Mahoning County Ohio
Canfield, the central township of Mahoning county, was. one of the earliest settled townships on the reserve, and has always been the home of a thrifty and prosperous agricultural class, having besides contributed able men to the leading professions, especially that of law. That her sons have not been equally prominent in trade, commerce and manufactures, is due to the limited opportunities afforded by the township in those directions. No large stream flows through Canfield, but there are plenty of small creeks and fresh water springs, affording a plentiful supply of pure cold water for dairy and agricultural purposes. These industries are further favored by the soil, which is a rich and easily cultivated loam, suitable to a large variety of crops.
Canfield was township No. I in range No. 3 of the purchase of the Connecticut Land Company, and contained 16,324 acres. It was purchased from the company by six persons who owned in the following proportions: Judson Canfield, 6,171 acres; James Johnson, 3,502 acres; David Waterman, 2,745 acres; Elijah Wadsworth, 2,069 acres; Nathaniel Church, 1,400 acres; Samuel Canfield, 437 acres. The total price paid was $12,903.23, or a trifle more than seventy-nine cents per acre. Lot No. 2 in township No, 1 in the tenth range, consisting of fifty-eight and a half acres, was added to it under the equalization system adopted by the Connecticut Land Company, which has been explained in a previous chapter.
In 1798 the land was surveyed into lots and improvements commenced. The surveys were superintended by Nathaniel Church, who was accompanied by Nathan Moore, of Salisbury, surveyor; Eli Tousley, Nathaniel Gridley, Barker King, Reuben Tupper, Samuel Gilson, Joseph Pangburn, and one Skinner, of Salisbury. Gilson and Pangburn were axe men. The center of the township was first found, the east and west road laid out, and clearings made, and some oats and wheat sown. A log house was erected at the center and two houses and a barn east of the center.
About a month after their arrival the first family of settlers arrived, consisting of Champion Minor, with his wife and two children, who made the journey in an ox team from Salisbury. A few days after their arrival the youngest child died, and was buried in a coffin of split wood, which was the first white burial in the county. After cutting through the east and west road most of the party returned to Connecticut, Samuel Gilson and Joseph Pangburn remaining, with Champion Minor and his family. The township was denominated Campfield by the surveyors above mentioned, but on April 15, 1800, it was voted that it should be called Canfield, in honor of Judson
Canfield, who was there as early as June, 1798, and who owned the greatest amount of land in it. In 1799 the settlement was strengthened by the arrival of Phineas Reed, Eleazer Gilson and Joshua Hollister, and in the following year by that of Nathan Moore and family, who arrived May 15, after a journey of forty-five days. In 1801 came James Doud and family, Calvin Tobias, Abijah Peck and Ichabod Atwood. In 1802 there was a larger immigration and thenceforth for a number of years there was a steadily increasing stream of settlers, some of whom, however, remained but a short time, afterwards moving to other townships. All of the first settlers came from Connecticut. A number of Germans came in 1805,. and during subsequent years, those who settled permanently doing much to develop the agricultural resources of the township.
An epidemic, in 1813, carried off a large number of the settlers, including Aaron and Lavinia Collar, who came to Canfield in 1802. They left descendants who still reside in the township. William Chidester, who also came in 1802, was the first justice of the peace in Canfield, and in early days officiated at numerous marriages, both in this and other townships. He died in 1813, at the age of fifty-seven. Some of the pioneer settlers lived to a remarkable age. John Everett, one of the oldest among the immigrants, died in 1819, at the age of ninety-two. Mrs. Esther Beardsley, wife of Captain Philo Beardsley, died at the age of ninety-one; and Ethel Starr, a comparatively early settler, was ninety-two years old at the time of his death in 1861.
Herman Canfield, Sr., who was a brother of Judson Canfield, settled here in October, 1805. He and his wife, whose maiden name was Fitia Bostwick, were the parents of five childrenóHerman, William H., Elizabeth, Cornelia and Lora. Lieutenant-Colonel Herman Canfield died at Crumps Landing April 7, 1862, while in the service of his country. He was an able lawyer and served as state senator of Medina county. William H. Canfield, who studied law under Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, removed to Kansas in 1866, and in 1870 was appointed judge of the Eighth Judicial District of that state, which position he held until his death in 1874.
James Reed, one of the immigrants of 1805, whose father, also named James, came out and lived with him, during the war of 1812 set up a distillery to furnish the soldiers with whisky, that being considered an essential part of their rations. He died in 1813; his wife survived him forty-seven years, dying in i860 at the remarkable age of ninety-eight. They were the parents of ten children, several of whom lived to an advanced age.
One of the most important immigrants was Elisha Whittlesey, who came in 1806, a sketch of whom may be found in the chapter of this volume entitled "Bench and Bar." He was one of the foremost lawyers in the county, and was almost constantly in public service up to the time of his death in 1863. A number of distinguished men acquired a part of their legal training in his office, among them being Hon. Benjamin F. Wade, General Ralph P. Buckland, Hon. Joshua R. Giddings and W. C. Otis.
