Sunday, December 27, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Friday, November 13, 2015
My parents were friends of the Roy A. Wershing family. My brother and Adam's grandson, Roy E. "Scotty" Wershing were friends. I use to see Pop driving around North Olmsted in his Model A Ford in the 1950 and 60"s. He was the building inspector for North Olmsted for about twelve years. Scotty was a well driller and his grandfather taught him the art of divining rod. As kids he would let us try our hands at it. We would walk across a known well with a peach crotch, we cut ourselves, held as he showed us. Never worked for me except when he placed his hands on mine and the pointer dropped, no matter how hard I tried to keep it from going down.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
In 1816 David J Stearns and Calvin Greer built a road between their two houses It basically followed old Indian trails. First from the Greer house it followed the river down to the first ridge that went west. At the same time Stearns started at his house in the top of that ridge toward the river. If you go by the oral history they met up with each other at end of that day. That section on top of the ridge was called Butternut Ridge road it was later continued on by other settlers all the way to Elyria. When Ashur Miller Coe Sr. came to settle in what was Dover Township at the time. He went to church that was on bend of Butternut Ridge road. So Mr. Coe made a road from his house to the church. That road was called Coe Ridge Rd. Understand that at this time the roads wide enough for a buggy or ox cart. Greer's road continued to follow the edge of the valley. It then turned south and went to Mr. Coe's House over the years it was called, on the south end, Coe Road or Bush Road at various times. At the intersection of Coe Ridge and Butternut was a path that went toward Dover This became Porter Rd as on the northern part of the road lived the Porter families, Stearns and Fitch roads came about in the same way. In about he 1890's Lorain Road in Cleveland, which was the main road to the Central Market, became the Lorain Rd as we know it now. It replaced Coe Ridge Road and the western part of Butternut Ridge Rd in Cuyahoga County. In Lorain county it is still called Butternut Ridge Rd.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
"GEORGE KENYON FITCH (1802 - 1869) second son of Sanford Fitch, was born in Fredonia, Chatauqua County, New York, March 2, 1826 and spent his early years on his father's farm at Olmsted Ohio. His schooling during this period of his life comprised of about three months each winter and summer, in the District School. The Olmsted Library was a mine of wealth for young George, whose thought before he had reached the age of ten turned to books. A considerable part of his education was thus gained from the Olmsted Library, and he often said that up to the age of seventeen, he had read more books than he ever found time to read in all of the subsequent years of his busy life. the Library contained the Life of Benjamin Franklin , who became the ideal of the boy, who soon resolved to be a printer. With the consent of his parents he was taken on as an apprentice in the office of the Ohio Atlas of Elyria, where he served for eighteen months, finishing his apprenticeship in the office of the Daily Herald of Cleveland. in this office, under the guidance of the editor, Josiah Harris, he laid the foundation of his future career as a journalist. "
This is the book display an the North Olmsted branch of CCPL It is really beautiful display and mural. They have a handout with the list of books in it. This was an amazing collection of books to be in the wilds of Olmsted during the mid 1800's
After a couple of other moves and trips, including a trip across the Isthmus of Panama, he arrived in San Francisco California in 1849 at the age of twenty-three. That was the start of a very notable journalistic carrier. He built a very successful publishing carrier of 45 years before he retired.
" He was known as editor of the Bulletin in the columns of which he expressed himself on current topics for nearly thirty-five. In politics, his support was always thrown to the side of good government, and as he never compromised his independence by personally participating in party affairs, in the course of time his counsel came to exercise powerful influence upon the action of all political organizations. In San Francisco for many years no party could succeed if opposed by the Bulletin."
" Under Fitch's management, the Bulletin supported the Union and President Lincoln during the Rebellion, and on the eve of the war, was vigilant in discouraging any manifestation of Southern men favoring secession."
During these eventful years, two great monuments were erected to the fame of Mr. Fitch as a journalist. It was chiefly through the Bulletin's influence that one thousand acres of Pueblo lands were set apart for the preserve known as the Golden Gate Park, and to the same paper, may be given the principal credit for the defeat of what was known about 1859 - 1860 as the "Bulkhead Scheme." This was a proposition to grant by Legislative Charter, the control of the water front of San Francisco , to a private corporation." He founded or bought over ten news publications.
All of this started with his visits to our Ox Cart Library. It is amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it.
This Information comes from the Archives of the Olmsted Historical Society and the NOPL
More pictures of the display:
Monday, October 12, 2015
Here is that synopsis of the SITES Program that we talked about yesterday:
SITES stands for Social Involvement Through Education and Service, and it is a senior level elective program that offers an alternative to the traditional school day. SITES includes senior level English, History, and an elective credit of service-learning. SITES offers a differentiated approach to learning, offering an environment of mixed learning between Honors and Generals.
