Cleveland Past and Present
Part 10 out of 11
of telegraphy, he put into practice, for the first time, the plan of
enclosing a submarine cable in iron armor. It was applied to the cable
across the Mississippi, at St. Louis, in 1850. Weights had been applied
to the previous cables, at regular distances, on account of the sand,
change of bottom, drifts, and other difficulties that interfered with the
safety of the cable. Mr. Wade conceived the idea of combining weight and
protection in the cable itself. He constructed it with eighteen pieces of
wire, placed lengthwise around the cable, and bound together with soft
iron wire at intervals. While the spiral cordage of hemp, such as was
used at that time on the cable from Dover to Calais, would stretch, and
allow the strain to come on the cable itself. This invention caused the
strain to come on the armor. It was a complete success, and lasted until
the line was abandoned. Mr. Wade also invented, in 1852, what is now
known as the Wade insulator, which has been used more extensively,
perhaps, than any other.
Among the strong points in Mr. Wade's character, is his readiness and
ability to adapt himself to whatever he undertakes to do. The evidence of
his common sense, business foresight and indomitable perseverance, has
been proved by the success attending the various pursuits in which
circumstances have placed him. Finding, in early manhood, his mechanical
labor undermining his health, he turned his attention to portrait and
miniature painting, to which he applied himself so close that after a
dozen years or more at the easel, he was compelled to abandon it and seek
more active and less sedentary pursuits. Having so long applied himself to
painting--the business of all others the most calculated to disqualify a
man for everything else--but few men would have had the courage to enter
so different a field, but Mr. Wade seemed equal to the task, and with
appropriate courage and renewed energy grappled with the difficulties and
mystories of the telegraph business, then entirely new, having no books
or rules to refer to, and without the experience of others to guide him,
and having, as it were, to climb a ladder, every round of which had to be
invented as he progressed. But nothing daunted him. Through perseverance
and system he succeeded, not only in supplying the United States in the
most rapid manner with better and cheaper telegraphic facilities than has
been afforded any other country on the globe, but in making for himself
the ample fortune to which his ability and energy so justly entitle him.
And when care and over-work in the telegraph business had made such an
impression upon his health as to induce him to retire from its management,
and give more attention to his private affairs, he was again found equal
to the emergency, and has proved himself equally successful as a financier
and business man generally, as he had before shown himself in organizing
and building up the telegraph speciality.
One of the most widely known names in connection with telegraphy in the
West--and not in the West alone, but probably throughout the United
States--is that of General Anson Stager. From the organization of the
Western Union Telegraph Company, General Stager has had the executive
management of its lines as general superintendent, and the position has
not only brought him into close relations with all connected in any way
with the telegraph, but has given him a larger circle of business
acquaintances than it falls to the lot of most men to possess. The natural
effect of his position and the extraordinary course of events during his
occupation of that position, have brought him into communication, and
frequently into intimate confidential relations, with the leading men in
commerce, in science, in journalism, in military affairs, and in State and
[Illustration: Very Respectfully Yours, Anson Stager]
Anson Stager was born in Ontario county, New York, April 20, 1825. At the
age of sixteen he entered a printing office under the instruction of Henry
O'Reilly, well known afterwards as a leader in telegraph construction and
management. For four or five years he continued his connection with the
"art preservative of all arts," and the knowledge of and sympathy with
journalism which he acquired through his connection with it during this
period of his life, enabled him during his subsequent telegraphic career
to deal understandingly with the press in the peculiar relations it holds
with the telegraph, and has occasioned many acts of courtesy and good will
which the managers of the press have not been backward in recognizing and
In October, 1846, General Stager changed his location from the
compositor's case to the telegraph operator's desk, commencing work as an
operator in Philadelphia. With the extension of the lines westward, he
removed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and then crossed the Alleghenies to
Pittsburgh, where he was the pioneer operator. His ability and
intelligence were speedily recognized by those having charge of the new
enterprise, and in the Spring of 1848, he was made chief operator of the
"National lines" at Cincinnati, a post he filled so well that, in 1852, he
was appointed superintendent of the Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph
Company. Immediately following his appointment to that position the
company with which he was connected absorbed the lines of the New York
State Printing Telegraph Company, and General Stager's control was thus
extended over that State.
Whilst holding the position of executive manager of the lines of this
company, the negotiations for the consolidation of the competing and
affiliated lines into one company were set on foot. General Stager warmly
favored such a consolidation on equitable terms and set to work vigorously
to promote it. On its consummation, and the organization of the Western
Union Telegraph Company his services in that respect and his general
fitness as a telegraph manager, were recognized by his appointment as
general superintendent of the consolidated company. The position was, even
then, one of great responsibility and difficulty, the vast net work of
lines extending like a spider's web over the face of the country requiring
a clear head, and practical knowledge to keep it free from confusion and
embarrassment, whilst the delicate and complicated relations in which the
telegraph stood with regard to the railroads and the press increased the
difficulties of the position. The rapid extension of the wires increased
the responsibilities and multiplied the difficulties yearly, but the right
man was in the right position, and everything worked smoothly.
The extensive and elaborate System of railroad telegraphs which is in use
on all the railroads of the West and Northwest owes its existence to
General Stager. The telegraphs and railroads have interests in common, and
yet diverse, and the problem to be solved was, how to secure to the
telegraph company the general revenue business of the railroad wires, and
at the same time to enable the railroad companies to use the wires for
their own especial purposes, such as the transmission of their own
business correspondence, the moving of trains, and the comparison and
adjustment of accounts between stations. How to do this without confusion
and injustice to one or the other interest was the difficult question to
be answered, and it was satisfactorily met by the scheme adopted by
General Stager. That scheme, by the admirable simplicity, complete
adaptability and perfection of detail of its system of contracts and plan
of operating railroad telegraph lines, enabled the diverse, and seemingly
jarring, interests to work together in harmony. Telegraph facilities are
always at the disposal of the railroads in emergency, and have repeatedly
given vital aid, whilst the railroad interests have been equally prompt
and active in assisting the telegraph when occasion arises.
The relations between the journalistic interests of the country and the
telegraph, through the various press associations for the gathering and
transmission of news by telegraph, have also given occasion for the
exercise of judgment and executive ability. The various and frequently
clashing interests of the general and special press associations and of
individual newspaper enterprise, and the necessity, for economical
purposes, of combining in many instances the business of news gathering
with news transmission, make the relations between the press and telegraph
of peculiar difficulty and delicacy, and probably occasioned not the
smallest portion of General Stager's business anxieties. It is safe to
say, that in all the embarrassing questions that have arisen, and in all
the controversies that have unavoidably occurred at intervals, no
complaint has ever been made against General Stager's ability, fairness,
or courtesy to the press.
Whilst the Western Union Telegraph Company has been developing from its
one wire between Buffalo and Louisville into its present giant
proportions, General Stager has had a busy life. His planning mind and
watchful eye were needed everywhere, and were everywhere present. The
amount of travel and discomfort this entailed during the building of the
earlier lines may be imagined by those who know what a large extent of
country is covered by these lines, and what the traveling facilities were
in the West before the introduction of the modern improvements in railway
traveling, and before railroads themselves had reached a large portion of
the country to be traveled over.
With the breaking out of the rebellion, a new era in General Stager's life
commenced. With the firing of the first rebel gun on Fort Sumpter, and the
resultant demand for troops to defend the nation's life, the Governors of
Ohio, Illinois and Indiana united in taking possession of the telegraph
lines in those States for military purposes, and the superintendent of the
Western Union Telegraph Company was appointed to represent these in their
official capacity. General Stager acted with promptness and vigor, and no
small share of the credit accorded to those States for the promptness with
which their troops were in the field and striking effective blows for the
Union, is due to General Stager for the ability with which he made the
telegraph cooeperate with the authorities in directing the military
movements. When General McClellan took command of the Union forces in West
Virginia and commenced the campaign that drove the rebels east of the
mountains, General Stager accompanied him as chief of the telegraph staff,
and established the first system of field telegraph used during the war.
The wire followed the army headquarters wherever that went, and the enemy
were confounded by the constant and instant communications kept up between
the Union army in the field and the Union government at home. When General
McClellan was summoned to Washington to take command of the Army of the
Potomac, General Stager was called by him to organize the military
telegraph of that department. This he accomplished, and remained in charge
of it until November, 1862, when he was commissioned captain and assistant
quartermaster, and by order of the Secretary of war, appointed chief of
the United States Military Telegraphs throughout the United States--a
control that covered all the main lines in the country. He was
subsequently commissioned colonel and aid-de-damp, and assigned to duty in
the War Department, and was also placed in charge of the cypher
correspondence of the Secretary of War. The cryptograph used throughout
the war was perfected by him, and baffled all attempts of the enemy to
translate it. At the close of the war he left the active military service
of the government, retiring with the brevet of Brigadier General,
conferred for valuable and meritorious services.
At the close of the war the Southwestern and American Telegraph Companies
were consolidated with the Western Union Telegraph Company, and a
re-organization of the latter company effected. The general
superintendency of the Consolidated company was urged upon General Stager,
but as this would necessitate his removal to New York, he declined it,
preferring to live in the west. For a time he meditated retiring
altogether from the telegraph business and embarking in newspaper life,
for which his early training had given him a taste, and towards which he
always maintained an affection. Eventually the company persuaded him to
remain in connection with them, and to suit his wishes, the field of the
company's operations was divided into three divisions, the Central,
Eastern and Southern. General Stager assumed control of the Central, which
covered the field with which he had so long been identified, and which
left him with his headquarters in the home he had for years occupied, in
Cleveland. Early in 1869, the duties of his position rendered it necessary
that he should remove to Chicago, which he did with great reluctance, his
relations with Cleveland business, and its people, being close and
General Stager is a man with a host of friends and without, we believe,
one enemy. His position was such as to bring him into contact with every
kind of interest, and frequently, of necessity, into conflict with one or
other, but his position was always maintained with such courtesy, as well
as firmness, that no ill feeling resulted from the controversy, however it
Socially he is one of the most genial of companions; in character the
personification of uprightness and honor; firm in his friendships and
incapable of malice toward any one. Well situated financially, happy in his
domestic circle, of wide popularity, and possessing the esteem of those
who know him best, General Stager is one of those whose lot is enviable,
and who has made his position thus enviable by his own force of character
and geniality of disposition.
Cleveland covers a large extent of territory. The width of its streets and
the unusual amount of frontage possessed by most of the dwellings, made
the work of city improvements in the way of paving, sewerage and water
supply, at first very slow of execution. The light gravelly soil, on which
the greater portion of the city is built, enabled these works to be
postponed, until the increased number and compactness of the population,
and excess of wealth, would render the expense less burdensome.
The first attempts at paving were made on Superior street, below the
Square, and on River street. The paving was of heavy planks laid across
the street, and was at the time a source of pride to the citizens; but
when, in coming years, the planks were warped and loosened, it became an
intolerable nuisance. On River street the floods of the Cuyahoga sometimes
rushed through the warehouses and covered the street, floating off the
planks and leaving them in hopeless disorder on the subsidence of the
waters. It was at last determined to pave these streets with stone.
Limestone was at first chosen, but found not to answer, and Medina
sandstone was finally adopted, with which all the stone paving of the
streets has been since done. Within two or three years the Nicholson wood
pavement has been introduced, and has been laid extensively on the streets
above the bluff. On the low land along the river valley the paving still
continues to be of stone. At the present time there are between seventeen
and eighteen miles of pavement finished or under construction, about half
of which is Nicholson wood pavement, and the remainder Medina sandstone.
