“I think I may be counted an early settler, as I lived in Cuyahoga Falls from 1827 to 1808 [obvious error, unable to determine actual date]. My youthful recollections are quite vivid. I can remember when the good people went to the “old village” [Hudson Dr & Front St] to worship on Sundays and we little ones to school on weekdays. The first school I attended was in a log school house, midway between the villages. Rowland Clapp was the teacher; I think he lived and died in your beautiful town. Yes, I first knew Mr. Clapp as teacher, afterwards as a most worthy citizen. He did not hesitate to use the gad. One cold winter day, snow on the ground, he had a pupil on the floor, stripped to his shirt for a drubbing. Stewart Gaylord was the offender. Perhaps he or his brother Hiram are yet living. Well, Clapp got four or five hickory whips, cured them in the ashes to toughen. Stewart eyed him for a while, then broke for the door and escaped without coat, jacket or hat. Well, I don’t know what occurred between Clapp and Gaylord, but Stewart came back without a licking.
“That school was the central school; the scholars came from all this section – Gaylord’s, Gilbert’s, Thompson’s and [those] from the “new village” [Front Street at Broad]. Churches, school houses and stores were scarce then, there was one store on the east side of the river, south of Broad Street, a one horse _ _ _ cern [concern*] run by a man named Stanley. My father and others went to Middlebury to trade, as well as people from Akron Cascade. Middlebury, now the sixth ward of Akron, is a busy part of that city.
“I would love to see the old place again, but it is hardly possible with my poor health, as I only sit up an hour or two at a time. Am now sitting in a high chair, writing on my lap. I went home frequently when my father and mother were living. I had two good view points of the town, one on the Grant Hill, and the other on the waterfall as seen on from the bend of the river. They are forever photographed in my memory.”
Mr. G.W. Rumrill , a Civil War Veteran of Carrolton, Illinois
*Editor’s supposition of missing or unreadable text.
Copyright – Jeri Holland. Cuyahoga Falls: River of Memories