwards, when he became able to own a yoke of oxen, they rode to church on a sled, the year round. Kneeland Todd, a twin-brother of Isaac, came in soon after. He subsequently married a sister of Isaac's wife, and settled in the same vicinity. It was said that the brothers so closely resembled each other that even their wives were often puzzled to dis- tinguish one from the other. This part of the town- ship took the name of the "Todd Settlement" and is still so called. Martin Bell and family, his father, Elias Bell and family, and Simeon Brown and family, were early residents in this portion of the township. As previouslv mentioned Peter Sherman first vis- ited Wakeman in the spring of 1822. In the year 1828, he moved out with his family, wife and one child, and settled on the place now occupied by his son-in-law, George A. Barnes. His frame house was one of the earliest built in the township east of the Vermillion. He died at the residence of his son-in- law, Mr. Barnes, February 22, 1878, at the age of eighty-three years. Cyrus Strong was also one of the early settlers in this part of the township. His location was the next east of Rufus Bunce. He still occupies his original location. James Wilson was one of the earliest settlers in the vicinity of the grist mill, which he ran in an early day. His house stood on the west bank of the river. A short distance north of Wilson, at the end of the road leading from Dr. Clark's, was Nathan Downs. Woodward Tood moved in, in 1822, and a year or two after moved to the center of Townsend, and took charge of the store of William Townsend. He re- mained only about a year, when he returned to Wake- man and resided on the place now occupied by William Wilbur. Mr. Todd is now living a short distance south of Norwalk. North of Mr. Todd's, a short distance, Lucius Tomlinson and family settled at an early date. South of the center, on the road to Clarksfield, the earliest settlers were Lewis Beers and Marcellus Booth; and southwest of the center, about a mile, the first settler was Gersham Shelton. On the west township line, on the center road, a Mr. Parsons settled at an early date. He subse- quently committed suicide. Bela Coe was an early settler, his location being in the third section, a short distance south of Amos Clarks. Also, comparatively early in different portions of the township: John Brooks, Jabez Hanford, Hiram Rumsey, Henry T. Peek, Isaac Haskins, Dr. Curtis and Captain Bell. Reuben Hall emigrated from Connecticut to the Western Reserve in the fall of 1805, settling in Can- field, Mahoning county. He remained there a year, and then removed to Rootstown, Portage county, where he lived eleven years. There he married, March 7, 1810, Betsey Coe, daughter of Israel Coe, formerly of Granville, Massachusetts. In 1816 he moved to Brimfield, in the same county, whence, af- ter a residence of nineteen years, he came with his family to this township, fixing his location on lot twenty-nine in the fourth section. He died on this place November 10, 1861. Mr. Hall was a man of intelligence, earnest religions zeal and a useful mem- ber of society. Mrs. Hall died June 13, 1868. Of the nine children born to them, only two are now living, - Alvan C., on the old homestead, and Lucius S. near the center. The Irish began to settle in the township about the time of the building of the railroad - in 1852. One of the first was Thomas Conry. He was a native of Galway, Ireland, and emigrated to the United States in 1847. He formerly lived in Camden, Lo- rain county, and moved thence to Wakeman, settling in the east part of the township, where he con- tinued to reside until his death, March 5, 1879. There are now about fifty Irish families in the town- ship, and they are, as a general thing, a respectable and industrious class of citizens. In the returns of the enumeration of the white male inhabitants over thc age of twenty-one years in Huron county in 1829, as made by George Sheffield, county assessor, the following persons are given as such inhabitants of Wakeman: Samuel Bristol. Asahel Buck. Ichabod T. Norton. Amial P. Pierce. Elisha Shelden. Chester Manvil. Augustin Canfield. Erastus French. James Wilson. woodward Todd. Philo Sherman. William Barnes. Justin Sherman. Sheiden Smith. Amos Clark. Harmon H. Clark. Barzilla S.Hendricks Silas French. Aaron Parsons. Isaac Hill. Bela Coe. Samuel B. Barnes. Merritt Hyde. Lewis Patterson. Garry B. Hyde. Marshal Johnson. Enoch Johnson. William Beers. Justus Minor. Cyrus Minor. Gersham Shelton. Marcellus Booth. Harry Smith. EARLY EVENTS. THE FIRST WEDDING in Wakeman was that of Marshall Johnson and Marinda Bradley. They were married in October, 1820, at the house of Abram Bronson, Dr. Clark, justice of the peace, performing the nuptial