A History of our area.
By Duane Naftzger
The Beginning
Liverpool Township was a primitive wilderness inhabited by wild animals prior to being first settled in 1810. The only human activities in the area were Indians roaming the area as hunting grounds, and occasionally a courier ‘Des Boise’ traveling through the area. The ‘Des Boise’ runners were Frenchmen hunters and trappers known as ‘Runners of the Woods’.

The area that was to become Liverpool Township was located in what was called ‘The Connecticut Western Reserve’. This Western Reserve wilderness was bounded by the Pennsylvania border on the east; the 42nd parallel to the north, the 4lst parallel to the south and 120 miles west, which comprised some three million acres. Now, people settled in other parts of Ohio territory, but not so in the Western Reserve area. The reason was that no one could get title to the land as it was owned by the Colony of Connecticut that was given this land by the King of England.

This condition changed after the Revolutionary War and Connecticut became part of the United States. Connecticut had to give up its claim to this area. The western part was given by the state of Connecticut to people who had their farms and homes burned out by the British during the Revolutionary War. That part of the Western Reserve is known to this day as the ‘Firelands’.

A group of land speculators in Connecticut formed ‘The Connecticut Land Company’ and purchased the remainder of the Reserve for about 43 cents an acre. At this time the Reserve was now opened for settlement to all who possessed the daring and fortitude to make the journey to the wilderness area that later became known as Liverpool Township.

Top

Salt Brought On Settlement of Liverpool
The Liverpool area became one of the early settlement areas of Reserve territory due to the discovery of ‘salt’ on the west side of Rocky River near Hardscrabble in Liverpool Township. Salt was vitally needed for survival by settlers in the wilderness environment. The discovery of salt springs near Hardscrabble brought a fury of activity to the area, verifying the settlement of Liverpool township as beginning in 1810.

Moses Deming, one of the townships first residents, wrote his memoirs at age 72, about 1850. We can glean the following information from his memoirs: “In the course of the winter of 1810, Justus Warner of Waterbury, Connecticut, and his son-in-law, Seth Worden, visited Ohio to look at township No. 4 in the 15th Range of the Conn. Western Reserve, now called Liverpool. Justus Warner had a letter from Esq. Daniel Coit of Waterbury, the owner of this territory. Coit has stated the terms on which Warner could have land. The road was long and tiresome and Warner had given up all ideas of purchasing land there.”

Top

Bronson of Columbia Twp the First Settler
“Seba Bronson, Jr. from Columbia, settled in 1807 and adjacent to the north of Liverpool, had moved down to the Liverpool territory and commenced improvements on the best bottom land without color of claim. (He sought to acquire title of his occupied land by squatters’ rights.) This was so near the salt spring that an Indian of the Potawatomy tribe saw that the spring would soon be discovered from the large number of deer and cattle that resorted there for salt. Cattle came from Columbia to get salt. The aforesaid Indian went to Bronson and told him that for five pieces of silver coin, he would show him a salt spring. Not having the five dollars in silver coin, Bronson figured half a loaf to be better than no bread at all. So he went for financial help to his neighbor, Capt. Jared Pritchard, of Columbia. Together, both went to Esq. Nathaniel Doan, Columbia, for advice on how to get title to the land. Doan journeyed to Cleveland and contacted Judge Jonathan Walworth who was then county clerk and subagent under General Simon Perkins of Warren, Ohio, who had a power of attorney from land owner Daniel Coit. General Perkins could give title to the land.”


“In the meantime, people of Columbia, knowing that Justus Warner had a letter from Daniel Coit, wrote to Warner and informed him about the salt spring on the land he was intending to purchase at one time. Warner immediately set out for Ohio. Arriving there, he immediately started making improvements on the land. He built a cabin and was sitting by the door way of his cabin in the cool of the evening when Judge Walworth and General Perkins arrived at the area.”

“Judge Walworth and General Perkins were confounded when they learned that Justus, by the authority of his letter, was the actual owner of the salt spring. They compromised with Justus and gave him one-half of the salt spring and sold him one-fourth of the township for $1.50 an acre. (That's one dollar and fifty cents an acre.) All were highly elated with future prospects.”

