BROOKLYN TOWNSHIP HISTORY
Transcribed and proofed
by Denise Wells
Boundaries and Soil - First Private Proprietors - "Granger
Hill"-The First "Squatter" - The First Permanent
Settler - Isaiah Fish, the First Child - Going Ten Miles to Work
- Abundant Rattlesnakes - E. & M. Fish - The Oldest Inhabitant
- The Brainards - A Fish and Brainard Settlement - First Framed
House - An Avalanche of Emigration - More Brainards-Fears of
Paupers - Trying to mortgage a Farm for Flour - First Settlers
at Brighton - Some More Brainards - The Aikens - Other Settlers
- Early Mills - Civil Organization - List of Officers - Brooklyn
Methodist Episcopal Church - First Congregational Church - Brighton
Methodist Church - Church of the Lady of the Sacred Heart - Disciple
Congregation - Early Schools - Present Schools - Brooklyn Village
Schools - West Cleveland Schools - Brooklyn Academy - Brighton
Academy - Brighton Village - Brooklyn Village - Its Officers
- West Cleveland - Its Officers - Industrial School Farm - Linndale
- Cemeteries - Post Offices - Cleveland Dryer Company - Lake
Erie Dryer Company - Other Manufacturers - Nurseries - Railways
- Glenn Lodge I. O. O. F. - Glenn Encampment - Brooklyn Lodge
F. & A. M. - Militia Companies - Brooklyn Hook and Ladder
- Brooklyn township, which joins the city of Cleveland on the
west and south, is a part of range thirteen, in which it is township
number seven. It included originally all that part of the territory
of the city of Cleveland lying on the west side of the Cuyahoga
river, which, along with what now comprises Brooklyn, was set
off from Cleveland township to form the township of Brooklyn.
Brooklyn's boundaries are the city of Cleveland and Lake Erie
on the north, the townships of Parma and Independence on the
south, the city of Cleveland and Newburg township on the east,
and the township of Rockport on the west. It contains four villages,
Brooklyn, West Cleveland, Brighton and Linndale, of which the
former two are incorporated.
- The Cuyahoga river skirts the eastern part of the township
on the east, and separates it from Newburg. Its other water courses
are unimportant creeks, which, though once valuable as mill streams,
are now of no use for that purpose. The land is generally fertile
and farms are valuable, especially near the Cleveland line, where
attention is given to the cultivation of fruit and garden products;
the former industry being profitably followed near the lake shore,
and the latter near Brooklyn village.
- In the division of the Western Reserve, as narrated in the
general history, the greater part of Brooklyn, including the
present West Side of Cleveland, fell to Richard and Samuel Lord
and Josiah Barber, from one or the other, or all, of whom the
early settlers purchased their farms.
- EARLY SETTLEMENT.
- A grassy slope overlooking the Cuyahoga river from Riverside
cemetery, and known to this day as "Granger Hill,"
is the spot where the territory subsequently occupied by the
township of Brooklyn received its first white settler. Granger
was a "squatter" from Canada, but when he squatted
upon his Brooklyn land is not exactly known. He was there, at
all events, in May, 1812, when James Fish entered what is now
Brooklyn township, as the first of the permanent white settlers
of that territory. Granger had with him his son, Samuel, and
the two remained until 1815, when they sold their improvements
to Asa Brainard and migrated to the Maumee country.
- James Fish, above mentioned, had been a resident of Groton,
Connecticut, and, having purchased a piece of land of Lord &
Barber in the present township of Brooklyn, he set out from Groton
in the summer of 1811 with an ox-team and a lumber wagon, in
which rode himself, his three children, his wife and her mother.
He journeyed west in company with a large party of pioneers,
but the only ones besides himself destined for Brooklyn were
his two cousins, Moses and Ebenezer Fish-the latter of whom made
the entire trip on foot. Arriving at Cleveland early in the autumn,
after forty-seven days on the road, James Fish decided to pass
the winter in Newburg, while Ebenezer and Moses remained in Cleveland.
Early in the spring of 1812 James went over from Newburg alone
and put up a log-house that cost him just eighteen dollars, and
in May of that year he took his family to their new home. Their
log cabin was, of course, a rude structure, and its furniture
was in keeping with the house. The bedstead-for there was only
one at first-was manufactured by the head of the family, and
was composed of roughly hewn pieces of wood, fastened with wooden
pins, and having in lieu of a bed cord a net work made of strips
of bark. This bedstead is still in the possession of Isaiah W.,
a son of James Fish, who resides in Brooklyn village upon the
place originally occupied by his father. Isaiah W. Fish, just
mentioned, was born in Brooklyn, May 9, 1814, and was the first
white child born in the new settlement.
- James Fish began at once to clear his land, but while waiting
for a crop his family must needs have something to eat. Mr. Fish
had no cash, and so he used to go over to Newburg two or three
times a week, and work there at farming for fifty cents a day.
Thus he managed to reach the harvest season, when from the first
fruits of his land he secured a little money. It is, however,
a question whether he could have carried his family through the
winter, had it not been for the assistance of his wife who to
her other duties added that of weaving coverlids, by which she
earned a goodly sum, and in which she became so celebrated that
she found the demand far beyond her power to supply.