cere- mony. Mr. Johnson came in as a hired man with Captain Pierce, and Miss Bradley was a relative of the Bronson family. They settled a short distance southwest of the center, and raised a family of thir- teen children. The next couple married was Nathaniel Hine, of Berlin, and Ruth Sherman. They were married in the winter of 1821 at the house of Samuel Bristol, also by Esquire Clark. Mr. Hine was subsequently drowned while crossing the Vermillion, a short dis- tance above Terryville, in Florence. Mrs. Hine afterwards removed to Brownhelm, where she died. THE FIRST CHILD BORN of civilized parents, in the township, was Burton M. Canfield. This event occurred April 18, 1818. Mr. Canfield married Louisa Cunningham, and now lives in the village of Wakeman. The first girl baby was Mary Smith, daughter of Sheldon and Phedima Smith, born in April, 1821. The birth of Laura French, daughter of Erastus and Ruth French, was the second female birth. She was born May 17, 1821, and died December 9, 1849, unmarried. Sarah Ann Johnson, daughter of the first couple married, was born the same year. She is now living in Wakeman. THE FIRST DEATH was that of Mrs. Hendricks, mother of Mrs. Abram Bronsor, which occurred in the year 1820. The death of Mr. Bronson occurred a short time after that of Mrs. Hendricks. The first burying-ground was on the southwest corner of the cross-roads, across from where Mr. Mordoff now lives. Some of the bodies were after- wards taken up and removed to other places, and the former location was abandoned as a place of burial. The first interment in the cemetery at the center was that of Mrs. Justus Minor before referred to. THE FIRST FRAME ERECTION was the barn of Justin Sherman built in 1823. The first completed frame house was also erected by Mr. Sherman in 1827. It is the house now occupied by John G. Sherman. Sheldon Barnes commenced the erection of a frame house previous to that of Mr. Sherman's, but before it was finished, it was taken down, and removed to another location. THE FIRST PUBLIC HOUSE was kept by Marcus French, half a mile west of the center, on the section line. The place is now occu- pied by Mr. Rice. The first regular train of cars ran through the town- ship November 24, 1852. The first and only known murder committed in the township occurred in May, 1843. The victim was the wife of Alexander Lawtha. She was strangled to death by the hands of her husband, assisted by John Simpson, a neighbor. The body of the woman was thrown into a well, and when found, the print of the fingers on her neck could be plainly seen. The mur- derers were convicted of the crime, and Lawtha was sentenced to the penitentiary for life, but before his removal from the county jail, he cut his throat with a razor, but before death made a confession of his crime. Simpson was sentenced to the penitentiary for ten years, and served out his term. TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATION. Wakeman was attached to Florence for township purposes until February, 1824, at which time, on petition of the inhabitants, it was set off by the county commissioners, and organized independently. The election was held at the log school house near Mr. Canfield's, in April following. Woodward Todd was elected clerk; Samuel Bristol, Justin Sherman and Silas French, trustees; Amial P. Pierce, treasurer; Justin Sherman and Silas French, overseers of the poor; Augustin Canfield and Isaac Hill, fence view- ers; Augustin Canfield, appraiser; Cyrus Minor, lister; Amos Clark and Marcus French, supervisors; Erastus French, constable; Dr. H. M. Clark, justice of the peace. During his term of three years he issued neither a warrant, nor a summons which attests the law-abiding character of the inhabitants. Dr. Clark was followed in office by Captain Pierce. Township officers elected in April, 1879, are as follows: W. J. Redfield, clerk; George Humphrey, James A. Cummings and Elon Parker, trustees; H. J. Shannon, treasurer; Eugene Gibson, assessor; S. T. Gibson and B. L. Dereamer, justices of the peace; Samuel White and Thomas Conry, constables. MILLS. The first settlers went to Esquire Merry's mill in Milan township to get their grinding done, a distance of fourteen miles as the road originally ran. Subse- quently, and until the erection of a grist mill by Bur- ton Canfield in 1824, they obtained their grist at Rug- gles' mill in Florence, and at Husted's mill in Clarksfleld. In 1823, Burton Canfield built a saw mill on the Vermillion, where the grist mill now stands east of Wakeman village. The next year he added a frame grist mill with one run of stone. The mill stones were made out of the ordi- nary "hard head" stone by Elder Phillips, a pioneer Baptist preacher of Berlin. He took the job for thirty-five dollars, and