Sandusky County, OHGenWeb

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County Coordinator:
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State Coordinator:
Dale Grimm


Biographies housed at the above Archives link: 

ABERNETHY, Alonzo | BENJAMIN, Judah P. | BIRCHARD, Sardis | BUCKLAND, Ralph Pomeroy | DAUB, Michael J. | FULLER, William January | HAWKINS, Tom | JENNINGS, Lewis Wallace | LEVISEE, Aaron | McPHERSON, James Birdseye | OVERMYER - EVERSOLE - STORM


If you have biographies that you would like to submit, please email to me at the above email link.  Thank you.   

Bench & Bar Bios

BIOGRAPHIES INCLUDED ON THIS PAGE:  Amy R. Adams;  H. R. Adams; Thomas Gates Amsden; The Baker Family; Joseph and Amanda B. Birdseye; Nathan P. and Mary A. Birdseye; Dr. J. L. Brown; The Chapin Family; James Chapman; Charles Clapp and Family; James Cleveland; William Fuller; John S. and Ann Gardner; Caspar Hirt; Seneca D. and Mahala E. Hitt; Alfred Hutchinson; The Levisee Family; Rev. Michael Long; The McCauley Family; Hon. Oliver McIntyre; Franklin Richards; The Rife Family; Charles Rozell and Family; Carmi G. and Lydia Sanford; Christian Schultz; Samuel Skinner; Frederick Smith and Family; Jeremiah Smith; Alonzo Thorp; Bourdett Wood; Gurdon Woodward; Noah Young; John Zeigler;



Amy Rosalia Bedell, daughter of Benjamin L. Bedell and Sally Burr, was born in Manchester, Vermont, January 31, 1804. When Amy was quite small her mother married for her second husband Smith Bull, and about the year 1810 the family removed from Vermont to the vicinity of Plattsburgh, New York. There they lived until the fall of 1815, when they removed to Worthington, Ohio. Mrs. Bull had by her first husband two children, a son and daughter, Burr and Amy. Burr Bedell was born September 1, 1802, and at the time of his death, a few years since, was residing at Clayton, Michigan. By her second marriage she was the mother of twelve children, viz: Huldah, Mason, Rosetta, Thomas, Smith, Sally, Squire, Alfred, Orrin, Henry, Anna, and Alonzo. Mrs. Bull died in Urbana, Illinois, in October, 1852, surviving her husband some twelve years. She was born in Adams, Massachusetts, August 2, 1782.  

The strongest influence in the shaping of the character of our subject was that of her mother, who was a woman of much strength and excellence of character, capacity, and directness of purpose. Her early years were spent in a country home, where her time was divided between a brief attendance at the rude district school and the exacting duties of home life on a farm. After, the removal of the family to Ohio, through the perseverance of her mother she was sent out where she could work for her board and go to school. Possessing a naturally bright mind and an insatiable desire for knowledge, the opportunity thus afforded for its gratification was improved to the utmost, and although her education at this time was very limited, she made rapid progress in her studies, and at the age of sixteen she began to teach school. Looking back to this time she says those were halcyon days and remembers them only with tender and grateful emotions. Mrs. Adams taught altogether, though not continuously, for a period of seven years, continuing to teach for a time after her marriage. For a time after she began to teach she continued at intervals to attend school and had recitations to different instructors; so that finally she attained a considerable proficiency in the branches of study in use at that day. From the time she began to teach she supported herself entirely by her own exertions. She had a laudable ambition to better her condition in the world, physical and intellectual, and she possessed an equal measure the necessary determination and perseverance to accomplish it. An incident in the beginning of her career as teacher will illustrate this. She went to Columbus for the purpose of securing a school. A friend endeavored for some time to find one for her, but failing to do so suggested as an alternative that she accept a vacant position as chambermaid in a hotel. This suggestion she emphatically refused to entertain, and said she knew she was capable of something better. Considerably discouraged, but no less determined in the attainment of her object, she was about to return to Worthington when another friend interested himself in her behalf and soon brought her the welcome announcement that he had secured for her a room in which to teach and two scholars, and that she could begin the next day. The room was in a small building not far from where the Neil House now stands, and the scholars were his own children. Beginning in this small way the number of her pupils speedily increased and before her first term closed she had a school of sixty scholars, and required an assistant.  

At the age of nineteen she was married to Horatio R. Adams, and in the hopefulness of youth they entered upon that journey of mutual cares and joys, which at its termination by the death of her husband, spanned by nearly seven years more than half a century.  

In all the vicissitudes of the early years of their married life, when struggling against poverty and adversity, Mrs. Adams was the true helpmeet of her husband, sharing the hardships and privations as Well as the simple pleasures of frontier life. Mr. Adams in later years often referred to the heroic conduct of his young wife during that trying period, whose Christian fortitude had smoothed the rugged path by which a virtuous independence had eventually been gained.  

Mrs. Adams is endowed with more than ordinary intellectual gifts. She is a woman of ideas and originality of thought and possesses a happy faculty of expression, both by speech and pen. She has written much in both prose and verse, and her productions evince a high degree of literary talent. The religious element in her character is predominant. For more than sixty years the Divine Word, the entrance of which irradiated her soul when a girl of fourteen, and dispelled the darkness of doubt and sinfulness, has been a lamp to her feet and a light to her pathway. From her loyalty to her Master she has never swerved. She early connected herself with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has always remained a firm adherent of its faith and practices, and been a useful member. A good and useful woman, with remarkable endowments of mind and character, improved by high Christian culture, producing those graces which adorn society, the church, and the world, such is the subject of this sketch to those who know her best. We who thus know her feel the power of her single, earnest faith, the beauty and reward of a life "hid with Christ in God." Since the death of her husband Mrs. Adams has had the oversight of the farm, and although seventy-eight years of age, carries it on with admirable success.  

