Information below from the 75th Anniversary pamphlet of Cuyahoga Heights 1918-1993:
Although Cuyahoga Heights has been in existence as a political entity since 1918, the roots extend deeply into the early history of Ohio. The Ohio Canal, which was a vital link in the state's transportation more than 150 years ago, remains as evidence of the role the rural community had in making of a great state and nation. Cuyahoga Heights, when it was born in 1918, was a quiet, rural community. It had agriculture as its major commercial venture. Industry found the location ideal for expansion and the political climate inviting.
Like all small rural communities it boasted a post office, blacksmith shop, a diary, a drugstore, two saloons and felt the fate of prohibition, a dance hall for Saturday night fun and a string of prosperous truck farms. The road system included several miles of 10-foot red brick pavement along old Harvard Hill, East 49th St., and East 71st St. With the coming of the automobile, East 72st St. was designated as Ohio Route 21.
Massive traffic jams on weekends and holidays were a common place at Canal Road and E. 71st St., where the vehicles from Warner Road were funneled across the old E. 71st St. bridge that spanned the Cuyahoga River and Ohio Canal. During the 1920-1930 era special deputies directed the traffic at the intersection.
One frequently hears, of course, of communities that have seceded from larger municipalities, but not often does it happen that the seceder takes the city hall along. Nor does it very often happen that the part which breaks away contains within itself the richest part of the dismembered territory. Above all, it does not very often happen in Cuyahoga County, yet here we have Cuyahoga Heights Village, now a separate civic entity, doing very well, thank you, after having severed political relations with its parent, Newburgh Heights, in 1918, and waxing prosperous down there on the southern fringe of Cleveland, what with all the manufacturing plants within its boundaries going practically full blast and paying tidy sums annually into the town treasury.
Samuel E. Clapp, clerk of Cuyahoga Heights, served from 1918, except for four years when he thought he should retire, and then was asked to come back in 1932, sat with a reporter from the Plain Dealer a whole evening pouring over records for details of the controversy that marked the secession of the Village from Newburgh Heights. Like all such records, the Village books were severely brief, and one had to read between the lines to get th epicture of what had really happened. "Moved by Schmit, seconded by Hammersley, to hold an election ot form a township, as asked by a petition signed by 30 freeholders." According to Mr. Clapp, who served as assistant superintendent of th eAmerican Steel & Wire Company plant, knew a story or two about the town, having lived in it for some time, and was able to enlighten the report with the following story.
According to Mr. Clapp, the community quarrel was caused by the fact that although the residents of what is now Cuyahoga Heights were paying higher taxes the money was spent in improving other sections, notably the district near Washington Park. At that time East 71st Street was only half paved, and East 49th Street had but a narrow pavement. Sewage was faulty, transportation poor. In fact, this section resembled the "slums," while the lower part of Newburgh Heights looked like a most up-to-date metropolis.
Mayor Anton Linek of Newburgh Heights was confronted time and again to correct the problems facing the residents of East 71st and East 49th, but the situation was not altered. Finally, led by Jesse W. Hammersley, who had lived at 4940 E. 71st St. for 55 years, 25 citizens met one night in a shed and voted to form the township of Willow, which was the first step necessary before a village could be organized. An election was held on February 2, 1918, and 59 persons - a large number for that section - turned out in the bitter cold weather to vote for secession. Four trustees were elected, including Clinton Gordon, Mr. Clapp, Joseph F. Schmit, and R.D. Kerr. After a few more meetings required by statue, the Village was legally organized and at a final election, March 16, 1918, Mr. Schmit, bachelor and son of a pioneer family which had lived on the same homestead for 60 years, was chosen first mayor. He remained in office 12 years.
In addition to establishing the Village of Cuyahoga Heights and choosing its officers, the election gave four out of the five square miles which comprised Newburgh Heights to Cuyahoga Heights - including the former's city hall, which was in the seceding area. Naturally, it found itself involve din a lawsuit over the possession of the city hall, yet it not only won the suit, but in a later one was given 86 percent of Newburgh Heights cash on hand in the bargain. In tax duplicate valuation this represented $10,674,360. Also included in the court order were all office equipment, a Ford car and a garbage collection outfit.