- When Mr. Fish set out for Newburg on his periodical journeys,
he left his family the sole occupants of a wilderness in which
there were no residents nearer than Cleveland, and, knowing full
well their fears and the good reasons for them, he returned to
them faithfully each night, albeit, his trips were always made
on foot, and covered ten long miles. Such trips, too, he frequently
made on subsequent occasions, when, needing flour or meal, he
would shoulder a two bushel bag full of corn, trudge to the Newburg
mill, and get back with his meal the same day.
- Mr. Fish was a great hunter and slayer of rattlesnakes, which
were found in immense numbers, and occasionally reared their
ugly fronts through openings in the rude floors of the settlers'
cabins. It is told of one of Mr. Fish's farm hands in the early
days, that on narrowly escaping the attack of a rattlesnake he
joyously and thankfully exclaimed: "What a smart idea it
was in God Almighty to put bells on them things!" Mr. Fish
lived a useful and honored life in Brooklyn, saw cities and villages
rise where once he trode the pathless forest, and at the age
of ninety-three passed away from earth, on the old homestead,
in September, 1875, his wife having proceeded him twenty-one
- Ebenezer and Moses Fish, who have already been mentioned
as spending the winter of 1811-12 in Cleveland, followed James
Fish to Brooklyn in the spring of 1812, and settled upon eighty
acres lying just south of James Fish's place-Ebenezer locating
on the north side of what is known as Newburg street, and Moses
on the south side. Neither was then married, but, as both expected
to be, they worked with a will to prepare their land for cultivation,
both living in a log shanty on Ebenezer's land. Ebenezer was
one of the militiamen who guarded Omie, the Indian murderer who
was hung in Cleveland in June, 1812, as related in the general
history. Both also served a few months in the forces called out
to guard the frontier during the first year of the war of 1812.
Returning to their clearings, they vigorously renewed their pioneer
life. Moses was drafted into the military service, but he was
far from being strong, and therefore Ebenezer went in his stead,
serving six months and taking part in an engagement at Mackinaw
- After the war closed Ebenezer returned to Connecticut, where
he was married and where he remained six years before resuming
his residence in Brooklyn. There Mr. Fish has ever since lived,
and in his ninety-third year is still a dweller upon his old
homestead; the only one now living of the little band of pioneers
who began the settlement of Brooklyn.
- Of the children of Moses Fish, Ozias and Lorenzo reside in
Brooklyn, while others are in the far West.
- Following the Fish families in 1813 came Ozias Brainard,
of Connecticut, with four grown daughters and four sons, Ozias,
Jr., Timothy, Ira and Bethuel, of whom Ozias, Jr. and Ira had
families. They set6tled on the Newburg road, near where Brooklyn
village now is, on adjoining places, and all resided in Brooklyn
during the remainder of their lives. David S. Brainard, a son
of Ozias, Jr., now resides in Cleveland near the country infirmary.
At this time, as will have been observed, Brooklyn township was
peopled exclusively by Fishes and Brainards, and it used to be
a common story in Cleveland that "the visitor to Brooklyn
might be certain that the first man he'd meet would be a Fish
or a Brainard."
- Ozias Brainard, Jr., put up the first framed dwelling in
Brooklyn, on the place now occupied by his son David, and Asa
Brainard raised the first framed barn, which is still in use
on the farm of Carlos Jones, the erection of which, in 1818 or
before, was the occasion of a hilarious celebration. Asa Brainard
also built the first brick house in the old township of Brooklyn
at what is now the junction of Columbus and Scranton avenues,
where he opened the first public tavern in that township, about
- The autumn of 1814 witnessed a large and important accession
to the little settlement when six families, comprising forty
persons, came thither from Connecticut within a week; thirty-one
of them landing with the same hour. These were the families of
Isaac Hinckley, Asa Brainard, Elijah Young, Stephen Brainard,
Enos Brainard and Warren Brainard, all of whom had been residents
of Chatham, Middlesex county, Connecticut. All exchanged their
farms there with Lord & Barber for land in "New Connecticut,"
and all set out for that unknown land on the same day. The train
consisted of six wagons, drawn by ten horses and six oxen, and
all journeyed together until Euclid was reached (forty days after
leaving Chatham), where Isaac Hinckley and his family rested,
leaving the others to push on to Brooklyn, whither he followed
them within a week.
- It appears that the trustees of the township of Cleveland-to
which the territory of Brooklyn then belonged-became alarmed
at the avalanche of emigrants just described, and concluding
that they were a band of paupers, for whose support the township
would be taxed, started a constable across the river to warn
the invaders out of town. Alonzo Carter, a resident of Cleveland,
heard of the move, and stopped it by endorsing the good standing
of the newcomers-adding that the alleged paupers were worth more
money than all the trustees of Cleveland combined.
- Isaac Hinckley settled in the southeast on lot seventy-nine,
near where the line between Parma and Independence intersects
the south lines of Brooklyn, in the heart of a thick forest,
"a mile from anybody" as his son, Abel, now says. The
first table the family used there was made by Mr. Hinckley out
of an ash tree. Moreover, although he owned three hundred and
sixty acres of land, he had no money to buy flour, and, being
in great need of breadstuffs, he offered to mortgage a hundred
acres of land as security for a barrel of flour. The Newburg
miller, however, preferred the flour to the chance of getting
the land, for the former would bring money more readily than
the latter. Nevertheless something to eat was procured in some
way, for Mr. Hinckley lived on the old place until 1851, when
he died at the age of seventy-eight.
- Asa Brainard located near the site of the infirmary, Stephen
Brainard on a place adjoining Mr. Abel Hinckley's present residence
in Brooklyn village, and Enos and Warren Brainard near where
the Wade House (on Columbus street) now stands.
