The following data is extracted from The Book of Clevelanders, A Biographical Dictionary of Living Men of the City of Cleveland, Burrows Book Company, 1914.
Nicholson, Ezra; inventor; manufacturer and real estate: born, Lakewood, O., Feb. 8, 1835; son of James and Betsy Bartholomew Nicholson; educated, common and high schools Cleveland; married. Lakewood, June 9, 1863, Alice Samantha Fowles; issue. six children; three living and three died when young; was the first clerk and treas. of Lakewood, and one of a committee of two to select a name for the town; in 1862, at the call of Governor Todd for volunteers, to protect Cincinnati against the rebel army under command of Gen. Kirby Smith, he enlisted with sixteen others under Capt. Rice, and went to Cincinnati, were known as "Squirrel Hunters"; father, James Nicholson, died in 1859, leaving him a farm of 270 acres; for seven years, he ran this farm, setting out many acres to fruit and grapes; had 50 acres of the latter, the first grown in this section; in 1893, began allotting the farm; laid out Grace and Clarence Aves. putting in all improvements; procured the right-of-way free, excepting two pieces of land, and promoted the Rocky River R. R., a steam suburban rail-road, since sold to the Nickel Plate R. R.; made preliminary survey and located part of Nickel Plate R. R.; invented and patented The Nicholson Self-Recording Ship Log and Speed Indicator, with electric attachment; Wane Motor for storing electricity; Marine Engine Speed Recorder; Clutch Geering for Electric Block Signal for railroads; Recording Electric Meter and several other inventions; was the first pres. and held office for four years, of The Rocky River R. R. Co.; director The Fanner Mnfg. Co., The Lakewood Savings Bank, The Nicholson Realty Co.; pres. the First New Jerusalem Church of Lakewood; several years school director and chairman of the board; when his father came to Cleveland, there was only one house on the West Side; there was no road but the trees were marked to indicate one; bears and wolves were plentiful and Indians camped on his father's land; this land is now laid out in beautiful streets and built up with modern residences, school houses, and churches; has lived for 75 years in the house his father built in 1838; it is the oldest residence in Lakewood; located on Detroit Ave. Recreations: Traveling in Foreign Lands, and Own Country, Motoring, Yachting, Reading, Inventing and Making Useful Things.
Source: The Book of Clevelanders, A Biographical Dictionary of Living Men of the City of Cleveland, Burrows Book Company, 1914