Within a few years the work of sewering the city has been systematized
and pushed forward vigorously. At first, the sewers were made to suit the
needs of a particular locality, without any reference to a general system,
and consequently were found utterly inadequate to the growing necessities
of the city. Proper legislation was obtained from the General Assembly,
money was obtained on the credit of the city, the territory was mapped out
into sewer districts, with sewer lines for each district, so arranged as
to form a part of one harmonious whole, and the work commenced. All the
main sewers drain into the lake. There are now about twenty-seven miles of
main and branch sewers finished, and additional sewers are in progress of
The rapid growth of the city, and the gradual failure, or deterioration,
of the wells, in the most thickly settled parts, rendered it necessary to
find some other source of a constant supply of pure water. It was
determined to obtain the supply from Lake Erie, and for this purpose an
inlet pipe was run out into the lake, west of the Old River Bed. The pipe
is of boiler plate, three-eighths of an inch thick, fifty inches in
diameter, and three hundred feet long, extending from the shore to the
source of supply at twelve feet depth of water, and terminating in the
lake at a circular tower, constructed of piles driven down as deep as they
can be forced into the bottom of the lake. There are two concentric rows
of piles, two abreast, leaving eight feet space between the outer and
interior rows, which space is filled with broken stones to the top of the
piles. The piles are then capped with strong timber plates, securely
bolted together and fastened with iron to the piles. The outside diameter
of the tower is thirty-four feet, the inside diameter is eight feet,
forming a strong protection around an iron well-chamber, which is eight
feet in diameter and fifteen feet deep, which is riveted to the end of the
inlet pipe. An iron grating fixed in a frame which slides in a groove, to
be removed and cleaned at pleasure, is attached to the well-chamber, and
forms the strainer, placed four feet below the surface of the lake,
through which the water passes into the well-chamber and out at the inlet
pipe. A brick aqueduct connects the shore end of the inlet pipe with the
engine house, three thousand feet distant. From the engine house the water
is conveyed to the reservoir, on Franklin, Kentucky and Duane streets,
built on a ridge thirty feet higher than any other ground in the city.
The Cleveland Water Works were commenced on the 10th day of August, 1854,
and were so far completed as to let water on the city on the 19th day of
September, 1856. The time required to build the Works was two years and
thirty-nine days. The capacity of these Works to deliver water is greater
than the originally estimated wants of the population the works were
intended to supply, which was for 100,000. They are, however, capable of
supplying at least 300,000 inhabitants with abundance of water. By an
enlargement of the main pump barrel and plunger to each Cornish engine,
which was contemplated in the plans, the supply may be increased to an
almost unlimited extent. No fear can be entertained that the present
Water Works in the next fifty years will fail to yield a superabundant
supply of water.
The water was first introduced into the city temporarily at the earnest
solicitation of the Mayor, Common Council, and Trustees of Water Works, in
which the citizens generally participated, on the occasion of the State
Fair, on the 24th of September, 1856. Apart from the Fair, this event was
hailed with demonstrations of great joy as the celebration of the
introduction of the waters of Lake Erie into the city of Cleveland. At the
intersection of the road ways, crossing at the centre of the Public
Square, a capacious fountain, of chaste and beautiful design was erected,
from which was thrown a jet of pure crystal water high into the air,
which, as the centre, greatest attraction, gratified thousands of admiring
spectators. It became necessary after the Fair to shut off the water as
was anticipated, to remove a few pipes near the Ship Channel which had
broke in two by the unequal settling of the pipes in the quicksand bed
through which they were laid. These repairs were promptly made, and the
water let on the city again; since which time the supply has been regular
and uninterrupted. The length of pipes laid up to the first of January,
1869, aggregated thirty-nine and one-half miles. The total cost of the
Works to that period was $722,273.33. The earnings, over running expenses,
for 1868, were $36,340.23, being a little over five per cent, on the
capital invested. The preliminary work is now doing for the construction
of a tunnel under the bed of the lake, in order to obtain a water supply
at such a distance from the shore as to be beyond the reach of the winter
ice-field and the impurities collected beneath the ice-crust.
Three commodious and tasteful markets have been erected within a few
years, one on the west side of the river, one in the fifth ward, and the
Central Market, at the junction of Woodland avenue and Broadway.
Four horse railroads are in active operation within the city: the East
Cleveland, organized in 1859, and running from the junction of Superior
and Water streets, by the way of Euclid avenue and Prospect street, to the
eastern limit of the city on Euclid avenue, thence continuing to East
Cleveland. This line has also a branch running off the main line at
Brownell street, and traversing the whole length of Garden street, to the
eastern limit of the city. The Kinsman street line, organized in 1859,
runs from the junction of Superior and Water streets, through Ontario
street and Woodland avenue to Woodland Cemetery. The West Side railroad
runs from the junction of Superior and Water streets, by way of South
Water, Detroit and Kentucky street, to Bridge street, with a branch along
Pearl street. The St. Clair street railroad, the latest built, runs along
St. Clair from Water street to the eastern line of the city. Besides
these, a local railroad, operated by steam, connects the Kinsman street
line with Newburg, and another of a similar character connects the West
Side railroad with Rocky River. Charters have been obtained for a railroad
to connect the Pearl street branch of the West Side railroad with
University Heights, and for a line to run parallel with the bluff
overlooking the north bank of the Cuyahoga from River street, to the
boundary between the city and Newburg township.
[Illustration: Yours very truly, H. S. Stevens]
Henry S. Stevens.
To Henry S. Stevens, more than to any other man, are the citizens of
Cleveland indebted for their facilities in traveling, cheaply and
comfortably, from point to point in the city, and for the remarkable
immunity the Forest City has enjoyed from hack driving extortions and
brutality, which have so greatly annoyed citizens and strangers in many
other cities. To his foresight, enterprise and steady perseverance is
Cleveland indebted for its excellent omnibus and public carriage system,
and for the introduction of street railroads. Both these improvements were
not established without a sharp struggle, in the former case against the
determined opposition of the hack drivers who preferred acting for
themselves and treating the passenger as lawful prey, and in the case of
street railroads, having to overcome interested opposition, popular
indifference or prejudice, and official reluctance to permit innovations.
Mr. Stevens was born in Middlesex county, Massachusetts, January, 1821.
After spending seven years at school in Salem and Boston, his father's
family moved to New Hampshire. He attended school there for two years.
Before he was twenty years of age he developed a desire to visit new
scenes and a propensity for observing strange characters and manners,
which seems to have strengthened with his years. Our railroad system and
ocean steam navigation were then in their infancy, and the first journey
he made was almost equivalent to a journey around the globe at the present
day. He took passage in a packet ship from Boston for the West Indies,
visiting Porto Rico, Matanzas and Havana, thence to New Orleans, the
interior of Texas and Arkansas, and remained a winter at Alexandria, in
western Louisiana. About a year after his return to New Hampshire the
family removed to Maryland, where he resided nine years, and finally came
to Cleveland in 1849, when this city had less than a fifth of its present
population. He was one of the early proprietors of the Weddell House, and
upon his retirement from the business, he established the omnibus local
transit for passengers and baggage at a uniform rate of charge, which
system has been generally adopted in the principal cities in the country.
In 1856, in company with two other gentlemen from New York, he explored
the southern part of Mexico from the Gulf to the Pacific ocean, with
reference to its availability for a railroad and preliminary stage road.
The result was, that two years later he completed an arrangement with the
Louisiana Tehuantepec Company to carry out the provisions of their
charter. He chartered a vessel at New York and shipped mechanics and other
employees, coaches and materials, and in two months thereafter the line
commenced moving a distance of one hundred and twelve miles through the
forests and over the rolling plains of Southern Mexico.
For nearly a year this continued successfully, and it was owing either to
his good fortune or good management, that no accident to passengers or
property was incurred, and of the large number of his employees from the
States, every one returned in good health. The rebellion was then in its
incipiency, and the Southern owners of the route decided to suspend
operations until their little difficulty was adjusted with the North.
Mr. Stevens, however, is better known as having started the street
railroad system here, which has proved so great a convenience to our
citizens, and which has enhanced the price of real estate in this city
more than any other one cause. He built the Prospect street, Kinsman
street and West Side railroads; the first two without aid from
capitalists, and in the face of many discouragements. In the Fall of 1865,
he went to Rio Janeiro for the purpose of establishing street railroads in
that city. These roads are now in successful operation there. In this
journey Mr. Stevens visited many other places in Brazil, including
Pernambuco, Bahia, St. Salvador and Para, on the river Amazon. Returning
by the way of Europe, he stopped at the Cape de Verde Islands, on the
coast of Africa, thence to Lisbon and across Portugal to Madrid. During
his sojourn in Spain he visited Granada, the Alhambra, and many cities in
the south of Spain. His route home was through Paris, London and
Liverpool. Two years later he made an extended tour over Europe, including
Russia, Hungary, and other places of the Danube.
Mr. Stevens has served four years in the city council, and for two years
was president of that body. During his official term he was noted for
regularity and punctuality of attendance, close attention to business,
and watchful care of the public interests. As presiding officer he had
few equals. Dignified, yet courteous, in manner, and thoroughly
impartial, he possessed the respect of all parties in the council, and
was always able to so conduct the deliberations as to prevent unseemly
outbreaks or undignified discussions. Methodical in the disposition of
business, he was able to get through a large amount in a short time,
without the appearance of haste.
Mr. Stevens is one of that class of travelers of whom there are,
unhappily, but few, who not only travel far, but see much, and are able to
relate what they saw with such graphic power as to give those who remain
at home a pleasure only secondary to visiting the scenes in person. His
several wanderings in Mexico and Central America, in South America,
Western Europe, and Russia, have all been narrated briefly, or more at
length, in letters to the Cleveland Herald, which for felicity of
expression and graphic description, have had no superiors in the
literature of travel. This is high praise, but those who have read the
several series of letters with the well known signature "H. S. S." will
unqualifiedly support the assertion. In his journeyings he generally
avoided the beaten track of tourists and sought unhackneyed scenes. These
were observed with intelligent eyes, the impressions deepened and
corrected by close investigation into the historical and contemporary
facts connected with the localities, and the result given in language
graphic, direct, and at the same time easy and graceful. A collection of
these letters would make one of the most delightful volumes of travel
sketches in the language.
Theodore R. Scowden.
Theodore R. Scowden, son of Theodore Scowden, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
was born June 8, 1815, and was educated at Augusta College, Kentucky.
On leaving college, in 1832, he was apprenticed to the steam engine
business at Cincinnati, and continued at this about four years, when he
engaged as engineer on a steamer plying between Cincinnati and New
Orleans. From the time of commencing engine building, he employed all his
spare moments in studying mechanics, hydraulics and civil engineering. He
remained in the position of engineer on the river for about eight years,
when, in 1844, he turned his attention to the work of designing and
planning engines, and so put into practice the knowledge acquired by
application for the previous twelve years, and, in fact, for which he
more particularly fitted himself while at college. He was then appointed
by the city council of Cincinnati, engineer of water works, the primitive
works then existing being inadequate to the increased wants of the city.
The water was conveyed in log pipes, and the work before Mr. Scowden was
to replace these logs by iron pipes, and to design and erect new works. In
about a year from his appointment his plans were perfected and he was
ready to commence operation. A great difficulty under which he labored,
was, the necessity of keeping up the supply of water all the time, and
being at the same time compelled to place the new reservoir and engine
house in the exact spot of the old. This made the construction extend
through nearly eight years, during which time from forty to fifty miles of
iron pipe were laid, and a reservoir of great capacity constructed. This
was his first great public work completed, and was a perfect success.
The first low pressure engine ever successfully used in the Ohio and
Mississippi valleys, was designed by Mr. Scowden and introduced into these
works. It was found that the sedimentary matter of the Ohio river cut the
valves in the condensing apparatus, and so destroying the vacuum, rendered
the working of the engine ineffective. This Mr. Scowden overcame by
introducing vulcanized india rubber valves, seated on a grating. Since
that time he has designed several low pressure engines for the Mississippi
river, which are still working successfully.