- The first settlers upon what is now known as the Brighton
side of the creek were also Brainards. Two brothers, Amos and
Jedediah, with a cousin named Jabin, started with their families
from Connecticut and traveled westward together as far as Ashtabula,
where Jedediah, an old man of seventy, fell ill (in consequence,
doubtless, of having walked all the way from Connecticut_ and
died. Sylvanus, his eldest son, who had a family of his own,
took charge of his mother and her children, and, with Amos and
Jedediah, continued the trip to Brooklyn, where they arrived
in the summer of 1814. Amos located about a mile south of what
is now Brighton village, where he owned three hundred acres of
land. Sylvanus and Jabin settled near by.
- Amos had three sons and one daughter, Amos B., William, Demas
and Philena-all of whom save Demas died in the township. Demas
is now a hale old man of eighty-eight, and resides on a farm
a mile southeast of Brighton-the place which he made his home
- George and Thomas Aikens, brothers of Mrs. Amos Brainard,
had preceded that gentleman by a year or more, and had taken
up land on the Brighton side, but the Aikens family did not occupy
it until some time afterward. This land Amos Brainard cultivated
for the Aikens, and on that farm, by Demas Brainard, the first
ground was broken on the south side of the creek. Cyril and Irad,
sons of George Aikens, lived on the place after a time. Cyril
died there and Irad in Black River, whither he moved at an early
day. George and Thomas Aikens resided on the Brooklyn side, near
the site of the infirmary, where George Aikens, the grandson
of the former George, now resides.
- One of the stirring citizens of early Brooklyn was Diodate
Clark, of Connecticut, who settled in the township in 1815, and
was afterward a man of some prominence in its history. He was
the first male school teacher in Brooklyn, and was a wide-awake
business man. He eventually became concerned in large enterprises
in Cleveland, where it is said he was the first to engage in
the lime trade. He died on his old homestead in 1877.
- James Sears, of Connecticut, settled in Brooklyn in 1817,
and still lives-now aged eighty-upon a farm two miles west of
Brooklyn village. He worked at first in Cleveland, and boarded
with Asa Brainard. After a time he took up a farm and has lived
upon it ever since.
- Jeremiah Gates, originally from Connecticut, made his home
in Delhi, New York, in 1815, and in 1816 walked from that place
to Brooklyn for the purpose of examining the country. Satisfied
with its appearance he walked back to Delhi (having occupied
six weeks in the entire journey), married there, and in company
with his wife, his brother Nathaniel, and another man (who soon
returned east) set out for Brooklyn. A horse and wagon conveyed
them to Buffalo, where they took a vessel and thus made their
way to Cleveland. Jeremiah was too poor to buy land, and for
the first two years after his arrival in Brooklyn worked in Philo
Scovill's sawmill. In 1819 he assisted his brother Nathaniel
in the erection of a sawmill at what is known as five-mile lock.
In 1820 he bought a farm in Brooklyn and there continued to reside
until his death in 1870. His widow survives him, and lives on
the old place, in Brighton village, aged eighty-five.
- Richard and Samuel Lord and Josiah Barber, of the firm of
Lord and Barber before mentioned, removed to that part of Brooklyn
which is now the west side of Cleveland as early as 1818, and
resided there until they died. Edwin settled on lot ninety, in
he southeast corner of the township, and devoted himself to farming
and gardening, in which latter occupation he was especially successful.
- Ansel P. Smith, who set up the first wagon shop in Brooklyn,
came out from Connecticut, in 1830, with his brother-in-law,
Timothy Standard, an old sea captain, and together they opened
a store in Brooklyn village, the first one in that locality.
After an experience of five years they gave up the venture-Smith
going west and Standard back to Connecticut. After that, there
was not much done in the mercantile line in Brooklyn village
until 1843, when A. W. Poe opened a store and conducted it successfully
for thirty years. A Mr. Huntington, from Connecticut, opened
a store in Brighton in 1840, where John Thorne, a Frenchman,
had previously started a blacksmith shop. Epaphroditus Ackley,
a miller, settled on Walworth run in 1814, worked a while in
Barber's mill, and moved away after a residence of some years.
Asa Ackley, of New York, located at a later period near where
the infirmary now stands, and opened the first blacksmith shop
on the Brooklyn side.
- In the foregoing sketch of Brooklyn's early settlement it
has been the aim of the chronicler to treat principally of such
incidents and persons as were identified with the first decade
of the township's history. After that, settlers multiplied so
rapidly that the newcomers obtained no distinctive place in the
records of the time. Those who lead the van in the settlement
of a new country usually form but a handful, whose numbers may
be easily counted, and whose progress may be easily traced; and
they, too, are the ones around whom settles the peculiar interest
which always attached to the "pioneers" of a locality.
- Brooklyn, being adjacent to Cleveland, shared to some extent
the prosperity of that city, and its progress, after about 1825,
was quite rapid. Although shorn of a large part of its original
territory, by the annexation of the Ohio City to Cleveland in
1854, and by subsequent minor encroachments, it is still numerously
populated, and is not only a prosperous but a quite wealthy township.
- EARLY MILLS.