SITES is blocked three periods a day. Three days a week, students attend class to engage in a multi-disciplinary approach to learning. Two days a week, students are released from class, and they go into the community and perform their service learning. What makes this concept even more unusual and fulfilling is its structured learning component. The students participate in reflective seminars, offer oral presentations, conduct research, write papers, and read selected materials and literature that focus on the universal themes of man in his social context and the specific study of contemporary global and social issues. This, in turn, affords the students the opportunity to integrate their community experiences into their English and Social Studies curricula.
This Program has created a link or "bridge" between the school and the community and places the students and the city of North Olmsted itself in both resource and beneficiary roles. Data indicates that young people who perform voluntary service within an educational framework gain heightened self-esteem, sensitivity to others, social responsibility, civic participation, and "real world" experience. Conversely, the young, elderly, ill, disadvantaged, and handicapped of North Olmsted and surrounding communities benefit from the thousands of hours of service the SITES Program provides to the area each year.
When I first started working on Butternut Ridge Cemetery to digitize the records I kept hearing about a SITES student the city had ,the previous year, that had been working with them on a study of the two city owned cemeteries. The students name was Phil Tomko. He did a lot of work with and for the Cemetery Committee that was appointed by the city. My coming to the city as a volunteer fell right into place with part of what was planned. Jeff did a lot of ground work on getting Butternut and Coe cemeteries preserved. At about the same time, I joined the Olmsted Historical Society who, I found out later, had a Cemetery fund started. OHS has been getting more donations to help preserve the cemeteries and we now have an active committee. This is also when Sandi's project was started to have a spokes person for the cemeteries. She represents all the little children in our cemeteries. I still am working on the cemetery database it is a much bigger project than we ever thought.
If anyone ever wonders about the good that the SITES Program does you can point to what Phil Tomko started. At Frostville we have always appreciated what has been done for us.
The barn was originally at the end of the east drive in Butternut Ridge Cemetery. It was built by John Ames in about 1830. It is of Post and Beam construction with wide vertical board siding and smaller joint lap boards. Picture below from about 1920
The hearse was dug out of the display barn They ended up taking the front bumper off the pumper fire truck to extricate it from the building. It was taken to the workshop for some of Bills magic. He cleaned it up with 409 and washed the windows inside (fearing someone would come up and lock him in) and out. He repaired a couple of the floorboards. It was then wiped down with linseed oil. The finish on it we believe is original.
To top it off Bill made a replica wooden coffin for the inside.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
This gives you some of the genealogy of Rienzi now for the Mystery.
We have been sorting and scanning the archives of Olmsted Historical Society in Frostville. In an 1800's scrapbook was the following:
"Andrew M. Higgins the alleged murderer of his brother-in-law Rienzi Austin, was released today from the county jail Tuesday on $5,000 bail. His wife, George E Higgins, his brother, and John Hill of Willoughby signed his bond."
There is no modern day Death certificate to get information from or any records from any of the online sources to find out what happened. It is back to looking through old newspapers on microfilm at the Fairview Branch of the CCPL. I will add to this post as things are found or not found.
My first 2 hours in the library yielded the following article from the November 5 1887 issue of the Cleveland Press.
" THE RESULT OF THE AFFRAY AT DOVER"
A telegraphic message was received at The Press office late Friday afternoon stating that the wound received by Dan Austin at the hands of his brother-in-law Murray Higgins at Dover, Thursday night had proved to be a fatal one, and that Austin had passed away. The wound was in the right side of the abdomen, about two and one half inches long and penetrated Austin's stomach ,causing an internal hemorrhage, and death.
Further partiularsof the tragedy learned were as follows: Higgins had been to Olmsted Falls for some doors and cement to be used in a house which he was building. When he returned it was nearly 12 o'clock and he found his wife gone. He was somewhat under the influence of liquor, and his wife's absence angered him. When she returned he followed her into her room and began to threaten her and held a knife over her head. She became frightened and ran out of her room and out of her room and out of the house followed by her husband, closly followed by Higgins, who soon overtook her and threw her to the ground, her cries attracted the attention of both her brothers. Edward and Dan, who rushed to her help, then it was that the stabbing occurred . Austin was a man 48 years of age and leaves a wife and 3 children. Higgins is a year his senior. After Austins death Higgins was arrested and placed in a room in the hotel under guard. The funeral will be held at 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon."
Even in the early days the press messed up names. these are the same people Dan is Rienzi and Edward is his brother Edwin. I just found out that Rienzi did go by Daniel and Charles M Went by Murray. Don't these people like their given names!
