In October, 1862, he was chosen to succeed Mr. Riddle as Representative of the Eighteenth Congressional District in Congress. The wisdom of the choice was almost immediately made manifest. Judge Spalding had not long occupied his seat in the House of Representatives before "the member from the Cleveland District" became noticed for the interest he took in questions of importance, the soundness of his views, and the ability with which they were urged. He took part in all the leading debates, and with such effect that he commanded the attention of the House whenever he spoke, and the leaders listened respectfully to his suggestions. He was appointed a member of the Standing Committee on Naval Affairs, and of the Committee on Revolutionary Pensions, and on the formation of a Select Committee on the Bankrupt Law, he was made its Chairman. In committee he was noticeable for his punctuality, patient and conscientious attention to the drudgery of committee work, and the system with which he was enabled to despatch large amounts of it satisfactorily.
In 1864, he was re-elected to his seat, and in that term was made a member of the Standing Committee on Appropriations, and retained his former position on the Committee on Bankruptcy, the chairmanship of which was held by Mr. Jenckes. In this Congress Judge Spalding took a leading part in the important debates on the subject of Reconstruction, and impressed his influence on the Legislation upon this matter. In the early days of the session he made a speech, in which he indicated the measures he regarded best adapted for the for the purpose of properly reconstructing the rebel States. The speech attracted great attention, both within and without Congress, and the suggestions therein contained were for the most part subsequently adopted, and worked into the Reconstruction Laws. The military features of Reconstruction, which formed an integral part of the legislation, originated in an amendment proposed by Judge Spalding, when the first Reconstruction Bill of Thaddeus Stevens was presented.
In 1866, he was again re-elected to Congress, his national services, as well as his fidelity to the local interests of his constituents, having secured for him that distinguished compliment. In this Congress he continued to occupy a prominent position, and was recognized as one of the leading men on the Republican side, though not so thoroughly partizan as to accept all the measures proposed in the name of the Republican party. He differed occasionally with the dominant section of the party, when he believed their zeal outran discretion and sound policy, and the judgment of the country has in most cases pronounced him to have acted rightly. In this Congress he served on the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on the Revision of the Laws of the United States, and upon the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress. In the debates on the financial questions that enlisted the attention of Congress at this session he took a leading part, and in May, 1868, he delivered a speech on "The Political and Financial condition of the Country," which took strong ground against the unconstitutionality of the Legal Tenders, whilst approving the passage of the Legal Tender Act as a measure of military necessity at the time. With this Congress Judge Spalding's legislative career closed. The duties of the position, always faithfully performed by him, were growing too onerous, and at his time of life, though still full of activity and healthy vigor, it was urged that he should enjoy more ease than was possibly consistent with his idea of a proper fulfillment of the trust of member of Congress. He therefore wrote a letter to his constituents several months before the period of nomination, positively declining a renomination, and withdrawing from public life.
The determination of Judge Spalding to withdraw from active political life was a matter of surprise and regret to his colleagues in Congress, who had learned to value his sound judgment, ripe scholarship, earnest patriotism, and great legislative ability. It was a positive loss to the people of the Eighteenth Ohio District, for never had the interests of that district been better cared for. To Cleveland, especially, he proved in reality a representative member. The wishes of his constituents were promptly attended to, their interests carefully guarded, and no stone left unturned in the endeavor to benefit the city and its people. In the Congressional session and out of it, he was ever on the watch for opportunities to advance the interests of his constituents, and in complying with the daily requests for advice and assistance, he did so, not grudgingly or reluctantly, but with earnestness and hearty good will, as if it were a matter of his own personal concern. The withdrawal of Judge Spalding from public political life, was a loss to the national councils in which he had achieved distinction, but was a still greater loss to the constituency he represented.
Judge Spalding has returned to the legal profession, of which he ranks among the brightest lights, and finds in its practice, and in the quiet enjoyment of social and domestic life, a satisfaction which his public career, brilliant as it was, failed to give. In his seventy-second year, he is yet in the full enjoyment of all his faculties, physical and mental, and is the picture of sound health and mental vigor.
Judge Spalding has been married twice. In October, 1822, he was married to Lucretia A. Swift, oldest daughter of his preceptor in legal studies. Seven children were born of this marriage, of whom but three yet live: Col. Zeph. S. Spalding, United States Consul at Honolulu, Brevet Captain George S. Spalding, First Lieutenant 33d U. S. Infantry, and Mrs. Lucretia McIlrath, wife of Charles McIlrath, of St. Paul, Minnesota. In January, 1859, Judge Spalding was married to his present wife, oldest daughter of Dr. William S. Pierson, of Windsor, Connecticut.
W. S. C. Otis.
W. S. C. Otis was born in Cummington, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, August 24th, 1808. His father was a farmer in narrow circumstances, who, owing to the loss of property, was able to bestow upon his children only such an education as could be obtained in the district schools of a purely agricultural district. Books were scarce, and as poor in quality as meagre in quantity; but being a lad with literary tastes, a desire for information, and an omnivorous appetite for reading, every book that fell in the way of young Otis was eagerly seized and its contents ravenously devoured. The life of a poor farmer, with its ceaseless drudgery and petty needs, was distasteful to the lad, and he was anxious to obtain a collegiate education, and thus become fitted to fight the battle of life with brain instead of muscle. His ambition was not discouraged by his father, but there was a great difficulty in the way of its gratification—the want of money. Mr. Otis was utterly unable to give his son any pecuniary assistance, though ready to resign his claim on his son's time; an important sacrifice when the demands of a large family and the straitness of his means are taken into consideration. Application was made for admission to West Point Military Academy, but unfortunately a Congressman's son was also a candidate for the appointment, and of course the friendless son of a poor struggling farmer had to go to the wall. This was a heavy blow and sore discouragement.
When the subject of this sketch was about seventeen or eighteen years old his father emigrated to Ohio, leaving his son behind with only forty dollars in money, who, after making arrangements with his brother, W. A. Otis, to furnish him such pecuniary aid as he might need, proceeded to fit himself for college under the Rev. Roswell Hawks, of Cummington, devoting only one year to preparation, and entered Williams College in the Fall of 1826. In order to lighten the burden upon his brother, he taught school two Winters during his college course, and graduated in the autumn of 1830, among the best scholars of the class.
Before graduating, he was appointed principal of Gates' Academy, in Marlborough, Massachusetts, and entered upon the duties of the appointment; but at the expiration of the year he followed the rest of the family to Ohio, and in the month of September, 1831, commenced reading law with Whittlesey & Newton, of Canfield, Ohio. In September, 1833, he was admitted to the Bar, and immediately commenced the practice of the law in Ravenna, Portage county, where he continued to reside till 1840.
In June, 1840, after the county of Summit was organized, Mr. Otis moved to Akron, where he resided and continued to practice his profession until January, 1854. While a resident of Summit county he was elected Prosecuting Attorney of the county for two years. He also filled the position of president of the Akron Bank, from its organization, till January, 1854, and was a member of the Board of Control of the State Bank of Ohio, and member of the Convention which formed the present Constitution of the State of Ohio. While a member of the Convention he devised and reported to that body the scheme for the apportionment of the members of the House of Representatives, which, with slight modifications, was adopted into the Constitution, and is now the system in this State. While a member of the Constitutional Convention, he acquired a distaste for political life, and resolved to abandon it, a resolution to which he has since constantly adhered.
In January, 1854, Mr. Otis was elected vice-president of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad Company, and in order to better perform the duties of the position, he removed to Cleveland, taking charge of the operations of the road and the finances of the Company. In the Winter of 1854 and 1855, he was tendered the presidency of the Bellefontaine and Indiana Railroad Company, but declined, and in the Spring of 1855, resumed the practice of his profession. Soon afterwards he was elected the Solicitor of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad Company, and continued to act as such until he resigned the position in May, 1869, and since that time he has confined himself strictly to the practice of law.
As a lawyer Mr. Otis ranks high in his profession, having a very extensive knowledge of the law in all its ramifications, and a readiness in the application of his knowledge that enables him to baffle and confound his opponents without descending to mere pettifogging.