Mr. and Mrs. Adams were the parents of nine children, two of whom died in infancy. The others are as follows: Lucia, born in Rochester, New York, April 22, 1828, is now the wife of Dr. William McCormick, and resides in Grass Valley, California; they have two children living, Horatio and Jessie, and one (Willie) deceased. William, born in Lyme, Huron county, Ohio, in 1831, married Martha T. Pennell, and resides near Grand Rapids, Michigan; they have two children — Charles and Julia. Delia, born August 31, 1833, now widow of Upton F. Vore, and resides in Chicago; she has four children — Delia, Horatio, Upton, and Milton. Sophia, born in May, 1837, now widow of John S. Berger, and resides in Bellevue, Ohio; she has one child, Binnie, at present attending school at Oberlin, Ohio. Julia, born July 11, 1841, now the wife of H. H. Queen, and resides in Toledo, Ohio; they have two children — Florence and Waldemar. Frank, born June 27, 1846, died September 8, 1866. Florence, born November 29, 1848, now the wife of H. Z. Williams, to whom she was married September 1, 1870. They have two children, Julia and Amy, born respectively May 16, 1872, and November 14, 1874. All the children except the two oldest were born at the old homestead in York township.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 699-701


H. R. ADAMS.  

Horatio Rogers Adams was born in Montville, Connecticut, May 8, 1802. He was the oldest of three children, and only son of William Adams and Nancy Rogers, who were also natives of Connecticut. When Horatio was about seven years of age his parents removed from Montville to Albany, New York, where they afterwards lived. William Adams was a sea-captain, was the owner of a number of vessels, and a man of enterprise and thrift. His wife died in the fall of 1820 aged about thirty-seven, and some two years afterward he married Delia Olmsted, an estimable lady of Albany, and sister of Judge Jesse Olmsted, the pioneer merchant of Fremont, Ohio. Of his three children by his first wife (his second marriage being without issue) only one is now living, viz: Sophia Adams, who still resides in Albany. The younger sister, Mary, died in Albany. Neither of the sisters ever married.  

Horatio being the only child, and his father well-to-do, was permitted to follow his inclinations, and grew to young manhood surrounded by the social influences of city life. He attended school but little and employed a part of his leisure in fishing, his favorite sport, and in visiting at his uncle, Isaiah Adams's, a farmer living a few miles out of Albany. During these visits he would help in the work on the farm and it was there, doubtless, he formed the desire for the occupation which he subsequently followed. When about eighteen he made his way to Norwalk, Ohio, where a relative of his mother, Frederick Forsythe, was then living. He left home in company with George Olmsted on the 1st day of October, 1820, coming to Sandusky on the Walk-in-the-water, the pioneer steamer of Lake Erie. Shortly afterward he made a visit to his friends, the Olmsteds, in Lower Sandusky, now Fremont, being piloted thither through the wilderness by William Chapman, the mail-carrier. There was then no laid-out road west of where Bellevue now stands, which then consisted, according to Mr. Adams' recollection, of but one log-house. We next find him in Columbus, whither he journeyed on foot. He was now thrown upon his own resources and among strangers, and he found it necessary to do something to earn a living. The first job he found to do was to take a horse for a man a distance of thirty miles, for which service he received one dollar. Of course he had to walk back, but he was well satisfied with his bargain. It was the first money he had ever earned. A short time afterward he went to Worthington, a little village nine miles north of Columbus, where he found employment for a time in a printing office. In Worthington he first met his future wife, Amy R. Bedell. They were married on the 4th day of May, 1823, and a few years afterward settled on Darby Creek, in Madison county. The farm on which they located had been partly cleared by a former occupant, who had abandoned it, and the cleared part had grown over with a heavy undergrowth and practically required a second clearing. The first season he raised a small crop of corn and a few bushels of beans, which found a market in Columbus, twenty miles distant, at fifty cents per bushel. Cotton goods were fifty cents per yard, and other necessaries in proportion. It required a good deal of fortitude and hard toil to keep the wolf from the door during their stay there. While fighting under countless difficulties for a livelihood, Mr. Adams was much distressed by doubts as to the validity of his land title, his farm being embraced in what is known as the Virginia Military District. This tract comprised a large extent of territory lying between the Little Miami and Scioto Rivers, and was reserved by act of Congress for compensation of the Virginia soldiers who had served in the Revolutionary war. Any soldier, or his representative, who held a warrant was at liberty to select his lands wherever he chose within the military tract; and in consequence of the irregularity with which many locations were made, some locations encroaching upon others, considerable litigation ensued. This circumstance decided Mr. Adams upon disposing of his farm at any sacrifice, and consequently, after living there a couple of years, during which he and his always patient and helpful wife experienced every hardship incident to the lot of pioneers, they removed, in the summer of 1830, to Huron county, and located upon a farm rented of Jeremiah Sheffield, near Amsden's Corners, now Bellevue. He contracted with Mr. Sheffield to build a log-house on the farm, eighteen by twenty feet, in consideration of fifty bushels of wheat, and moved into this house on Christmas Day of the above year.  