Mayor Linek of Newburgh, perhaps, was not particularly concerned over the money value of his official residence, for it was a rather unpretentious place, no larger than a good-sized garage. But there was a principal involved. No new and upstart Village could be permitted to get away with that sort of thing, and so suit was filed that went clear to the Supreme Court of Ohio and lasted more than a year. The decision as has been stated, was quite a blow to Newburgh Heights, especially that tax business. The Cuyahoga Heights tax duplicate amounted to $12,396,630, and after Cuyahoga Heights was granted its 86 percent, there was only $1,772,270 left for poor Newburgh Heights. Frederick W. Green, the solicitor of Cuyahoga Heights was credited with acquiring the tax money for the Village.
But in acquiring such a handsome percentage of the parental taxes the offspring likewise was compelled to assume 83 percent of Newburgh Heights debts, which amounted to $270,515.21. It was a load, and after 18 years (1936), there was still an unpaid balance of $105,000. Despite the heavy bonded debt, however, none of the 800 residents seem to regret its secessionist action. During Mayor Schmit's administration East 72st and East 49th streets were given new pavements and better sidewalks, and the $250,000 trunk line sewer on East 71st was finally installed.
The Village built a $75,000 two-story Georgian town hall during the Depression which replaced the rickety old building over which the two towns fought so hard. The structure was designed to serve a double purpose. It was to serve as a city hall and community center, with a shiny combination dance hall and auditorium with a seating capacity of 800 - the exact population of the town. Included in the new structure was a club and lodge room and a community kitchen capable of serving 300 guests. There was also a children's play room and a two-room apartment for the custodian. In the basement was a bowling alley and billiard tables - and two cells, usually vacant.
Cuyahoga Heights in 1936 had no troublesome tax problems like some of its somewhat distracted sister communities. Residents paid only a small fraction of the total value of taxable property. The $17,000,000 tax duplicate of which Cuyahoga Heights was so proud, and justly, too, since no other Village in the United States at the time could equal it, came mostly from the manufacturing plants that had established legal residence.
CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS - THE EARLY DAYS
Long before Cuyahoga Heights came into existence as an incorporated Village, its roots were established in the early history of the state of Ohio. The Ohio Canal, which runs through the Village was a vital link in the state's transportation more than 165 years ago, a reminder that the community played a vital role in making Ohio a great state. In the early days of the Village, truck farms along E. 49th St. took their produce and vegetables to the markets in Cleveland. The farms provided plenty of summer work for young men and worked as much as six days a week at the rate of a whooping 10 cents or less an hour. They received, as a bonus, free produce for their families when harvest time rolled around. During the fall canning season the farmers sold their produce along the streets of the Village.
Railroading became an important part in the growth of the Village. The New York Central Railroad operated the Marcelline Yards, where they put together strings of railroad cars to transport goods and material all over the country. The Newburgh and South Shore Railroad on East 71st served industry in both Newburgh and Cuyahoga Heights, and the Cleveland Railway Company located its car repair facility and roadbed maintenance facility on Harvard Avenue, between East 42nd and 49th Streets.
With the demand for electricity increasing, the Illuminating Company built a power station at Oak Avenue and East 71st St. Both Ohio Bell Telephone Company and the International Telephone and Telegraphy Company established major long distance centers at East 49th and Harvard Avenue. Before the coming of electircal refrigeration, the Pearse brothers operated an ice farm in the ravine near East 49th and Harvard. During the winter season, blocks of ice were cut on the site and stored for summer usage.
The Village even had two churches at the turn of the century. The Willow Baptist Mission was erected on the present site of the Toscana Club and the Foresdale Presbyterian Church on East 49th near Harvard. Helen Jones (later Mrs. Dustheimer) was the organist and Sunday School teacher at the Willow Baptist Mission. In addition, she taught classes at old Harvard School. The Catholic residents attended St. Joseph (Woodland Ave.), Holy Name Church, Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, St. Michael's in Independence, St. Therese Church and several others.
The Kalfas Dairy and Phillips Drugstore formerly stood on the site of the elementary school on 71st Street. Village residents could buy their gas at the drugstore which featured a hand-pump in front of the building. The community store near Bletch Court served as the post office before regular mail delivery service was started in the Village. Residents could pick up their mail at the store on their way to buy groceries.