Top

A Flury of Activity in 1810 Liverpool
All the above activity took place in the year of 1810. Seba Bronson continued living in Liverpool township until 1812 when there were four families residing there. He lost out on ownership of the land he occupied and the salt spring. Moses Deming and his wife, Ruth, arrived to live there in 1811. Alpheus Warner and his wife, Minerva, also arrived in 1811. Justus Warner brought his family to the township in 1812. Hardscrabble became a thriving place due to the making of salt needed by early settlers during the War of 1812 when the British controlled Lake Erie and salt could not easily be shipped by boat from the salt mines in New York state and other eastern areas. Overland routes were difficult to travel due to the danger from the British and Indians. Settlers came from as far away as Hudson, Wooster, North Ridgeville, Dover, and other points for the much needed salt from the Liverpool salt springs. The demand for salt dropped off with the end of the War of 1812. The much better grade of salt from the Eastern mines could now be shipped to the Ohio area. The English people settled in the Hardscrabble and northern area of the township. Hardscrabble had a tavern, blacksmith shop, general store, a mill, brickyard, dry goods store, and was a thriving place when the industry of making salt was going so successfully. Salt making stopped when the Erie Canal was completed in 1825.

Top

German Immigrants Arrive Starting About 1830
The Germans started coming to the central, south east, and south western part of township about 1830 when German men came and made improvements on land. German immigrants were bringing in their families, mainly from Wurtenberg and Baden, a four thousand mile journey. They were industrious and hard workers and in a few years owned a large part of the township.

Top

Liverpool Salt Works First Corporate Firm
Throughout its history, Liverpool Township has been industrial, manufacturing, and, mercantile minded----always ready to welcome such business interests to the township. Back in the early years around 1815, The Liverpool Salt Works was the first corporation firm in Medina County. The company was formed and shares of stock sold to acquire capital to supply salt for the demand of that period. That's about the time Hardscrabble became a thriving business center with mills and several mercantile outlets.

Top

Township Officially organized in 1816
Liverpool Township was created, organized and named in 1816. The township came to be called Liverpool, no doubt named for a city in England, where there were salt works. The first officers elected were Moses Deming and H. H. Coit, Justices of the Peace. To the present time, the official governing body of the Township consists of three elected Trustees and an elected Clerk. All other Township officials are appointed by the Trustees.

The village of Liverpool Center (now Valley City) was laid out in 1845. One of the first buildings was a saw mill, erected by Seth Worden in 1821. Mercantile business came along with a blacksmith shop in 1839; a dry goods store in 1840; a black and white salt and pearl-ash manufacturing plant in 1843 making up to twelve tons per year; a foundry established when the village was founded was manufacturing plows, roadscrapers, andirons, flatirons, engines, etc.; a large saw mill built in 1849; a carding and weaving machine making as high as ten thousand yards of cloth in one year. In 1867, Aaron Carr started a planing-mill manufacturing washing machines, pumps, and spring bottoms for beds. After several years he sold out and started making cheese and said to have used the milk of four hundred cows making ten to twenty cheeses a day. A tannery was still doing business in 1881. Around 1881, hammers and ax handles were made; a tin shop and gun shop existed; brick and pottery were made near the village; several more cheese factories existed; and a jewelry and photograph gallery honored the town.

In 1881, the population of Liverpool Center was two hundred. It was said that at one time in its history more manufacturing was done here than at Medina, the county seat. No other village of its size in the county had done equal business.

Manufacturing and mercantile outlets continued to find Liverpool Township a fertile area for doing business through the turn of the century and is still in progress. The kinds of business outlets have been many and varied. Around the turn of the century, the Township had one of the largest horse sales in the country where dealers were known to purchase horses by the ‘car load.' Plows, cultivators, and cistern pumps were among the manufactured items. Cigar manufacturing was at one time a great industry here, lasting many years from the turn of the century.

Top

Area Expansion Slowed
The national and international economic downturn has slowed the growth of Liverpool Township from recent years. We remain a progressive community that will weather this in fine style. Come and be a part of the growth that will occur.


Valley City, Ohio >> Community >> History
 
© 1998 - 2013 Valley City Chamber of Commerce
This Page Last Updated 12/30/13