CONNEAUT, OHIO HISTORY & GENEALOGY

History of
Ashtabula Co., Ohio

SOURCE: History of Ashtabula County, Ohio
Large, Moina W.
Topeka :: Historical Pub. Co.,, 1924, 1132 pgs.

Jefferson Township

CHAPTER XXIV.
p. 323

INFLUENCE OF GIDEON GRANGER - VILLAGE PLATTED IN 1800 - FIRST SETTLER - NAME - COUNTY SEAT - ORIGINAL COURT HOUSE - ROAD FACILITIES - FIRST COURT RECORDS - WILD ANIMALS - BANK FAILURE - FAIR GROUNDS NOT SO BAD, EITHER

     The early development of Ashtabula County was due very largely to the influence of one man, Gideon Granger, who was postmaster general during the administration of President Thomas Jefferson and a great admirer of that statesman.  It happened to Mr. Granger was also a member of the Connecticut Land Company, which owned the territory of which this county is a small part.
     In the division of the land of the company among the various owners, which was made by lot in 1798, Mr. Granger and Oliver Phillips drew the parcels of land that afterward furnished the territory for Jefferson, Wayne, Harpersfield and Lenox.  Through the exchange Mr. Granger became the sole owner of the Jefferson tract, which at once became his pet hobby and he lost no time in preparing plans for its development.  He conceived an idea of improvement on a large scale and with the object of making this particular tract the center of a small universe and, eventually, the seat of a county to be incorporated about it.
     Apparently the influential Mr. Granger had laid his plans well, for everything worked out according to his program and his dream of centralization was realized in a very few years.  In 1800 he had his little reservation platted from the East to work out his plans.  This was Eldred Smith, who arrived in this section in 1804 and proceeded to establish a residence by erection of a cabin, selecting as a site for his home an attractive spot on the bank of Mill Creek.  Austinburg was then one of the principal settlements of the section and Mr. Smith soon laid out and cut a path through to that place.  He arrived in the spring of the year and during the summer succeeded in making quite a clearing, so that he was able to sow several acres of wheat in the fall.
     During this year several families arrived and settled in the vicinity of Smith's cabin as a result of Mr. Granger's activities in the East, whereby he sold several tracts to prospective settlers on his western possession.  Having set things moving according to his program, Mr. Granger decided to make a personal visit to the new West, which he did in 1805.  After looking over the territory the owner decided to have a resurvey made and by that he divided the section into 80 acre lots, with the exception of the center portion on which he had decided a city should grow.  The town site was subdivided into two-acre sections, while the territory immediately adjacent on each side was cut into eight-acre blocks.
     To honor his prospective municipality Mr. Granger caused it to be named for his beloved President, but when, in later years, the question of location of the seat of Ashtabula County came up for consideration, the promoter of Jefferson town found that he was not going to be able to pull off that plum as easily as he had set the stage for it, for Austinburg came up with a claim for the honor and her plea was very insistent.  The latter town residents, feeling that they had a just claim to the county seat, had cleared a tract especially for the location of the courthouse and put in their application for the same.  The commissioners viewed the site thus prepared and then went to Jefferson, at request of Mr. Granger, and after he had promised to build a courthouse and jail, and considering the central location, the commissioners were won over and that is how Jefferson became the seat of law for Ashtabula County.
     The decision was quite satisfactory to residents of the southern portion of the county, but for those along the lake it was not regarded so favorably, on account of the existence of the big swamp north of Jefferson, through which the highway passed from that village toward Ashtabula.  This swamp was at some seasons of the year quite impassible for teams and in order to go to the county seat it was necessary to take the roundabout course via Austinburg.
     Incidentally it might be mentioned that residents of the northern section of the county never quite reconciled themselves to the location of the county seat and there have been several attempts to induce the "powers that be" to move the seat of jurisdiction to Ashtabula.  These occasional uprisings of sentiment have created a feeling of no slight antipathy against Ashtabula, by some of the Jefferson residents.  The agitation reached a stage some years ago that seemed to cause alarm and prompt activity on the part of the Jefferson folk.  It was at a time when the county business had reached such proportions that it was necessary to enlarge the accommodations of the county building.
     That looked like an opportunity for Ashtabula to put her project across and, viewing the situation with deep apprehension, it was decided by the authorities in Jefferson to immediately "improve" the old building.  Before anything decisive could be launched by the Ashtabula element the contract had been awarded for the changes in the court house, which "improvements" constituted a practical reconstruction of the building, nothing being left of the old arrangement excepting the court rom.  By leaving this in the original state, it was possible to keep the job within the legal interpretation of "improvements", which could be made by the commissioners without submitting the proposition to a vote of the people of the county.  The "improvements" cost i the neighborhood of $20,000, which at that time would defray the expense of putting up a very respectably sized building.  That settled the question of moving the court hose for a great many years and saved the life of Jefferson, for, without the county seat, there would be little source of sustenance for Jefferson and the removal of the court house to some other locality would spell financial ruin to some whose homes and business were established in the present capital of the county.
     The art of promotion, when it comes to land sales, which has been reduced to a science, is nothing new, and the gaudy illustrations and glowing descriptions on paper with which we are so familiar today are but a continuation of methods of a century and more ago.  This is shown in the manner in which the postmaster general of the United States, in the year 1800, sold "unsight and unseen" his unbroken forest land in the then far West.  The following account of his methods is found in the Williams Brothers History and is interesting, inasmuch as it pertains to local properties:
     "Mr. Granger prepared a draft of his town site and designated streets which yet had an existence only on paper.  Nine large avenues, running east and west and crossing at right angles seven others running north and south, with several squares at the crossings of the streets, one of these, in the center of the plat, being 38 rods from east to west by 22 rods from north to south, each street appropriately named, with 'Jefferson' as the central East and west street, and 'Market' as the central north and south street, was a sight (upon paper) very pleasant to behold.  It required only a vivid imagination, and lo! here was a magnificent city of palatial residences and churches whose spires pointed heavenward; but the sober fact is that the town plat was recorded when only a solitary cabin occupied the town site.  *  *  *  It is a truth that Mr. Granger's beautiful plat exhibited to the gaze of Washington City residents, inspired them with the belief that there really was a beautiful, rapidly growing city in the center of the Granger tract, destined to be a western emporium of marvelous size and importance.  Mr. Granger, ambitious that his lands should be purchased, and his city populated, made but little effort to dispel the illusion.
     "In 1805 Jonathan Warner and the Websters, having returned to their purchases and begun their improvements, there came a man from Washington by the name of Samuel Wilson, to take up his residence in the city of Jefferson.  Before leaving Washington he had beheld with delight the fair city of the West whose wide streets and ample public squares were to him so pleasing and so admirable that he purchased, with avidity, a portion of the city of the West, and with alacrity removed himself and family hither.  His hopes and cherished plans were now transferred to the city of Jefferson, amidst whose busy activities he thought to rapidly amass a fortune and attain a position among its people of prominence and renown.  Like the Spaniard, Coronado, bent upon the conquest of the seven cities of Cibola, whose streets he vainly imagined were paved with silver and gold, our hero's expectations were boundless.  Unmindful of perils he pressed forward with throbbing pulse and growing confidence.  The wilderness overcome, the beautiful city would appear.  On a Friday in the cheerless month of November our chivalrous venturer reached his destination.  Where is the city?  Where are the wide avenues and the renowned public square?  This Jefferson !  A solid forest, with blazed lines for streets, without inhabitants, the magnificent city of the West!  Impossible!  Our hero would follow one blazed line and exclaim 'Is it possible that this is Jefferson street?"  Then another line and exclaim 'Is it possible!  Is it possible that this is Market street?'  'Can it be that this piece of woods is Market square?'  The disappointed man's heart sank within him.  He was soon taken ill and died."
     Thus came about the first death of a white man in the village of Jefferson.  Wilson's was the first house built on the Jefferson town site.  It stood on the corner where, for many years, has been the American House.
     Edward Friethy was the first postmaster of Jefferson.  He came from Washington in 1806 and opened the first store in the community.  In this year also the first marriage in the township took place, the contracting parties being Miss Sally Webster of Jefferson and Calvin Stone of Morgan.  On July 5, 1806, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Webster, Jr., became parents of the first white child born in Jefferson.
     The first marriage in the village proper was that which united the daughter of Edward Friethy, Miss Nancy, to Jonathan Warner.  Noah Cowles, of Austinburg, a justice of the peace, performed the ceremony, which was attended by about every resident of the township and others round about.  Following the taking of the solemn vows came a feast, the principal feature of which was a roast pig, then the newlyweds both mounted one horse and rode to their future home, just outside the village.
     Mr. Granger, in his efforts to build up and populate his property in the Western Reserve, conceived one idea that proved the undoing of quite a number of persons who entered into this scheme of full confidence that he was opening the way for their future prosperity.  The Government treaty with the Indians included a specific agreement relative to furnishing tobacco for the consumption of the tribes  that had withdrawn to the western part of the Reserve.  On account of the meagre transportation facilities, the transporting of the tobacco proved a very costly item.  Realizing this, Mr. Granger decided to make Jefferson and surrounding territory a great tobacco growing section, with the idea that with production so near the source of consumption he would have all the Government trade.  To this end, in the spring of 1807, he put the wonderful opportunity before some tobacco growers of Maryland in such a manner that they at once had visions of quick and great wealth in the new country, and the result was that eight families disposed of their possessions and prospects along the Chesapeake and set out for Jefferson.  Their disappointment, upon arriving at their destination, to find a wilderness but slightly broken and that the soil and climate were not conducive to the successful growing of the nicotine weed, can hardly be imagined.  Most of them got out as soon as they could, and none of them stayed very long, excepting one Lysle Asque, who saw other possibilities in the new land and became a permanent resident of the section south of the village.
     Among the early settlers of the village and immediate surroundings were Daniel and Luman Webster, Michael Webster, Sr., Daniel Squires, Wareham Grant, Timothy Caldwell and John Birth.  The last two named had been employed and sent here by Mr. Granger, Caldwell, a contractor, to superintend the construction of the court house which Mr. Granger  had promised the county officials, and the latter, a brick layer, to help in the work.
     If Mr. Granger's methods were questionable, in some respects, there was certainly due him a great amount of credit for the part he played in starting the county of Ashtabula on the road to the prominent place it ultimately took in the affairs of the State and Nation.  Mr. Granger's own town could not, of course, be without mail service, and he used his influence toward an early introduction of regular mail transportation through the county, which was a great boon to the early settlers, especially those who had come here at a time when it was necessary to wait for months, often in deep anxiety, for world from the loved relatives back east.
     Notwithstanding the activities of Jefferson as the county seat began with the organization of the county in 1811, as explained elsewhere, it was not until 1836 that the town was formally incorporated as a village, by virtue of a special act of the State Legislature passed on Feb. 4.  The organization took place on April 5, when the following officers were elected: Mayor, Jonathan Warner; recorder, Harvey R. Gaylord; trustees, Samuel Hendry Lindsey Jones, Almon Hawley, Benjamin F. Wade and George Brown.

