Part 6 out of 11
legislation, originated in an amendment proposed by Judge Spalding, when
the first Reconstruction Bill of Thaddeus Stevens was presented.
In 1866, he was again re-elected to Congress, his national services, as
well as his fidelity to the local interests of his constituents, having
secured for him that distinguished compliment. In this Congress he
continued to occupy a prominent position, and was recognized as one of the
leading men on the Republican side, though not so thoroughly partizan as
to accept all the measures proposed in the name of the Republican party.
He differed occasionally with the dominant section of the party, when he
believed their zeal outran discretion and sound policy, and the judgment
of the country has in most cases pronounced him to have acted rightly. In
this Congress he served on the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee
on the Revision of the Laws of the United States, and upon the Joint
Committee on the Library of Congress. In the debates on the financial
questions that enlisted the attention of Congress at this session he took
a leading part, and in May, 1868, he delivered a speech on "The Political
and Financial condition of the Country," which took strong ground against
the unconstitutionality of the Legal Tenders, whilst approving the passage
of the Legal Tender Act as a measure of military necessity at the time.
With this Congress Judge Spalding's legislative career closed. The duties
of the position, always faithfully performed by him, were growing too
onerous, and at his time of life, though still full of activity and
healthy vigor, it was urged that he should enjoy more ease than was
possibly consistent with his idea of a proper fulfillment of the trust of
member of Congress. He therefore wrote a letter to his constituents
several months before the period of nomination, positively declining a
renomination, and withdrawing from public life.
The determination of Judge Spalding to withdraw from active political life
was a matter of surprise and regret to his colleagues in Congress, who had
learned to value his sound judgment, ripe scholarship, earnest patriotism,
and great legislative ability. It was a positive loss to the people of the
Eighteenth Ohio District, for never had the interests of that district
been better cared for. To Cleveland, especially, he proved in reality a
representative member. The wishes of his constituents were promptly
attended to, their interests carefully guarded, and no stone left unturned
in the endeavor to benefit the city and its people. In the Congressional
session and out of it, he was ever on the watch for opportunities to
advance the interests of his constituents, and in complying with the daily
requests for advice and assistance, he did so, not grudgingly or
reluctantly, but with earnestness and hearty good will, as if it were a
matter of his own personal concern. The withdrawal of Judge Spalding from
public political life, was a loss to the national councils in which he had
achieved distinction, but was a still greater loss to the constituency he
Judge Spalding has returned to the legal profession, of which he ranks
among the brightest lights, and finds in its practice, and in the quiet
enjoyment of social and domestic life, a satisfaction which his public
career, brilliant as it was, failed to give. In his seventy-second year,
he is yet in the full enjoyment of all his faculties, physical and mental,
and is the picture of sound health and mental vigor.
Judge Spalding has been married twice. In October, 1822, he was married to
Lucretia A. Swift, oldest daughter of his preceptor in legal studies.
Seven children were born of this marriage, of whom but three yet live:
Col. Zeph. S. Spalding, United States Consul at Honolulu, Brevet Captain
George S. Spalding, First Lieutenant 33d U. S. Infantry, and Mrs. Lucretia
McIlrath, wife of Charles McIlrath, of St. Paul, Minnesota. In January,
1859, Judge Spalding was married to his present wife, oldest daughter of
Dr. William S. Pierson, of Windsor, Connecticut.
W. S. C. Otis.
W. S. C. Otis was born in Cummington, Hampshire county, Massachusetts,
August 24th, 1808. His father was a farmer in narrow circumstances, who,
owing to the loss of property, was able to bestow upon his children only
such an education as could be obtained in the district schools of a purely
agricultural district. Books were scarce, and as poor in quality as meagre
in quantity; but being a lad with literary tastes, a desire for
information, and an omnivorous appetite for reading, every book that fell
in the way of young Otis was eagerly seized and its contents ravenously
devoured. The life of a poor farmer, with its ceaseless drudgery and petty
needs, was distasteful to the lad, and he was anxious to obtain a
collegiate education, and thus become fitted to fight the battle of life
with brain instead of muscle. His ambition was not discouraged by his
father, but there was a great difficulty in the way of its
gratification--the want of money. Mr. Otis was utterly unable to give his
son any pecuniary assistance, though ready to resign his claim on his
son's time; an important sacrifice when the demands of a large family and
the straitness of his means are taken into consideration. Application was
made for admission to West Point Military Academy, but unfortunately a
Congressman's son was also a candidate for the appointment, and of course
the friendless son of a poor struggling farmer had to go to the wall. This
was a heavy blow and sore discouragement.
When the subject of this sketch was about seventeen or eighteen years old
his father emigrated to Ohio, leaving his son behind with only forty
dollars in money, who, after making arrangements with his brother, W. A.
Otis, to furnish him such pecuniary aid as he might need, proceeded to fit
himself for college under the Rev. Roswell Hawks, of Cummington, devoting
only one year to preparation, and entered Williams College in the Fall of
1826. In order to lighten the burden upon his brother, he taught school
two Winters during his college course, and graduated in the autumn of
1830, among the best scholars of the class.
Before graduating, he was appointed principal of Gates' Academy, in
Marlborough, Massachusetts, and entered upon the duties of the
appointment; but at the expiration of the year he followed the rest of the
family to Ohio, and in the month of September, 1831, commenced reading law
with Whittlesey & Newton, of Canfield, Ohio. In September, 1833, he was
admitted to the Bar, and immediately commenced the practice of the law in
Ravenna, Portage county, where he continued to reside till 1840.
In June, 1840, after the county of Summit was organized, Mr. Otis moved to
Akron, where he resided and continued to practice his profession until
January, 1854. While a resident of Summit county he was elected
Prosecuting Attorney of the county for two years. He also filled the
position of president of the Akron Bank, from its organization, till
January, 1854, and was a member of the Board of Control of the State Bank
of Ohio, and member of the Convention which formed the present
Constitution of the State of Ohio. While a member of the Convention he
devised and reported to that body the scheme for the apportionment of the
members of the House of Representatives, which, with slight modifications,
was adopted into the Constitution, and is now the system in this State.
While a member of the Constitutional Convention, he acquired a distaste
for political life, and resolved to abandon it, a resolution to which he
has since constantly adhered.
In January, 1854, Mr. Otis was elected vice-president of the Cleveland and
Pittsburgh Railroad Company, and in order to better perform the duties of
the position, he removed to Cleveland, taking charge of the operations of
the road and the finances of the Company. In the Winter of 1854 and 1855,
he was tendered the presidency of the Bellefontaine and Indiana Railroad
Company, but declined, and in the Spring of 1855, resumed the practice of
his profession. Soon afterwards he was elected the Solicitor of the
Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad Company, and continued to act as such
until he resigned the position in May, 1869, and since that time he has
confined himself strictly to the practice of law.
As a lawyer Mr. Otis ranks high in his profession, having a very extensive
knowledge of the law in all its ramifications, and a readiness in the
application of his knowledge that enables him to baffle and confound his
opponents without descending to mere pettifogging.
For many years he has been a member either of the Congregational or
Presbyterian churches in the places in which he has resided; and has
always taken great pleasure in studying the Bible, and great satisfaction
in teaching it to others, hence the secret of the spotless morality and
unswerving integrity he has maintained through life.
Mr. Otis was married in January, 1836, to Hannah, daughter of the late G.
Mygatt, and sister of George Mygatt, of Cleveland. She died without issue
in April, 1840. In November, 1842, he was married to Laura L., daughter of
the late Judge Lyman, of Ravenna.
Franklin J. Dickman.
Franklin J. Dickman is a native of Petersburg, Virginia, where his
parents have long resided. At the age of sixteen he entered the Junior
class of Brown University, at Providence, Rhode Island, and at the age of
eighteen graduated with the salutatory honors of his class. In the same
class were the Hon. S. S. Cox, Lieutenant Governor Francis Wayland, of
Connecticut, and the Rev. James C. Fletcher, now so well known for his
travels in Brazil.
On leaving college Mr. Dickman studied law in the office of the late
Charles F. Tillinghest and ex-Chief Justice Bradley, at Providence, and
after completing his studies he commenced the practice of his profession
in the same city, continuing with success until he removed to Cleveland.
His entry on public life was early. In 1857, the Democracy of Rhode
Island selected him as their candidate for Attorney General of the State,
and it is a noticeable fact that although running on the Democratic
ticket, he received almost the entire colored vote of the State. In 1858,
he was appointed a member of the Board of Visitors to the Military Academy
at West Point, and was chosen Secretary of the Board. In that capacity he
drew up the report of the Board for that year, which was subsequently
published by order of the Secretary of War.
In December, 1858, he removed to Cleveland, rightly considering that its
growth and prosperity, and the important cases continually arising out of
its commercial business, rendered it a good field for a man of knowledge
and of energy to put that knowledge to account. He entered on the
practice of his profession with zeal, and speedily reaped his reward in a
Up to the breaking out of the war Mr. Dickman had acted with the
Democratic party, but when treason culminated with rebellion, he joined
those of his political associates who disregarded party lines and united
with the Republicans in forming the Union party. Although fitted for
college with Roger A. Pryor, of Petersburg, and though his parents
remained in Petersburg during the war, Mr. Dickman took strong ground
against the rebellion and all who gave it encouragement.
In 1861, he was nominated for member of the State Legislature from this
city, and was elected by a large majority. In that body he was made
chairman of the Committee on Railroads and also placed on the Judiciary
Committee. In the latter capacity the subject of military arrests came
under his notice, and his speech on that subject was considered so able
and exhaustive an exposition of that subject that it was published at
the request of the Judiciary Committee and widely circulated through
At the close of his legislative term he formed a law partnership with
Judge Spalding, which still continues, and re-entered assiduously on the
duties of his profession, devoting most of his attention to admirality,
marine insurance, and patent cases. In these he has been very successful.
In 1867, President Johnson appointed Mr. Dickman United States District
Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. The appointment was received
with satisfaction by all shades of political opinions, and Mr. Dickman
continued to perform its duties to, the approbation of all having business
with the court until early in 1869, when he resigned the position in
order to confine himself more closely to his private practice. It is
admitted on all sides that the duties of his office were faithfully and
ably performed. Of the great number of criminal cases brought before the
court by him only two escaped conviction, thus evidencing the merit, care
and attention given to the getting up of the cases for trial. Such
uniformity in securing conviction is very unusual.
Mr. Dickman is a gentleman of fine literary tastes, extensive reading, and
rare classical attainments. The relaxation from his legal duties is found
mainly in his library among the highest class of authors. His frequent
orations for the literary societies of Brown University and the University
of Michigan, and other occasions, have been marked by scholarly finish and
have always been received with approval. During the existence of the
Knickerbocker Magazine, before its decadence, he contributed to its pages
a series of valuable articles on "Butler's Horae Juridical," and on "The
Revolution of 1688."
Cherishing a high ideal of professional attainments and ability, Mr.