For many years he has been a member either of the Congregational or Presbyterian churches in the places in which he has resided; and has always taken great pleasure in studying the Bible, and great satisfaction in teaching it to others, hence the secret of the spotless morality and unswerving integrity he has maintained through life.
Mr. Otis was married in January, 1836, to Hannah, daughter of the late G. Mygatt, and sister of George Mygatt, of Cleveland. She died without issue in April, 1840. In November, 1842, he was married to Laura L., daughter of the late Judge Lyman, of Ravenna.
Franklin J. Dickman.
Franklin J. Dickman is a native of Petersburg, Virginia, where his parents have long resided. At the age of sixteen he entered the Junior class of Brown University, at Providence, Rhode Island, and at the age of eighteen graduated with the salutatory honors of his class. In the same class were the Hon. S. S. Cox, Lieutenant Governor Francis Wayland, of Connecticut, and the Rev. James C. Fletcher, now so well known for his travels in Brazil.
On leaving college Mr. Dickman studied law in the office of the late Charles F. Tillinghest and ex-Chief Justice Bradley, at Providence, and after completing his studies he commenced the practice of his profession in the same city, continuing with success until he removed to Cleveland.
His entry on public life was early. In 1857, the Democracy of Rhode Island selected him as their candidate for Attorney General of the State, and it is a noticeable fact that although running on the Democratic ticket, he received almost the entire colored vote of the State. In 1858, he was appointed a member of the Board of Visitors to the Military Academy at West Point, and was chosen Secretary of the Board. In that capacity he drew up the report of the Board for that year, which was subsequently published by order of the Secretary of War.
In December, 1858, he removed to Cleveland, rightly considering that its growth and prosperity, and the important cases continually arising out of its commercial business, rendered it a good field for a man of knowledge and of energy to put that knowledge to account. He entered on the practice of his profession with zeal, and speedily reaped his reward in a large business.
Up to the breaking out of the war Mr. Dickman had acted with the Democratic party, but when treason culminated with rebellion, he joined those of his political associates who disregarded party lines and united with the Republicans in forming the Union party. Although fitted for college with Roger A. Pryor, of Petersburg, and though his parents remained in Petersburg during the war, Mr. Dickman took strong ground against the rebellion and all who gave it encouragement.
In 1861, he was nominated for member of the State Legislature from this city, and was elected by a large majority. In that body he was made chairman of the Committee on Railroads and also placed on the Judiciary Committee. In the latter capacity the subject of military arrests came under his notice, and his speech on that subject was considered so able and exhaustive an exposition of that subject that it was published at the request of the Judiciary Committee and widely circulated through the State.
At the close of his legislative term he formed a law partnership with Judge Spalding, which still continues, and re-entered assiduously on the duties of his profession, devoting most of his attention to admirality, marine insurance, and patent cases. In these he has been very successful.
In 1867, President Johnson appointed Mr. Dickman United States District Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. The appointment was received with satisfaction by all shades of political opinions, and Mr. Dickman continued to perform its duties to, the approbation of all having business with the court until early in 1869, when he resigned the position in order to confine himself more closely to his private practice. It is admitted on all sides that the duties of his office were faithfully and ably performed. Of the great number of criminal cases brought before the court by him only two escaped conviction, thus evidencing the merit, care and attention given to the getting up of the cases for trial. Such uniformity in securing conviction is very unusual.
Mr. Dickman is a gentleman of fine literary tastes, extensive reading, and rare classical attainments. The relaxation from his legal duties is found mainly in his library among the highest class of authors. His frequent orations for the literary societies of Brown University and the University of Michigan, and other occasions, have been marked by scholarly finish and have always been received with approval. During the existence of the Knickerbocker Magazine, before its decadence, he contributed to its pages a series of valuable articles on "Butler's Horae Juridical," and on "The Revolution of 1688."
Cherishing a high ideal of professional attainments and ability, Mr. Dickman has realized it to a degree remarkable for a young man. With ample acquirements he has clear conceptions, and broad views of the principles of legal science, frequently never attained by older lawyers, even after a large and life-long practice. His habits of study are wisely methodized, so as to husband time, and make his efforts tell without waste upon results.
A very marked feature also in his character, is a rigorous but highly intelligent economy. Upon a limited practice in Rhode Island, before coming to Cleveland, he not only sustained himself, but accumulated a considerable sum as a basis upon which he could rely with honorable independence in a new field. This was done in circumstances in which multitudes of young men at this day, would by self-indulgence and lavish outlay, have become embarrassed by debt.
The example of a wise economy in one familiar with the first social surroundings—an economy supplying means for a rich and broad literary culture, under the guidance of liberal tastes, yet rigid as to self-control—but ever avoiding parsimony, is far too rare among young men in this lavish and wasteful age. The young man who shows what enlightened self-control, what high probity and fidelity to the details of little wants and expenditures can do to lift a man high above debt, to thrift and self-reliance, is a valuable citizen, exerting an influence as wholesome as it is wise, manly, and rare.
Mr. Dickman, in his mental growth, aims at the solid, rather than the merely sensational; the lasting, rather than the transient. Gifted naturally with vigorous and admirably balanced powers, the right use of which has enriched him already with ample mental furniture, and with habits the most exemplary, and a high character, established upon an intelligent religions basis, the future to him is full of promise of the most honorable achievements.
In 1862, Mr. Dickman was married to Miss Annie E. Niel, daughter of Robert Neil, of Columbus, Ohio, and has two children living.
James M. Jones.
The subject of this sketch is the third son of Thomas and Mary Ann Jones, who emigrated from England to the United States, and settled in Cleveland in the Spring of 1831, where they still reside, They were the parents of nine sons and four daughters, all of whom, save one son and one daughter, are still living.
James Milton Jones enjoyed only such moderate advantages in the way of education as were afforded by the common and high schools of the day, and by the classical and English school of the late lamented and most accomplished educator, H. D. Beattie, A. M.; but his memory was good, he was a close student, and he therefore readily and easily familiarized himself with the studies in which he engaged. He early manifested unusual taste and fondness for composition, and his inclination and talent in that direction were much cultivated and improved by assiduous study of the best standard works in prose and poetry.
On leaving school he became interested as a partner in the marble manufactory of T. Jones & Sons, and acquired a practical knowledge of the business, but never applied himself very closely to its duties.
He joined various literary and forensic societies about the year 1850, composed of some of the best literary and professional talent among the young men of the city, where essays, poems, and discussions on all topics of the day were embraced in the order of exercises; and he soon became marked for his thorough preparation of and familiarity with the subjects of debate, and regarded as a speaker of more than ordinary promise.
He became a frequent contributor, (but never in his own name,) in prose and poetry, to the literary, as well as the daily papers of the day, and especially to the daily Plain Dealer, of which the late J. W. Gray, Esq., was then the accomplished and witty editor, and by whom Mr. Jones was much encouraged, and his contributions frequently commended. As specimens of his poetic contributions, we give the following. It should be noted that with his entry on the actual duties of professional life, Mr. Jones bade a final adieu to the muses:
In this deep shady dell, Where the soft breezes swell, And beautiful wood-sprites by pearly streams wander— Where the sweet perfume breathes, O'er angel twined wreaths, Luxuriantly blooming the mossy trees under— Here, beneath the bright vine Whose leaves intertwine, I'm dreaming of thee, my lost Angeline!
Oh! I think of the time— Of the warm spring time, When with thee I've wandered, and with thee I've dallied; E're my soul had once dreamed That the roses which seemed So fadeless, could leave thy warm cheek cold and pallid, Or thy dear form decline, From its radiance divine, To press the cold grave sod, my own Angeline!
While the pale starlight laves, With its shadowy waves, A brow, that with memory's anguish is throbbing; Each quivering leaf, Seems trembling with grief, That's borne on the zephyr's low sorrowful sobbing. For that dear form of thine, So oft pressed to mine, My angel-claimed lost one, my own Angeline!
As the stream leaps along, And I list to its song, It sounds like the surging of sorrow's dark river;
When o'er my young bride, Passed its dark rolling tide, And bore her away from my bosum forever; Yes; bore thee to shine In regions divine, Resplendently lovely, and pure, Angeline!
