Henry Church Sr. (1806-1878) was born in Amherst, MA in 1805. He was one of the first settlers to come to Chagrin arriving, in 1834 with his wife Clarissa and two daughters, Jerusha and Jane. Henry was a blacksmith by trade, and he was highly respected by the citizenry serving as the Justice of the Peace for many years. C. T. Blakeslee, in his History of Chagrin Falls and Vicinity written in 1874, always refers to him as Squire Church.
Henry was one of many abolitionists in Chagrin prior to the Civil War. Henry was actively involved in the Underground Railroad helping fugitive slaves make their way to Canada. When he died at age 73, he was the last survivor of the original settlers. It was said in his obituary “that it is doubtful if today could be found one person who was his enemy. Honesty, integrity, kindness, generosity, charity, all these were his”