In 1806 came also Adam Turner and wife, Margaret, from New Jersey, with their five sons and three daughters; they settled in the northwestern part of the township, on the road that: was afterwards known as Turner street.
SOME FIRST EVENTS.
The first male child born in Canfield was Royal Canfield Chidister, the date of his nativity being June 22, 1802, his parents residing near the center of the township. The first person buried in the cemetery east of the center was Olive, wife of Charles Chittenden; she died September 30, 1801. Joseph Pangburn and Lydia Fitch were the first couple to get married in Canfield, the ceremony being performed April 11, 1801, by Caleb Baldwin, Esq., of Youngstown. There would have been an earlier marriage that of Alfred Woolcott to Mary Gilson, in February, 1800 but there being no person duly qualified to perform the ceremony, they were obliged to go to Pennsylvania to be married.
The building of a sawmill was begun in the northwestern part of the township, in 1801, by Jonah Scoville, but before finishing the mill," he sold out his interests to a Mr. Atwood, who completed it and put it in operation in the spring of 1802. In the same year another sawmill was erected on what was known as. the "Brier lot," one-half being owned by Elijah Wadsworth, the other proprietors being Tryall Tanner, William Sprague and Matthew Steele. The land was rented by Mr. Wadsworth from Judson Canfield for seven years, the consideration being "one peppercorn yearly, to be paid if demanded." About 1810 a carding machine propelled by horse power, was erected by a company, and for some time did a fair business.
The first store was opened in 1804 by Zalmon Fitch and Herman Canfield, who were partners. Mr. Fitch also kept a tavern in Canfield until his removal to Warren in 1813. In 1807 Messrs. Fitch and Canfield took as an additional partner in the business Comfort S. Mygatt, who had arrived in that year from Danbury, Connecticut, with his family. The latter consisted of four daughters, two sons. and two step-sons. Two years later the partnership was dissolved and the business was. continued by Mr. Mygatt during the rest of his life, which terminated in October, 1823.
In 1828 there were three merchants in Canfield William Hogg, Alson Kent and E. T. Boughton. C. S. Mygatt, son of Comfort S., began business in Canfield in 1833 with the firm of Lockwood, Mygatt & Co., general merchants, and was subsequently in business here until 1860, most of the time in partnership. Other industrial and mercantile enterprises were established from time to time, of some of which we must omit mention for lack of space.
CANFIELD, THE COUNTY SEAT.
As we have seen in a previous chapter, on the creation of Mahoning county during the legislative session of 1845-46, Canfield, being the geographical center of the county, was made the county seat, which it continued to be for thirty years. This naturally made Canfield a place of importance; the legal business of the county was transacted here, and the volume of general business increased. But this state of things was not to continue. The establishment of the iron industry in Youngstown gave that place a formidable advantage over her one time rival, and she gradually forged ahead, slowly at first, but afterwards with big strides, until she had left Canfield far behind in the race for industrial and commercial importance. Being thus superior in wealth and population, she went a step farther and began to proclaim her intention of having the county seat. A rival agitation was at once begun, which was carried on spiritedly on both sides until the legislative session of 1874-5, when Youngstown gained her point, and in 1876 became the county seat of Mahoning.
The village of Canfield was incorporated by act of legislature in 1849, and the first election held in April of that year, L. L. Bostwick being chosen mayor; H. B. Brainerd, recorder; and John Clark, Thomas Hansom, M. Swank, Charles Frethy and William B. Ferrell, trustees.
Canfield is like a "city that is set on a hill" and "beautiful for situation." The town is about a square mile in area and situated on a gradually rising elevation 1200 feet above sea-level and 640 feet higher than Lake Erie.Its elevation and natural drainage caused by the land surface falling away in gentle undulations of hill, plain and valley in all directions, together with the total absence of mill and factory smoke and dust, give the town an abundance of pure, invigorating air all the year round. Its healthiness is excellent, just what would be expected from such favorable conditions. Adding very much to the health, comfort and beauty of the place, the streets are wide and lined with noble trees, elms and maples predominating; Main and Broad streets crossing at right angles are each ninety-nine feet wide and a mile in length. A neatly laid out park of eleven and one-half acres, studded with rows of trees, stretches its avenues of shade through the town from north to south for two-fifths of a mile.The material conditions and natural environments of a community exert a silent but continuous and decided influence on its moral and social life. And this is especially true of atmosphere are good and wholesome, making it an ideal place of residence.
NORTHEASTERN OHIO NORMAL COLLEGE.