And there, as I gaze On its bright sparkling face, Where pearly white ripples are merrily gleaming, Reflecting each star That shines from afar, The face of my lost one seems tenderly beaming; Yes! there beside mine, Are thy features benign, By memory mirrored, my own Angeline!
As I gently recline, 'Neath the clustering vine, The veil from futurity's vista is lifted, And adown life's wild tide, I rapidly glide, And into eternity's ocean am drifted; And there, soul of mine In regions divine, I meet thee, to part nevermore, Angeline!
A Wreck! A Wreck! "Man the Life Boat."
The blackness of midnight hung over the ocean, And savagely, shrilly, the Storm Spirit screamed. Athwart the dark billows, which wild in commotion, Sublimely, yet awfully, heavenward streamed.
A bark that but rode from her moorings at morning, 'Neath bright sunny skies, and prosperous gales, With streamlet and banner, in beauty adorning Her tapering masts and snowy white sails,
Now rolls in the trough of the tempest-plowed surges! A wreck! madly urged to a rocky bound shore; Where from the dark jaws of wild ocean emerges, To fear-stricken hearts its ominous roar
Her sails are in ribbons, her banners in tatters! Her masts are afloat from the perilous wreck, And now o'er the billows the Tempest Fiend scatters With one mighty effort her hurricane deck!
The voice of the clarion-toned captain is ringing, Above the hoarse murmuring roar of the surge, And an echoing voice, seems sepulchrally flinging, Far back o'er the waves, for the vessel, a dirge.
And now the doomed vessel is beating and crashing, With violence on the dark, rough, rugged rocks; And the tempest-tossed surge, while resistlessly dashing Around her, each effort to save her but mocks.
The lightnings play luridly, fiercely above her, Illuming with horror the wind-cloven waves! Displaying the wreck, as their flashes discover, The victims despairingly gaze on their graves.
For forked and furious, the fiery flung flashes, Gleam o'er the sad wreck like a funeral pyre; And louder and louder each thunder clap crashes. The air in a roar! the billows on fire!
The heart-anguished cries o'er the pitiless waters, Are borne on the blast of the thunder-rocked air, As husbands and wives, as sons and as daughters, Unite in a wild shrieking wail of despair.
But now from the moss covered fisherman's dwelling, The Life-Boat is manned by the chivalrous brave! Though the wild howling storm of the tempest is swelling, They'll peril their own lives, the wrecked ones to save.
And now to the merciless surges they launch her, And back she is flung to the white-pebbled beach! Now cleaves the wild surf, for never a stauncher, Or braver crew mounted a deadlier breach.
Now swift o'er the waves madly bounding and dashing! The nobly manned life-boat speeds on her lone way, Now sinks she below, the waves o'er her splashing, Now cleaves like arrow, the white foaming spray.
And now for a moment she's hid from our vision, As darkness, and thick gloom enshroud her frail form; A flash! and we see that the life-saving mission, Still skims o'er the waves like a Bird of the Storm.
Hurrah! they have triumphed! the wrecked ones no longer Resignedly list to the ocean's hoarse roar; But now with strong arms, that bright Hope has made stronger, They pull with a hearty good-will for the shore.
Hurrah! and Hurrah! on the whirlwind's commotion, And the howl of the storm, uprose cheers from the land; From hearts throbbing wildly with grateful emotion, As safely she reaches the surf-beaten strand.
The AEronaut's Song.
Up! up! from the ground, for the chords that bound Us to earth are rent in twain; And our Aerial boat shall gracefully float, Far, far, o'er the sea and main.
O'er the forest trees, on the rippling breeze, We'll proudly soar away: And higher and higher, will still aspire, Toward realms of endless day.
To regions on high, like an arrow we fly, Through limitless fields of air; And away apace, through trackless space, The giddiest flight we dare.
Earth's brilliance fades, and her everglades Assumes a softer hue; Her hills and dales, her lake gemmed vales Are glorious to the view.
Meandering round enchanted ground, Earth's crystal rivers seem; So far below to brightly flow, Like liquid silver's stream.
Her cloud capped hills o'er rocks and rills, That proudly seem to stand, Now fade like gleams in passing dreams Of lovely fairy land.
Yet on we mount to the drainless fount, Of wild tempestuous storms; And our fairy shrouds now kiss the clouds; In all their varied forms.
Proud man, who at birth was king of the earth, Soon made himself lord of the sea; And now we arise to empyrean skies, For kings of the air are we.
Grim centuries old to the past have rolled, Since the stars from chaos-woke; Yet no earth-born sound hath this deep, profound And solemn silence broke.
The highest note of the lark ne'er floats To this region of sunless cloud; Nor hath eagle bird the silence stir'd, With his screaming, shrill and loud.
Yet our joyous song, as we sweep along In pathless realms afloat, Rings on the air and trembles there, From out our fairy boat.
On eddying waves a thousand caves, Where Aerial spirits throng, Repeat each tone as though they'd known Our unfamiliar song.
O'er billowy seas with fresh'ning breeze, 'Tis glorious oft to roam; And joy to mark a graceful bark, Divide the salt sea foam:
And joy to wake at morning break, When huntsman's bugle sounds, And gaily lead on fiery steed, In chase of deer and hounds.
But moonlight sail with fresh'ning gale, Or merry chase afar, Can ne'er compare with flight through air, In our Aerial Car.
Early in 1853, Mr. Gray, who was also then postmaster, offered him a position in the Cleveland post-office, which he accepted, and entered upon its duties; but at the end of two months, being dissatisfied with the dull routine and monotony of such an occupation, he threw up his position; and having, on the very day he left the post-office, decided to adopt the legal profession, before night he had secured a position in the law office of Charles Stetson, Esq., then in large and active practice, and had entered upon the study of the law, where he continued for over a year and a half, pursuing his studies with assiduity and success. He then entered the law office of Hon. William Collins and pursued his studies with him until June, 1855, when he was admitted to the Bar by the District Court in Delaware, Delaware county, Ohio.
Shortly after his admission to the Bar, he was retained as leading counsel for the defence in the famous "Townsend McHenry" extradition case, a proceeding pending before U. S. Commissioner Grannis, on the charge that the prisoner, who claimed to be Robert McHenry, was no other than the notorious William Townsend, a well known, desperate Canadian highway robber and murderer; and in this Mr. Jones attracted attention by the skill with which he managed it. Indeed, it became necessary to send to Canada for several successive lots of witnesses, before they could make a case. The prisoner was, however, taken to Canada and put upon his trial for murder as William Townsend, the sole question on the trial being one of identity; and a more extraordinary trial in that respect cannot be found in history. And although on the trial about one hundred witnesses testified to his being the veritable William Townsend, he was, nevertheless, able to produce a still larger number of equally credible witnesses to testify that they knew Townsend, and this was not the man, and also such an array of circumstances as satisfied the jury he was not the man, and he was acquitted!
Mr. Jones was nominated by the Republican party of Cleveland as judge of the City Court, in 1857, but in common with the entire ticket, was defeated. He was an early adherent of the old Liberty party, and a warm advocate on the stump and elsewhere, of the election of John C. Fremont to the Presidency, and a firm supporter of Lincoln's administration.
He was appointed Attorney for the Western Union Telegraph Company, one of the largest corporations in the United States, in the year 1865, and has ever since continued, as such attorney, to have charge and supervision of a large and peculiar legal business for the company, extending over the various States and Territories embraced in what is known as the Central Division of the territory covered by its lines. He has made telegraph law a speciality for several years, and has probably had as large and extended experience in that comparatively new and peculiar branch of the law as any other attorney in the country.
