NORTHFIELD 1807 - 1850

The township of Northfield is about eighteen miles south of Cleveland, and about the same distance from Akron. The name given to the town at an early day was thought to be a very appropriate one, as it was on the extreme north side of Portage County then, and Summit County now.

With the Ohio canal and the Valley Railway upon the west, the Cleveland &Pitsburg Railroad upon the east, and the A.B. & C. Electric Railway passing directly through the center of the town, the transportation facilities are all that could be desired.

Historians have written that Northfield, for various reasons, was accounted one of the best townships in the Reserve, although not settled at as early a day as some of the neighboring townships.

The first white settler was Isaac BACON, a native of Boston, Mass., coming with his family in April 1807, and for three years his was the only white family in town. Mrs. BACON (Nancy CRANMER) was often heard to remark that for six months after their arrival she saw the face of no white woman, save the reflection of her own in some clear pool of water. With this family commences the history of our township.

In 1810 Mr. BACON's brother-in-law, Jeremiah CRANMER, arrived and built a cabin within half a mile of his own. There was great excitement occasioned by the war of 1812. Mr. BACON was drafted and ordered to Cleveland, but was soon discharged. In November, 1812, he was taken sick and died, and was buried on Tinker's Creek. Prior to this the family had, in 1808, lost an infant daughter, her death being the first in the township.

Another daughter of this family, Loretta, eventually became the second wife of Benjamin WAITE. She was a very worthy woman. Her daughters were Loretta, Emily, Olive, Ada and Maude. Sarah, the daughter of Mr. WAITE's first wife, married Matthew CHAPMAN.

Mrs. Daniel S. STANLEY (Hannah CRANMER) was the youngest daughter of Jeremiah and Hannah (COLE) CRANMER. Her parents were the second family in the township. She was married in 1820. In 1830 Mr. STANLEY purchased the farm in Northfield, a short distance south of the center, now the home of their son. M.W. STANLEY. Mr. and Mrs. STANLEY were charter members of the M.E. Church, organized July 21, 1831. Throughout her life Mrs. STANLEY honored her profession in a quiet, unobtrusive way. She was a kindly, hospitable woman and the Methodist preachers and their wives always felt sure of a warm welcome at Sister STANLEY's.

She was the mother of four daughters, Mary, Esther, Sarah and Emeline. Her children revere her memory and "rise up and call her blessed."

Mrs. Mary (STANLEY) SMITH, eldest daughter of Mrs. STANLEY, distinctly remembers many incidents of pioneer life. She has in her possession letters written eighty-five years ago, which, with other relics of pioneer days, she prizes highly. She is an exemplary Christian woman, now the widow of David SMITH, formerly of Ravenna, but later of Cleveland.

Mrs. STANLEY's five sisters were: Nancy (Mrs. Isaac EAMES), Roxanna (Mrs. Henry PYLE), Eunice (Mrs. William CLIFFORD), Sally (Mrs. George JOHNSON), and Esther (Mrs. Henry WOOD).

Mrs. PYLE was the second child born in the township.

Uncle Harry WOOD, as he was familiarly called, who married Esther, one of the five sisters named, often boasted that he married the "prettiest girl in town." Very true, as she was the only one of a marriageable age within a radius of ten miles.

Mrs. WOOD's daughter, Phoebe, married Amos RICHARDSON; Maria became Mrs. Chauncey PECK; and Esther, Mrs. Albert HAMMOND.

Nancy VOSTER, wife of Abraham CRANMER, was born in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1777. She is said to have been a lady of culture and refinement. Her daughters were: Nancy (Mrs. Rev. L.E. BEARDSLEY), Elizabeth (Mrs. Wales STORRS), and Esther who married Hiram MUNN, a local preacher of the M.E. Church. Mrs. MUNN's four daughters survive her: Frances A., Elizabeth, Rada A., and Lillie. She was a staunch Methodist, and well fitted by her more than ordinary gifts for active church work.

Northfield has within her borders three hamlets of historic name, viz.: Macedonia, Little York, and Brandywine. At an early day Brandywine was quite a thriving village. Various industries were carried on by the WALLACE family. There was the store, the woolen factory, the saw-mill, the grist-mill, and the distillery, all in operation, requiring a large force of employees.