- The first sawmill put up in Brooklyn township was erected
by Philo Scovill, of Cleveland, in 1817, on Mill creek, about
two miles west of where Brooklyn village now is. Mr. Scovill
not only furnished lumber to the early settlers, but also made
window sashes and doors. Lord & Barber (the great land proprietors,)
put up a similar mill there not long afterward, and about the
same time a third sawmill was built on the same creek by Warren
and Gershom Young. In 1819 Nathaniel Gates built a sawmill on
the creek, at what is known as five-mile lock.
- The first gristmill in the old township is supposed to have
been built by one of the Kelleys, of Cleveland, on Walworth run,
near where the Atlantic and Great Western railroad now crosses
that stream. The next one, known as Barber's mill, built in 1816,
was run by Elijah Young for a while, and stood about a half a
mile above Kelley's. There were some other establishments on
Walworth run, but they do not concern the history of the present
township of Brooklyn.
- Brooklyn township was organized June 1, 1818, and embraced
originally "all that part of Cleveland situated on the west
side of the Cuyahoga river, excepting a farm owned by Alfred
Kelley." Since then a part portion of its territory has
been restored to Cleveland.
- It is said that when the township was about to be organized
Captain Ozias Brainard was anxious to call it Egypt "because
so much corn, was raised there," but the idea met with no
favor, and the name of Brooklyn was adopted because it sounded
well, and not from any desire to honor the place of that name
in New York, since nearly all of the early settlers came from
Connecticut. The first book of township records was destroyed
by fire, and the list of township officers here given dates necessarily
from 1837. Since that time those officers, with the years of
their election, have been as follows:
- 1837, Samuel H. Barstow, Diodate Clark, William Allen;
- 1838, S. H. Barstow, William Allen, Samuel Tyler;
- 1839, William Burton, Martin Kellogg, Russell Pelton;
- 1840, Martin Kellogg, Russell Pelton, William Burton;
- 1841, Jonathan Fish, Russell Pelton, Martin Kellogg;
- 1842, Martin Kellogg, Jonathan Fish, Benjamin Sawtell;
- 1843, Ezra Honeywell, William Hartness, Philo Rowley;
- 1844, Morris Jackson, Ezra Honeywell, Philo Rowley;
- 1845, Samuel Tyler, Samuel Storer, Levi Lockwood;
- 1846, Samuel Storer, R. C. Selden, Levi Lockwood;
- 1847, R. C. Welden, Samuel Storer, Philo Rowley;
- 1848, Martin Kellogg, Benjamin Sawtell, Seth Brainard;
- 1849, James Sears, Benjamin Sawtell, Ambrose Anthony;
- 1850, James Sears, Francis Branch, Ambrose Anthony.
- 1851. Ambrose Anthony, James Sears, Francis Branch;
- 1852, Francis Branch, Ambrose Anthony, James Sears;
- 1853, Ambrose Anthony, James Sears, Francis Branch;
- 1854, John Morrill, James Sears, Homer Strong;
- 1855, Clark S. Gates, John Goes, James Sears;
- 1856, David S. Brainard, Mart6in Kellogg, John L. Johnson;
- 1857, D. S. Brainard, Alfred Kellogg, J. L. Johnson;
- 1858, C. L. Gates, Alfred Kellogg, James Sears;
- 1859, Alfred Kellogg, James Sears, John Reeve;
- 1860, James Sears, John Reeve, Alfred Kellogg;
- 1861, Francis S. Pelton, John Reeve, Martin K. Bowley;
- 1862, Thomas James, James W. Day, M. K. Rowley;
- 1863, Joseph Marmann, Alfred Kellogg, Levi Fish;
- 1864, Alfred Kellogg, Levi Fish, William Lehr (resigned in
November, and James Sears appointed. The latter resigned in December,
and Francis S. Pelton was appointed).
- 1865, Jacob Stringer, F. S. Pelton, John Ross;
- 1866, Jacob Stringer, John Ross, Jacob Hum;
- 1867, Jacob Stringer, John Ross, Marcus Dennerlie;
- 1868, Jefferson Fish, Samuel Sears, Bethuel Fish;
- 1869, Jefferson Fish, Samuel Sears, David S. Brainard;
- 1870, Jefferson Fish, John Myers, Samuel Sears;
- 1871, Robert Curtiss, John Meyer, David W. Hoyt;
- 1872, John Meyer, Erhart Wooster, Robert Curtiss;
- 1873, Erhart Wooster, J. C. Watt, Carter Stickney;
- 1874, Robert Curtiss, D. W. Hoyt, J. C. Watt;
- 1875, John Williams, John Schmehl, William S. Curtiss;
- 1876, John Williams, Charles E. Terrell, Seymour Trowbridge;
- 1877, C. E. Terrell, Seymour Trowbridge, Charles Miller;
- 1878, Sanford R. Brainard, William Thomas, Francis H. Chester;
- 1879, William Thomas, S. R. Brainard, Charles Miller.
- 1887, C. L. Russell;
- 1838 and 1839, Samuel H. Fox;
- 1840, '41 and '42, Francis Fuller;
- 1843 and 1844, John H. Sargeant; (In September, 1844, Sargeant
removed, and George L. Chapman was appointed.) 1845, Charles
Winslow; 18456 to 1854, inclusive, C. E. Hill; 1855, F. W. Pelton;
(resigned in July, and C. E. Hill appointed.) 1856, Bolles M.
Brainard; (Died in August, and Charles H. Babcock appointed.)
1857, C. H. Babcock; 1858, Frederick Dalton; 1858, Joseph B.
