At the drawing of the Connecticut Land Co., Shalersville fell
to the lot of Gen. Nathaniel SHALER, of
Middletown, Conn., and from this fact the township was at one
time called Middletown.
One of Gen. SHALER's daughters was the
wife of Commodore McDONOUGH, who fought so valiantly in the war
of 1812. It is said that after McCONOUGH's victory on Lake
Camplain that when the people of Middletown, Conn., illuminated,
SHALER, being a rank Federalist, refused to do so until the
angry people threatened to tear down his house, when the old
Tory came to terms.
The first settlement was made in 1806 by Joel
BAKER, of Tolland County, Conn., to whom
Gen SHALER had given 160 acres of land, located where now the
About the first thing BAKER did was to dig a well, which is
still in existence. No other settlers arrived at Shalersville
for two years, when Simeon CRANE came with
his two brothers, Beldon and Calvin. They built two log houses
during the summer, and then returned to Canfield, Trumbeull
County, their previous place of residence. In 1809 they moved to
In 1810 Simeon CRANE was born a son, the first white boy born
in the township. The township was organized and the first
election held in 1812. In 1810 a great event took place, being
the marriage of Mr. Hezekiah HINE and Miss
Mary ATWATER of Mantua. The ceremony was
performed by Squire Elias HARMON. The first
school was taught by Miss WITTER, of
Aurora, in a log schoolhouse, built upon the lot just east of
the one upon which the town hall now stands.
Mrs. Joel BAKER, from Tolland County, Conn., came to
Shalersville with her husband and one child, in 1806. Gen.
SHALER, from Middletown, Conn., owner of the land in
Shalersville, having offered Mr. BAKER 160 acres to come here
and settle upon it. The journey of four weeks was made in the
spring of the year. Upon arriving here they found nothing but an
unbroken wilderness. Mrs. BAKER was the only woman in the town
for the first two years.
No provision having been made for the future before their
arrival, they found shelter only in the protecting branches of
the forest trees. For the first few nights a large hollow log
served them as a bed. A cabin was built of rough logs, shaped by
the sturdy hands of the husband and father, and a well dug, the
faithful young wife turning the windlass.
In the log cabin they lived for two years, when a more
commodious house was built upon another lot, into which they
moved and spent the remainder of their lives, Mr. BAKER dying in
1849, Mrs. BAKER some years later.
They had five daughters, all of whom grew to womanhood, viz.:
Caroline, Lucinda, Susan, Sophrania and Anngeanette. Lucinda,
born in 1808, was the first child born in Shalersville, her
father being the first settler. She died in 1824, at seventeen
years of age.
Mrs. Jonas GOODWLL (Eleanor
AYRES) was born at St. Johnsbury, N.H.,
February, 1773, being one of fourteen children, ten sons and
four daughters. She was a daughter of Mary
CARLTON AYRES and granddaughter of Lord CARLTON, of Ireland.
At the age of sixteen years she married Jonas
GOODWELL, of Warwick, Mass. The twenty-six
succeeding years were spent nine years in Caledonia County, Vt.,
and the remaining sixteen years among the Berkshire Hills of
Massachusetts. Little children had in the meantime come to bless
their lot; each succeeding one calling for an increase of love,
care, and demand upon their resources. They began to feel the
need of enlarged opportunities, and accordingly deiced to remove
to the frontier, leaving Massachusetts May, 1815. The journey
was made in a large canvas-covered wagon by way of Lake
Chaplain, Rochester, traveling by day and lodging at some
unpretentious inn at night, or sleeping in their wagons or
beneath the sheltering branches of the trees in some plot of
woods by the wayside - the mother, with her six-weeks old babe
in her arms, sitting in her armchair, which had been removed
from the wagon, and through the deep stillness of the night, now
and then losing herself in the broken slumber which tired,
worn-out nature enforced.
At break of day our travelers were astir and the hasty
morning meal prepared, when they again resumed their journey,
and upon June 22nd, just four weeks from the time of their
departure, they hailed the sight of the little log cabin in
Shalersville, Jonah having, the year previous, made the journey
back and forth upon horseback, when he purchased a farm and
contracted for the erection of the log cabin.
