Hiram Bronson

On a typical day in Medina, Ohio in 1812, a plethora of town sheep graze along the gently sloped hills. The people of Medina take their daily strolls through Medina square to purchase yarn, dry goods and share the town’s gossip. Conversation quickly turns to the latest fashion. Farmer’s denim flew off the shelves, so when a young man sporting a top hat, tweed jacket and cane walked down the street, people noticed. Many approached the dashing young man interested in who he was and how he ended up in this part of Ohio. Hiram Bronson arrived in Medina from a small town in Connecticut to start a new life in the Northwest Territory.
As Hiram became known as Mr. Bronson, he took on roles like farmer, store owner, Sheriff, and State Representative. He made large investments in the Northern land of Medina Village and in the railway. He built a Victorian style home, referred to as “Rose Cottage”, and plowed a beautiful farm that contributed to the gorgeous scenery of Medina. It was very impressive for Hiram to make all the contributions in such an unindustrialized time period. He had a dominant standing in the popular farming industry of small town Medina. As a man of many traits, he also ran a dry goods store on the square that brought in a good amount of business for the town. Being a wealthy and successful man, he gave an immense amount of money back into the town, helping it become the booming city we know and love today.
Hiram was an innovator and town founder. At a point in time Hiram made the decision to retire to his tranquil farm alongside his lovely wife, Mary Ann. Medina had trouble not having the powerful Hiram Bronson working in the town, so they elected him as an Ohio State Legislature. The Bronson family name lived on in Medina, but sadly his beautiful picturesque Rose Cottage did not. However, a street dedicated in his name, and a beautiful stain glass window in the popular St. Paul’s Episcopal Church remained for everyone to remember him by.

Images

Hiram Bronson Obituary Portrait

Hiram Bronson Obituary Portrait

The only professional sketch done of Hiram in his lifetime. Printed in the Medina County Gazette for his obituary. The special obituary took up almost a whole page, showing the amount of respect and influence Hiram Bronson had on Medina. The funeral procession made a commotion on the town's square as the townspeople recognized him as, "An honorable prominent pioneer, whose notable and earthly usefulness career forever left an impact on Medina's life." His many contributions to the progression of Medina's social standing and economy gave people something to weep for after he passes. To commemorate his legacy, a street just past N. Elmwood where his cottage once stood, adopted the name Bronson. Image Courtesy: Medina Gazette March 31, 1892 View File Details Page

Hiram Bronson's Grave

Hiram Bronson's Grave

Here lies the body of Medina's very own, Hiram Bronson. Hiram died of severe illness on March 31, 1892 in his daughter's home in St. Louis, Missouri. His dying wish: to be buried in the city that gave him the great life he lives. Where he was not only influential to the progression and change of the city, but to that of Medina villagers as well. His grave can easily be found today in Spring Grove Cemetery across from Medina High School. A large marble cross stands out, letting everyone who passes by the grave know his status and wealth. Image Courtesy: KyLea Hurla View File Details Page

Oil Painting of The Rose Cottage

Oil Painting of The Rose Cottage

This historic work of art, painted by Mrs. Hiram Bronson captures the beauty and detail of their first home, built by Hiram, dubbed “Rose Cottage”. The medium used is oil paint displayed upon woven canvas. The painting took months to finish in entirety because of the intricate detail, but became completed in 1840. The Rose Cottage, formerly located at 131 on the Northwest corner of West Liberty Street and North Elmwood Street in Medina, has since been torn down. They pushed back the Rose Cottage in 1845 to make room for the new architectural project of a home Bronson was planning to build. Mrs. Bronson presented the painting to Mrs. Lucia Selkirk as a bequeathed token of their friendship. Image Courtesy: Medina Historical Society View File Details Page

Documents of Hiram's Roles as Sheriff and Legislature

Documents of Hiram's Roles as Sheriff and Legislature

The Bronson name rang throughout Medina and surrounding counties for its stature. People of Medina recognized Hiram for his power and authority, so it did not come as a surprise when they elected him as the sheriff for Medina. For two years, 1828-1830, Hiram kept order and peace on every street of Medina. When he tried to retire to his beautiful farm, the people pulled him out of his retirement because they simply could not live without his authority. Hiram ran for state Representative, and in 1865 won the election. He worked his magic in our political system for four years until it was actually time for him to retire. Hiram retired to his precious Rose Cottage at the age of 67. Image Courtesy: Medina Historical Society View File Details Page

St. Paul's Stained Glass Window

St. Paul's Stained Glass Window

The gorgeous and intricate stained glass window donated to St. Paul Episcopal Church in Medina, by Sherman Bronson, son to the famous Hiram Bronson. Sherman donated it to commemorate his deceased father. The vivacious colors radiate through the pews as the sunshine emerges through the glass. Members of the church describe the impossible ask to focus on the mass due to the entrancing beauty the window beholds. To show gratitude to the church where they had worshiped very Sunday, Sherman donated this masterpiece. Sherman Included the names of his family in the window. Betsy, his wife, and heir three children, Noah, Rebecca, and Lavidia can all be read at he bottom of the window in dedication. Image Courtesy: St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Medina View File Details Page

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott

News and excitement spread through Medina like wildfire, when a very famous author stayed in our town. Louisa May Alcott, well-known author of best seller, Little Women, stayed with her relatives back in 1830. Hiram Bronson and Louisa May Alcott are cousins and enjoyed each others company. Louisa spent a good amount of time in the Bronson's Rose Cottage on the west side of town. Alcott did a great a great deal of writing during her visits, and spent other free time outside on the beautiful farm. Mrs. King from the Medina Historical Society tells this interesting story, which you can listen to in the audio file Image Courtesy: NY Times View File Details Page

Audio

Louisa May Alcott Story

Joann King of the Medina County Historical Society tells the great story of Louisa May Alcott, famous author of the well known young adult novel "Little Women" , as she traveled to stay with her Bronson family relatives in our very own Medina town. Enjoy the story! View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Liddy Thies, KyLea Hurla, “Hiram Bronson,” Discover Medina, accessed April 26, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/237.

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