The following season being very wet, his crops were scanty, and he decided upon making another change. He was offered the farm on which he afterwards lived till his death, in York township, Sandusky county, Ohio, for one dollar and fifty cents per acre, but he hesitated about making the purchase, the "oak openings," as they were called, being regarded as almost worthless for farming purposes. Against the advice of some of his friends, he decided to make the investment. That his decision was a wise one, one of the finest farms in the county is a sufficient proof.  

To this farm on New-Year's Day, 1832, he brought his wife and two children, and all his worldly goods, in an ox-cart, and moved into a log house eighteen feet square, with puncheon floor, clapboard roof and stick chimney. The farm was then an almost unbroken wilderness, and the prospect anything but bright. But attacking his task with his accustomed energy, he soon had a portion of his land in a condition to be cultivated, from which he managed to support an increasing family, while he continued to enlarge the boundary of his clearing. The next ten years were years of hard work, attended by trials and frequent failures, but instead of tending to discouragement it was an experience which only developed the force and determination of a man by nature determined and forcible. In 1842 he erected the house which was afterwards his permanent home, and which is still occupied by his widow. They took possession of this home on Christmas of that year, and it is a somewhat singular circumstance that on each removal they began the occupancy of their new home on one of the winter holidays.  

On the 8th of May, 1874, Mr. and Mrs. Adams celebrated their golden wedding. They had been married fifty years the 4th of May the previous year, but as sickness in the family prevented them from assembling that year, the reunion was postponed until the next year, and held on the 8th of May, which was Mr. Adams' seventy-second birthday. It was a happy occasion to all, and to the aged pair in whose honor it was held, an event second in interest only to their nuptial day. They had lived to see a large farm brought from a wild condition to a high state of cultivation, having increased in value a hundred fold, and to raise a family of children esteemed for their intelligence and moral worth.  

Mr. Adams united with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1829, and ever afterward was an active member and devoted Christian. His family was brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and he recognized no higher duties on earth than those of husband and father.  

He contributed with liberality to the support not only of the church to which he belonged, but to that of others as well, and there is hardly a church in the region where he lived so long that has not been the recipient of his benefactions. His business record was unimpeachable. It was characterized by energy, perseverance, and the strictest integrity, which was an integral part of his nature.  

He stood the embodiment of all that was upright, honest and honorable. A conspicuous quality of his mind was the faculty of humor. He had a keen sense of the comic and the ridiculous, and he enjoyed nothing more than a visit with friends, for whose entertainment he would relate, in his droll way, some humorous incident, usually in connection with his pioneer experiences. In manner he was to some extent eccentric and blunt, but he was always courteous, and to those who knew him best he had a nature as tender and sympathetic as a child's. Mr. Adams, from force of habit, continued his labors, more or less, on the farm long after reaching an age when most men are compelled to rest. In June, 1879, while at work in the field, he was overcome with the heat, which resulted in an affection of the brain, and after suffering intensely, mentally and physically, many months, he died March 22, 1880, aged nearly seventy-eight.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 697-699



The subject of this sketch was a conspicuous character in the history of Bellevue for more than thirty years. Thomas Gates Amsden was born in Ontario county. New York, October 8, 1797. His father, Isaac Amsden, was a Revolutionary soldier. After the war he settled on a farm in Ontario county, on which the son was accustomed to hard work, being given the advantage of a short term of schooling each winter.  

During the War of 1812, when the Governor of New York made a call for militia to defend Buffalo, Thomas, then in his seventeenth year, responded bravely to the call in place of an older brother. Bravery and courage, which were predominating characteristics of the man, thus early found expression in the boy.  

In early life Mr. Amsden came West, and in company with F. A. Chapman and one or two of his brothers, engaged in the hazardous business of hunting and trapping and trading with the Indians. They finally entered the employ of General Whitney, who at that time was conducting Indian stores at many of the frontier posts of the Northwest. Mr. Amsden was stationed at Green Bay, where he was quite successful, and won the confidence of his employer to the degree that, in 1823, General Whitney gave to himself and Mr. Chapman letters of credit on the great Boston house of A. & A. Lawrence, to the amount of a general stock of goods calculated to the wants of pioneer trade. This stock, placed in a log cabin, was the first store in Bellevue. General Whitney, in the same way, had started eight other clerks in business, but his kindness on the whole cost him considerable money, for, as he told Chapman & Amsden afterwards, they were the only two who paid for their stock and made a success in trade.  

So popular did the store of Chapman & Amsden become that the place received the name Amsden's Corners, the last named member of the firm being best known to the customers. For several years from 1823 they continued general merchandising. Their goods were at first adapted to trading with the Indians, who were then the principal inhabitants. As the Indians decreased, and the whites multiplied, they continued the business, increasing it as trade demanded. Beginning in a log hut, they finally carried it on in a more pretentious frame building, the first of the kind in this region, a part of it being occupied by Mr. Amsden as a family residence. This building was eventually torn away to make room for the stone block now occupied by the First National Bank.  

During this time they built the Exchange Hotel, which they continued to own for twenty years. This was the best hotel building for a long distance around, and had considerable influence upon the growth of the village by attracting emigrants and business men to the place.  

The frame building which displaced the first log store, was painted red, and was known as the "Red Store." It was the largest mercantile establishment between Norwalk and Lower Sandusky.  

