When Glenville closed its doors the 77-year-old Emery was one of the partners on the new $250,000 ($6.5 million today) track to be named Randall Park located right on his farm and the town of North Randall was incorporated in 1908. The track was its major industry.
And for close to 60 years it was host to Cleveland’s best racing.
Hires Root Beer
Charles E. Hires (1851-1937 was a druggist in Philadelphia who was served a "root tea" on his honeymoon in NJ that was actually a Native American concoction. Hires convinced the inn keeper to part with her recipe and began packaging the 16-herb blend to be mixed with sugar, yeast and water. At the Centennial he promoted his drink as an alternative to alcohol and called it "the temperance drink" and "the greatest health-giving beverage in the world." Through 1878 he had sold a mere 864 packets of his root-beer but, thanks to premixing it and putting it in a bottle, by 1891 almost two million bottles had been purchased.
Coca Cola did not come on the market until 1886.
Marblehead men had ferried George Washington across the Delaware River for his attack on Trenton. Many who set out for war, however, did not return, leaving the town with 459 widows and 865 orphaned children in a population of less than 5,000...
Henry J. Heinz's Ketchup
Originally a table condiment in China made of fish brine, by the early 1700's it was tasted by English colonists in Singapore. The Indonesian-Malay word for the sauce was kecap (pronounced "kay-chap"). That word evolved into the English word "ketchup." English settlers then took ketchup with them to the American colonies where housewives prepared tomato and mushroom ketchup/catsup. Heinz was producing horseradish in 1875 and in 1876 he started making ketchup with more sugar. Americans loved the condiment and it quickly became Number 1 in the country. In 1896, although he was producing 60 different staples, he introduced the term "57 Varieties" because 5 was his wife's lucky number and 7 was his.
It was here that he opened Forest City Farm in 1883 and stocked it with over 200 quality trotting horses (and even a few pacers) with a lot of Hambletonian’s son (a foal of 1855) George Wilkes’ offspring. Imported from the Blue Grass of Kentucky they became the foundation of his racing stable, many of which he and his friend Harry K. Devereux would drive in the amateur ranks.
Located at the entrance to the well-kept memorial park is another stone monument dedicated in 1955 that honors a fellow Bedford son: Archibald Willard.
It was during these years Willard painted many pastoral scenes of the Ohio countryside and his work was well-known throughout the mid-west.
Willard set up a studio in February at 308 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland... Euclid Avenue was know as "Millionaire Row" and between 1875 and 1900 it was known as "the most beautiful street in America." Mark Twain even called it "one of the grandest streets in the entire world." For young Harry Devereux it was only two blocks from his classes at Brooks Academy.
He would live out his remaining years in Bedford before eventually being elected the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1963. Elmer would pass in 1970 at the age of 94.
Flick was enshrined in the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.
In 1929, during Grand Circuit week in October, General Manager Devereux was the Judge who imposed a 30-day suspension on Walter Cox due to his causing an accident with Hambletonian winner Walter Dear.
Warrensville, Ohio is now part of the Cleveland suburbs but it was once a bustling little community located on the Cleveland & Mahoning Railroad line that was constructed through it in 1857. Just southeast of the center was a popular stop that was opened in 1848 when George Lathrop put up a tavern called the Plank Road House. This became widely known and was patronized by a multitude of local and distant travelers. After him the landlord was Otis Farrier, and then Charles Grossmeyer.
During the 1875 Fourth of July parade in Wellington Willard watched it from his studio in the center as three men from the neighboring town of Brighton marched down the street playing "Yankee Doodle" on the fife and drums and drew a comical sketch that he sent to Ryder. It was Ryder who suggested that Willard create a more serious and patriotic version for the upcoming Centennial Exposition coming up in Philadelphia.
World War I to World War II seeing action in most of the major battles of both wars.
Diamond was born in Bedford, Ohio. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1917 at the age of 27.
Diamond rejected a few opportunities to apply for a commission (become an officer) saying "nobody can make a gentleman out of me.”
Following the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Diamond shipped out to the beaches of Guadalcanal. He was then 52 years old. Because of his incredibly powerful voice, which matched his 5'11" 200-pound frame, Diamond was dubbed "The Honker." Many at Guadalcanal considered him "a human air-raid warning system."