Transportation in and around the Village came from the old Forester Bus Line, which was locate don East 57th and Fleet Avenue. The bus line operated open-air White buses manufactured in Cleveland.
The Village had always been rich in natural resources and lumber, sand, and gas found in plentiful supply along the Cuyahoga River Valley. During the 1920s a blight completely destroyed the beautiful chestnut trees. During World War I, the black walnut found in the community, was being used to produce rifle butts.
SOCIAL LIFE OF THE EARLY DAYS
The Village was no different than any small community in the early days, the social life evolved around square dances, picnics, clambakes, dances and skating on the ponds during the winter months. The Village boasted of its own dance hall where popular Saturday night get-togethers were held. The men of the Village particpated in a variety of sporting events including fishing, turtle catching, fox hunts, hunting and baseball.
The local halls and later the Town Hall were popular spots for the dance crowds. Ted Lang, the robust drummer and his wife tickled the keys in the musical era.
During the Depression Years of the 1930's the local dramatic club, "Ruralites", produced many interesting programs. The teenagers and young adults produced plays and variety shows. The talented group included Helen Baur DiSantis, Dorothy Kruzel Bartczak, Esther Chase Keys, Harry and Irene Blue, Marian Humphrey, Alvina Gallitz, Mary Bacci and John Hanousek.
In the early days, men participated in mushroom picking safaris. Each year tutle soup was a delight on the menu of refreshments at the men's stag parties and at the Home Day celebration. Prominent chefs were Police Chief Bill Baur and Dan Marek, who guarded their recipes with the professional pride of gourmet cooks. The fall of the year was a favorite time for the mushroom pickers. Chapek, the popular tavern keeper, was an expert at recognizing the varieties of the field mushrooms and passed his skill to the other men.
Rabbits, pheasants, squirrels, ducks and smaller game were plentiful in the wooded ravines that surrounded the village. The preditory fox was the subject of Sunday morning hunts of large groups of the sportsmen. After the hunt a brunch of hot chili or turtle soup rounded out the day of fun. In friendly competition, the men would record their biggest turtle or largest mushroom picked during a single season.
Many holiday activities were provided including the annual Christmas visit by Santa; the VFW Post Easter Egg hunt; trips to the Cleveland Stadium to see big league baseball; Halloween Parties; Saturday movies at the Town Hall and back-to-school parties. Some of these programs have been a continuous treat to the village youngsters for more than 40 years. Another traditional event was the HOme Day in August of each year. It gave the residents, past and present, a chance to socialize and recall the good old days. The Fourth of July water show and fireworks at the high school football field were enjoyed by young and old.
SPORTS ACTIVITIES IN THE VILLAGE
In addition to the men's fast pitch softball team, horseshoe pitching and bocci ball were popular among the men. Regulation horseshoe pits spotted the village at several locations including the Weidner homestead on Marcelline Court. The contest during the last summer evenings were popular. The winners were treated to the finest home-brew since the prohibition era was in effect.
When the Town Hall was built, a bowling alley provided both men and women an opportunity to participate in leagure competition and weekend open bowling. In 1938, the Cuyahoga Heights Athletic Club was formed and entered a team in the Newburgh Heights Fast Pitch Softball League. Playground activities were organized at Chapek's Grove (later taken over by the Village in 1945) and the Town Hall. American Steel and Wire leased the East 49th St. playfield to the Village for one dollar per year. In 1955, the Village built the William R. Gerdon Swimming Pool adjacent to the City Hall. The swimming pool was named after the former mayor. In 1953, Little League Baseball came to the Village and a team was organized. The ladies of the community were not overlooked as they organized a Pigtail team for the girls. The High School provided team sports in football, basketball, baseball and othe rsports for the students.
Another popular event was the first ripe tomato derby each season. Early planting and guarding against late spring frosts was the secret of the gardeners. Many have shared in the coveted title of tomato derby competition including Bill Baur, Frank Bartczak, Jack Klima, Marcel "Bus" Golene, Vince Wesey and others.
In 1953, the Little League fever among young boys hit the community and Lloyd Wey assisted by several young men, organized a team. The league competition included the villages of Brooklyn Hts., Cuyahoga Heights, Independence, Newburgh Hts., Seven Hills and Valley View. The opening day each season was a festive event. Mayor Bill Gerdon tossing out the first ball, a band, presentation of the colors by the VFW Post and Auxiliary and all the fanfare associated with a big league opener. The managers, coaches, umpires and scorekeepers were volunteers. It made possible the wholesome sport activity for the young boys that continues today.