It is said that in about 1816 the village of Brandywine rivaled the village of Cleveland.

Mrs. Robert WALLACE, nee Elizabeth MENOUGH, was one of the first pioneer women of Brandywine, coming in 1815. Her sister Harriet married Geo. WALLACE, another brother. It is said they were the first couple married in Ohio, after it was made a state. Mr. WALLACE lived in Cleveland as early as 1810, keeping a tavern, as they were then called. In 1818 he settled in Brandywine, both he and his wife dying there. Mrs. WALLACE was a faithful wife and mother. Her only daughter, Emeline H., married Thomas WILSON, Summit County's first sheriff. She died in 1840, aged 26 years.

Mrs. Isabella (WAUGH) MENOUGH was born in Pennsylvania in 1762. She died in 1841. At the time of Hull's surrender, she was living in Cleveland with her son-in-law, George Wallace, Esq. They were hourly expecting an attack from the British and Indians. While many were fleeing to a place of safety she courageously remained, with her horse saddled in the stable, saying she might be needed. True enough, for the house was soon filled with sick and wounded soldiers of our own army, who had been exchanged. Many, long years afterward, acknowledged her kindness to them.

Mrs. John DUNCAN (Elizabeth McLEAN) was one of the early settlers in 1815. She was a typical pioneer and a charter member of the M.E. Church. She had a large family of children, and used to have grave fears that her little boys would be taken captive by the Indians; they were so numerous at that time. Mrs. DUNCAN's daughters were Mrs. William B. HUNT, Mrs. John DOZENBURY, Mrs. Francis WELCH, and Mrs. Bazzel VIERS.

Mrs. Abel D. HAVENS (Betsey HILL) came in 1818. Her eldest daughter, Eliza, married James McKISSON; Harried married Abner DOTY.

Miss Wealthy BARNES taught school here as early as 1819. She was a young woman of superior intellect, beautiful character and a devout Christian.

Jane McCAGNE was the only daughter of Thomas and Rosanna (COYNE) McCAGNE, coming with her parents is 1819 from Maryland. She married Reuben BISHOP, and spent her married life in Boston, Summit County. She is apparently enjoying a serene and happy old age, with a host of friends, and is a delight to them all. She loves to recount the incidents of her girlhood days, and has given valuable data for this sketch.

The next year, 1820, came Mrs. A.S. HONEY (Betsey EDWARDS) and family. Betsey HONEY married Allen BURROUGHS in 1825. Her four daughters are living on the Reserve.

Between the years of 1820 and 1830, several families settled in the township, some of whom no traces of their descendants could be found, so we can only give the family names of many of them.


In 1824 Miss Jane MILLS came with her parents from Sligo, Ireland, to Montreal, Can. In 1826 she came to Brandywine, riding on horseback through the woods from Cleveland. She married Robert DUNCAN in 1830. She was a kind, sympathetic woman, ever ready to assist in sickness or trouble of any kind. Two daughters survive her, Emily and Catherine (Mrs. J.E. DUNCAN)

Mrs. Mollie (DEE) POST was born in Saybrook, Conn., in 1772. She married Joshua POST in 1796. Thirteen children were born to them, eleven daughters and two sons. Mrs. POST remembered well her mother hiding her in a hollow log for fear the British, during the war of 1776. They came here at an early day. Mr. POST built the first bridge across the Cuyahoga river. Mrs. POST was a brave, self-reliant woman, living a long and useful life. Her daughter Mercy married Pinckney BROWER. Mrs. BROWER's daughter Ellen is the wife of Luman LEACH, and resides here.

In the fall of 1831 Israel OZMUN and wife (Lucy WOODRUFF) and two daughters arrived from Lancing, N.Y. They resided her until 1852, removing to North Bloomfield, Morrow County; Susannah married Lucius TAYLOR, and removed to Fulton County; Elizabeth is now the widow of Thaddeus OZMUN, of North Bloomfield, to whom the writer is greatly indebted for valuable information given for this work.

Mrs. Mercy (JUDD) WOODRUFF, mother of Mrs. Lucy OZMUN, resided here in 1834, dying in her 94th year.