After serving several years as an instructor Diamond retired in 1945 and returned to his home in Toledo, Ohio.
Lou was highly respected in the Corps… the actor Lou Diamond Phillips (born 1962) was named after him.
The second heat needed four tries to start. Once again, Goldsmith Maid took the early lead. Smuggler broke stride on the turn and ended up finishing fifth. Lucille Golddust finished second to Goldsmith Maid, who took the heat in 2:17 ¼. The Maid “was distressed” after the heat, but in order to win the race, she would have to win a third heat. The horses rested and then returned for the next heat. Again, Goldsmith Maid took the early lead but “went into the air around the turn.” She was “quickly caught” and continued steadily down the backstretch with Judge Fullerton just behind. At the half mile, Smuggler was sent and passed Lucille Golddust and Judge Fullerton to take second place and enter the homestretch “hard on the Maid’s wheel.” He drew even with her and at the wire prevailed by ¾ length in 2:16 ¼. The crowd went wild. The score now stood Goldsmith Maid - 2, Smuggler - 1. The gallant mare “stood with trembling flanks and head down,” but there was at least one more heat to trot. If she won, she would take the purse; if Smuggler won, he would need another heat to triumph; if someone else won, who knew how many heats it would take to establish a clear winner?
In the fourth heat, Lucille and the Maid vied for the early lead, with Smuggler stuck behind them. (Bud) Doble (Goldsmith Maid’s driver) let the other mare take the lead, which allowed him to keep Smuggler in a pocket. But (Charles) Marvin (Smuggler’s driver) took his horse back and pulled out to the right to make a bid with 150 yards to go. Smuggler won the heat by a neck in 2:19 ¾. He cooled out well, but the Maid was still tired.
Before the fifth heat, Lucille Golddust and Bodine “worried [Smuggler] by repeated scorings” and he tore off the shoe he had already lost. It was reset, but the delay gave Goldsmith Maid a chance to catch her “second wind.” Smuggler lost his shoe a third time, and again it was reset. His hoof was “badly splintered” but he was not lame. In all, the fifth heat was delayed by an hour with all the shoeing and scoring, which meant the others were relatively fresh compared to Smuggler. Judge Fullerton took the early lead, going the first quarter in :33. Smuggler took over at the half mile and was never headed, winning the heat in 2:17 ¼ with Goldsmith Maid second. The final score was Smuggler - 3, Goldsmith Maid - 2. Smuggler won the purse.
It was in Bedford, located on the Cleveland-Pittsburg Pike, that during the 1830's the Willards prospered. The eldest son Samuel Rose Willard (1791-1876) married Margaret Trotter (1801-1858) and became the pastor of the Church. They had 6 children of which, Archibald, was born in 1836.
As he watched the cadets perform their drills one athletic 16-year-old stood out for performing some smart maneuvers: Henry Kelsey Devereux who happened to be the son of one of the school's founders.
He was then signed by the Philadelphia Phillies and proved himself capable, batting .302 with eight home runs, 13 triples and 81 runs batted in. In the 1899 season, he batted .342, with 98 runs scored and 98 RBIs.
In 1900 he led the NL with 110 RBI, finished second in the NL with a .367 batting average, a .545 slugging percentage, 11 home runs, 59 extra-base hits, and 297 total bases.
The batting champ, Honus Wagner (hit .381) later said, "I've had a lot of thrills, but don't think I was ever happier than in 1900 when I won after battling Elmer Flick to the last day of the season for the title.”
After the dinner there were toasts, songs, and the salutes of muskets. With a loud "hurrah" the men fired up their cannon "Old Continental" a bit too much. It came loose from its stand, shot up like a rocket, and came crashing down on the table with all the dinnerware... much to the ladies' chagrin.
The men offered up another toast and another loud "hurrah!"
The Exposition attracted close to 10,000,000 visitors that Summer of 1876, and when it closed in November it had been attended by people from 37 different countries. It was not a financial success but offered up American know-how and manufacturing to the world. In the following years America's exports would outnumber its imports. Some of the new inventions that premiered were:
The star of the show: Alexander Graham Bell's telephone.
