Wolves and Flax Image of Brandy Wine Creek in Cuyahoga Valley

Wolves and Flax


Wolves and Flax 1802 Prior Connecticut Western Reserve Land Deed

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.

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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. 

Wolves and Flax Ambrotype of Ohio Pioneer William Prior Sr. circa 1850
Wolves and Flax Old Flouring Mill Built by William Prior Sr., Henry William Prior with old State Road Bridge in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio circa 1870

About the Author

Wolves and Flax Available

September 22, 2020

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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: 



Book Info

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




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. 

Wolves and Flax: The Priors in the Cuyahoga Valley Wilderness Jacket