He was elected Prosecuting Attorney for the county of Cuyahoga, in the Fall of 1867, and was distinguished during his term for the zeal, fidelity, and ability with which he discharged his officiai duties. It fell to his lot to prosecute many important and difficult criminal cases; prominent among them was the trial of Sarah M. Victor, for the murder, by poison, of her brother, William Parquette. The case was peculiar and remarkable; the murdered man had lain in his grave a whole year before suspicions were aroused that his death was caused by foul play; slight circumstances directed attention to suspicious appearances in the case, which a quiet investigation did not diminish. The prosecutor, therefore, caused the body to be secretly disinterred, and engaged J. L. Cassells, an accomplished chemist, to subject the body to a chemical analysis, which on being done, arsenic in sufficient quantity to produce death was found in the stomach and other internal organs. Her arrest for murder, therefore, immediately took place. The circumstances of the case were well calculated to arouse an intense interest in the public mind as to the result of the trial. The facts that the alleged poisoner was a woman, that the murdered man was her own brother, that her own sister was supposed to be an important witness against her, that the murder, if murder it was, was in the highest degree cruel, mercenary, and devilish, that at the time of her arrest she was prominently connected with religious and benevolent institutions of the city, though it was well known she had previously led an irregular life, and the profound secrecy in which the dark deed had slumbered for a whole year, all seemed to concur in riveting public attention upon it; and yet, previous to the trial, the belief was prevalent in the community generally, as well as among the members of the Bar, that however guilty the prisoner might be, she would not be convicted. In this belief the prosecutor did not share, but at once went to work with his accustomed energy to unravel the evidences of the great crime; and for many weeks, with an energy that never flagged, himself and his assistant, H. B. DeWolf, Esq., patiently and persistently explored the dark secrets of her life, examined hundreds of witnesses, and inextricably wound the coils of evidence around her.
The case, which was tried in the May term of the Court of Common Pleas, 1868, lasted fourteen days, was fully reported phonographically, and made about twenty-seven hundred pages of testimony, which was pronounced, when closed on the part of the State, "a marvelous net-work of circumstantial evidence."
The case was closed by Mr. Jones in an able and conclusive speech of six hours in length. The prisoner was convicted by the jury after but a brief deliberation, and she was sentenced to be hanged, but her sentence was afterward commuted to imprisonment for life. In numerous other important and warmly contested criminal cases Mr. Jones has been almost uniformly successful, displaying in them all, much tact, self-possession, and legal ability.
Mr. Jones was married at Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, February 8th, 1860, by the Rev. Luther Lee, to Ermina W., daughter of Harmon and Leonora Barrows, of the latter place.
Citizens of Cleveland are justly proud of their Public Schools, and of the system of education under which they are conducted, but yet the history of these schools, until within a few years, was one of struggle against parsimony and prejudice. It was only by persistent efforts on the part of a few public-spirited citizens, who believed that money spent in educating the masses is the best investment that can possibly be made, that the Public School system of Cleveland has attained its present excellence, and the miserable make-shift school buildings, in which the children of the city were taught have given place to the large, convenient and elegant buildings of the present.
The first public school of Cleveland, the "Cleveland Free School," was established in March, 1830, "for the education of male and female children of every religious denomination," and was supported by the city. It was held for years in the basement of the Bethel church, which was then a frame building, measuring forty by thirty feet, situated at the corner of Diamond street and Superior Street hill. In 1837, the average number of pupils in attendance was ninety males and forty-six females. There were also the Young Ladies' Seminary, or the old "Academy," on St. Clair street, presided over by Miss Harrison, and the Cleveland Female Seminary, in Farmer's Block, corner of Ontario and Prospect streets, incorporated April, 1837, with Henry Sexton, Benjamin Rouse, H. H. Dodge, A. P. Smith, and A. Wheeler as trustees. At that date, Ohio City supported two district and one free school, but the attendance is not recorded.
The story of the growth of the school system of the State and of its local development in the city of Cleveland is mainly told in the biography of Mr. Harvey Rice, on pages following this, and in the preceding pages which sketch the history of Mr. Charles Bradburn. All that is necessary to be given here, is a brief summary of some of the leading events in the history of the Cleveland Public Schools as prepared by one who took a leading part in their organization and development.
The Public Schools were organized under the city charter in 1837, and the control vested in a board of five school managers, elected by the Council. The chairman of the board was styled the acting manager, and was secretary and Superintendant of repairs and of discipline. This original arrangement was succeeded in 1853, by a board of seven members, appointed by the Council. In 1854, when Cleveland and Ohio City were united, another change occurred. One member of the school board from each of the eleven Wards was chosen by the Council. In 1856, the number was reduced to five, and finally, in 1859, by authority of a law of the State, the members of the Board of Education, one from each Ward, were elected by the people, for the term of one year, which was extended to two years in 1862, and so remains to the present time. The powers of the board were greatly enlarged by a law passed in the Spring of 1869.
Charles Bradburn was the first acting manager, secretary and superintendent, assisted and encouraged by a few warm friends of education, chief of whom, at this time, was Geo. Willey. In 1840, Mr. Andrew Freese was employed as principal teacher, and soon became actual superintendent, though not formally clothed with that authority until several years afterwards. In the meantime, school buildings were erected on Prospect street, Rockwell street, West St. Clair street and Kentucky street, (West Side).
For several years the course of instruction was quite limited, and of low grade. The school buildings, then supposed to be large and commodious, were soon crowded with scholars very much mixed, as to standing, and moving forward amid much confusion. In 1841, the second stories of the Prospect street and Bockwell street buildings were converted into grammar schools of a higher grade. The West St. Clair street school was the first one arranged for the improved grading of primary and secondary schools in separate departments.
In 1850, the board directed Mr. Freese to exercise a general superintendence over the classification, instruction and discipline in all the grammar and subordinate schools, but no superintendent was authorized by law, until 1853. It was full time that some authority should be introduced to correct the abuses which had insensibly and unavoidably crept into the discipline and course of instruction, and vigorous enforcement of strict rules brought out a fierce opposition from anxious, but ill-informed and partial parents, who felt provoked and discouraged by the discovery that their children were in classes far ahead of their actual qualifications and must be put back to be more thoroughly drilled in preparatory studies. Gradually confusion gave place to order, scholars were ranked as near as could be according to their actual standing; the grades arranged as Primary, Secondary, Intermediate and Grammar departments, the entire course consummated in the East and West High Schools. But all this was the work of immense labor, extending through years of ceaseless effort and expense, little anticipated by the people, or perhaps by the hopeful projectors of the system, when they so manfully entered upon the undertaking. Twenty-six years ago the entire corps of teachers numbered only fifteen. In 1848, they had increased to twenty. In that year, children under six years of age were excluded, to the great disgust of many fond mothers who thought the public school the very best place to keep the troublesome young ones out of their way.
Under the general school law a portion of the taxes collected was set apart for the support of the schools, while a special fund for school buildings was raised, from time to time, by direct taxation, or by loan, and buildings erected in the different Wards as the city increased in extent.
In 1846, the East High School was opened in the basement of the old Universalist Church (now the Plymouth Church) on Prospect street, near Erie street. A strong opposition was made to this advanced step. It was objected to as illegal, which it actually was, though that was soon remedied; and as unnecessary and unreasonable.
It is gratifying to know that many of those strenuous opponents are now among the warm friends of the High Schools, and justly proud of their success.
Richard Fry, then Principal of the West St Clair school, distinguished himself by his writings through the press, and his speeches at public meetings, in advocating the claims of the High School, and thus powerfully sustained its friends in their unpopular contest. The law authorizing a High School limited the whole course to two years, and required one year's previous attendance at one of the grammar schools.
In 1851, a regular course of instruction was adopted, extending to three years, but still confined to English studies. In 1856, the Latin and Greek languages were introduced, and in 1859, the German was added to the full course. These ancient and foreign languages were optional with the students, as well as the French language, which was introduced some years later.
The first graduated class consisted of ten scholars, eight of whom afterwards became teachers. Indeed, it soon became evident that the High School was not only the best, but almost the only reliable source of supplying teachers for the subordinate schools, which were fast increasing. The extreme difficulty of procuring competent and reliable teachers had, all along, been one of the greatest embarrassments in carrying forward a course of instruction, extensive, thorough, and heretofore almost unknown west of the mountains.
The original design of one central High School was found to be unsuited to the extended territory on both sides of the river, and two High Schools were substituted.
The East High School building was completed and opened in 1856. The West High School was first opened in the Kentucky street building, and continued there for several years, until in 1861, the new building was completed.