Dickman has realized it to a degree remarkable for a young man. With
ample acquirements he has clear conceptions, and broad views of the
principles of legal science, frequently never attained by older lawyers,
even after a large and life-long practice. His habits of study are wisely
methodized, so as to husband time, and make his efforts tell without
waste upon results.
A very marked feature also in his character, is a rigorous but highly
intelligent economy. Upon a limited practice in Rhode Island, before
coming to Cleveland, he not only sustained himself, but accumulated a
considerable sum as a basis upon which he could rely with honorable
independence in a new field. This was done in circumstances in which
multitudes of young men at this day, would by self-indulgence and lavish
outlay, have become embarrassed by debt.
The example of a wise economy in one familiar with the first social
surroundings--an economy supplying means for a rich and broad literary
culture, under the guidance of liberal tastes, yet rigid as to
self-control--but ever avoiding parsimony, is far too rare among young men
in this lavish and wasteful age. The young man who shows what enlightened
self-control, what high probity and fidelity to the details of little
wants and expenditures can do to lift a man high above debt, to thrift and
self-reliance, is a valuable citizen, exerting an influence as wholesome
as it is wise, manly, and rare.
Mr. Dickman, in his mental growth, aims at the solid, rather than the
merely sensational; the lasting, rather than the transient. Gifted
naturally with vigorous and admirably balanced powers, the right use of
which has enriched him already with ample mental furniture, and with
habits the most exemplary, and a high character, established upon an
intelligent religions basis, the future to him is full of promise of the
most honorable achievements.
In 1862, Mr. Dickman was married to Miss Annie E. Niel, daughter of Robert
Neil, of Columbus, Ohio, and has two children living.
James M. Jones.
The subject of this sketch is the third son of Thomas and Mary Ann Jones,
who emigrated from England to the United States, and settled in Cleveland
in the Spring of 1831, where they still reside, They were the parents of
nine sons and four daughters, all of whom, save one son and one daughter,
are still living.
James Milton Jones enjoyed only such moderate advantages in the way of
education as were afforded by the common and high schools of the day, and
by the classical and English school of the late lamented and most
accomplished educator, H. D. Beattie, A. M.; but his memory was good, he
was a close student, and he therefore readily and easily familiarized
himself with the studies in which he engaged. He early manifested unusual
taste and fondness for composition, and his inclination and talent in that
direction were much cultivated and improved by assiduous study of the best
standard works in prose and poetry.
On leaving school he became interested as a partner in the marble
manufactory of T. Jones & Sons, and acquired a practical knowledge of the
business, but never applied himself very closely to its duties.
He joined various literary and forensic societies about the year 1850,
composed of some of the best literary and professional talent among the
young men of the city, where essays, poems, and discussions on all topics
of the day were embraced in the order of exercises; and he soon became
marked for his thorough preparation of and familiarity with the subjects
of debate, and regarded as a speaker of more than ordinary promise.
He became a frequent contributor, (but never in his own name,) in prose
and poetry, to the literary, as well as the daily papers of the day, and
especially to the daily Plain Dealer, of which the late J. W. Gray, Esq.,
was then the accomplished and witty editor, and by whom Mr. Jones was much
encouraged, and his contributions frequently commended. As specimens of
his poetic contributions, we give the following. It should be noted that
with his entry on the actual duties of professional life, Mr. Jones bade a
final adieu to the muses:
In this deep shady dell,
Where the soft breezes swell,
And beautiful wood-sprites by pearly streams wander--
Where the sweet perfume breathes,
O'er angel twined wreaths,
Luxuriantly blooming the mossy trees under--
Here, beneath the bright vine
Whose leaves intertwine,
I'm dreaming of thee, my lost Angeline!
Oh! I think of the time--
Of the warm spring time,
When with thee I've wandered, and with thee I've dallied;
E're my soul had once dreamed
That the roses which seemed
So fadeless, could leave thy warm cheek cold and pallid,
Or thy dear form decline,
From its radiance divine,
To press the cold grave sod, my own Angeline!
While the pale starlight laves,
With its shadowy waves,
A brow, that with memory's anguish is throbbing;
Each quivering leaf,
Seems trembling with grief,
That's borne on the zephyr's low sorrowful sobbing.
For that dear form of thine,
So oft pressed to mine,
My angel-claimed lost one, my own Angeline!
As the stream leaps along,
And I list to its song,
It sounds like the surging of sorrow's dark river;
When o'er my young bride,
Passed its dark rolling tide,
And bore her away from my bosum forever;
Yes; bore thee to shine
In regions divine,
Resplendently lovely, and pure, Angeline!
And _there_, as I gaze
On its bright sparkling face,
Where pearly white ripples are merrily gleaming,
Reflecting each star
That shines from afar,
The face of my lost one seems tenderly beaming;
Yes! there beside mine,
Are thy features benign,
By memory mirrored, my own Angeline!
As I gently recline,
'Neath the clustering vine,
The veil from futurity's vista is lifted,
And adown life's wild tide,
I rapidly glide,
And into eternity's ocean am drifted;
And there, soul of mine
In regions divine,
I meet thee, to part _nevermore_, Angeline!
A Wreck! A Wreck! "Man the Life Boat."
The blackness of midnight hung over the ocean,
And savagely, shrilly, the Storm Spirit screamed.
Athwart the dark billows, which wild in commotion,
Sublimely, yet awfully, heavenward streamed.
A bark that but rode from her moorings at morning,
'Neath bright sunny skies, and prosperous gales,
With streamlet and banner, in beauty adorning
Her tapering masts and snowy white sails,
Now rolls in the trough of the tempest-plowed surges!
A wreck! madly urged to a rocky bound shore;
Where from the dark jaws of wild ocean emerges,
To fear-stricken hearts its ominous roar
Her sails are in ribbons, her banners in tatters!
Her masts are afloat from the perilous wreck,
And now o'er the billows the Tempest Fiend scatters
With one mighty effort her hurricane deck!
The voice of the clarion-toned captain is ringing,
Above the hoarse murmuring roar of the surge,
And an echoing voice, seems sepulchrally flinging,
Far back o'er the waves, for the vessel, a dirge.
And now the doomed vessel is beating and crashing,
With violence on the dark, rough, rugged rocks;
And the tempest-tossed surge, while resistlessly dashing
Around her, each effort to save her but mocks.
The lightnings play luridly, fiercely above her,
Illuming with horror the wind-cloven waves!
Displaying the wreck, as their flashes discover,
The victims despairingly gaze on their graves.
For forked and furious, the fiery flung flashes,
Gleam o'er the sad wreck like a funeral pyre;
And louder and louder each thunder clap crashes.
The air in a roar! the billows on fire!
The heart-anguished cries o'er the pitiless waters,
Are borne on the blast of the thunder-rocked air,
As husbands and wives, as sons and as daughters,
Unite in a wild shrieking wail of despair.
But now from the moss covered fisherman's dwelling,
The _Life-Boat_ is manned by the chivalrous brave!
Though the wild howling storm of the tempest is swelling,
They'll peril their own lives, the wrecked ones to save.
And now to the merciless surges they launch her,
And back she is flung to the white-pebbled beach!
Now cleaves the wild surf, for never a stauncher,
Or braver crew mounted a deadlier breach.
Now swift o'er the waves madly bounding and dashing!
The nobly manned life-boat speeds on her lone way,
Now sinks she below, the waves o'er her splashing,
Now cleaves like arrow, the white foaming spray.
And now for a moment she's hid from our vision,
As darkness, and thick gloom enshroud her frail form;
A flash! and we see that the life-saving mission,
Still skims o'er the waves like a Bird of the Storm.
Hurrah! they have triumphed! the wrecked ones no longer
Resignedly list to the ocean's hoarse roar;
But now with strong arms, that bright Hope has made stronger,
They pull with a hearty good-will for the shore.
Hurrah! and Hurrah! on the whirlwind's commotion,
And the howl of the storm, uprose cheers from the land;
From hearts throbbing wildly with grateful emotion,
As safely she reaches the surf-beaten strand.
The AEronaut's Song.
Up! up! from the ground, for the chords that bound
Us to earth are rent in twain;
And our Aerial boat shall gracefully float,
Far, far, o'er the sea and main.
O'er the forest trees, on the rippling breeze,
We'll proudly soar away:
And higher and higher, will still aspire,
Toward realms of endless day.
To regions on high, like an arrow we fly,
Through limitless fields of air;
And away apace, through trackless space,
The giddiest flight we dare.
Earth's brilliance fades, and her everglades
Assumes a softer hue;
Her hills and dales, her lake gemmed vales
Are glorious to the view.
Meandering round enchanted ground,
Earth's crystal rivers seem;
So far below to brightly flow,
Like liquid silver's stream.
Her cloud capped hills o'er rocks and rills,
That proudly seem to stand,
Now fade like gleams in passing dreams
Of lovely fairy land.
Yet on we mount to the drainless fount,
Of wild tempestuous storms;
And our fairy shrouds now kiss the clouds;
In all their varied forms.
Proud man, who at birth was king of the earth,
Soon made himself lord of the sea;
And now we arise to empyrean skies,
For kings of the air are we.
Grim centuries old to the past have rolled,
Since the stars from chaos-woke;
Yet no earth-born sound hath this deep, profound
And solemn silence broke.
The highest note of the lark ne'er floats
To this region of sunless cloud;
Nor hath eagle bird the silence stir'd,
With his screaming, shrill and loud.
Yet our joyous song, as we sweep along
In pathless realms afloat,
Rings on the air and trembles there,
From out our fairy boat.
On eddying waves a thousand caves,
Where Aerial spirits throng,
Repeat each tone as though they'd known
Our unfamiliar song.
O'er billowy seas with fresh'ning breeze,
'Tis glorious oft to roam;
And joy to mark a graceful bark,
Divide the salt sea foam:
And joy to wake at morning break,
When huntsman's bugle sounds,
And gaily lead on fiery steed,
In chase of deer and hounds.
But moonlight sail with fresh'ning gale,
Or merry chase afar,
Can ne'er compare with flight through air,
In our Aerial Car.
Early in 1853, Mr. Gray, who was also then postmaster, offered him a
position in the Cleveland post-office, which he accepted, and entered upon
its duties; but at the end of two months, being dissatisfied with the dull
routine and monotony of such an occupation, he threw up his position; and
having, on the very day he left the post-office, decided to adopt the
legal profession, before night he had secured a position in the law office
of Charles Stetson, Esq., then in large and active practice, and had
entered upon the study of the law, where he continued for over a year and
a half, pursuing his studies with assiduity and success. He then entered
the law office of Hon. William Collins and pursued his studies with him
until June, 1855, when he was admitted to the Bar by the District Court in
Delaware, Delaware county, Ohio.
[Illustration: Yours Very Truly, James M. Jones.]
