FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

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Biography of Samuel Alanson Lane

Born on the 15th day of June in the year of 1815, Samuel Alanson Lane would become yet another witness to the scientific and technological progress and revolutionary social change that occurred in the 19th century.  Born and raised in Suffield, Conn, Lane grew up on a farm and was raised around machinery and tools while his father, Comfort Lane (b. 1783), was an inventor of a version of the cotton gin, aptly named the Suffield Cotton Gin in 1826.  In 1826, with the sudden death of his father, S. A. Lane was forced to abandon his school house studies to help provide for his family by working on nearby farms.  It was not until 1831, that S. A. Lane left his home in Suffield to go off and work for a couple of store owners in Massachusetts followed by a book canvassing job in the South from 1833-1835.  From January in 1835 until May of the same year, Lane travels around the U.S., looking for work in numerous cities including, New Orleans,  Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland until finally settling in what would become his hometown, Akron, Ohio on June 29, 1835. 

Up until this time, Lane worked various jobs, including working for a paper called the Southern Spy in Georgia, acting briefly for a play in Ohio, freelancing as a house and sign paper, and even working as a teacher for School District No. 7 in Portage Township, OH.  His most notable careers during his lifetime would be: newspaper journalist and editor for The Akron Buzzard and The Akron Daily Beacon, Sheriff of Summit County (1856-1860, 1878-1881), Mayor of Summit County (1881-1883) and historian and co-author of the history book entitled, “Fifty Years and Over of Akron and Summit County”.  Lane was a part of the mass emigration West during the California Gold Rush in 1849, resulting in his being away for over 2 years from his loving family in search of fortune, though he did not make mining his career.

In his personal life, Lane was a family man, marrying his wife, Paulina Potter November 11, 1838 and remaining faithful and loving to her until her untimely death from cancer July 2, 1871.  With Paulina, Lane had eight children, four of them surviving until his later years, when he began his writing of his handwritten auto-biography in the year 1879.  These children were: Sarah Maria (1839-1841), Julius Sherman (b. 1841), Henry Lorenzo (1843-1849), William Alanson (1845-1849), Charles Walter (1848-1849), Frederick Alanson (b. 1849), Arthur Malcolm (b. 1855), Carrie Maria (1858-1892).  Lane cherished his family and wrote many entries in his diary about the closeness he and his kin had with one another and their many reunions throughout the years, until his death on June 14, 1905, just fifteen days before his 90th birthday.

Lane

 

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