Miss Lucy HUTCHINS was one of the early teachers. Her father lived in Macedonia and it is said he gave the hamlet a name by writing to his friends in the east of the great need of ministers in the new country, and urging them to "come over to Macedonia and help them," and the name thus suggested was adopted.

Mrs. David C. BACON (Jane PRITCHARD) better known as "Aunt Jane," was married in 1828. Her father, James PRITCHARD, was the judge of the court of Steubenville, and one of the framers of the state constitution. She was a woman of great intelligence, and being fond of reading, was well informed on the general topics of the day. She was an ardent Methodist, one of the charter members of the church. She was remarkably gifted in prayer and exhortation. Her only daughter is the wife of Dr. B.F. RAY of Burton.

Mrs. Benajah A. GEER (Julia A. BIXBY), sister of the late Mrs. Philo SCOVILL, was one of the pioneers of Cleveland, was a kind, warm-hearted motherly woman. Having no children, she kindly cared for her two nieces, Amanda and Mary BIXBY, afterwards Mrs. James MILLER and Mrs. William WHITNEY. Mrs. MILLER spent many years of her married life here, highly esteemed by all. She died at her home in Richfield, October, 1895.

Two brothers, Orrin and Hart TAYLOR, came from Massachusetts in 1831, buying adjoining farms.

Mrs. Orrin TAYLOR (Anna STREET HALL) had three daughters, Mrs. J.G. STANLEY, Mrs. Robert CONKLING and Lucretia. Mrs. Hart TAYLOR had one daughter, Mrs. John RADCLIFFE.

The name of Mrs. Charles VIERS (Laura PATTERSON) will be recognized as a familiar one. She was an excellent woman, cheerfully bearing the hardships incident to pioneer life. The mother of three daughters, Theda, Eliza and Samantha. Mr. VIERS survives her, over ninety years of age.

Early in the thirties, Mrs. Catherine CRONINGER, a widow, much respected in the community, married Robert McKISSON. She had one daughter, Lucinda. The sad circumstances attending her death, on the night of July 24, 1837, are vividly remembered by many. She was the grandmother of Mayor Robert E. McKISSON, of Cleveland.

Mrs. Samuel McKISSON (Susanna SHERRARD) was an early resident here.

Amzi CHAPIN and Hannah POWER were married October 10, 1800. The family came here from Pennsylvania in 1831. Mr. CHAPIN was one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church. The family was a musical one. Mr. CHAPIN composed several tunes as early as 1820. The daughters were: Jane (Mrs. Matthew WILSON), Eunice (Mrs. John WILSON), Eliza (Mrs. John A. MEANS), Rebecca (Mrs. Horace H. PALMER), and Hannah (Mrs. John WILSON).

The same year brought Mrs. John NESBIT (Ann MATTHEWS) from Pennsylvania. The four daughters were: Martha (Mrs. Hamil ALEXANDER), Esther (Mrs. Albert RINEAR), Mary Jane (Mrs. Alexander McCONNELL), and Margaret (Mrs. Horace H. PALMER).

The following came between 1830 and 1840: Mrs. Samuel COON (Jennette DRENNEN), Mrs. John MATTHEWS, Mrs. Samuel JOHNSON, Mrs. Robert FREW, Mrs. Robert GRAHAM, Mrs. James McELROY (Ruth NESBIT), Mrs. John RAY (Eliza LESLIE), Mrs. William NESBIT (Lucinda HUNGERFORD), Mrs. John ARMSTRONG (Nancy COON), Mrs. Henry DIESMAN (Letitia COULSON), and many others worthy of mention, but limited space forbids. Many names not appearing here will be found in the census of pioneer women of the township.

Mrs. William WALLACE (Mary CLARK) came from New Hampshire in 1832. She was married in 1815. Her eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Wellington JOHNSON. Sallie and Margaret were successful teachers for years. Mrs. WALLACE was a favorite with the young people. She used to sing for them to dance when they were spending an evening at her house.

Mrs. William LEMMON (Jane MATTHEWS) came the same year from Pennsylvania. Two daughters were born to her, Martha (Mrs. Robert Lee EWART) and Sarah Jane, a lovely young woman, dying in early life. The parents and eldest son were great sufferers from chronic rheumatism, confining them to their beds for years.