In 1833 Mr. Amsden sold his interest in the store to Dr. L. G. Harkness and purchased of Samuel Miller a farm which was only partially improved. This farm included nearly all of that part of the present town of Bellevue in Sandusky county. While he was engaged at farming he was elected and served as justice of the peace. While a merchant he was postmaster. Mr. Amsden afterwards again entered active business in partnership with Mr. Chapman, under the firm name of T. G. Amsden & Co., dealers in general merchandise and farm products, until 1855, under the successive firm names of T. G. Amsden & Co., Amsden, Bramwell & Co., Amsden, Dimmick & Co., and Amsden & Co. He was in mercantile and general business in Bellevue. In 1848 he became interested in a store and distillery in Monroeville. This proved an unfortunate enterprise. It was not only in itself a financial failure, but carried the Bellevue house, in which his son, Isaac E., was interested, with it. Mr. Amsden's course was in the line of the strictest business integrity. He refused to adopt any method which prudence might suggest for saving a part of his hard-earned estate. He turned over to his creditors all his property, and emerged from the general crash in very straitened circumstances. He retained his home in Bellevue, where he lived for a few years in comparative retirement. Then selling out he purchased a small farm just below Fremont, where he died December 7, 1876.  

The maiden name of Mr. Amsden's first wife was Lydia Chapman, a daughter of James Chapman, who served in the Revolutionary army during the whole seven years of the war. This marriage occurred in 1823. They had a family of seven children, five of whom survived infancy — Sarah, Mary, Isaac E., Thomas, and William.  

Sarah was married to Hon. J. P. Shoemaker, of Amsden, Michigan, a place so named because Mr. Amsden once owned the land upon which it is located. Mary is married to Abishai Woodward, son of the late Gurdon Woodward, of Bellevue. Isaac E. married Cornelia Birdseye, daughter of N. P. Birdseye, and is in business in Fremont. Thomas died some years since in Bellevue. William, at the opening of the Rebellion, enlisted in the army, and was soon made captain in the Third Ohio Cavalry; was prostrated by camp fever in the spring of 1862, and was first brought to the hospital at Cincinnati and then to his home in Fremont, where he died June 19.  

Mrs. Amsden died in 1841.  

Mr. Amsden subsequently married Harriet Williams, of Monroeville. The family by this marriage consisted of five children — Emily, Edward, Lizzie, Maggie, and Harriet.  

Emily is married to Charles Cullen, of Delta, Fulton county, Ohio. Edward resides at Canton, Ohio. Lizzie resides in Fremont. Maggie died at the age of ten years. Harriet resides in Fremont.  

Mrs. Amsden occupies the residence to which the family removed from Bellevue.  

Mr. Amsden was a man of great physical energy and endurance, as well as of fine intellectual qualities, and in his long partnership with Mr. Chapman took the principal charge of the out-door business, while Mr. Chapman managed the office work. Mr. Amsden was highly respected for his unswerving integrity, and genial, affable manners. He was so widely known for his sound and reliable judgment that, for many years, his advice was uniformly taken before any new enterprise of importance was started. He was, during his prosperous business life, free in his charities. Nothing seemed to gratify him more than to relieve want or suffering. He was a supporter of the Episcopal church. He was for nearly thirty years a prominent and faithful member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Bellevue, and afterward in Fremont. At the time of his death appropriate resolutions of sympathy and respect were passed by the order, and a large delegation from the encampment at Fremont accompanied his remains to the beautiful cemetery at Bellevue, where they were deposited amid the ashes of his dead.  

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 686-688



The oldest son of James Birdseye, whose ancestry and operations in this county are mentioned in the foregoing sketch of Nathan P. Birdseye, was Joseph Birdseye. He was born in Ontario county, New York, November 26, 1800. His boyhood was spent at hard work on his father's farm. He had opportunity to attend school only a few months during the winter, affording a very limited education.  

Mr. Birdseye married, in 1823, Amanda Beach, daughter of Jonathan and Betsy Beach, who were natives of Connecticut. After his marriage Mr. Birdseye purchased a farm in New York, now the site of Rochester, one of the most flourishing cities of the State. Through the failure of a neighbor to meet an obligation on which Mr. Birdseye was security, this farm was lost. He then looked toward the West as a field for the restoration of his lost fortunes. In 1834 he purchased a farm in York township, on which he settled with his family in 1835. He was a hard worker, and continued making improvements and adding to his possessions. In partnership with his brother, Nathan P., he discharged a contract for macadamizing the pike between Bellevue and Clyde.  

Mr. Birdseye, in 1853, sold his farm in York township and moved to Clyde, where he had purchased a tract of land, now embraced in that part of the town lying between the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern railroad track and the turnpike. As the village grew he sold, in town lots, about fifty acres, a part of which was forest at the time of making the purchase.  

This operation showed Mr. Birdseye's business sagacity, and leads to the conclusion that but for his early misfortune at Rochester, New York, he would have been a very wealthy man. 

The family of Joseph and Amanda Birdseye consisted of five children — two sons and three daughters. Eliza was born in March, 1824. She died in 1847. Adalaide was born October 16, 1825. She resides in New York City. Emily was born September 27, 1827. She is married to John Bruen and lives in Santa Cruz, California. Her husband is dead. Gould was born November 26, 1829. He resides in Clyde. Nelson H. was born October 6, 1832. He resides in Clyde.  

Joseph Birdseye died April 19, 1868, and is buried in McPherson Cemetery in Clyde. Amanda B. Birdseye is still living in Clyde. She is of genial disposition, affable in manners, and possessed of good business qualifications. She manages the estate left by her husband with care and discretion.  