This has turned into a Genealogist's nightmare. Here is what we have figured out so far:
Rienzi's sister Clarissa Imogene Austin for some reason started using the name "Jennie" She first married William Crawford in October of 1868 and had two children. In 1880 Jennie Crawford married Andrew Murray Higgins who went by Murray most of the time. In the 1880 Census we find Jenny, Murray and the Crawford children in Wickliffe Ohio. We still have not found the disposition of the case but, we do know that Murray died in 1916 in Lake County Ohio. Jennie died in North Olmsted in April of 1906 and is buried in Coe Ridge Cemetery with the 2 Crawford children Clvie died at 18yrs and Leon lived to be 80 yrs.
We will still be searching the Press for comments on the case, now looking in December of 1887. Fairview Park CCPL has new computerized readers for their microfilm records Took a while to get familiar with them but they are "neat" you can print to Thumb drive.
I tried something different today and started looking at the Plain Dealer. I started with November 5 and found a big article on the killing:
and they had a happy time, returning about 12 o’clock, Higgins had arrived a short time before. He was intoxicated. He found his wife away and did not like it. The man considered the he should also have been asked to go, and he became angry. The more he thought about it the madder he got. The liquor he had drank made a demon of him. It spurred him on, so that when his wife reached home he was like a madman. He upbraided her for going away to enjoy herself and not asking him to go, too. He became excited and her pleadings and entreaties only tended to make him worse. He completely lost control of himself. He was a perfect madman and rushed upon his wife with the
To use Paul Harvey's line " and here's the rest of the story" February of 1888 Andrew M Higgins pled guilty to 1st degree Manslaughter and was sntenced to a maximum of 10 years in the Penitentiary He was divorced and living in Willoughby as a farmer in the 1900 Census. He died on the 16th of March 1916 in Willoughby Lake County Ohio. We do not know where he is buried
Clarissa Imogene Austin died on the 23rd of April 1906 in North Olmsted and is buried in Coe Ridge Cemetery as Jennie Crawford (her First Husband) We do not know where he is buried, Their Sons Cluie (Died Young) And Leon and wife Harriet along with "Little Murray" Andrew's son that lived for only 4 years, and died a month before Andrew stabbed Renzie.
I guess we found most of it.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
To follow up on my first Mayflower post about Cynthia Fitch Adams, this one is on Priscilla Sears Thompson. The Thompsons lived on Butternut Ridge Road. We have already posted about them. Now we will trace Priscilla Sears or Sares as it was sometimes listed. I had traced her back to Plymouth already I just needed some additional background on the family. It was off to Fairview Park branch of CCPL. They have an awesome collection of New England and Mayflower/Plymouth Colony Research books. Plus research materials on everything else pertaining to Genealogical/Historical research. The staff there is very helpful.
Now to the rest of the story. Priscilla was born on 31 September 1771 in Rochester MA , the oldest daughter of William and Betsey Wood Sears. Betsey was the second wife of William and bore him three of his seven children
Priscilla died on the 11th of February 1859 and is buried in Butternut Ridge Cemetery
William Sears was born in Rochester MA on the 14th of January 1726 second of the seven children of Paul Jr. and Charity Whittredge Sears. William first married Patience Parker in 1753 they had four children She died in 1768. He then married Betsey Wood in 1770. William died in Windham VT in about 1790. Paul Sears Jr. was born on the 21st of September 1695 in Yarmouth MA second of the twelve children of Paul and Mercy Freeman Sears. He married Charity in 1721 in Yarmouth. Paul Jr. died in Rochester MA in 1770. We will now follow the lineage of Mercy Freeman.
Mercy Freeman was born in Eastham MA on the 30th of October 1655. Mercy was the oldest of the ten children of Deacon Thomas and Rebecca Sparrow Freeman. Mercy married Paul Sears in 1693 She died in 1747 in Brewster MA. Deacon Thomas was the first Deacon of the church in Harwich MA He was very involved in Plymouth government. Thomas was the oldest of nine children born to Major John and Mercy Prence Freeman Thomas was born on the 16th of September 1653 in Eastham MA. Thomas married Rebecca in 1673 Thomas died in 1715 in Eastham MA We will now follow Mercy Prence.
Mercy Prence was born in Plymouth MA in 1631 the third of four children of Gov. Thomas and Patience Brewster Pence. Mercy and Maj. John were married in Eastham MA in 1649. They had eleven children. Mercy died in 1711 in Eastham MA
Patience Brewster was a daughter of Elder William and Mary Wentworth Brewster Elder Brewster was the religious leader of the Plymouth Colonies. He arrived on the first Mayflower landing
Thursday, August 27, 2015
The deed is not necessary as long as you prove who you are, it's you as a family has that right I just wasn't sure if anyone else thought of or has done this, I hope I helped in any way to enlighten someone to look into their family to help claim any empty graves they might have.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
OBITUARY. In the death of Mr. John ADAMS which occurred on the 15th of June, at West View, another of that little band of pioneers that settled northern Ohio has passed away. Another one of the Adams brothers is gone, only one of that family of seven --- who so narrowly escaped from the waters of Lake Erie in 1810 --- Ransom Adams of Olmsted Falls, now remains to tell of that terrible ordeal; and of the hardships and privations of pioneer life of that family.
