According to research and Township residents, Liverpool Township was the first permanent settlement in Medina County. In 1795 this township became the property of Daniel Coit of Connecticut, who advertised the land for sale. He was part of the Connecticut Land Company, which had bought the Connecticut Western Reserve for about 40 cents an acre. The Western Reserve was land set aside by the Continental Congress for payment of Revolutionary War Soldiers in lieu of wages. Edward Heath also a native of Connecticut first surveyed Liverpool Township. At this time the Township was wilderness abounding with wild beasts including bears, wolves, deer and otters.
In 1807 Seba Bronson, Jr., a Revolutionary War Veteran, came from Columbia Township to the north, and “squatted” on the land. He planted corn, built a dwelling, and met the Pottawattamie Indians who came to the area to hunt. The Indians had found a salt spring, which provided a useful way of preserving meat. They sold the location of the salt springs to Seba and a man named Captain Jared Pritchard for 5 silver dollars.
The news of the salt springs spread quickly, huge boiling facilities were set up, and Seba and Jared lost out to the “big business” interests. Because of the effects of some to attain property in the area and the “scrabble” which took place, the village later became known as “Hardscrabble”. Soon a general store was opened and a post office was obtained. Seba was quoted as saying ” I scrabbled hard to get the pieces of silver. I scrabbled hard to get the well for my own benefit. I scrabbled hard to get others to aid me. They have had a hardscrabble to get the well from each other. It has been a hard scrabble to make the salt; and a hard scrabble to save it when made.” The residents call that area at the corner of Columbia and Grafton Roads Hardscrabble to this day. The tavern on the corner was called the Hardscrabble Tavern till early in 2000 when it was sold and became the Jumping Frog Tavern. Many others kept arriving in the area and kept the manufacturing of salt going, having as many as 50 kettles boiling at once. People came from great distances around the area to purchase it.
In the winter of 1810, Justus Warner having purchased about a section of land in the township, started out from Connecticut with a Mr. Warden who was also looking for land that was advertised. Also making the trip were Warner’s son, Alpheus, Alpheus’ wife Minerva, and three other young men. They arrived in February of 1811, and were followed in the spring by Warner’s wife, Urania and other children along with Moses Deming who was married to Warner’s daughter Ruth. Ruth Deming would become the first white settler to die in Medina County on July 26, 1812. That would also lead to Myrtle Hill Cemetery becoming the first Cemetery in Medina County.
Moses Deming had purchased a tract of land adjoining the land of the Warner’s, and his family traveled on an oxcart trail used for hauling supplies. Part of that trail became US 42 which today stretches from Cleveland, down through Columbus to Cincinnati, The sounds of axes and horses could be heard all around Hardscrabble as the settlers who arrived cleared the land and started farms.
In an except from “The Pioneer Women of Liverpool, Medina County, 1811-1835 Urania Warner is described, “Urania Warner was a great nurse and was often called to care for the sick. Only this much can be learned about her. Her life seems completely overshadowed by that of her husband, who was a very peculiar man, and many anecdotes are told of him. He lived many years longer than she, and he often remarked: “If I’d known my life would spin out to such a dreadful length I’d got married again, I would, and setup another family. He had great faith in “Mistress Warner”, as he called her. He said, “I never knew when I’d eat enough, I didn’t; I guess I’d killed myself, I would, but when Mistress Warner said I’d eat enough hitched right back, I did.” Although deprived of Mistress Warner’s watchful care, he lived to the great age of one hundred years.
From Connecticut, these pioneers brought cattle and horses and other necessary items for farming. The journey from Connecticut usually took about 20 days. As early as the summer of 1811, land was cleared for farming. The first crops of potatoes and corn were planted in 1812 by Alpheus Warner.
