More about Caleb Eddy Jr. and his house

This article is a follow-up to the excellent article about Caleb Eddy Jr. and his home that was written by Kay Laughlin in the Aug. 2 issue of the Observer. I too have been fascinated by the Eddy family, who like the Crocker family of Westlake, had family members living in both Euclid Township (a portion of which later became East Cleveland) and Dover Township at the same time. What else do we know about Caleb Eddy Jr.?

Life in Euclid Township

According to a history of East Cleveland written by Ellen Loughry Price, Caleb was 14 years old when he moved with his parents to Euclid Township in 1806. The Eddy family joined other Euro-American families that had begun settling on Dugway Creek where it crossed the Buffalo Road in 1803. The hamlet was named “Nine Mile Creek.” Buffalo Road later became Euclid Avenue on the East Side and Detroit Road on the West Side. Loughry Price says that the journey to Euclid Township was so slow that the Eddy children begged to be allowed to walk. Finally, against her better judgement, their mother, Nancy, consented. They proved her fears right, as they soon became lost. A passing horseman recovered them and took them to the nearest cabin where they were found by their parents.

In 1807, when Caleb was 15, “The Church of Christ in Euclid” was incorporated under the Congregational-Presbyterian Plan of Union, at “Nine Mile Creek” on the Buffalo Road. It was chartered in Euclid Township, then a part of Geauga County (Cuyahoga County was not formed until 1810). This was Cleveland’s first church and played an important role in the cultural development of the greater East Side as the First Presbyterian Church of East Cleveland. The church cemetery received its first burial in 1812. It is still in place. The former First Presbyterian Church campus currently operates as the New Life Cathedral.  

Caleb Jr. was 18 when his father constructed (surely with his help) a grist mill in 1809. The grist mill factors into a censure his father received from the church two years later.  According to Loughry Price the church had a rigorous code of conduct and enforced it. In 1811, when he was 20, Eddy’s father was called before the congregation to acknowledge that “he had unnecessarily attended a coal pit and ground grain on the Sabbath; whereby his Christian brethren were grieved and reproached him. His expression of sorrow and promise to refrain from such actions in the future were evidently satisfactory.”

In 1817, at 26, Caleb Eddy Jr. married for the first time. His father died the next year and was laid to rest in the First Presbyterian Church cemetery. Both of Caleb’s parents are buried there, with high-style, early 19th century sandstone gravestones marking their graves that are still legible despite all the intervening years.

The Eddys move to Dover

The earliest deed that can be located for Caleb Eddy Jr.’s purchase of land in Dover Township is 1827. In the 1830 U.S. Census he is noted as living in Dover with his wife and two children. This would be his first wife, Rebecca; daughter, Nancy; and son, Caleb Ransom Eddy.

The 1850 Census has the 59-year-old Caleb Eddy Jr. living in Dover with his second wife, Margaret Marilla Smith Griswold (whom he had married that year); daughter, Nancy, and his step-daughter, Margaret Griswold. Next door is his son, Caleb Ransom Eddy, married to Rosina Griswold (his new step-mother's daughter, whom he had married in 1843), their three children: Caleb, Henry and Jane, and another 42-year-old Griswold relative named Loami.

The 1860 Census has Caleb Ransom Eddy in Iowa. His father, Caleb Eddy Jr. died in 1869.

Tracing the history of the "Caleb Eddy" house

What else do we know about the former Caleb Eddy home in Bay Village?

What we don’t know is exactly what year it was built. An 1852 map of Dover Township shows two homes on Caleb Eddy’s 140 acres of property. One is located just south of Porter Creek as it passes under Bassett Road. Whether one of these two homes is the “Caleb Eddy” house currently located at 29506 Osborn Road cannot be proven.

The Ohio Historic Inventory form prepared for the Bay Village Historical Society, for this structure, by preservation consultant Steve McQuillin in 1999, lists the year built as 1860. Tax records do not support this construction date.

An 1874 map shows only one home next to the creek on the former Caleb Eddy property and by then the property was owned by August and Augustine Meunier. The county auditor lists the date of construction for 29506 Osborn Road as 1875. If this is true (which is doubtful) then the “Caleb Eddy” house could be the “August Meunier” house!

An 1892 map shows one home on the property which by this time is indicated as being owned by A.E. Van Valkenburg. We cannot find that name in the chain of titles. But an 1899 deed has 23 acres of the original Caleb Eddy farm transferring from A.C. and Emma Phinney to the Waldecks. Tax records from 1911 indicate a $910 decrease in value when a home was removed from the Waldeck property in 1910, according to a notation right on the tax records.

That same year, an 18.45-acre parcel owned by Reuben Osborn, described as east of the Waldeck property, was noted as increased $250 in value when a structure was moved to it. This corroborates the story that a part of the “Caleb Eddy” house was moved from its original location fronting Bassett Road and rolled on logs to a lot on Osborn Road, to make room next to the creek for a new home on the Waldeck property.

In 1916 Reuben Osborn sold the house and one acre of land to Edward A. Tuttle. Tuttle sold it to George W. Eason. By 1919 Eason had sold it to Frank and Lillian Twitchell, who owned it until 1927. It then was bought and sold by the Brueggemanns, Harrisons and Easterbrooks. In 1946 a Dan O. Anderson occupied the home according to a Bay Directory of that year. In 1948 Mrs. Ethel S. Llewellyn and her son Jack purchased and occupied the house and Ethel occupied the home for 20 years until Jack sold it to John and Barbara Gallagher in 1973. The Gallaghers owned it until they sold it to Steve and Diane Galehouse, the current owners, in 1978.

The Ohio Historic Inventory form lists the home as Greek Revival in style. It states that while it has been altered it still retains its basic form and many details largely intact. The alterations listed include a major rear extension, an enclosed west side wing and two shed dormers on the east side of the house. The clapboard siding is indicated as seeming original in 1999.

My family had the pleasure for 17 years of residing directly across the street from this charming home, which is lovingly maintained by the Galehouses.

William Krause

William R. Krause, AICP I am the Assistant Planning Director for the City of Westlake. I have worked for Westlake for 27 years. I served on the Bay Village Planning Commission for 5 years. I was a member of the Reuben Osborn Learning Center Steering Committee. I am a Board Member and Historian for the Westlake Historical Society and a Trustee of the Western Reserve Architectural Historians. I have been married to Debra for 35 years and am the father of three grown children, grandfather of two and owner of two Shih Tzu's and a Rat Terrier mix.

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Volume 8, Issue 16, Posted 9:43 AM, 08.16.2016