     The Original Court House. - It is interesting to note that the bricks for the first court house, built by Gideon Granger, were made on the ground, from clay taken from the ground in the process of excavating for the building.  The structure was two stories in height, access to the second story being afforded by an outside stairway.  The ground dimensions were 40 x 30 feet.  The lower story was one big room, which served as the court of justice.  The second story was finished off into four rooms, which were used for the county offices.  In lieu of stoves, which had not yet found their way to this wilderness, four large fireplaces furnished heat for the court room.  There being but a very few buildings in teh town at the time the building of the court house was commenced, and most of them individual family residences, some with but one room, ti was somewhat of a problem for Mr. Caldewell, the man in charge of the work, to find accommodations for the men whom he employed.  It finally became necessary for him to build a shelter for them and he put up a sizable two-story frame building in close proximity to the site of the court house.  Therein they were furnished rooms and board.
     In 1810 Mr. Friethy who had been postmaster, left Jefferson and went to Warren to reside and the postoffice passed on to Dr. Elijah Coleman who moved it into roomy quarters which occupied a part of the ground floor of the above described boarding house, or hotel.  This building was destroyed by fire in 1811.
     After the completion of the court house, which was in 1811, the work of constructing a jaoin, which had been included in the agreement to build a court house for the county, was commenced.  This building was made of blocks, was 20 x 36 feet on the ground, and had two stories.  Its appointments included a dungeon and a debtor's cell", it being the custom in that day to incarcerate the chronic debtor.
     As stated elsewhere, the county of Ashtabula was organized in 1811 and the first court was called that year, on June 20.  The names of the judges and other officers will be found in another portion of this work treating on the county organization.
     With its "modern" court house and jail, Jefferson stood prominently among the settled sections of the state and ablest lawyers of the early days came from other sections, from time to time, to participate in the court proceedings.
     The original court house did service for about 25 years, when it was displaced by a more modern structure, which was nearly destroyed by fire about the middle of the century.  What remained of the building was built upon and then arose the building that still serves as the county seat of government.
     Notwithstanding the prominence and central location of Jefferson, it never passed from the "village" stage.  This very fact, coupled with the absence of the bustle of city life, gave it a charm to the visitor, and was quite in line with the wishes of most of the residents, who preferred the "Quiet life" and were not ambitious that the town should become a large commercial center.  The air of quietude, the contentment of the town's people and the physical beauty of the place distinguished it among its neighbors.  The town has been famed throughout the country as the home of statesmen, whose words have been  heard all over the civilized world.  Benjamin F. Wade and Joshua R. Giddings, law partners in Jefferson and known countrywide as staunch anti-slavery advocates, were, perhaps, the most noted of the many prominent men whose homes were in the unpretentious village of Jefferson.
     About the first necessity of a community, after its settlement, was a saw or grist-mill, or both.  Jefferson's first grist-mill was built beside Mill Creek, northwest of the village, in 1809, by John Shook.  The power was derived from the creek, which was dammed at that point for that purpose.  At first it did a thriving business, grinding grain for residents of neighboring towns, but a freshet took out the dam and the mill got out of repair and the owner was unable to put it in working order.  So essential was it to the needs of the community, however, that the people who depended on its output clubbed together and rebuilt the dam and repaired the mill and it resumed operations.
     In 1810 the first saw-mill was constructed near the grist-mill by Wareham Grant  That also did a thriving business, as people were fast working toward the use of boards, instead of logs, for the construction of their homes.
     In 1812 the population of Jefferson Township embraced 16 families, five of whom were Websters and one, a new arrival, that of Durlin Hickok, which particular family alone numbered 16 persons.

