Residence of Calvin Poole

Residence of Capt. O. Salisbury

[159] which he carried to Buffalo, and from the avails of which purchased for himself a new suit of clothes. He then took passage on the schooner "Fire Fly," bound for Ashtabula Harbor. Arrived at his dwelling, guns were fired from the deck of the schooner, and the crew gave three loud cheers. On landing he found his funeral sermon had been preached, and that his wife was clad in the habiliments of mourning.


Solomon Spaulding came to Conneaut to live in the year 1809, and shortly after began to write a book, claimed to be identical with the Golden Bible of the Mormons. We append the following statement of his brother, John Spaulding, copied from the work entitled "Mormonism Unveiled," written by E. D. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio:

"Solomon Spaulding was born in Ashford, Connecticut, in 1761, and in early life contracted a taste for literary pursuits. After he had left school, he entered PIainfield academy, where he made great proficiency in study and excelled most of his classmates. He next commenced the study of law in Windham county, in which he made little progress, having in the mean time turned his attention to religious subjects. He soon after entered Dartmouth college, with the intention of qualifying himself for the ministry, where he obtained the degree of A.M., and was regularly ordained. After preaching three or four years he gave it up, removed to Cherry Valley, New York, and commenced the mercantile business in company with his brother Jonah. In a few years he failed in business, and in 1809 removed to Conneaut, Ohio. In the year following I removed to Ohio, and found him engaged in building a forge. I made him a visit about three years after, and found that he had failed, and was considerably in debt. He then told me he had been writing a book, which he intended to have published, the avails of which, he thought, would enable him to pay his debts. "The book was entitled 'Manuscripts Found,' of which he read to me many passages. It was an historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeavoring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews or lost tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem by land and sea, till they arrived in America under the command of Nephi and Lehi. They afterwards had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites, and the other Lamanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds so common in this country. Their arts, sciences, and civilization were brought into view in order to account for all the curious antiquities found in various parts of North America. "I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and to my great surprise find nearly the same historical matter, names, etc., as were in my brother's writings. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with 'and it came to pass,' or 'now it came to pass,' the same as the Book of Mormon; and, according to the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter. By what means it fell into the hands of Joseph Smith, Jr., I am unable to determine.


Mr. Howe, the author of the work referred to, obtained and published the testimony of Aaron Wright, Henry Love [sic, Lake] and others, -- all gentlemen of probity, -- confirming the identity of Mr. Spaulding's production with portions of the Mormon Bible. Mr. Howe remarks,

"Our inquiries did not terminate here. Our next object was to ascertain, if possible, what disposition Spaulding made of his manuscripts. For this purpose a messenger was dispatched to look up the widow of Spaulding, who was found residing in Massachusetts. From her we learned that Spaulding resided in Pittsburgh about two years, when he removed to Amity, Washington county, Pennsylvania, where he lived about two years, and died in 1816. His wife then removed to Onondaga county, New York, married again, and lived in Otsego county, and subsequently removed to Massachusetts. She states that Spaulding had a great variety of manuscripts, and recollects that one was entitled 'Manuscripts Found,' but of its contents she has no distinct knowledge. While they lived in Pittsburgh she thinks it was once taken to the printing-office of Patterson & Lambdin, but whether it was ever brought back again to the house she is quite uncertain; if it were, however, it was there with his other writings, in a trunk which she had left in Otsego county, New York. This is all the information that could be obtained from her, except that Mr. Spaulding while living entertained a strong antipathy to the Masonic institution, which may account for its being so frequently mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The fact also that Spaulding, in the latter part of his life, inclined to infidelity, is established by a letter now in our possession in his handwriting.

"The trunk referred to by the widow was subsequently examined and found to contain only a single manuscript book in Spaulding's handwriting, containing about one quire of paper. This is a romance, purporting to have been translated from the Latin, found in twenty-four rolls of parchment in a case on the banks of Conneaut creek, but written in modern style, and giving a fabulous account of a ship being cast on the American coast while proceeding from Rome to Britain, a short time previous to the Christian era, this country being inhabited by the Indians.

