In 1973, the Library's summer reading program offered children a tour of historic Alliance, Ohio. For each book that the child read, he or she was rewarded with one of the following historical sheets.
Mount Union College was founded as a subscription school in 1846 by the Reverend Orville Nelson Hartshorn. The first class session was held with just six students in a room on the third floor of the Old Carding Mill. The pupils sat on handmade benches at crude desks. After the school was chartered in 1858, as Mount Union College, the founders decided to construct a more prestigious building in which to operate the growing school. The Main Building, as it was first called, was later named in honor of Ira O. Chapman, who was a professor at the college during the first quarter of its existence. Men who were able to donate their labor during the busy Civil War days completed Chapman Hall in 1864. At that time it was one of the finest college buildings in the state. It is the oldest building still standing on the Mount Union College campus, and is one of the oldest buildings in Alliance.
Through the years it was used for classrooms, faculty offices, the library (until 1950), and as a museum and observatory. By 1964, when it was one hundred years old, Chapman Hall required extensive structural changes in order to continue to be suitable for college use. After much consideration it was decided to remodel and preserve the structure.
The remodeling job was finished in 1967, and now Chapman Hall stands ready to serve for at least another century. If you should be in the vicinity of the college and hear bells chiming, those bells are in the north tower of Chapman Hall. They are rung every fifteen minutes and on special occasions. Even with the addition of many other attractive buildings, Chapman Hall has remained the heart of the college's beautiful campus, where now approximately 1,200 students attend classes.
Alliance gave Ohio its official state flower, the scarlet carnation. In 1866, an Alliance doctor, Levi L. Lamborn, purchased six potted carnation plants. At that time there were very few of the flowers being cultivated in the United States. Dr. Lamborn, who loved flowers, intended to grow the rare carnations in the greenhouse that adjoined his house on the northwest corner of Main Street and Union Avenue.
In addition to his medical practice and his flower raising, the doctor had an interest in politics. In 1876 he ran against Mr. William McKinley for the Congressional seat from this district. Although the two men differed politically, they were personal friends. Since Mr. McKinley had expressed his admiration for the lovely flowers, Dr. Lamborn always presented him with a carnation for his lapel before their political debates. Mr. McKinley won the election to Congress and associated the carnation with his success. As he went on to become Governor of Ohio and then President of the United States, he wore the flower during his political campaigns.
In 1904, three years after President McKinley's assassination and 20 years after Dr. Lamborn had first made the suggestion that the flower be made a state emblem, the Ohio General Assembly voted to make the scarlet carnation the official state flower as a "token of love and reverence to the memory of William McKinley." Every year on President McKinley's birthday, January 29th, a bouquet of red carnations is put into the carved hands of his lifelike statue in front of the Capitol in Columbus.
In 1959, the General Assembly named Alliance the "Carnation City". Since 1960 the annual Carnation Festival  has been held in Alliance during the month of August. It is a busy and exciting 10 days during which Alliance is remembered as the birthplace of Ohio's scarlet carnation.
Attending class in the very first schools in Stark County was much different from going to school today. Students wrote with goose quill pens, and used ink made from the bark of walnut trees. Sometimes school was open only three or four months of the year.
Marlboro, Lexington, and Washington Townships all had schools before 1820. The school established in 1809, and supported by the Quakers in the village of Lexington, was probably the first school in Stark County. The first classes taught within the present city limits of Alliance were held in a cabin on land owned by Clement Rockhill near what is now the west end of Wayne Street. Eight years later, in 1828, a schoolhouse was built in Williamsport.
In 1838 a one room brick school was erected in the village of Freedom at the north end of First Street. This structure, now a house, is the oldest remaining school building in Alliance.
By 1857 there were too many children attending classes to all fit in the one room building, so a two story, six room school was built on the southeast corner of what are now North Park and Washington Streets. It was called the Alliance Union School, and was the first public school built in what later became the city of Alliance.
By the turn of the century the city had grown considerably in size, and an attempt was made to construct a grade school in each ward. Today Alliance can be proud of its school system which serves more than 6,000 students. The newest building, the Alliance High School, is one of the most modern and attractively furnished schools in the state.