OTHER LANDMARK AREAS
The Kalfas Dairy and Phillips Drugstore stood on the site of the present elementary school on E. 71st. A hand pump in front of the store, which was later converted into a grocery meat market by Eugene Gesel, provided gasoline.
The Krapf farm, that overlooked the Cuyahoga Valley at the bluff on E. 49th St., is now the site of Reliance Electric. The original red brick farmhouse was built by Jacob Krapf Sr., in about 1860.
The Gallitz farm was on Grant Ave. When the Willow Freeway was started, the house was moved over to open fields to East 49th St. The Ford Motor Co. parts depot later stood on the site.
The community store near Bletch Court served as a post office before the postal delivery service was established. On E. 49th St., near the road to the old Ohio Canal pump house, the former mayor of Cleveland, Tom L. Johnson, built a summer cottage and trout fishing troughs.
(Because Cuyahoga Heights was originally a part of Newburg Township before Cuyahoga Heights was created in 1918, two histories are included below of Newburg Township for your reading enjoyment)
The present Newburg is a strictly agricultural region. The soil is fertile, and farming is profitable, especially near the city, where gardening occupies the labors of the people to a large degree. Pasturage is plentiful and excellent, and dairies are numerous. The largest, average from thirty to forty cows each, and Newburg does a flourishing business in supplying the city with milk. Building stone is quarried to some extent, but receives no marked attention as an article of shipment.
Newburg, as now constituted, is simply a rural settlement, with convenient access, however, to more populous regions. There are within its limits neither villages nor churches; but on the other hand, the citizens pride themselves on the fact that there is no place in the township where liquor is sold. The only public buildings are the town-hall and the school-houses.
The earliest settlements of old Newburg were made in that portion now known as the Eighteenth ward of Cleveland. But the pioneers of that tract having been mentioned in the history of Cleveland, this chapter will deal merely with the first settlements in what is now known as Newburg township.
Philip Brower, who was among the early comers, journeyed in 1816 with his wife and seven children from New York State to Independence township. He lived there until his wife died-in 1820-and then settled in Newburg, near the Independence line, where David L., his son, had purchased two hundred and seventy acres. David lived on the old place fifty-four years, and died in 1876, aged eighty-five. His widow still survives, residing with her son Perry in Cleveland.
When Mr. Brower moved into Newburg he became a neighbor of Darius Warner, who came from New York in 1816 with five children, and took up the farm now occupied by James Walker, who married his granddaughter. Darius Warner's son, Spencer, carried on the farm after his father's death, and on his own death, in 1861, left four children. Two of them, Mrs. James Walker and Lydia Warner, live in Newburg; Norman resides in Iowa, and John in California.
In the spring of 1820, Nehemiah Marks, Wilson Bennett, Richard Treat, and a Mr. Clark, all young men of Milford, Connecticut, set out in a one-horse wagon for Ohio, and, after a journey of thirty-three days, brought up in the township which is the subject of this chapter. Treat and Clark went farther west, but Marks & Bennett tarried in Newburg, where they had bought farms of Barr and Bardsley, the Connecticut proprietors. Mr. Marks bought one hundred acres on the present Bedford road, where he still lives, an aged but hale and hearty pioneer, now entering upon his eighty-third year. Mr. Bennett located on the farm next adjoining that of Mr. Marks on the northwest. Soon afterward Thomas Ross, as emigrant from the State of New York, came from Summit county and joined Marks and Bennett, his farm being the one now owned by Asa Dunham, one mile west of the Marks place. While engaged in clearing their farms, Marks, Bennett and Ross kept bachelor's ball in Ross' log shanty until late in the fall, when the family of the latter came out from the East, and then Marks and Bennett boarded with the Ross household. Meanwhile Marks had put up a log house and cleared six acres of land, whereupon, in 1821, he traveled on foot back to Connecticut for his sister, who accompanied him to Ohio, and kept house for him until 1822, when Mr. Marks married. The next year she married Cyrus Parmeter, a Vermonter, who had assisted Marks in clearing his farm, and removed to Strongsville.