Mr. Birdseye, in many of his characteristics, resembling his brother, Nathan P., and at the same time possessing many traits of character differing widely from those of his brother. Both were scrupulously honest in all business transactions, and social intercourse. Both were Whigs, and afterwards Republicans, in politics. They were simple in their manners and determined in their convictions. It was a characteristic of Joseph Birdseye never to withdraw a command, nor to modify an opinion deliberately formed. He was uniformly kind and charitable to the sick or suffering. In him an iron will was coupled with a tender heart.  

No family stood higher in York township than the Birdseyes. They were always alive to the welfare of the community, whether in deeds of public improvement or acts of private charity.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, p. 696



Industry, strength, and sagacity build up estates; worth of character is a sure foundation of public esteem; acute business capacity and fine moral sensibilities are the elements of a complete man whose life makes mankind better and by whose living human welfare has been promoted; such a man was Nathan Phelps Birdseye.  

The Birdseyes of this country are descended from Rev. Nathan Birdseye, a Presbyterian clergyman, who came to America in the eighteen century and died at Meriden, Connecticut, in his one hundred and fifth year. He preached on the centennial of his birth. This worthy patriarch's family consisted of six sons and six daughters.  

James Birdseye, father of Joseph and Nathan P. Birdseye of York township, was born in Connecticut. In early life he removed to Ontario county, New York, where he married Phebe Phelps, by whom was born a family of four sons and one daughter. James Birdseye came to Sandusky county on a prospecting tour in company with William McPherson and Norton Russel in 1822. He entered one eighty-acre lot and returned to New York. Two years after, accompanied by his son, Nathan P., he came to Ohio, and the following year entered upon the discharge of a contract with the State for grading a portion of the Maumee and Western Reserve road. He received in payment a large tract of State land in York township. Mr. Birdseye was also contractor and builder of the first bridge across the Sandusky River. Having completed his contracts on public works, he returned to New York, leaving his son, Nathan P., on the farm in York. For a period of eight years from 1824, our subject lived alone, all the while enlarging his fields and reducing the cleared land to a better state of cultivation. The first cabin in which he lived was built by a man named Harman. In 1828 he erected a frame house, which was occupied for a short time by Dr. L. G. Harkness. Mr. Birdseye married, April 8, 1832, Mary Ann Christie. This name carries us back to one of the earliest pioneer families in the county.  

William Christie, son of Andrew and Abigail (Hopper) Christie, was born in Orange county. New York, where he married Mary Slauson. Their family consisted of three children — Andrew, Abigail and Mary Ann. Soon after marriage Mr. Christie moved to Tompkins county, New York, and in 1817 came to Lower Sandusky, making the entire journey from Black Rock by water. There were only about twenty-five families in the village at that time. Mr. Christie was a carpenter by trade and found ready employment. His first engagement was on a frame store building for Jaques Hulburd. A year or two later the first brick house in Lower Sandusky was built, and Mr. Christie did the carpenter work. This house is yet standing, and has for years been known as the Beaugrand property. In 1822 Mr. Christie entered two eighty-acre lots in York township, and in February of the following year joined the pioneers of that part of the county. The only son, Andrew, died in 1822, and is buried in the old cemetery at Fremont. He was a young man of superior intelligence, and was employed at writing for Auditor Rumery and other official! Mr. Christie himself was not spared long to his family and new farm; he died August 1, 1826, leaving two daughters to support a widow's affliction. The two daughters, Abigail and Mary Ann, have never been separated at any one time for a longer period than three months. Mrs. Christie died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Birdseye, November 2, 1846.  

The old Christie farm in York township has never changed ownership, except by inheritance to the daughters. The original patent was issued in 1822, by James Monroe. The family cherish this old homestead, made doubly dear by the reposing ashes of their parents.  

Nathan P. Birdseye was born in Hopewell, Ontario county. New York, January 27, 1804. His education was such as the common schools of his native State afforded. He was the only member of the family who desired to come to Ohio, and by inheritance and purchase came into possession of the large tract of land in York township, taken by his father in payment of services on public works. After his marriage he united with his own estate that belonging to his wife, and to further increase his possessions and advance his lands in value by means of improvements, was the constant aim of his industrious life. For twelve years he kept a house of entertainment between Bellevue and Clyde, at the same time superintending extensive farming operations. He was an accumulator of real estate, but speculation of no kind received his attention. Before retiring from his active labors, Mr. Birdseye could look over farms embracing in all more than one thousand fertile acres, with the proud consciousness of honestly earned ownership. His virtues of character are well summed up by his intimate friend and physician, Hon. John B. Rice, in an obituary published after his death, which occurred 13th day of August, 1881. 

The demise of such a man as Nathan P. Birdseye calls for something more than the bare mention of the fact that one who had so long lived in our midst, is dead. It is paying but a just tribute to his memory that there be placed on record, by those who knew him well, an acknowledgment that he lived in such a manner as to deserve and win the respect and affection of all good men.  

He was of strong frame; industrious, prudent and thrifty; clear-headed, firm, persevering, benevolent and tender-hearted. He possessed, indeed, in a remarkable degree, the traits which distinguish the good old New«-England stock whence he sprung. He was a farmer, and loved the land which, through years of trial and labor, he saw transformed from forest to orchard and field. Until enfeebled by disease and advancing years he found actual enjoyment in the work of his farm, laboring in the fields with his hired men whom he treated as equals.  