"The old manuscript has been shown to several witnesses acquainted with Spaulding's writing, and they identify it as in his handwriting, but, as to the matter it contains, it bears no resemblance to the manuscripts [sic] found. Now, as Spaulding's book can nowhere be found, or anything heard of it after being carried to the establishment of Patterson & Lambdin, there is the strongest presumption that it remained there in seclusion till about the year 1823 or 1834, at which time Sidney Rigdon located himself in that city. We have been credibly informed that he was on terms of intimacy with Lambdin, being seen frequently at his office.

"Rigdon resided in Pittsburgh about three years, and during the whole of that time, as he has since asserted frequently, abandoned preaching and all other employments for the purpose of studying the Bible. He left there about the time Lambdin died, and commenced preaching some new points of doctrine which were found to be inculcated in the Mormon Bible.

"He resided in this vicinity about four years previous to the appearance of the book, during which time he made several long visits to Pittsburgh, and perhaps to Susquehanna, where Smith was then digging for money or pretending to be translating plates.

"It may be observed, also, that about the time Rigdon left Pittsburgh, the Smith family began to tell about finding a book that would contain a history of the first inhabitants of America, and that two years elapsed before they finally got possession of it."

The evidence here given which seeks to fasten upon Spaulding the authorship of the Mormon Bible, or at least a portion of it, although not entirely conclusive, is still of a very strong presumptive nature, and we have thought it best to insert a full account of Mr. Spaulding's supposed connection with the Mormon book.


The Ohio furnace, located about half a mile north of Clark's Corners, in the southeastern portion of the township, was put in operation in the year 1830 by A. Dart and M. P. Ormsby. A large and extensive business was carried on for many years at this place in the manufacture of cast-iron stoves, and nearly all kinds of castings. At times as many as from one hundred to one hundred and fifty men were employed in connection with this furnace.

In 1841, Mr. G. V. Eastman bought Mr. Ormsby's interest in the business. Mr. Dart died soon after, and business was suspended about the year 1845.

A forge and furnace had been in operation for a number of years, at an earlier date, on the flats of Conneaut creek, a short distance above the present site of the paper-mills. Wrought-iron was manufactured at this place. Henry Lake, Solomon Spaulding, and Elias Keyes were at different times either proprietors or in some way interested.

In 1840, Mr. J. A. Ellis started a machine-shop at Conneaut Centre, and about two years later added a foundry, where he has continued the business till the present time.


The first cheese-factory built in the township was that at Amboy. This was built in 1869-70 by a stock company. The building is in size thirty-two by seventy feet, and three stories high, and cost, with the necessary equipments and utensils, four thousand dollars.

The first officers were J. D. Ransom, president; P. C. Ryan, secretary; Lyman Luce, S. Hazeltine, and J. D. Ransom, directors. The factory commenced operations in the spring of 1870. N. P. Tillotson was operator for three seasons, T. Buffington two, and L. Luce two. There has been an average annual manufacture of about one hundred thousand pounds of cheese until the past three seasons, when both butter and cheese have been made. Alonzo Green owns the controlling interest at present.

In the spring of 1870, at the same time the Amboy factory commenced operations, Weldon & Brown started a factory in the old tavern building at East Conneaut. A successful business was done at this place until the close of 1874, since which time there have been changes in proprietors and little business done.

In the spring of 1872, N. B. Payne & Son built and put into operation a cheese-factory on their dairy farm, two miles southeast of Conneaut village. In [160] the spring of 1874 they increased the capacity of the factory by erecting an additional building and putting in new utensils and machinery. The milk of from three to four hundred cows is received at this factory, affording an average annual manufacture of about one hundred thousand pounds of cheese. A factory was built at South Ridge, in the spring of 1875, by Hayward & Sanford, who have since continued the cheese manufacturing business at that place with fair results.


This society was organized in the winter of 1853-54. The first officers were elected at a meeting held at the town-house, January 6, 1854, and were as follows: President, P. W. Grant; Secretary, D. C. Allen; Treasurer, S. R. Bradley; Vice-Presidents (one for each school district in the township), Benjamin Harper, H. Kilburn, Isaac Skinner, J. G. Whitney, Henry Grant, Simon Brown, Benjamin Cushing, Horace Baldwin, Henry Putney, G. V. Eastman, Thomas Gibson, Lewis Thurbur, Edward Brooks, A. Bagley; Executive Committee, President, P. W. Grant; Secretary, D. C. Allen; A. Bagley, Isaac Skinner: and H. Kilburn.

