Early History of North Kingsville
Darrell E. Hamilton
The very first settlers of Kingsville, were all squatters. Most of
them came from western Pennsylvania with very little or no money
at all. Most of them probably knew they were squatters when they
settled the area but more than likely they may not of had a choice
for various reasons, mainly being all of them were very poor.
Eldad Harrington was the very first squatter who had a reputa-
tion as a great hunter and fisherman. He came to Kingsville from
western Pennsylvania in the late summer of 1803. He erected his
cabin on the bottom lands of the Conneaut River near the bend of
the stream. In 1805, Harrington was followed by seven other squat-
ters and their families. Most of these families hoped they be able
to earn enough money to buy their land. Sometimes they would sell
their improvements to the land to buy their own land and start
over. This was a common practice in the Connecticut Western
Reserve for early settlers. The names of these early settlers or
"squatters", as labeled by many earlier historians were Israel Harr-
ington, Elijah Lewis, Andrew Stull, Daniel Tolbert, Leonard and
Michael Widener, a Mr. Blackman and a Mr. and Mrs. Blackamore,
all of whom where from western Pennsylvania. Mr Blackamore
was a soldier in the Revolutionary War with the Continental Con-
In the early years of Kingsville, even though the Indians had
"sold" their lands, they had been granted the right to hunt and fish
on their former lands by the treaty of Greenville. Kingsville had an
abundant wildlife and fish as did the rest of Ashtabula Township.
By the end of the War of 1812, most Indians had left the Connecticut
The first settler who was a land owner in what we now know as
Kingsville - North Kingsville, was Captain Walter Fobes who came
from Norwich, Massachusetts in 1805. Fobes' life was short lived as
he died in 1816. Kingsville at one time was known as Fobes' Dale
after the first land owner in the township that settles there. For a
short while, although not officially, Kingsville was called "Fobes'
Tale". The settlers of early Kingsville did not like the name that
their town was being called by substituting the "D" for a "T'.
The settlers finally got together and renames their township,
Norwich after the town that Captain Walter Fobes came from.
The name "Norwich" was short lived. A traveler who was just
passing through "Norwich" heard about the controversy of renam-
ing the township which had become known as "Fobes' Tale", Unlike
Ashtabula, the people of Kingsville must have been more easily in-
fluenced with the power of whiskey just like the Indians of the Con-
necticut Western Reserve. An inintinerant named King suggested
that the town be named after him. In return, King would give the
people four gallons of whiskey. The people agreed and Kingsville
The township of Kingsville was organized in 1810 and was th
first township created from Ashtabula Township.