Shortly after his admission to the Bar, he was retained as leading
counsel for the defence in the famous "Townsend McHenry" extradition case,
a proceeding pending before U. S. Commissioner Grannis, on the charge that
the prisoner, who claimed to be Robert McHenry, was no other than the
notorious William Townsend, a well known, desperate Canadian highway
robber and murderer; and in this Mr. Jones attracted attention by the
skill with which he managed it. Indeed, it became necessary to send to
Canada for several successive lots of witnesses, before they could make a
case. The prisoner was, however, taken to Canada and put upon his trial
for murder as William Townsend, the sole question on the trial being one
of identity; and a more extraordinary trial in that respect cannot be
found in history. And although on the trial about one hundred witnesses
testified to his being the veritable William Townsend, he was,
nevertheless, able to produce a still larger number of equally credible
witnesses to testify that they knew Townsend, and this was not the man,
and also such an array of circumstances as satisfied the jury he was not
the man, and he was acquitted!
Mr. Jones was nominated by the Republican party of Cleveland as judge of
the City Court, in 1857, but in common with the entire ticket, was
defeated. He was an early adherent of the old Liberty party, and a warm
advocate on the stump and elsewhere, of the election of John C. Fremont to
the Presidency, and a firm supporter of Lincoln's administration.
He was appointed Attorney for the Western Union Telegraph Company, one of
the largest corporations in the United States, in the year 1865, and has
ever since continued, as such attorney, to have charge and supervision of
a large and peculiar legal business for the company, extending over the
various States and Territories embraced in what is known as the Central
Division of the territory covered by its lines. He has made telegraph law
a speciality for several years, and has probably had as large and extended
experience in that comparatively new and peculiar branch of the law as any
other attorney in the country.
He was elected Prosecuting Attorney for the county of Cuyahoga, in the
Fall of 1867, and was distinguished during his term for the zeal,
fidelity, and ability with which he discharged his officiai duties. It
fell to his lot to prosecute many important and difficult criminal cases;
prominent among them was the trial of Sarah M. Victor, for the murder, by
poison, of her brother, William Parquette. The case was peculiar and
remarkable; the murdered man had lain in his grave a whole year before
suspicions were aroused that his death was caused by foul play; slight
circumstances directed attention to suspicious appearances in the case,
which a quiet investigation did not diminish. The prosecutor, therefore,
caused the body to be secretly disinterred, and engaged J. L. Cassells, an
accomplished chemist, to subject the body to a chemical analysis, which on
being done, arsenic in sufficient quantity to produce death was found in
the stomach and other internal organs. Her arrest for murder, therefore,
immediately took place. The circumstances of the case were well calculated
to arouse an intense interest in the public mind as to the result of the
trial. The facts that the alleged poisoner was a woman, that the murdered
man was her own brother, that her own sister was supposed to be an
important witness against her, that the murder, if murder it was, was in
the highest degree cruel, mercenary, and devilish, that at the time of her
arrest she was prominently connected with religious and benevolent
institutions of the city, though it was well known she had previously led
an irregular life, and the profound secrecy in which the dark deed had
slumbered for a whole year, all seemed to concur in riveting public
attention upon it; and yet, previous to the trial, the belief was
prevalent in the community generally, as well as among the members of the
Bar, that however guilty the prisoner might be, she would not be
convicted. In this belief the prosecutor did not share, but at once went
to work with his accustomed energy to unravel the evidences of the great
crime; and for many weeks, with an energy that never flagged, himself and
his assistant, H. B. DeWolf, Esq., patiently and persistently explored the
dark secrets of her life, examined hundreds of witnesses, and inextricably
wound the coils of evidence around her.
The case, which was tried in the May term of the Court of Common Pleas,
1868, lasted fourteen days, was fully reported phonographically, and made
about twenty-seven hundred pages of testimony, which was pronounced, when
closed on the part of the State, "a marvelous net-work of circumstantial
The case was closed by Mr. Jones in an able and conclusive speech of six
hours in length. The prisoner was convicted by the jury after but a
brief deliberation, and she was sentenced to be hanged, but her sentence
was afterward commuted to imprisonment for life. In numerous other
important and warmly contested criminal cases Mr. Jones has been almost
uniformly successful, displaying in them all, much tact, self-possession,
and legal ability.
Mr. Jones was married at Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, February
8th, 1860, by the Rev. Luther Lee, to Ermina W., daughter of Harmon and
Leonora Barrows, of the latter place.
Citizens of Cleveland are justly proud of their Public Schools, and of the
system of education under which they are conducted, but yet the history of
these schools, until within a few years, was one of struggle against
parsimony and prejudice. It was only by persistent efforts on the part of
a few public-spirited citizens, who believed that money spent in educating
the masses is the best investment that can possibly be made, that the
Public School system of Cleveland has attained its present excellence, and
the miserable make-shift school buildings, in which the children of the
city were taught have given place to the large, convenient and elegant
buildings of the present.
The first public school of Cleveland, the "Cleveland Free School," was
established in March, 1830, "for the education of male and female children
of every religious denomination," and was supported by the city. It was
held for years in the basement of the Bethel church, which was then a
frame building, measuring forty by thirty feet, situated at the corner of
Diamond street and Superior Street hill. In 1837, the average number of
pupils in attendance was ninety males and forty-six females. There were
also the Young Ladies' Seminary, or the old "Academy," on St. Clair
street, presided over by Miss Harrison, and the Cleveland Female Seminary,
in Farmer's Block, corner of Ontario and Prospect streets, incorporated
April, 1837, with Henry Sexton, Benjamin Rouse, H. H. Dodge, A. P. Smith,
and A. Wheeler as trustees. At that date, Ohio City supported two district
and one free school, but the attendance is not recorded.
The story of the growth of the school system of the State and of its local
development in the city of Cleveland is mainly told in the biography of
Mr. Harvey Rice, on pages following this, and in the preceding pages which
sketch the history of Mr. Charles Bradburn. All that is necessary to be
given here, is a brief summary of some of the leading events in the
history of the Cleveland Public Schools as prepared by one who took a
leading part in their organization and development.
The Public Schools were organized under the city charter in 1837, and the
control vested in a board of five school managers, elected by the Council.
The chairman of the board was styled the acting manager, and was secretary
and Superintendant of repairs and of discipline. This original arrangement
was succeeded in 1853, by a board of seven members, appointed by the
Council. In 1854, when Cleveland and Ohio City were united, another change
occurred. One member of the school board from each of the eleven Wards was
chosen by the Council. In 1856, the number was reduced to five, and
finally, in 1859, by authority of a law of the State, the members of the
Board of Education, one from each Ward, were elected by the people, for
the term of one year, which was extended to two years in 1862, and so
remains to the present time. The powers of the board were greatly enlarged
by a law passed in the Spring of 1869.
Charles Bradburn was the first acting manager, secretary and
superintendent, assisted and encouraged by a few warm friends of
education, chief of whom, at this time, was Geo. Willey. In 1840, Mr.
Andrew Freese was employed as principal teacher, and soon became actual
superintendent, though not formally clothed with that authority until
several years afterwards. In the meantime, school buildings were erected
on Prospect street, Rockwell street, West St. Clair street and Kentucky
street, (West Side).
For several years the course of instruction was quite limited, and of low
grade. The school buildings, then supposed to be large and commodious,
were soon crowded with scholars very much mixed, as to standing, and
moving forward amid much confusion. In 1841, the second stories of the
Prospect street and Bockwell street buildings were converted into grammar
schools of a higher grade. The West St. Clair street school was the first
one arranged for the improved grading of primary and secondary schools in
In 1850, the board directed Mr. Freese to exercise a general
superintendence over the classification, instruction and discipline in all
the grammar and subordinate schools, but no superintendent was authorized
by law, until 1853. It was full time that some authority should be
introduced to correct the abuses which had insensibly and unavoidably
crept into the discipline and course of instruction, and vigorous
enforcement of strict rules brought out a fierce opposition from anxious,
but ill-informed and partial parents, who felt provoked and discouraged by
the discovery that their children were in classes far ahead of their
actual qualifications and must be put back to be more thoroughly drilled
in preparatory studies. Gradually confusion gave place to order, scholars
were ranked as near as could be according to their actual standing; the
grades arranged as Primary, Secondary, Intermediate and Grammar
departments, the entire course consummated in the East and West High
Schools. But all this was the work of immense labor, extending through
years of ceaseless effort and expense, little anticipated by the people,
or perhaps by the hopeful projectors of the system, when they so manfully
entered upon the undertaking. Twenty-six years ago the entire corps of
teachers numbered only fifteen. In 1848, they had increased to twenty. In
that year, children under six years of age were excluded, to the great
disgust of many fond mothers who thought the public school the very best
place to keep the troublesome young ones out of their way.
Under the general school law a portion of the taxes collected was set
apart for the support of the schools, while a special fund for school
buildings was raised, from time to time, by direct taxation, or by
loan, and buildings erected in the different Wards as the city
increased in extent.
In 1846, the East High School was opened in the basement of the old
Universalist Church (now the Plymouth Church) on Prospect street, near
Erie street. A strong opposition was made to this advanced step. It was
objected to as illegal, which it actually was, though that was soon
remedied; and as unnecessary and unreasonable.
It is gratifying to know that many of those strenuous opponents are
now among the warm friends of the High Schools, and justly proud of
Richard Fry, then Principal of the West St Clair school, distinguished
himself by his writings through the press, and his speeches at public
meetings, in advocating the claims of the High School, and thus powerfully
sustained its friends in their unpopular contest. The law authorizing a
High School limited the whole course to two years, and required one year's
previous attendance at one of the grammar schools.
In 1851, a regular course of instruction was adopted, extending to three
years, but still confined to English studies. In 1856, the Latin and
Greek languages were introduced, and in 1859, the German was added to
the full course. These ancient and foreign languages were optional with
the students, as well as the French language, which was introduced some
The first graduated class consisted of ten scholars, eight of whom
afterwards became teachers. Indeed, it soon became evident that the High
School was not only the best, but almost the only reliable source of
supplying teachers for the subordinate schools, which were fast
increasing. The extreme difficulty of procuring competent and reliable
teachers had, all along, been one of the greatest embarrassments in
carrying forward a course of instruction, extensive, thorough, and
heretofore almost unknown west of the mountains.
The original design of one central High School was found to be unsuited to
the extended territory on both sides of the river, and two High Schools
The East High School building was completed and opened in 1856. The West
High School was first opened in the Kentucky street building, and
continued there for several years, until in 1861, the new building was
In 1861, Mr. Freese was relieved from the superintendency which had become
too laborious for his declining health, and L. M. Oviatt took the
management for two years, when he was succeeded by Anson Smyth, formerly
State Superintendent. On his resignation, Mr. Andrew J. Rickoff, of
Cincinnati, was called to the position. Under his management important
changes in the classification and management of the schools have been
The prominence given to Messrs Bradburn, Willey and Freese, in the history
of the public schools, is not intended to disparage or undervalue the
services rendered by many others, without whose hearty and efficient
co-operation the whole undertaking would have failed. Prominent among these
cooperators were J. D. Cleveland, J. Fitch, Dr. Maynard, Harvey Rice, Bev.
J. A. Thome, T. P. Handy, W. D. Beattie, (since deceased,) R. B. Dennis,
Ansel Roberts, L. M. Oviatt, and Thos. Jones, Jr.