Bell and his partners offered to sell the patent outright to Western Union for $100,000. The president of Western Union said that "the telephone was nothing but a toy." Two years later, he lamented that if he "could get the patent for $25 million he would consider it a bargain."
The man who bought most of Grossmeyer’s property near Randall Station was Christopher Fernando Emery. He was born in Jaffrey, New Hampshire in 1832 and went to work in a cotton mill when he was 12. When he was 21 he came to Ohio and worked in a chair factory as there were numerous ones around operated by the Shaker Communities. After a few years he managed to save $700 and went out on his own as a butcher. It was then that he increased his nest egg to $10,000 ($185,000 in today’s monies) and began diversifying as he operated a teaming company (of over 125 horses) and became a dealer in molding sand.
Remington Typographic Machine
The type-writer was patented in 1867 by four men headed by Christopher Latham Sholes (1819-1890) who worked on their design, at a loss for years. By December 1874, only 400 typewriters had been sold, due in part to their high price and poor reliability. Businesses were slow to adopt the machine as individuals did not write enough to justify the machine's price of about $125. Mark Twain was among the first to purchase the machine, which he termed a "curiosity breeding little joker." Eventually Sholes sold his half to Remington Arms Manufacturing for $12,000 ($240,000 today) while partner Carlos Densmore, still a stronger believer in the machine, insisted on a royalty, that would eventually fetch him $1.5 million.
Willard drew many sketches of Army life a few of which he sold to Harpers Magazine and his friend James Ryder of Cleveland would photograph them and sell to the enlisted men.
Upon his discharge in 1864 Arch would marry Nelle Chillacombe and have three children by 1870 as his work prospered and he enjoyed life in Wellington.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland "Lou" Diamond, USMC (1890 –1951) is famous as the classic example of the "Old Breed" — tough-as-nails, hard-fighting career Marines who served in the corps in the years from
An American Hero...
Harry K. would stay very much involved until his death at his winter home in Thomasville, Georgia in 1932. He left all his horses and his equipment to two of his longtime employees.
In 1958 Henry Kelsey Devereux - the drummer boy from the Spirit of `76 - was elected as an Immortal into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in Goshen, NY.
More harness tracks were built as Lebanon (1948), Northfield Park (1957), Scioto Downs (1959), and Raceway Park (1962) would come into play.
Randall Park ceased to exist in 1969 and it was torn down for Randall Park Mall, the “World’s Largest Mall,” built in 1976. It was a short-lived attraction as it too was abandoned in the early 2000’s. The site is to be home to an Amazon fulfillment center.
Less than two miles north of the Bedford town line.
Willard started working on the painting and used live models for the trio, the first of which was his father Samuel as the stern white-haired drummer in the middle.
The Willards originally came from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts (just east of Worcester) and Colonel Samuel Willard (1746-1788) came to Pawlett ,VT along with his wife Sarah Stark (1746-1834) and five sons and two daughters. He built the old red grist mill and served at the end of the French & Indian War. By 1820 Pawlett boasted a population of 2,100.
Wellington had been founded in 1818 by four men from Massachusetts who treked the old Indian trails through the wilderness to set up their homes.
On the Fourth of July 1826 Wellington's 36 founding families celebrated the country's 50th anniversary at the town's meeting grounds. The ladies set up a table of their finest foods to be enjoyed by all as the Declaration of Independence was read.
C. F. Emery was prominent with the horses of the Forest City Farm just south of Glenville, one of his best being the little Brown Wilkes gelding East End. Old man Brace never failed to put in an appearance with Harry Sparkle, a horse that he kept solely for racing on the snow and let run to pasture for the balance of the year. On this street Harry Devereux frequently displayed the skill which subsequently made him so outstanding in the amateur ranks. John A. McKerron (2:04.1m by Nutwood Wilkes) was Harry K's best. Foaled in 1895, he took his mark in 1903, and made a sweep of the amateur League of Driving Clubs (which Devereux organized) on the mile tracks on the Circuit.