Overlooking the park from the south end and near the highest elevation, stands the N. E. O. Normal College, commanding a fine outlook and panoramic survey' of the park and town and of the surrounding country of meadows, rolling uplands and native forests for miles in every direction. From both the moral and educational point of view the location of the Normal College in such quiet, healthful surroundings in the midst of a fertile, prosperous and intelligent farming community, is almost ideal. The history of the institution since its opening in 1882, incorporated 1881, gives ample testimony to the advantages of such wholesome and healthful surroundings and location. Although the particular aim of the school has always been and still continues to be the training of young men and women efficiently for the profession of teaching and business pursuits, her many graduates from the collegiate courses who are now filling positions of trust and honor in the learned professions of the Christian ministry, law, medicine and journalism, attest the excellent character of the work done. Many of these received no other academic training than what they obtained at the Normal, while others found here the kind of preparatory training needed for entering other and older colleges. The Commercial Department has sent large numbers of trusted and successful accountants into every line of business, while the department of Music has played its important part in the education of the student body by its refining and elevating influences. From the Normal or Pedagogy department have gone successful teachers into all grades of public school work, school superintendents and college instructors. The institution points with just pride to the sterling worth and Christian character of her alumni and students, qualities which make for the largest success.
The present outlook is promising and assuring. The great scarcity of teachers throughout Eastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia opens the way for a greater usefulness of the school and a larger attendance than ever before. To meet the urgent demands of the teaching, profession, and to meet the requirements of its patrons, it aims to give the students of the Normal Department the most practical and thorough instruction and the most helpful preparation possible for the work in which they are to engage. This part of the work is carefully planned and perhaps has never been stronger than it is now. The faculty has under consideration the opening of a well organized summer school in 1908. The Music Department is in a flourishing condition under the very competent direction of Miss Anna K. Means, a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory of Music, an accomplished pianist and vocalist and a successful teacher of both voice and piano. Charles O. Allaman, A. B., graduate of Wooster University, is president and has charge of the departments of Latin, Greek and English Literature, and conducts the teachers' class in literature. Franklin B. Sawvel, Ph. D., one of the instructors associated with Prof. Helman during the earlier history of the Normal, has the departments of Philosophy, History and Pedagogy and the teachers' training class in Arithmetic.Miss Florence Rose Wilson, Ph. M., has charge of the department of German, Normal branches and the review classes in United States history and English grammar R. W. Correll, A. B., is professor of science and mathematics and the review class in geography. The commercial courses, including shorthand, typewriting and penmanship, are under the direction of Munson Buel Chidester, B. C. S.
The school is interdenominational and therefore unique in character among Normal schools and colleges. It has now about one hundred scholars.
Among Canfield's other acquisitions, she rejoices in an up-to-date and interesting newspaper, the Mahoning Despatch, which was established by Henry M. Fowler, father of the present editor, C. C. Fowler, and has just completed its thirtieth year of existence.. Mr. C. C. Fowler, who began his connection with the paper as printer's devil at its origin, has continued with it ever since, and has made it one of the most robust and firmly established enterprises of the village. In his own words, "It circulates very largely throughout Mahoning County and weekly visits nearly every state in the Union. Its advertising patronage is not surpassed by any local publication in this quarter of the state, while the job printing department output has steadily grown in public favor." On March 29th of the present year, (its thirtieth anniversary), it printed an issue of approximately 3,000 copies of a twenty-four page paper. An interesting feature of the newspaper is its publication from time to time of valuable articles dealing with local history.
We can give no better description of Canfield during the last thirty years than is contained in two articles of this kind that were published in the anniversary issue above referred to. One is from the pen of Hon. Charles Fillius, who became a resident of Canfield thirty-two years ago, when a young man of twenty-three, and who was for some three years thereafter superintendent of schools; he describes Canfield as it was at that time. The other article is by Dr. J. Truesdale, well known as one of Canfield's oldest and most prominent citizens, and as a local historian of well-earned repute. Dr. Truesdale depicts the changes which have occurred in the period under review. We quote largely, if not entirely, from both articles. Mr. Fillius writes as follows: In June of 1875 my college career came
to an end, and there was 'necessity laid upon me' to do something. Learning through Mrs. Judge Servis that there was likely to be a vacancy in the superintendency of the Canfield schools, I made my first visit there in June of that year. It struck me then as a quaint old town. On my way up to the hotel from the station I had the experience, which I afterwards learned was common to newcomers, of being greeted with an unearthly sort of noise from a barefoot, queer-acting individual whom I afterwards learned was Rupright, and of being similarly informed by Sammy Ruggles, who evidently 'caught onto' the fact from my appearance that I was to the country born, that the county seat could not be moved from Canfield to Youngstown because it would be impossible to take the court house through the covered bridge at Lanterman's Falls. That was substantially my first introduction to the court-house removal controversy that was then raging. I put up at the Bostwick Hotel, which looked then much as it did twenty years later. The room that was given to me seemed to partake in its general appearance of the character of the landlord and the building proper. It ought to have been condemned for being unsanitary, and the excuse for a bed which I had precluded the possibility of a good night's sleep. The next day I took in the town. Its Broad street, with interlying parks, made a very great impression upon me. Court was then in session. There appeared to be a great many lawyers in town, and it seemed to me as if at