« Return to Clintonville History home page »

Posts Tagged ‘Bull family’

Underground Railroad in Clintonville

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Debbie Shaw, retired CML librarian, recently provided some local resources about the Underground Railrooad in Clintonville and surrounding area. Thanks for agreeing to share this information, Debbie!

Here’s Debbie’s summary:

    This link has a short video as well as text below it from WOSU’s Columbus Neighborhood series on Clintonville; both discuss the Underground Railroad.

    and this video from the same series on Downtown/Franklinton shows another area involved in the Underground Railroad here in Columbus.

    This link is from the Clintonville History site by Shirley Hyatt. The October 2008 issue discusses Thomas Bull and his family and includes a brief section about the Underground Railroad. [Shirley adds: see my book Clintonville and Beechwold here (to buy it) or here (to borrow it) for a smidgen more information.]

    Article from the OSU Lantern Feb. 7, 1999.

    Historic Marker on OSU Campus.

    Another historical marker.

    Excerpt from the book The Underground Railroad: An Encyclopedia of People, Places and Operations by Mary Ellen Snodgrass.

    For a broader look at the Underground Railroad in Ohio, you can read the full text draft of The Mysteries of Ohio’s Underground Railroad by Wilbur H. Siebert here.

    And of course, the Columbus Metropolitan Library has a lot of this history. Right now during Main Library’s renovation, Local History & Genealogy services are available at a temporary location in the former Whitehall Branch at 4371 E. Broad Street. CML’s web site says to call (614) 645-2275 to learn more. You can still get to a lot online at the here.

Debbie also notes, “This material was easily Googled. As a former librarian, I know that there is a lot of info that is not online. By the way, if you do an advanced book search on books.google.com and limit to full text only and content = books, there are quite a few. I put underground railroad in the ‘with the exact phrase’ field and Ohio underground railroad in the ‘with all of the words’ field. Laws, history, etc. come up, including Ohio Before 1850 and Ohio History Sketches. Of course, some of it is a very brief part of the book. If you add Ohio into the search’s ‘subject’ field, this narrows it a lot.”

A Lot of Bull

Friday, October 31st, 2008

People like to say that the story of Clintonville starts with the story of Thomas Bull Jr., who came to this area in 1812 with his family from Vermont, by way of Worthington. Bull purchased about 680 acres in Clinton Township, and bequeathed land to his children when he died in 1823. Bull and his family were Methodists and abolitionists. The family graves were moved in March 1910 to Union Cemetery, section “new”, lot 176, across from the flagpole. (Despite the section name, this is in the old area of Union Cemetery on the east side of Olentangy River Road.)

This is the Thomas Bull residence which stood on the east side of High Street between Dunedin and Piedmont. Some of the information about the house is conflicting, but Nancy Pendleton states that Alonson Bull helped to build the house around 1821 and lived there until the mid-1860s. The local Methodist congregation held services in this house until Thomas Bull’s death in 1823. Elias Pegg purchased it, along with its farm, in 1862 and raised his children there. The house was torn down in August 1931. This photo is from the Sunday edition of Cols Dispatch March 5, 1950.

Brevoort & Bull Graves

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Thomas Bull’s daughter Chloe came to the area with her husband Isaac Brevoort and son Henry around 1812. Isaac Brevoort was helping build a barn across the Olentangy River and was crossing the flood-swollen river in February 1814 when his boat was swamped and he drowned. He was 23 years old, and was buried just 100 yards from the river. That grave is now someone’s back yard. Some say the grave is behind 247 Kenworth; some sources say it’s behind 253 Kenworth; some sources say that Isaac Brevoort is buried behind 253, and Thomas Bull Senior (father of Thomas Bull Junior) is behind either 247, or 253, or 257.

Henry Brevoort’s house was built at 3620 North High Street, behind the original Brevoort cabin. The house continued to exist until around the 1970s, when it was torn down. The Brevoorts had an 80 acre farm; Developer Charles Johnson purchased the farm in 1909, and planned the Northmoor neighborhood carefully. He had the idea that vacant space induced people to build a nice house. Accordingly, he platted Northmoor Park and gave it to the city. He also did this with the bird sanctuary that today is known as “the Delta,” at the west end of Webster Park.

An early 1970s article stated that “stones still mark the [Brevoort] cabin” and that “once past the field stone gateposts [which were just wide enough for a carriage], the ancient barn where Frank Brevoort once operated a dairy still stands.” Does any of this still exist?

Underground Railroad

Friday, 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

Friday, 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)

Almost another Calvary Church…

Friday, September 26th, 2008

As early as 1819, Methodists in Clintonville worshipped in people’s homes—the home of Eber Wilson has been mentioned– with circuit riders as preachers. Methodism was, in those days, a young and evangelical sect. When Thomas Bull, one of Clintonville’s early settlers, died in 1823, he left land in his will to build a church for the members, and that church was erected 15 years later at 3100 North High Street near Walhalla Road & High Street. Southwick Good Fortkamp Funeral Chapel occupies that building today.

The church membership decided in 1881 to sell the chapel and move the church to the thriving community of North Columbus, and they built a new church on East Tompkins. Several members dissented from this decision and, under the leadership of Eli Batterson, met at homes and at the Clinton School. In 1905 Howard Westervelt—great-grandson of Thomas Bull—reorganized a Methodist Sunday School, and church members worshipped in the home of Frank Dankworth at 70 West Lakeview. They founded Como Avenue Methodist Church in 1910. By 1924 they had outgrown that church and decided to build a new church edifice at North Broadway Avenue and Broadway Court. There were three candidates for the new church’s name: St. Paul, Calvary, and North Broadway; North Broadway was chosen.