Underground Railroad

October 17th, 2008

Alonson Bull and his brother Jason were abolitionists, Jason serving as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad from Clinton Chapel at 3100 North High Street. Jason’s photograph is in the Wilbur H. Siebert Collection at the Ohio Historical Society.

Edward L. Sebring (1839?-1905) worked with Jason Bull to aid fugitive slaves escaping to freedom in Canada from Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, to the next safe station. His photograph is in the Wilbur H. Siebert Collection of the Ohio Historical Society.

James G. Bull

October 17th, 2008

James G. Bull (1838-1927) was a grandson of Thomas Bull. James served as Columbus Mayor from 1865 to 1868 and from 1871 to 1875. His grandfather, Thomas Bull, was the first white settler of the area and James’ father, Alonson Bull, founded Clintonville in 1846. (Photo courtesy of Columbus Metropolitan Libraries)

Other early settlers…

October 17th, 2008

include the Smiths, Websters, Coes, Whipps, Hunts, Wilsons, Bucks, and the Cookes. John Buck acquired land around Henderson and High early on, and then sold some of the land to Chauncey Cooke. Cooke in turn donated the land to the Clinton Township in 1842 to be used as a school.

Bishop Philander Chase

October 17th, 2008

… is credited with starting Kenyon College somewhere near North High Street and Selby Roads, in a house that has since been razed. An earlier home of Chase still stands at 62 Lincoln Avenue.

The Webers

October 15th, 2008

I found this little biography about Frederick Weber (1806-1885) and his son George (b. 1843) in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) pp. 278-280. I admit I have done little research on this Clinton Township family and have not even researched where their farm was located.

Barnabas Phinney (1813-1899)

October 15th, 2008

Barnabas Phinney (ca. 1813-1899) came to the area in 1838, and purchased 60 acres of land near the northwest corner of today’s Henderson Road and North High Street. In addition to farming, Phinney was an investor in the toll road running from Columbus to Worthington, and in the electric streetcar company. His house was said to be majestic. He and his wife had no children, and after his death most of the property was sold. A bit more biographical information can be found in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) p. 872 excerpted here. His obituary from the Columbus Dispatch January 30, 1899 is here.

Cooke family

October 10th, 2008

Another one of the first families of Clintonville was the Cooke family. According to the family’s history, Roswell Cooke (1764-1827) came to Ohio with his wife and five children in 1800 from Connecticut. His two eldest sons, Rodney and Chauncey, took up land 6 miles north of the state house, their farms adjoining (in the vicinity of Cooke Road and North High Street). They cleared the land and both erected “houses out of round, unhewn logs, with puncheon floors and primitive fire places, with mud-and-stick chimneys.” The brothers lived the rest of their lives on these farms. Family history states that in 1827 they constructed one of the first grist and saw mills on the Olentangy River, which later became known as the Whipp and then as the Weisheimer Mill. They also operated a distillery. (Photo courtesy of Terry Miller.)

Rodney’s son, H.C. Cooke, was born in 1825, and took up residence on the old Cooke homestead at 4243 North High Street. Over time H.C. amassed 300 acres. He was a successful businessman, including in the stock business, and then owned the firm Cooke, Grant & Cooke, contractors in the construction of heavy masonry for railroad and other bridges. He was one of the officers of the Worthington & Columbus streetcar line. (You can click on this map to enlarge it.) (Photo courtesy of Carl Cooke.)

Just a bit more background information. The current name of the company Henry C. Cooke founded is the Fritz-Rumer-Cooke Co., Inc. They are still in business. The Secretary of State’s website states that one of their prior names was the Fritz Rumer Cooke Grant Company, changed to Fritz-Rumer-Cooke Co., Inc. in 1918. The company’s website states that it was founded in 1879 and incorporated in Ohio in 1911, and is still managed by descendants of the Cooke family. (This information courtesy of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.)

Rodney Romoaldo Cooke (1832-1866), brother of Henry C.

October 10th, 2008

Roswell Cooke came to Ohio from Connecticut in 1800 with his wife and five children. The two oldest sons, Chauncey and Rodney, took up adjoining land in the vicinity of today’s Henderson Road and North High Street. Son Rodney (1793-1833) married Laura Cowles and together they had nine children: Esther (married to L. J. Weaver), Roswell (m. Lorinda Skeels), Helen (m. John Good), Rosalia (m. John Webster), Rachel (m. William Buck), Laura (m. Lester Roberts), Rodney Romoaldo (m. Chloe Williams), Demon, and Henry C. (m. Abigail Taylor).

Rodney’s son Rodney was a teacher and a farmer, and he served in the Civil War (Company G, 57th OVI). He was honorably discharged but returned from the war an invalid. Broken down in health, he was largely incapacitated for performing manual labor on his farm. He died in 1886, having been confined to his bed 11 years. A bit more biographical information can be found in A Centennial Biographical History of the City of Columbus and Franklin County Ohio (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1901) pp. 248-252, excerpted here.

Maple Grove School

October 10th, 2008

In 1842, Clinton Township School District 1 acquired land at Henderson and High Street from Chauncey Cooke, and in 1878, built a brick school building on the southwest corner. The building was used both as a school and for worship services by various denominations. In 1920, the district deeded the school to the Methodist Church, and the Maple Grove Methodist Episcopal Church was organized. It was at the time the only church between Clintonville and Worthington. (Photo courtesy of the Ron Ohsner family)

Never too many Cookes in the kitchen…

October 10th, 2008

Cooke family members married Buck, Armstrong, Hess, Maize, Webster, and Brown family members. The Cooke family held a series of family reunions from the late 1890s through the first decade of the 1910s, and maintained a log and minutes of their get-together. (Photo courtesy of Carl Cooke)