As an instance of the difficulty of traveling with vehicles in those days, it may be observed that young Marks walked back to Connecticut in thirteen days on the return trip; when he had a team, he consumed upwards of a month. When Mr. Marks first came out to Newburg he had to cut his way to his farm, although in the following summer a road from Cleveland to Hudson was opened, which was followed somewhat later by the present Bedford road.
Ross died in 1832, of the cholera. Bennett fell eventually into evil ways, took to drinking, and died a wreck, in 1836. None of the descendants of either Ross or Bennett are living in the township. Mr. Marks married, in 1822, a Mrs. Parmeter, a sister of the man who married Miss Marks. She came to Newburg in 1821, in company with a family of Western pioneers, and drove a team all the way from New England as compensation for her transportation. After reaching Newburg she taught school on the Brainard farm, but unfortunately for the school it was broken up by the speedy marriage of its teacher.
When Mr. Marks settled in Newburg there were on the Bedford road in Newburg the Jewetts, John and Samuel Brooks, and Nehemiah Wallace, with his three sons, Ira, Chester and Jefferson, the former two being married. Chester is still living in Morrow county, in this State. Lewis Harper's farm adjoined Wilson Bennett's but he subsequently moved to that part of the township now included in the city.
Edmond Rathbun, now an old gentleman of eighty-five, living in Cleveland with his son-in-law, Freeman Brooks, made the journey in a sleigh from New York to Newburg, in the winter of 1817, in company with Isaac Clark and family. Young Rathbun took up forty four acres of land near where the "five-mile-lock" was afterwards, constructed, which tract he increased to one hundred and twenty-five acres in 1818. In that year his brother George joined him, and located on a neighboring farm. He removed to Euclid in 1844, and died there in 1877, aged eighty-one. Edmund Rathbun sold out his Newburg place in 1854, and went to Solon, afterwards becoming a resident of Cleveland, as before stated. His wife, who is still living, was the daughter of Samuel Hamilton, who settled in Newburg village as early as 1801.
Mr. Rathbun's neighbors besides his brother George, were Milton, Erastus and Joseph Rathbun; a Mr. Burgess, who was killed by the fall of a tree; Jonathan Pearse, who located in Newburg about 1818; John Gould and his son, Myrick; Benjamin Parsons, Wildman White, Samuel Andrus and George Beakle.
In the northeast, one of the pioneers was Jedediah Hubbell. His house was burned to the ground on Sunday, in 1822, while he was at church. The next morning his townsmen gathered in force, put up a new house for him and moved his family into it before nightfall. That is an example of how people used to help each other in the "good old days." Solomon White was located in the north near the present city line. On the old State road, now called the Fisher road, were Parker, Shattuck, Amos Brainard, Solas Owens, Lewis Peet and Isaac Clark; the latter having come out with Edmund Rathbun in 1817. A Mr. Remington, Lyman Hammond and Mr. Rightor were settlers perhaps, as early as 1814, near where James Walker lives, but they moved away after a very brief stay.
Newburg township was formed by an order of the county commissioners on the 15th day of October, 1814. Until 1873 it embraced the thriving village of Newburg. In September of that year the village and the tract lying between it and the north line of the township were annexed to the city of Cleveland. The remaining citizens of Newburg determined to preserve the residue of their territory intact, and so, on the 2d of March, 1874, the township was incorporated for "special purposes." The only change in the form of election, however, is that each year one trustee is chosen to serve three years.
Financially the township is in a healthful condition. On the 1st of September, 1879, there were in the treasury $2,555, against which there was not one dollar of indebtedness. The township tax for 1879 aggregated ninety-three and one-half cents on each $100.
