Wanting to capture every moment of our rich history, we turned to an article Vickie Canfield did on "us" for The Albion News. What follows is the result of her dedicated research and journalism published on Wednesday, April 28, 1982.
Once upon a time, 1797 to be exact, Colonel Dunning McNair came to what is now Conneaut Township as an agent for the Pennsylvania Population Company. It was his job to find buyers for and settle 500,000 acres of land that the Population Company had purchased from the state.
The Population Company was comprised of several wealthy investors, and included such prominent people as Aaron Burr and Philadelphia banker, Robert Morris.
Colonel McNair established his headquarters at the big bend of Conneaut Creek on a town plat consisting of 1,600 acres. He named this town Lexington, although the reason why is not quite clear. One account tells us that one of the Colonel’s surveyors was a homesick Kentuckian who hoped that this new town would remind him of home. Another would have us believe that it was named after the famous Revolutionary War battle.
Either way, Col. McNair and a corps of assistant proceeded to lay out the town into tracts and roads. Lexington Road, the only vestige of the town that remains today, was opened in 1797.
In 1798 , Abiathar ad Elihu Crane arrived from Connecticut. The brothers settled near the Colonel, at what is now Cranesville. Abiathar was hired as one of McNair's surveyors.
The first settlers began arriving shortly after the land was surveyed.. George Griffey and Matthews Harrington were among the first. Matthews Harrington later became one of the first township commissioners.
The first children to be born in the new settlement where Henry Wood in 1798 and Ruth and Eliza Crane. These two cousins were born in the same house on April 20, 1799. It must have been a busy day for the midwife.
In 1802, Henry Ball arrived from Virginia. Mr. Ball was a cousin of Mary Ball, who married a man named Washington and gave birth to a son named George. (Way cool, right?!)
Philip Bristol also came to live here around this time. He became the first schoolmaster for the school which was established in 1801. The Methodist Church also organized the first Sunday School Class for its growing membership.
Marsena Keep arrived in 1803 and the land surrounding his farm later became known as Keepville.
Albion was originally called Jacksonville or Jackson Corners and derive its name from Lyman Jackson who settled here in 1806.
At the height of its commerce, Lexington contained two distilleries, two hotels, a general store, a blacksmith's ship and several residences
The population in and around Lexington remained fairly constant until about 1815 when this area received a fresh influx of settlers. By this time, Col. McNair had moved on to settle other areas.
One of the outstanding citizens of Conneaut Township moved into Lexington in 1814. Captain David Sawdey purchased 300 acres of land, which included the town as a whole.
Capt. Sawdey was a sea captain during the French and English War, and half-owner of a ship christened the Nancy Belle. He was transporting supplies from Europe when his ship was captured by a British frigate and impounded. The Captain and his crew spent nearly a year in a British prison before being allowed to return to the Colonies.master of the Lexington post office. After all, it was his town! He retained this position until the removal of the post office to Jackson Crossroads in February of 1835.
David Sawdey, having had his fill of life on the high seas, settled in Paris, New Year where he ran a modest mercantile business He married a Quaker lady named Zerviah Smith and it was her money that financed the purchase of Lexington. In , David Sawdey was running a general merchandising business when he was appointed the first postmaster of the Lexington post office. After all, it was his town! He retained this position until the removal of the post office to Jackson Crossroads in February of 1835.
Captain Sawdey was elected to the lower house of the State Legislature in 1836, served in the capacity for five years and was elected as State Commissioner for three years.
His first wife died in 1847 and in 1849 he married Eliza Bond, the daughter of a prominent business man from Fredonia, New York.
The Captain died December 5, 1857 on his farm and was followed by his wife in 1897. They had a son, also named David, who continued to live on and maintain the farm after his parents' deaths. He practiced as an attorney in the city of Erie, but still kept up the roads around the Sawdey farm using three teams of draft horses.
The Captain died December 5, 1857 on his farm and was followed by his wife in 1897. They had a son, also named David, who continued to live on and maintain the farm after his parents' deaths. He practiced as an attorney in the city of Erie, but still kept up the roads around the Sawdey farm using three teams of draft horses.rospering. him, and there wasn't enough business to keep the town operation.
According to Reeds, History of Erie County, published in 1884, none of the town of Lexington remained at the time of that writing. The farms of David Sawdey and L.R. Strong covered the land that had been the town. Young David sold the farm to a family names Swift in 1927. C.R. McCain bought the farm in 1972 and it is still prospering.
Some of the original settlers of Lexington are buried in the Saulsbury Bridge Cemetery along Route 215. Matthews Harrington and his wife, Elizabeth, are both interred there. Although the headstones are worn with age, most are still fairy legible.
Whatever the reason, it's documented that Lexington did exist and does no longer. And it does cause one to stop and think about the continuity of things.