Almost five years were required to complete Alliance's most magnificent residence, Glamorgan . Colonel William Henry Morgan, who succeeded his father as president of the Morgan Engineering Company, began to build his home in the summer of 1903. Because of his Welsh heritage the design of the building was similar to that of a Welsh castle. The outside walls, which were three and one half feet thick at the bottom, took 96 carloads of Vermont marble to construct. Of the nearly 50 rooms inside, many were decorated with molded plaster, rich hand carved woodwork, beautiful inlaid floors, and silk tapestries.
A magnificent pipe organ, one of the attractions at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition, was brought to the castle at the close of the Exposition. Unfortunately, it was badly damaged in the fire which destroyed part of the structure on September 26, 1945, and had to be removed.
Unlike the dark, cold medieval castles after which it was patterned, Glamorgan was filled with the most up to date conveniences. It had its own electric power plant to supply electricity for lighting, steam boilers for heating, a built in vacuum system for sweeping, an elevator, and a system of telephones which connected the many rooms of the house.
The land in front of the mansion had once been the area from which clay had been taken to make the bricks for many of the early Alliance buildings. Among them were the Opera House, the Hester block in Freedom, and part of the Haines House.
Colonel Morgan died in 1928. His widow continued to live in the castle for ten more years, at which time she sold the property to the Alliance Elks Lodge. The Lodge members used it until 1965 when it was sold to the Alliance Machine Company. In 1972 Glamorgan was included in the National Park Service's Register of Historical Places. It was recently acquired by the Alliance Board of Education and will probably be remodeled and used for school offices.
[See Alliance Memory  for more photos of Glamorgan through the years.]
John Grant, one of the first settlers of the village of Lexington in Stark County, purchased a grant of land of 160 acres in 1812. He moved from Lexington to claim his land, which was bounded by the present Norfolk-Southern Railroad tracks, Union Avenue, Cambridge Street, and Rockhill Avenue. In 1842 he completed a beautiful brick house. Ten years later his son-in-law, Jonathan Ridgeway Haines, acquired the home.
It was probably shortly thereafter that Mr. Haines, a Quaker and dedicated abolitionist, became an "agent" on the underground railroad. This "railroad" had been in operation since the late 1830s. It had "conductors", "agents", and "stations", but no tracks or locomotives. It was a secret network of homes whose owners wanted to help slaves who had escaped from their Southern masters reach freedom in the North.
Many slaves spent the daylight hours hidden in a tiny room above the Haines kitchen waiting until they could be hurried along through the darkness to the next "station". From Alliance they were taken through either Marlboro or Limaville to Randolph in Portage County and then north to safety.
Sara Grant Haines joined her husband in these activities. They were also very interested in the efforts to give women the right to vote, and in the crusade to ban the use of liquor.
Mr. and Mrs. Haines had six children. Their oldest son, John Columbus, a talented musician, left home as a teenager to join the Union Army in the Civil War. When he returned in 1865 he re-organized the Alliance City Band.
For about half a century the front yard of the house extended all the way to Main Street, but in the early 1890s the ground immediately surrounding it was subdivided into building lots for other houses, and new streets were added. Today the house is located on Market Street and is owned by the Alliance Area Preservation Society as a museum of local history and community center.
Read more about Haines House on their web site: www.haineshouse.org 
Text revised by Haines House historian Robb Hyde, November 3, 2003.
The Mabel Hartzell Museum , at the corner of North Park Avenue and Vine Street, was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Earley. The bricks to build this large house were manufactured nearby. There were marble fireplaces in seven rooms and marble shelves on both the lovely mirrors in the parlor. When it was built in 1867 it was one of the nicest homes in Alliance.
Mabel Hartzell was just eight years old when her mother died in 1884. She came to Alliance to live with the Earleys. When the Earleys died years later they willed the house to their adopted daughter, Mabel.
Miss Hartzell, who loved history and people, taught for 30 years and was an esteemed educator in the Alliance Public School System. When she died in 1954, she willed her home to the Alliance Historical Society  for use as a museum. She wanted a place in the city where its citizens could go to see the things that would help them better understand how people lived in earlier days. Other persons liked this idea also, and donated some of their antiques.