In 1868, there were eighteen male, and one hundred and thirty-nine female
teachers employed in the public schools of the city, making an aggregate
of one hundred and fifty seven. The total number of pupils enrolled was
10,154. The average number belonging to the schools, 7060, and the average
daily attendance, 6623.
[Illustration: Yours Truly, Harvey Rice]
In the Ohio Educational Monthly for April, 1860, appeared a pretty full
biography of Hon. Harvey Rice, who has filled an important position in
connection with the educational interests of Ohio. From that account we
learn that Mr. Rice is a native of Massachusetts. He was born June 11th,
1800. In 1824, he graduated from Williams College, and the same year
removed to Cleveland. He came to Ohio a stranger and without influential
friends here or elsewhere to aid his efforts for advancement. When he
landed at Cleveland he owned nothing but the clothes he wore, and three
dollars in his pocket. At that time Cleveland contained but 400
Making no disclosure as to the low state of his treasury and the rather
dull prospect for an immediate replenishing of the same, he took lodgings
at the best public house the town afforded, at the rate of two dollars and
a half per week. At the expiration of one week he paid his board bill and
removed to a private boarding-house, with but fifty cents left, and
commenced teaching a classical school in the old academy on St. Clair
street. About the same time he commenced the study of the law under the
direction of Reuben Wood, then a prominent member of the Cleveland Bar,
and at the expiration of two years was admitted to practice, and entered
into copartnership with his former instructor, which continued until Mr.
Wood was elected to the Bench.
In 1829, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and in 1830, elected to
represent his district in the State Legislature. Soon after, without
solicitation on his part, he was appointed an agent for the sale of the
Western Reserve school lands, a tract of fifty-six thousand acres,
situated in the Virginia Military District. He opened a land office at
Millersburgh, in Holmes county, for the sales, and in the course of three
years sold all the lands, and paid the avails, nearly one hundred and
fifty thousand dollars, into the State Treasury, as a school fund for the
exclusive benefit of educating the children of the Western Reserve, the
interest of which is now annually paid by the State for that purpose.
In 1833, Mr. Rice returned to Cleveland, and was appointed Clerk of the
Common Pleas and Supreme Courts, an office in which he faithfully served
for seven years, and in 1834 and 1836, was nominated by the Democratic
Convention as a candidate for Congress, and received the united support of
the party, though without expectation of success, as the Democrats were
largely in the minority. He was the first Democrat ever sent to the
Legislature from Cuyahoga county, and, while serving in that body, was
considered one of its ablest and most influential members. He was
appointed by the House one of the select committee for revising the
statutes of the State, and while in that capacity, introduced and
advocated with acknowledged ability many new provisions, which still
retain their place upon our statute book.
The natural abilities of Mr. Rice are of a very high order. His mind is
thoroughly disciplined and cultivated, and for the comparatively short
time he practiced at the Bar, he obtained an enviable reputation for legal
ability, sound, practical, discriminating judgment and gentlemanly
He is well known as an able contributor to many of the best periodicals of
the day, and is a graceful and exceedingly vigorous writer. His
imagination is rich and glowing, and his mind well stored by a long and
judicious course of mental training. We have seen some articles of Mr.
Rice's which compare favorably with those of the best writers of the day.
The following, which we find in the "Nineteenth Century," we take the
liberty of publishing here, and look upon it as a meritorious and
The Moral Hero.
With heart that trusteth still,
Set high your mark;
And though with human ill
The warfare may be dark,
Resolve to conquer, and you will!
Resolve, then onward press,
Fearless and true:
Believe it--Heaven will bless
The brave--and still renew
Your hope and courage in distress.
Press on, nor stay to ask
For friendship's aid;
Deign not to wear a mask
Nor wield a coward's blade,
But still persist, though hard the task.
Rest not--inglorious rest
Unnerves the man;
Struggle--'tis God's behest!
Fill up life's little span
With God-like deeds--it is the test--
Test of the high-born soul,
And lofty aim;
The test in History's scroll
Of every honored name--None
but the brave shall win the goal'
Go act the hero's part,
And in the strife,
Strike with the hero's heart
For liberty and life--
Ay, strike for Truth; preserve her chart'
Her chart unstain'd preserve,
'Twill guide you right.
Press on and never swerve,
But keep your armer bright,
And struggle still with firmer nerve.
What though the tempest rage,
Buffet the sea!
Where duty calls, engage:
And ever striving be
The moral hero of the Age!
In the fall of 1851, Mr. Rice was put in nomination for the State Senate,
and was elected by a majority exceeding seven hundred votes.
The General Assembly to which he was now returned, was the first that
convened under the new Constitution. Upon this body devolved the
responsibility of reconstructing the statutes of the State, and adapting
them to the requisition of the Constitution, so as to secure to the people
the practical benefits of the great reforms which had been achieved by its
adoption. Mr. Rice contributed quite as much as any other member to the
important legislation of the two sessions held by that General Assembly.
It was said of him that he _was always at his post_. The degree of
influence which he exercised as a legislator, was such as few have the
good fortune to wield.
Among the variety of measures which engaged his attention, he took a
prominent part in procuring the passage of the act which authorized the
establishment of two additional lunatic asylums in the State.
His course in relation to the subject of common schools attracted public
attention throughout the State, and called forth from the press
commendations of a very complimentary character. The correspondent of a
paper published at Newark, writing from Columbus, remarks as follows:
Senator Rice, of Cuyahoga, has in charge a bill for the reorganization
of schools and providing for their supervision.
No better man than Mr. Rice could have been selected for this work. He
is a model man and a model Senator. Clear headed, sound minded,
carefully and fully educated, with a painstaking disposition, he is the
ablest chairman of the standing committee on schools that any Ohio
Legislature ever had. Deeply impressed with the great importance of the
subject--of the stern necessity which exists for basing our whole
republican form of government on the intelligence of the people, he has
carefully provided a bill, which, if enacted into a law, will give a
good _common_ school education to every child in the State, and in so
doing, has been equally careful that the money raised for that purpose
be not squandered. The bill provides for a State Commissioner of Common
Schools, and it has been mentioned to me as a matter of deep regret,
that the Constitution excludes Mr. Rice from being a candidate for that
office--no member of the Legislature being eligible to an office created
while he was a member, until one year after the expiration of his term
On the question of the final passage of the bill, Mr. Rice addressed the
Senate in a concluding speech, which was published, and very generally
noticed by the press. Among these notices, a leading paper published at
Cleveland, with a magnanimity rarely possessed by a political opponent,
makes the following comments and quotations:
Mr. Rice made the closing speech on the School Bill, in the Senate, on
the 24th. It was his Bill. He had labored over it, and for it, a long
time, and given to it every consideration, and gained for it every
counsel, which, by any possibility, he could gain.
The text of his speech was the language of the Constitution itself; the
duty of securing 'a thorough and efficient system of common schools
throughout the State.'
Mr. Rice goes into detail on the school bill, and, regretting that we
have not room for the detail, we close our synopsis of his very sensible
speech by quoting its conclusion:
"It is certainly much cheaper, as well as much wiser, to _educate_ than
to _punish_. How much of crime would be prevented if a higher order of
education were generally diffused among all classes. A well educated and
enlightened people will have but little occasion for criminal courts,
jails and penitentiaries. The educated man has ordinarily too much
self-respect, too much regard for moral principle and the value of a
good character to stoop to crime. In short, sir, the perpetuity of the
government, and security of the citizen, and of property, depend upon
the virtue and intelligence of the people.
"By the provisions of this bill, it is intended to make our common
schools what they ought to be--the colleges of the people--'cheap enough
for the poorest, and good enough for the richest.' With but a slight
increase of taxation, schools of different grades can be established and
maintained in every township of the State, and the sons and daughters of
our farmers and mechanics have an opportunity of acquiring a finished
education, equally with the more favored of the land. And, in this way,
the elements of mind now slumbering among the uneducated masses, like
the fine unwrought marble in the quarry, will be aroused and brought out
to challenge the admiration of the world-Philosophers and sages will
abound everywhere, on the farm and in the workshop. And many a man of
genius will stand out from among the masses, and exhibit a brilliancy of
intellect, which will be recognized in the circling years of the great
'A light, a landmark on the cliffs of time.'
"It is only the educated man who is competent to interrogate nature, and
comprehend her revelations. Though I would not break down the
aristocracy of knowledge of the present age, yet, sir, I would level up,
and equalize, and thus create, if I may be allowed the expression, a
democracy of knowledge. In this way, and in this way only, can men be
made equal in fact--equal in their social and political relations--equal
in mental refinement, and in a just appreciation of what constitutes man
the brother of his fellow man.
"In conclusion, sir, allow me to express my belief, that the day is not
far distant when Ohio, in the noble cause of popular education and of
human rights, will 'lead the column,' and become, what she is capable of
becoming--a star of the first magnitude--the brightest in the galaxy of
our American Union."
A proud hour now came for Mr. Rice! A good and glorious one for the
State! The roll of the Senate was called, and that body, on the 24th day
of January, 1853, proceeded to cast its final vote upon the bill, when
only two negatives were announced.
Another bill, of scarcely less importance than the school bill, was
introduced into the Senate by Mr. Rice, near the heel of the adjourned
session, which with him was a favorite measure, and which seemed to meet
with the hearty approbation of the public. It had for its object the
establishment of a "State Reform School," expressly designed for juvenile
But owing to the late day of the session in which the bill was introduced,
though very favorably received by the senate, a motion was made to
postpone it until the next session. In reference to this motion, without
attempting to make a formal speech, Mr. Rice explained briefly the object
contemplated by the bill. His remarks relating as they did to a subject of
public interest, were reported and published. The bill, at a subsequent
session, resulted in establishing the present Reform Farm School.
The eminent services which he has rendered the State in the promotion of
her educational interests will be long and gratefully remembered by those
of his fellow citizens who properly appreciate the true objects of life,
and who wish to secure to themselves, to their children, and to the
generations which will follow them, the social blessings which flow from a
high degree of refinement, intelligence and moral virtue.
While a member of the City Council, in 1857, Mr. Rice took the lead in
establishing the Cleveland Industrial School, and was chairman of the
committee that put it into successful operation. It has now grown to be
one of the most important charitable institutions in Cleveland. Mr. Rice
is still active in extending its usefulness.
In the same year he originated the project, and introduced the resolution
into the Council, authorizing the erection of the Perry Monument which now
graces the Public Park of the city. The cost of the Monument, by the terms
of the resolution, was made to depend on the voluntary subscriptions of
the citizens. Mr. Rice was appointed Chairman of the Monument Committee,
and after three years of persevering effort, succeeded in carrying the
object of the resolution into effect. The Monument was inaugurated with
imposing ceremonies, on the 10th of September, 1860, the anniversary of
Perry's victory on Lake Erie. Mr. Bancroft, the historian, delivered the
Inaugural Address. As carefully estimated, not less than one hundred
thousand people attended the inauguration. In carrying out the programme
the battle of Lake Erie was reproduced, in a mock fight, on the Lake in
front of the city. It was a proud day for Cleveland. Both the Monument and
the inauguration were pronounced a perfect success.