A statue of Flick was dedicated in downtown Bedford in 2013, directly across from the RR station he had departed from for his life's journey in 1891 and adjacent to the Civil War monument that lists the names of the 208 men from Bedford including his father and four uncles that served the Union.
One lady, overcome with emotion, swooned and fell against the masterpiece, her umbrella tip piercing the canvas.
Williard worked overnight by a solitary lantern repairing the damage as a lone figure in the dark stood in silence studying the painting. When Willard finally turned he was face to face with General Ulysses S. Grant, the President of the United States.
Glenville prospered and was popular until 1908 when one of its leading proponents died and a new mayor was elected who outlawed gambling.
The now 50-year-old Harry K., the winner of over 3,000 trophies and awards in amateur racing, stepped up to the plate and proposed building a new track in a newly-formed town only 11 miles south of downtown Cleveland and 3 miles north of Bedford.
It would be named Randall Park...
He posed Devereux and Mosher for hours as he pressed to complete the work to be done by the Centennial's opening.
When the Exhibition opened in Philadelphia that May it was part of a 1.5 acre display of art but it quickly became the sensation of the Fair.
Crowds of people would stand in silence, some weeping, others in awe at the three men who represented America's heritage and their service in the Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War whose wounds were still fresh in the young Nation.
The 19-year-old Maid would have her revenge the following week at Buffalo as Smuggler showed the effects of his carrying 25 ounces of weight on each front foot: he was sore and could not stay trotting. In fact the mare would continue to dominate them for the rest of her career. Bodine (foaled 1865 by Volunteer) was the only horse to answer the call to post every year for the seven year stretch of their battles.
Halle Maria Berry was born in Cleveland in 1966 but moved to Bedford in the 70s. It was there that she excelled at everything she did as she held positions of newspaper editor, class
Five horses entered the race: Goldsmith Maid, Smuggler, Lucille Golddust, Bodine, and Judge Fullerton. In the first heat, there were two false starts, and the field was sent away on the third try. Goldsmith Maid went straight to the lead. At the half mile, Smuggler drew near but then faltered. He had thrown a shoe from his near fore. By the finish, however, he “had his nose at the Maid’s tail” as she won the heat in 2:15 ½. The judges thought that Smuggler would have won the heat had he not lost a shoe.
On July 27, 1876 Glenville hosted what the writers of the era called the “Greatest Trotting Race ever” as the top Free-For-All trotters - Goldsmith Maid, Smuggler, Judge Fullerton, Lucille Golddust, and Bodine – went five grueling heats before Smuggler dethroned “the Maid.”
This description is based on an eyewitness account by William Hamilton Busbey (1839-1906) the “Dean of the Turf Writers”:
Willard began painting the 8 foot by 10 foot piece in the winter of 1876 at his home in Wellington and his Father's frail condition made it imperative he complete it. The senior Willard would pass in March of 1876, never seeing the finished canvas, and Arch dedicated the painting to his Father.
"Arch" was well-known in town for his habit of his humorous drawings on anything with a flat surface. He was witness to the 1st telegraph wire being installed in 1847 through Bedford, the railroad line that followed the Old Pike and when the line led into Cleveland and points West, the family followed it to Wellington, Ohio in 1853 where he used his talents to decorate carriages. His work was much coveted even more than the carriages themselves.
Archibald Willard returned to Cleveland where he continued his painting as the young Henry K. Devereux completed his studies, graduating from Yale in 1883. He then worked for the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railroad, and later managed the Chicago-Cleveland Roofing Company.
Harry K. organized his Pastime Stable – with Frank Ellis, Perry Harvey, and Lon Haskell and employed future Hall-of-Famers William J. “Billy” Andrews (1864-1926) who also included John Madden, E. H. Harriman, and William Simpson among his patrons.
Mr. Will Reynolds
Another Spirit of ` `76...
For the four years of the American Civil War (1861-1865) Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio witnessed over 150,000 Union soldiers pass through its gates. One such young volunteer was 17-year-old Zachary Taylor Flick of Bedford who was mustered into Ohio’s 178th Regiment, Company H on September 26th 1864. By October he was on his way to Tennessee where he would spend part of the winter there until moving onto Washington D.C. and eventually into North Carolina.
