Judge Turhand Kirtland

If you had lived in Poland Village back in the 1830s, you would have seen this man every Sunday dressed in his best suit driving a buggy to church. The Judge was a member of St. James Episcopal Church, then located three miles west of Poland on the southeast corner of Market St. and Route 224. In the buggy with the Judge would be his wife, Polly, dressed in the latest silk fashions of the day. The Kirtlands had joined St. James on July 20, 1809 when it became the first Episcopal Diocese outside of the original thirteen colonies. They, with sixty other members, met in a private home until 1828 when construction of their Colonial-style church was completed. In 1972 this 144 year old church was moved from Market Street to its present location in Boardman Park.
Just about everyone living in the Western Reserve 170 years ago knew the Judge or had heard of his accomplishments. He had participated in the Revolutionary War and had been active in public affairs in Wallingford, Connecticut before coming to Poland. As one of the original members of the Connecticut Land Company, he was with the first surveying party to arrive on the shores of Lake Erie. After moving his family to Ohio in 1803 he was installed as Master of Erie Lodge, No. 47, Free and Accepted Masons. In 1804, Turhand was elected State Senator from Trumbull County. He was Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for several years and Justice of Peace in Poland Township for more than two decades. In the 1830’s you would have likely tipped your hat to this handsome couple as they rode past on their way to church.