realized less than a shilling a day, the stone proving harder than he had estimated. A saw mill was built on the La Chapelle in 1823 by Justin Sherman. This and the Canfield mill were erected at the same time, but the Sherman mill sawed the first log. On the same stream there were for- merly three other saw mills, one built by Esquire Pierce about the year 1833, one by C. C. Canfield in 1840, and one by B. M. Canfield in 1848. That of C. C. Canfield was in operation for thirty years, and did an extensive business. The only saw mill now in operation in this portion of the township is the steam mill of Darwin Canfield, located on lot twenty-one. Cyrus Minor built a saw mill at an early day on Bran- dy creek, the only mill ever erected on that stream. THE WAREMAN CHEESE FACTORY, a stock concern, was incorporated in the spring of 1867 with a capital invested of about $7,000. The factory has been operated under a lease by the Messrs. Vanfleet Bros. for the last three years, who have done an extensive business in the manufacture of butter and cheese. Henry Peck also has a cheese factory in the south- west quarter of the township, but it is not in opera- tion. It has done an extensive business. EARLY ROADS. The first road was that along the west town line, called the "Reed road," a man of that name having opened it. The first road within the township was along the line of the first settlements, called the New London road. It is a mile east of the west line road, and runs a generally north and south direction. It was opened by the settlers, being at first merely underbrushed and originally ran a more crooked course than it now does, in order to avoid swales and steep hills. The east and west center road was opened west of the center in 1825 or 1826, and east of the cen- ter a few years after. EDUCATIONAL The first school was opened by Mrs. Dr. Clark in her own house, in the summer of 1818. Her scholars were Calvert C., Royal R. and Sarah Ann Canfield; Lemuel B., Bennett and Minott Pierce. Mrs. Clark taught for one dollar per week, and boarded herself. Her wages were paid, not in money, but in the pro- ducts of the soil, the usual legal tender in those early times. The school was also kept by Mrs. Clark in the log house of Mr. Canfield. The scholars would each carry an ear of corn to school which the teacher would boil for them, this constituting the only dinner they had. School was kept in Wakeman only a few weeks in the year, and the children, or at least the boys, the eldest of whom was not more than ten years of age, attended a school in Florence, traversing an unbroken forest for a distance of three miles. In the year 1820 the first school house was built, of logs of course, on the farm of Augustin Canfield, about forty rods north of where John G. Sherman now resides. Levi Bodwell, of Clarksfield, taught the first school in this house and was the first male teacher in the place. Levi Platt, now living in the township of Greenfield, in the eighty-fourth year of his age, was the next. He was followed by Dr. Clark. The log school house served the double purpose of a place of teaching and a house of worship for about nine years, when it was replaced by a comfortable frame school house, twenty-two by twenty-six feet in size, with a genuine shingle roof. The meeting to consider the question of its erection was held at the old school house, January 29, 1829. Bela Coe was chosen moderator of the meeting, and Augustin Canfield, clerk. It was decided to build the house by a tax, the cost of which was to be one hundred and seventy dollars. Among other things it was re- solved that "we will have a chimney in said house," that "a writing desk shall be attached to the side of the house," etc. It was also stipulated that the house should be open on the Sabbath to the Congregational and Methodist churches, each to occupy it one-half of the time, "but if it so happens that one denomina- tion does not want to occupy their half of the time, and the other does more, it shall be their privilege to do so." The house had a kind of dedication by a union service of the two churches on Christmas Eve, 1829, the Rev. Xenophon Betts and True Pattee offi- ciating on the occasion. The house was trimmed with evergreens and illuminated. The first teacher in the new school house was J. M. Root, afterwards a mem- ber of Congress and a lawyer of ability and distinc- tion, recently deceased. The first election of a school board, of which there is a record, occurred October 31, 1828, when Augustin Canfield was elected clerk; Justin Sherman, Philo Sberman and Samuel Bristol, directors. Until 1827 the township constituted one school district. The location of the first school house being determined by the center of the population, it was built