Just a Small-town Girl...
took her children and headed West into Ohio. Her sons and daughters would become part of Wellington as Jabez, William, and Thomas would join the Ohio Volunteers at the first outbreak of hostilities in 1861 and serve throughout the entire War.
Archibald apprenticed for E.S. Tripp and painted carriages and furniture. The wagons won Blue Ribbons at the Ohio State Fair. He enlisted in the 86th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in 1863 and as a Sargent and fellow Mason, he crossed the Chillacombe's paths many times.
As the Great Migration west began several families from Pawlett made the journey across New York even before the Erie Canal was opened in 1825. Colonel Willard's oldest son Jonathan (1770-1858) married Abigail Rose (1777-1808) the daughter of Major Robert Rose (1738-1800) and brought his young family to Messina, New York and into Bedford, Ohio.
He would be part of the Carolinas campaign, seeing action in three different battles and he would be among the troops under the command of William Tecumseh Sherman. On April 26th Sherman accepted General Joseph Johnson’s surrender of the Army of Tennessee which totaled over 89,000 Confederates at Bennett Farm in Durham NC, effectively ending the war.
Flick would be mustered out on June 29, 1865.
The tune of "Yankee Doodle" has been around since the 14th century in Holland as it was sung by the workers there: "Yanker, didel, doodle down, Diddle, dudel, lanther, Yanke viver, voover vown, Botermilk und tanther." Farm laborers in Holland received as their wages "as much buttermilk (Botermilk) as they could drink (a great natural and healthy probiotic) and a tenth of the grain they reap called a tanther.
And while this verse seems like gibberish it is a combination of Old English, low German, French, Spanish, and Dutch.
"Yanke" incidentally means "Liar" in low German and was used quite extensively by the New York Dutch to describe the New England Pilgrims when they bartered or traded with them. Der yankes... now you know.
Abbot Hall was named for native-born businessman Benjamin Abbot (1795-1872) of Boston who bequeathed monies for the construction of a hall for the learning & enjoyment of the people of Marblehead which was dedicated in 1877.
Ironically it was built upon the site of General Devereux's ancestor and one of Marblehead's founding fathers John Devereux' (1615-1684) windmill on top of the training field. General John H. Devereux donated "The Spirit of `76" to the town to “be erected in Abbot Hall to the memory of the brave men of Marblehead who have died in battle on sea and land for their country.”
Abbot Hall still stands today and serves as the town offices and Marblehead museum. The painting hangs there too, a proud member of Marblehead's storied history.
After Andrews became ill Ben White (1873-1958) became Pastime Stable's head trainer in 1915 with their best being Lee Axworthy (foal of 1911, 1:58 1/4m) and Volga (foal of 1913, m3 2:04 1/2m) who is now a foundation mare. White would go with his long-time patron William N. Reynolds (1863-1951, brother of R.J. Reynolds) and establish his winter training center in 1920 in Longwood, Florida at Seminole Park.
Honus Wagner Halle Berry Ty Cobb "Shoeless Joe" Jackson
In 1872 he sent a comical painting he did of his children and the family dog "Pluck" to his Army buddy Ryder, who put it in his display window.
In 1868 a post office opened and was renamed Randall Station in honor of the then Postmaster General of the United States Alexander Williams Randall (1819 –1872) who was a lawyer, judge and politician from Wisconsin. He served as the sixth Governor of Wisconsin from 1858 until 1861 and was instrumental in raising and organizing the first Wisconsin volunteer troops for the Union Army during the American Civil War. President Andrew Johnson appointed him to the office in 1866.
When he first played semi-pro ball for Youngstown they switched him from catcher to the outfield and he had trouble judging a hit ball. His fielding “wasn’t so hot but,” the manager told him “you can sure sting that ball.”
He would practice his fielding by throwing balls at the barn an angle and then chasing them down.
Using his father's lathe, Flick crafted his own baseball bat, which he used to hit for a .438 batting average. The next year Flick played for the Dayton Old Soldiers, as their regular left fielder. His defense improved and he batted .386. He also led the league with 20 triples and 295 total bases.
and our Passion of Passions...