least half of the buildings on the street were occupied as law officesólittle buildings erected, for law offices and used exclusively as such. I remember very well the more imposing offices of this character, namely, the one then occupied by Judge Servis, being a more pretentious building of this character than any of the others perhaps, a brick building on the west side of Broad street. I was told that it had been used as a law office for many years, and was formerly occupied as such by Hon. Elisha Whittlesey, who had been a member of congress, and that at once invested the building with unusual importance in my mind. Then across the street from Judge Servis' office was a larger office building then occupied by the firm of Van Hyning & Johnston, which I was told was formerly the office of Judge Newton, who was then still living, active, nearly eighty years old, and one of the most kindly and genial old gentlemen that I ever knew. "As I say, the town seemed to be a town of lawyers, and I remember seeing upon its streets not only those named above, but A. W. Jones, Gen. Sanderson, M. H. Burky, L. D. Thomas, and others still whose names after the lapse of these many years do not readily come to me. M. V. B. King was then probate judge. "The parks then were simply so much naked land, meadows if you please, in the midst of the town. They did not even subserve the ordinary uses of a park, save as they made fresh air possible for the inhabitants, and as I now remember they were mowed each year for the grass that grew upon them. The trees that have grown up since so beautifully were not planted until several years after I left Canfield. There were at that time three leading hotels in the village, the one at which I stopped on my first arrival in Canfield, the brick hotel, then occupied by Mr. Clark, and the large wooden structure on the east side of Broad street, a sort of a companion to the other one, and one about as desirable as the other to keep out of. I met on this occasion the members of the board of education, and the village board of examiners. I do not now recall the names of the members save two, Judson Canfield and Doctor Truesdale. The village board of examiners was made up of the three ministers of the three leading churches in town, the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational. "Father" Guy, as he was affectionately known,. was pastor of the Methodist church, then, Mr. Peterson of the Congregational church and editor and publisher of the newspaper, and Mr. Irwin, pastor of the Presbyterian church. I was not subjected to the ordeal of an examination by this board for the reason that it was ascertained that the board had no legal existence, and I therefore was examined and obtained my certificate from the county board of examiners. I afterwards came to know Father Guy, Mr. Peterson and Mr. Irwin very well. They were all most excellent men. Father Guy was an especially kindly man, and I have of him very affectionate memories. Mr. McLain was then living in Canfield, a retired Methodist preacher of the old school, who fondly imagined that he had reached that stage in Christian experience and life where he was no longer in danger of sin, and his good life warranted his fellow villagers in sympathizing with him in that conviction. I always regarded Judson Canfield as a character. He was always my best and stanchest friend. He was the village's handy man, always ready to do anything from surveying a farm to mending a wagon. He had a habit of what I called ridiculous profanity. His swearing was of that peculiar and energetic kind that never suggested wickedness, but always aroused one's visibilities.
"My employment as superintendent of the schools followed shortly after my first visit, and late the following August school opened under my charge. I succeeded Mr. Fording, who had been the deservedly popular superintendent for a number of years preceding so popular, indeed, had he been that it made my position as his successor doubly difficult, but owing to the kindly and firm support of the board I succeeded in getting along after a fashion. The school yard was then barren of trees. Many of those that now adorn the yard were planted by myself. "I was impressed then, as I continued to be during my three years stay in Canfield, with the character of the inhabitants of the village. It seemed to me then, and it seems to me now, as I recall those impressions, that the people of the village were remarkable for their intelligence, character and goodness. Many of them, if not all of them, I recall as my friends, who placed me under lasting obligations for kindnesses shown me, sympathy extended me in my work, and all those thousand and one things that make life in a given community happy and worth living. Your readers I am sure will be interested to know about some of them, and at the risk of omitting some who are equally worthy of mention with the others, I will recall some. There were Judge Servis and his wife and two daughters; Judson Canfield and family; Judge Newton; Judge Van Hyning; Judge Johnston; Judge King; Mr. Hine, a tall, dignified, elderly gentleman, who lived in a white house on the east side of Broad street, about half way between Church's store and Van Hyning & Johnston's law office; G. F. Lynn and his wife who lived next door;. "D'ri" Church, as he was familiarly called, who kept the store on the corner, whose widow is still living; William Clark, who kept the brick hotel then, and with whom I lived for a year, his widow and his eldest daughter, now Mrs. Leet, now living in Warren; Ira Bunnell, who kept a harness store, whose religious experiences were of that character that they revived at every religious revival and lapsed between times. Then there was Colonel Nash, always dignified and courteous; Mr. Edwards and his family, who kept a store and lived next the Congregational church; G. W. Shellhorn and family, with whom I lived a year, who did a thriving business in the boot and shoe line on the west side of Broad street; good old Dr. Caldwell and his son and daughter; Charley French and his wife; the Lynn boys, who kept a drug store next to Truesdale & Kirk's store on the west side of Broad street; Charley Schmick and his father; the Whittleseys, who lived near Judge Servis; the Mygatts, father and son, who kept a store on the corner north of the Truesdale & Kirk store. And there were others whose names do not readily come to me. These all lived within the village, but just outside lived many others, whom I knew equally well and favorably, and among whom I now recall with greatest satisfaction my old friend, H. A. Manchester, now your banker, some of whose children attended school in the village and then with an ever widening radius I came to know the people for miles about through their children, who were sent to the Canfield school. Those whom I have mentioned were but a type of the general character of the inhabitants of the village and country around sturdy, intelligent, honest, highminded, generous, Ghristiatt men and women, whom it was good to know and good to associate with.