Among the many items displayed in the museum are an unusual desk made in 1875, an old time parlor organ, an ember pot which was used to carry hot coals from one fireplace to start a fire in another, kitchen utensils, china, furniture, clothing, pictures, the red and brown hand crocheted coat and plaid dress Mabel wore the day she arrived to live in the house, and a letter written by Abraham Lincoln.
The Mabel Hartzell Museum, operated by the Alliance Historical Society, is open to the public during the annual Carnation Festival. Appointments can be made to tour the facility at other times during the year. Admission is by a $3 donation and residents of the area are encouraged to help support the museum through their donations.
Once, there was no city of Alliance. There were no homes here, no streets, no businesses, no schools. There were only fields and forests where wild animals roamed. Then the pioneers came and established settlements. Three of the tiny villages which sprang up were Williamsport, founded in 1827; Freedom, founded in 1838; and Alliance (sometimes called Liberty), founded in 1850.
About this time railroads were being built across the United States. Two of these companies, the Cleveland and Wellsville Railroad (later called the Cleveland and Pittsburgh), and the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad (later known as the Pittsburgh, Ft. Wayne and Chicago) laid tracks which crossed in the village of Alliance. In fact the site had been named Alliance in anticipation of the union of the two railroad companies there. The railroad industry brought prosperity to the nearby communities. The villages grew so much that soon their boundaries were very close to each other. In 1854 the townspeople decided to incorporate the three small villages into one larger one called "Alliance". The population of the new village was less than 1,000.
In 1888 the village of Mount Union became a part of Alliance, giving the combined area a population of 7,607. The following year, 1889, Alliance was incorporated as a city.
As Alliance grew so did its industries. Today products made here can be found throughout the world. They include traveling cranes, mill machinery, drop forgings, bricks, bathroom fixtures, coated abrasives, metal stampings, electric motors, paint, pottery, and rubber bands. Since the city is also located in the center of a rich agricultural area, it is a fine place in which its nearly 27,000 citizens can live, work, and play.
In the early 1800s the Mahoning River was larger than it is today. Expecting the river to be widened and dredged in parts to permit commercial shipping, two Quakers from Virginia, Amos Holloway and Nathan Gaskill, platted the town of Lexington on its banks in 1807. Soon John Grant, Zaccheus Stanton, Jesse Feltz and others joined them, but their dreams of a great shipping center never materialized. The town today is little larger than it was a century and a half ago.
For the very early settlers in the township survival meant hard work. They had to build log cabins for shelter, clear the forests to make space for crops, and protect themselves from wild animals. If they wanted clothing not made of animal skins, they had to grow flax to make linen, or raise sheep for wool. In order to have their wheat ground into flour, they had to carry the grain all the way to the Ohio River--a three day trip! In 1818 a mill was constructed on the Mahoning River near the present city water works. For more than 80 years there was a mill on the site that either sawed lumber for new buildings, or ground grain for food. For most of the last 15 years of its existence it was a flour mill operated by two black men, John and Ed Cyrus.
In 1827 Williamsport became the next village to be recorded in Lexington Township. It was established by William and Martha Teeters on the north side of the Mahoning between what are now Beech and Gaskill Streets.
David Holloway founded Lima in 1830. The name was later changed to Limaville, probably because the railroads did not want the confusion of two Ohio stations with the same name. During the last part of the century the town supported a number of mills and industries, but these gradually went out of existence.
When it was recorded in 1833, half of the village of Mount Union was in Lexington Township. Mathias Hester platted the town of Freedom in 1838 and the original Alliance (sometimes called Liberty) in 1850. These three towns, along with Williamsport, later became the city of Alliance.
In the Fall of 1805, Abraham Wileman and his son, Mahlon, traveled from Columbiana County to build a log cabin in section one of what is now Marlboro Township. When the cabin was completed, Mr. Wileman returned to his home, leaving Mahlon to spend the winter alone. He lived a difficult life as the township's first permanent settler. The following spring his father brought the rest of the family to the area, and they started another farm in section 23. (The map, which shows the locations of their land, is from one drawn of Stark County in 1840.)
