2003 – Temperance Inn/John Shaner Family

The Temperance Inn was located on what is now the southeast corner of Holloway Road and Railroad Street in Holland. From the name of the Inn it must have been used by those who did not use alcohol and were temperate in their behavior. Lola Vesey Merrell states that it was a “hotel in the Shaner home” in her History of Holland.
Local history also claims that the home or inn was used as a station on the Underground Railroad. If this is the case, the Inn must have existed prior to 1860. The story passed down about the railroad is that slaves escaping to Canada would use Wolf Creek as cover to get to the Temperance Inn and wait until they were signaled before leaving the creek bed and hurrying to safety. The signal was given by a candle being placed behind a green or blue glass pane in a window or door. There was also a red pane to signal that there was danger in trying to secure shelter at the Inn and that the person or persons should move on to the next stop or back to the previous one. It may have been owned by another person at that time, since census records show that John Shaner was not in Springfield Township until after 1860 and before 1870. In 1860 they were living in Perrysburg Township, Wood County, Ohio.
John Shaner was born on March 1, 1808 in Pennsylvania, possibly Lycoming County. He was married twice, first to Elizabeth Smee, and after she died in 1861 to Sarah Jane Trapp. John and Elizabeth probably came to Ohio in the late 1820s or early 1830s. They may have initially lived in Athens County where Adam Shaner (John’s father) was living in 1840. Adam Shaner (John’s father) was born in Maryland and married to Deborah Ivers of Pennsylvania. Adam’s grandfather, Matthias, was the first of the family to come to the American colonies from Alsace-Lorraine in the mid 1700s. He was married to Sophronia Fanny Poe who had been born in Frederick County, Maryland, but whose parents were part of the

immigration of Germans for the Lower Rhenish Palatinate in the early 1700s. Matthias’ son, Henry, was the grandfather of John and father of Adam Shaner.
John and Elizabeth (Smee) Shaner’s first son, Russel McMurray was born on May 1, 1827 in Pennsylvania followed by Elizabeth Jane in 1829. After moving to Ohio they had Isaac, who was born on September 30, 1832; John, born August 28, 1833; twins, Thomas and Adam, born October 30, 1835; and Martha Ann, born August 29, 1838. By 1840, they were in Perrysburg Township, where Wesley was born on January 30, 1841; and Abiah was born on July 15, 1847. On July 16, 1861, Elizabeth probably died in Perrysburg Township.
After Elizabeth’s death John continued farming in Springfield Township marrying Sarah Jane Trapp after Elizabeth’s death. She may have been the widow of Dennis Trapp, whose father came to Springfield Township before 1840. She was born on July 5, 1827 and died in 1897. Their children were Alice Elizabeth, born September 26, 1862; George Clair, born July 27, 1866; and Joseph B. Trapp, born December 1869.
Alice Elizabeth was a teacher at the Green and Starr (Crissey) schools in the township. She married George W. Smith and they moved to Republic County, Kansas in the early 1900s before returning to Springfield Township. They later moved to Fulton County where Alice died on September 16, 1945 in Swanton.
According to Ada Vesey Merrell’s history the Shaner house was purchased by Barbara Holloway after Sarah’s death in 1897. Joseph must have retained ownership of the orchard for a time even though he was living in Summerfield, Michigan. He sold that land to Dr. E.M. Latham in 1903 who platted the land and after retaining a site for his family and Office, sold ten lots, the first house built on them was by Frank Rumsey. The Albert A. Vesey family bought the lot on what is now the western corner of Railroad and Jefferson Streets and moved their grocery there in 1898 from what had been the Palmer House on Clark and Front Streets. The Shaner home purchased by Barbara Holloway was later sold to the Null Family and presently is owned by the Irons family.