"The preachers were of the old-fashioned type. I remember very well, hearing Father Guy direct the attention of his audience to the terrors of hell by depicting to them in very plain and vigorous, language the streams of molten lava in which the sinner would meet his final doom. Mr. Irwin of the Presbyterian church was equally sure that he who indulged in playing with these instruments of Satan, i. e., cards, was in danger of eternal punishment. Good old, Dr; Caldwell was a fervent member of the Disciple church, and got a good deal of satisfaction in attending regularly upon its services and engaging often in public prayer, in which he was sure to ask the Lord to deliver the individual members of the congregation from 'works of supererogation."It was the next year that the county seat question assumed an acute stage, and upon the issues of its removal Judge Thoman was elected probate judge, and Judge Conant of the common pleas court decided, upon a suit brought for the purpose of contesting the question, that the law providing for the removal of the county seat to Youngstown was constitutional. I remember very well going into the court room one evening on my way home from school when the case was being argued before Judge Conant. It was there that I first saw Judge Tuttle, who is now nearly ninety-two years old and comes daily to the office; He was .representing the Canfield people in their attempt to prevent the removal. When I went in Gen. Sanderson was talking to the court, and Judge Tuttle was walking about in deep reflection, apparently, until his eye fell on me, with my school books, and he came over and looked at them. After Conant's decision the court house officials quietly and secretly arranged to remove the records during the night to Youngstown, and so one morning the good people of the village awoke to the fact that the county seat had actually "been removed, notwithstanding Sammy Ruggles early declaration that that would be impossible owing to the covered bridge. That was a sorry day for Canfield. She mourned like Rachael for her children that were not. As I write I am reminded of the wonderful changes that have taken place in the last thirty years. In those days we knew nothing about an electric street car, a phonograph indeed we knew nothing scarcely at all of all the various uses to which electricity is applied now nothing of arc and incandescent electric lighting, nothing of electric motors and the various kinds of electric power machines. Indeed the text books then in use in our schools told all that was known about electricity in a very short chapter in physics. Great changes have taken place in thirty years. Of some of these changes we will now let Dr. Truesdale speak: "In the most conservative or fixed communities changes are constantly occurring by reason of death. Neither a death nor a birth in a family can occur without modifying to some extent the social relations ,of that family. And it often happens that the death of one individual in a community leads to the necessity of a very considerable change of its social and industrial relations. As we shall see, Canfield is no exception to this rule. During the past thirty years no devastating epidemic, plague or disasters, have visited us, yet not one year of these thirty has passed without the removal of some of .our number to their last resting place. This, change by death is made more apparent by getting back by the aid of memory and recalling the names of residents of former years on, a few of few streets as an illustration for all. To this end we will begin at the lower end of West Main street. There thirty years ago we find Mathias Swank engaged in the manufacture of wagons and buggies from the raw materials., to finished products; employing more men and doing a larger business than any other industrial enterprise in the town. A little community of laborers made their homes near his establishment and the suburb was known by the now forgotten name of Kensington. The business, although profitable at first, became unprofitable, for the reason that machinery could construct a wagon or a buggy at a less cost than Mr. Swank could do by hand labor. A part of the buildings remain and are occupied by the Kimerle Brothers, whose work is more in the line of repairs than new work.
"In our retrospect we move up East Main street and soon come to our village cemetery, and at once notice the great change that has taken place since the late seventies. Thirty years ago the surface was rough and uneven and covered with a thick fleece of ground ivy, and about every species of foul weeds known in this locality. A great amount of labor was necessary and has been accomplished to dig up and remove the entire surface to low parts and fit the ground for a sward of timothy and the use of a lawn mower. Thirty years ago the maple trees were mere saplings. Now they are trees that Virgil could rest under and admire their wide spreading branches. A public receiving vault, and a private one are useful additions. In short, we have a creditable place for the repose of the dear ones we have in the years past placed there for their last rest. Apparently the population of this spot has doubled within the last three decades, judging from the great number of monuments recently erected. Passing up the street we notice the absence of many old dwellings, one church structure, store rooms, and shops that in former years lined the street have been destroyed, moved away, or burned. In all I recall fourteen and am not sure that I have them all. Some of them have been replaced by modern dwellings, and of others the ground remains unoccupied. But few who lived on the street in 1877 remain residents to this day. I can only recall Martin Kimerle, a part of the McCoy family, Mrs. Mary Nash, Mrs. Sarah Tow, and myself. The general appearance of the street has improved by the erection of modern dwellings, and the remodeling of most of the older ones. "I have prepared a list of the old familiar residents