In 1851, Mr. Scowden was commissioned by the city of Cincinnati, to make
the tour of England and France for the purpose of examining the principles
and workings of public docks, drainage, paving and water works. After
returning and making his report he resigned his post and came to
Cleveland, for the purpose of constructing the water works now in
operation in this city. The plan and designs were completed during 1852,
and active operations commenced in 1853. The site of these works is said
to have presented more engineering difficulties than any other in the
country. At the time the tests were made for the foundation of the engine
house, the water was nearly knee deep, and four men forced a rod thirty
feet long and three-quarters of an inch in diameter twenty-eight feet into
the ground. By the aid of five steam engines and pumps he succeeded in
excavating to the depth of fourteen feet, and not being able to proceed
further, he commenced the foundation. It is well to note the fact here,
that the soil was in such a semi-fluid state that it could not be handled
with a shovel, and altogether the chances of success for securing a
permanent foundation looked, to the public, at least, very dubious. The
citizens grew uneasy; they thought it was a waste of public money, but Mr.
Snowden never despaired, though he with his own hand thrust a pole down
twelve feet from the bottom of the excavation.
He laid down over the whole area two courses of timber laid cross-wise,
leaving a space of twelve inches between each timber. The first timber was
drawn by a rope, and floated to its place. In order to get a bed he
scooped a space of two feet in length at one end, which was filled with
gravel. This process was continued through the whole length of the timber.
The second timber was floated to its place, leaving a foot between them,
and the same operation was performed throughout the whole foundation.
All the spaces between the timbers were filled with broken stone and
hydraulic cement; then the cross timbers were laid, filling the spans with
the concrete also. It is to be observed that not a single pile was driven
in all the foundation.
The masonry was commenced upon the timbers, and carried up about nineteen
feet, and, notwithstanding the misgivings of scientific and experienced
contractors and builders, and others, the superstructure was completed in
1855, and from that day to this not a crack in an angle of the building
has been seen, although it may with truth be said that the engine house
floats on a bed of quicksand. There were three thousand feet of aqueduct
from the engine house to the lake, which presented similar difficulties,
as did also the laying of pipes under the Cuyahoga river.
The engines in use in the Cleveland works are the first Cornish engines
introduced west of the Allegheny mountains. After completing the works and
putting them in successful operation, Mr. Scowden resigned his position
here, in 1856.
In 1857, Mr. Scowden commenced the construction of the water works of
Louisville, Kentucky, and finished them in 1860, and for character,
capacity and finish they are acknowledged to be second to none in the
United States, if in the world. The second pair of Cornish engines used
west of the mountains were introduced there.
The next public work of Mr. Scowden was the extension and enlargement of
the canal around the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville, which comprises a
new work, as very little of the old was used. The engineering of the work
was done under the direction of a board of directors, the president of
which was James Guthrie, former Secretary of the Treasury under Pierce,
and late United States Senator.
The locks in these works are the largest in the known world for width,
length, and lift, not excepting the Suez Canal. There are two locks of
thirteen feet lift, and containing fifty-two thousand yards of masonry.
The canal is crossed by iron swing bridges. The work has been inspected by
the United States topographical engineers, and General Wietzel, now in
charge of the work, has pronounced it unsurpassed by anything within the
range of his knowledge, and, what is more remarkable, a like tribute to
the skill of our fellow citizen has been accorded by French, English and
German engineers, and also by the president of the board.
This was his last and greatest triumph of engineering skill; and being a
national work, and he a civilian, he may well feel proud of his
After completing the last mentioned work, Mr. Scowden returned to
Cleveland and engaged in the iron trade, constructing a rolling mill at
Newburg, for the American sheet and boiler plate company, with which he is
As an engineer, Mr. Scowden stands high. He never was baffled, though
established principles failed, for he had resources of his own from which
to draw. Without an exception, every great public work undertaken by him
has been not only completed, but has proved entirely successful.
As a man he enjoys the respect and confidence of his fellow citizens. His
manner is affable and unassuming, and his disposition kindly. Constant
application for twenty-five years has had its effect upon him, but with
care, he may yet be spared many years to enjoy the fruits of his labors.
John H. Sargent.
John H. Sargent has been, and is, so intimately connected with the
construction and management of some of the most important public
improvements of the city, and notably so with the sewerage system and
water works management, that it is eminently proper he should be noticed
here as a representative man in the department of City Improvements.
[Illustration: Yours with Respect, J. H. Sargent]
Mr. Sargent was born March 7, 1814, at Carthage, near Rochester, New
York. His parents were but recent emigrants from New Hampshire, and when
he was but three years old they removed again toward the land of the
setting sun, taking up their residence in what is now the city of Monroe,
Michigan, but which was then known as River Raisin. In that place they
remained but a year, at the end of which time they removed to Cleveland.
Levi Sargent, the father of the subject of this sketch, was by trade a
blacksmith, and was at one time a partner in that business with Abraham
Hickox, then, and long after, familiarly known to every one in the
neighborhood as "Uncle Abram." He soon removed to the west side of the
river, and thence to Brooklyn, where he built him one of the first houses
erected on that side, on top of the hill. Hard knocks upon the anvil could
barely enable him to support his family, so the boy, at the age of nine,
was sent to the Granite State, where for ten years he enjoyed, during the
Winter months, the advantages of a New England district school, and worked
and delved among the rocks upon a farm the remainder of the year. At the
age of nineteen, with a freedom suit of satinet, and barely money enough
to bring him home, he returned to Cleveland.
Here, after supporting himself, he devoted all his leisure time to the
study of mathematics, for which he had a predilection. Subsequently he
spent some time at the Norwich University, Vermont, at an engineering and
semi-military school, under the management of Captain Patridge.
When the subject of railroads began to agitate the public mind, and the
project of a railroad along the south shore of Lake Erie was resolved
upon, Mr. Sargent was appointed resident engineer upon the Ohio Railroad,
which position he held until the final collapse of that somewhat
precarious enterprise, in 1843. Sandusky City had already taken the lead
in Ohio in the matter of railroads, having a locomotive road in operation
to Tiffin, and horse road to Monroeville. Upon the reconstruction and
extension of this last road Mr. Sargent was appointed resident engineer,
and while there, seeing the advantages that Sandusky was likely to gain
over Cleveland by her railways, at the solicitation of J. W. Gray, he sent
a communication to the Plain Dealer, illustrating the same with a map,
urging the construction of a railroad from Cleveland to Columbus and
Cincinnati. He also advocated the project in the Railroad Journal, but
that paper discouraged the matter, as it was likely to be too much of a
competing line with the Sandusky road already begun. But the agitation
continued until the preliminary surveys were made, the greater part of
them under Mr. Sargent's immediate charge. When the project hung fire for
a time, Mr. Sargent, in company with Philo Scovill, spent two seasons
among the copper mines of Lake Superior. When the Cleveland, Columbus and
Cincinnati railroad was begun in good earnest, he was called upon once
more and located the line upon which it was built. Mr. Sargent remained
upon the road until opened to Wellington, when he went upon the Michigan
Southern and Northern Indiana railroad, where, for nearly five years, he
was engaged in extending and reconstructing that road, and in locating and
building its branches.
Since 1855, most of his time has been spent in Cleveland, in engineering
and works of public utility. While city civil engineer he strongly
advocated, though for the time unsuccessfully, the introduction of the
Nicholson pavement, and introduced and established the present system of
sewerage, a work, the importance of which to the health and comfort of the
citizens, can not be overestimated.
Mr. Sargent has been chosen one of the commissioners for enlarging and
extending the water works so as to meet the altered circumstances and
enlarged demands of the city.
In politics Mr. Sargent is, and has always been, a Democrat, but never
allows party prejudices to sway him, and is in no sense a professed
politician. The honesty of his convictions and his uprightness of conduct
have won for him the respect and friendship of men of all parties, who
have confidence in his never permitting party considerations to interfere
with his honest endeavor to serve the public interests to the best of his
ability, whenever placed in a position to do so. During the rebellion he
was zealous and untiring in his support of the government, and aiding, by
all the means in his power, to crush out the rebellion.
Previous to the rebellion, Cleveland had the honor of possessing military
companies famous for their drill and efficiency, and which were the pride
of the citizens and a credit to the State. At the outbreak of the
rebellion, the Cleveland companies were foremost in tendering their
services, were among the first Ohio troops that rushed to the scene of
danger, and were in the first skirmish of the war between the volunteer
troops of the North and the organized troops of the rebels--that at
Vienna. The first artillery company organized in the West was formed in
Cleveland, and kept its organization up for many years before the war. The
breaking out of the war found this artillery organization ready for
service, and scarcely waiting for authority, it was speedily on its way to
the point where its services seemed most needed. To its promptness and
efficiency is largely due the swift expulsion of the rebels from West
Virginia and the saving of that State to the Union cause. As the war
progressed, companies first, and then whole regiments, were rapidly
organized, and sent forward from Cleveland, until at length every portion
of the field of war had Cleveland representatives in it. Those who
remained at home eagerly aided those in the field. Money was raised in
large sums whenever wanted, to forward the work of enlistment, to provide
comforts for the soldiers in the field, and to care for the sick and
wounded. Busy hands and sympathetic hearts worked together in unison,
enlarging their field of operation until the Cleveland Soldiers' Aid
Society became the Northern Ohio Soldiers' Aid Society, and that again
developed into the Western Branch of the Sanitary Commission.
In the imposing ceremonies of the inauguration of the Perry statue on the
Public Square in Cleveland on the tenth of September, 1860, a few months
before the breaking out of actual hostilities between the North and
South, the whole military force of the city participated. The
organizations represented were the First Regiment Cleveland Light
Artillery, under command of Colonel James Barnett and Lieutenant Colonel
S. B. Sturges, composed of the following companies: Co. A, Capt. Simmons;
Co. B, Capt. Mack; Co. D, Capt. Rice; Co. E, Capt. Heckman. [Co. C, Capt.
Kenny, belonged to Geneva. It took part in the ceremonies, under the
general command of Colonel Barnett, but at that time retained its old
organization as Independent Battery A.] Brooklyn Light Artillery, Capt.
Pelton; Cleveland Light Dragoons, Capt. Haltnorth; Cleveland Grays, Capt.
Paddock; Cleveland Light Guards, Capt. Sanford; Hibernian Guards, Capt.
Kenny. Of these the Cleveland Grays had achieved the greatest reputation
in past years for its drill and efficiency. It had been the pet of the
citizens, and in its ranks, at one time or another, had been found the
very best class of the people of Cleveland, who continued to take pride in
the organization, and contribute to its maintenance, long after they
ceased to be actually connected with it.
When President Lincoln's call for troops was received, the Cleveland Grays
and Hibernian Guards promptly tendered their services, and the first named
company started for the field without a single hour's unnecessary delay.
It was formed with the First Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was in the
skirmish at Vienna. On the re-organization of the Ohio troops into three
years' regiments, a large proportion of the Cleveland Grays found
positions as officers in new regiments, where their knowledge of drill and
discipline was of great value in bringing the masses of raw volunteers
into speedy use as efficient soldiers. The Hibernian Guards followed the
Cleveland Grays and did good service throughout the war. Many of the
original members of this company also became gradually scattered
throughout other regiments as company or staff officers. The Cleveland
Light Guards formed the nucleus of the Seventh Ohio, whose history is
identical with that of its two principal officers, which will be found in
subsequent pages. The story of the Cleveland Light Artillery is mainly
told in that of General Barnett, its commander and leading spirit.
It is, of course, impossible to furnish an exact account of the number of
men furnished by Cleveland to the army of the Union, or even to designate
the particular organizations belonging to that city. Clevelanders were to
be found scattered through a number of regiments not raised in this
vicinity, and among the regiments organized in Cleveland camps many were
almost entirely composed of men from beyond the city, or even county
lines. To the 1st Ohio Infantry Cleveland contributed the Cleveland Grays.
