STILES, JOB PHELPS (ca. 1769-ca. 1849), and his wife, Talitha, were the first settlers of Cleveland. They accompanied MOSES CLEAVELAND's party to the WESTERN RESERVE in 1796. Stiles was born in Granville, Mass., son of Job and Lydia Phelps Stiles. He and his wife, purportedly schoolteachers, lived in Vermont. Stiles was never officially listed as a member of the surveying party; it is probable, however, he had some arrangement with the CONNECTICUT LAND CO. or Cleaveland. Before leaving in the autumn of 1796, the surveying party erected a cabin for Stiles on Lot 53, the present corner of Superior and W. 3rd St., and left him in charge of their supplies.
The Stiles were joined for a short time by boarder Jacob Landon, then by Edward Paine, who traded with the Indians. On 23 Jan. 1797, 17-year-old Talitha gave birth to Chas. Phelps Stiles, the first white child born in Cleveland, attended, according to tradition, by Indian women. The Stileses remained in the cabin until 1798, when they moved to higher ground southeast of the city in NEWBURGH to escape the unhealthy stagnant water at the CUYAHOGA RIVER's mouth. They lived there until 1800, when for unknown reasons they returned to Vermont. Stiles's wife, formerly Talitha Cumi Elderkin of Hartford, Conn., was given 1 city lot (2 acres), 1 10-acre lot, and a 100-acre lot for being the first white woman to settle in Cleveland. Stiles died in Branford, Vt.; Talitha survived him several years. Their son, Charles, died in Beaver, Ill., in 1882.