of thirty years ago, but space forbids their use. In the later seventies, and for some time after the northeast corner retained a large part of the retail business of the village. But repeated fires have done much to change the locality of trade to where it now exists. At intervals between 1857 and 1887 a succession of destructive fires occurred at the northeastern and southwest corners, the last of which destroyed the three-story brick block belonging to the estate of the late John R. Church, and was never rebuilt, which finished that corner as a place of business. Within the period allotted for men the old Mygatt store building on the southeast corner had long been a landmark and was moved away to give place to the indispensable town hall. A sweep of the eye takes in all of the north part of the village. After a long drowsy spell this locality has become rejuvinated. Some old offices and dwellings have disappeared and a number of modern structures have been erected within the last few years, and other old residences have been so remodeled as to appear new and fresh. But what a change on the part of residents! Not a soul is there found who lived there thirty years ago. What spot can be found within so small limits that has produced more distinguished men? This is apparent when we mention such names as Elisha Whittlesey, Judge Eben Newton and Columbus Lancaster, whose united services as congressmen extended to twenty or more years. Other prominent men in this same locality might be mentioned, but our task relates to other matters. West Main street may be treated much in the same way as East Main, A few old landmarks have ceased to exist, notably, the old Boughton and Cronk homes, and the old red building built by Ensign Church, the old M. E. parsonage and possibly, the old Tryal Tanner homestead. All these places have been replaced by modern dwellings. Some other new structures have been erected on the street within the period mentioned. The old Presbyterian church has been replaced by an elegant, up-to-date modern church, costing $12,000. The new Methodist parsonage is a beautiful structure, costing $2,500, so that we are able to say the street has made substantial improvement within, the decades mentioned. But when we look for the residents of thirty years ago but few remain to answer the roll call. The aged ladies, Mrs. Mary Hoover and Mrs. Mary Hartman; to these may be added Mrs. Martha Fowler, C. C. Fowler, then a young man, Miss Myra .Smith, Miss Lucy Hartman, Miss Sarah J Barnes, Mrs. S. W. Brainerd and son, Fred, George Hollis, son and daughter, Miss Bond, are all that I can recall. But I see plainly that I must abandon minute details. To follow out the plan so far pursued with other streets in the village would practically be a repetition. It will be enough to say that the improvements and buildings beginning at the east end of Lisbon street, have mostly been made since 1877, and the same may be said with reference to Court street. "But the greatest feature of our industrial improvements centers around the railroad station. There we find indisputable evidence of growth and prosperity. Thirty years ago the novelty works may have had a small beginning. Since then it has swollen to large proportion. The buildings have been greatly enlarged and much machinery added. The output of articles manufactured indicates prosperity and its present outlook promises stability and success. The company gives steady employment to a large force of men and teams, affording a ready market for nearly all kinds of timber, taken from the stump or shipped in by railroads. Thirty years ago the Canfield Lumber Company was a small affair. Under the present management it has grown wonderfully in the amount of business transacted. Its sales during the past year have amounted to between forty and fifty thousand dollars, and the company is now prepared to do a much larger business in the future. They have taken down the old mill and erected a new and capacious one with new machinery for sawing and dressing lumber. Callahan & Neff, it is said, are doing a business of over one hundred thousand dollars per annum. Recently the company have expended several thousand dollars in improvements to their immense warehouses, and purpose making further improvements the present season. They deal extensively in hides and tallow, and the purchase of pipe and building blocks. "Recently a new firm has come into existence, John Delfs & Sons. This company also deals largely in hides and tallow, sewer pipe, building blocks and feed stuffs of every description. I hear good reports of business success and I know from the character of the men who form the firm they are bound to succeed. These different establishments around the station give employment to a large force of men and teams. We have neither time or space to comment upon our banking institution or the N. E. O. N. C, which we cherish so highly for its past success and for its future prospects. "There are other changes which have been made in our town during the last three decades, that we cannot pass by without notice. In 1877, our park, as it then existed, was quite different from what it now is. What were twigs then, are trees now, affording a delightful shade in the noon-tide or eve of a hot day. The upper part of which was then surrounded by a railing that has since been removed. This leads to another important change that has taken place. Thirty years ago we uniformly thought it essential that our lots and public buildings must be surrounded on all sides by a fence. Now, almost by the same unanimity, we have cast our front fences aside. The old system of fencing was an eye-sore to all ideas of taste and uniformity. Generally, the fences were old, dilapidated and useless. This reform has led to the cultivation of sightly and well-kept lawns. Another marked feature of change are the long stretches of cement sidewalks. Although badly constructed at first, they are much superior to our old plank and cinder walks."