In 1861, Mr. Rice, being elected to the Board of Education, was appointed
President of the Board, and during his term of office rendered essential
service in promoting the educational interests of the city. In fact, he
has always been a zealous friend and advocate of popular education. In his
literary career he has become widely known as the author of "Mount Vernon,
and Other Poems"--a volume containing two hundred and fifty pages which
has reached a fifth edition.
In 1862, Mr. Rice was appointed by the Governor of the State, with the
concurrence of the War Department, a commissioner for Cuyahoga county, to
conduct the first draft made in the county during the late civil war. In
executing this delicate task he acquitted himself with firmness,
integrity, and discretion. While in the discharge of his duties he found
his office one morning suddenly besieged by some five or six hundred
excited citizens, who were armed with pistols and other weapons,
threatening to demolish the office and destroy the records. They had been
instigated to make this demonstration by false rumors regarding the
fairness of the draft. Mr. Rice met the crisis firmly, sent to the
military camp on the Heights for a detachment of soldiers, infantry and
artillery, who came to his relief on the "double quick," and dispersed the
riotous assemblage. To satisfy the disaffected that all was right and just
in relation to the draft, Mr. Rice proposed that they should appoint a
committee of their own to investigate the state of affairs in the draft
office. They did so, and with his aid an elaborate examination was made,
and the committee reported that the draft had been conducted fairly and
justly in all respects. Mr. Rice then proceeded with the draft, and as
luck would have it, two of the committee, who had been ring-leaders in
getting up the demonstration, were drafted on the spot, and every body
seemed pleased with the result.
In 1867, Mr. Rice, wishing to express his regard for the cause of
Missions, as well as for the college where he graduated, erected at his
own expense, and with the approval of the college authorities, a beautiful
marble monument in Mission Park, at Williamstown, Mass., commemorative of
the origin of American Foreign Missions. The park is a part of the college
domains, and within it there is a maple grove where a few pious young
students of the college, in the summer of 1806, held occasional
prayer-meetings. At one of these meetings a shower of rain compelled them
to seek the shelter of a neighboring haystack, where they continued their
exercises, and where one of their number, Samuel J. Mills, first suggested
the idea of a mission to foreign heathen lands, as being a religions duty.
In this noble and philanthropic thought his associates all concurred, and
there, while at the haystack, consecrated themselves in solemn prayer, to
the great work. From this circumstance originated American Foreign
Missions. The monument was planned by Mr. Rice It is erected on the spot
where the haystack stood, is twelve feet in height, and surmounted with a
marble globe three feet in diameter, and cut in map lines. The face of the
monument has the inscription, "The Field is the World," followed with a
haystack, sculptured in bas relief, and the names of the five young men,
who held the prayer-meeting, and the date 1806. The monument was dedicated
July 28th, 1867, at the maple grove, in the park. A large audience was
present. Mr. Rice, by special request, delivered the dedicatory address,
which was received with a high degree of satisfaction, and afterwards
published, with the other proceedings, in pamphlet form.
Mr. Rice has accumulated a reasonable share of "this world's goods;" has
been twice married--first in 1828, and afterwards in 1840.
He has a wife, three sons and three daughters still living, and now
leads, comparatively, a retired, yet not an idle life.
He still has the appearance of a well preserved gentleman, he is six
feet in height, erect and of good proportions, and his general personal
appearance is pleasing. In manner he is a true gentleman,--modest and
kind, but prompt and decided. Two of his sons, Capt. Percy W. Rice and
James S. Rice, are settled in business at Cleveland. The youngest son,
Harvey Rice, Jr., resides in California. The three daughters are
married and settled--one in California and the other two in Cleveland.
Mrs. Rice is a lady of refinement, exemplary, and much beloved and
respected. As a family, but few have been more highly favored, or lived
in more perfect harmony.
The name of Andrew Freese will always hold a place of honor in the
scholastic records of Cleveland. No educator in the city is held in such
affectionate esteem by a large class of former pupils, and none better
deserves the grateful tributes paid to his abilities as a teacher and his
worth as a citizen.
Mr. Freese was born in Levant, Penobscot county, Maine, on November 1st,
1816. His father was a farmer, but Andrew was of such slender frame and
weak constitution that he was completely unfitted for farming life. His
father destined him to be a printer, and took him to the nearest printing
office to show him how types were set and newspapers printed. The boy was
not favorably impressed with what he saw, and begged to be allowed to
enter college. This was considered out of the question, his father being
too poor to provide the necessary funds. But the boy's heart was set upon
it, and he thought that by teaching school for a time he could obtain
money enough to complete his own education. This idea he carried into
execution, and had no sooner entered on the business of teaching than he
realized that he had found his true vocation. He continued to teach and
study until his collegiate course was completed, and then he resolved to
fit himself for the business of teaching by studying the best systems of
education, as laid down in the most approved books and practiced in the
most successful schools. He examined the best school buildings, and
brought away plans of construction, and models of their furniture. The
most thorough teachers were consulted as to the results of their
experience, and when he had thus acquired a thorough mastery of the whole
science of teaching, instead of setting out as an educational empiric, he
resolved to seek the West as a better field for turning his knowledge to
account, than was the East, where educators were far too numerous to make
the business profitable.
[Illustration: Yours Truly, Andrew Freese]
Mr. Freese came to Cleveland in 1840, and offered his services to the
Board of School Managers as a teacher. His rare ability was appreciated,
he was immediately engaged, and was at once recognized as the head of the
schools. There was then only the general school law to work under. The law
as then understood, made it almost a crime to give instruction in the
higher branches of even an English education. There was then no high
schools, or graded schools in the great State of Ohio. To Cleveland, and
to Mr. Freese, belong the honor of establishing the first free high school
in the State. The scholars from that school may now be found in almost
every State in the Union, eminent in all departments of life. They have
been met with as Governors, jurists, mechanicians, and artists, and the
first inquiry from them _all_ has been, "Is Mr. Freese still with you? All
I am, and all I have, I owe to him; may God forever bless him."
The high school was established in July, 1846, and Mr. Freese at once
placed at its head. Those unfriendly to public schools, and especially to
this department, offered him large inducements to engage in a private
school, but Mr. Freese had faith in the success of the experiment, and was
determined not to abandon it until its success was insured. The pay given
by the city was but a beggarly pittance, and his labors inside and out of
the school room were exceedingly arduous, but no discouragement could
daunt his zeal, and he resisted blandishments as he treated opposition,
with indifference. The unexpected and severe labors imposed upon him
shattered his health, but with him love overcame all other considerations,
and he persisted. In June, 1853, the office of Superintendent of
Instruction was created, and tendered to Mr. Freese, who held it until
1861, when his failing health admonished him to retire. Recently he was
summoned from his retirement to take the position of principal of the
Central High school, now grown to proportions its founders scarcely dared
hope for it. It was with extreme reluctance that Mr. Freese consented to
resume his old profession, but he finally did so, working with great zeal
and success until the close of the Summer term of 1869, when, immediately
after re-election by a highly complimentary vote, he was compelled, by the
condition of his health, to resign his position and bid a final farewell
to the profession he so much loved. The proceedings of the Board of
Education in relation to the resignation of Mr. Freese are of interest, as
showing the high value set upon his services to the cause of education.
The following communication was presented to the Board:
To the Honorable the Board of Education of the city of Cleveland:
Gentlemen: I have to submit herewith the resignation of Mr. Andrew
Freese, who has for the past year acted as principal of the Central
On account of ill health it was with great reluctance that Mr. Freese
went into this position. In accordance, however, with the advice of
friends, he finally yielded to persuasion and entered upon the discharge
of its duties with the well known earnestness of his character. The
result has been marked in the earnestness with which his able corps of
assistants associated with him have co-operated to promote the highest
interests of the school, and of each and all its pupils. It has been
specially marked, too, by the increased devotion of all the scholars to
their studies, and the ready acquiescence with which they have obeyed
all the rules and regulations of your Board.
In taking leave of Mr. Freese it is due to him that I should thus
formally and earnestly record my high appreciation of his services.
Furthermore, it may not be inappropriate for me testify to the fact,
that much of the hearty earnestness of the corps of teachers with which
I am now laboring, is due to the influence of this gentleman when he
held the office which I now hold.
Andrew J. Rickoff,
Superintendent of Instruction.
The Board of Education having received and accepted the resignation of
Andrew Freese, Esq., principal of the Central High School, Mr. Perkins
offered the following resolutions, which were adopted:
_Resolved_, That the thanks of the Board are hereby tendered to Mr.
Freese, for the valuable services he has rendered in the various
relations he has sustained to the public schools of this city during the
last quarter of a century. In every position he has been called to fill,
he has proved himself faithful to the trust committed to his keeping. To
him more than any other are we indebted for the deservedly elevated
character of our System of graded schools.
_Resolved_, That the president and secretary of the Board be requested
to communicate to Mr. Freese the feeling of regret occasioned by his
withdrawal from our service, together with a certified copy of its
action this evening.
Mr. Freese was the originator of the celebrated outline maps. Many years
before any were published by Mitchell, they were in use here, and may
still be found on some of the walls and floors of our old school houses,
where they were placed by Mr. Freese. What Horace Mann and William Colburn
did for the schools of New England, Andrew Freese has done for the schools
of the West. Almost immediately after commencing his labors he began to
protest to the Board of School Managers against our school laws; under
them he could do no justice to himself or his scholars. His efforts were
aided by the Board of School Managers, and after a hard contest with city
and State authorities, the laws were altered so as to give us one of the
best school systems in the world. The first free high school in the State
was started by Mr. Freese, in the basement of an old church, at a rent of
fifty dollars per annum, and this was regarded by some of our largest tax
payers as so great an outrage that they threatened to resist the payment
of their taxes. The school now enjoys the use of a palatial building, and
our grammar schools have the use of the most elegant and convenient
structures for educational purposes in the State. Many of our citizens
devoted their time and money to bring about this great change, which has
done and is doing so much for the welfare of our city. But perhaps no one
man has done so much as Mr. Freese.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to overrate the services of Mr.
Freese to the cause of education in Cleveland. It was the sole business of
his life, and he entered on it with utter unselfishness. With him the
cause was everything, self nothing. He traveled far, spent his own slender
funds freely, and labored assiduously in the endeavor to secure the best
of everything in plan and machinery, for the city schools. He had no
ambition outside or beyond the school room, and his shrinking modesty
prevented him claiming the credit justly due him for the unintermitted and
successful labors performed within the school walls.
Among the citizens of Ohio, few are more worthy of mention than Rev. Anson
Smyth. There is not a township in the State in which his influence has not
been felt, nor a school district in which his name is not honored. He has
labored to uplift the intellectual, social, and moral status of our great
commonwealth, and his impress is left on the highest and most sacred
interests of the people.
Though born in Pennsylvania, Mr. Smyth is none the less a New Englander.
His parents and older brothers and sisters were natives of New England.