Flick was one of many star NL players who jumped to the fledgling American League (AL) after the 1901 season, eventually returning close to home with the Cleveland Naps , they would later on become the Indians.
In the 1906 season, Flick played a league-leading 157 games. He led the league with 700 plate appearances, 624 at-bats, 98 runs scored, 22 triples, and 39 stolen bases.
The kids would chant “Elmer Flick, you are slick, hit a homer pretty quick.”
president, and head cheerleader. Berry earned a handful of beauty pageant titles during the early 1980s, including Miss Teen Ohio and Miss Teen America. She was awarded first runner-up in the 1985 Miss U.S.A. competition.
She attended Cleveland's Cuyahoga Community College, where she studied broadcast journalism before moving to Chicago and then to New York City, where she found work as a model. When the 90s rolled around she began a career in television with a role on the short-lived sitcom Living Dolls followed by a year-long run on the prime-time drama Knot's Landing, in 1991.
She is now an Academy-award winner and is one of Hollywood’s top-paid actresses.
As for the site of Randall Park... progress moved forward as promised and it is now an Amazon Fulfillment Center:
Devereux picked up on what would become his lifelong passion, starting from watching Winter racing on Euclid Avenue when he was a boy and following it to the Glenville Racetrack located in Cleveland's northeast section when it opened in 1870. "Harry K" would become the most successful amateur driver the sport has ever known.
Scenic Wellington, located on the Cleveland-Cincinnati Railroad line, attracted many industries including becoming the cheese Capital of Ohio. During the 1850's wave after wave of settlers had arrived including the Widow Chillacombe and her nine children. Thomas and Susan Chillacombe were originally from England and, along with their first-born daughter Anne, came to the U.S. by way of Canada in 1832. They settled in Berlin, Pennsylvania, farmed, and had 8 more children. Thomas passed from dropsy in 1850 at the age of 44 and Susan
Willard had Mosher play as he posed so he could catch the right expressions.
For the young drummer boy Willard would journey to the newly-opened Brooks Military Academy located on Sibley Street in Cleveland from 1875-1891.
Archibald Willard and the now 21-year Henry K. Devereux journeyed by train with the painting to Marblehead, Massachusetts, a quaint New England coastal town located about 16 miles north of Boston. They were there to hang the donated painting in the newly-constructed Abbot Hall, located in the center of town.
He resigned as a General in the Spring 1864, returned to Cleveland, and became President of numerous railroad companies... several of which passed through Bedford and Wellington.
Glenville Racetrack was built in by the Cleveland Driving Club across E. 88th Street from the Northern Fair Association. It was in “the boonies” of East Cleveland and was accessible by rail. The Fair was formed by Frank Rockefeller, Sylvester Everett, Warren Corning, and Howard Hanna to promote agriculture but closed in 1881. The track was very successful and became part of the Quadrilateral Circuit (along with Buffalo, Utica, and Rochester) that would become The Grand Circuit in 1873.
* * * The Spirit of `76 * * *
When the Fair closed in November of 1876 most of the buildings were dismantled, sold, or relocated elsewhere. Archibald Willard took his painting on a four-city tour. The response was overwhelming wherever he went and through the years he painted 14 different copies of his masterpiece. It was in Boston where "Yankee Doodle" was renamed "The Spirit of `76." At the conclusion of its journey the painting returned to Cleveland where it was put on sale at Ryder's Gallery where General Devereux purchased it in 1880.
Still the daily battle ground in Cleveland for winter racing was on Euclid Avenue. Its lawns lined with spectators to see the horses race and admire the old time road drivers such as Colonel William Edwards, W. J. Gordon, C. F. Emery, Melville Hanna, Cyrus Bosworth, and scores of others. W. F. Putnam owned
General John H. Devereux was born in Boston in 1832 and at the age of 16 he came to Ohio as a construction engineer. From 1852-61 he worked in Tennessee, joined the Union Army when the Civil War began and by 1862, as a colonel, he was in charge of all Union rail lines in Virginia.
For the fifer he had fellow veteran Hugh Mosher (1819-1896) who was the leader of Brighton's fife and drum corps pose. Mosher's father had served in the War of 1812 as his grandfather had been with Washington when he crossed the Delaware River during the American Revolution. They both had been fifers and Hugh was considered to be the finest in Ohio.