[ PICTURE OF COURTHOUSE ]

[ PICTURE OF GRADED SCHOOL BUILDING ]

     As an indication of the conditions prevailing hereabouts, when the sturdy and venturesome emigrants arrived on the Western Reserve, the following is given from a story written for the Ashtabula County Historical Society by E. W. Hickok, one of the above named large family:
     "It was exceedingly gloomy when we moved into Jefferson.  Not a bushel of grain could be procured in the whole township.  A few bushels of potatoes were all there was to be had.  In the winter of 1812-13 my father went to Vernon, Hartford and Brookfield to buy provisions for the family.  The first inhabitants suffered severely from the lack of food and clothing.  Sheep would die, and it seemed useless to try and raise them.  Entire flocks would run out in three years.  The wolves destroyed many, but the greatest of death was supposed to be occasioned by the sheep drinking muddy water from the deer-licks.  The early settlers suffered not a little from apprehensions of another sort.  They feared the aggression of the British, and even in 1813 they supposed if Perry should be conquered the frontier would be left to the mercy of the enemy.  However, when he proved conqueror, as the Yankees always do, there was a general time of rejoicing among us.  Then we could pass the winter quite comfortably in linen pants, which many of us were glad to year, in lieu of something warmer."

     Road Facilities - The path which Endred Smith made from Jefferson to Austinburg in 1804 was adopted as a suitable route between the two towns and widened into a roadway the following year.  That connected with the "Old Salt Road{" which had previously been constructed from Ashtabula Harbor through Austinburg to the south.  That was for some time the only broken route that could be traversed between Ashtabula and Jefferson.  After the establishment of the county seat Jefferson became an important center for the surrounding country and there very soon developed a demand for a shorter route from the "Hub" to the lake.  This was difficult of attainment because of the extensive swampland lying in the direct path, but, in 1810, the need had become so great that the project was undertaken and T. R. Hawley made a survey of the route, following practically the course of hte present direct, paved highway.  It was necessary to deviate somewhat in and through the marshes, the survey passing between the two "Little Marshes", instead of through one of them, and then on through the "Big Marsh".  This road was laid out and partly cleared of obstructing growths, but it was not opened for general travel till 1817.  Meantime it was possible to get through to the eastward, but that way was hazardous and at times impossible of travel.  That was also the condition through the marshes during a goodly portion of the year, after the road that way had been adopted, and became a state road through to the south.  A contract to construct a passable road through the marshes was given in 1817, and a causeway of logs was laid through the boggy section and covered with limbs and dirt, but this was serviceable but a short time.  As the road thus made sank, in sections, more logs and other material were piled on top of it, but it took ten years to conquor the sink holes.  In 1827-28 a pronounced and united attack was made upon the old causeway by all citizens of the vicinity, who turned out en masse and conquered the bogland, temporarily, by another layer of timbers, brush and gravel.  That lasted through the fall, winter and spring and the following summer the county commissioners appropriated $400, Ashtabula Township gave $600 and Matthew Hubbard, on orders from the brother Nehemiah, made a personal donation to the cause and a very durable crossing over the swamp section was constructed.  This served very well the needs of the traveling public until 1850, when a plan roadway built over this section.
     Eventually a continuous plank road was laid from Ashtabula Harbor through to Jefferson and on south to Trumbull County.  It was built by a stock company, as a commercial enterprise, with consent of state and county authorities.  The company constructed toll-gates at intervals along the roadway, at which the travelers over the highway were obliged to stop and pay a toll to entitle them to proceed over to the next tolling point.  Heavy gates were constructed that were used to stop the traffic until the pennies were handed over.
     It was on Feb. 7, 1843, that the jail was destroyed by fire, which started from a stovepipe in the night.  Jailer Nye turned the prisoners out to help save the goods and the faily of John Prentice, who occupied the upper story.  Mr. Prentice was away from home and his wife and children got out in their night clothes, but lost everything they owned.  After the prisoners had aided in the work they were loaded into wagons and taken to Warren and locked up in the Trumbull County jail.
     In 1851 J. A. Giddings and Noah Bartholomew were appointed a committee to supervise the erection of a brick meeting house for the Presbyterian-Congregational Society of Jefferson, the building to be used "for church services only".
     The town hall was built in 1879 and has since served the village as a place for holding public meetings, and as an opera house, it having an auditorium and stage accessories.
     One of the great days in Jefferson was that on which Horace Greely delivered an oration there, during the campaign of 1852, on Oct. 8, delivered an oration there, during the campaign of 1852, on Oct. 8.
     Another joyful occasion was when an election was held, in 1842, the result of which was the sending of Joshua R. Giddings back to Congress, from which he had resigned because of severe censure for some of his utterances against the evil of slavery.
     For several decades the passing years have brought little change in the size and activity of the village.  It's broad streets and mammoth old shade-trees have always been its chief beauty, and this is enhanced by paving and curbing the principal thoroughfares.