in the third section, as previously stated. In the spring of the above year a second school district was erected, embracing nearly three-fourths of the township, and a log school house built at the center of town. A few years after a frame school house was built there. In regard to the character of her schools and school houses, Wakeman occupies a front rank among the townships of the county. There are at present eight school houses, all of which are brick, with but one exception. The school in the village is at present under the efficient management of A. J. Cobben. RELIGIOUS. The first religions meeting in Wakeman was held at the house of Augustin Canfield, Sunday evening, January 10, 1819. Rev. Lot B. Sullivan, a mission- ary, was the preacher. Mr. and Mrs. Canfield, Dr. Clark and wife led the singing. They were the pioneer choir of Wakeman for many years. The first church organization was formed at the house of Mr. Pierce, October 25, 1822, by Rev. A. H. Betts and Rev. Joseph Treat. The society was of the Congregational order, and consisted of the following members: Barzilla S. Hendricks and wife, Justus Minor, Mrs. Electa Pierce, Dr. H. M. Clark, Ruth French, Sally Sherman and Mary Barnum. The society was called the First Congregational church of Wakeman. Rev. Xenophon Betts was the first pastor of the church, and was installed April 9, 1829, at the house of Mr. Pierce. Mr. Betts continued pastor until December 25, 1836, when he was dis- missed at his own request. He was a man of good attainments, and was a faithful and efficient pastor. During his pastorate there were forty-five additions to the membership. The subsequent history of the church will be found in connection with that of the Second Congregational church. SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. The following sketch is mainly compiled from the interesting memorial address of Mr. Alvan C. Hall at the farewell services held at the old church building December 31, 1878. The organization of the church is the result of a division in the First Congregational Church which grew out of a difference of views and sentiments re- specting certain ideas and principles upon which Oberlin had been founded in February, 1834. In the fall of 1835 Mr. Finney's large tent (or "tabernacle" as it was called) which was used for holding pro- tracted meetings, was set up at the four corners in the west part of the township on the farm then owned by Bela Coe, now owned by Mr. Cummings. President Mahan, of Oberlin, on invitation of the church, with several theological students who had recently left Lane Seminary because of the repressive measures adopted by that institution concerning the discussion of the question of salary by its students, came and held a meeting of several days duration in the tent. The meeting resulted in a number of conversions. The year following, the pastor, Rev. Xenophen Betts who belonged to the Presbytery (as most of the con- gregational ministers then did) severed his connection with the church to take charge of the Presbyterian Church in Lyme in this county, and the theological students before mentioned came out from Oberlin and preached during the interim. Prominent among those students was John Watson Alvord, afterwards connected with the Freedmen's Bureau. So much was he esteemed that children were named after him by their parents, and Wakeman has had a Watson Hill and an Alvord Hill. At length another pastor was obtained who remained a year or two, when re- course was again had to the Oberlin students. In the meantime the breach between the old school part of the church and that which sympathized with the doctrines and principles of Oberlin was constantly growing wider. "In those days it was customary," says Mr. Hall, "to have a sermon both forenoon and afternoon, and frequently one in the evening, or at five o'clock. The people usually carried a lunch in their baskets or pockets, to eat at the recess at noon; and during this recess, and while eating their lunch, a group would frequently be gathered together discussing the sub- ject and doctrines of the forenoon sermon. We re- call to mind a sermon preached at the old school house which stood a little north of John Sherman's, in which sermon God was represented as not only willing, but infinitelv desirous of saving all mankind. This sermon was the subject of considerable comment at the noon recess. We remember distinctly a ques- tion asked by one of our old school brethren in appar- ent honesty and sincerity, namely: 'Would it not be derogatory to the character of God, to hold that he was not only willing, but infinitely desirous of saving all mankind, and then fail to do it?' Thus the church continued, hiring a minister for a year or two, and at the end of the term