There many of his early years were spent, and there he received both his
collegiate and his theological education. There for two years he taught
school, and for three, was pastor of a church. Thus it is seen, that
while his birth makes him a Pennsylvanian, his blood and education make
him a Yankee.
Mr. Smyth is a self-made man. By his unaided energies he surmounted the
difficulties that stood in the way of his advancement, and has achieved
distinction by a career of great usefulness. His father was a man of high
respectability, and most excellent character. He was a farmer in moderate
circumstances, and being well advanced in life, and declining in health,
when his youngest son, the tenth of twelve children, determined to acquire
a liberal education, he was unable to do anything for his assistance. But
the boy had a brave heart, and he went forward, strong in the idea that
"there is nothing impossible to him that wills." At first by manual labor,
and afterwards by teaching, he contrived to secure funds for meeting those
expenses which demanded ready payment. When he left the theological
seminary he owed several hundred dollars, all of which he paid from his
After preaching for three years at the East, Mr. Smyth accepted a call to
the pastoral charge of a church in Michigan. It was a village of a few
hundred people, in a new and wild region. Society was in a chaotic
condition, and there were but few who had either the ability or the
disposition to do much for the young pastor's support or encouragement.
The locality was unhealthy, and Mr. Smyth suffered severely from prevalent
diseases. But during a ministry there of four years, he was eminently
successful, and he left the church four times as strong as he found it.
In 1847, Mr. Smyth came to Ohio, and, after spending a few months in
Cleveland, received and accepted a call to the pastorate of the
Presbyterian church in Toledo. He entered upon his new charge with zeal
and energy. He labored faithfully for the advancement of the cause of
Christ in that rising town, but owing to chronic alienation among the
members of his church, from the beginning he felt the need of that degree
of co-operation and sympathy necessary to insure the full benefit of his
labors. Still, the condition of affairs greatly improved under his
ministry; the membership of the church being nearly doubled, and the
congregation largely increased. At the end of three years he resigned his
charge and entered upon that department of public service in which he has
acquired most honorable distinction.
[Illustration: Yours truly, Anson Smyth]
Until 1850, the facilities for education in Toledo were all in the future.
While pastor of the church there, Mr. Smyth felt keenly the need of
establishing a good system of schools ere the town should become confirmed
in the habit of neglecting so important an interest. A few of the citizens
took hold of the business with energy; the "Akron School Law" was adopted,
and a Board of Education elected. Mr. Smyth was placed at the head of the
movement. This was a position he had never expected to fill, but,
regarding it as a field of usefulness, a field in which to serve God and
society, not less sacred than that of the pastoral office, he went to his
new work without a doubt that thereby he was doing the will of God. In
many particulars the business Mr. Smyth found upon his hands was new and
strange to him. He had had no experience in organizing schools upon the
graded plan. Eighteen years ago there were very few good schools in Ohio.
Lorin Andrews, at Massillon, Dr. Lord, at Columbus, M. F. Cowdery, at
Sandusky, Andrew Freese, at Cleveland, and H. H. Barney, at Cincinnati,
were the leaders in the educational reformation, then rising into notice.
Not till three years afterwards was our noble school law enacted. But Mr.
Smyth took hold of the great work entrusted to him with characteristic
energy. He read much and thought more upon the best plan of organizing a
school system for the city, and when he left there, in 1856, the schools
of Toledo had gained a most enviable character. They were regarded as
among the best in the country, and their Superintendent had acquired the
reputation of being one of the wisest and most successful educators in
America. The Board of Education committed the entire management of the
schools to him. The selection of teachers, the classification and
discipline of the schools, the course of study, and the examinations were
just what Mr. Smyth was pleased to make them. He gathered around him a
corps of teachers equal to the best in the State, and the schools were the
pride of the citizens. When he resigned, in closing an article upon the
subject, the Blade remarked: "_We regard the retirement of Mr. Smyth as no
less than a public calamity_."
At a meeting of the State Teachers Association, in December, 1855, Mr.
Smyth was unanimously elected President of that body, also editor of the
Journal of Education. In the following February he removed to Columbus,
and entered upon his editorial duties. His success in his new field was
most satisfactory to all who were interested in the cause which he
In May, 1856, the Republican State Convention nominated Mr. Smyth for the
office of State Commissioner of Schools. This was an honor as unexpected
by him as it was satisfactory to the people. He was elected by a large
majority, and in February, 1857, entered upon the discharge of the duties
of his new office. In this high position he remained six years, having
been re-elected in 1859.
Mr. Smyth was not disheartened when he found his post at the head of the
educational forces of the State, environed with most serious
embarrassments. The general school law had been in operation three years,
encountering the hostility of a large portion of the people, who were
persistent in their efforts to secure its repeal, or extensive
modification. It was regarded as doubtful whether it could much longer
survive in the face of the antagonism which confronted it. But when Mr.
Smyth turned the office over to his successor, in 1863, the law had become
popular, and strong in the regards of nearly all the people. The changes
which it had experienced were improvements, and it was everywhere working
out its own praise.
In this sketch, Mr. Smyth's labors and successes in the Commissionership
can not be detailed. He spared no pains in promoting the interests which
the State had confided to him. Whether looking after members of the
legislature who were working against the law, or performing ordinary
office duties, or traveling and addressing the people, he showed untiring
industry and enthusiastic devotion to the good cause. When he declined,
another nomination, the State Teachers' Association, at their meeting in
Mount Vernon, passed a resolution highly approving his administration.
David Tod, then Governor, wrote of him to a friend: "The most faithful
manner in which Mr. Smyth has discharged the arduous duties of School
Commissioner of our State for the last six years, involving, as it did,
the expenditure of millions of money, without the loss of a dollar, has
won for him my fullest confidence and profound respect. He is an excellent
business man, and a Christian gentleman." No man ever left an office
stronger in the confidence and esteem of the people.
Mr. Smyth did not propose to continue longer in the educational field, and
declined many invitations to positions at the head of institutions of
learning. But, very unexpectedly to him, he was elected Superintendent of
Instruction for Cleveland. A strong inclination to reside here, and the
urgency of friends, secured his acceptance. He removed to this city in
July, 1863, and was warmly welcomed by the people.
At that time, the Board of Education was in many things subordinate to
the City Council, and these two bodies not always working harmoniously
prevented the adoption of many reforms advocated by the Superintendant.
Still, Mr. Smyth's administration was a period of great prosperity and
advancement with the Cleveland schools. The gradation and classification
were improved; modes of teaching were introduced which greatly promoted
the purposes of education. Through his influence the use of the rod in the
schools was to a great extent discontinued, while better order was
secured. His success in the selection of teachers was remarkable. He
seemed to have an intuitive knowledge of character, and next to none of
those he placed in charge of schools proved failures. His power over
teachers was very great. While he was exacting in his demands, never
excusing negligence, he knew how to temper authority with kind and
In the management of schools, Mr. Smyth required that due regard be had to
manners and morals. Arithmetic and grammar were not, in his estimation,
more important than politeness and Christian morality. He encouraged the
ornamentation of the school rooms with plants, flowers and engravings,
which has been so generally adopted, thus rendering them attractive and
conducive to taste and refinement.
For five successive years Mr. Smyth was re-elected, but the last election
he declined to accept, having entered into business arrangements, that he
might pay needed attention to pecuniary interests. During his
superintendence the number of teachers employed in the schools increased
from eighty to one hundred and thirty; the splendid school buildings now
approaching completion, were planned and put under contract, the School
Library was established, and all school interests were most prosperons.
When he retired from the superintendence of the schools, nearly two years
ago, the Leader expressed the public sentiment in regard to his services,
in the following terms: "It is with unfeigned regret that we announce the
resignation of Rev. Anson Smyth, as Superintendent of Instruction in this
city. He has discharged the duties of this office for four years with
ability and efficiency. The educational interests of the city have been
guarded with jealous care; and the excellent condition of our public
schools, the firm, judicious discipline that is enforced, and the thorough
system of instruction well attest his zeal, ability and faithfulness. To
the teachers of the schools and the citizens generally, he has given the
most unqualified satisfaction, and all will sincerely regret the
circumstances which have induced him to retire."
Mr. Smyth has never given up pulpit services, but has averaged to preach
one sermon per Sunday ever since resigning his pastoral charge in Toledo,
eighteen years ago. Though a Presbyterian in doctrine, and loyal to that
church, he is remarkably free from sectarian exclusiveness, and all
evangelical churches seek and obtain his ministerial services.
Within the last year he has given more than twenty addresses at college
commencements, and before literary and educational associations, while he
has been obliged to decline numerous applications for like labors.
The weight of fifty years and the work of a life of very great activity
rest lightly upon him. He is possessed of robust health, and is as marked
for energy and vivacity as he was twenty years ago. But few men, who at
his age have accomplished so much labor, seem still so able to repeat
R. F. Humiston.
The family of Humiston, or Humbastone, as it was originally called, is one
of considerable antiquity, and its American branch dates from an early
period in the history of this country, John Humbastone, its founder,
having settled in New Haven, Connecticut, towards the middle of the
seventeenth century. For over two hundred years the family, or a portion
of it, resided in the same neighborhood, about seven miles out of New
Haven, on the Quinnipiac river. At the breaking out of the Revolutionary
War, several members of the family took part in the struggle on the side
of the patriots, and did good service.
Caleb Humiston (the name had been corrupted in the course of time) was of
the third generation in descent from John Humbastone, the original settler
in New Haven. He was born on the old homestead on the Quinnipiac river,
inherited a portion of it, and lived there until he was thirty years old.
Then he removed to Berkshire county, Massachusetts, settling down in 1816
on a farm he had purchased in Great Barrington. He was at this time a
farmer in comfortable circumstances, but misfortune came upon him, his
property passed from his control, and he was reduced to extremely narrow
circumstances. When this misfortune came upon him he had already been
burdened with a large family. Ten children had been born, one of whom
died, but the others grew up and had to be provided for, the family
consisting of seven boys and two girls. It is a noteworthy fact, that with
the exception of the child who died in infancy, and Caleb Humeston
himself, there has been no death in the family for over half a century,
the youngest of them now living being thirty-eight years old. The family
had been noted for its longevity, the average age of the ancestors of the
present generation being between seventy and eighty years.
R. F. Humiston, whose life we propose briefly to sketch, was born in Great
Barrington, July 29th, 1821. The misfortune suffered by his father
overtook him when R. F. was nine years old, and from that time each one of
the children was capable to do something towards earning a living. Tools
were provided for each, proper work marked out, and every one held
responsible for the faithful performance of the allotted task. As long as
could be afforded, the children were sent to the district school, but the
grade of education provided was low, and the knowledge acquired meagre. In
his ninth year, R. F. Humiston was taken from school and put to earn his
living with a neighbor, with whom he remained a year, and was then placed
to work in a cotton factory at Stockbridge, Mass. His duty in this
establishment was to tend a spinning jenny, and the winter hours of labor
were from six o'clock in the morning to eight at night, with half an
hour's intermission for dinner.
His health failing through the severity of this labor, his parents took
him from this factory and placed him in another factory, for the
manufacture of cotton batting and wadding, in West Stockbridge. Here he
remained several months, but was obliged to leave on account of sickness.