In the spring of the year previous to removing, he came upon
snow shoes to see that all was in readiness for his family; his
foresight, so characteristic of him, saved himself and those
about him much inconvenience, and to which was largely due his
success in life.
One child was born to them in Ohio, making nine in all, viz.:
Diantha, Linda, Carlton, Patty, Cynthia, Samuel, Sophia, George
and Frinda, all whom only two are now living, Mrs. Cynthia
CROCKER of Mantua, and Mrs. Frinda
NEWCOMB of Fairfield, Neb., wife of the
late Rev. T.J. NEWCOMB, formerly of Hiram, Ohio.
Mrs. Carlton GOODELL (Charlotte
SANDFORD) , a real daughter of the
revolution, was born at Harwinton, Conn., in 1812. At two years
of age she removed with her parents to Plymouth.
Her grandfather, Samuel SANFORD, Sr.,
served in the War of the Revolution as captain from its
beginning to its close, when he received an honorable discharge.
His military record, issued from the adjutant-general's office
at Hartford, Conn., is in the possession of the writer today.
Her father, Samuel SANFORD, Jr., at ten years of age, went into
the war as waiter for his father, remaining one year, for which
he received a pension during life, and when he died was buried
with military honors.
In 1817, at four years of age, Mrs. GOODELL, with her
parents, came to the Western Reserve and settled in Mantua
township, Portage County. As she grew to womanhood she became a
teacher by profession. In 1835 she was married to Carlton
GOODELL, of Shalersville, and located in the northeastern part
of the township, the first few years being spent in the
customary log cabin.
By the time clearings had been made; much of the land
improved, yet the numerous forests still served as the abiding
place of deer, bear and the wild cat, of which she did not
entertain as much fear as of windstorms, which swept through the
The eye of the writer at this moment rests upon a broad
expanse in the landscape, where land and sky meet, upon either
side of which is bordered with woodland. This opening shows the
devastating effects of the windstorm, one side of which swept
over the log cabin, raising its roof from its foundation,
carrying it on, in its merciless sweep, until lost in the
A substantial frame dwelling, however, succeeded the log
cabin, in the occupancy of which Mrs. GOODELL has spent her days
with feelings of comparative safety.
Her husband died, 1867, upon the homestead where she still
lives, at the advanced age of eighty-four years, with her three
children and surrounded by grandchildren.
Her only daughter, Amelia GOODELL, is one of the writers of
Mrs. Sylvester BEECHER (Betsy
BUSHNELL) married and settled two miles
north of the center in about 1816. Her husband, who owned a
large farm, opened upon it a dry goods store in the same year,
it being the first store in Shalersville, Mrs. BEECHER waiting
upon customers. Her husband also had a manufactory for pot and
pearl ashes, which he sold in Pittsburgh in exchange for dry
goods, driving back and forth with a team. The farm was heavily
stocked with mules. The writer, when a child, loved to watch and
can see, as but yesterday, the large herds of mules, of 75 or
100 each, driven past to an exchange of pastures.
Mrs. BEECHER was a handsome and accomplished woman, whose
life was necessarily a busy one, as the business of her
energetic husband required an unusually large amount of help,
and the hired girl, upon ordinary occasions in that day was an
Of her twelve children, five sons and four daughters reached
maturity; the daughters were Mrs. Rosella HORR,
now of Ravenna; Mrs. Harriet PATTON, now
of Kent; Mrs. Laura LEONARD, of Ravenna;
and Mrs. Electra V. MILLER, now residing
in Garrettsville. Mrs. BEECHER became blind some years before
her death, which took place at her son's A.S. BEECHER, of
Mantua, with whom for many years she had lived, surrounded by
every comfort. She died at the advance age of nearly four score
years and ten, her husband having died in 1855.
Mrs. Samuel GOODELL (Jane SANDFORD) was another real daughter
of the Revolution, and was born at Plymouth, Conn., in 1814. She
was the granddaughter of Samuel SANFORD, Sr., of Revolutionary
fame, and whose military record, issued from the
adjutant-general's office at Hartford, Conn., is in the
possession of the writer today. Her father, Samuel SANFORD Jr.,
at ten years of age, went into the war as waiter for his father,
remaining one year, for which he received a pension during life.
He died at Mantua, Ohio, September, 1858, at the advanced age of
ninety-two years, and was buried with military honors.
