I failed to post some photo’s I came across in my research. Emmet, Mary and their children Richard and Eleanore lived in Payne Village, Harrison Township, Paulding County, Ohio (due west of Melrose in Brown Township same county). However the Cobe family had a farm near Melrose, Ohio (presumably Richard and Margaret’s farm).
The pictures shown below are from Ann S. Sherry’s 1989 book, The Melrose area.
My earliest recollections were those of playing along the banks of this muddy, winding stream. Well can I remember how my brother and I would watch those canal boats as they passed loaded with lumber, and how we longed to be able to ride one of those stubborn mules on whose backs we always saw some little boy or girl. If we could only get on one of those wonderful boats or even ride the mules how happy we would be. One day while we were playing along the banks, one of the boats, which was known to us as the “Kathy”, really did stop right beside us. We immediately made the acquaintance of the little fellow who rode the head mule. He invited us on board the boat and we were never happier than the time we walked across that gangplank. Our visit on board the boat was not long, but I think we found out everything there was to know about a canal boat, at least we thought we did. After the mules had been fed and the boat had gone, we children ran home to tell mother what had happened. She told us that we must never go on one of those boats again and forbade our playing on the banks anymore. Mother was not very well [abt. 1902], and we children spent most of our time playing alone. Thereafter we always watched for the “Katy” from the garden, and never forgot to wave our hands as she passed by.Eleanore Cobe, autobiography
It seems that Eleanor’s autobiography does not describe Payne Village. The canal ran North and South from Napoleon, Ohio through Charloe and near Melrose, but the family was living in or near Payne Village in 1900 – about the time that Eleanore describes playing along the canal and the death of her mother (1902) in her autobiography. There are only two bodies of water (creeks) that flow through or near Payne Village; Flatrock Creek and Wildcat Creek (per map of 1892 and 1905; and confirmed with Google maps). Perhaps the canal boats were able to traverse the creeks that ran near Payne Village also?