The 7th Ohio was organized at Camp Cleveland, and contained three
companies raised exclusively in Cleveland. The 8th Ohio, organized in
Cleveland, contained one Cleveland company--the Hibernian Guards. The 23d
and 27th Ohio, organized at Camp Chase, contained Cleveland companies. The
37th Ohio, (German) was organized in Cleveland, and a large part of its
members enlisted at this point. The 41st Ohio was a Cleveland regiment,
recruited mainly in the city. The 54th Ohio, organized at Camp Dennison,
contained one Cleveland company. The 58th Ohio, (German,) also contained a
Cleveland contingent. Clevelanders also were in the 61st, organized at
Camp Chase. The 67th Ohio had a considerable proportion of Clevelanders.
The 103rd Ohio was organized in Cleveland, and was, to a large extent, a
Cleveland regiment, in both officers and men. The 107th Ohio, (German,)
was organized and largely recruited in Cleveland. The 124th Ohio was
organized in Cleveland, most of its companies recruited there and the
regiment officered mainly by Cleveland men. The 125th Ohio was organized
in Cleveland, with some Cleveland recruits. The 128th Ohio, (Prisoner's
Guards,) was recruited and organized in Cleveland. It did duty on
Johnson's Island. The 129th Ohio was organized in Cleveland, having been
partially recruited and officered in the same place. It was organized for
six months' service. The 150th Ohio, National Guard, for one hundred days'
service, was organized in Cleveland, and contained eight companies from
the city, (the 29th Ohio Volunteer Militia,) with one from Oberlin, and
another from Independence. It garrisoned some of the forts around
Washington and took part in the repulse of the rebel attack in June, 1864.
The 177th Ohio, one year regiment, was organized and partly recruited in
Cleveland. The 191st, organized at Columbus, was commanded and partly
recruited with Clevelanders. The 2nd, 10th and 12th Ohio Cavalry regiments
were organized and partially recruited in Cleveland. The 1st regiment of
Ohio Light Artillery was made out of the 1st regiment Cleveland Light
Artillery. Besides these Cleveland furnished to the service, in whole or
part, the 9th, 14th, 15th, 19th and 20th Independent Batteries. Other
regiments were organized at the Cleveland camps, but probably contained no
members that could be credited to Cleveland, and mention of them is
therefore omitted here. In addition a large number of recruits were
obtained for the regular army, and for the navy, besides contributions to
the colored regiments raised during the war. A number of Clevelanders, for
one reason or another, also took service in regiments of other States.
Colonel Charles Whittlesey.
Although Colonel Whittlesey was trained to the profession of arms, and
has a military record of which he may well be proud, it is not in the
field of battle that he has won the honors he prizes most, but in the
broader fleld of science. It is among the heroes who have achieved
distinction in grappling with the mysteries of nature and who have
developed means for making life more useful and comfortable, that Colonel
Whittlesey would have preferred taking position, rather than among those
whose distinction comes rather of destruction than construction or
production. But the exigencies of this work prevent the formation of a
distinct scientific department, and the military services of Colonel
Whittlesey have been such that he could not, without injustice, be
omitted from this department of our work.
Charles Whittlesey was born in Southington, Connecticut, about midnight
of October 4-5, 1808, being the first born of Asaph and Vesta Whittlesey.
When four years old he was sent to the old red school house "to be out
of harm's way," whilst his father was in the Ohio wilderness, exploring
for a home.
The location was found, and in 1813 the family removed to Talmadge, Summit
county, Ohio. There the young boy trudged from home to the log school
house, south of Talmadge Centre, until 1819, when the frame academy was
finished and the eleven year old lad attended school in the new building
during the Winter, and in Summer worked on the farm. This mode of life
continued until 1824.
In 1827, he was appointed a cadet at West Point.
During his second year at West Point, a fiery Southerner made a Personal
assault upon a superior officer, the military punishment for which is
death. He was condemned by a court-martial to be shot. While the sentence
was being forwarded to Washington for approval the culprit was confined in
the cadet prison, without irons. Cadet Whittlesey was one evening on post
at the door of the prison, and as he passed on his beat, his back being
for a moment towards the door, the prisoner, who was a powerful man,
sprang out and seized the sentinel's musket from behind. At the same
instant the muzzle of a pistol was presented to the ear of the young cadet
with an admonition to keep quiet. This, however, did not prevent him from
calling lustily for the "corporal of the guard." Cadet O. M. Mitchel, of
subsequent fame, happened to be in charge of the guard as corporal and
then coming up stairs with the relief. With his usual activity he sprang
forward and the scion of chivalry ran. The guns of the sentinels at West
Point are not loaded. The escaping prisoner could not, therefore, be shot,
but in the pursuit by Cadet Whittlesey he had nearly planted a bayonet in
his back when the guard seized him.
[Illustration: Yours Truly, Chas Mattingly]
After passing through the regular course of instruction at West Point, he
graduated, and, in 1831, was made Brevet Second Lieutenant of the Fifth
United States Infantry, and served in the Black Hawk campaign of 1832. He
afterwards resigned, and for the next quarter of a century his record is
wholly a scientific one. Recognizing the right of the government to his
military services in national emergencies he offered to resume his old
rank in the Florida war of 1838, and in the Mexican war of 1846, but his
offers were not accepted.
In 1837, he was appointed on the geological survey of Ohio, and was
engaged on that work two years, the survey eventually terminating through
the neglect of the Legislature to make the necessary appropriations.
Incomplete as the work was, the survey was of immense importance to Ohio,
as the investigations of Colonel Whitlesey and his associates revealed a
wealth of mineral treasures hitherto unsuspected, and enabled capital and
enterprise to be directed with intelligence to their development. The
value of the rich coal and iron deposits of North-eastern Ohio was
disclosed by this survey, and thus the foundation was laid for the
extensive manufacturing industry that has added enormously to the
population, wealth and importance of this portion of the State. It was
with the important results of his labors in Ohio in mind, that the State
Government of Wisconsin secured his services for the geological survey of
that State, which was carried on through the years 1858, 1859 and 1860,
terminating with the breaking out of the war. From this survey also very
important results have already followed, and still more will be arrived at
in the course of a few years.
From 1847 to 1851, both inclusive, Colonel Whittlesey was employed by the
United States government in the survey of Lake Superior and the upper
Mississippi in reference to mines and minerals. In addition to this he has
spent much time in surveying particular portions of the mineral districts
of the Lake Superior basin, and has, in all, spent fifteen seasons on the
waters of Lake Superior and upper Mississippi, making himself thoroughly
familiar with the topography and geological character of that portion of
Colonel Whittlesey was at home in Cleveland quietly pursuing his
scientific studies and investigations, when the national trouble
commenced. When the entrance of President Lincoln into Washington was
threatened by violence in February, 1861, he was an enrolled member of one
of the companies tendering their services to General Scott. Seeing that
war was inevitable, he personally urged the Governor and Legislature of
Ohio to prepare for it before the proclamation of April 15, 1861, and on
the 17th he joined the Governor's staff as assistant quartermaster
general. He served in the field in Western Virginia, with the three months
levies, as State military engineer with the Ohio troops under Generals
McClellan, Cox and Hill, and at Scary Run, on the Kanawha, July 17, 1861,
behaved with great gallantry under fire, and conducted himself with
intrepidity and coolness during an engagement that lasted two hours, and
in which his horse was wounded under him. At the expiration of the service
of the three months troops he was appointed Colonel of the 20th regiment
Ohio volunteers, and detailed by General O. M. Mitchel as chief engineer
of the department of the Ohio, where he planned and constructed the
defences of Cincinnati, which he afterwards volunteered to defend, in
September, 1862. At the battle of Fort Donelson he was with his regiment,
and was complimented by General Grant on the morning of the surrender by
being put in charge of the prisoners. A published correspondence from the
prisoners proves with what kindness and courtesy to the unfortunate this
task was performed. A testimony to a similar effect is the correspondence
from the leading residents of the rebel counties of Owen, Grant, Carroll
and Gallatin, in Kentucky, which in the Winter of 1861, were placed under
his command, and which he ruled with such firmness, yet moderation, that
both Union men and rebels bore witness to his conservative, moderate, and
gentlemanly course, as well as to his promptness and decision.
At the battle of Shiloh, Colonel Whittlesey, on the second day of that
desperate fight, commanded the third brigade of General Wallace's
division. The part borne by this brigade in the battle has become
historic. It was composed of Ohio troops, the 20th, 56th 76th, and 78th
regiments, and it was against their line that General Beauregard attempted
to throw the whole weight of his force for a last desperate charge, when
he was driven back by the terrible fire poured into him. General Wallace,
in his officiai report, makes especial and honorable mention of the
important part taken by this brigade and its commander in the battle.
Soon after the battle Colonel Whittlesey sent in his resignation, which
he had intended sending in earlier, but withheld because he foresaw some
important military movements in which he desired to take part. The
critical condition of his wife's health and his own disabilities, which
had reached a point threatening soon to unfit him for any service
whatever, compelled him to take this step. After the battle of Shiloh,
when he could resign with honor and without detriment to the service, he
sent in his resignation. General regret was expressed by the officers with
whom he had been associated and by his old command. The application was
endorsed by General Grant "We cannot afford to lose so good an officer."
General Wallace, General Cox, and General Force added their commendations
of his abilities and services, and few officers retired from the army with
a clearer or more satisfactory record, or with greater regret on the part
of his military associates.
Since his retirement, Colonel Whittlesey has been leisurely engaged in
scientific and literary pursuits, has again spent much time in geological
explorations in the Lake Superior and Upper Mississippi country, has
organized and brought into successful operation the Western Reserve
Historical Society, of which he continues to be president, and has
accumulated in its spacious hall a good collection of historical works
relating to the West, and a rich collection of geological and antiquarian
specimens, gathered in Ohio and the Northwest.
Colonel Whittlesey has contributed largely to scientific literature, and
his works have attracted wide attention, not only among scientific men of
America, but of Europe. His published works are to be found in the
Geological Reports of Ohio, 1838-9; United States Geological Surveys of
the Upper Mississippi, D. D. Owen, 1847, 1849; United States Geological
Surveys of Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Foster and Whitney, 1850, 1851;
Life of John Fitch, Spark's American Biography, new series, Volume 6,
1845; Fugitive Essays, mainly historical, published at Hudson, Ohio, 8vo.,
pp. 357, 1854; Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge;--Ancient Works of
Ohio, 1852; Fluctuation of Lake Levels, 1860; Ancient Mining on Lake
Superior, 1863; Fresh Water Glacial Drift, 1866. In addition to these are
an essay on the Mineral Resources of the Rocky Mountains, in 1863; a
handsome and valuable volume on the Early History of Cleveland, in 1866,
and about thirty essays, reports, and pamphlets, besides very numerous and
valuable contributions to newspapers and scientific journals.
General James Barnett.
James Barnett was born on the 21st of June, 1821, at Cherry Valley, Otsego
county, New York. He came to Cleveland when about four years of age, and
after receiving a common school education commenced his business career by
entering the hardware store of Potter, Clark & Murfey, where he served
three years as clerk. At the end of that time he went into the hardware
house of George Worthington, and has for many years been a member of the
firm of George Worthington & Co. As a business man and good citizen he
stands very high in the estimation of the people of Cleveland, but it is
with his military record that we have now chiefly to deal.