In 1861, Mr. Freese was relieved from the superintendency which had become too laborious for his declining health, and L. M. Oviatt took the management for two years, when he was succeeded by Anson Smyth, formerly State Superintendent. On his resignation, Mr. Andrew J. Rickoff, of Cincinnati, was called to the position. Under his management important changes in the classification and management of the schools have been introduced.
The prominence given to Messrs Bradburn, Willey and Freese, in the history of the public schools, is not intended to disparage or undervalue the services rendered by many others, without whose hearty and efficient co-operation the whole undertaking would have failed. Prominent among these cooperators were J. D. Cleveland, J. Fitch, Dr. Maynard, Harvey Rice, Bev. J. A. Thome, T. P. Handy, W. D. Beattie, (since deceased,) R. B. Dennis, Ansel Roberts, L. M. Oviatt, and Thos. Jones, Jr.
In 1868, there were eighteen male, and one hundred and thirty-nine female teachers employed in the public schools of the city, making an aggregate of one hundred and fifty seven. The total number of pupils enrolled was 10,154. The average number belonging to the schools, 7060, and the average daily attendance, 6623.
In the Ohio Educational Monthly for April, 1860, appeared a pretty full biography of Hon. Harvey Rice, who has filled an important position in connection with the educational interests of Ohio. From that account we learn that Mr. Rice is a native of Massachusetts. He was born June 11th, 1800. In 1824, he graduated from Williams College, and the same year removed to Cleveland. He came to Ohio a stranger and without influential friends here or elsewhere to aid his efforts for advancement. When he landed at Cleveland he owned nothing but the clothes he wore, and three dollars in his pocket. At that time Cleveland contained but 400 inhabitants.
Making no disclosure as to the low state of his treasury and the rather dull prospect for an immediate replenishing of the same, he took lodgings at the best public house the town afforded, at the rate of two dollars and a half per week. At the expiration of one week he paid his board bill and removed to a private boarding-house, with but fifty cents left, and commenced teaching a classical school in the old academy on St. Clair street. About the same time he commenced the study of the law under the direction of Reuben Wood, then a prominent member of the Cleveland Bar, and at the expiration of two years was admitted to practice, and entered into copartnership with his former instructor, which continued until Mr. Wood was elected to the Bench.
In 1829, he was elected Justice of the Peace, and in 1830, elected to represent his district in the State Legislature. Soon after, without solicitation on his part, he was appointed an agent for the sale of the Western Reserve school lands, a tract of fifty-six thousand acres, situated in the Virginia Military District. He opened a land office at Millersburgh, in Holmes county, for the sales, and in the course of three years sold all the lands, and paid the avails, nearly one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, into the State Treasury, as a school fund for the exclusive benefit of educating the children of the Western Reserve, the interest of which is now annually paid by the State for that purpose.
In 1833, Mr. Rice returned to Cleveland, and was appointed Clerk of the Common Pleas and Supreme Courts, an office in which he faithfully served for seven years, and in 1834 and 1836, was nominated by the Democratic Convention as a candidate for Congress, and received the united support of the party, though without expectation of success, as the Democrats were largely in the minority. He was the first Democrat ever sent to the Legislature from Cuyahoga county, and, while serving in that body, was considered one of its ablest and most influential members. He was appointed by the House one of the select committee for revising the statutes of the State, and while in that capacity, introduced and advocated with acknowledged ability many new provisions, which still retain their place upon our statute book.
The natural abilities of Mr. Rice are of a very high order. His mind is thoroughly disciplined and cultivated, and for the comparatively short time he practiced at the Bar, he obtained an enviable reputation for legal ability, sound, practical, discriminating judgment and gentlemanly deportment.
He is well known as an able contributor to many of the best periodicals of the day, and is a graceful and exceedingly vigorous writer. His imagination is rich and glowing, and his mind well stored by a long and judicious course of mental training. We have seen some articles of Mr. Rice's which compare favorably with those of the best writers of the day.
The following, which we find in the "Nineteenth Century," we take the liberty of publishing here, and look upon it as a meritorious and beautiful poem:
The Moral Hero.
With heart that trusteth still, Set high your mark; And though with human ill The warfare may be dark, Resolve to conquer, and you will!
Resolve, then onward press, Fearless and true: Believe it—Heaven will bless The brave—and still renew Your hope and courage in distress.
Press on, nor stay to ask For friendship's aid; Deign not to wear a mask Nor wield a coward's blade, But still persist, though hard the task.
Rest not—inglorious rest Unnerves the man; Struggle—'tis God's behest! Fill up life's little span With God-like deeds—it is the test—
Test of the high-born soul, And lofty aim; The test in History's scroll Of every honored name—None but the brave shall win the goal'
Go act the hero's part, And in the strife, Strike with the hero's heart For liberty and life— Ay, strike for Truth; preserve her chart'
Her chart unstain'd preserve, 'Twill guide you right. Press on and never swerve, But keep your armer bright, And struggle still with firmer nerve.
What though the tempest rage, Buffet the sea! Where duty calls, engage: And ever striving be The moral hero of the Age!
In the fall of 1851, Mr. Rice was put in nomination for the State Senate, and was elected by a majority exceeding seven hundred votes.
The General Assembly to which he was now returned, was the first that convened under the new Constitution. Upon this body devolved the responsibility of reconstructing the statutes of the State, and adapting them to the requisition of the Constitution, so as to secure to the people the practical benefits of the great reforms which had been achieved by its adoption. Mr. Rice contributed quite as much as any other member to the important legislation of the two sessions held by that General Assembly. It was said of him that he was always at his post. The degree of influence which he exercised as a legislator, was such as few have the good fortune to wield.
Among the variety of measures which engaged his attention, he took a prominent part in procuring the passage of the act which authorized the establishment of two additional lunatic asylums in the State.
His course in relation to the subject of common schools attracted public attention throughout the State, and called forth from the press commendations of a very complimentary character. The correspondent of a paper published at Newark, writing from Columbus, remarks as follows:
Senator Rice, of Cuyahoga, has in charge a bill for the reorganization of schools and providing for their supervision.
No better man than Mr. Rice could have been selected for this work. He is a model man and a model Senator. Clear headed, sound minded, carefully and fully educated, with a painstaking disposition, he is the ablest chairman of the standing committee on schools that any Ohio Legislature ever had. Deeply impressed with the great importance of the subject—of the stern necessity which exists for basing our whole republican form of government on the intelligence of the people, he has carefully provided a bill, which, if enacted into a law, will give a good common school education to every child in the State, and in so doing, has been equally careful that the money raised for that purpose be not squandered. The bill provides for a State Commissioner of Common Schools, and it has been mentioned to me as a matter of deep regret, that the Constitution excludes Mr. Rice from being a candidate for that office—no member of the Legislature being eligible to an office created while he was a member, until one year after the expiration of his term of office.
On the question of the final passage of the bill, Mr. Rice addressed the Senate in a concluding speech, which was published, and very generally noticed by the press. Among these notices, a leading paper published at Cleveland, with a magnanimity rarely possessed by a political opponent, makes the following comments and quotations:
Mr. Rice made the closing speech on the School Bill, in the Senate, on the 24th. It was his Bill. He had labored over it, and for it, a long time, and given to it every consideration, and gained for it every counsel, which, by any possibility, he could gain.
The text of his speech was the language of the Constitution itself; the duty of securing 'a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the State.'
Mr. Rice goes into detail on the school bill, and, regretting that we have not room for the detail, we close our synopsis of his very sensible speech by quoting its conclusion:
"It is certainly much cheaper, as well as much wiser, to educate than to punish. How much of crime would be prevented if a higher order of education were generally diffused among all classes. A well educated and enlightened people will have but little occasion for criminal courts, jails and penitentiaries. The educated man has ordinarily too much self-respect, too much regard for moral principle and the value of a good character to stoop to crime. In short, sir, the perpetuity of the government, and security of the citizen, and of property, depend upon the virtue and intelligence of the people.