     First Court Records - In the probate judge's office may be found a very interesting volume which contains the record of the first session of the Ashtabula County probate court, held in June, 1811.  The book covers the court records from that time to 1825.  In the years preceding the '50s the work was performed as an annex to the common pleas court.  Some extracts are made from the records in which are mentioned names of pioneer families of the county, whose descendants will doubtless read this history.
     In the record of the June term, 1811, is found the following:  "Be it remembered that on the twentieth day of June, A. D. 1811, the Court of Common Pleas, sitting as a court of probate in the county of Ashtabula, and state of Ohio, met for the first time in Jefferson, in and for said county."
     The first entry is an order for the administration of the estate of John Watrous, late of Ashtabula Township.  John B. and Rosanna Watrous were appointed to administer the estate with bond of $4000.  This was signed by Gideon Leet and Manoah Hubbard, after which Nathan Strong, Matthew Hubbard and Samuel Beckwith were appointed appraisers.
     The only other business of that term of court was the admission to the probate of the will of Joseph Bartholomew, late of Harpersfield.  Daniel Bartholomew, a son, and Aaron Wheeler, a neighbor, were appointed executors.  The will, after providing for the widow, divided the estate among five sons and five daughters, excepting one of the latter, Mary who is left only five dollars as her full share of her father's estate.  The records of the succeeding terms show inventories of the above two estates, in each of which is found the inevitable rifle.  Mr. Bartholomews stock of books as recorded, consisted of two bibles valued at 25 and 37 1/2 cents, respectively; The Prodigal, 37 1/2 cents; two testaments, 50 cents; one psalm-book, 50 cents; one hymn book, 31 cents; American Selection, 31 cents; Confession of Faith, 62 1/2 cents.  This list of books was typical of the home reading of that period.
 
    Entries were made referring to the estates of numerous county residents.  Peregrine Beckwith, Usebius Dodge and Zopher Gee were appointed appraisers on the estate of Joseph Peepoon.  Other names figuring in appointments as appraiserships were John Norton of Ashtabula; Stephen Inman, of Wayne; Elisha W. Martin Ashtabula; Comfort Chapman (presumably of the same place as Nathan Strong); Manoah Hubbard, Ashtabula, and William Perrin.
    
The Hon. Benjamin Ruggles, Esq., is mentioned as "president of the court at Jefferson", in 1813, March term.  Other names mentioned in the records of the same session are in connection with the estates of Giles Loomis, of Windsor, and Elisha Wiard and Robert LaMont, of Harpersfield.  Robert LaMont, of Harpersfields.  Robert LaMont was known in the early days far and near as "Uncle Bob Lemon'.  He gained fame as a great Indian fighter after his son had been butchered by Redskins and he had registered a vow that he would ever wage war upon the aborigines.  The inventory of "Uncle Bob's" estate discloses among his possessions "one rifle-gun, $18; one sword,$9; one military hat, $8; one military coat, $5; one epaulet, $1; fish spear, 50 cents, and elkskin, 62 1/2 cents."