Our pioneer mothers were true heroines, yet we suspect their hearts often sank within them when brought face to face with the trials and hardships they were often subjected to. Everything was in such painful contrast to the homes of plenty and luxury, oftentimes, they had left behind them.

In the summer of 1822 Hezekiah H. PALMER and family left their home in Windsor, Conn., and started for Ohio in a covered wagon, drawn by two yoke of oxen and a horse. Mrs. PALMER (Abigail TAYLOR) spinning the linen for the thirty-two yards of cloth covering the wagon. After six weeks of weary journeying the village of Medina, O., consisting of a few houses and a log court house, was reached. Mr. PALMER left his family there and started in search of a farm, purchasing one at Willoughby, O. In the summer of 1832 he located in Northfield, building the first log house at the center, in the wilderness. His wife was truly a helpmate, a woman of great courage, energy, and perseverance. She died in 1875, aged 84 years.

Julia, the eldest daughter, married Linus FITCH, being left a widow. She toiled hard to support her family, following the vocation of weaving for many years. Abigail T. was twice married, her husbands being B.F. LILLIE and Joel SWEETLAND. She was a capable, useful woman.

Emeline is now the widow of Ambrose W. BLISS, who died July 1st, 1894, in his 88th year. She was the first milliner and dressmaker in the town and her services were often sought to fashion the bonnets and wedding dresses for the belles of the town. She is one of the very few left to tell the story of pioneer life, a life that had its sunshine mingled with its shadows.

One daughter and three sons were born to her, the second son dying in the late civil war, in 1863.

The names of Mrs. Mary PURKEY BAUM and her daughters, Sarah, Mary, Martha and Elizabeth, Mrs. Resolved PALMER, Mrs. McDONALD, Mrs. Mary Arthur BATEMAN, Mrs. Francis CLERMION, and her two sisters, Mrs. Horace CRITTENDEN and Mrs. Moses DRAPER, and Mrs. Daniel BROWER, a kind mother of a gentle retiring nature, are familiar names. They are all held in grateful remembrance.

Mrs. Albert HUNT, whose maiden name was Betsy JOHNSON, was a native of Massachusetts. She was the mother of five daughters; they were Mrs. REESER, Mrs. Abner WALTON, Mrs. Joseph BREEN, Mrs. Eben BUTTERFIELD, and Mrs. David CRANMER, all true, good women.

Laura (WEEKS) BLISS and her husband, Lucien BLISS, came about 1832 from Vermont. They belonged to a band of Methodists who used to gather in the log cabins for their prayer meetings, and in the log school house for services on the Sabbath. Both were active in founding and supporting the church, throughout their lives. Two daughters were born to them.

Associated with "Aunt Laura" in the mind of the writer are three other godly women, Mrs. STANLEY, Mrs. MUNN, and Mrs. BACON, all pioneer Methodists, all alike gifted in prayer and song. Perhaps their singing would have grated harshly on a cultured ear, yet it was soul-stirring and inspiring, and it may at least be said that "they sang with the Spirit." These women were life-long friends and all are sleeping in "Chestnut Hill cemetery" in Northfield.

Betsey ELMER married Josiah JOHNSON in Buckland, Mass., and in 1833 left for a home in the then far west, locating in Northfield. Their seven daughters were Festa (Mrs. Samuel WARE), Emily (Mrs. Roderick O. DWIGHT), Sylvia (Mrs. Josiah BUELL), Betsey (Mrs. Theodosius WOOD), Juliette (Mrs. Ira W. BRITTAIN), Clarissa (Mrs. Hooker TAYLOR), and Ellen Maria married Daniel PROCTOR.

Mrs. Zera GRAHAM (Clarissa TAYLOR) came from the same town the next year. There were four daughters in her family, Eliza (Mrs. Timothy BLACKMAN), Abigail (Mrs. Shepherd HONEY), Jane and Maria, an adopted daughter. Mrs. BLACKMAN and Mrs. HONEY had each a daughter, Estelle and Cynthia.

Prior to 1840 there were four churches in the township. The M.E. society was organized July 21, 1831, with eighteen members. Meeting were held in the dwellings and school houses until 1836, when a church was built.