getting students from Oberlin to supply the interval, until the fall of 1843, or spring of 1844, when Rev. William Russell, from Connecticut, was employed, and it was hoped that he would be able so to compromise the matter of difference as to bring about more union of feeling and consequent prosperity to the church. This he endeavored to do, but failed. The subject of building a meeting house began to be discussed, which proved a cause for increased contention. If Oberlin ministers were to be shut out from the pulpit, as one part desired, there would be no disposition with the other, and more able part, to assist in the building. In order to awaken a greater interest in the proposed erection, the pastor, Rev. Mr. Russell, preached a sermon bearing upon the subject, in which he intimated that if the church could not be sufficiently united to build a meeting house, it had better divide. The question was discussed by the church, and terminated in the adoption of a resolu- tion to give letters of dismission to those who should wish to withdraw for the purpose of forming a new church. A request for letters was circulated among the members and received the following signatures, to-wit: Augustine Canfield, Reuben Hall, Amos Clark, Lemuel B. Pierce, C. C. Canfield, Leverett Hill, Alvan C. Hall, Kneeland Todd, Rufus J. Bunce, Isaac Todd, Mary Bunce, Eunice Pierce, Esther Hill, Betsey Hall, Electa Pierce, Mary E. Canfield, Caro- line C. Burr, Minerva Pierce, Susan L. Pierce, Ruth A. Clark, Sophia Wheeler and Juliatte Travis. The above-named received a letter of dismission in a body, dated August 30, 1844. Next day a meeting was held at the center school house (the building now occupied by Mr. Reed as a dwelling) for the purpose of form- ing a new church. Rev. Henry Cowles, of Oberlin, officiated at the organization, which consisted of the seceding members above named (with the exception of Kneeland Todd, Juliatte Travis and Susan L. Pierce) and Cordelia B. Hall, who brought a letter from the church in Edinburg, Ohio. November 24th following, Mr. Todd and Mrs. Travis united, together with Amos Pierce and Minott Pierce, who were the first to unite on profession. Mrs. Susan L. Pierce, one of the number who withdrew from the first church, did not unite until March 16, 1845. Of the original twenty members the following are still living: C. C. Canfield. Isaac Todd, Amos Clark, Alvan C. Hall, Mary Bunce, Mary E. Canfield, Catharine C. Burr and Esther Hill. Seven of these eight reside in Wakeman. Jeremiah Butler, an Oberlin student, was employed by the church as the first pastor, and remained a year. Their meet- ings were held, with the Methodists, in the school houses at the center and in the north part of town, one Sunday in one, and the next in the other. The society was soon after incorporated, and in 1845 a house of worship was erected near the center, the lot for which was donated by Justin Sherman. The building was dedicated October 2, 1845, the sermon on the occasion being preached by Rev. Henry Cowles. Rev. Wm. A. Westervelt was ordained the same day in the church, and officiated as pastor for one year. The building was subsequently consider- ably enlarged, mainly by the efforts of Mr. C. C. Canfield. The following are the ministers who have officiated as pastors of the church for one year or more, with the term of service of each, as near as can be ascer- tained, viz.: Jeremiah Butler, Wm. A. Westervelt and Wm. F. Clarke, one year each; Minor W. Fairfield, nearly three years, James M. Van Wagner - first installed pastor - about six years; Prof. Henry E. Peck, near- ly three years; Henry S. Bennett, about four years; Joseph L. Edwards, nearly three years; Levi Loring, one year; S. Lee Hillyer, one year; Edward B. Payne, between two and three years. Mr. Payne was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. C. C. Creegan, who began his labors July 1, 1875, and was regularly installed September 5, 1877. Mention should be made of Professor James A. Thorne, who preached for the church nearly a year as a temporary supply. For two or three years subsequent to the organiza- tion of the church no deacon was chosen. The num- ber has increased from one to five, the present num- ber. Those who have served as such, are Leverett Hill, James Wilson, Justin Hill, James A. Burham, Isaac Todd, George Barnes, Wm. H. Pierce and Wil- liam Barber. The first three are deceased. The first member of the church that died was Mrs. Electa Pierce, January 10, 1845. She was one of the original twenty, and "was truly a mother to the church." The church has steadily grown from that small beginning in 1844, every year having witnessed accessions, until, at the date of this writing - March, 1879,- the membership has reached three hundred