CWRU Links

STOW, JOSHUA

STOW, JOSHUA (1762-1842), an original shareholder in the CONNECTICUT LAND CO., who accompanied MOSES CLEAVELAND and later helped develop land in Summit County, was born in Middlefield, Conn. and, although associated with the WESTERN RESERVE, never settled there himself, remaining in Connecticut. As commissary manager for Cleaveland's surveying party, Stow was given charge of the company's provisions. After returning to Conn., he encouraged development of his land grants, trading Western Reserve land he was unable to use for land in Connecticut. Stow was involved in Connecticut government, primarily responsible for including the freedom-of-religion clause he authored in that state's constitution. He was also postmaster of Middletown and judge of the county court.

When Cleaveland's surveying party set out from Schenectady in the spring of 1796, Stow, with several men, was to transport the supplies by water and meet the main party in Buffalo. At Oswego, the British detained Stow and for a while prevented him from entering Lake Ontario. He was eventually allowed to pass, only to lose 1 of 4 boats in a storm. When the surveying party reached Conneaut Creek, a crude structure was erected to house supplies, referred to as "Stow's Castle." In his lifetime, Stow purportedly made 13 trips between Connecticut and the Western Reserve. He managed his Ohio affairs through his business partner, Wm. Wetmore. In 1809 these two men, with Henry Newberry, founded Cuyahoga Falls. Stow Twp. in Summit County was named after Stow. Several of his relations did eventually settle there.


Finding aid for the Joshua Stow Papers. WRHS.