Shull; 1860 and 1861, Charles H. Babcock; 1862 and 1863, Henry
Fish; 1864, F. H. Chester; 1865 and 1866, Frederick W. Wirth;
1867, F. H. Chester; 1868 and 1869, Edwin Chester; 1870, Edward
F. Fuller; 1871, B. J. Ross; 1872 to 1877, inclusive, William
Treat; 1878 and 1879, Charles N. Collins.
- 1837, Ozias Brainard; 1838, C. E. Hill; 1839, Ozias Brainard;
1840 James Ray (Resigned in November, and C. E. Hill appointed.)
1841 and 1842, C. E. Hill; 1843 and 1844, Davis S. Brainard;
1845, Bethuel Fish; 1846 and 1847, D. S. Brainard; 1848 and 1849,
Bethuel Fish; 1850, Francis Fuller; (Died in August, and Bethuel
Fish appointed.) 1851, Elihu Corbin; 1852 to 1854, inclusive,
S. J. Lewis; 1855 to 1857, inclusive, William Wilson; 1858 to
1860, inclusive, Carlos Jones; 1861, Benj. R. Beavis; 1862, D.
S. Brainard; 1863 and 1864, Ozias Fish; 1865 and 1866, F. H.
Chester; 1857 to 1869, inclusive, Jacob Schneider; 1870 and 1871
Carver Stickney; 1872, John Duncan; (Died in April, and George
J. Duncan appointed.) 1873 to 1875, inclusive, G. J. Duncan;
(Removed in November, and F. H. Chester appointed.) 1876 and
1877, F. H. Chester; 1878 and 1879, Russell Brown.
- JUSTICES OF THE PEACE.
- 1836, George W. Marsh; 1837, C. L. Russell, William Burton;
1838, Benjamin Doud, Herman A. Hurlbut; 1840, C. L. Russell;
1841, Benj. Doud, Samuel Tyler; 1842, Scott W. Bayles; 1843,
J. H. Sargent; 1844, Benjamin Sawtell; 1845, Andrew White, Ezra
R. Benton, Henry L. Whitman; 1847, Homer Strong, Samuel Storer;
1848, H. L. Whitman; 1850, Homer Strong, J. A. Redington, Samuel
Storer; 182, Ezra Honeywell, Wells Porter; 1858, Charles H. Babcock;
1855, Austin M. Case, Daniel Stephan; 1856, Chas. H. Babcock;
1857, Felix Nicola; 1859, Chas. H. Babcock; 1860, Felix Nicola;
1862, Chas. H. Babcock; 1863, Felix Nicola (resigned in December,
1864); 1865, Benjamin R. Beavis, John Reeve; 1868, Chas. H. Babcock,
John S. Fish; 1871, Joseph M. Poe, Chas. H. Babcock, 1872, Ambrose
Anthony; 1874, Chas. H. Babcock, (resigned in October, 1874,)
William Treat; 1875 Ambrose Anthony; 1877, William Treat, Charles
N. Collins; 1878, Ambrose Anthony; 1879, C. N. Collins and W.
- According to the best recollection of Brooklyn's early settlers,
the first religious services in the township were held by a traveling
Universalist preacher whose name has been forgotten. He preached
the funeral sermon of the mother of James Fish in 1816, and preached
twice in Brooklyn after that event. About that time Rev. Messrs.
Booth and Goddard, Methodist circuit riders, preached in Brooklyn,
and under the auspices of the latter, about 1817.
- THE METHDIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF BROOKLYN.
- was organized in a log house which stood in the rear of the
site of the present Methodist Episcopal Church and which was
used as a town house and a place of worship for both the Methodists
and the Congregationalists.
- The first Methodist Episcopal class, however, had already
been formed in 1814 at the house of Ozias Brainard, where the
Methodists used to assemble for weekly prayer and conversation,
before the coming of any minister. Ebenezer Fish, Sylvanus Brainard
and Seth Brainard were the first three members of the class,
which, however, was shortly increased to sixteen. Ebenezer Fish
was the first class leader, and when it was agreed to divide
the class into two sections-a part, meeting on the north, and
a part on the south side of the creek-Seth Brainard was chosen
as the second class leader.
- The first presiding elder was Charles Waddell, and the early
ministers of the church were Rev. Messrs. James Taylor, John
Crawford, Solomon Menier, Adam Poe, H. O. Sheldon, James McIntire,
___ Dickson, Elmore Yokum, ___ Hazard, ___ Howe. The later pastors
have been Rev. Messrs. N. S. Albright, Joseph Mattock, Alfred
Holbrook and the Rev. Mr. Headley, the latter being the pastor
September 1, 1879.
- The church has now a membership of one hundred. The trustees
are A. W. Poe, J. W. Fish, Ozias Fish, H. Richardson, R. Pelton,
L. G. Foster, S. R. Brainard and J. Tompkins. The class leaders
are George Storer, S. Strowbridge, J. Tompkins, W. Woodward,
S. Wallace, A. W. Poe. The Sunday-school has about one hundred
scholars, and is in charge of T. K. Dissette.
- The congregation worshiped in the log town-house until 1827,
when a framed church-edifice was erected upon the site of the
present structure. The latter was built in 1848, the old one
being moved, and being now used as a private residence.
- THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
- This is located at Brooklyn village and was organized July
23, 1819, with the following members; Amos Brainard, Isaac Hinckley
and Sallie his wife, James Smith and Eliza his wife, and Rebecca
Brainard. The organization took place in the town-house, and
was effected by Rev. Messrs. Thomas Burr and William Hanford,
who were sent for this purpose by the Cleveland presbytery, to
which the Brooklyn church was attached. Previous to the organization
Isaac Hinckley-who was the first deacon chosen by the church-used
to conduct religious meetings at the house of Moses Fish, where
the Congregationalists often assembled for worship.
- The membership was not increased until October 3, 1819, when
Ozias, Mary, Ira and Phoebe Brainard were taken into the fold.
The Cleveland presbytery supplied preachers occasionally for
some years; services being held, as a rule, once a fortnight.
We learn from the records that down to 1847 the ministers who
preached for the church were Rev. Messrs. William McLain, T.
I. Bradstreet, Randolph Stone, B. B. Drake, _____ Fox and _____
Foltz. In 1847 the congregation-being much reduced in strength-cased
to assemble for worship and remained inactive until 1851, when
public services were renewed under the ministry of Rev. Calvin
Durfee, who was followed successively by Rev. Messrs. James A.
Bates, E. H. Votaw and J. W. Hargrave, the latter being now in
- In April, 1867, the church united with the Cleveland Congregational
conference, having till that time been attached to the Cleveland
presbytery. In 1830 the congregation left the old loghouse and
worshiped in a new church which was built in that year. It is
still used, being one of the oldest church buildings in Ohio,
but will probably be vacated in November of this year (1879)
for a new and handsome brick church, now nearly completed. The
church membership is now eighty-four. The deacons are Hiram Welch,
A. S. Hinckley and Ebenezer Fish, and the trustees are M. L.
Mead, I. N. Turner and Ebenezer Fish.
- BRIGHTON METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
- For some years previous to 1844, the Methodist residents
of Brighton and vicinity worshiped at the church in Brooklyn
village, but in that year they effected a church organization
of their own. They purchased the building previously used by
the Reformed Methodists, and there they still worship.*
- The present membership is eighty. The trustees are Asahel
Brainard, Charles Gates, Leonard Fish, H. C. Gates, George Brainard,
Demas Brainard, Thomas Davies, Martin Oviatt and Albert Ingham;
the stewards are J. K. Brainard, Abel Fish, Luther Brainard,
Charles Gates, George W. Brainard, William Avann and Asahel Brainard;
the class leaders are George W. Brainard, William Avann, Thomas
Davis, J. M. Brainard and Russell Brainard. The pulpit is being
supplied at present by Rev. E. H. Bush.
- *The Reformed Methodists had seceded from the Methodist Episcopal
church of Brooklyn, and started a church on the south side of
the creek in 1840, but dissolved three years later. The prominent
members were Julia and Ogden Hinckley, Cyrus Brainard, and Joseph
and Matilda Williams.
- THE EVANGELICAL PROTESTANT CHURCH.
- This is a German organization, located at Brighton, which
was formed about 1840. Public worship was first held in a school-house
a mile east of Brighton village, the first minister being Rev.
Mr. Allard, of Cleveland. In 1844 the church erected at Brighton
the substantial house of worship now used. About one hundred
families comprise the congregation, which is under the charge
of Rev. Mr. Locher. The trustees are George Riedel, Caspar Janney,
Martin Walter, Gottleib Merkel and Christian Haas.
- CHURCH OF THE LADY OF THE SACRED HEART.
- This Roman Catholic church was organized at Brighton in 1875,
by Rev. P. F. Quigley, D. D., in which year a handsome brick
house of worship, costing $10,000, was built. Although Brighton
then contained many Catholics, their number has latterly been
materially lessened by removals, and for nearly a year (since
December, 1878) the church has been opened but once for public
worship. The last pastor of the church was Rev. T. Marshall,
who succeeded Father Quigley in 1877.
- THE DISCIPLE CONGREGATION.
- Early in 1879 a number of the members of the West Side Disciple
Church, residing in Brooklyn village-(among the prominent ones
being H. Brown and Wm. Towsley)-agitated the subject of organizing
a church in Brooklyn, and in May held their first meeting in
the Brooklyn Opera House, on which occasion a large number of
persons participated in the exercises. An independent church
has not yet been formed, but regular Sabbath meetings have been
held in the Opera House since that time, the congregation, for
the present, being attached as a mission to the West Side church,
whence the preaching is supplied. About forty members are included
in the congregation, and it is probably that a church will speedily
- Miss Dorcas Hickox, sister of Abraham Hickox, a blacksmith
of Cleveland, taught school in Brooklyn as early as 1818, in
the home of James Fish. She had eight or ten scholars, of whom
Isaiah W. Fish is still living. Miss Hickox, who was probably
the first school-teacher in those parts, taught but one summer.
Who her immediate successor was is not clear, but it is moderately
certain that Diodate Clark wielded the birch not long after Miss
Hickox's time, and a famous pedagogue he was. After Clark, Stephen
Brainard's place, and then Lyndon Freeman, of Parma, was for
a while the leader under whom the aspiring youth of the day climbed
the rugged heights of learning.
- Apart from the villages of Brooklyn and West Cleveland-which
manage their own school affairs-the township has now five school
districts and six schools, with an average attendance of one
hundred and seventy-two, out of an enrollment of two hundred
and sixty-four scholars. The number of teachers employed is seven,
and the yearly expenditure for school purposes about $3,300.