and twenty-three. Mention should be made of the faithful service of Mr. L. S. Hall, the efficient leader of the choir, who has officiated as chorister for over thirty years, and without any pecuniary consideration whatever. His labors have been of great value to the society. The Sabbath school was in existence during the organization of the first church, of which James Wilson and Leverett Hill were superintendents. It is now one of the largest and most prosperous in the county, the number of pupils enrolled being over three hundred. Mr. S. H. Todd, who possesses more than a local reputation as an efficient Sabbath school worker, is the present superintendent. THE NEW BUILDING. The subject of the erection of a more commodious house of worship than the one so long used by the society, was first discussed in 1875. The corner stone was laid, with impressive ceremonies, September 5, 1877, Rev. Dr. Wolcott, of Cleveland, conducting the services. It was completed in December, 1878, and dedicated on the first day of January, 1879, President J. H. Fairchild, of Oberlin, preaching the dedication sermon. There were fourteen hundred people in at- tendance, representing forty-three different townships in the surrounding country. The church is a hand- some and imposing brick edifice, evincing in its de- sign and appearance, good practical judgment and excellent taste on the part of those to whose energy and liberality its erection is due. The audience room is forty by sixty-six feet, with two wings, eighteen by thirty feet each, the rooms being neatly fitted up for prayer and social meetings, and galleries above. The interior is finished in chestnut, in the natural wood, and presents a rich and beautiful appearance. The cost of the building was sixteen thousand dollars, the whole of which is provided for. METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The first class was formed in December, 1828, by Rev. True Pattee, a circuit preacher. The following were the constituent members: Philo Sherman, Betsey Sherman, Lucius Tomlinson, Charlotte Tomlinson, Phedima Smith and Anna French. The first named was appointed leader of the class. The church held their meetings alternately with the Congregationalists at he two school houses until the erection of a church building by the Congregationalists, when being offered the use of the house on Sabbath afternoons, they held their meetings there. An unusual harmony and Christian spirit always characterized the relations of the two churches. The class was eventually dis- banded. The present Methodist Episcopal Church at Wake- man village was organized in the town hall, by Rev. A. J. Lyon, June 16, 1872, and consisted of the fol- lowing members: J. M. Whiton, Sarah M. Whiton, William Denman, Samuel Webb, Jane Webb, M. E. Wattles, E. M. Bell, E. F. Squire, A. P. Phillips, Rebecca Phillips, Hiram Hurd, J. M. Cahoon, Scyn- thia E. Cahoon, Mary M. Harris, George Randall, Harriet M. Randall, Edward Denman and Jane Den- man. Mr. Whiton was chosen leader. Wakeman was at this time embraced in the East Townsend cir- cuit, but a year and a half afterwards was set off as Wakeman charge, with Birmingham annexed. The following have officiated as pastors of the church: Revs. G. L. Hannawalt, D. R. Moore, E. Hayes, J. A. Kaull, C. D. Patterson, G. E. Scott and Hiram Royce, whose term of service has not expired. The erection of a church building was first dis- cussed by a few men, not members of any church, one evening in the spring of 1872, at the store of Mr. John Harris. Johnson Brazington proposed it, and would give fifty dollars. It was favored by others. A member of the Congregational Church, formerly a Methodist, solicited subscriptions, and the erection of a building was soon after begun. It was completed in September, 1873, and dedicated on the 23d of that month, Rev. Mr. Godman, of Berea, preaching the dedication sermon. When the house was completed, there was an indebtedness of one thousand and four hundred dollars which was assumed by the building committee. On the day of the dedication one thou- sand and six hundred dollars was raised, and the church is now out of debt. The cost of the church including the lot and bell, was four thousand six hundred dollars. The membership is now fifty-six, with G. H. Mains, leader. A Sabbath school was or- ganized in January, 1874, by J. M. Whiton who has been the superintendent up to the present time. The number of scholars enrolled at this writing, is one hundred and eighteen. PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH. This church was organized by Rev. Anson Clark, August 14, 1837, with the following list of members: Joel Wheeler, Elvira Wheeler, Charlotte Tomlinson, Lucius Tomlinson, Jabez Hanford, Abbie Hanford, Cyrenus