While Newburg village was a part of the township, all the township business was naturally done there, and a large part of the officers lived there, probably a majority of them. Others lived in the northwestern part of the old township. These are all "outsiders" so far as the present township is concerned. Yet if we give a bit of Newburg officers at all we cannot discriminate between them, and we can find no place more proper for it than in the history of the township which still bears that time-honored name. The township books from 1814 to the present time are in the possession of the clerk of the present Newburg, and from them we transcribe the following list:
1814, Clerk, Erastus Miles; trustees, Giles Barnes, Chas. Miles, Daniel Marvin
Newburg has now five school districts-two having been added during 1879. At the last report, September 1, 1879, for three school districts, the value of school property was set down at $10,000. The amount paid teachers for the year was $735, and the balance of cash in the school fund was $1,400. The number of children of school age was about two hundred, of whom one hundred and ten were enrolled in the schools; the average attendance being sixty-six. The great discrepancy between the enumeration and enrollment is explained by the statement that many of the children in the township attend a Catholic school in the eighteenth ward of Cleveland. Two fine brick school-houses, expected to cost $1,600 each, are now being erected in the two recently created districts. The five districts are located as follows: No. 1, in the northeast; No. 2, on Miles avenue, No. 3, on the Bedford road; No.4, near the California powder works, and No. 5, on Union street. The members of the board of education are Boardman Pearse, O. W. Quiggin, John R. Edwards, John B. Collett and Jacob Cramer.
The manufacturing industries, although few in number, are of considerable importance.
(an outgrowth of the firm of Austin & Sons, which was founded in Ohio in 1833), was incorporated in 1868, with a capital of $300,000 for the purpose of manufacturing all kinds of powder. The works are located near what is called five-mile-lock. Here the company owns one hundred and thirty acres of land, upon which are the mills, tenement houses, etc. Thirty men are employed, and about four hundred kegs of powder are produced daily; the product including blasting, mining, shipping, cannon, meal, and several grades of sporting powder. Mr. L. Austin, who was the secretary of the company until 1873, has been its president since that time.
an association incorporated by the State of California, has branch factories in various parts of the country, and among them one in Newburg. This branch was established in 1877, for the purpose of manufacturing dynamite, or Hercules powder, for blasting. The business of these works aggregates $300,000 annually. Forty men are employed, being under the direction of William Wilson, the superintendent.
The mills are located near the line of the Ohio canal, in a deep ravine upon an extensive farm owned by the company and comprise about a dozen different structures.
composed of J. R. Peck, J. H. Breck, Jr., and E. S. Peck, has a large establishment near the river devoted to the manufacture of bone-dust, super phosphate of lime and neatsfoot oil. The company was established about three years ago, as the successor of Davidson & Palmer.
FROM THE HISTORY OF CUYAHOGA COUNTY BY COATES
To the pioneer the gristmill was a supreme blessing, and we today can hardly realize how important a function it filled in pioneer life. No wonder the older members of the community preserved these relics of bygone days from the Newburgh mill. To this mill came settlers from all the surrounding territory, and its history, beginning before the nineteenth century came in, is linked with much of early pioneer life. When this mill was completed and ready for grinding, invitations were sent out for a grand celebration. At that time there were ten families in Cleveland (none west of the river), and a few single men. Quite a number came from Euclid, for there was a settlement in that town. The celebration was a success, for they were celebrating the completion of the first gristmill on the Western Reserve. Newburgh has this distinction, and that is a notable one in pioneer history.
In the winter of 1817 Edmund Rathbun
came from New York State in a sleigh with Isaac Clark and family. Young Rathbun
bought forty-four acres near the five mile lock, as afterwards designated. Soon he bought more land and increased his farm to 125 acres. George
Rathbun came the next year. He was a brother, and bought a farm next to
Edmund's. As following the fortunes of these early comers, Edmund Rathbun sold
his Newburgh property in 1854 and moved to Solon, and from there to Cleveland. George Rathbun moved to Euclid in 1844,
where he died in 1877 at the age of eighty-one. His wife was the daughter of
Samuel Hamilton, who settled in Newburgh in 1801. Samuel Hamilton was the
grandfather of Edwin T. Hamilton, who was for many years the dean of the Common Pleas bench of Cuyahoga County. Of him we
will speak later. Mr. Rathbun's neighbors, besides his brother George, were
Milton, Joseph and Erastus Rathbun; a Mr. Burgess, who was killed by a falling
tree; Jonathan Pearse, who came in 1818; John Gould and his son Myrick;
Benjamin Parsons, Wildman White, Samuel Andrus, and George Beakle. Jedediah
Hubbell settled in the northeast part of the township. It is related of
him that on a Sunday in 1822, while he was at church, his house burned down.
