Jesse’s First Trip

Jesse’s first trip to Milton Township

Excerpt from The Legend of Jesse Halliday

It was the spring of 1804 – less than a year since Ohio achieved statehood.

It was time to make a move. On this cool morning Jesse dropped his canoe into the water and began making his way up the Mahoning River towards Newton Falls.

Jesse had just spent a week in Warren visiting with Ephraim Quinby and his family. Ephraim, an old friend, introduced Jesse to some key settlers who explained how agriculture would play an important role in the development of Northeast Ohio.

Jesse was a man on a mission. He was looking for a specific location to build his business and make his fortune. Newton Falls looked promising, but it wasn’t quite what he was looking for. After a hearty meal and a good night’s sleep, he continued upstream at the crack of dawn. By mid afternoon he had reached a rapids in the river. It looked right. It sounded right.

He sat down on a flat rock and listened to the birds and the rustling of a gentle breeze through the tree leaves. He heard a voice in his mind’s eye….’Jesse, this is it. Build it. Build it, and they will come.’

Jesse was practical, but there was enough idealism in him to know the importance of enjoying this special moment. While he sat on the rock, he pulled out a cherry flavored cigar. Then, he reached into the canoe and pulled out a flask of wine his father had given him before he left Pennsylvania. He had brought both with him – just for this celebration.

As he relished the smoke and drink, a doubt started to creep in. Is this what fate has in store for me? Then, just as quickly he dismissed the doubt: ‘Fate is for those too weak to determine their own destiny.’

His celebration over, Jesse started his journey back to Warren. He had made the most important decision of his life. He never looked back.

Excerpts from The Legend of Jesse Halliday