The members of the board of education are Frank H. Chester, Carver
Stickney, Henry Perrin, Claus Fiedmann and J. Featherstone. The
value of school property in the township districts in 1879 was
- Brooklyn village, which under the union school law has managed
its own school affairs since 1869, has a fine brick school edifice,
in which there rive departments, including a high school. The
daily attendance of pupils averages one hundred and seventy-six
and the teachers-including the superintendent-number five, to
whom $2,400 are paid yearly.
- The village of West Cleveland has three school-houses-on
Detroit street, Jones street, and McCart street-with five schools
and five teachers. The attendance averages nearly three hundred,
and the cost for school support is nearly $4,000 yearly. The
present board of education is compiled of Messrs. Alex. Forbes,
M. B. Nixon, G. B. Mills, W. P. Ranney, A. W. Fairbanks and Oliver
- THE BROOKLYN ACADEMY.
- In the year 1840 Moses Merrill, a New York school-teacher,
and sometimes Methodist preacher, happened to visit Brooklyn
about the time certain of its prominent citizens were agitating
the subject of starting an academy. They secured Merrill to teach
for them, put up a framed building on the lot now occupied by
the Brooklyn village school, called it the Brooklyn Academy and
opened it as a select school of some pretensions. It flourished
for several years as an important institution of learning, but
gave way eventually before the rapid strides of the public school
system and disappeared. The old academy building is now used
in part for the village post office.
- THE BRIGHTON ACADEMY,
- was founded by Samuel H. Barstow about 1840, when Brighton
was regarded as a place with a brilliant future before it. The
brilliant future failed, however, to reveal itself, and the Brighton
Academy went down within a brief season.
- The village of Brighton was laid out originally upon land
occupied by Warren Young's farm, and additional surveys were
made from time to time. Its progress was unmarked by special
incident until 1836, when, under the influence of the energy
of Samuel H. Barstrow, matters began to look up. Speculation
in lots began to grow earnest, and to further stimulate the spirit
of the hour, Mr. Barstow procured the incorporation of the village.
At the first election, early in 1837, twenty-three votes were
cast for mayor, Nathan Babcock receiving fourteen and Sam'l H.
Barstow nine. A. S. Palmer was chosen as recorder, and a Mr.
Clemens as marshal and street commissioner. In less than a year,
however, Brighton came to a stand-still. When the next election
time came the villagers concluded that the new departure was
a failure, and declined to hold an election, and the charter
went be default.
- Since that time the progress of Brighton has been slow, yet
in all it has been considerable. It has a population of perhaps
eight hundred, is abundantly supplied with stores and hotels,
has three churches, and does a small business in the manufacture
of wagons. The stores have a good trade with the surrounding
country, which contains a numerous thrifty and substantial farmers,
many of whom are Germans, as are also many of the villagers.
- BROOKLYN VILLAGE.
- Brooklyn Village (originally called Brooklyn Center) was
laid out in part in the year 1830 by Moses Fish, an early settler
and the owner of considerable land in what is now the center
of the village. Fish laid out twenty-five lots, and directly
afterward Ebenezer Fish, his brother, and a large land owner,
began a survey for the same purpose. He sold off only a few lots,
however, before disposing of the residue of his property to Betts
& Bibbens, land speculators, who platted an extensive tract.
This was the first work of importance in the way of starting
the village. Later, at various times, it was followed by numerous
additional surveys by a dozen different parties, some of whom
have yet to realize on their investments.
- Although the village began thus early to push itself into
notice, and thrived apace, it was not incorporated until August
5, 1867. The persons who have served as village officials from
that date of 1879, inclusive, are as follows:
- 1867. Mayor, Bethuel Fish; recorder, Leonard Foster; treasurer,
A. W. Poe, J. S. Fish, Adam Kroehle, C. B. Galentine, Geo. Storer;
marshal, John May.
- 1868. Mayor, Bethuel Fish; recorder, Leonard Foster; treasurer,
Levi Fish; trustees, A. W. Poe, Adam Kroehl, Seymour Trowbridge,
L. C. Pixley, J. M. Curtiss; marshal, O. M. Wallace.
- 1869. Mayor, Seymour Trowbridge; recorder, Wesley Trowbridge;
treasurer, John S. Fish; trustees, Lewis Roberts, Eliphalet Wyatt,
Alanson Clark, A. P. Wirth, Geo. Storer; marshal, Samuel B. Root.
- 1870. Mayor, Seymour Trowbridge; clerk, Wesley Trowbridge;
treasurer, J. S. Fish; council, I. W. Fish, Henry Fish, Wm. Towsley,
Lewis Roberts, A. P. Wirth, J. M. Poe; marshal, O. M. Wallace.
- 1871. Mayor, Seymour Trowbridge; clerk, Wesley Trowbridge;
treasurer, J. S. Fish; council, Lewis Roberts, A. P. Wirth, J.
M. Poe, S. D. Phelps, L. C. Pixley, J. H. Storer; marshal, M.
- 1872. Mayor, E. H. Bush; treasurer, H. Fish; clerk, L. G.
Foster; council, L. C. Pixley, J. H. Storer , S. D. Phelps, A.