In 1840, an independent Company of artillery was organized in Cleveland,
and at its start was made a part of the old Cleveland Grays, afterwards
the artillery part formed a company by itself, which had for its
commanders D. L. Wood and A. S. Sanford. This organization was kept up
until the breaking out of the war, and was, without doubt, the best
drilled and equipped artillery organization west of the mountains; the
State supplied the guns, harness and caissons, but the expenses for
horses, the meeting and drill houses, and equipments, and all their
expenses, were paid by themselves. They drilled regularly, took an
excursion every year, visited Niagara, Syracuse, Sandusky, Wooster, and
also Chicago, on the occasion of the assembling of the River and Harbor
Convention. At every point they visited they never failed to infuse a
military spirit into the people, and to create a desire for similar
companies. Nearly all the artillery organizations of the West sprang out
of this little nucleus at Cleveland, for at the places visited and
instructed by the Cleveland company, men were obtained at the breaking out
of the war who were to some extent familiar with artillery drill, and many
of them became, because of this, commanders during the rebellion. Such
commanders were to be found throughout the service.
About two years before the war, the Ohio militia law was so amended as to
permit the organization of artillery companies, with one gun to a company,
every six guns to form a command, entitled to elect a colonel,
lieutenant-colonel, and major. The Cleveland Light Artillery took
immediate advantage of this by organizing into the First, Regiment Light
Artillery, O. V. M., with the following officers: Colonel, James Barnett;
Lieutenant Colonel, S. B. Sturges; Major, Clark Gates; Quartermaster, Amos
Townsend; Quartermaster's Sergeant, Randall Crawford; Co. A, Captain Wm.
R. Simmons; Co. B, Captain John G. Mack; Co. C, Captain D. Kenny; Co. D,
Captain Percy Rice; Co. E, Captain F. W. Pelton. The three city companies
drilled at what is now the Varieties, on Frankfort street, Captain
Pelton's company at Brooklyn, and Captain Kenny's at Geneva.
In the Winter of 1860, the regiment tendered their services to the State
authorities in case of difficulty, as the rebels in West Virginia were
assuming a threatening attitude. This offer was accepted, but the opinion
expressed in the acceptance, that the proffered services would probably
not be needed. Five days after the fall of Fort Sumter the order came for
the regiment to report with its six guns to Columbus. On the second day
after the date of the order the organization, with full complement of men
and guns, passed through Columbus en route to Marietta, where a rebel
demonstration was expected. Here it remained a little over a month, when a
detachment with two guns, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Sturges,
crossed into West Virginia at Parkersburg, and the remainder, under
command of Colonel Barnett, crossed the river at Benwood and proceeded to
Grafton, West Virginia. The two guns under Lieutenant Colonel Sturges went
up the Baltimore and Ohio line to Philippi, and in the affair at that
place did telling service. Theirs was the first artillery fired in the
field by the National forces in the war of the rebellion. About a month
after, the detachment rejoined the main body of the regiment, and the guns
of the artillery did good service in the attack on the rebels at Laurel
Hill, the result being the hasty flight of the enemy.
In the pursuit from Laurel Hill, two pieces pushed over the mountains and
pressed their rear guard with great energy for two days, during nearly the
whole time in a drenching rain, deep mud, and through fords, the men all
anxiety to overtake the fleeing foes. The rebels had felled trees to
obstruct the road. Some chopped the trees asunder, some helped the guns
through the mud, and all worked like desperate men. Finally the
transportation of the rebels stuck fast in quicksand and stopped the whole
train. The rebels were compelled to make a stand to protect their baggage.
To effect this they drew up their forces on a little table land, near
Carrick's Ford--the position being hid by a row of bushes on the edge of
the hill, and overlooking the line of Colonel Barnett's command. The head
of the column was pushing on with great impetuosity when they were
suddenly opened upon from the point of land on their right hand, but,
fortunately, from the elevation, their fire mostly passed over their
heads. The troops were immediately put into position to repel the attack;
the guns, to give them scope, were wheeled out into the field and opened
fire immediately with canister. Although fired upon by two pieces of
artillery from the eminence, they lost no one, and after a few rounds the
rebel guns were silenced, and the gallant attack by the infantry under
Colonel Steadman of the 14th Ohio, Colonel Dumont, 6th Indiana, and
Colonel Milroy, 9th Indiana, at the same time, drove them from their
position. When taken, it was found that the gunner of one piece had been
killed and was lying across the trunnions of the piece with the cartridge
only half rammed--the horses having been killed at the same time and in
falling broke the pole, so that it was impossible to get the gun away. Our
men soon improvised another pole and harness, hitched some mules to the
piece, and brought it away, together with the captured supplies. The
pursuing column returned to camp at Laurel Hill.
Immediately after this, Colonel Barnett was ordered to report to General
McClellan in person, at Beverly. There a consultation was had on the
policy of taking the artillery on a campaign up the Kanawha, after General
Wise. There was some question about ordering them on the campaign, from
the fact that they were not in the United States command, their
organization then not having been recognized by the General Government.
They were Ohio troops, and their invasion of West Virginia was excused on
the plea that it was necessary to the "defence of the State," for which
purpose only they were mustered into the State service.
While the matter of a new campaign was being submitted to the command, the
battle of Bull's Run took place, and McClellan was peremptorily ordered to
Washington to take command of the army of the Potomac. Colonel Barnett
returned to Columbus with his command, which was mustered in and mustered
out of the United States service on the same day.
This affair, in connection with the operation at Rich Mountain, under
Rosecrans, closed the campaign made by General McClellan in Western
Virginia, and preserved the State to the Union.
Colonel Barnett and his command returned to Cleveland, bringing with them,
by permission of Governor Dennison, the piece of artillery captured at
Carrick's Ford, which still remains in Cleveland and is used for firing
salutes. On reaching Cleveland the returning soldiers were received with
public demonstrations of joy, and a vote of thanks, couched in the
strongest terms of commendation, was unanimously adopted by the city
council at their regular meeting, July 30, 1861.
Governor Dennison had strongly urged the General Government to grant him
permission to furnish a twelve battery regiment of artillery as part of
the State quota of troops. This was steadily refused for a considerable
time, but at length a Mr. Sherwin, of Cincinnati, was granted permission
to raise such a regiment, provided he could do it within a stated time.
The attempt proving a failure, Governor Dennison obtained permission from
the War Department to appoint Colonel Barnett to the task. Colonel Barnett
at once left for Columbus, and in August, 1861, commenced the work of
recruiting and equipping, the batteries being sent to the field as rapidly
as they could be got ready. Co. A and Co. C reported to General Thomas in
time to participate in the battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky. The other
batteries were sent to different commands in Western Virginia and
Kentucky, as soon as ready.
Colonel Barnett reported to General Buell, at Louisville, the following
Spring, with a portion of the command, and on the arrival of the army at
Nashville, in March, he was placed in command of the Artillery Reserve of
the Army of the Ohio, in which capacity he served until ordered to Ohio,
in July, 1862, on recruiting service, and was in command through the
campaign embracing the battles of Pittsburgh Landing, Corinth and other
affairs, up to the time of the occupation of Huntsville by Buell's army.
After having obtained the requisite number of recruits for his regiment,
he was assigned to duty, in September, upon the staff of General C. C.
Gilbert, at that time commanding the centre corps of the Army of the Ohio.
After the battle of Perryville, the Colonel was transferred to the staff
of Major General McCook, as Chief of Artillery, which position he filled
until November 24, 1862, when he was designated by General Rosecrans,
Chief of Artillery of the army of the Cumberland.
In the battles of Stone River, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, and the various
other operations of the grand old army of the Cumberland, Colonel Barnett
was constantly and actively engaged, and is mentioned with special
commendation by General Rosecrans in his official report, and received the
confidence and support of the final commander of that department, the
sturdy and gallant Thomas.
After the close of operations around Chattanooga, Colonel Barnett was put
in command of the artillery of the department, requiring reorganization
and remounting, which was formed in two divisions, consisting of six
batteries in a division; the first division being batteries in the regular
service; the second division being volunteer batteries, and principally
composed of batteries of the First Ohio Light Artillery, having their
camps near the city of Nashville, where they were thoroughly drilled,
reorganized and equipped, and held in readiness for the field at any
moment on requisition of the department commander; which command he
retained until mustered out of the service, October 20, 1864.
Colonel Barnett also participated in the battle of Nashville, in which,
however, he acted in a volunteer capacity, the battle having taken place
subsequent to his muster out of the service.
Subsequently he was awarded a Brevet Brigadier Generalship, in
consideration of his eminent abilities and the valuable services he had
performed. On his return home he resumed his position in the old firm,
having, by the generosity of his partners, been allowed to retain his
interest without detriment during the whole time of his service.
Colonel Wm. H. Hayward.
Wm. H. Hayward was born at Lebanon, Connecticut, in 1824, was brought to
Cleveland in 1826, received a good common school education, and at the
age of fifteen became an apprentice to the printing business in the
office of Sanford & Lott. At the end of his five years apprenticeship he
was admitted as partner, solely because of his proficiency, not having
any capital to put in. Mr. Lott retired on account of ill health, and the
firm became Sanford & Hayward, which it has ever since remained, and
which has steadily built up a large and profitable blank-book and
From boyhood Mr. Hayward had a taste for military studies, and he was
early connected with the military organizations of the city. In the early
days of the Cleveland Light Artillery, when it was under the command of
his partner, General A. S. Sanford, he was First Lieutenant. When
permission was received for the organization of the First Ohio Artillery
as a three years regiment, Mr. Hayward was tendered, and from a sheer
sense of duty to the country accepted, the Lieutenant Colonelcy of the
regiment. He took an active part in recruiting, drilling, and organizing
the men as fast as received, and sending them to the front. When the
regiment was divided and sent in different directions his command was
ordered to the Shenandoah Valley to report to General Shields. Under this
command he took part in the fight at Port Republic, June 12, 1862, fought
whilst another battle was going on at Cross Keys, seven miles distant.
Soon afterwards he and his command became part of the Army of the Potomac,
being attached to the Third Division under General Whipple, who was
subsequently mortally wounded at Chancellorsville. On being assigned to
that Division, Colonel Hayward was made Chief of Artillery. At the time of
the battle of Gettysburg Colonel Hayward was assigned to duty in
His health, never good, having completely broken down, he was compelled to
resign and return home. Here he remained attending his business duties and
rendering such aid as lay in his power until the call for hundred days
troops to defend Washington. At the time he was in command of the 29th
Regiment Ohio Volunteer Militia, organized for just such emergencies, and
which contained eight companies. With these two other companies were
Consolidated, and the organization styled the 150th Ohio National Guards.
Colonel Hayward led it to Washington, and took a leading part in the
repulse of Early. The attack of the rebel forces was mainly against that
part of the defences garrisoned by the 150th Regiment. There were no hopes
of permanently keeping the rebels out of Washington with so small a force,
but the main object was to keep them at bay until succor could arrive. To
do this strategy was adopted. About eight hundred quartermaster's men,
darkeys and teamsters, were sent off from Washington to swell the force;
these men were kept marching and counter-marching around a piece of wood,
then wheeled around and brought again into the view of the rebels, who,
thinking there was a large force being massed there, deferred the attack
till morning, when the veteran Sixth corps came up to their relief, and
Early was driven back in discomfiture.
On the expiration of their term of service the 150th National Guards
returned to Cleveland, and Colonel Hayward resumed business life.
Colonel Wm. R. Creighton.
No Infantry regiment raised in Cleveland became so thoroughly identified
with Cleveland as the "Fighting Seventh." This was in great measure due to
the fact that it was the first complete regiment sent from Cleveland, and
that it contained a large number of the spirited young men of the city,
taken from all classes of the population. The fortunes of the Seventh were
followed with deep interest, their successes exulted in, and their losses
mourned over. No public sorrow, saving that for the death of President
Lincoln, was so general and deep as that which followed the news of the
fall of the gallant leaders of the "old Seventh," as they led their
handful of men, spared from numerous murderous battles, in the face of
certain death up the hill at Ringgold. Grief for the loss was mingled with
indignation at the stupidity or wanton cruelty that had sent brave men to
such needless slaughter.