But this was in "the good old days." The next day the townspeople all gathered and built a new
house and moved the family in before nightfall. The next settler to be noted
was Solomon White. He located in the north part of the township, near the Cleveland
line. On the old state road, afterwards called the Fisher road, there were
early settlements, Parker, Shattuck, Amos Brainard, Silas Owen, Lewis Feet, and
Isaac Clark, he who came with Edmund Rathbun in 1817. A. M. Remington, Lyman
Hammond, and John Righter, who came as early as 1814. Mr. Righter moved to Brecksville
soon after. He had been a soldier in the War of 1812. His descendants are
scattered over the Western Reserve. Two daughters, Alice and Libby (Elizabeth)
became locally famous as singers, Alice as a contralto, and Libby as a soprano. He had ten children. Only one is now
living, Mary Righter Fessenden. Her home is in Twinsburg, Summit County. She
will be ninety in November. She, like others of the large family, had marked
musical talent, and a little printed collection of
February 25, 1904, the Village of
Newburgh Heights was established out of territory detached from Bedford, and in
March of that year the township of Newburgh Heights was established out of the village territory for judicial purposes. October, 1904, the Township
of South Newburgh was established, and in December of that year the village. In
1919 the name of South Newburgh was changed to Garfield Heights, and South View
Township established. December 21, 1912, Newburgh Village having advanced to
the grade of a city, commissioners were appointed to arrange terms of
annexation to Cleveland, and in 1913 the commissioners' report was approved and
Mention is made of manufacturing
within its limits, and among them the Austin Powder Company, founded in 1833,
near the five mile lock of the canal, that the company owned 400 acres of land.
The production at that time was 400 kegs of powder daily. The California Powder
Company, established as a branch of the Austin Powder Company in 1877 for the
manufacture of dynamite, was then housed in several buildings in a deep ravine
near the canal. The Newburgh Fertilizer Company, established in 1876 by
Davidson and Palmer, was then in operation with J. B. Peck, J. H. Breck, and E.
S. Peck as proprietors, manufacturing bone dust and superphosphates. Of these
three only E. S. Peck is now living. He was for some time mayor of Newburgh Village.
Another old citizen of Newburgh is
Ashley Ames, who is now nearly eighty-eight years of age and like Mr. Miles is
well preserved. Through him and Mr. Miles the writer gathered a number of incidents
in connection with the early history of Newburgh. The dances at these early
taverns were attended by young people from the surrounding country and they
lasted all night. The orchestra usually consisted of two violins and a bass
viol with Jack Leland as leader and it was considered a grand orchestra. Ned Kendall occasionally played for the dances
out there. He had a reputation, having played before the king and queen of
England, and his presence was an event. Jack Leland became a famous band leader
of Cleveland and Leland's band was known far and wide. It was the custom of the
manager of these parties to send out invitations to the desirable and
attractive girls in the surrounding country and bring them to the dance in a
sleigh or in the event of lack of sleighing, in a wagon. Then, of course,
they were free to accept any invitation from the swains to "see them
home" individually. Ashley Ames relates that at one of these dances, when
the time for going home arrived, it was storming furiously, so they all stayed
to breakfast. Then Jack Leland went up into the ballroom and began playing and
they all began dancing again and danced until 9 o'clock. These were jolly times and
recreations that lessened the hard burden of pioneer life. A. J. Spencer was a
school teacher in Newburgh for many years and in the days when going to
Cleveland was an all-day trip. At one time he ran a bus from Newburgh to Cleveland in day trips. If persons wished to go to
Cleveland to the theater or any evening performance, it was necessary to make
up a party sufficient to make the trip pay. After he had managed the Spencer
House for some years, and he was a very popular landlord, he became the secretary to the chief of the fire department of Cleveland
and remained through many successive administrations. Alva Brainard of Newburgh
was sheriff of the county and his chief deputy, Benjamin Wiggin, also of
Newburgh, lived in the jail, which was then on the southwest corner of the public square at Cleveland. Ashley Ames kept a
livery stable in Newburgh, in the section which was later the eighteenth ward
of the city, for nearly fifty years. He had nine brothers and two sisters and
only he and one brother are living. We have referred to the first gristmill on' Mill Creek. After that had been in operation for some
time. Noble Bates, who acted as miller for the proprietors of the gristmill,
put up a carding machine, and then a sawmill on the same stream. Then he
undertook to start the silk industry. Mulberry trees were planted and silk worms procured, but the climate was not adapted to the
industry and the enterprise failed.