Hurlbut likely went to Conneaut to collect statements because of allegations from John Spalding, Solomon Spalding’s brother, who recognized his brother’s work in the Book of Mormon. Hurlbut likely met John while serving as a Mormon missionary in Crawford County (Western PA), before John moved to the Conneaut area. http://solomonspalding.com/Lib/2000Adam.htm. Adams, Dale W. 1995. “Judge Not: The Saga of D.P. Hurlbut”, Ohio State University, April 18, 1995.
Based on his earlier talks with John Spalding, Hurlbut knew that Solomon Spalding’s wife might have a manuscript that would confirm the Spalding allegations.
“With this as bait, it was easy for Hurlbut to convince Grandison Newell and other avid anti-Mormons to finance his trip to Monson, located about 20 miles east of Springfield, Massachusetts.”
Adams, 1985. Page 9.