From the Indians in the area, Justus Warner learned of a large salty spring located on his farm. Mr. Warner found the spring so salty that salt could be easily manufactured from the water. Since salt was scarce in the wilderness, the salty spring offered Mr. Warner a splendid source of additional revenue and Mr. Warner immediately dug a broad, deep well at the spring. Mr. Warner found that by boiling the water in large iron kettles (obtained from Canton) a brine could be obtained the consistency of syrup, which when cooled, turned into salt crystals.
Mr. Warner soon discovered that more money could be obtained through the manufacture of salt than farming. He consequently devoted his time to the manufacture of salt and hired men to clear and improve his farm. As much as a barrel of salt was manufactured each day and this was sold quite readily. Settlers would travel as far as 50 miles to purchase the salt.
As more settlers arrived in the area, additional salt springs were discovered but none as extensive as Mr. Warner’s spring. The salt manufacture continued until the opening of the Erie Canal that lowered the cost of transportation so much that Mr. Warner’s salt manufacture was no longer profitable. The spring was located on the west bank of the Rocky River, a short distance above Marysville (Hardscrabble). The presence of salt in the area was a great inducement for settlers to move to Salt Spring Town, as it was then called.
On June 6, 1811, a daughter was born to Alpheus and Minerva Warner. Sally Urania Warner became the first white child born in Liverpool Township and so far as know, the first in the County. The first frame building was a barn erected by Moses Demming in 1812. Minerva Warner planted the first apple orchard in Medina County in 1812. The first apple cider in the Township came from that orchard and was pressed September 15, 1826 by Justus Warner.
During the summer of 1812 word spread that the British and Indians were landing at Huron, Ohio to the northwest on Lake Erie. The settlers held Council, Deming said that if any of the Indians wanted anything they must come and get it. Some of the settlers fled to Euclid, Ohio, but most built a blockhouse to the north in what is now Columbia Township, where the women and children stayed, while the men returned daily to Liverpool to feed the cattle and work the land
After Captain Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory over the British on Lake Erie the danger passed and more settlers arrived, including H. H. Coit, and the community settled down. The Indians would remain around the settlement until 1829 when they were finally run off. John Cossett came to the Township in 1814 at age 79 from Connecticut and located near what is now called Cossett Creek, he died two years later in 1816. Henry Mallet and his sons settled in the southern part of the Township near a stream that is now called Mallet Creek. The name Mallet Creek would later be given to what is now the intersection of SR 18 and SR 252 in York Township. Liverpool Township was created, organized, and named in 1816. It is thought that the name “Liverpool” came from the city of the same name in England, where there were extensive salt works. The first officers were Moses Deming and H. H. Coit, both Justices of the Peace. Moses Deming was also the first Coroner of Medina County.
From 1817 until 1822, settlers poured into the Township. The forests were cleared quite rapidly, making way for tillable fields. Most of the settlers located on the east side of the Rocky River. At various times of the year, mostly during the hunting season, Indians established camps on the west side of the river.
As soon as sufficient numbers of settlers had arrived in the Township, various industries began to grow. In 1818 a Mr. Darling erected a combination saw and gristmill on the river. Almost all of the early houses were built of lumber from this mill and the gristmill produced good quality flour. The mill operated until 1828 when it was abandoned. In 1823, Daniel Ford began the manufacture of wooden bowls. The business proved not to be particularly profitable and was discontinued three years later. A small distillery was built in 1820 by Abner Martin, a short distance south of Liverpool Center (Valley City). A copper still with a capacity of about 25 gallons was used. It is claimed that the whiskey was drunk as fast as it was made and that settlers would stand around the distillery waiting for the liquor to cool. The distillery operated for 15 years.
William Wilson erected a small distillery on the east bank of the Rocky River just east of the center in 1825. The “topers” of Liverpool declared the whiskey a fair article and the distillery had sufficient patronage to operate for eight years. Various other local distilleries came and went. The early distilleries were of great value to the settlers, in that they furnished a good market for locally grown rye and corn, and furnished what was then known as one of the necessities of life – liquor. Whiskey was looked upon by many as a panacea for all ills of which the pioneers were afflicted. It was used in the early days as a cooling beverage and a warming one, and was prescribed by pioneer physicians for both digestion and indigestion.