The first annual fair was held September 21, 1854, on grounds leased of Amos Thompson, at Conneaut Centre. These grounds were a part of twenty-one acres subsequently purchased by the society, and improved and used as a fair-ground until the spring of 1875, when the society sold the same to D. Cummins for $2600, and disbanded.

Twenty-one annual fairs were held by this society, the last occurring in the fall of 1874, when the total receipts amounted to $847.89. Receipts from sale of tickets, $746. The receipts for 1873 were $756.21, and for 1812, $865.04. The presidents of the society have been as follows: P. W. Grant, 1854-55; John H. Kilburn, 1856; Isaac Skinner, 1858-59; Stephen Daniels, 1860-63-66 ; Barzilla Viets: 1864; Thomas Gibson, 1865; O. L. Huston, 1867-60; Henry Putney, 1870-72; E. Hewett, 1873-74. The officers in 1874 were E. Hewett, president; J. S. Brown, secretary; A. Scott, vice-president; S. Hayward, treasurer. Executive officers, J. Hicks, O. L. Huston, P. C. Ferguson, P. M. Darling, S. Hazeltine, B. G. Viets, D. C. Allen, H. Grant, S. Wilder, A. C. Dibble, E. A. Stone, and S. Green.


The mouth of Conneat creek, where it discharges its waters into Lake Erie, forms the best natural harbor on this shore of the lake between Cleveland and Erie. From the date of the arrival of the surveying party this harbor has been made use of, much to the advantage of the settlers of this township, and has added much importance to its history. The surveyors erected their store-houses at this point, and the early settlers who arrived in Conneaut first took up their abode here. No railroads had been thought of at this time, and lake navigation was of much importance, to the early settlers especially, in many respects. Grain grown in this vicinity, and for many miles south into the country, was shipped from this point, as well as much whisky distilled from grain at the numerous distilleries then in operation all over this section of the county. The products of the forests also added much to the shipping interests, as lumber, staves, oars, and handles were manufactured and shipped from this harbor in very large quantities. The first brick residence erected in the township -- the Ford House, for many years used as a tavern, and still standing -- was at this place. For a number of years previous to the building of the Lake Shore railway, more shipping business was done at Conneaut Harbor than at any point between Cleveland and Erie. Six or seven large warehouses were in use. A large feet of vessels sailed between this point and Buffalo. Steamboats made regular stops. Supplies for points as far south as Youngstown were shipped to this place. At the time the railroad was built it had the effect of taking much of the business from the harbor and dividing it up at different points along the road. An effort was made once or twice by the citizens of Conneaut to secure a railroad from the harbor, leading south into the coal, iron, and oil regions of Pennsylvania; but, from want of sufficient energy and capital, the effort proved unsuccessful. Ashtabula has since secured what Conneaut failed to do in this respect, and now has a busy and important port on the lakes, while Conneaut Harbor, naturally a better point, at present presents a deserted and almost lifeless appearance.