Beecher, Betsey Beecher, Samuel Bristol, Eunice Bristol, Ezra Sprague, Harriet Sprague, Justin Sherman, Betsey Sherman, Lester T. Farrand, Ann E. Farrand, Joab Squire, Harriet Squire, Peter Sherman, Samantha Sherman, Louis Markham, Eliza M. Redding, James C. Judson, Laura Wheeler, Phebe Burgess, Starr Hoyt, Ezekiel W. Arnold, Mary Arnold, Sala Todd, Aurilla Masters, Martin Bell, Polly Bell, George Todd and Harmon M. Clark. Joel Wheeler and Jabez Hanford were elected wardens; Cyrenus Beecher, Peter Sherman and Starr Hoyt, vestrymen. Justin Sherman was chosen secretary of the church at a meeting held at his home, April 16, 1838. The church was incorporated as "St. John's Church, of Wakeman," by act of the legislature, session of 1838-39. The church building, near the center, was erected in 1840, the lot for which was donated by Justin Sherman. Rev. Anson Clark was the first rector of the church, and since then the following clergymen have successively filled the pastoral office, viz: Thos. Barrow, J. Rice Taylor, Abram Bronson, E. D. Irvine, Chas. F. Lewis and G. W. Williams. Most of these lived elsewhere, and officiated here on alter- nate Sabbaths. Much of the time the church was without stated preaching, and the regularity of the services depended upon the established forms of the church as conducted by lay readers. Cyrenus Beecher, John Kiloh, J. E. Hanford and others had been com- missioned by the bishop, and officiated in that capac- ity. The church has been in a low condition of pros- perity for some time, no regular services having been held for the last two or three years, and many of the younger members of the church have joined the Con- gregational church. ST. MARY'S (CATHOLIC) CHURCH. This church was organized by the Irish inhabitants of the township, in the fall of 1868, Rev. Father Hally, of Norwalk, officiating at the organization. The erection of a church building was soon after commenced, which was completed the following spring. The church consists of about forty-five fam- ilies, about the same number as when organized. The society is now under the care of Father Quinn. POST ORFICE. In the Year 1829 the inhabitants of Wakeman at- tained to the felicity of a weekly mail. Isaac Todd and Cyrus Minor drew up, or caused to be drawn up, a petition for the extension of the mail route from Grafton, Lorain county, to Norwalk, and carried it to Grafton to obtain the signatures of the settlers along the proposed route. After the mail was estab- lished, the settlers along the line turned out and under-brushed a road from Wakeman to Grafton. The first mail-carrier was one Cole, who carried the mail once a week, making his journeys on foot. The first trip he made through Wakeman he stopped at Isaac Todd's, whose house was the first on his route west of La Grange. No mail-bag being visible, Mr. Todd inquired about it. "Oh, I've got it," replied the carrier, and he reached in his pocket and drew forth a large-sized pocket-book, on which was a pad- lock about the size of a silver half dollar. Mr. Todd, naturally taken back at the apparently unimportance of the enterprise he had labored hard to establish, said: "You don't mean to say you carry the mail in that?" "Yes," rejoined Cole, "and it's large enough; there's nothing in it.!" The route was established, and the mail-carrier had to make the trip, although there was not an item of mail to carry. It was not long, however, before a more capacious mail bag was substituted for the pocket-book. A man by the name of Waldron afterwards carried the mail. He frequently stopped at Joseph French's, and on one occasion brought the family a piece of ven- ison. On being asked where he got it he replied that he "shot the deer with the mail bag." He came upon the animal while browsing in the top of a fallen tree, struck it in the head with the bag, which so frightened the deer that he caught it and cut its throat with his knife. The first post office was established January 1, 1833, with Justin Sherman, postmaster, who kept the office in his house. He served for seven years and three months, when he was succeeded by Merritt Hyde, and the office was moved to his dwelling, west of the cen- ter. Mr. Hyde held the position until June 1842, when Mr. Sherman was again appointed. He served for three years, keeping the office at his store near the center. Since Mr. Sherman's second term, Edward J. Bunce, Lester T. Farrand, Hiram K. Hosford, Wil- liam Pierce and H. J. Baldwin (the present incum- bent) have successively officiated as postmasters. PHYSICIANS. As already stated, Dr. Harmon M. Clark was the first physician that practiced in the township. He had been engaged in the practice of medicine before he came to this country, and was a surgeon or assist- ant surgeon in the