Side A: On this site stood the home of Elisha and Polly Mygatt Whittlesey and their ten children. Also here was his law office and a records office that was moved in 1965 to Pioneer Village at the Canfield Fairgrounds. Already an attorney in his home state, Elisha (1783-1863) with Polly (1787-1855) emigrated from Danbury, Connecticut in June 1806 to Canfield in the Western Reserve where he was admitted to the Ohio bar and was prosecuting attorney from 1807 to 1823. During the War of 1812, Whittlesey was adjutant to Maj. Gen. Elijah Wadsworth and later a secretary to Gen. William Henry Harrison. Whittlesey opened a law office in Canfield in 1813, specialized in land cases, and was one of the founders of Norwalk, Ohio in 1815. In 1820, he was elected to the first of two terms in the Ohio General Assembly. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) From 1823-1838 Whittlesey served in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Trumbull, Portage, Geauga, and Ashtabula Counties. In Congress, he earned the nickname “Watchdog of the Treasury,” led Ohio’s delegation, and established the Whig party in the state. President William Henry Harrison appointed Whittlesey the auditor of the U.S. Post Office’s treasury in 1841, resigning in 1843. Appointed First Comptroller of the Treasury, he served from 1849-1857 under Presidents Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce and then from 1861-1863 under Lincoln. Whittlesey was active in the American Colonization Society from the 1820s-1863, helped to found the Mahoning County Agricultural Society (Canfield Fair) in 1847, and was general agent (1847) and later president (1855) of the Washington National Monument Association. He died in office in Washington D.C. and his body was accompanied to Canfield for burial by a wreath from First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.
Sponsors: Canfield Historical Society, Robert H. & Maxine D. Neff and Family, and The Ohio Historical Society