The land in Marlboro Township was included as a part of Lexington Township when the latter was organized in 1816. In 1821, the Stark County Commissioners divided the large area and created two separate townships, Lexington and Marlborough (later spelled Marlboro).
In 1827, William and Moses Pennock, Samuel Ellison, and Dewey Johnson had land they owned surveyed and had a plat drawn. (A plat is a diagram of the lots and streets.) The plat was then recorded as the town of Marlborough in the books at the Court House in Canton.
New Baltimore, developed on land first owned by Levi Haines, became the township's second village in 1831. A log tavern was constructed which later was an important stagecoach stop. The frame building which replaced it is still standing on the southeast corner of the square and is now being restored.
When it was first seen by the early pioneers, about one fourth of Marlboro Township was under water. Drainage systems were developed to make more land tillable, but even in the 1880's, the vast peat beds were considered useless. Around the turn of the century Mr. F. P. Keener looked at the western swamps and decided that celery could be made to grow there. To him is given the credit for beginning the area's famous vegetable industry.
The Public Square did not always look as it does today. At one time it was paved with cobblestones and was lined with hitching posts to which farmers tied their horses when they came to town to shop. There was a well in the center of the Square with a tin cup for anyone who cared to drink.
One of the major changes in the appearance of the Square took place in 1924. Prior to that year there was a monument, topped with an eagle, dedicated to the memory of the men who had died in the Civil War. Plans had been made to replace the eagle with a statue of Abraham Lincoln -- a likeness as he appeared after he had signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. Before the day arrived for the dedication of the new statue, veterans of the Spanish American War and World War I decided that they would like to erect statues honoring the men who gave their lives in those wars. The Civil War veterans postponed their plans until appropriate figures could be made for the other two memorials. All three bronze figures were made by a company in Cleveland, while the granite bases were mad in Alliance. The total cost of the three monuments was approximately $16,000.
On the Fourth of July 1924 there was a big parade, after which veterans and townspeople alike gathered at the Public Square for the dedication of the memorials. The statues were draped with flags. As a band played patriotic music, the statues were unveiled.
After World War II a cement memorial was erected listing the names of those soldiers who died in the conflict. The Korean War veterans later placed a bronze plaque on the Square honoring their fallen comrades.
Alliance is very fortunate to have one of the finest libraries of any city its size. Until 1886, however, there were no public or school libraries in Alliance. That year the Superintendent of Schools collected 70 books from different sources and kept them in his office for students to use. Soon a bookcase was donated, more books were purchased, and the collection of 610 volumes was moved into a room in the High School. The truant officer acted as librarian for a few years until a librarian was hired. The library was open to the public several days a week. People continued to give gifts of books and money, and eventually this room in the High School became known as the Alliance Public Library.
In 1899 members of the Board of Education saw the need for a separate building and decided to ask Andrew Carnegie for a donation. Mr. Carnegie pledged $25,000 toward the construction of a library building. Located at the corner of Arch and High Streets, the Carnegie Free Library was dedicated on September 6, 1904. It contained 7,500 books.
Improvements were made in the library's services. A separate children's department was organized in 1926. In 1938 one of our country's first trailer branches was started in Alliance. It was the beginning of the bookmobile service. The late 1940s saw the start of the audio-visual department with the circulating collection of films, filmstrips, and slides.
The single most important event in the history of the library was the opening of the new $660,000 Rodman Public Library on January 21, 1963. This big, beautiful new building was possible because of the generosity of an Alliance man, Mr. C. J. Rodman, who offered $250,000 toward a new library if the citizens would match his gift. The community more than doubled the amount, and the new facility, which now contains 156,000 volumes, became a reality. In 1972 a new addition to the Children's Room doubled the floor space, seating, and shelving capacity, and provided the children of Alliance with a beautiful place to enjoy reading.