Mr. Birdseye was a man of earnest convictions. He looked upon mankind as a brotherhood, and regarded individuals not from appearances but according to their acts. He was originally an anti-slavery Whig, but joined the ranks of the Republican party at its organization. During the war he was active in the cause of the Union; encouraged enlistments, and contributed freely toward the support of the families of those who were fighting the battles of the country. In religion he was a Universalist. His natural love of his kind made him hope and believe that  

Good, at last will fall,

At last, far off, will come to all.  

Mr. Birdseye acquired riches; his landed property was large, and includes some of the finest in this county. But he gained by honest industry and thrift, he never wronged or oppressed any man. His word was as good as his bond. He continually performed the uncounted deeds of neighborly kindness.  

In early times when there was much sickness in the country, he would, after laboring on his farm all the day, watch with those stricken by disease, through every night in the week. At other times when a whole family were down with contagious illness, he entirely neglected his own work, and gave all his care to nursing the sick. He practiced, too, the ancient hospitality which is so little the fashion now-a-days. To the stranger overtaken by storm or by night, no matter what his condition, he always gave food and shelter, and he never knowingly allowed the hungry to pass his house unfed.  

As has been said, fortune smiled upon him. But he rendered the equivalent by the labor of his own hands, and that honest kind of economy which has been commended by good men in every age. It came to him as praise of his memory will come, as the love and faithfulness of dear wife and child, and friends; came when disease attacked him, and his work was being finished — as the promised reward of a well-spent life.  

Mrs. Mary Ann Birdseye was born May 17, 1810. She attended school in LowerSandusky during her father's residence there, and afterwards continued her studies in the seminary at Norwalk. She taught school four terms before her marriage — two terms in Bellevue, during which time she made her home at the residence of Thomas Amsden, and two terms in her home district in York. As a teacher she is very kindly remembered by those who were benefited by her instruction. She possesses a cultured imagination and has written ^some poetry, which, for imagery has real merit.  

It is not necessary to say that the home presided over by a woman of Mrs. Birdseye's generous, womanly disposition was a model for regularity and concord. During the war her sympathies naturally went out toward the soldiers. She was during all that sad period president of the Clyde Ladies Aid Society, and contributed of her means and labors to the cause. Mr. Birdseye was careful at the same time that no soldier's home in his community should suffer for support. They had no sons to send to the field of battle, but their benevolent labor at home was no less useful and appreciated.  

Mrs. Birdseye is a remarkably well preserved lady. Her fare beams with intelligence and good nature, and she holds in memory with exceptional correctness the scenes and events of by-gone years. A visitor is particularly impressed with her cheerfulness of temperament. She remembers and narrates with pleasure amusing incidents, but, unlike many old people, has little to say of the rougher side of pioneer life, a full share of which she experienced.  

Mrs. Birdseye enjoys her quiet home in Fremont, having with her her constant friend, companion and sister. Miss Abigail Christie, who was born December 7, 1806. She has near her, for comfort and support, her only child, Cornelia, wife of Isaac Amsden, who was born December 16, 1832. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Amsden consists of five children.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 684-686


James Chapman was born in the northwestern part of the State of Pennsylvania, December 26, 1809. He is the oldest of the children of Jeremiah and Sarah (Wilbur) Chapman. Jeremiah Chapman was a native of Connecticut, but moved to Pennsylvania when quite a young man and was one of the pioneers in the part of the State where he settled. He was the son of James Chapman, a Revolutionary soldier, who lived and died in Connecticut. Sarah Wilbur was born in Rhode Island, but removed to Pennsylvania with her parents when young. Soon after he was married, Jeremiah Chapman removed to Ontario county. New York, where he lived until about 1819, when he came to Ohio. He remained one year in Huron county, then located on Sandusky River in Seneca county, where he resided about four years, moving thence to Sandusky county in 1824. Here he settled in York township on a farm which is still in possession of the family. He was the father of four children, three of whom are still living — Sarah, the second child and oldest daughter, is the wife of George Wood and resides in Erie county; Maria married L. P. Warner, and lives in Hillsdale county, Michigan; and James. The other child, a son, died in infancy.  

Jeremiah Chapman was a farmer during his life. He was a man of hearty constitution, strong and vigorous physically, in short, almost a perfect type of the sturdy pioneer. He served a short time in the War of 1812. Both he and his wife were members of the Free-will Baptist church. Mr. Chapman died July 1, 1845, aged sixty-four years. Mrs. Chapman survived her husband a few years, and died at the home of her youngest daughter, in Michigan.  

From the foregoing it will be seen that Mr. James Chapman came to this county when about fourteen years of age. He bad limited opportunities for obtaining an education, except in the wide and varied field known as the school of life. He attended school for a few years during a portion of the winter time in some of the few log school-houses then in York township. His boyhood was passed at home on the farm. When about thirty years old he married Anna Smith, daughter of George Smith, of York township. She was one of a family of seven children, and was a native of Germany.  

To Mr. and Mrs. Chapman were born seven children, four of whom are still living. Following are their names in the order of their ages: Albert, died December 14, 1873, aged thirty-two years; he was unmarried. Reuben resides near his father's home; he married Nettie Riley of Riley township. Mary died September 17, 1873, aged twenty-eight; she was the wife of Atwell Forgerson, of York township. Emeline and Adeline (twins); Emeline married Henry Kopp, and resides in York township. Adeline lives at home. The next child was a daughter, who died in infancy. Amelia, the youngest, resides at home. Mrs. Chapman died November 8, 1879, at the age of sixty-five.  