William R. Creighton, with whom the history of the Seventh is identified,
was born in Pittsburgh, in June, 1837. At ten years old he was placed in a
shoe store where he remained two years and then was placed for six months
in a commercial college. From there he entered a printing office, where he
served an apprenticeship of four years, and came to Cleveland, where he
entered the Herald office, remaining there, with the exception of a few
months, until just previous to the breaking out of the war.
In 1858, he became a member of the Cleveland Light Guards and rose to
become a lieutenant in that organization. He was a great favorite with his
fellow members of the company, and was not only a genial companion, but an
excellent disciplinarian. At the breaking out of the war, he organized a
company with the old Cleveland Light Guards as a nucleus, and soon had so
many applications that his company was full and a second company was
organized. A third company was also recruited. This was the beginning of
the Seventh Ohio.
On a beautiful Sunday morning, in May, 1861, the Seventh marched through
the streets of Cleveland, the first full regiment that had left the city,
on the way to the railroad. The whole population turned out to bid them
farewell. The regiment went to Camp Dennison, unarmed, without
uniforms--except such uniforms as belonged to the old independent
organizations--and with but temporary regimental organization. When but a
few days in Camp Dennison, the call came for three years troops, and the
regiment, with but few exceptions, volunteered for the three years
service, with E. B. Tyler as Colonel, and Wm. E. Creighton as Lieutenant
Colonel. The places of those who declined to enlist for three years were
soon filled by fresh recruits.
The regiment was ordered to West Virginia to take part in the campaign to
be opened there. Colonel Tyler had gone in advance, and Lieutenant Colonel
Creighton took the regiment to Clarksburg, where he turned it over to his
commanding officer. At Glenville he again took command, drilling the men
daily when in camp, and bringing them into a high state of proficiency.
Hard marching and many privations were endured until the regiment reached
On the 21st of August orders were received to join General Cox, at Gauley
Bridge. The regiment, then under command of Colonel Tyler, had reached
Twenty-mile Creek when word was received that the rebels, four thousand
strong, were preparing to cross the river at Cross Lanes, which the
Seventh had so recently left. A counter-march was ordered. About six miles
from Cross Lanes the regiment was attacked by an overwhelming force, and
after a desperate fight was broken, and compelled to retreat in two
different directions, with a loss of a hundred and twenty men in killed,
wounded, and prisoners. Creighton was among those who escaped.
The scattered companies re-united at Charleston, West Virginia, where they
remained waiting orders, and were in the meantime thoroughly drilled by
Lieutenant Colonel Creighton, who was in fact, if not in title, the
commanding officer of the regiment. An order coming for five hundred
picked men of the regiment to join in the pursuit of Floyd, he was sent in
command of the detachment, was given the advance in the pursuit, and
followed Floyd's trail hotly for several days, marching on foot at the
head of his men. Soon after this Tyler became Brigadier General and
Creighton was made Colonel of his regiment, which was ordered to the East.
At Winchester, Creighton led his regiment, the first in the famous charge
of the Third Brigade, having a horse shot under him, and then fighting on
foot with a musket, among his men, until the time came to assume the
position of commanding officer again. In the march to Fredricksburgh and
the return to the Valley he shared every privation and hardship the men
were obliged to encounter, always refuse to take advantage of his
privileges as an officer. He endeavored to procure every needful comfort
for his men, but when they were barefooted and hungry he shared his
stores with them, and fought and marched on foot with them. At Port
Republic he headed his regiment in five desperate charges, in each of
them driving the enemy. In the battle of Cedar Mountain Creighton handled
his regiment with a dexterity that told fearfully on the ranks of the
enemy. He was finally severely wounded, and compelled to leave the field.
In doing so, he kept his face to the foe, saying that "no rebel ever saw
his back in battle; and never would." He was taken to Washington, where
the bullet was extracted from his side, which was an exceedingly painful
operation. Soon after this he came to his home; but while still carrying
his arm in a sling, he reported to his regiment. While at home the battle
of Antietam was fought, which was the only one in which he failed to
participate. Soon after his return, the affair at Dumfries occurred,
where, through his ingenuity and skill, Hampton's cavalry command was
defeated by a mere handful of men. For this he was publicly thanked by
Generals Slocum and Geary. He took part in the battle of
Chancellorsville, where he won new laurels. It is said that being ordered
by General Hooker to fall back, he refused to do so until able to bring
Knapp's Battery safely to the rear; for which disobedience of orders he
was recommended for promotion. This battery was from his native city, and
in it he had many friends. Next he was at Gettysburg, where he fought
with his accustomed valor. He was also at Lookout Mountain and Mission
Ridge, in "Hooker's battle above the clouds."
After this battle came the pursuit of Bragg, whose rear-guard was
overtaken at Ringgold, Georgia, where it was securely posted on the top of
Taylor's Ridge--a naked eminence. It was madness to undertake to drive
them from this hill, without the use of artillery to cover the assault;
but in the excitement of the moment the order was given. In this assault
Creighton commanded a brigade. Forming his command he made a speech.
"Boys," said he, "we are ordered to take that hill. I want to see you walk
right up it." After this characteristic speech, he led his men up the
hill. It soon became impossible to advance against the terrible fire by
which they were met; he therefore led them into a ravine, but the rebels
poured such a fire into it from all sides, that the command was driven
back. Reaching a fence, Creighton stopped, and facing the foe, waited for
his command to reach the opposite side. While in this position he fell,
pierced through the body with a rifle bullet. His last words were: "Oh,
my dear wife!" and he expired almost immediately. The brigade now fell
rapidly back, carrying the remains of its idolized commander with it.
Lieutenant Colonel Crane fell in the same fight and but just after
The bodies were taken to the rear and sent to Cleveland, where they were
given such a reception and funeral as had never been witnessed in
Cleveland before, or after. The whole city was in mourning, and after
lying in state in Council Hall, to be visited by thousands, the mortal
remains of the dead heroes were borne, amid the firing of minute guns, the
tolling of bells, and the solemn dirges of the band, to their last resting
place in Woodland cemetery.
Colonel Creighton was killed on November 27th, 1863, in the
twenty-seventh year of his age.
Lieutenant Colonel Orrin J. Crane.
Orrin J. Crane was born in Troy, New York, in 1829. When he was three
years old his parents removed to Vermont, where his father died soon
after, leaving his wife and children poorly provided for. Young Crane was
taken, whilst still a small boy, by an uncle, and about the year 1852, he
came in charge of his relative to Conneaut, where he worked as a mechanic.
He left Conneaut at one time for the Isthmus of Panama, where he spent a
year, and on returning found work as a ship carpenter in Cleveland, where
he became connected with one of the military organizations of the city.
At the fall of Sumter he entered the service as first-lieutenant in
Captain Creighton's company; and on his promotion, was made captain. He
early devoted himself to the instruction of his company; and it can be
said that it lost nothing of the efficiency it acquired under the
leadership of Creighton.
After the regiment entered the field, his services were invaluable. If a
bridge was to be constructed, or a road repaired, he was sent for to
superintend it. If the commissary department became reduced, he was the
one to procure supplies. No undertaking was too arduous for his iron-will
to brave. All relied on him with the utmost confidence, and no one was
ever disappointed in him.
At the affair at Cross Lanes, where he first came under fire, he behaved
with great valor, and inspired his men with true courage. They stood like
a wall, and fell back only when ordered by their leader, then dashed
through the strong lines of the enemy, and were brought off with safety
out of what was seemingly certain destruction. He kept his men well
together during the long march to Gauley Bridge.
After his arrival at that point he was sent out to the front, up New
River, where he rendered valuable service. He was in every march and
skirmish in both Western and Eastern Virginia, until the battle of
Winchester. In this engagement he showed the same indomitable courage. He
held his men to the work of carnage so fearfully, that the enemy's slain
almost equalled his command.
He shared in every battle in which his regiment was engaged in the East;
Port Republic, Cedar Mountain (where he was slightly wounded), Antietam,
Dumfries, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. In all of these he never sent
his men forward; he led them on.
At the battle of Antietam, he commanded the regiment, and during the
latter part of the engagement, a brigade. Before the regiment left for the
West, he was made lieutenant-colonel; a position which his ability and
long, as well as faithful, service of his country rendered him eminently
qualified to fill.
Arriving at the West, he commanded the regiment in the battles of Lookout
Mountain and Mission Ridge, where he added new laurels to his already
imperishable name. At fatal Ringgold, he again commanded the regiment. He
led it up the steep ascent, where the whistling of bullets made the air
musical; and where men dropped so quietly that they were scarcely missed,
except in the thinned ranks of the command. The regiment had not recovered
from the shock produced by the announcement of the death of Creighton,
when Crane himself fell dead at the feet of his comrades, pierced through
the forhead by a rifle bullet. He fell so far in the advance, that his men
were driven back before possessing themselves of his body but it was soon
after recovered, and shared with the remains of Colonel Creighton the
honors of a public funeral.
Other Military Men of Cleveland.
In selecting the five subjects for the foregoing military biographical
sketches it was not intended to single them out as all that were worthy of
mention for their services. There are numerous others deserving a place,
but the materials for full biographical sketches were wanting for most of
them, and it was thought best, therefore, to confine the separate sketches
to those military men who, for one reason or another, have come to be
considered the representative men in the military history of the city. We
add here brief mention of a few others, from such material as is in our
posession, and must then, doubtless, omit many equally worthy a place.
Brevet Brigadier Russell Hastings, though not entering the army from
Cleveland, is now a resident of the city and holds the position of United
States Marshal. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 23rd Ohio
Infantry, commanded at first by Major-General Rosecrans and subsequently
by General Hayes, rose by regular promotion to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy,
and was subsequently made Brevet Brigadier General "for gallant and
meretorious services at the battle of Opequan, Virginia." General Hastings
was permanently disabled by a bullet wound in the leg.
Brevet Brigadier Robert L. Kimberly was on the editorial staff of the
Cleveland Herald when he joined the 41st Ohio Infantry, as Second
Lieutenant under Colonel Hazen, was rapidly promoted to Major, in which
rank he had charge of his regiment during the greater part of the time,
and sometimes acting as brigade commander. He was made Lieutenant Colonel
January 1, 1865, and Colonel of the 191st Ohio Infantry in the succeeding
March. He participated with distinction in several engagements, and for
these services was breveted Brigadier General.
Brigadier General Oliver H. Payne was commissioned Colonel of the 124th
Ohio Infantry January 1, 1863. His regiment was distinguished for its
discipline and for the care taken of the men by Colonel Payne and
Lieutenant Colonel James Pickands, and also for its gallant services under
those leaders. At Chickamauga Colonel Payne was wounded and, being unable
to rejoin his regiment, resigned his position in November, 1864. He was
subsequently breveted Brigadier General for meritorious services.
Among those who distinguished themselves in the service, but who stopped
short of null rank of those mentioned above, may be mentioned Major James
B. Hampson, who commanded the Cleveland Grays in the three years'
organization of the 1st Ohio Infantry, and subsequently was Major of the
124th Ohio. Lieutenant Colonel James T. Sterling, who commenced his
military career as company commander in the 7th Ohio Infantry and
subsequently became Lieutenant Colonel of the 103rd Ohio, from which
position he was appointed null General on the staff of General Cox.
Captain Joseph B. Molyneaux, who served with gallantry in the 7th Ohio
Infantry. Captain Mervin Clark, the fearless "boy officer" of the same
regiment, who braved death on every occasion, and fell, colors in hand,
when leading a forlorn hope over a rebel work at Franklin. Lieutenant
Colonel Frank Lynch, of the 27th Ohio Infantry. Lieutenant Colonel G. S.
