A Story 200+ Years in the Making
Wolves and Flax is based on the Prior Family Archive and other historical publications going back more than two centuries.
In the book Kenneth Clarke explores his family’s experience of living in the wilderness, establishing local government, welcoming fellow pioneers, and creating early industries in the Cuyahoga Valley.
Wolves and Flax pieces together a story told in snippets many times over the years by historians and family members in a definitive volume that also rewrites a short chapter in Northeast Ohio History.
Wolves and Flax is also a story about the Plymouth Colony, the American Revolution, and the New England towns of Duxbury, Dedham and Northampton Massachusetts, and Norwich, Connecticut.
Bears, Wolves and Wilderness Survival
William Prior Sr. , pictured, was 19 when he left his home town of Northampton, Massachusetts and arrived in the Cuyahoga Valley wilderness in the Connecticut Western Reserve with his parents and nine siblings. His account of being a pioneer was published posthumously in 1881 in the History of Summit County by Baskin & Battey Historical Publishers: Chicago, Illinois.
"Their meat was the flesh of deer, bears and turkeys killed in the woods; their clothing from flax grown upon the farm, worked into cloth and all of which was done by different members of the family. Linen and tow-cloth were the domestic staple products, but for winter wear buckskin moccasins, pants and jackets were used until after years when sheep could be protected from the wolves and woolen cloth was manufactured by the family." - William Prior, Sr.
About the Author
Wolves and Flax Available
September 22, 2020
Kenneth Clarke is the 5th Great Grandson of Simeon and Katharine Prior. Simeon and Katharine, along with their family, founded Northampton Township, now Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and started an archive, of which Kenneth is the 6th family keeper. The Prior Family Archive contains more than two centuries of family papers, documents, letters, photographs and artifacts. Kenneth and his family live on the western shoulders of the reemerging Cuyahoga Valley Wilderness.
Contact Kenneth at:
In the News
Wolves and Flax Press & Prior News
The Day reporter Lisa Shasha covers the publication of Wolves and Flax in Simeon Prior's hometown newspaper in Norwich, CT. This is a kind of homecoming for the Priors more than 200 years after the family left New England for the Connecticut Western Reserve - amazing! July 27, 2021
Akron Beacon Journal reporter Mark Price writes about the Hansparker Juneteenth, event and how a newly discovered Prior Family Archive photo of John Hansparker with Minnie Prior came to light the day before the event.
June 18, 2021
Spectrum News 1 reporter Jennifer Conn writes about John and Emily Hansparker, freed slaves who made Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio home after the Civil War, and how photos of John in the Prior Family Archive helped make sure the Hansparkers were remembered on Juneteenth.
June 15, 2021
Writer Kyle Cochrun's story, "'Wolves and Flax' uses a family archive to illustrate 19th-century Cuyahoga Falls," is in the March 2021 edition of The Devil Strip, Akron, Ohio's cutting edge arts and culture magazine.
February 15, 2021
Esthetic Lens Magazine interviewed "Wolves and Flax" author Kenneth Clarke about the writing of the book and tapping into creative energy during the pandemic.
December 26, 2020
Copyright © 2020 by Kenneth Clarke
All rights reserved. Published in the Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio
Book design by Kenneth Clarke
All photographs published in Wolves and Flax © Prior Family Archive
Jacket Design by Kenneth Clarke
Jacket Photograph: Brandywine Creek Below Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 2020 © Kenneth Clarke
Hard Cover, Digest (5.5 x 8.5 in / 140 x 216 mm), 94 Pages, Color Standard, 60# (90 GSM) White Paper, Linen Wrap, Matte Cover
SUGGESTED LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Names: Clarke, Kenneth, author
Title: Wolves and Flax: The Prior Family in the Cuyahoga Valley Wilderness
By: Kenneth Clarke
Description: First edition | Ohio: Publisher imprint: Lulu.com
Identifiers: LCCN 2020915665 | ISBN 9781716667909 (hardcover)
Classification: LCC F486.500.C53754 2020
LCSH: 1. Western Reserve (Ohio). 2. Cuyahoga Valley (Ohio). 3. United States – History – Revolution, 1775-1783 – Personal narratives. 4. Frontier and Pioneer Life.
5. Ohio – History – 1787-1865. 6. Ohio – History – 1865 –. 7. Family archives.
Manufactured in the United States of America
This first edition of Wolves and Flax: The Prior Family in the Cuyahoga Valley Wilderness was proceeded by a limited edition of 10 numbered copies.
Wolves and Flax is available directly through its publishing imprint Lulu.com as as well as online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ingram.