Quite a large number of vessels have been built in this township for lake navigation and some for the ocean trade. The first vessel built in Conneaut was the "Salem Packet." She was built by Elias Keyes and Captain Samuel Ward, about the year 1818, on the creek, just above the present iron bridge, and was floated down the creek in a time of high water. She carried two spars, and had a capacity of about 27 tons. Captain Samuel Ward was her first master. Following this were the "Farmer," built by Christopher Ford, at Conneaut Harbor, Charley Brown, captain; wrecked on Long Point, October 20, 1827, afterwards rebuilt in Cleveland, and sailed on the lakes until forty-three years old. The "Independence," a schooner of about 30 tons, built by James Tubbs, on the lake-shore, about a mile west of the harbor. The sloop "Humming-Bird," built in 1830 by John Brooks, who was subsequently drowned off Sandusky while sailing her. The "Conneaut Packet," built by Gilmon Appleby and A. B. Tubbs. The sIoop "Dart," built in Kingsville, and trucked to Conneaut to be launched and fitted out. The "Oregon," built at Harmon's Landing by James Brooks and John V. Singer. The "Commercial," built at Harmon's Landing by Reed & Lyon and others, about the year 1833-34. O. Salisbury, captain. The "Reindeer," built about the same time by John V. Singer and others. The "North America" was the first steamer built in Conneaut. She had a capacity of 300 tons, and was built about the year 1834 by a stock company, the shares being one hundred dollars each. Her first captain was Gilmon Appleby. The steamer "Wisconsin," capacity 400 tons, was built about the year 1836 at Harper's, now Wood's, Landing. She was built by a stock company, and was towed to Buffalo to be fitted out. The "Constitution," built by Captain Gilmon Appleby and others, was a still larger steamer, having a capacity of about 150 tons. Following these again were the schooner "Troy," 130 tons, built at the harbor by Captain Harrison Howard about the year 1840; The "J, B. Skinner," 100 tons, built at the harbor, in 1841-42, by Marshall Capron and H. C. Walker, and first commanded by Captain Marshall Capron. The "Henry M. Kinney," 110 tons, built at the same time by Robert Lyon and Henry M. Kinney, and first commanded by Captain Harrison Howard. The "J. W. Brown, 200 tons, built by Captain Harrison Howard and J. W. Brown, of Toledo. "The Belle," 200 tons, built by the same parties; the brig "Lucy Walbridge," 300 tons, built at the harbor, about the year 1844, by Charles Hall, George B. Walbridge, and O. Salisbury, and commanded by Captain O. Salisbury; the brig "Lucy A. Blossom," 330 tons, built at the harbor, in 1845 or 1846, by Chas. Hall and Geo. B. Walbridge; the "Banner," built at the harbor about the year 1847, by Zaphna Lake and Benjamin Carpenter, at this time the largest sail vessel on the lakes, having a capacity of 500 tons, commanded by Captain Marshall Capron; the schooner "Dan Marble," 150 tons, built by John Tyler and Zaphna Lake; the "Traveler" and the "Telegraph," 300 tons each, built at the harbor by Chas. Hall, G. W. Walbridge, and John H. Kilburn, and commanded by John Martin and P. Snow; the "Grayhound," 400 tons, built at the harbor by a Buffalo company; the "Stambaugh," 250 tons, built and commanded by Augustus Waird; the scow "Sea-Bird," 300 tons, built at Harmon's Landing by Hiram Judson and P. B. Doty; the scow "Fairy Queen," built by Isaac Van Gorder and Daniel Gilbert; the "Nightingale," built by Captain Howard. A vessel of 450 tons capacity, for the Ocean trade, was built at the harbor in 1862 to 1865 by Wesley Lent for Tupper & Streiver, of Buffalo. The bark "Ogarita," capacity about 800 tons, was built at the harbor by O. Bugby, of Buffalo, and commanded by Captain Andrew Lent; the "Indianola," 400 tons, built and commanded by Captain George De Wolf for E. A. Keyes; the scows "Thomas Swain" and "Loren Gould," built by James A. Childs & Brother; the "L. May Guthrie," built by Judd & Childs. Besides these are a number of vessels built by Captain Marshall Capron, who has been more prominently connected with this branch of industry than any other citizens of Conneaut. His vessels are as follows: the scow "Times," capacity 69 tons, built at Harmon's Landing in 1859 and 18g0; the bark "Monitor," 500 tons, built at the same place in 1861 to 1862; the schooner "Ann Maria," 450 tons, built at Demick's Landing in 1863 to 1864; the bark "Valentine," 300 tons; the bark "T. B. Rice," 300 tons, built at Demick's Landing in 1865; the scow "J. G. Palmer," 60 tons; the schooner "Conneaut," 260 tons; and the schooner "M. Capron," 260 tons.


Amboy is a small village in the west part of the township, where are located two stores, a hotel, two churches, school-house, post-office, cheese factory, flouring-mill, cabinet-shop, blacksmith-shop, shoe-shop, and numerous cigar manufactories. There is also a platform-station on the Lake Shore railroad, where stops are made by two passenger trains per day each way. The Methodist Episcopal church at this place was organized in the year 1823, by Rev. Jesse Viets. The church building was commenced in the year 1839, but not furnished for a number of years afterwards. The land was donated by Barnes-Hubbard and Silas Wilder. The first trustees were William Perrin, Jesse Viets, Bliss Ransom, Samuel Blakeslee, Charles Brown, R. S. Viets, and Raswell Viets. The first pastor was Rev. Jesse Viets. The prevent pastor is Rev. W. J. Wilson, and the church membership numbers one hundred. The school building erected in the summer of 1877 is probably the best common-school building in the county. It. is thirty-two by fifty feet, one story, and thirteen feet between joists, and cost twelve hundred dollars.

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