Peter P. Cherry

Peter Cherry was dedicated to recording historical events. His passion for writing and recording led him to publish books, magazines, and articles in an attempt to create an increased interest in history. Although most of his writing focused on telling stories about local history, he was also committed to the education of children. Peter was a Sharon Center grade school teacher in the 1870’s and started the Young Folks Journal. Peter Cherry recognized the rapid changing time and wanted to create an account of it for future generations.

The economy was booming in the late 19th century. New inventions like the electric light, steam turbine, telephone, and automobile slowly made their debut in the small towns throughout Medina County. Although Medina County was predominantly rural, an increase in goods were becoming available due to the expansion of railroads. Labor unions gave workers an increase in income. Oil, iron ore, and coal were discovered in abundance causing the need for workers. However, this rapid rise in the economy was halted by the Panic of 1893, a deep depression that lasted from 1893-1897. This period was known as The Gilded Age (1870-1900).

This political period focused on individual rights and economic expansion. Federal acts such as the Civil Rights Act of 1870, the Homestead Act of 1862, and the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 were just a few legislative acts promoting rights, economic expansion, and free trade. Many women fought for prohibition and suffrage. This period also witnessed very close political races, large voter turnout, and corruption. Voters who supported a specific candidate were often rewarded with a government job or contract. U.S. citizens were very informed and interested in politics during this time period.

The social impact of this period included confusion with the new wealthy class. This period produced several entrepreneurs who became very wealthy. While many Americans viewed the large gap between the wealthy and the poor as inevitable and justifiable, others struggled with where they fit in society. The middle class was growing making Americans more comfortable financially. This caused confusion on how to act and who to socialize with. Many Americans felt that the wealthy received their fortune in a corrupt manner and flaunted their money over those who did not have it. Unequal distribution of wealth was an emerging controversy. Immigrants from Europe seeking greater economic and social prosperity migrated to the United States often causing discrimination. Many Americans did not think that immigrants should have the same equal rights as them since they were new to the country. Many businesses would not hire immigrants and neighbors would not accept them into their communities.

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Peter P. Cherry Self Portrait

Peter P. Cherry Self Portrait

Peter P. Cherry of Sharon Center, Ohio, revolutionized Medina County as we know it. Peter was born on September 17, 1848, in Mechame, New Jersey, but moved to Sharon Center along with his six brothers and sisters in 1856. While in Sharon Center his family purchased a farm and became farmers when he was still a child. As an adult he became a teacher, an editor, a mail carrier, a stagecoach driver, a rubber worker and a grocery store owner. Image courtesy of: Akron Beacon Journal View File Details Page

Peter Cherry's Life as a Teacher

Peter Cherry's Life as a Teacher

Peter Cherry taught grade school in Sharon Center in the mid-1870's. His dedication to educating children was apparent both in and out of the classroom. He not only taught, but published a monthly journal titled, "Young Folks Journal." This journal was used to educate children on historical events both locally and nationally. Most of the work Peter did was to benefit the future. By doing that he knew he had to pass the information to the kids he wrote for and taught to. Peter loved kids. He had ten of his own, many school children, and the children he wrote for. His career evolved around developing children to better our future generations and did it best by teaching and writing. Image courtesy of: Abbie Kaskey and Garrett Grandis View File Details Page

The Marriage of Peter and Mary Cherry

The Marriage of Peter and Mary Cherry

The first time their eyes met he knew she was the love of his life. At 20 years of age, Peter was a stage coach driver. He picked up Mary Clark in Copley, Ohio, who was on her way to Cleveland. They realized that they were in love with each other after their short stage coach ride. They eloped in Girard, Pennsylvania, on August 5, 1869, but came back to Sharon Center to start their family having ten children. The Cherry couple had the longest marriage in Medina County of 63 years at the time of Mary's death in 1935. Image courtesy of: Akron Beacon Journal View File Details Page

The Remembrance of Peter Cherry

The Remembrance of Peter Cherry

Peter Cherry continued researching pioneer life and families until his death at the age of 88. His death in 1937 was a time period much different from the time period he grew up in. He felt as though he had lost touch with the generation of 1937 and stated that he was "ready to go." Cherry died simply from old age and a full life. He felt like the world was declining and that people were becoming dishonest with themselves. Luckily he died feeling like he had lived a very accomplished, full life. He is buried in the Sharon Center Cemetery at 6655 Ridge Road, Sharon Center, next to his wife, Mary. Image courtesy of: Abbie Kaskey and Garrett Grandis View File Details Page

Chronicles of Peter Cherry

Chronicles of Peter Cherry

Peter Cherry was a leader in his ability to document history. He felt like not enough people wrote about pioneer history and that newspapers didn't inform people well enough. Peter did his best to provide details about this time period. Cherry always dressed for success and believed that if he was going to be the best writer possible, he needed to present himself like the best writer possible. Peter held many jobs and enjoyed switching. He felt like he always learned something new and acquired new skills with the starting of a new career. Cherry's yearning to learn made him become the great writer he was. Image courtesy of: Akron Beacon Journal View File Details Page

Audio

Excerpt from "The Pioneer Path:" Peter Cherry's Beliefs

Peter P. Cherry believed that all men were created equal. During this time period whites were still segregating African Americans but Cherry believed in total equality regardless of race. He was a very religious man and believed that God made everyone equal and despite our race, humans are all here to spread the word of God. Cherry also thought America was somewhat like an unborn nation having so many freedoms but having a lack of religious tolerance. He said soon God’s plan will work and our nation will then understand how to accept everyone and be more religious in their lives. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Abbie Kaskey and Garrett Grandis, “Peter P. Cherry,” Discover Medina, accessed July 24, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/250.

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