"By the provisions of this bill, it is intended to make our common schools what they ought to be—the colleges of the people—'cheap enough for the poorest, and good enough for the richest.' With but a slight increase of taxation, schools of different grades can be established and maintained in every township of the State, and the sons and daughters of our farmers and mechanics have an opportunity of acquiring a finished education, equally with the more favored of the land. And, in this way, the elements of mind now slumbering among the uneducated masses, like the fine unwrought marble in the quarry, will be aroused and brought out to challenge the admiration of the world-Philosophers and sages will abound everywhere, on the farm and in the workshop. And many a man of genius will stand out from among the masses, and exhibit a brilliancy of intellect, which will be recognized in the circling years of the great future, as
'A light, a landmark on the cliffs of time.'
"It is only the educated man who is competent to interrogate nature, and comprehend her revelations. Though I would not break down the aristocracy of knowledge of the present age, yet, sir, I would level up, and equalize, and thus create, if I may be allowed the expression, a democracy of knowledge. In this way, and in this way only, can men be made equal in fact—equal in their social and political relations—equal in mental refinement, and in a just appreciation of what constitutes man the brother of his fellow man.
"In conclusion, sir, allow me to express my belief, that the day is not far distant when Ohio, in the noble cause of popular education and of human rights, will 'lead the column,' and become, what she is capable of becoming—a star of the first magnitude—the brightest in the galaxy of our American Union."
A proud hour now came for Mr. Rice! A good and glorious one for the State! The roll of the Senate was called, and that body, on the 24th day of January, 1853, proceeded to cast its final vote upon the bill, when only two negatives were announced.
Another bill, of scarcely less importance than the school bill, was introduced into the Senate by Mr. Rice, near the heel of the adjourned session, which with him was a favorite measure, and which seemed to meet with the hearty approbation of the public. It had for its object the establishment of a "State Reform School," expressly designed for juvenile offenders.
But owing to the late day of the session in which the bill was introduced, though very favorably received by the senate, a motion was made to postpone it until the next session. In reference to this motion, without attempting to make a formal speech, Mr. Rice explained briefly the object contemplated by the bill. His remarks relating as they did to a subject of public interest, were reported and published. The bill, at a subsequent session, resulted in establishing the present Reform Farm School.
The eminent services which he has rendered the State in the promotion of her educational interests will be long and gratefully remembered by those of his fellow citizens who properly appreciate the true objects of life, and who wish to secure to themselves, to their children, and to the generations which will follow them, the social blessings which flow from a high degree of refinement, intelligence and moral virtue.
While a member of the City Council, in 1857, Mr. Rice took the lead in establishing the Cleveland Industrial School, and was chairman of the committee that put it into successful operation. It has now grown to be one of the most important charitable institutions in Cleveland. Mr. Rice is still active in extending its usefulness.
In the same year he originated the project, and introduced the resolution into the Council, authorizing the erection of the Perry Monument which now graces the Public Park of the city. The cost of the Monument, by the terms of the resolution, was made to depend on the voluntary subscriptions of the citizens. Mr. Rice was appointed Chairman of the Monument Committee, and after three years of persevering effort, succeeded in carrying the object of the resolution into effect. The Monument was inaugurated with imposing ceremonies, on the 10th of September, 1860, the anniversary of Perry's victory on Lake Erie. Mr. Bancroft, the historian, delivered the Inaugural Address. As carefully estimated, not less than one hundred thousand people attended the inauguration. In carrying out the programme the battle of Lake Erie was reproduced, in a mock fight, on the Lake in front of the city. It was a proud day for Cleveland. Both the Monument and the inauguration were pronounced a perfect success.
In 1861, Mr. Rice, being elected to the Board of Education, was appointed President of the Board, and during his term of office rendered essential service in promoting the educational interests of the city. In fact, he has always been a zealous friend and advocate of popular education. In his literary career he has become widely known as the author of "Mount Vernon, and Other Poems"—a volume containing two hundred and fifty pages which has reached a fifth edition.
In 1862, Mr. Rice was appointed by the Governor of the State, with the concurrence of the War Department, a commissioner for Cuyahoga county, to conduct the first draft made in the county during the late civil war. In executing this delicate task he acquitted himself with firmness, integrity, and discretion. While in the discharge of his duties he found his office one morning suddenly besieged by some five or six hundred excited citizens, who were armed with pistols and other weapons, threatening to demolish the office and destroy the records. They had been instigated to make this demonstration by false rumors regarding the fairness of the draft. Mr. Rice met the crisis firmly, sent to the military camp on the Heights for a detachment of soldiers, infantry and artillery, who came to his relief on the "double quick," and dispersed the riotous assemblage. To satisfy the disaffected that all was right and just in relation to the draft, Mr. Rice proposed that they should appoint a committee of their own to investigate the state of affairs in the draft office. They did so, and with his aid an elaborate examination was made, and the committee reported that the draft had been conducted fairly and justly in all respects. Mr. Rice then proceeded with the draft, and as luck would have it, two of the committee, who had been ring-leaders in getting up the demonstration, were drafted on the spot, and every body seemed pleased with the result.
In 1867, Mr. Rice, wishing to express his regard for the cause of Missions, as well as for the college where he graduated, erected at his own expense, and with the approval of the college authorities, a beautiful marble monument in Mission Park, at Williamstown, Mass., commemorative of the origin of American Foreign Missions. The park is a part of the college domains, and within it there is a maple grove where a few pious young students of the college, in the summer of 1806, held occasional prayer-meetings. At one of these meetings a shower of rain compelled them to seek the shelter of a neighboring haystack, where they continued their exercises, and where one of their number, Samuel J. Mills, first suggested the idea of a mission to foreign heathen lands, as being a religions duty. In this noble and philanthropic thought his associates all concurred, and there, while at the haystack, consecrated themselves in solemn prayer, to the great work. From this circumstance originated American Foreign Missions. The monument was planned by Mr. Rice It is erected on the spot where the haystack stood, is twelve feet in height, and surmounted with a marble globe three feet in diameter, and cut in map lines. The face of the monument has the inscription, "The Field is the World," followed with a haystack, sculptured in bas relief, and the names of the five young men, who held the prayer-meeting, and the date 1806. The monument was dedicated July 28th, 1867, at the maple grove, in the park. A large audience was present. Mr. Rice, by special request, delivered the dedicatory address, which was received with a high degree of satisfaction, and afterwards published, with the other proceedings, in pamphlet form.
Mr. Rice has accumulated a reasonable share of "this world's goods;" has been twice married—first in 1828, and afterwards in 1840.
He has a wife, three sons and three daughters still living, and now leads, comparatively, a retired, yet not an idle life.
He still has the appearance of a well preserved gentleman, he is six feet in height, erect and of good proportions, and his general personal appearance is pleasing. In manner he is a true gentleman,—modest and kind, but prompt and decided. Two of his sons, Capt. Percy W. Rice and James S. Rice, are settled in business at Cleveland. The youngest son, Harvey Rice, Jr., resides in California. The three daughters are married and settled—one in California and the other two in Cleveland. Mrs. Rice is a lady of refinement, exemplary, and much beloved and respected. As a family, but few have been more highly favored, or lived in more perfect harmony.
The name of Andrew Freese will always hold a place of honor in the scholastic records of Cleveland. No educator in the city is held in such affectionate esteem by a large class of former pupils, and none better deserves the grateful tributes paid to his abilities as a teacher and his worth as a citizen.
Mr. Freese was born in Levant, Penobscot county, Maine, on November 1st, 1816. His father was a farmer, but Andrew was of such slender frame and weak constitution that he was completely unfitted for farming life. His father destined him to be a printer, and took him to the nearest printing office to show him how types were set and newspapers printed. The boy was not favorably impressed with what he saw, and begged to be allowed to enter college. This was considered out of the question, his father being too poor to provide the necessary funds. But the boy's heart was set upon it, and he thought that by teaching school for a time he could obtain money enough to complete his own education. This idea he carried into execution, and had no sooner entered on the business of teaching than he realized that he had found his true vocation. He continued to teach and study until his collegiate course was completed, and then he resolved to fit himself for the business of teaching by studying the best systems of education, as laid down in the most approved books and practiced in the most successful schools. He examined the best school buildings, and brought away plans of construction, and models of their furniture. The most thorough teachers were consulted as to the results of their experience, and when he had thus acquired a thorough mastery of the whole science of teaching, instead of setting out as an educational empiric, he resolved to seek the West as a better field for turning his knowledge to account, than was the East, where educators were far too numerous to make the business profitable.