In the Spring of 1833, the family removed to Ohio. After selling his farm
and paying his debts, Caleb Humiston had barely sufficient left with which
to reach Hudson, Ohio. Here he engaged in making brick, the subject of
this sketch, twelve years old, assisting in the brick yard. Change of
climate, hard work, and want brought sickness on the whole family, and
before R. F. Humiston was fifteen years old the physicians pronounced his
constitution entirely broken down, and that he could never do severe
labor. He availed himself of an offer to become clerk of a store in
Hudson, and clerked there and in Cleveland until he was sixteen years
old. When clerk in a Cleveland bookstore, the proprietor failed and the
books were taken to Buffalo, young Humiston receiving an offer of a
clerkship in that city. This he declined, refusing to desert his family,
who were in poverty, and working hard. His health having been partially
restored, he took off his good clothes and re-entered the brick yard,
where he remained until he was eighteen years old. Whilst in the store he
had learned to keep books, and turned this knowledge to account in
arranging his fathers business. A number of the better class of citizens
of Hudson insisted on the boy having an education, and a merchant offered
to bear the expense of a collegiate course, but the boy was too useful in
his father's business to be spared, and so the opportunity was lost.
But the brick-making did not suit the boy, who was ambitious, and desirous
of learning. In the Winter after he was eighteen, he went to learn the
trade of a carpenter, agreeing to pay his father for his unexpired time as
soon as he became of age. He learned the carpenter's trade of Samuel
Johnson, in Ravenna, an intelligent man, who was highly respected by his
neighbors, and whose influence was of great benefit to his apprentice,
forming correct habits, and giving him moral and intellectual training.
Young Humiston was ambitious to excel as a mechanic, and spent his
evenings in studying architecture and examining plans for buildings. There
was no eight or ten hour system in those days. Mechanics worked from
daylight to dark, frequently continuing their labors sixteen hours. Under
this severe strain his health again gave way, and in September, 1841, he
was reluctantly compelled to abandon the trade of a carpenter, except to
work about three days in the week in order to pay his board.
At this point he determined to gain an education, and endeavor to earn a
living by his brain, since his muscles failed him. He returned to Hudson
with the purpose of entering college, his entire capital being ten cents
in money and a few tools, with which he hoped to earn enough to pay for
his board and tuition. He remained at the college five years, working at
his trade by the hour, and doing odd jobs, teaching an occasional term,
and working hard as a carpenter in vacations. His studies and labors were
unremitting, sometimes allowing him but three hours' sleep out of the
twenty-four. As might be expected, his health again gave way, and he was
obliged to leave. The college conferred on him the honorary degree of M.
A., and the Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio, subsequently conferred
the same degree, both without solicitation.
[Illustration: R. F. Humiston.]
On leaving college he went into the nursery business, not having physical
stamina sufficient to prosecute his studies for the ministry, as intended.
In this business he continued directly for eighteen months, and partially
for five or six years.
In the Fall of 1847, he commenced teaching in the public schools in
Cuyahoga Falls, and in the following Spring established a private school,
the Cuyahoga Falls Seminary. At the end of that year he was elected
Superintendent of Public Instruction and principal of the high school. He
continued his seminary, having assistants, and the privilege being allowed
him of spending a portion of his time in the management of that
establishment. In the Fall of 1849, he came to Cleveland and was appointed
principal of the Rockwell street grammar school, where he remained seven
years, bringing up the school from a low pitch to rank among the foremost
in the city. His salary, when he began to teach in Cleveland was but five
hundred dollars, and out of this he had to provide for two families, his
own and that of his parents. To add to his small stipend, he taught
evening school, and took agencies in the vacation. At the same time he was
repeatedly offered other situations at better salaries, and was invited to
become the principal of a State Normal school. He tendered his resignation
as principal of the Rockwell street school, but was induced to remain on
promise of increase of salary. Finally, becoming weary of that hope
deferred that maketh the heart sick, he resigned and was engaged at a much
higher salary, to establish, under the patronage of an association of
leading citizens, the Cleveland Academy. This enterprise was very
successful, and the position pleasant, a fine corps of assistants being
gathered around him.
After two years labor in this position, some gentlemen connected with the
property on University Heights, requested him to engage in the enterprise
of a school on the Heights, in the building erected for a college under
president Mahan, but which now lay unfinished and unoccupied, the college
scheme having failed. They offered rent and grounds free, but he refused,
until they agreed to sell him the whole property for a nominal sum, if he
could acquire a clear title, the ownership having become badly involved by
the failure of the college. This he eventually accomplished after much
labor, and took possession of the property in 1856.
The task was a gigantic one to a man like Mr. Humiston, with limited funds
and uncertain health. The building was unfinished and needed considerable
expenditure to put it in shape for occupation. The location though very
promising in the distant future, was then very inconvenient of access,
and was therefore objectionable. But Mr. Humiston possessed a determined
will and he set to work without delay. He borrowed money, fitted up a
portion of the building, and opened the Cleveland Institute with strong
hopes for the future, but gloomy prospects in the present.
About the middle of the second year the building took fire and a large
portion of the interior was destroyed. The school was closed for six
months, and with characteristic energy Mr. Humiston went to work to repair
damages, enlarging the building, and again involving himself in debt to
meet the expense. Success crowned his enterprise. The number of scholars
increased rapidly, and again the building had to be enlarged and improved.
The institute was continued ten years, and the gross income in its later
years ranged from $20,000 to $31,000 per year. During nearly the whole
time Mr. Humiston taught himself, and usually five hours out of the six
devoted to studies. At the same time he gave medical lectures at the
Western Homoeopathic College, and managed all the affairs of the
institute, keeping no agent or steward. He purchased and fitted up in
the institute a fine chemical and philosophical apparatus, collected a
good library and several valuable cabinets of specimens in natural
history, geology, and mineralogy. The corps of teachers was large and of
In 1868, Mr. Humiston, considering that he had earned a respite from his
arduous and unremitting labors, accepted an offer from some gentlemen
desirous of establishing a Homoeopathic Hospital, and sold his building'
with half the adjoining grounds for $35,000. He then accepted the tender
of the agency of the American Missionary Association in Great Britain,
and early in 1869 left for Europe, having previously visited the South in
order to acquaint himself with the condition of the freedmen, whose cause
he designed especially to present. After a year or more spent in this
work he designs visiting the remainder of Europe, North Africa, and the
Mr. Humiston has, since 1859, held the position of Professor of Chemistry
and Toxicology in the Western Homoeopathic College, and has given ten
courses of lectures in that institution. Each year he insisted on
resigning, but the resignation has always been refused. On closing his
educational career he again resigned, but the college again refused to
accept his resignation, promising to supply his place temporarily during
his absence in Europe.
The distinguishing characteristic of Mr. Humiston is his strong will, and
this is well exemplified in the fact that although born with a
constitutional fierce thirst for liquor, he has been able to continue in
right habits of temperance through all temptation, though at the cost of
many powerful struggles with his inordinate cravings. He is a man of
strong religions convictions, and has been so from his youth up. For many
years he was connected with the Methodist church on University Heights. As
an educator he ranks among the best in the State, and was held in
deservedly high esteem by those who had themselves been taught by him, or
whose children had been brought up under his tuition.
First of the railroads of any description chartered in connection with
Cleveland were the Cleveland and Newburgh and Cleveland and Bedford
Railroad Companies. The first named was incorporated in 1835, built soon
after, and for some time run by horse power, hauling stone and timber, and
occasionally passengers. It was eventually abandoned. The Cleveland and
Bedford was never built. Another local road, run by horse power, with
wooden rails, was, about the same time, constructed between the city and
East Cleveland, passing up Euclid street.
The Ohio Railroad was of a different character. It was intended to run
along the lake shore from the Pennsylvania line to Toledo, mostly to be
built on piles. Considerable work was done, though no iron laid, when the
financial crisis overwhelmed it and its kindred schemes. The piles driven
for the track are yet visible in places between Cleveland and Sandusky.
The rights of the company, as far as they existed, afterwards became the
property of the Junction Railroad Company, now the Cleveland and Toledo.
Of the same period, was the Cleveland, Warren and Pittsburgh. This was
chartered in 1836, the act of incorporation authorizing the construction
of a railroad from Cleveland, in the direction of Pittsburgh, to the
State line of Pennsylvania. At the point of intersection with the State
line, the charter provided for the union of the road with any other road
which the State of Pennsylvania might authorize from Pittsburgh, or any
other point below the Ohio river, running in the direction of Cleveland,
in order that a continuous route might be perfected from Cleveland to
Pittsburgh, under the authority of both States. The charter was very
loose in its provisions, allowing the president and directors to create
and sell stock as in their judgement occasion might require, without
limit as to the amount issued, except that it should not exceed the
needs of the company. Plenary powers were granted to the company in the
selection of a route, the condemnation of land, and like "full and
discretionary power" was granted to the company in "the use and occupancy
of the road, in the transportation of persons or property, either by the
force and power of steam, or animals, or any mechanical or other power,
or any combination of them, which the company may think proper to
employ." The cost of the line was estimated to be less than $7,000 per
mile. The road was to be an extension of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad,
a branch of which was to extend to Pittsburgh, and thus would "give the
whole vast region of the western lakes an opportunity of marketing their
products in, and receiving their foreign produce from Philadelphia and
Baltimore, at least rive weeks earlier in the season, and at much less
expense," than was accomplished at New York.
In the same year a charter was obtained for the Cleveland, Columbus
and Cincinnati Railroad, connecting Cleveland and Cincinnati by the
way of Columbus.
None of the roads were built under these charters. The financial panic of
1837 swept them all into oblivion, together with a multitude of other
roads projected throughout the country. Some of them were heard of no
more, and others were revived in after years, the charters greatly
amended, and the roads eventually built. The design of the Cleveland,
Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad Company was eventually carried out to the
extent of building a line to Columbus and there connecting with railroads
extending to Cincinnati. The Cleveland, Warren and Pittsburgh charter was
dug up, amended, and made authority for organization of the Cleveland and
Pittsburgh Railroad, whilst the original route was mainly occupied by the
new Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad.
The Cleveland and Bedford was at last rendered unnecessary by the
Cleveland and Pittsburgh passing over its route, whilst the Cleveland and
Newburgh reap-pears as a street railroad, for passengers only, the
original design of a local railroad for freight being abandoned thirty odd
In 1845, the lapsed charter of the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati
Railroad Company was revived, revised, and a new company organized, with
John W. Allen, Richard Hilliard, Jolin M. Woolsey and H. B. Payne as
Cleveland directors, and John W. Allen as president. Between the
organization of the company and the construction of the road there was a
wide gulf of difficulties, jealousies and enmities, bridged over at last
by untiring perseverance and unwavering faith in the final success of the
undertaking. The story of the struggle is told incidentally in the
biographical sketches of those connected with the enterprise. All that we
have to do here is, to briefly sketch the leading features in the
narrative as it has been already told, after a careful examination of the
documentary history of the company. That account says the incorporation
of the company had been obtained in the year 1845, with a proviso
authorizing the city of Cleveland to subscribe two millions of dollars to
the stock. The bonds of the city were promptly given, but before any money
could be obtained upon these bonds it was necessary that a further
subscription should be made by the citizens, not only to meet the current
expenses, but to give assurance to capitalists abroad that the people here
were really in earnest, and would not suffer the undertaking to fall
through. After a thorough canvass of the city, by two well known and
respected citizens, it was found that not more than twenty-five thousand
dollars could be obtained. There was both a scarcity of cash and a lack of
faith in the enterprise.
John M. Woolsey was sent to Cincinnati to negotiate the city bonds with
the Ohio Life and Trust Company; to Pittsburgh to ascertain upon what
terms iron could be obtained; and to Philadelphia and New York to enlist
the sympathy and help of capitalists. The mission was a failure. The
common strap iron of that day could not be obtained without cash on
delivery, and the money could not be procured on any terms. Cleveland was
too far off, and entirely unknown to the moneyed men of the eastern
cities. Thus, in the Spring of 1847, one of the very darkest periods in
our history, it was determined to abandon the enterprise for the time, and
await a more favorable season.
In this desperate extremity Mr. Hilliard and Mr. Payne volunteered another
and last effort of three months personal labor to arouse their fellow
citizens to a proper sense of the importance and ultimate value of this
grand undertaking. By patient perseverance they succeeded in securing a
leading subscription of five thousand dollars from Leonard Case, who also
consented to become a director of the company. The ultimate result of the
solicitations was the subscription of about $40,000 additional to the
amount previously pledged. About the same time an accession of the utmost
importance was made when Alfred Kelley, of Columbus, accepted the
presidency of the road, contrary to his inclination to retire from further
public duties and to the strong remonstrances of his personal friends.
Through the influence of Mr. Dwight, of Springfield, Mass., the directors
secured the services of Captain Childs, well known among Eastern
capitalists as a skillful engineer, and his endorsement of the company did
much to advance its credit abroad. But it was still necessary to secure a
large disposal of stock at home, and to effect this, a liberal additional
assessment upon the friends of the road was made and accepted. Mr. Childs
finally recommended Mr. Harbeck, who, in company with Stillman Witt and
Amasa Stone, Jr., undertook and carried out the building of the road to
In February, 1851, the first through train arrived from Columbus, bringing
the State authorities and the Legislature, to celebrate the union of the
two cities. Thus the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad was the
pioneer of the series of the now enlarged, and most important enterprises
so clearly identified with the growth of the city. The chairman of the
building committee stated at the opening of the new depot, that during the
entire building of that road, there was not a dollar paid as a bribe to
either the Legislature or the City Council, to receive their favors.
The terminus of the road at Cleveland was originally intended to be on
Scranton's Flats, but it was afterwards determined to bring the road
across the river to the site of the old New England House. Appreciating
the importance of extending it to the lake shore, the contractors agreed
to grade the road free of charge from that point to the lake, and it was
accordingly carried forward to its present terminus.
In 1869, the road was consolidated with the Bellefontaine line, thus
placing its western terminus in Indianapolis. Its southern stem had
previously been extended by way of the Delaware Cut-Off to Springfield,
thus opening another connection with Cincinnati.
We have already said that the charter of the Cleveland, Warren and
Pittsburgh Railroad, after sleeping for several years, was dug up,
amended, and the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad Company organized under
it. The resuscitation of the charter took place in March, 1845, when the
route was changed from "the most direct in the direction of Pittsburgh,"
to "the most direct, practicable, and least expensive route to the Ohio
river, at the most suitable point." The company organized at Ravenna, in
October of the same year, with James Stewart, of Wellsville, as president,
A. G. Cattell, as secretary, and Cyrus Prentiss, as treasurer. The route
was surveyed, meetings held in aid of the project, and in July, 1847, the
first contracts let from Wellsville northward, and the work of
construction commenced. The northern end dragged, owing to the slow coming
in of subscriptions, and the work was not fully let until 1849.
In February, 1851, the line was opened from Cleveland to Hudson, and the
General Assembly and State officers who had come to Cleveland to attend
the celebration of the opening of the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati
Railroad, accepted an invitation to ride over the new railroad to Hudson.
A short supply of provisions at Hudson, and the ditching of the train on
the return trip, made the weary and hungry legislators long remember their
pioneer trip over the unfinished Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad. In
March following, the track was completed to Ravenna, in November to
Hanover, at which time free passes for "each stockholder and his lady,"
and "landholders through whose land the road passes, with their wives,"
were issued, good for one ride over the line and return, that they might
see the whole of the stupendous undertaking and admire it. In January
1852, connection was made with the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad at
Alliance, and a route thus opened to Pittsburgh, and in March, of the same
year, the line was opened to Wellsville, and connection with the Ohio
river perfected, thus completing the work laid out in the amended charter.
At different times, subsequently, authority was granted by the General
Assembly for the extension of the line and the construction of branches.
In this way the River Division was built, connecting the Wellsville end
with Pittsburgh by a junction with the Ohio and Pennsylvania at Rochester,
and with the Baltimore and Ohio and Central Ohio, by a line to Bellair.
The Tuscarawas Branch was built to New Philadelphia, and there stopped,
though its original purpose was to form a connection with the Steubenville
and Indiana Railroad. Authority was also given to build a branch from
Hudson towards the Ohio and Pennsylvania and any line running in the
direction of Columbus. A separate company afterwards constructed this
"Akron Branch," or Cleveland, Zanesville and Cincinnati Railroad, so far
as Millersburgh. The Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad has had a serious
financial struggle to go through, but it has come out as an important and
prosperous line. It is now working under a consolidation of earnings with
the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago, formerly known as the Ohio and
The Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad Company, now, after
several consolidations and changes of title, forming part of the Lake
Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Company, was part of the general
plan of the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati Railroad, was built under
much of the same influence, and has always been intimately connected
with it in its working. The charter was obtained by special act in 1848,
and empowered the corporators to build a line by way of Painesville,
through Ashtabula county, to the Pennsylvania State line, and to
continue their line into that State to any point authorized by the
Pennsylvania Legislature. That part of the road extending to Erie, in
the State of Pennsylvania, was constructed under the charter of the
Franklin Canal Company, passed by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, the
21st day of May, 1846, and amended April 9th, 1849, giving it authority
to construct a railroad.
The company was organized August 1st, 1849, by the selection of Alfred
Kelley, Samuel L. Seldin, Heman B. Ely, George E. Gillett, David R. Paige,
Laphnor Lake and Peleg P. Sanford as directors, and Heman B. Ely as
president, and the surveys from Cleveland were made under the
superintendence of Frederick Harbeck as chief engineer, and from the State
line to Erie he acted as consulting engineer, filling both situations
until his death, which occurred in the month of February, 1851. A contract
for the construction of the road from Cleveland to the State line of
Pennsylvania was made with Frederick Harbeck, A. Stone, Jr., and Stillman
Witt, on the 26th day of July, 1850, but the work progressed slowly for
six months after the contract was concluded, principally for the reason
that there was no confidence in the ability of a railroad from Cleveland
to Erie or Buffalo to compete with the lake in the transportation of
persons and property, and the contractors expended more than $100,000 of
their means before a like amount could be raised through all other
sources. In the month of January, 1851, the Hon. Alfred Kelley was
appointed general agent of the company with unlimited authority to raise
funds and press forward the work of completion. He entered upon his duties
with his usual indomitable perseverance and energy, fully seconded by the
directors and contractors, and they had the satisfaction of passing a
locomotive over its entire length late in the autumn of the year 1852.
The act conferring authority on the Franklin Canal Company to construct a
railroad from the State line of Ohio to the city of Erie, being regarded
by the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania as doubtful, they
repealed it on the 28th day of January, 1854. On the 5th day of May,
1856, the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania passed an act
authorizing the Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad Company to
purchase the road as constructed from the State line to Erie, and to
operate it under the general law of the State of Pennsylvania, passed the
19th day of February, 1849. The history of the Pennsylvania portion of
the line reflects no credit on that State. The petty and vexations "Erie
War" in 1854, by which a portion of the people of Erie attempted to
prevent a through connection of the road at that place, and the
unjustifiable expenses to which the company were subjected by the
Legislature, are blots on the record of that State.
The road was operated jointly with the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati
Railroad until April 1st, 1855, when the management was divided. In 1869,
it was consolidated, first with the Cleveland and Toledo and then with the
Michigan Southern and Buffalo and Erie Railroads. The Cleveland,
Painesville and Ashtabula has been one of the most profitable railroads in
The story of the Cleveland and Mahoning Railroad Company--one of
persistent struggle against apparently insurmountable difficulties, is
told in great part in the sketch of the life of Jacob Perkins, to whose
labors and sacrifices the success of the undertaking is in great measure
due. The road was projected to develope more fully the mineral and
agricultural resource of Trumbull and Mahoning counties, and to find a
market for their products in Pittsburgh or Cleveland. Unlike many
projected railroads, the first object of this line was a local trade; the
through business anticipated was a secondary consideration. The Company
was incorporated in 1851, and the first meeting of stockholders held at,
Warren, Trumbull county, in June, 1852, when $300,000 local subscriptions
were reported and it was determined to survey and prepare estimates for
the road. The directors under whom this work was commenced were Jacob
Perkins, Frederick Kinsman and Charles Smith, of Warren, David Tod, of
Youngstown, Dudley Baldwin of Cleveland, Robert Cunningham, of New
Castle, and James Magee, of Philadelphia. In order to aid the enterprise
by securing connections, they opened negotiations with the Pennsylvania
and Ohio Railroad, and the Pittsburgh and Erie Railroad, but without
success. About the same time a contract was made with the Junction
Railroad, afterwards merged in the Cleveland and Toledo Road, for
purchase of ground near the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, on the west
side, and the right of way obtained through a portion of Ohio City, and
through Scranton's Hill to the west end of the Columbus street bridge,
near which the freight depot was afterwards established. In 1853, the
principal office of the Company was removed to Cleveland, which was made
the head quarters of the Company.
After surveying different routes and hesitating over the choice between
them, it was decided to build the road from Cleveland, on the West Side,
and running through Scranton's hill to Newburgh, Bedford, Aurora, Mantua
and Warren, fifty-three miles, and thence down the Mahoning Valley to
Youngstown and Poland, to the east line of the State.
Repeated attempts were made to induce the Legislature of Pennsylvania to
authorize an extension of the road in that State, but owing to the
opposition of the Pittsburgh and Erie Bailroad, and especially of the
Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad, the desired permission was
finally refused. The estimated aggregate cost of the road was about one
and three-quarter millions of dollars, and when the principal contracts
for labor and iron were made, there was a very fair prospect of disposing
of the bonds of the company to advantage, and thus, in addition to the
loans effected in Philadelphia, New York and at home, the means to
complete the work were reasonably anticipated. In the Directors' Report of
1854, they were obliged to announce unlooked for embarrassments, growing