SHALERSVILLE 1808 - 1840

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 village stands.

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 Shalersville permanently.

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 country.

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 general confusion.

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 this sketch.

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 exception.

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, groceries, etc.

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 as windows.

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 with us.

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 those times.

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 Gideon LEDYARD.

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 forest.

Shalersville Historians - Miss Amelia GOODELL, Mrs. Ellen COOLEY, Mrs. Ida PIERCE, Miss Carrie HOUSE, Chairman