Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hiram Bronson

Hiram Bronson

Medina County Gazette 31 March 1892, page 4.

Hiram Bronson was born 1802 in Connecticut and he came to Medina with his family when he was still a boy. It was said that he drove the first cattle to market from Medina Township.

In the mid 1820's he was a deputy sheriff. In 1828 he married Mary Ann Stevens. And then he became the Medina County Sheriff from 1828 to 1830.

Then he moved to Richfield Township (which at that time was part of Medina County) in 1830 and lived there until 1842 and operated a mercantile store. Then he moved back to Medina and opened his store at the northwest corner of Court Street and West Liberty.

He was initiated as in the first degree of Masonry on 7 July 1823. He served as high priest seven times.

Also during that time period he was the Brigade Inspector for the State militia from 1825- 1833.

Around 1840, he built "Rose Cottage" on the northwest corner of West Liberty and North Elmwood. The cottage was later moved to 131 North Elmwood, where the current parking lot for the Medina Municipal Court is.

The Rose Cottage built by Hiram in the 1840's.

Oil painting of the Rose Cottage purportedly done by Mrs. Bronson. At the Medina County Historical Society.

On the old lot, Hiram built a three story brick house. In 1906 this brick home was torn down by a contractor.

A rendering of Hiram's brick house that appears in the 1874
Combination Atlas of Medina County

He was elected Judge in 1854.

Around this time he was one of the proponents of a railroad connecting Medina to a main line in Grafton. The endeavor floundered for years but was finally completed in 1871. This effort was a financial loss for Hiram.

He retired from his mercantile store in 1861.

But in 1865 he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and he served until 1869.

Interestingly, he does not have a biographical sketch in the 1881  History of Medina County and Ohio, which is unusual for such a prominent citizen.

In 1884 he donated the stained glass window over the alter at St.Paul's Episcopal Church in memory of his brother Noah, Noah's wife, Betsey, and their children, Sherman, Rebecca and Lavenia.

Hiram died in March of 1892 at his daughter's house in St. Louis, Missouri. He was nearly 90 years old. His obituary reflected the respect in which he was held.

The Medina County Gazette
31 March 1892, page 4.

Bronson Street on the northeast quadrant of Medina is named for Hiram.

Hiram accomplished plenty in his own right to merit his remembrance in Medina County. But he also had some rather illustrious relatives.

Several newspaper articles from the early 1900's mention a connection between the Alcott family in Medina and the Alcott family of Connecticut.

The Medina County Sentinel 19 November 1915, page 1.

The Medina Sentinel 16 August, 1923, page 1.

The Medina County Gazette,  29 April, 1926, page 1.

But other articles more contemporary to his lifetime say that A. Bronson Alcott visited with Hiram Bronson. A quick search for the ancestry of these gentlemen show that A. Bronson Alcott and Hiram Bronson were first cousins.

The Medina County Gazette 14 Dec 1877, page 4

The Medina County Gazette 14 November 1878, page 7

And in case you are wondering, yes, A. Bronson Alcott was the father of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women, Little Men, and Jo's Boys. A. Bronson and Hiram were first cousins. Which would make Hiram Bronson a first cousin once removed of the famous authoress.

I could not find any articles that stated that Louisa ever accompanied her father on his visits to Medina, and it seems strange that the earliest articles don't mention her visits. And her father frequently went on speaking tours on his own.

But still...

WikiMedia Commons

Web sites:
Beyond the Storefronts
Discover Medina
Lost Medina
WikiMedia Commons
World Connect Project

Combination Atlas of Medina County  (1874)
History of Medina County and Ohio (1881)
Historical Highlights of Medina (1948)
Images of America Medina by Gloria Brown

Medina County Gazette
     17 March 1974
     31 March 1892
     29 April 1926.
     14 Dec 1877
Medina County Sentinel
      19 November 1915
      16 August, 1923


Anonymous said...

That was an interesting read!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating! Thank you