In 1824, the first pioneer to settle the northeastern corner of the Township arrived. His name was Abram Beebe and he came with oxen, sheep and one cow. He purchased 50 acres near the area that became know as Beebetown, (Just south of Boston Road on Marks).
In 1826, a Mr. Jackson opened a combination grist-saw mill. The lumber prepared at the mill was of excellent quality and at prices within the reach of everyone. This mill was abandoned in 1841.
In 1837 the village of Marysville, or Hardscrabble, was surveyed and platted. The village became known as Marysville in honor of Mary Coit, the wife of Henry H. Coit, who was the son of Daniel Coit. After several years, however, the village began to decline and many of the original village lots were absorbed into the adjacent farms.
The Village of Liverpool Center (Valley City) was laid out in 1834 by Abraham Freese, a surveyor. Twenty-five lots were originally laid out, but increased to Fifty-seven by 1854. Many businesses flourished in Liverpool. There were sawmills, blacksmiths, dry goods, saloons, foundries, gristmills, cloth manufacturing, tanneries, a tin shop, a gun shop, and numerous cheese factories. It is said that there was more manufacturing done here than in Medina which is the county seat. A man named Pfeifer in the Zacharias building opened the first saloon in 1855.
With the coming of the Erie Canal it became easier to get salt from other places in the east and the business at Hardscrabble was no longer profitable. In the 1830′s a large number of German settler’s came to Liverpool and by 1850 they had become very prosperous and owned over half the township. One of the most important industries ever to locate in the village was a foundry established in 1845. A Mr. Charles Pritchard manufactured various articles and implements including plows, flatirons, etc. As many as 8 to 10 men were employed at one time at the foundry.
As the village grew, various types of business enterprises flourished. A Mr. Parmelee operated a woolen mill and Aaron Carr operated a planing mill where large numbers of pumps and washing machines were manufactured. Luther Welton operated a small shop where he manufactured “Windsor” chairs. A tannery also was located in the village. As the population grew, various other shops opened including jewelry, photography, guns and firearms. In 1881, the population of Liverpool Center was two hundred. It was said that at one time in its history more manufacturing was done here than at Medina, the county seat. No other village of its size in the county had done equal business. Manufacturing and mercantile outlets continued to find Liverpool Township a fertile area for doing business through the turn of the century and is still in progress. The kinds of business outlets have been many and varied. Around the turn of the century, the Township had one of the largest horse sales in the country where dealers were known to purchase horses by the ‘car load.’ Plows, cultivators, and cistern pumps were among the manufactured items. Cigar manufacturing was at one time a great industry here, lasting many years from the turn of the century.
Also during this period, many different kinds of religious faiths flourished. Churches were organized in the 1830′s and have endured many physical and intellectual changes until they have reached the status they are at today. Zion Lutheran Church was established in 1830, and received it’s first pastor in 1834, Rev. G. W. Emmanuel Metzger. The present building on Abbeyville Road was dedicated in 1896. The first services held in Emmanuel United Church of Christ on Center Road were held in the Spring of 1838, with the Rev. John Christ Zacharias officiating. With much hard work and generosity of spirit, the people of Liverpool Township established an atmosphere in which all beliefs lived and worked well together.
Schools began as early as 1816 starting in an old log cabin and progressing to seven wood structures throughout the township. The first high school was begun in the present Town Hall with a class of 5 graduates. Liverpool School was opened around 1900 and was used until December of 2003 when the school moved to it’s new building in York Township adjacent to Buckeye High School.
Progress and a belief in the future seem to have been bywords for Valley City’s ancestors. From the changes now in place since the 1950′s, it would seem this philosophy has been carried down together with a love for community and old-fashioned values as Liverpool Township continues to grow beyond its 2000 Census population of 4,349 which was up 16.6% from 1990.