     Wild Animals -  In the early days in this county the settlers were constantly menaced by wolves, which destroyed their stock.  An interesting experience was related by the Hon. Platt R. Spencer, the famous penman, to a writer later in the '50s:  On a still, damp morning in October, 1811, a bull of past two years emerged from the north wood in Jefferson and slowly made his way up Market street towards Market square.  His progress was slow and painful and he therefore became an object of curiosity.  The Spencer brothers investigated and found that the poor animal was denuded of his tail, ears and other most approachable parts, which were eaten and torn off, fairly into his body; and from holes through the skin on each side of the back-bone his entire length frothy blood was oozing down his sides.  It was evident that he and been attacked by a pack of wolves.  The Spencers turned the poor animal into the Caldwell pasture south of the court house and there he died.  Putting the meat north to Mill Creek to convert it into wolf-bait.  A mile north of the square evidences of the struggle began to be found, which continued for another mile, north, the tall herbage wallowed down, the soft earth torn up and frequently the entire print of the animal showing where the bull had been thrown broadside by the furious wolves.  A strong pen, cone-shaped, of heavy beech logs, was erected and the remains of the animal placed within it.  Next morning the heavy logs were found displaced half-way to the ground, and a grisly old bear had made his escape, after making a good meal of the meat.  The pen was rebuilt and destroyed again, presumably by the same bear.  A strong heavy bear-trap was then placed in the pen, but Bruin was too smart to be caught.  The same could be said of the wolves.
     Hunters of today who will plod all day in what woods are left for one or two or mayhap no squirrels, who have been delighted had they lived hereabouts in the middle years of the last century.  At that time, when there was still much unbroken forest in this county, squirrels were so numerous as to constitute a nuisance, and it was a common custom to organize hunting parties and scour the woods for the little fellows.  A favorite sport was to get up squirrel hunting contests.  In perusing the columns of the papers of that day one finds frequent mention of these contests, the award always being a big dinner at some public house, at the expense of the losers.  As an illustration of what luck these hunters had, not this match between a team of Ashtabula and one from Jefferson, to decide the hunting capabilities of the nimrods of those towns.  On the morning of Aug. 16, 1854, the teams started out from their respective towns at night, besides what of the game they could carry, the tails of the remaining victims.  The summing up showed a total of 2241 squirrels killed by the Jefferson team and 2,016 by Ashtabula.  The Ashtabulans served the big feed at Tyler's Hotel, in that place.  Another contest was noted between Ashtabula and East Ashtabula, in which each team killed over 2,000 squirrels in a day's roundup.  Ye hunters of today, read and reflect.

     Bank Failure - The unheralded closing of the doors of the Second National Bank of Jefferson, in 1882, gave the townspeople a distinct shock from which some never recovered.  The Hon. Stephen A. Northway was president, and Sylvester T. Fuller the cashier of the institution.  Mr. Northway was indicted on seven different counts for misapplication of the funds of the bank, and his trials dragged through a period of five years.  Finally he was acquitted on every charge.

     County Fair Grounds - For more than three-quarters of a century the Ashtabula County Agricultural Society has held annual fairs in Jefferson and the three or four days devoted to the exhibition and attendant entertainment are always like a big family reunion.  Many friends of years' standing assemble there to meet each other for an annual visit, then separate to meet again the following year.  The "get together" feature is looked forward to as eagerly as is the enjoyment of the good program that the society managers always have arranged.

     Not so Bad Either - The Ashtabula Telegraph of Dec. 26, 1874, contained the following paragraph: 
     "One of the merchants of Jefferson who was a captain in the Union Army was taken prisoner by the Rebel general Price and brought before him to answer a few little questions.  The prisoner being a tall man, with a keen, decisive look, was taken by the general to be a Kansas volunteer.  Upon being asked 'Where are you from?' the prisoner replied 'I am from Jefferson, Ashtabula County, Ohio'.  'What', said the general, 'Jefferson? Y - e, that is the home of Joshua R. Giddings and old Ben Wade.  Did you know them'?  'Yes', replied the Jeffersonian, 'one of them lived a short distance below me on the same street and the other just around the corner'.  'Well, well', replied the general, 'you were located in a d-d bad neighborhood'."

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