History of Portage County, Ohio

In submitting the History of Portage County to the public, the publishers trust that it will be received in that generous spirit which is gratified at honest and conscientious effort. The importance of rescuing from oblivion and preserving, in a permanent form, the pioneer annals of the county and its various local communities has been duly appreciated by its citizens, whose assistance has contributed materially to the success of the work.

In the compilation of the many chapters it has been the earnest endeavor of our writers to disengage from the great mass of facts those which relate to the permanent forces of the county, or which indicate the most enduring features of its growth and prosperity. Free use was made of the State reports and county records, as well as of all reliable sources of information bearing on the history of this section of Ohio, such as Howe's "Historical Collections," Gen. Lucius V. Bierce's sketches of the first settlements on the Western Reserve, Christian Cackler's reminiscences of pioneer times, the late John Harmon's recollections of the war of 1812, Reid's "Ohio in the War," and the early newspaper files so wisely preserved by Col. William Frazer, and now in possession of his son Homer C. Frazer, Esq., of Ravenna, who kindly gave our historians free access to said files at all times. In every part of the county descendants of the pioneers were interviewed, and their recollections carefully sifted and compared. Private papers and family manuscripts have thus been drawn forth from their hiding places, and every effort made to glean from the husks of tradition the scattered grains of truth.

For the convenience of its readers the book is divided into four parts: Part I contains a condensed history of the Northwest Territory. Part II, a history of the State of Ohio. Part III embraces the general history of Portage County, its townships, towns and villages. The general history of the county. Chapters I to XIII inclusive, was written by Mr. R.C. Brown, of Chicago, Ill., and Chapters XIV to XXXIV inclusive were mostly compiled by Mr. J.E. Norris of the same city; while the complimentary sketches in Part IV were obtained by a corps of solicitors, and a copy of each sketch submitted for correction to the subject or his friends, on whom we have depended for accuracy.

The publishers avail themselves of this opportunity to thank the county, township, town and village officials, the editors of the several newspapers? and the members of every profession and calling throughout the county who in any way assisted the historians in their labors, for their generous sympathy toward the enterprise. Special acknowledgments are due to Enos P. Brainerd, Esq., Homer C. Frazer, Esq., Samuel D. Harris, Esq., Hon. Marvin Kent and Dr. A.M. Sherman, all of whom rendered important aid to the general historian and his assistants in gathering authentic historical data. We place the volume in the hands of our patrons with the belief that it will be found a valuable contribution to local historical literature.


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On the 5th of September, 1826, the Commissioners took into consideration the expediency of building a new Court House, and gave public notice that sealed proposals would be received at the Auditor's office until the first Monday in December for furnishing materials for the new structure. In the latter month the Commissioners advertised for proposals for 150,000 bricks to be delivered near the Court House in Ravenna by the first Monday of March, 1828. The contract for the erection of the building was finally let to Zenas Kent in the spring of 1828, and on the 11th of February, 1830, it was completed and accepted by the Commissioners, having cost in full about $7,000. It was a long, two-story brick building of the Grecian Temple order, six wooden columns on the front upholding a projecting roof, which was surmounted by a cupola. The county offices were located in the lower story, while the courtroom is the same one now occupied. In the erection of the new Court House about twenty feet were cut off the front part of the old one to make room for the more modern structure.