Mygatt, of the 41st Ohio Infantry, who died of disease contracted in
serving his country. Major J. H. Williston, of the same regiment. Captains
G. L. Childs, Alfred P. Girty, and G. L. Heaton, of the 67th Ohio Infantry.
Lieutenant Colonel John N. Frazee, of the 84th and 150th Ohio Infantry.
Lieutenant Colonel H. S. Pickands, of the 103rd Ohio Infantry, and Colonel
James Pickands, of the 124th Ohio, who reached their positions by active
service in various ranks throughout the war. Captain Isaac C. Vail, of the
103rd Ohio Infantry, who died in service. Major George Arnold of the 107th
Ohio Infantry, (German,) who fought with great gallantry. Surgeon C. A.
Hartman, whose skill as a surgeon was fully equalled by his valor as a
soldier, and who, unable to content himself as a non-combatant, engaged in
the thickest of the fight at Winchester and was killed in the terrible
slaughter the regiment experienced. Captain Wm. C. Bunts, of the 125th
Ohio Infantry. Lieutenant Colonel E. A. Scovill, of the 128th Ohio
Infantry, rendered important service in charge of the null affairs of the
great prison for the rebels on Johnson's Island. Major Junius R. Sanford
was in service in this regiment. Lieutenant Colonel George L. Hayward, of
the 129th Ohio Infantry, had seen active service as company commander in
the 1st Ohio Infantry. In the Cavalry service Cleveland furnished among
other leading regimental officers Colonel Charles Doubleday, Lieutenant
Colonel G. G. Minor, Major Albert Barnitz, now in the United States
service, Major L. C. Thayer, who died soon after his leaving the service,
and Major J. F. Herrick. To the Artillery service, in addition to General
Barnett and Lieutenant Colonel Hayward, Cleveland contributed Lieutenant
Colonel Walter E. Lawrence, who declined promotion and died deeply
regretted by his comrades in arms and by a host of warm friends at home.
Major Seymour Race, who ably assisted in the organization of the regiment
and left Camp Dennison January 10, 1862, with two batteries and reported
to General Buell at Louisville; had command of the camp at the Fair
Grounds, composed of seven batteries from Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin;
left Louisville February 10, with three batteries on steamers, and
reported to General Nelson at the mouth of Salt River accompanying him to
Nashville; was Chief of Artillery of General T. J. Wood's Division at
Pittsburgh Landing and the siege of Corinth and continued in that position
in the division through Northern Alabama and back to Louisville;
participated in the battles of Perryville and Stone River; was highly
commended by his Division commander for valuable services in all these
actions; and was also in command of the fortifications at Nashville for
about five months; Major Warren P. Edgerton, Major W. F. Goodspeed,
Assistant Surgeon Charles E. Ames, Captains Wm. A. Standart, Louis
Heckman, Norman A. Baldwin, Joseph C. Shields, Frank Wilson, Louis
Smithnight, William Backus, and a long list of Lieutenants. From the fact
that the Cleveland Light Artillery organization was the origin of the
Light Artillery service of the State, and that the Artillery had long been
popular in the city, the Ohio Light Artillery service in the war was very
largely officered and heavily recruited from Cleveland. In the 5th U. S.
Colored Infantry, officered by white soldiers of Ohio, Gustave W. Fahrion,
who had done good service in an Ohio regiment, was appointed Captain, and
did hard service with his men in Virginia and North Carolina.
It would require more space than can be given here to merely enumerate the
different newspaper ventures that have been set afloat in Cleveland, some
to disappear almost as soon as launched, others to buffet the waves for a
few months, or even years, and then to pass away and be forgotten. In the
days when nothing more was required to start a newspaper than a few pounds
of type and a hand press, or credit with the owner of a press, new
journals appeared and disappeared with great rapidity. Even now, when it
is hopeless to think of attempting the establishment of a journal without
first sinking a large capital, there are people venturesome enough to try
the experiment of starting a newspaper upon little or nothing. The end of
such experiments is always the same.
The first newspaper issued in Cleveland was the Cleveland Gazette and
Commercial Register, commenced July 31, 1818. It was ostensibly a weekly
publication, but the difficulty of procuring paper with the desired
regularity, and other untoward circumstances, sometimes caused a lapse of
ten, fourteen, and even more days between each issue. In October, 1819,
the Cleveland Herald was started as a weekly, by Z. Willes & Co.
In the Summer of 1836, the Daily Gazette was issued. This ran until March
22, 1837, when its owner, Charles Whittlesey, united it with the Herald,
under the name of the Daily Herald and Gazette, the new firm being
Whittlesey & Hull, and after a few days Whittlesey & J. A. Harris. The
Gazette title was subsequently dropped, and that of the Herald preserved,
Mr. Harris being the sole proprietor and editor. Messrs. W. J. May, A. W.
Fairbanks, G. A. Benedict and John Coon were at different times added to
the firm, Mr. May and Coon afterwards retiring, and being followed after
some years by Mr. Harris, who was the veteran editor of the city. The
Herald is now the oldest paper in the city, and the oldest daily in
Northern Ohio. It was always Whig or Republican in politics.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer was the natural successor of the Cleveland
Daily Advertiser, a Democratic paper published about a third of a century
since, by Canfield & Spencer. The Plain Dealer was owned and edited from
its start by J. W. Gray, who made it a sharp and spicy journal. His
declining health compelled him to take less interest in his paper, which
soon lost prestige, and having gone into incompetent hands after Mr.
Gray's death, it was before long compelled to suspend. Being purchased,
after a short suspension, by Mr. Armstrong, it was resuscitated, and is at
present, under the ownership and management of Messrs. Armstrong & Green,
a successful enterprise.
The Leader dates its origin on one side to the True Democrat, an
Independent Free Soil paper, dating back over twenty years, and on the
other to the Daily Forest City, a "Silver Gray Whig," started about 1852,
by Joseph and James Medill. After some coquetting an alliance was formed
between the two papers, and the name of Forest City Democrat adopted for
the Consolidated paper which was afterwards changed to the Leader. None of
those connected with either of the original papers are now connected with
the Leader. Of those who became the publishers of the latter paper Mr. E.
Cowles retains his connection and is the largest proprietor.
The German Wachter am Erie completes the list of regular daily papers now
published in Cleveland. The Herald is published morning and evening, there
being two editions of the evening issue. The Leader is issued in the
morning with an evening edition under the name of the News. The Plain
Dealer publishes two editions in the afternoon, and the Wachter am Erie
one afternoon edition.
[Illustration: Yours Truly, A. W. Fairbanks]
A. W. Fairbanks.
A. W. Fairbanks, the senior proprietor of the Cleveland Herald, was born
March 4, 1817, in Cornish, now Claremont, Sullivan county, New Hampshire.
When twelve years old he entered a printing office in Waterford, Saratoga
county, New York, with the purpose of learning the business. In those days
it was held necessary to serve a regular apprenticeship as a preliminary
to becoming a journeyman printer, and the apprentice had to pass through
an ordeal to which the learner of the present day is a total stranger.
There were then no machine presses out of the city of New York, nor
rollers for inking. The types were inked by dabbing with buckskin balls,
as had been done since the invention of printing. Rollers were, however,
introduced within a short time of our young apprentice entering on his
course of education as a printer.
The office in which he worked, owned by a man named Johnson, was for book
and job printing, thus affording the apprentice an opportunity of
acquiring a more extensive and varied knowledge of the business than could
have been acquired in a newspaper office. He had a taste for the life on
which he had entered, and soon made rapid headway in obtaining a knowledge
of the "art preservative of all arts." He remained in the same office
until it was discontinued. He afterwards went to Schenectady, Ballston,
Spa, and Troy, following the fortunes of the man he was apprenticed to,
before finishing his trade. His first situation, as a journeyman, was in
Rochester, New York.
In 1836, he removed from Rochester to Michigan, then a territory, and
assumed charge of the job department of the Detroit Advertiser. In this
position he remained for a year, when he was induced to remove to Toledo.
Some time previously an attempt had been made to establish the Toledo
Blade as a newspaper. The town was young, and though giving promise of
vigorous growth, was yet unable to make such a newspaper enterprise an
assured success. About fifty numbers were issued, under several
ownerships, and then the enterprise sank, apparently to rise no more. Mr.
Fairbanks saw his opportunity and availed himself of it. Possessing
himself of what remained of the Blade establishment, he announced its
revival, got up and got out the first number himself, working it off on a
hand press, and announced to the public that the Blade had this time "come
to stay." In spite of difficulties and discouragements he persisted in the
work he had undertaken, and in a short time had secured for the paper a
good circulation. There was in the office scarcely enough type to get out
a single issue; there was no imposing stone on which to make up the forms,
and but one press to do all the work of the office. Mr. Fairbanks worked
diligently with brain and hands, wrote matter for the Blade, managed its
mechanical details, and at the same time spent time, labor, and money in
enlarging the capabilities of the office and building up a valuable
job-printing business. In fourteen years he built up out of nothing, or
next to nothing, a newspaper with a profitable circulation and a wide
reputation, a job office admitted to be one of the most complete in the
State, having five presses and material abundant in quantity and
unsurpassed in quality. The office had made money every year since his
connection with it, except in 1840, when he gave all his labor to the
In 1850, Mr. Fairbanks left Toledo for Cleveland, and became connected
with the Cleveland Herald, then edited by J. A. Harris and W. J. May. He
found the establishment without a press, the newspaper being printed on
the press of M. C. Younglove, under a contract, giving him twelve and a
half cents per token, Mr. Younglove having the only steam press in the
city. Land was purchased on Bank street and the present Herald building
erected. The entire book and job office of Mr. Younglove was purchased, a
Hoe cylinder press for working the Herald purchased, and the establishment
placed on a footing for doing a greatly enlarged and constantly increasing
business. Additional and improved facilities were furnished yearly, to
keep pace with the rapidly increasing demands, the single cylinder
newspaper press was changed for a double cylinder, and that had been
running but a short time when it proved insufficient for the rapid
increase of circulation, and its place was taken by a four cylinder, which
remains the only press of the kind in Ohio outside of Cincinnati, and
which is capable of running off ten thousand impressions per hour. From a
small part of the building this establishment grew until it crowded out
all other occupants; then the building itself was altered so as to
economise room, and finally additions made, doubling its size, the whole
of the space being immediately filled with material, presses and machinery
containing the latest improvements. From an entire valuation of six
thousand dollars the establishment has reached an inventory value of about
a hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and from a newspaper without a press
it has grown to an office with ten steam presses, a mammoth four-cylinder,
and a large building crowded full with the best machinery and material
required in a first-class printing office, giving employment to
ninety-five men, women and boys, and sending out the Morning Herald and
two regular editions of the Daily Herald, every day, except Sunday,
besides a Tri-Weekly Herald and Weekly Herald.
The entire mechanical details of the establishment have, from his first
connection with the office, been under the control of Mr. Fairbanks, and
he feels a just pride in the perfection to which these details have been
brought. His heart is in his profession, and it is his constant study. No
improvement in it escapes his observation, and he is ever on the alert to
avail himself of everything promising to increase the efficiency of his
establishment. It is a noticeable fact, that the Herald has never missed a
daily issue, although at times during the war the scarcity of paper was so
great that the issue of the Morning Herald, then but a recent venture, had
to be suspended for a day or two.
The firm, which, when Mr. Fairbanks became connected with it, was Harris,
Fairbanks & Co., is now Fairbanks, Benedict & Co., Mr. Fairbanks being the
only member of the original firm yet connected with the concern.