The Presbyterian church in Canfield was organized in April, 1804, and consisted at first of nine members. Meetings were first held in a log school house, and for some time, there being no regular pastor, ministers of various orthodox organizations were invited to preach. Lay meetings were also held frequently and were generously attended. A revival of religion in 1831 added some twenty-five members to the church. Among the early ministers were Revs. Joseph Badger, Robbins, Wick, Curtis, A. Scott, I. Scott, Dwight, Chapman and others. Rev. Mr. Stratton was installed as the first regular pastor October, 1828.The church had been originally established on the plan of union adopted by the general assembly of 1801, and remained under that plan of government until 1835, when the pastor and fifty members, acting under a special request from the Presbytery of Beaver, separated from the Congregational part of the society, organized themselves into a regular Presbyterian church, and built a house of worship, which was occupied by the' society until within the last few years. About the same time Rev. W. O. Stratton severed his connection with the congregation and in April, 1839, Rev. William McCombs was installed as pastor. He was succeeded in a few years by Rev. James Price, who was followed by Mr. J. G. Reaser and Rev. J. P. Irwin successively. Since Mr. Irwin, the pastor has been the Rev. William Dickson, who has occupied the pulpit for the long period of twenty-five years. His place will soon be taken by Rev. George V. Reichel, who has recently been elected to the pastorate. The church now has a membership of 200, and occupies a fine new building which was erected in 1904 on the site of the old edifice. The Sunday school, with an attendance of 100, is under the charge of Dr. Daniel Campbell.
The first Methodist society was organized in Canfield in 1820, previous to which time the history of Methodism in the township has not been preserved. It is probable, however, that some of the ministers sent to labor on the western circuits preached here occasionally. This first society consisted of Rev. S. Bostwick, wife and sister, Comfort Starr and wife, Ansel Beeman and wife, and Ezra Hunt. In 1821 Canfield was visited by the circuit preachers Rev. Dennis Goddard and Rev. Charles Elliott. In 1822 it was known as the Youngstown circuit and was visited by different preachers from that time on. Services were held in a frame school house that stood a little east of the center. In 1826 it was supplanted by a brick building with galleries that was known as Bethel chapel. In 1836 Canfield became a part of the Erie Conference, just then formed; In the following year Dr. Shadrach, one of the early preachers, who was also a physician, died at his home in Canfield. About 1861 the old Bethel chapel was torn down and a new structure erected, partly with the same material. The new church was dedicated in June, 1861. In 1869 a comfortable dwelling house was purchased for a parsonage. For a number of years beginning with 1836 Canfield was included at different times in the circuits of Poland, Youngstown, Ellsworth and Canfield, but it is now no longer in the circuit, supporting its own pastor. On the site. of the old Congregational church the society is now erecting a new church edifice. The society has an enrolled membership of 200. The Sunday school enrollment is 170.
This church had its origin in a Baptist society that was formed in January, 1828, at the house of David Hays. Thomas Miller was the clergyman, and among the principal members were Deacon Samuel Hayden, William Hayden, John Lane of Youngstown, and Elijah Canfield of Palmyra . Later William Hayden became a preacher and ministered to the church, the services being held in a small log house. In the winter of 1827-28 Walter Scott, a follower of Alexander Campbell, came into the community and preached a sermon that had the effect of converting most of the Baptists present, who during the winter organized themselves into a Disciples church. Soon after they erected a frame building for public worship in the northwestern part of the township. The church prospered, making converts, and from time to time receiving additions from other sects or denominations. In 1847 about twenty of the members who lived near the center formed a separate organization and erected at the center a neat and commodious church, which is still their place of worship. In October, 1867, they were joined by the remaining members of the church, which had first been established in the northwest part of the township, the older members of which had died, and there having been for a long time but very few accessions. Since then the church has had a prosperous and useful existence. The building has lately been remodeled, both inside and out. The membership is about sixty; that of the Sunday school thirty-five. Of the latter Mrs. Anna Osborne is superintendent.
The Reformed church, formerly known as the German Reformed Lutheran church, was organized previous to 1810, by a number of German settlers in the township, the first pastor being the Rev. Henry Stough. A log church was built in the same year and was used by both the German Reformed and Lutheran congregations until it was destroyed by fire in 1845. I was replaced in the same year by a new and more substantial building. For more than fifty years the services were conducted in German, which language subsequently gave place to English, for the benefit of the later generation. Some twelve years ago the church was again burned down, the present building, located about three-quarters of a mile north of Canfield village, being erected in 1895. The membership of the church is 145, with a Sunday school attendance of fifty.
The first school house in Canfield stood about a mile and a quarter east of the center, the first teacher being Caleb Palmer. Here the educational system of Canfield was inaugurated with a three months' term in the winter of 1800-01. Miss Getia Bostwick and Benjamin Carter were among the early teachers, as was also Miss Olive Langdon, who taught school in a small log building about two miles south of the center.Elisha Whittlesey also taught school in 1806, being a successor of Caleb Palmer. The early schools were, carried on without much system or method, no sound working plan of education being devised until 1867, when the union school law was adopted and a board of education elected. Since that time Canfield has been well abreast of other townships in educational matters, her schools being provided with a thoroughly efficient corps of teachers, the Normal school, already mentioned, providing students with excellent opportunity for acquiring more advanced knowledge.
An advanced school known as the Mahoning Academy existed in Canfield from 1857 to i860, or a little later. It was established by David Hine, A. M., a graduate of Williams College, Massachusetts, who was also its principal. In October, 1860, it had 240 students on its rolls, but the war, by draining the country of so many of its young men, caused its downfall, and it perished during the continuance of that struggle. The building was afterwards converted into a dwelling.