In 1817, at two years of age, Mrs. GOODELL removed with her
parents to Mantua, where she grew to womanhood, a favorite with
all, bright, active, quick-witted and the life of the social
gatherings among the young people. In 1837 she married Samuel
GOODELL, of Shalersville, and settled upon a farm upon the State
road, nearly two miles north of the center, where for a decade
of years they lived in happiness and prosperity. Mrs. GOODELL
was famed for the excellence of her housekeeping.
Little children had, meantime, come to bless their lot, and
the parents dwelt in peace and contentment. But, alas, for the
constancy of happiness in this world! The father was stricken
down with erysipelas, and after weary months of watching and
waiting, the faithful wife, too, became prostrated, and after
one week's illness died. The husband had previously been removed
to the home of his parents, a few rods distant, where, one week
later, he, too, passed the bourn from which no traveler returns.
They were buried in one grave. The four parentless children,
too young to realize their loss, the youngest of whom was but
two weeks of age, were tenderly cared for by relatives and
reared to manhood and womanhood, and in the atmosphere of love
and solicitude, by which they were surrounded, were never
brought to realize their early great loss.
Mrs. Curtis COE (Lucinda
CUTLER) was another brave pioneer woman
who endured the rigors of pioneer life and reared a family to
honorable manhood and womanhood. She married Curtis P. COE
February, 1823, with whom she lived until life's allotted years
to man, of three score and ten, had been more than meted out.
She settled in the northern part of Shalersville township. Her
early married life being spent in a log cabin at the foot of
what is known as Coe Hill. Subsequently, however, a commodious
frame dwelling was erected upon the summit of the hill, the site
of which holds a commanding view of the surrounding country.
Her husband was a farmer and rope manufacturer, who furnished
employment to and replenished the purses of the elder girls of
the neighborhood. The long rope-walk, with its hard, beaten
floor of earth, being much frequented by the younger portion of
the community. As a child, it had a peculiar charm to the
writer, who loved to watch the girls in their beat back and
forth, as they deftly spun the long stretches of rope. These
ropes found ready sale at the stores in the surrounding country
and were taken in exchange for, in part, money, dry goods,
Seven children were born to Mrs. COE, five of whom were
daughters. Only one of the remaining four is living today, Mrs.
Nancy GAYLORD, of Mantua. Of those gone
before were Mrs. Ann MUNGER, of
Shalersville, Mrs. Celia McCARTY, of Mantua, and Mrs. Amy
SEE, of Youngstown, Ohio. The latter was
the schoolmate and life-long friend of the writer, and who now
lies silently sleeping under Nevada's distant soil.
There is quite a coincidence in her life. She was born upon
the 8th of October, was married upon the 8th of October, and
died upon the same day of the same month.
Cynthia GOODELL, wife of the late Hon.
Silas CROCKER, of Shalersville, was a
descendant of one of New England's sturdy sons. Her father was
Jonas GOODELL, of Warwick, Mass., whose ancestors came from
England, while her mother descended from Lord Carlton of
Ireland. She was one of nine children, and her early life was
spent among the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
In 1815 she came with her parents to Shalersville, then a
wilderness, civilization having scarcely left its impress within
its borders. There was but one schoolhouse in the township at
the time and that situated at the center, being erected in 1810.
It was built of logs, with slab seats, while oiled paper served
This building served for all ordinary town purposes, it being
the only public building in the township. The first school was
taught by Miss WITTER, of Aurora.
It was here that Cynthia, with her brothers and sisters,
received the first rudiments of their education, walking nearly
two miles night and morning through the woods and with wild
beasts roaming at will through the forests. The sight of a bear
did not disturb her equanimity, for Bruin was usually harmless
if not disturbed, but the howling of the wolves, in her
journeying back and forth from singing school, made this brave
girl tremble. She was a true helpmeet to her husband in after
years. She was married in 1827, and to whom two children were
born - Homer, who was killed by the kick of a horse at eleven
years of age, and Sylvia, who married L.T.
HINE, 1857, died three years later, leaving a son, H.L.
HINE, now a banker of Mantua, and with whom Mrs. CROCKER now
resides, with mind undimmed by time and in the enjoyment of
every comfort, at the advanced age of ninety years, her husband
having died in 1890, aged ninety-one years.