J. W. Gray.
J. W. Gray was born in the village of Bradport, Addison county, Vermont,
on the 5th of August, 1813. When only two years of age his parents removed
to Madrid, St. Lawrence county, New York, where his early life was passed,
receiving such meagre education as those early days afforded, during the
Winter months, to farmer lads. He afterwards became a pupil in the
Institutes at Potsdam and Governeur, founded by the New York State
Association for Teachers, where he made rapid progress, his mind,
naturally fond of study grasping knowledge intuitively. His scholastic
career terminated here, the pecuniary means being wanting to enable him to
prosecute a collegiate course, and he was soon after launched upon the
world to carve, with nothing but his own right arm and resolute will, the
future high public and social position he subsequently attained.
In 1836, he came to Cleveland, then, though recently incorporated as a
city, in reality but a flourishing village, and was soon engaged as a
teacher in one of the public schools, the old Academy, on St. Clair
street, being the scene of his first labors. He continued here but two or
three terms, when a more advantageous position was offered him as
instructor of a district school in Geauga county, to which he repaired and
where he continued about a year. On his return to the city, having fitted
himself in part previously, he entered the null of Hon. H. B. Payne and
U. S. Judge Willson, who were then associated under the law firm of Payne &
Willson, and after a little over a year under their preceptorship, during
which time his remarkable talents attracted the attention of many, he was
admitted to the bar, and almost immediately after receiving his diploma
commenced the practice of his profession. He soon formed a law connection
which led him to the State of Michigan, where, however he remained but a
On January 1st, 1842, in connection with his brother, A. N. Gray, he
purchased the Cleveland Advertiser, which he converted into the Cleveland
In July, 1845, the firm of A. N. & J. W. Gray was dissolved, the latter
becoming sole proprietor and editor. The bold, poignant and dashing
talents he brought to bear, soon made the Plain Dealer widely known as a
political journal and placed its editor among the foremost men of his
party in the State. In 1853, he received the appointment of post master of
Cleveland from President Pierce, which position he continued to hold till
the Summer of 1858, when, owing to his refusal to advocate the infamous
Lecompton constitution of Mr. Buchanan, he was beheaded with the scores of
other martyrs who remained true to Senator Douglas and the constitutional
rights and liberties of the people.
In 1858, he received the Democratic nomination for Congress against Hon.
B. F. Wade, his successful competitor. In 1860, he was chosen, with Hon.
H. B. Payne, delegate from this district to the Charleston-Baltimore
convention where he labored with untiring devotion for the nomination of
Judge Douglas. When the revolt was raised by the traitorous South, he
rallied at once to the support of the constitution and Union, and,
following the example of Douglas buried the partizan in the noble struggle
of the patriot for the preservation of the liberties of the country.
Of the Silas Wright school of politics, he labored during his editorial
career of over twenty years, for his cherished principles. The friend of
Mr. Pierce, he was the beloved and confidential exponent of the great
Douglas. No man possessed the friendship and esteem of the Illinois
statesman in a larger degree than did Mr. Gray. The Plain Dealer was Mr.
Douglas' recognized organ--more so than any other paper published in the
country, and the close intimacy which existed between them was never
interrupted, and continued to the hour of that statesman's death.
Mr. Gray died May 26, 1862. He had been feeble for a few days previously,
and for a day or two before his death had not left the house, yet nothing
serious was apprehended by his family or physicians, and though the nature
of his illness was such as to have long made him an invalid, the hope was
firmly entertained that he would regain his general health. On the morning
of the day of his death, however, paralysis seized his heart and lungs,
soon depriving him of speech, and under which he rapidly, but gently, sank
away and died at fifteen minutes past two of the same day.
His life affords another example to the rising young men of the day, of
the power of will to triumph over all obstacles, when to indefatigable
industry are added those exemplary virtues, strict integrity and
George A. Benedict.
George A. Benedict, of the printing and publishing firm of Fairbanks,
Benedict & Co., and editor-in-chief of the Cleveland Herald, is a native
of Jefferson county, New York, having been born in Watertown, August 5,
1813. Mr. Benedict was well educated and in due course entered Yale
College, from which he has received the degree of A. B.
When eighteen years old he commenced the study of law with Judge Robert
Lansing, in Watertown, finishing his legal education in the office of
Sterling & Bronson. He was admitted to practice in New York, and
immediately thereafter, in 1835, removed to Ohio, taking up his residence
in Cleveland. Here he entered the office of Andrews & Foot and
subsequently of that of John W. Allen, being admitted to practice in the
Ohio Courts in the year 1836.
As soon as admitted to the Ohio Bar a partnership was formed with John
Erwin, under the name of Erwin & Benedict; this arrangement continued
three years. On its dissolution Mr. Benedict formed a partnership with
James K. Hitchcock, the firm of Benedict & Hitchcock continuing until
1848, when Mr. Benedict was appointed Clerk of the Superior Court, Judge
Andrews being the Judge. With the adoption of the new constitution of the
State this court became extinct.
Immediately after the termination of his duties as Clerk of the Superior
Court, Mr. Benedict purchased an interest in the Herald establishment,
and became co-partner with Messrs. J. A. Harris and A. W. Fairbanks. The
subsequent retirement of Mr. Harris from editorial life left Mr.
Benedict as editor-in-chief of that paper, a position he has from that
In 1843, Mr. Benedict was a member of the City Council, and president
of that body. For one term previous to that time Mr. Benedict was
In August, 1865, Postmaster General Dennison, of Ohio, tendered to Mr.
Benedict the office of Postmaster of Cleveland. The appointment was
accepted, and at this writing, 1869, he still holds the office.
Mr. Benedict is impulsive in temperament, but his impulses are more of a
friendly than unkindly character. He is warm-hearted, quick to forgive a
wrong atoned for, and still quicker to apologize for and atone an injury
done to others. In nearly a score of years editing a newspaper he has
never intentionally done injustice to any man, no matter what
differences of opinion might exist, and has never knowingly allowed the
columns of his newspaper to be the vehicle of private spite. Nor has he
ever refused any one, fancying himself aggrieved, the privilege of
setting himself right in a proper manner in the same columns in which
the alleged injury was inflicted. He has the genuine and unforced
respect and esteem of those employed by him, for his treatment of them
has always been kind and considerate, and although no newspaper
conductor can possibly avoid creating prejudice and temporary
ill-feeling. Mr. Benedict has probably no real enemy, whilst among those
who best know him he has none but warm friends.
In addition to his editorial abilities, Mr. Benedict is one of the few
really good writers of an occasional newspaper letter, and in his
journeyings from home his letters to the Herald are looked for with
interest and read with keen relish.
Mr. Benedict was married June, 1839, to Miss Sarah R. Rathbone, of
Brownsville, Jefferson county, New York, and has three children, the
oldest, George S. Benedict, being one of the proprietors and in the active
business management of the Herald.
[Illustration: Yours Truly, J. H. A. Bone]
J. H. A. Bone
John H. A. Bone is a native of Cornwall, England, having been born in
that county October 31, 1830. He received a good education, being first
intended for the army, but an accident having permanently crippled his
right arm, that purpose had to be abandoned. He resided awhile in London
and Liverpool, during which time he was connected with the press of
those cities, and contributed to periodicals. Having married in his
native place, he left England in the Autumn of 1851, for the United
States, and after a brief stay in New York, arrived in Cleveland in
October of that year.
Early in the Spring of 1857, he joined the editorial staff of the
Cleveland Herald, to the columns of which he had for some years previous
been a frequent contributor. At the same time he had contributed to the
pages of the Knickerbocker Magazine, Godey, Peterson's, the Boston Carpet
Bag, then conducted by B. P. Shillaber ("Mrs. Partington,") and G. C.
Halpine ("Miles O'Reilly,") and other literary papers of Boston, New York
and Philadelphia, as well as to a Cleveland magazine, the New American
Monthly, and was a regular contributor to the Cincinnati Pen and Pencil, a
handsome weekly magazine of more than ordinary merit that was run for some
time under the editorship of W. W. Warden.
Mr. Bone, on joining the Herald, took charge of its commercial, local,
amusements and literary departments. As the business of the paper
increased he resigned those departments, one after another, to others, and
on the retirement of Mr. Harris, transferred his labors to the leading
editorial department, retaining charge of the literary department also.
In addition to his daily duties on the Herald, Mr. Bone has found time to
furnish papers to the Atlantic Monthly on matters of scholarly interest
and historical importance, has for the past three years been on the
regular staff of Our Young Folks, contributing to it a number of
historical articles, prepared with much care and research, and is an
occasional contributor to other periodicals.
Mr. Bone published, about sixteen years ago, a small volume of poems,
mostly written in boyhood. His after verses, of various characters, are
scattered through newspapers and magazines and have never been collected.
With the exception of a few political squibs, he has for some years
abandoned verse. A work on the oil regions was issued in 1864, and a
second, enlarged edition, was published in Philadelphia, in 1865.
Aside from his professional duties as a journalist and the fulfilment of
his engagements as a magazine writer, Mr. Bone's literary tastes are
chiefly with the older works of English literature. He is a close student
of what is known as Early English, delighting in his intervals of leisure
to pick from the quaint and curious relics of the earliest English
literature bits of evidence that serve to throw some light on the actual
social and intellectual condition of our English ancestors four or five
centuries ago. He has been for years, and still is, connected with English
literary societies for the bringing to light and publishing for the use of
the members, unpublished documents of historical and literary value. Of
what is know as Elizabethean literature he has been a diligent student. At
present he is connected with the management of the Cleveland Library
Association and Western Reserve Historical Society.
William W. Armstrong.
William W. Armstrong, one of the present proprietors of the Cleveland
Plain Dealer, is a native Buckeye, having been born in New Lisbon,
Columbiana county, Ohio, in 1833. In his fifteenth year he removed to
Tiffin, Seneca county, with the purpose of learning the printing business.
In 1852-3, he was appointed to the position of Registrar of the Bank
Department in the State Treasurer's office at Columbus. In 1854, he
returned to Tiffin and purchased the Seneca County Advertiser, which he
made noticeable among the Democratic papers of the State for its vigor and
ability. He was recognized among the Democrats of the State as one of
their rising men, and in 1862, he was chosen as the Democratic candidate
for Secretary of State, and was elected.
In 1865, having completed his term of office and returned to editorial
life, he purchased the material and good will of the Plain Dealer, which
had suspended publication, and set about bringing it back to its old
prosperity and position among the journals of the State. His efforts were
crowned with success. The reputation of the paper for boldness and
ability, which had been affected by the death of its founder, was
restored, and the business knowledge and tact which Mr. Armstrong brought
to bear upon its management before long put its affairs in a healthy state
and established the journal on a good paying basis. Although a strong
partisan in politics, Mr. Armstrong recognizes the importance of fairness
and courtesy, and hence he has the personal good will of his professional
and business rivals as well as associates.
In 1868, Mr. Armstrong was elected delegate at large to the Democratic
National Convention which nominated Horatio Seymour for the Presidency.
Frederick W. Green.
Frederick W. Green, the associate of Mr. Armstrong in the proprietorship
and editorship of the Plain Dealer, was born in Fredericktown, Frederick
county, Maryland, in 1816. In 1833, he removed to Tiffin, Seneca county,
Ohio. Becoming identified with the Democratic party he was elected by that
party Auditor of Seneca county, and retained that position six years. In
1851, he was elected to Congress from the Seneca district, and in 1853,
was re-elected. At the close of his term he was appointed Clerk of the
newly organized United States District Court for the Northern District of
Ohio. In this position he remained twelve years.
In 1867, he purchased an interest in the Plain Dealer, and at once entered
upon editorial duties on that paper in connection with Mr. Armstrong.
Their joint labors have made the paper the Democratic organ of Northern
Ohio. Mr. Green, during his fourteen years residence in Cleveland, has
been reckoned among its most respectable citizens, and possesses many warm
friends irrespective of political differences of opinion.
Historical and Statistical.
History of Cleveland
Trade and Commerce
The Bench and Bar
The Coal Interest
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