The first newspaper in Canfield was the Mahoning Index, a Democratic sheet that was started in May, 1846, by two printers from Warren James and Clate Herrington. They sold out later to John R. Church, a prominent Democrat, who conducted the office and published the paper until September, 1851, when the building with all its contents was destroyed by fire. In the following year another Democratic paper was established the Mahoning Sentinel and was conducted for some time by an association, with Ira Norris as editor. The paper was printed by H. M. Fowler. It subsequently passed through several hands, being purchased and repurchased until in 1860 John M. Webb, who was then the proprietor, removed the office to Youngstown . In the spring of that year a small Republican paper called the Herald was started, the proprietor being John Weeks, who came from Medina at the instance of Hon. Elisha Whittlesey. It also passed through a number of hands, until it came into those of Mr. Ed E. Fitch, who had for a time been Mr. Weeks' partner, and by whom, in 1870, it was enlarged. Two years later Mr. Fitch sold it to McDonald & Sons, who changed its name to The Mahoning County News. After being thus conducted for eighteen months it was disposed of to W. R. Brownlee, who made the paper Democratic and afterwards sold out to Rev. W. S. Peter son, who soon after removed to Warren . Canfield was then without a newspaper until Mr. H. M. Fowler started the Mahoning Despatch in May, 1871, which paper is still in existence, and in a prosperous condition, being now conducted by Mr. C. C. Fowler, son of the first proprietor.
The following information in regard to Canfield's present industries is taken from a local source, and may be considered reliable:
The manufacturing interests of Canfield, Ohio, though not as extensive as they might have been have been sufficient and worthy of consideration. The town has contributed brains and skill that have produced great and extensive results, and had not petroleum oil been discovered, the fields of cannel coal would have been made and developed an immense resource for public utility, by light and fuel. We can safely say, our possibilities are scarcely discovered. In our fire clay lies a proposition, yet to be solved. The persistent drilling for coal in special, not isolated, localities, bids favorable for the future good. Our forests are stocked with the finest timber suitable for the world's demands. Ship timbers of immense size are frequently forwarded, and our product runs down almost to the clothes-pin and tooth-pick trade. The trade at large recognizes that the Canfield product has a special quality and finish now well known, and its demands are beyond our present output. The proof of this lies in the fact that for the last eight years solicitation for orders has not been needed. About three hundred thousand handles were distributed to the trade in general last year, by the Canfield Manufacturing & Novelty Company, a plant originally erected in 1882, by George N. Boughton with a pay roll at present of twenty-eight, distributing its funds almost entirely at home, for crude products and labor. Although a modest concern, yet the fact of its distributing annually over $10,000 to its employes and eventually to the merchants, makes it a desirable proposition for our community, It is a public institution in which many of our prominent and active citizens are personally interested. .. The demands of the agricultural field have not been forgotten, for over 200,000 hand-rakes have been placed by them on the market during the last ten years, and over 5,000 horse-rakes, besides wood novelties of various kinds.
But this is not our only wood-working establishment. The Canfield Lumber Company, originally established by W. J. Gee, Mr. Stark and Mr. Brobst, but now with new owners, new buildings and new machinery, is laying the foundation for a valuable acquisition. The new owners, Weikart & Overhultzer, have the grit and push to make things go.
The grist mill under J. V. Calvin's management is advancing fast to the front, and winning its way to the hearts, as well as to the stomachs of the public. It has grown beyond the home demand and enjoys a good trade in other markets.
A commodious elevator for a heavy delivery of grain, is a leading feature at Callahan & Neff's large plant.
Delfs & Sons, though not making and changing their feed product as the manufacturers, yet place a fine stock of grain before the farmers. This with their coal, tile, etc., gives them a favorable trade.
Kimerle Brothers have not forgotten the public need, for uses of pleasure and utility, by the buggies and wagons they turn out.
J. W. Johnson, also for work of a similar character, must not be forgotten.Besides all this, Canfield is not so lost in the sordid manufacturing of essentials as to overlook the needs of the eye and pleasures of the aesthetic tastes of heavenly beauties. To meet that want, extensive greenhouses, erected five years ago by W. J. Smith of Pittsburg , and organized under the name of the Altino Culture Company in 1907, is an institution of large possibilities. The immensity is more fully realized by a personal inspection of its lengthy glass-covered buildings and its forty-acre tract of land, one space, 200x40 feet and another 400x40 feet, being under glass.
The manufacture of oil from cannel coal was carried on by several companies in the southeastern part of the township from 1854 to 1863. This business came to an end with the discovery of the naturally flowing oil wells. These manufactories, which were established at a cost of about $200,000, were built by eastern capitalists, who during the somewhat brief spell of their existence did a considerable business.
Canfield has usually been favored by the high character for faithfulness and ability of her public officials. Those now in control are no exception to the rule. Hon. H. A. Manchester, who as mayor exercises the largest share of influence in the local government, is an old resident of the town, thoroughly versed in its ; history and having a clear and sympathetic understanding of the needs and aspirations of the community. He is well supported by the subordinate officials, who are efficient in their respective spheres of duty, and have the full confidence of the people by whom they were elected to office.