U. S. navy in the war of 1812. When he emigrated west, he determined to abandon the profession and devote himself to agricultural pur- suits, but so great was the need of doctors in that early time, and none to be had except from distant places, that Dr. Clark was, out of consideration of humanity, impelled again to engage in the practice of his profession. And when he once began, he was the busiest man in the place, finding but little time to attend to his farm, which did not so much matter, however, as his ability as a farmer was not of the highest order. Of those who have been engaged in medical prac- tice in Wakeman, since Dr. Clark, the writer has the names of Drs. Wm. B. Latin, Burroughs, Moses Trumbull, Jones, Bunce, C. A. Standart and Rose. The length of time, or the order in which they prac- ticed, we are unable to state. Dr. E. E. Beeman, one of the two physicians now engaged in the practice of medicine in Wakeman, graduated, first, in 1860, at a medical school in Cin- cinnati, and subsequently, in 1875, at the Western Reserve College (Medical department), Cleveland. His first practice was in that city, in connection with his father, and subsequently practiced in Wisconsin and Illinois. From 1864 to 1876 he was located at Birmingham, Erie county, whence, in September of the latter year, he removed to Wakeman. Dr. H-- E-- was graduated from the Ohio Electic College, Cincinnati, in 1848, having pre- viously attended a course of lectures at a medical col- lege in Cleveland. He began the practice of his pro- fession in Putman county, continuing two years, when he removed to Clarksfield, Huron county. He practised in Clarksfield until his removal to Wake- man in July, 1877, with the exception of four years, during which he practiced in Crestline. MERCANTILE. The first store in Wakeman was kept by Justin Sherman near the center, on lot forty~five. He erected the building in 1839, and sold the first goods on the third day of July, 1841. His goods were purchased in New York City, and transported by way of Hudson river, Erie canal and Lake Erie to Huron, and thence to Wakeman by team. In 1845, he sold the stock to Rufus J. Bunce and his son, Edward, who carried on the business about two years, when they sold out, and the goods were taken out of the township. Edward J. Bunce and Lucius S. Hall subsequently revived the business, and continued near the center until the completion of the Cleveland and Toledo Railroad, (as it was then called) when they changed their location, and opened their store where the millinery store now is in the village of Wakeman. The same year, Messrs. Pierce & Co. put up the Wakeman Exchange, wooden block, which has since been enlarged, and is now known as the Bright block. In this building, a hotel was opened by Mr. Preston, and a store by Hosford and Andrews. The large brick block on the southwest corner of Main and Pleasant streets, was erected in the summer of 1871, by the firms of Harris, Pierce & Baldwin and Vanfleet Bros. They were previously located in the Bright building, and their change of location transferred the most of the busi- ness of the village to the south side of Main street. Mr. Harris, of the firm of Harris & Baldwin, has been engaged in mercantile trade in Wakeman for a period of nearly twenty years, and is the oldest mer- chant in the place. The village now contains about seven or eight hundred inhabitants, with four churches, __ schools, one printing office, three general stores, one drug and hardware store, two groceries, one boot and shoe store, three millinery and fancy goods stores, two furniture stores and undertaking shops, one bakery, one harness shop, one tailor shop, two shoe shops, four dressmaking establishments, one lock and watch repairer, two hotels, four blacksmith shops, two cooper shops, two barber shops, one livery, one wagon shop, two meat markets, two saw mills, one bending works and planing mill, one grist mill, two pump factories, and two physicians. NEWSPAPERS In 1873, the first newspaper, called the Riverside Echo, was published by Melvin Lewis. It was a small, four-column folio, but was subsequently enlarged to six-column. The paper was removed in 1875 to North Amherst, Lorain county. September 18th, of the same year, the first number of the Wakeman Press was issued by G. H. Mains, with one-hundred and seventy- five subscribers at one dollar per year. It was originally a five-column folio, with a ready-printed outside; but December 18th, it was enlarged to a six- column folio with a patent inside. April, 1876, it was commenced as a home paper, printed entirely at home. --------------------------------------------------- "Notice: the above material is Public Domain (no copyright)."

For questions or to report problems: 440-839-2970