Alliance owes its existence and early prosperity to the railroads. It was because of the anticipated rail linkage with important cities to the east and west that such people as Elisha Teeters, Matthias Hester, Simeion Jennings, and Isaac and Anna Webb purchased land near the newly acquired railroad right of way and began to develop it. The first railroad to reach Alliance was the Cleveland and Wellsville. Amidst much celebration the first locomotive steamed into the village of Freedom on July 4, 1851. Soon the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad was also running to the village.
On May 12, 1852 Colonel Daniel Sourbeck arrived from Pennsylvania to take charge of the hotel that had been built on the north side of the intersection of the two tracks. One of the worst disasters in the city's history occurred at the crossing in front of the hotel on December 6, 1856. In spite of the fact that the city council had ruled that locomotives could go no faster than six miles per hour through the area, a speeding locomotive collided at the intersection of the tracks with another train. One of the cars smashed into the hotel, and a number of people waiting for the trains to pass were killed. The grave of one of the victims, John McIntyre, can still be seen in the old United Brethren Church cemetery on River Street.
The newly elected President, Abraham Lincoln, dined at the hotel on his way to his inauguration in 1861. A monument was erected near the spot where he gave a brief speech.
The first building burned in 1863, and a brick building was constructed to replace it. The new structure was officially known as the Sourbeck House and served as a combination hotel, depot, and restaurant. Travelers came from hundreds of miles to enjoy its famous food and hospitality. The three Union Army Generals; Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan are said to have enjoyed one of Mr. Sourbeck's meals in 1867.
Today there is nothing left of the old buildings, but Alliance's industry is still dependent upon the railroads for the crucial transportation of raw materials and finished products.
In the days before television, radio, and movie theaters, people relied upon live state performances for their entertainment. Constructed in 1868 by Mr. Emor Crew, the Opera House was another of the buildings made of brick from the clay banks in what is now the front yard of Glamorgan Castle. It stood on the northeast corner of Main and Seneca Streets. Alliance families climbed to the third floor of the building to see the plays that were presented. Businesses occupied the storefronts on the first floor, and offices filled the second story.
Unfortunately, the building had some serious structural faults. When Mr. Charles Marchand purchased it in 1877 he made extensive repairs, but the building was still not considered to be absolutely sound.
About 4:30 on the afternoon of June 2, 1886, disaster struck. The east wall of the Opera House cracked, the north wall gave way, and the roof collapsed. Fortunately, the people inside the building realized what was happening, and everyone escaped safely. In spite of the fact that he was over 70 years of age, Mr. Harvey Laughlin who had been mayor of the city three terms, managed to rush from his second floor law office and make it safely to the street as the bricks tumbled down around him.
The building immediately to the east of the Opera House was also demolished in the collapse. Most of the merchandise in the main floor stores was lost, and several railroad cars on the tracks in back were severely damaged.
Mr. Marchand had the west half of the structure rebuilt, and it continued to be used for stores and offices. In 1971, while workmen were remodeling part of the building, another collapse occurred. Once again everyone inside got out safely, but the remaining parts of the original second story had to be torn down. Now it is no longer recognizable as Alliance's once famous Opera House.
Although no record of Washington Township's very first settlers has survived, one of the earliest known residents was Ezekiel Marsh, who probably came to the area before 1810. When other families moved into the township, it is said that Mr. Marsh permitted his cabin to be used as one of the first schools.
The first village to be platted and recorded was Mount Union, the southern half of which was in Washington Township. The northern portion was within the boundaries of Lexington Township. The village was established at the intersection of the important roads between the towns of Canton and Salem, and between Lexington and Carrollton, by Ellis and Job Johnson, Richard Fawcett, and John Hare in 1833.
Early in 1842 Isidore Carrillon founded the town of Freeburg on the Thomas Road. At one time the road had been an Indian trail. It was named for John Thomas. Farmers could take the road to Canton, and then travel to Massillon where their grain could be shipped on the Ohio Canal as far as the ports of Cleveland or Portsmouth.
In August of 1842 the town of Strasburgh was added to the number of recorded villages in Washington Township by Gregory Gross and Jacob Sardier. To avoid duplication with the town of the same name in Tuscarawas County, the post office in Strasburgh was named Maximo. By 1896 the village had adopted the name of its post office and is now called Maximo