The Presbyterian Church was erected in 1834; Rev. Mr. HANFORD was the first minister.

The United Presbyterian Society was formed in 1833, with fourteen members and a church built in 1837, with Rev. Joseph BANKS as pastor. In 1835 a Free Will Baptist Church was built at Macedonia.

Mrs. Geo. LILLIE (Martha ARNOLD) came from Jerico, Vt., with her family in 1833. They were gladly welcomed, being the second family at the center. Mrs. LILLIE was a cheerful, energetic woman, patiently enduring the privations of early days in the new country. Her eldest daughter, Maria, is Mrs. Erastus TUCKER, of Lyons, Iowa. Martha married Ira CARTER, dying some years since in Iowa. Mrs. LILLIE died in Wheatland, Iowa, at an advanced age.

Hannah (YOUNG) LILLIE, or Grandma LILLIE, as she was called, was born in Hebron, Conn., 1778. She came here from Vermont in 1833 to live with her son, Geo. LILLIE, Esq. She was a woman of great intelligence and decision of character. She was a favorite with the boys and girls who were never happier than when in grandma's room listening to her stories. She lived 86 years.

Mrs. Orrin BISHOP (Celina LILLIE), daughter of Hannah YOUNG LILLIE, accompanied her mother from Vermont. She had the honor of being the first landlady in the place. After Mr. BISHOP's death she married George M. SEIDEL. She was a cheerful, social woman, fond of flowers and very successful in their culture.

Her sister, Diana, married William SKINNER.

Another sister, Huldah, married Dr. Hosea BLISS, of Jerico, Vt., coming here in 1834. He was the first resident physician in the township. He practiced over forty years, until age prevented. Aunt Huldah was a woman of great tact, kind and sympathetic, always having a word of cheer for everyone.

Her only daughter, Mary, married James LESLIE. She was beloved by all.

Mrs. Robert ALEXANDER (Jane KNOX), coming from Pennsylvania the same year, was one of the quiet, home-loving women, generous and kind. She was the mother of two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary. Several families came about this time, by the name of TAYLOR, from Massachusetts. There was Mrs. Levi TAYLOR (Betsey BUTLER) with two daughters, Betsey (TAYLOR) LEE, and Cynthia (TAYLOR) ORCUTT; Mrs. Henry TAYLOR (Polly WILDER), and Mrs. Consider and Samuel TAYLOR. They were all earnest Christian women.

Mrs. Elijah STORRS came to Macedonia in 1834, from Westport, N.Y. Harriet STORRS married Henry DUNBAR; Maria, James COATS; and Eliza, Charles RAYNOLDS. Other families settled in Macedonia about the same time, coming from Schroon, N.Y. There was Mrs. Elisha (POTTER) GRISWOLD, Mrs. Levi (GRISWOLD) DRESSER, Mrs. Albert (EVEREST) WYMAN, Mrs. Elmira (EVEREST) BUSWELL, and Mrs. Erastus (ARMSTEAD) BELDEN. Coming later was Mrs. Lyman FOSTER (Minerva EVEREST), the kind, devoted mother of four daughters, Armanda, Sarah Jane, Rada and Amelia.

Roby SCRIPTURES married Hezekiah LANFORD in 1825, at fourteen years of age, coming here from New York State. In 1875 their "golden wedding" was celebrated, and in 1885, the rare event of the "sixtieth" wedding anniversary.

Adeline HANCHETT, daughter of Hiram and Mary (SMITH) HANCHETT, married James W. WALLACE in 1835. Two daughters were born to her, Mary E. and Margaret S. The fifty years of her married life were spent in Brandwine and Macedonia. She was a life-long member of the Presbyterian Church, and, being quite endowed with many admirable qualities, was endeared to a large circle of friends.

She died in 1885. Her only sister, Mary, is the widow of Gen. W.F. RAYNOLDS, who died at his home in Detroit, October 18, 1894. Mrs. HAYNOLDS has been an invalid for many years, and now resides with her niece, Mrs. Henry HAMILTON, in Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Ira RICHARDSON, Mrs. William SANFORD and Mrs. Pardon A. BROOKS (Lavinia LILLIE) all came from Bethel, Vt., in 1835. Fannie (BROOKS) LEE, Olivia (BROOKS) LESLIE, and Hattie (BROOKS) BARBER, are the daughters.