Mr. Freese came to Cleveland in 1840, and offered his services to the Board of School Managers as a teacher. His rare ability was appreciated, he was immediately engaged, and was at once recognized as the head of the schools. There was then only the general school law to work under. The law as then understood, made it almost a crime to give instruction in the higher branches of even an English education. There was then no high schools, or graded schools in the great State of Ohio. To Cleveland, and to Mr. Freese, belong the honor of establishing the first free high school in the State. The scholars from that school may now be found in almost every State in the Union, eminent in all departments of life. They have been met with as Governors, jurists, mechanicians, and artists, and the first inquiry from them all has been, "Is Mr. Freese still with you? All I am, and all I have, I owe to him; may God forever bless him."
The high school was established in July, 1846, and Mr. Freese at once placed at its head. Those unfriendly to public schools, and especially to this department, offered him large inducements to engage in a private school, but Mr. Freese had faith in the success of the experiment, and was determined not to abandon it until its success was insured. The pay given by the city was but a beggarly pittance, and his labors inside and out of the school room were exceedingly arduous, but no discouragement could daunt his zeal, and he resisted blandishments as he treated opposition, with indifference. The unexpected and severe labors imposed upon him shattered his health, but with him love overcame all other considerations, and he persisted. In June, 1853, the office of Superintendent of Instruction was created, and tendered to Mr. Freese, who held it until 1861, when his failing health admonished him to retire. Recently he was summoned from his retirement to take the position of principal of the Central High school, now grown to proportions its founders scarcely dared hope for it. It was with extreme reluctance that Mr. Freese consented to resume his old profession, but he finally did so, working with great zeal and success until the close of the Summer term of 1869, when, immediately after re-election by a highly complimentary vote, he was compelled, by the condition of his health, to resign his position and bid a final farewell to the profession he so much loved. The proceedings of the Board of Education in relation to the resignation of Mr. Freese are of interest, as showing the high value set upon his services to the cause of education.
The following communication was presented to the Board:
To the Honorable the Board of Education of the city of Cleveland:
Gentlemen: I have to submit herewith the resignation of Mr. Andrew Freese, who has for the past year acted as principal of the Central High school.
On account of ill health it was with great reluctance that Mr. Freese went into this position. In accordance, however, with the advice of friends, he finally yielded to persuasion and entered upon the discharge of its duties with the well known earnestness of his character. The result has been marked in the earnestness with which his able corps of assistants associated with him have co-operated to promote the highest interests of the school, and of each and all its pupils. It has been specially marked, too, by the increased devotion of all the scholars to their studies, and the ready acquiescence with which they have obeyed all the rules and regulations of your Board.
In taking leave of Mr. Freese it is due to him that I should thus formally and earnestly record my high appreciation of his services. Furthermore, it may not be inappropriate for me testify to the fact, that much of the hearty earnestness of the corps of teachers with which I am now laboring, is due to the influence of this gentleman when he held the office which I now hold.
Andrew J. Rickoff, Superintendent of Instruction.
The Board of Education having received and accepted the resignation of Andrew Freese, Esq., principal of the Central High School, Mr. Perkins offered the following resolutions, which were adopted:
Resolved, That the thanks of the Board are hereby tendered to Mr. Freese, for the valuable services he has rendered in the various relations he has sustained to the public schools of this city during the last quarter of a century. In every position he has been called to fill, he has proved himself faithful to the trust committed to his keeping. To him more than any other are we indebted for the deservedly elevated character of our System of graded schools.
Resolved, That the president and secretary of the Board be requested to communicate to Mr. Freese the feeling of regret occasioned by his withdrawal from our service, together with a certified copy of its action this evening.
Mr. Freese was the originator of the celebrated outline maps. Many years before any were published by Mitchell, they were in use here, and may still be found on some of the walls and floors of our old school houses, where they were placed by Mr. Freese. What Horace Mann and William Colburn did for the schools of New England, Andrew Freese has done for the schools of the West. Almost immediately after commencing his labors he began to protest to the Board of School Managers against our school laws; under them he could do no justice to himself or his scholars. His efforts were aided by the Board of School Managers, and after a hard contest with city and State authorities, the laws were altered so as to give us one of the best school systems in the world. The first free high school in the State was started by Mr. Freese, in the basement of an old church, at a rent of fifty dollars per annum, and this was regarded by some of our largest tax payers as so great an outrage that they threatened to resist the payment of their taxes. The school now enjoys the use of a palatial building, and our grammar schools have the use of the most elegant and convenient structures for educational purposes in the State. Many of our citizens devoted their time and money to bring about this great change, which has done and is doing so much for the welfare of our city. But perhaps no one man has done so much as Mr. Freese.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to overrate the services of Mr. Freese to the cause of education in Cleveland. It was the sole business of his life, and he entered on it with utter unselfishness. With him the cause was everything, self nothing. He traveled far, spent his own slender funds freely, and labored assiduously in the endeavor to secure the best of everything in plan and machinery, for the city schools. He had no ambition outside or beyond the school room, and his shrinking modesty prevented him claiming the credit justly due him for the unintermitted and successful labors performed within the school walls.
Among the citizens of Ohio, few are more worthy of mention than Rev. Anson Smyth. There is not a township in the State in which his influence has not been felt, nor a school district in which his name is not honored. He has labored to uplift the intellectual, social, and moral status of our great commonwealth, and his impress is left on the highest and most sacred interests of the people.
Though born in Pennsylvania, Mr. Smyth is none the less a New Englander. His parents and older brothers and sisters were natives of New England. There many of his early years were spent, and there he received both his collegiate and his theological education. There for two years he taught school, and for three, was pastor of a church. Thus it is seen, that while his birth makes him a Pennsylvanian, his blood and education make him a Yankee.
Mr. Smyth is a self-made man. By his unaided energies he surmounted the difficulties that stood in the way of his advancement, and has achieved distinction by a career of great usefulness. His father was a man of high respectability, and most excellent character. He was a farmer in moderate circumstances, and being well advanced in life, and declining in health, when his youngest son, the tenth of twelve children, determined to acquire a liberal education, he was unable to do anything for his assistance. But the boy had a brave heart, and he went forward, strong in the idea that "there is nothing impossible to him that wills." At first by manual labor, and afterwards by teaching, he contrived to secure funds for meeting those expenses which demanded ready payment. When he left the theological seminary he owed several hundred dollars, all of which he paid from his first earnings.
After preaching for three years at the East, Mr. Smyth accepted a call to the pastoral charge of a church in Michigan. It was a village of a few hundred people, in a new and wild region. Society was in a chaotic condition, and there were but few who had either the ability or the disposition to do much for the young pastor's support or encouragement. The locality was unhealthy, and Mr. Smyth suffered severely from prevalent diseases. But during a ministry there of four years, he was eminently successful, and he left the church four times as strong as he found it.
In 1847, Mr. Smyth came to Ohio, and, after spending a few months in Cleveland, received and accepted a call to the pastorate of the Presbyterian church in Toledo. He entered upon his new charge with zeal and energy. He labored faithfully for the advancement of the cause of Christ in that rising town, but owing to chronic alienation among the members of his church, from the beginning he felt the need of that degree of co-operation and sympathy necessary to insure the full benefit of his labors. Still, the condition of affairs greatly improved under his ministry; the membership of the church being nearly doubled, and the congregation largely increased. At the end of three years he resigned his charge and entered upon that department of public service in which he has acquired most honorable distinction.