Mr. Chapman has been one of the successful farmers of this vicinity. Of recent years he has given up the management of his place to his son, who continues doing a thrifty business. Mr. Chapman has been a sound Republican ever since the party was formed. He was a member of the Free-will Baptist church as long as that organization was in existence in his township. His wife belonged to the Lutheran church.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 692-693


This early settler in Green Creek township was born March 14, 1806, at Mount Morris, State of New York. His father was Clark Cleveland, sr., and his mother was Jemima (Butler) Cleveland. When James was at the age of eighteen years, his father removed with his family from Mount Morris to Huron county, Ohio, and settled and remained there several years. Mr. Cleveland, the father, lost the title to the form he settled on in Huron county, and then removed to Green Creek township, Sandusky county, where he bought land of the Government, eighty acres, on which he made improvements and remained until the day of his death, which occurred in 1831.

Clark Cleveland, sr., left surviving him the following named children: Abigail, who married Oliver Hayden, not living; Cozia, who married William Hamer, not living; Moses, not living; Sally, who married Benjamin Curtis, was left a widow and afterwards married Alpheus McIntyre, not now living; Clark, jr., married Eliza Grover, and left six children, four girls and two boys, — parents both dead; Polly, who married Timothy Babcock, not living; Betsey, who married Samuel Baker, and is now living, a widow aged about seventy-eight years.

James Cleveland, the subject of this sketch, resided with his father until he was twenty-five years of age, at which time he married Jeanette Rathbun, sister of Saxton S. Rathbun, of the same township, on the 3d day of March, 1831. At the time of his marriage James Cleveland had earned and saved sufficient money to purchase forty acres of land, which was part of what was known as the Sawyer land. On this forty acres he began his married life. For about five years he worked on this farm in making improvements and supporting his family. He then, in company with his wife's father (Chaplin Rathbun), rented a saw-mill on Green Creek, about two or three miles from his farm, and during the winter kept his family in a house near by the mill. There was connected with the saw-mill a small grist-mill, in which they also took an interest by lease.
In this way Mr. Cleveland supported his family and obtained sufficient lumber to build a barn on his farm the next year. After he left the mills, having run them one winter, he returned to his farm and continued working and improving it, and also purchased more land adjoining him.

About the year 1841, when the road bed of the Maumee and Western Reserve turnpike was being graded and made ready for macadamizing, Mr. Cleveland took a contract to grade a half mile of the road, next east of the present residence of Charles Clapp, esq. He again moved his family to his place of work and there kept them about five months, when he moved back again to his farm. His pay for his job on the road was in certificates of ndebtedness under the authority of the State and was not realized in cash. He realized about six hundred dollars for his work. This scrip, or most of it, he traded to Edward Whyler, then a merchant at Lower Sandusky, and bought nails, glass, and such articles of hardware as were then used in building frame houses. He then set about building a frame dwelling of good proportions which he finished in the year 1845, and occupied until his death. Meantime he kept on buying land and adding to his possessions quite rapidly, proving himself to be an active, vigilant, and industrious citizen.

Mr. James Cleveland and his wife Jeanette had born to them ten children, six sons and four daughters, namely: James B., who married Julia Parmeter, still living, and has one son and one daughter; Eliza, who married A. J. Harris, and died in 1861, leaving one son; Clark R. Cleveland, who married Sarah Hearl, with whom he is still living, and has seven children, three daughters and four sons; George D. Cleveland, who married Rosa Metts, who is dead, leaving one son and two daughters; Lucinda, who married Horace Tyler, with whom she is still living, having a family of two daughters and one son living; Chaplin S. Cleveland, who married Susie West, with whom he is still living, and has two sons and three daughters living; John H. Cleveland, who married Helen Starks, and died October 28, 1879, leaving one daughter; Sarah, who married Charles Sackrider, still together, and have one son; Mary married George Crosby, still living together, and have one child, a daughter; Charles Cleveland, who never married, and who died on the 14th day of December, 1879. Mrs. James Cleveland, who gives the data of this notice, says there are of James Cleveland's family two great-grandchildren which were not noticed in the foregoing list.

Mr. and Mrs. James Cleveland were what may be termed workers. Both were active and incessant in their efforts to prepare for old age and also for assisting their children to their start in life. At the time of Mr. James Cleveland's death, which occurred on September 1, 1878, himself and wife, by their hard work and care, had accumulated very near four hundred acres of land, with dwellings comfortable, several orchards, three barns, and other property in abundance. The children now living are all settled and comfortable within a distance of not over four miles from the mother, who is now healthy, vigorous, lively and intelligent at the age of sixty-six years. Mrs. Cleveland is a woman below the medium size, and in her best days weighed about one hundred and twenty pounds. She never shrank from any work she could do for the advancement of the family. When clearing up their farm she assisted by hauling rails with a yoke of oxen and laying them up into fences, while her husband cut down the trees and split the timber into rails. One season when help was not to be had Mrs. Cleveland fastened her child on her back with a shawl and carried it with her while she planted and hoed corn in the field. Her first calico dress she obtained by picking strawberries and bringing them from home on foot, a distance of about eight miles, to Lower Sandusky. These she traded to Jesse S. Olmsted for twelve and one-half cents a quart, and thus paid for her calico dress pattern of five yards at twenty-five cents per yard. When her husband died he left an estate worth about thirty thousand dollars and owed no man a cent. The widow now enjoys a handsome support from the land and other property left by her husband. Five generations have lived in the vicinity and chiefly on the farm which she and her children now occupy: First, Clark Cleveland, sr; second, James Cleveland (the subject of this sketch); third, James Cleveland's children; fourth, James Cleveland's grand children; fifth, James Cleveland's great grand children, of which there are now two. Surely few localities can show as well in permanent residence and numbers as the Cleveland neighborhood in Green Creek township, and few boast of belter citizens than the Cleveland settlement.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 641-643


