We are indebted to Charles Cook Bronson (1804-1886) for taking the time to record the stories of the pioneers that lived in this area. His hand written notes fill ten volumes and include events, stories, and biographies of some of the settlers in this area. Most of them are from the Tallmadge area where he lived, but i…nclude all Summit County. If he hadn’t asked Elisha Prior for the stories of his family, we would have never know as much as we do about the first family in Northampton. And now we come to him again for some interesting stories from Stow.
With the help of his brother Titus, who had come with him, in 1804, William Wetmore cleared some of his land and put in a field of wheat. After threshing it with flails he had about 4 bushels. We have talked about the difficulties in milling grain in those early days. The closest mill that year was in Newburg, near Cleveland. He hired a man from Hudson who would take the grain to the mill, but would charge a price of one-half of the milled flour. If this seems a high price, realize that there were no roads and it would take one day to get there, one for the milling and one to return. The current going rate for the milling process was 1/8th of the milled flour. Meaning that from his approximately 240 lb. of wheat Wetmore got 74 lbs of flour. Lapin, the man that took the wheat wouldn’t take the whole amount at once and wouldn’t go till he, himself ran out of flour first. This meant that the Wetmore family would often go without. Mrs. Wetmore became creative, using the kernels of the wheat to make pudding. They frequently state that if not for the gifts of bear and deer meat from the neighboring Indians, they would have starved.
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