John ADAMS was born in Waterbury, Conn., Aug 19, 1799, and in 1810 his father John ADAMS Sen., emigrated with his family to northern Ohio. When leaving Waterbury his family consisted of his wife and six children, five sons and one daughter, his oldest son Benoni, having preceded him, and one daughter Sally, remained in Ct. A young man by the name of Marshall BRONSON also accompanied them. But in the disaster at lake Erie his daughter Hannah was drowned , an account of which was published in the Advertiser in April of 1877.
After a Long and tedious journey of about eight weeks, filled with painful events, they reached Euclid sometime in Dec., where they remained until spring, when they removed to Columbia and settled on a farm near the south part of the township, then owned by Benoni. Here, in addition in addition to the many privations incident to a life in almost trackless forest, after the commencement of the war of 1812, they suffered much through fear of Indian assassins, whose treacherous designs were culminated by the influence of foreign foe, and whose hostility the defenseless pioneer was constantly in dread of. One incident as related by Mr. ADAMS of his own experience, may not be out of place here. One night when in his wakefulness from the excitement of the times, he was startled by the barking of a dog, and instead of savage whoop that he momentarily expected to hear, the sound of a well known neighbor's voice rang out through the forest in unmistakable accents --- turn out! turn out! the British and Indians are upon us. The whole family at once rallied and the work of decision as to their course was quickly accomplished. Which as to get together as soon as possible, the few families of the neighborhood, and go to some more thickly settled place. The journey was to be made with oxen, as this was the only team they had, and those were away in the woods, and where they knew not. But there was no time to be lost and as quickly as possible in darkness of the hour, for it was long after midnight, they scoured the woods and found the oxen, and hastily gathered together such necessaries as they could carry, and after concealing the remainder of their household effects, they formed a band and started for Hudson. But their progress was slow as the sun had advanced by some hours ere they started, they had gone but a few miles when, night over took them and arrangements were made for encampment. But the following day brought news of the cause of the alarm, which was only the landing of the prisoners at Cleveland at the time of Hull's surrender. The fugitives then returned to their homes with the exception of one or two families who proceeded to Hudson for safety.
Mr. ADAMS was raised a farmer and always followed that vocation, often working from the rising of the sun till the setting of same, and sometimes later. He was well acquainted with the hardships and privations in the life of the early settlers of the Western Reserve, and which the boys and girls of to-day are strangers to. He experienced religion when about twenty years of age, soon after united with the M. E. church remaining with them until 1844 when he withdrew and joined the Wesleyan Methodist church, with which connection he remained until his death.
He married on the 8th of March, 1820 to Miss Maria HOADLEY of Olmsted, a daughter of Maj. Lemuel HOADLEY, who was also one of the first settlers of Columbia and came from Plymouth, Ct., in 1807.
Mr. and Mrs. ADAMS had eight children and with the exception of one that died in infancy all are now living, six daughters and one son. They celebrated their golden wedding in 1870, and at the time of his death they had lived together for over 62 years. Of his virtues and good qualities it becomes us not to speak, nor is it necessary; no eulogy is more befitting than the memories left in the hearts of his friends and those who knew him best, and yet it is but justice to give credit where it is due in the mention of a few characteristics. In his habits he was steady and industrious, his manners quiet and retiring, and yet against that which he looked as wrong he was wont to speak in earnest terms, He was anti-slavery in the fullest sense and with him the use of tobacco and intoxicating drinks found no favor. He was greatly attached to his home not caring to seek society or recreation, and with the exception of attending church and the prayer meetings, or when he could be persuaded to go out for a visit occasionally, spent his evenings and leisure hours by his own fireside. His home after marriage (with exception of about 4 years), was in Olmsted, in which township he has been the owner of four different farms, and on one of which the last of forty years of his life was spent. Near the spot where he first settled after marriage, and on a part of the first farm he ever owned, is built the silent city --- that city of marble and granite, of flowers and shrubbery; whose turf has been so often watered with tears of sorrow, and where rest the remains of the sacred dead. Here is where rest the remains of his father and mother and two brothers, their wives and children; where an infant daughter and five grandchildren sleep their last sleep, and where now, he too, has been laid in his last resting place, and where after so many months of suffering he sleeps peacefully and rest is undisturbed.
In 1836 John sold his first farm (30 acres) to Charles Olmsted, for 600 dollars, who in turn sold the south east 1/2 acre to the Olmsted trustees for 1 dollar to be only used as a cemetery. This became part 1 of the 5 parts that make up Butternut Ridge Cemetery.
John and Maria are buried in Lot 194