Willard also sent him "Pluck II"... the paintings were so popular that Ryder made 10,000 chromolithograph pairs, selling them for $10 a set ($196.00 in today's money) ... not too shabby.
The man who painted “Yankee Doodle - the Spirit of `76” was Archibald “Arch” Willard who was born in 1836 and raised in the town of Bedford, Ohio …population in 1840: about 1,600. It was decreasing over the years as many of its residents went West. By the time the War between the States erupted (1861) a scant 1,100 folks remained yet Bedford still sent 280 young men into the Service.
Wallace-Farmer Electric Dynamo, precursor to electric light
Moses Farmer (1820-1893) - with his partner William Wallace - invented the early dynamo which powered a system of arc lights he exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia. Farmer's house in Salem, Massachusetts was the first to ever be lit by electricity in 1859.
That inspired Thomas Edison to work on an improved incandescent light. Edison used the Wallace-Farmer 8 horsepower dynamo to power his electric light demonstrations, the first public one being in 1879. By 1882 he had opened his first electric power station in lower Manhattan and the rest is… h-i-s-t-
Myrtle R, who was the queen of the street during the winter. Harry Devereux always had a mount behind a member of his stable, a few from Colonel Edwards' barn or one from Miller & Sibley's farm at Franklin, Pa.
Bert Shank bought the property and in 1908 created the village of North Randall with himself as its first mayor. Randall Park hosted the Grand Circuit in 1909 and the featured race was won by C.F. Emery’s trotter Carroll, driven by Mayor Shank. The crowd of over 17,000 loved the hometown flavor of the saga.
Randall Park was the place to be throughout the years.
Flick retired from the major leagues to return to Bedford. There, he farmed, hunted (Flick was an outstanding shot with a rifle), raised trotting horses, built houses and, in Flick’s own words, "dickered in real estate." In addition he scouted for Cleveland and spent more time with his wife Rose and their five daughters.
Before the 1907 season, the Naps turned down a trade with the Tigers which would have exchanged Flick for a 21-year-old Ty Cobb. The Tigers' manager was tired of dealing with Cobb's abrasive behavior but the Naps refused to part with Flick, even in exchange for Cobb. Baseball took its toll on Flick as he experienced stomach problems that sidelined him for the 1908 and most of the 1909 season. In 1910 the Naps acquired a 21-year-old outfielder by the name of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Another member of the Naps was Denton "Cy" Young, the winningest pitcher in major league history. Even with such a powerful lineup, the Naps finished 5th with a record of 78-81.
He returned to his father Jacob’s farm in Bedford where he also operated a chair-making shop in town, becoming a skilled mechanic in the process. In 1870 he would marry 17-year-old Mary Caine from nearby Warrenville, a union that would last over 53 years. They would have five children together, the third of which was a son born in January of 1876.
His name would be Elmer Harrison Flick.
While I found this tale of an Ohio town interesting enough to write about the people, it was that much more rewarding to see the town deem it worthy enough a life to honor them.
The Yankee Doodle as we now know it was supposedly written by a British Doctor while they campaigned in upper New York during the French-Indian Wars in 1755. The British troops sang it to make fun of their stereotype of the American soldier, even though they were on the same side. Doodle is from the German word for simpleton. While it started out as a ridicule the Americans was soon adopted as a source of pride and was played at both the victories at Saratoga in 1777 and the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781.
Things to make you go hmmm....
The inventor of Coca Cola left his interests to his family who sold the formula and rights in 1888 for a total of $2,300...that would be $60,000 in today's money.
Elmer was an athletic youngster, excelling in high school at wrestling, boxing, football, and as a catcher in baseball. One day as he was at the railroad station to see the local baseball team off, a player didn’t show and the 15-year-old Elmer was recruited to play. The team lost the double-header but Elmer performed well enough to get invited back and he played for Bedford throughout his teenage years.
The race made national headlines which future Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935) immortalized in his verse, "When Smuggler Beat the Maid.”
From this small town came the connections of connections to several world-renown people and things such as: