In this Chapter Seven from Recollections of an Old Settler we learn a little more about what author Christian Cackler deemed important at that time in Portage County; people and their responses to their daily encounters of that era. Previous links and the introduction to this series can be found at the bottom.
Dudley Williams and wife came into the township in 1820 and took up the piece of land now owned by H.T. Lake near Frederick Dewey’s farm; he built his house some distance from the road and a path leading through the woods to the house. One day Mrs. Williams went to see about weaving a piece of cloth and on her return it became so dark that she passed the path without noticing it. She kept on until about where Seneca Green now lives. Even at that time it was still a wilderness and on a dark night it was indeed dismal. She became frightened and not knowing where she was, or which way to go, she sat down near a large tree and remained there several hours; hearing strange noises, and what appeared to be footsteps approaching her, she became much alarmed and fled whither she knew not, but she was determined to escape that dismal place. She wandered through the darkness and rain till daylight when she found that she had been wandering from home instead of toward it. It was some time before she reached her home and glad enough she was to find it. This was in the fall of 1822. she died May 9, 1842, aged 63 years.
In 1821, William Pomeroy, before mentioned came into town. In 1836-37, he built a brick church on the east side of the river for the Presbyterian Society. In 1840 the Apostle Avery came along and commenced a series of sermons, which continued three weeks or more. During these meeting a great many of the deacons and others, who verily thought they had been doing “God’s service” before, began to be alarmed for their safety and ask, “what shall we do to be saved?” Under the warning influence, their necks began to bend and their knees shake and knock together, like Belshazzar’s of old. Avery told them to confess their sins and sin no more. There were a great many bad acts confessed in those meetings that were unlooked for from the source from which they came. Some confessed that they had not dealt fairly with their neighbors and had cheated them; others confessed that they had given way to their passions so much that they feared they had committed the “unpardonable sin”. There were a great many who verily believed that Avery was a man sent of God to preach “peace on earth and good will to man”. But, be that as it may, I believe he was a smart man, especially in the manner of collecting money; for it is said, and I believe truly, that he carried away with him from this town three hundred dollars.
Next week is Chapter Eight: A 12 year Old, A Shanty, and a Gun
Recollections of an Old Settler
Animals and Hunting Excursions
More Animals and Hunting Excursions
First Execution in the County
Interesting Highlights of the History of Franklin County Part l
Interesting Highlights of the History of Franklin County Part II