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Avon Lake's First Families Remembered in Stories & Photos

Malinda Titus Beard is one of many Avon Lake pioneers memorialized in Avon Lake Public Library’s local history and genealogy collection

Malinda Titus Beard’s hair was the longest the judges had ever seen. Freed from their usual braids piled atop her head, her long, dark-brown tresses cascaded down her 5-foot-3-inch frame to her feet and fanned out 18 inches on the floor. She most certainly would win the contest for the woman who had the longest hair in Cleveland. Unfortunately, the judges told her she could not win because she lived outside of the city limits. After much encouragement from her family and friends, this Avon Lake resident had traveled to Cleveland solely to enter the contest, only to be disqualified.

Malinda’s two daughters, Florence and Hattie, and Malinda’s daughter-in-law, Louise Krumweide, recalled this and other stories about her in a one-page, typed paper that is included in the Avon Lake Historical Society’s papers, now housed at the Avon Lake Public Library as part of its local history and genealogy collection. Other family names in this collection include Beck, Burrell, Buswell, Jaycox, Moore, and Tomanek.

Individually, these stories serve as puzzle pieces of the past; together, they form a picture of life in this area more than a century ago when farms full of fruit trees and grape vines dominated the landscape, men worked on those farms daily, women served in church and social organizations, took care of their homes and raised children, and those children played with their multiple siblings and cousins on rope swings, in and around Lake Erie, and on their acres of farmland.

The subjects of these stories are long gone, and many of the original farm houses and other buildings have been torn down and replaced with more modern housing, commercial sites, and even the NRG power plant. However, thanks to the foresight of members of the Avon Lake Historical Society, who took the time to preserve these memories, our Avon Lake ancestors will be remembered for generations to come.

If you are descended from an early Avon Lake family and have related stories, photos, and items to share, the Library would like to hear from you. Please stop in during regular library hours, call 440.933.8127.

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