Amos Spafford

From Ohio History Central

Amos Spafford helped survey the Connecticut Western Reserve in the late 1790s. He also was one of the first settlers of Cleveland, Ohio.

Spafford was born on April 11, 1753, in Sharon, Connecticut. In 1796, the Connecticut Land Company sent Spafford, along with several other men, including Moses Cleaveland and Seth Pease, to begin surveying the Connecticut Western Reserve. Pease, Cleaveland, Spafford, and additional surveyors platted Cleveland, Ohio on this trip. It was at this time that Spafford made the first map of Cleveland. In 1797, Spafford returned to the Connecticut Western Reserve, where he surveyed several communities east of the Cuyahoga River.

Spafford soon moved to Cleveland, where the Connecticut Land Company employed him as a surveyor. He also assisted the company in land sales. Spafford soon emerged as a prominent resident in the community, serving as township trustee in 1802. In 1803, Spafford became the township chairman. Six years later, Spafford won election to the Ohio General Assembly as a representative from Geauga County. Besides his political career, Spafford also began operating a tavern in Cleveland in 1802.

In 1810, the United States government appointed Spafford as a collector of revenue on the Maumee River. Spafford accepted this position and moved to Perrysburg, Ohio. He fought in the War of 1812, defending northwestern Ohio from Indian and British attack.

Spafford died on August 5, 1816.

See Also


  1. Butler, Margaret Manor. A Pictorial History of the Western Reserve: 1796-1860. Cleveland, OH: The Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve and The Western Reserve Historical Society, 1963.  
  2. Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, eds. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.