Posts Tagged ‘John G. Norton’

Gold Rush: Milan’s California Exodus of 1849

December 8, 2009

Milan, Ohio - 1846 (Image from linked Milan website below)

Milan’s California Exodus of 1849.

The death of Hiram Allen, at Lower Lake, Lake county, California, November 13, 1889, has already been announced, he dying at the age of 67 years and 10 months. He was of the vast army of adventurous fortune-seekers, who, in 1849, led the way in search for wealth in the mines of California.

The party of which he was a member left Milan in March, 1850 (1849), and consisted of Ebenezer B. Atherton, (Captain), Martin Smith, Harvey C. Page, Robert Smith, Samuel Wickham, Jno. G. Norton, Hiram Allen, Snow Edison, Geo. C. Choate, Chas. Goodrich, J. Gregory and Wm. Jennings.

The Milan Tribune had a letter from Martin Smith, written opposite St. Joseph, Mo., April 26th, 1849, where there then were about 300 wagons, in thirty camps, awaiting preparation for the start across the plains. In the train embracing the Milan company were about thirty wagons and 175 men. The party were in excellent spirits. Their train included companies from Monroeville, Bellevue, Columbus, Marion, Lorain county Cleveland, Delaware and Cincinnati.

A letter from Wm. Jennings, dated Pawnee (Indian Territory), May 18, said the party was all well and making 15 miles per day.

A letter from E.B. Atherton, dated Sacramento, August 25th, announced his arrival there, leaving the Milan company at Carson river.

It will not be practicable here to follow the adventures through their varied experiences including both disappointment and success. Most of them returned to “the States.” The only ones now living are Mr. Norton, of Toledo, Mr. Jennings, of California, and Mr. Edison, of Canada. The latter is an uncle of Thos. A. Edison, of world fame. Mr. Norton for some time past has been in California superintending stamp mills belonging to himself and Toledo associates, a notable feature of the business consisting of utilizing quartz thrown aside in the primitive operations of the Milan “49-ers.”

Mr. Allen was a son of Seneca Allen one of the most prominent of the pioneers of the Maumee Valley, having gone there from Detroit in 1816, and opened a small store at Roche du Point, now Waterville, Lucas county. In 1818 he removed to “Orleans of the North,” an embryo town on the Maumee river, below Fort Meigs and opposite Maumee. He there was justice of the peace, that locality then being in Logan county.

In 1824 he purchased, for $480, 160 acres of land, now in the heart of Toledo, on which are located the court house and the high school building, but was unable to hold it. He was a civil engineer, and laid out a large portion of the original plat of Toledo. In 1824 25, he taught the first school in Toledo. With his family he removed to Monroe, Mich., in 1827, where he died of cholera in 1834. He was a man of high character. His wife, Mrs. Fannie L. Allen, a woman of remarkable worth, died in Cleveland in 1875, aged 82. They had twelve children, including beside Hiram, Mrs. Hamilton Colton, of Milan, O.; Mrs. J.W. Keith and Mrs. Geo. B. Traux, of Detroit, and Mrs. Geo. Standart and Mrs. J.H. Blinn of Cleveland. Mrs. Allen was the elder sister of Mrs. Carlos Colton, of Toledo.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Jan 2, 1890

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**Click on the “Gold Rush” category to the right for earlier accounts mentioning these forty-niners.