Betsey TINKER, born in Vermont in 1813,
came with her parents to Mantua township, where she was married
in June, 1837, in a log house to Henry VIETS,
of Shalersville. She had a family of eight children, five boys
and three girls. She died in 1883.
Many of the younger people of the town have warm
recollections of "Aunt Betsey," as she was familiarly called,
and many were the calls and visits these same young people made
at her home. Always a good housekeeper, she did much hard work.
She was famous for the product of her dairy and her butter was
in great demand. One of the daughters, Mrs. Henry
ROOT, now owns the home farm, and many a
farmer might take a pattern of this one managed by a woman. The
best crop of potatoes grown in the town in '96 was upon this
farm. A look at the farm will prove the nineteenth century
saying: "There is nothing but what a woman can do."
Mrs. Emeline STULL CARLTON was born
1820 in Burton, Geauga County, Ohio. With her parents she moved
to Liberty, Trumbull County, Ohio. Of a family of six children
she was the oldest daughter, and married, June, 1841. In 1843
they located in Shalersville. This union was blessed with two
daughters, Mary C., born in 1843, married Samuel
COIT, and had a family of four children,
three now living. Olive H., born in 1845; married Luman
NELSON, and has a son and daughter.
Mrs. CARLTON was much liked by her neighbors. Always ready to
help in sickness or time of trouble, she endeared herself to
all. She was very kind to the poor, never turning anyone from
her. She was of a genial nature; this, coupled with her
intellectual, active mind, made her at home in any society.
She did a great deal of the usual hard work of the pioneer
women of those days, making their own garments from flax and
wool, which she had spun and woven, and also made much butter
and cheese. She attended service in a log church, taking friends
with her to dinner or tea. Her home was always a cozy, well
ordered one, and a visit to it always a pleasure. She died in
the spring of 1884, just a few days after the death of her
husband, and was buried in Hillside cemetery in the same grave
with him. Although she is gone, the influence of her life is
Mrs. Samuel DERR, Sr., (Polly
RINGER) came with her husband from
Hopewell, N.Y., in 1833, and settled in Solon, O. Their family
consisted of four sons, and four daughters, Nancy Ann, the
eldest, Mary Jane, Phebe H. and Elizabeth. They were the
thirteenth family in the township, then a wilderness, full of
wild beasts, and had to cut away the trees to make a place for
their cabin, in which they commenced the battle of life with all
the zeal those times required
With such a family to provide for she had to apply her hand
to the distaff and spindle, as also the shears and needle.
In 1845 they removed to Shalersville, Portage County, where
there was a continuation of pioneer work for the mother, making
butter and cheese, and all the many kinds of household work of
Lydia A. LORD HORR was born in Leyden,
N.Y., 1810, and died at Ravenna 1892, aged eighty-one years.
Mrs. HORR's years were adorned with all
the virtues of a Christian life. She engaged in teaching with
rare success, until her marriage with Rev. Wm. HORR, of Denmark,
in 1833. A year later he died, and four years afterward she
married Abner HORR, a cousin of Rev. Wm. HORR.
By this marriage she became the mother of Gurdon L. HORR, a
prominent business man of Ravenna and Mrs. Sarah
BEDELL, now deceased. Soon after her
second marriage she and her husband settled in Shalersville,
where he became a prominent merchant and where he died August,
1865. After her husband's death, Mrs. HORR removed to Ravenna,
which was her home for many years. Her genial and happy
disposition radiated light and sunshine to all about her. Her
culture and superior intellect made her life a shining example
of the highest type of pure and noble womanhood, and she was
loved and esteemed by all who knew her, both old and young. The
life of Mrs. HORR was a singularly beautiful one, and it and its
story, as daughter, sister, wife, mother, Christian friend,
furnishes an example worthy of emulation, which will neither
fade nor be forgotten.
Liva HOSKINS (Mrs. James
KENT) came to Shalersville in 1816 from
Colchester, Conn., and passed her life in the township. She was
a life-long and consistent member of the Disciple church, rarely
missing a service, even during the last year of her life.
She retained her mental and physical faculties to a
remarkable degree up to the time of her death, which occurred in
April, 1896. Her life was truly an inspiration to others.
Mrs. Jacob R. DERR (Eliza A. MARQUITT)
was born in 1815 in New York and moved with her father to the
Reserve, settling in Richfield, Summit County, then in
Shalersville. Mrs. DERR is much beloved by all her friends for
her kindly, charitable nature, and famous for her beautiful
collection of flowers. Perhaps no other person in the county,
certainly no one in the town, has a garden which contains as
many varieties of plant life as has Mrs. DERR. Therein one may
find all the dear old favorites of pioneer days, vying in beauty
with the more aristocratic flowers of the present time.
Mrs. DEER's heart and home have always
been open to the sick and sorrowful ones who have made many
demands upon her time and strength, but today, instead of being
weak and broken with age, she carries the weight of her
eighty-one years much better than many women of sixty.
Doing all her own work, besides entertaining a great deal of
company, for, always a woman of society, the visits of her many
friends is a great delight to her. Never having any children of
her own, she has often laughingly said she has done more than
her share in supporting the district school, having sent at
different times a total of thirteen pupils.
Lina CRANE (Mrs. Wm.
THOMPSON) was born in Surrey, N.H., 1790. They came to
Shalersville in 1815, reaching the little settlement on February
10. They drove from New Hampshire with two horses and a sleigh.
They had to cross the river at Mantua on horseback, the water
being so high that it was impossible to cross in the sleigh. Of
her family of three daughters only one is now living, Mrs.
Juliette WHITNEY, of Ravenna. One
daughter, Lucina, was born in Alstead, N.H., and came, a baby in
arms, with her parents to the new country. She married Myron
CRANE and died in Shalersville about 1850. The other daughter,
Nancy, was born in Shalersville in 1818 and became the wife of
Fannie PIERCE THOMPSON came from New
Milford, Susquehanna County, Pa. The date of her coming to
Shalersville is lost. Most of the middle-aged people of the town
remember "Aunt Annie" THOMPSON, as they all called her. Many a
staid matron of today can recall happy hours beneath her roof
where they often went in a bevy to have their fortunes told by
Aunt Fannie, and bright rosy futures did she see and portray for
them from the charmed contents of their teacups.
She lived with her son, Charles, at Mantua Station, and died
there April, 1875.
Eliza MARVIN (Mrs. James C.
TOMSON) came of sturdy New England
ancestors. Her parents were from Keene, N.H. This pioneer woman
was born in Shalersveille, 1816, in the house now occupied by
the widow of the lately deceased Ed. HINE.
With her husband she helped to transform a home from the
wilderness. This home was about two miles southeast of the
center of the town and here they reared to maturity three sons
and one daughter.
The daughter is now Mrs. Chas. LEET, of
Freedom. Two sons reside in Kansas. The youngest son, P.B.
TOMSON, superintendent of the public schools of Freedom, is one
of the leading educators of the county and enjoys a most
enviable reputation as a teacher.
Mrs. TOMSON died in 1885 in the same house in which she
commenced housekeeping, leaving the memory of a long life full
of toil and hardship, lived nobly and grandly, how much so none
can tell so well as the children left behind, to whom this
mother's life is an inspiration and help in their life work.
Mary CRUM ROOSA was born in Marbletown,
N.Y., in 1809; came to Streetsboro, Portage County, in 1838, and
to Shalersville in 1842. "Grandmother" ROOSA, as she was called
by all the neighbors during her later days, was noted for her
unfailing good temper. One of her daughters has often told the
writer that she never saw her mother angry or ruffled in temper,
even under the most trying circumstances, and those pioneer
women must have found much to try both their temper and courage.
Mrs. ROOSA was the mother of twelve children, ten of whom
lived to years of maturity. Such a family necessitated a great
amount of hard labor, yet she worked patiently and
uncomplainingly until a few years previous to her death, when
helpless from rheumatism; then no one heard any complaint, even
during the most intense suffering, borne with a patience
produced, perhaps, by those long years of pioneer life.
She came with her husband, Abram ROOSA, from New York in the
usual conveyance, a covered wagon, carrying a little baby in her
arms. They lived in Streetsboro and Shalersville, finally dying
upon the old farm in Shalersville they had cleared from the
Shalersville Historians - Miss Amelia GOODELL, Mrs. Ellen
COOLEY, Mrs. Ida PIERCE, Miss Carrie HOUSE, Chairman