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Situated in Lake County, Ohio, the city of Kirtland is where the first Mormon temple was built. After the Revolutionary War, what would one day be northern Ohio was designated as part of the Connecticut Western Reserve and surveyed by Moses Cleaveland in 1796. It is named in honor of a principal of the Connecticut Land Company who was also a judge in Trumbull County by the name of Turhand Kirtland. The land in Kirtland was densely wooded and the soil was clay. On top of that it was hilly, all of which caused it to be settled after other townships in the area. Christopher and his family were the first white settlers. Crary was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and in 1814, Estella Crary became the first school teacher. It was the headquarters of the Latter-day Saints from 1831 to 1837.

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