W. Poe, Ozias Fish, Adam Kroehle; marshal, Shelby Luce.
- 1873. Mayor, Wm. Towsley; clerk, L. G. Foster; treasurer,
H. Fish; council, Adam Kroehle, A. W. Poe, Ozias Fish, Jas. Gay,
L. C. Pixley, Wesley Trowbridge, marshal, Shelby Luce.
- 1874. Mayor, Albert Allyn; clerk, R. W. Whiteman; treasurer,
J. S. Fish; council, Wesley Trowbridge, L. C. Pixley, Jas. Gay,
E. Wyatt, F. Clifford, J. Schneider; marshal, Shelby Luce.
- 1875. Mayor, Albert Allyn; clerk, R. W. Whiteman; treasurer,
J. S. Fish, council, E. Wyatt, F. Clifford, J. Schneider, Jas.
Towsley, Calvin Allyn, Carlos Jones; marshal, Shelby Luce.
- 1876. Mayor, Henry Ingham; clerk, R. W. Whiteman; treasurer,
R. A. Brown; council, Jas. Towsley, Calvin Allyn, Carlos Jones,
A. Mandeville, Aug. Esch, Theodore Paul; marshal, A. L. Van Ornum.
- 1877. Mayor, Henry Ingham; clerk, R. W. Whiteman; treasurer,
R. A. Brown; council, Aug. Esch, A. Mandeville, Theo. Paul, Lewis
Roberts, Thos. Quirk, M. H. Farnsworth; marshal, A. L. Van Ornum.
- 1878. Mayor, J. AS. Fish; clerk, J. H. Richardson; treasurer,
Russell Brown; council, M. H. Farnsworth, Thos. Quirk, Lewis
Roberts, J. W. Naff, Chas. Robinson, Peter Vonder Au; marshal,
A. L. Van Ornum.
- 1879. Mayor, J. S. Fish; clerk, J. H. Richardson; treasurer,
Russell Brown; council, J. W. Naff, Chas. Robinson, Peter Vonder
Au, I. N. Turner, J. H. Storer, G. R. Davis; marshal, A. L. Van
- Brooklyn village is now a thriving place of about fifteen
hundred inhabitants, contains many fine residences, has some
important manufacturing establishments in and near the borough,
and will doubtless improve in various ways after the completion
of the Valley railroad.
- WEST CLEVELAND.
- The village of West Cleveland, with a population of one thousand
five hundred, joins the city of Cleveland on the west, having
its northern front on Lake Erie. That portion of Brooklyn was
not settled until a comparatively recent date, and had at first
nearly all its habitations along the line of what is now Detroit
street. That thoroughfare is still the main avenue of West Cleveland.
It stretches, within the village, two miles and a half west of
the city limits, and is embellished with many handsome suburban
residences of Cleveland merchants. West Cleveland was incorporated
in 1870, as a defensive measure-so it is said-against a prospective
absorption by Cleveland. As the village records, down to a very
late date, have been lost, we can only give a list of the mayors
and clerks, as follows: 1870-mayor, H. W. Davis; clerk, Charles
M. Safford. 1872-mayor, S. F. Pearson; clerk, Charles M. Safford.
1874-mayor, William Mitchell; clerk, Alfred Lees. 1878-mayor,
L. H. Ware; clerk, John Hawley.
- Although the village is quite populous, it is so closely
allied to Cleveland in a material sense that it is simply a city
suburb. Its inhabitants are mostly engaged in business in the
city, and attend religious worship there. There is no religious
organization in West Cleveland, and but one place where religious
services are held-a mission chapel where Sabbath meetings are
maintained under the auspices of the Young Men's Christian Association,
for the benefit of all denominations.
- THE INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL FARM,
- This is located on Detroit street, in West Cleveland, and
covers sixty-one acres, upon which there are substantial buildings.
In 1868 the widow of Simeon Jennings gave to the Children's Aid
Society of Cleveland eleven acres of land and the buildings upon
it, to be used as an industrial school farm. The society obtained
by donations sufficient money to purchase fifty additional acres,
and since that date the place has been devoted to the noble purpose
of providing for destitute and homeless children, training them
in useful knowledge and eventually placing them in comfortable
homes. During 1878 the children received numbered one hundred
and forty-seven, of whom eighty-eight were placed in good homes.
The average number of children in the institutions is forty.
- Linndale, is a station on the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati
and Indianapolis railroad, and was at one time a place regarding
which many bright anticipations were indulged in. Three hundred
acres of land were purchased, in 1872, by Robert Linn, and others
of Cleveland, a town was laid out, building lots were freely
sold and Linndale made a promising start. The Linndale Stove
and Hollow Ware Company expended seven thousand dollars in erecting
a foundry there, began operations on a capital of fifteen thousand
dollars, and with a force of fifty hands soon gave a business
appearance to the place. Quite a number of dwellings went up,
a newspaper called the Linndale Enterprise, under the editorship
of Mr. Robinson, was called into existence, and a hotel and several
stores went into operation.
- Unhappily, however, for the project, the financial crisis
of 1873 stopped the growth of the new town, which at its best
contained about eight hundred inhabitants. The land company,
which had absorbed Mr. Linn's interests, failed to meet its payments
on the land; purchasers became alarmed concerning the titles
and many of them forsook the place. The company forfeited its
lands to the original owners and Linndale staggered under the
blow. The paper suspended, the hotel and stores closed, and the
Linndale Stove Company, which maintained a somewhat longer struggle
for existence, went down in 1875 in utter failure.
- Wm. Buckholz, who had a small manufactory of portable feed-mills,
carried on his business in the town until the spring of 1879,
whom here moved to Cleveland. Since 1875, Linndale has been a
very small and very quiet village, but faith in its future still
animates some sanguine hearts, and certainly there is nothing
improbable in its becoming a prosperous town.