Until 1850, the facilities for education in Toledo were all in the future. While pastor of the church there, Mr. Smyth felt keenly the need of establishing a good system of schools ere the town should become confirmed in the habit of neglecting so important an interest. A few of the citizens took hold of the business with energy; the "Akron School Law" was adopted, and a Board of Education elected. Mr. Smyth was placed at the head of the movement. This was a position he had never expected to fill, but, regarding it as a field of usefulness, a field in which to serve God and society, not less sacred than that of the pastoral office, he went to his new work without a doubt that thereby he was doing the will of God. In many particulars the business Mr. Smyth found upon his hands was new and strange to him. He had had no experience in organizing schools upon the graded plan. Eighteen years ago there were very few good schools in Ohio. Lorin Andrews, at Massillon, Dr. Lord, at Columbus, M. F. Cowdery, at Sandusky, Andrew Freese, at Cleveland, and H. H. Barney, at Cincinnati, were the leaders in the educational reformation, then rising into notice. Not till three years afterwards was our noble school law enacted. But Mr. Smyth took hold of the great work entrusted to him with characteristic energy. He read much and thought more upon the best plan of organizing a school system for the city, and when he left there, in 1856, the schools of Toledo had gained a most enviable character. They were regarded as among the best in the country, and their Superintendent had acquired the reputation of being one of the wisest and most successful educators in America. The Board of Education committed the entire management of the schools to him. The selection of teachers, the classification and discipline of the schools, the course of study, and the examinations were just what Mr. Smyth was pleased to make them. He gathered around him a corps of teachers equal to the best in the State, and the schools were the pride of the citizens. When he resigned, in closing an article upon the subject, the Blade remarked: "We regard the retirement of Mr. Smyth as no less than a public calamity."
At a meeting of the State Teachers Association, in December, 1855, Mr. Smyth was unanimously elected President of that body, also editor of the Journal of Education. In the following February he removed to Columbus, and entered upon his editorial duties. His success in his new field was most satisfactory to all who were interested in the cause which he represented.
In May, 1856, the Republican State Convention nominated Mr. Smyth for the office of State Commissioner of Schools. This was an honor as unexpected by him as it was satisfactory to the people. He was elected by a large majority, and in February, 1857, entered upon the discharge of the duties of his new office. In this high position he remained six years, having been re-elected in 1859.
Mr. Smyth was not disheartened when he found his post at the head of the educational forces of the State, environed with most serious embarrassments. The general school law had been in operation three years, encountering the hostility of a large portion of the people, who were persistent in their efforts to secure its repeal, or extensive modification. It was regarded as doubtful whether it could much longer survive in the face of the antagonism which confronted it. But when Mr. Smyth turned the office over to his successor, in 1863, the law had become popular, and strong in the regards of nearly all the people. The changes which it had experienced were improvements, and it was everywhere working out its own praise.
In this sketch, Mr. Smyth's labors and successes in the Commissionership can not be detailed. He spared no pains in promoting the interests which the State had confided to him. Whether looking after members of the legislature who were working against the law, or performing ordinary office duties, or traveling and addressing the people, he showed untiring industry and enthusiastic devotion to the good cause. When he declined, another nomination, the State Teachers' Association, at their meeting in Mount Vernon, passed a resolution highly approving his administration. David Tod, then Governor, wrote of him to a friend: "The most faithful manner in which Mr. Smyth has discharged the arduous duties of School Commissioner of our State for the last six years, involving, as it did, the expenditure of millions of money, without the loss of a dollar, has won for him my fullest confidence and profound respect. He is an excellent business man, and a Christian gentleman." No man ever left an office stronger in the confidence and esteem of the people.
Mr. Smyth did not propose to continue longer in the educational field, and declined many invitations to positions at the head of institutions of learning. But, very unexpectedly to him, he was elected Superintendent of Instruction for Cleveland. A strong inclination to reside here, and the urgency of friends, secured his acceptance. He removed to this city in July, 1863, and was warmly welcomed by the people.
At that time, the Board of Education was in many things subordinate to the City Council, and these two bodies not always working harmoniously prevented the adoption of many reforms advocated by the Superintendant. Still, Mr. Smyth's administration was a period of great prosperity and advancement with the Cleveland schools. The gradation and classification were improved; modes of teaching were introduced which greatly promoted the purposes of education. Through his influence the use of the rod in the schools was to a great extent discontinued, while better order was secured. His success in the selection of teachers was remarkable. He seemed to have an intuitive knowledge of character, and next to none of those he placed in charge of schools proved failures. His power over teachers was very great. While he was exacting in his demands, never excusing negligence, he knew how to temper authority with kind and courteous manners.
In the management of schools, Mr. Smyth required that due regard be had to manners and morals. Arithmetic and grammar were not, in his estimation, more important than politeness and Christian morality. He encouraged the ornamentation of the school rooms with plants, flowers and engravings, which has been so generally adopted, thus rendering them attractive and conducive to taste and refinement.
For five successive years Mr. Smyth was re-elected, but the last election he declined to accept, having entered into business arrangements, that he might pay needed attention to pecuniary interests. During his superintendence the number of teachers employed in the schools increased from eighty to one hundred and thirty; the splendid school buildings now approaching completion, were planned and put under contract, the School Library was established, and all school interests were most prosperons. When he retired from the superintendence of the schools, nearly two years ago, the Leader expressed the public sentiment in regard to his services, in the following terms: "It is with unfeigned regret that we announce the resignation of Rev. Anson Smyth, as Superintendent of Instruction in this city. He has discharged the duties of this office for four years with ability and efficiency. The educational interests of the city have been guarded with jealous care; and the excellent condition of our public schools, the firm, judicious discipline that is enforced, and the thorough system of instruction well attest his zeal, ability and faithfulness. To the teachers of the schools and the citizens generally, he has given the most unqualified satisfaction, and all will sincerely regret the circumstances which have induced him to retire."
Mr. Smyth has never given up pulpit services, but has averaged to preach one sermon per Sunday ever since resigning his pastoral charge in Toledo, eighteen years ago. Though a Presbyterian in doctrine, and loyal to that church, he is remarkably free from sectarian exclusiveness, and all evangelical churches seek and obtain his ministerial services.
Within the last year he has given more than twenty addresses at college commencements, and before literary and educational associations, while he has been obliged to decline numerous applications for like labors.
The weight of fifty years and the work of a life of very great activity rest lightly upon him. He is possessed of robust health, and is as marked for energy and vivacity as he was twenty years ago. But few men, who at his age have accomplished so much labor, seem still so able to repeat their life-work.
R. F. Humiston.
The family of Humiston, or Humbastone, as it was originally called, is one of considerable antiquity, and its American branch dates from an early period in the history of this country, John Humbastone, its founder, having settled in New Haven, Connecticut, towards the middle of the seventeenth century. For over two hundred years the family, or a portion of it, resided in the same neighborhood, about seven miles out of New Haven, on the Quinnipiac river. At the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, several members of the family took part in the struggle on the side of the patriots, and did good service.
Caleb Humiston (the name had been corrupted in the course of time) was of the third generation in descent from John Humbastone, the original settler in New Haven. He was born on the old homestead on the Quinnipiac river, inherited a portion of it, and lived there until he was thirty years old. Then he removed to Berkshire county, Massachusetts, settling down in 1816 on a farm he had purchased in Great Barrington. He was at this time a farmer in comfortable circumstances, but misfortune came upon him, his property passed from his control, and he was reduced to extremely narrow circumstances. When this misfortune came upon him he had already been burdened with a large family. Ten children had been born, one of whom died, but the others grew up and had to be provided for, the family consisting of seven boys and two girls. It is a noteworthy fact, that with the exception of the child who died in infancy, and Caleb Humeston himself, there has been no death in the family for over half a century, the youngest of them now living being thirty-eight years old. The family had been noted for its longevity, the average age of the ancestors of the present generation being between seventy and eighty years.
R. F. Humiston, whose life we propose briefly to sketch, was born in Great Barrington, July 29th, 1821. The misfortune suffered by his father overtook him when R. F. was nine years old, and from that time each one of the children was capable to do something towards earning a living. Tools were provided for each, proper work marked out, and every one held responsible for the faithful performance of the allotted task. As long as could be afforded, the children were sent to the district school, but the grade of education provided was low, and the knowledge acquired meagre. In his ninth year, R. F. Humiston was taken from school and put to earn his living with a neighbor, with whom he remained a year, and was then placed to work in a cotton factory at Stockbridge, Mass. His duty in this establishment was to tend a spinning jenny, and the winter hours of labor were from six o'clock in the morning to eight at night, with half an hour's intermission for dinner.