Mrs. James HILL came from Ligonier, Pa. She had four daughters, Rachel (Mrs. Samuel MILLER), Elizabeth, the wife of Prof. George CLARK of Mt. Union College, Sarah and Susan.

Polly HILL, sister of James, married Benjamin DE HAVEN.

Mrs. Robert VAN HORN, whose maiden name was Catherine COON, was married in 1833, coming here in 1837. She was one of the devoted Christian mothers, quiet and unassuming. Her only daughter, Ann Jane, married Joseph BOYD. She survives him.

Another woman held in loving remembrance is Mrs. Harriet (MILLER) WALKER. Being left an orphan she found a home in the family of her uncle, Rev. Joseph BANKS of Philadelphia. Here she was kindly reared and educated. She married John WALKER in 1834, spending her married life in Northfield. She was a noble woman, "given to hospitality and good works."

Were we to speak of the social life of our mothers and grandmothers, it would only be a repetition of what others have written. They had the same social gatherings, the paring-bee, the husking-bee, the quilting party, and the singing school, and when the "new frame house" was completed, a party would often be given, called a "housewarming," to which all the young people would be invited. There was no exclusiveness; all were in the same social scale, and all were looking forward to the better days coming, and they surely did come. After a few years of hard labor, the forest gave place to fruitful fields of waving grain, beautiful meadows and orchards. Churches and school houses were built, and everything betokened thrift and prosperity.

Early in the thirties there were several families living in Little York. Among them we find the name of Mrs. John D. CROSS (Electa COOK), who was one of the truly good women, kind and hospitable. Two daughters survive her, Mrs. Thomas HARDING and Mrs. Emory THOMPSON. Lydia CORNELL married Marvin FORD. Her daughters were Clarissa and Lovena.

Phila COOK came from Massachusetts in 1831. Her first husband was Silas WOOD, second George LEACH. Her daughter, Eliza, married Theron WILLIAMS and Edward WHIPPLE. Clarissa married Allen INGERSOLL and S. GAYLORD. Lydia is Mrs. Conrad SCHOCH.

Mrs. Aaron THOMPSON (Elita LEACH) was one of the deserving women whose life was made up of good deeds. She lived a long and useful life, leaving four daughters, Mrs. HEALY, Mrs. CLARK, Mrs. Henry BISSELL, and Mrs. Henry BROWER.

Mrs. Mary J. (COOPER) LOGUE was born in 1820, in Baltimore, Md. She was married to Rev. James W. LOGUE in 1843, who was the pastor of the Associate, now the United Presbyterian Church in Cleveland. The same year he removed to Northfield, becoming pastor of the United Presbyterian Church. He continued a successful pastorate of forty years, resigning in 1883, revered by all. Mrs. LOGUE was an ideal wife and mother. She was of inestimable value to her husband as a wise counselor and helper during his long ministry. She was the honored president of the "Soldiers' Aid Society" during the war. Of the five children given them, three are living, Jennie C., the wife of Rev. Dr. W.T. CAMPBELL, of Monmouth, Ill.; Judge Joseph T. LOGUE of Cleveland; and Rev. James R. LOGUE of Washington, Iowa. Mr. LOGUE died in 1888. Mr. LOGUE died in 1894. They sleep together in the rural cemetery in Northfield, leaving a fragrant memory in the hears of the people.

Our pioneer mothers! How plainly they have left the impress of their footsteps on the sands of time! They were faithful to their mission, sowing the seeds of virtue, industry, love of home and country in the hearts of their children, and may we, their children and grandchildren, cherish and emulate the shining example they have left us.

  But few of the brave pioneers are left.
"Only a few, with weak and faltering tread,"
  O'er the rough ways of suffering and age,
To bivouac ground of rest, so green and deep.

Miss Ellen BLISS Chairman and Historian Northfield Committee - Mrs. J.A. BOYD, Mrs. J.W. COLWELL, Mrs. Luman LEACH, Miss Emily DUNCAN


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