Alanson Pomeroy was a politician, a businessman, and a conductor on the Underground Railroad in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Pomeroy was born on February 20, 1805, in Massachusetts. He eventually relocated to Strongsville, in Cuyahoga County. In January 1831, Pomeroy married Kezia Pope. The couple remained in Strongsville, completing construction on a prominent home, named "The Homestead," in 1848. Pomeroy supported his family by owning at least two stores in northeastern Ohio, including one in Strongsville. He also was involved in the banking industry in nearby Cleveland, Ohio and also in Berea, Ohio. A prominent member of the community, Pomeroy won election to several government positions, including justice of the peace and Strongsville trustee. He also assumed a leadership position in the local Congregational Church.
Besides his political and economic pursuits, Pomeroy and his wife served as conductors on the Underground Railroad. They secreted fugitive slaves in the cellar of their home. Pomeroy commonly brought the runaways from Oberlin, Ohio in the back of a wagon. He concealed the fugitives under hay while transporting them. He would then take the African Americans to Rocky River, where he placed them on board boats that took the runaway slaves to freedom in Canada.
Pomeroy died on January 4, 1877. In 1980, Pomeroy's home became a restaurant known as Don's Pomeroy House Restaurant, Pub & Patio.
Pomeroy represents the growing tensions over slavery between Northerners and Southerners during the early nineteenth century. While many Northern states had provisions outlawing slavery, runaway slaves did not necessarily gain their freedom upon arriving in a free state. Federal law permitted slaveowners to reclaim their runaway slaves. Some slaves managed to escape their owners on their own, while others sometimes received assistance from sympathetic Northerners, such as Pomeroy.
- "Alanson Pomeroy homestead in Strongsville, Cuyahoga, County, Ohio." The Wilbur H. Siebert Underground Railroad Collection. The Ohio Historical Society. Columbus, OH. (http://cdm267401.cdmhost.com/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/siebert&CISOPTR=5380&REC=9)
- "Marker #48-18 : Pomeroy House / Same." Http://www.oll.state.oh.us/your_state/remarkable_ohio/marker_details.cfm?marker_id=785.