On another page will be found a good likeness of one of the few pioneers now living. One by one he has seen the first settlers carried to their long home, old and young, grave and gay, strong and feeble, from the gray-haired grandsire to the tottering infant. Yet he remains, almost the "last of a noble race," — the heroic race of pioneers.

Jason Fuller was born in Connecticut, May 24, 1767. He moved to Massachusetts when quite a young man, and settled in what is now Franklin county. There he married Philanda Taylor and resided until 1816, when he moved with his family to Ontario county (now Livingston county), New York, where his wife died in 1818, on the 5th of November, at the age of forty-nine. Jason Fuller and wife were the parents of eight children, all of whom lived to be married, and all had families excepting the oldest daughter. We will briefly mention each in the order of their ages: Cynthia married Silas Pratt, in Massachusetts, moved to Sandusky county in 1824, and died here. Rachel married Amos Hammond in New York State; died in Michigan. Philanda was the first wife of James Morrill, and died in Massachusetts. Electa married James Morrill, and is now living in Kansas; she was eighty-four, May 24, 1881. William was the next child and oldest son. John married, in Green Creek township, Rhoda Powell; moved to Nebraska, and died there. Betsey married Ichabod Munger in New York State; died in Michigan. Thomas married Margaret Ewart in New York; died in Michigan.

Thus it will be seen there are but two members of the family surviving. Jason Fuller followed the occupation of farming through life. Both he and his wife were honest, upright people, and members of the Baptist church. They were kind and loving parents, and tenderly and carefully reared their large family.

William Fuller was born in Hawley, Hampshire county, Massachusetts (now Franklin county), on the 23d of January, 1799. There he lived until the fall of 1816, attending school and assisting his father on the farm. He went with his parents to New York State, and resided there until February, 1818; then, at the age of nineteen, on foot and alone, he started for Ohio, then the "far West." He carried in a package upon his back a few articles of clothing and some provisions to eat upon the way. He traversed the entire distance on foot, except when some traveller gave him a ride for a few miles. On the thirteenth day after he left home he arrived in Milan township, Huron county, and immediately engaged to work for Squire Ebenezer Merry. Two weeks after his arrival his father, his oldest sister and her husband, and his youngest brother came. His father took possession of a tract of land previously negotiated for, upon which William engaged to clear ten acres as a compensation for the use of his time during the remaining period of his minority. William returned to New York State the following July, his plans being to settle up some business for his father, do the harvesting on the old farm, and return to Ohio in the fall with the rest of the family. During this summer he made a business trip to Massachusetts; on his return he found his mother quite ill and unable to think of performing the long journey to Ohio. She died in November. His father, who had been advised of her illness, was unable to accomplish the journey from the West in time to be with her during her last moments, but arrived in New York in December.

While at home this winter William took unto himself a wife. He was married on the 7th day of November, 1819, to Mehetable Botsford. She was a native of Connecticut, but her parents were then living in New York. On the last day of February, 1819, arrangements having finally been completed for a return to the new western home, William Fuller, accompanied by his wife and father, started again for Ohio, with a yoke of oxen and a sled upon which were carried the few household goods they were then possessed of They were twenty-two days upon the road.

William then rented a small log cabin, where he lived the first summer, and began the task of making a home. His father, never a very healthy man, was taken ill in the month of September, and after lingering a few weeks, died at William's home on the 25th of October, 1819, at the age of fifty-two. Mr. Fuller lived in Milan township until 1824. While there he had cleared about twenty acres, erected a log house and barn, and subdued the land until he had a very fair field of some thirty acres, including ten acres which his father had cleared. For this work he received no pay, except the crops he secured; but as neither he nor his father had made any payment for the land, the only loss was the value of his labor for six years.

In 1823 Mr. Fuller bought forty acres in Green Creek township, southeast of Clyde, moved upon it in the spring of 1824, and began clearing and improving. He had erected a cabin before bringing his family here. In June he was taken ill, and was unable to work until the latter part of August. Then he suffered through the fall with ague. Altogether, the first year was one which might well be deemed discouraging, but the next brought even greater trials and misfortunes. During the following year he was able to do but little work. In August, 1826, his wife was taken ill with a fever, and on the 15th day of the same month his oldest child was killed by the oxen running away with the cart, throwing him out and killing him. The 19th day of August his fourth child was born, and on the following day Mrs. Fuller died, and was buried, together with her dead infant. Mr. Fuller was then obliged to break up housekeeping, leaving his two remaining children in the care of his sister, Mrs. Hammond, until the spring of 1 82 7, when he went back to New York State, and worked at various employments for four years, paying his children's board.

Mr. Fuller married Cynthia Havens, a native of Livingston county. New York, May 15, 1831, and returned to his farm, where he continued to reside until March, 1834, when he came to his present place of residence in Townsend township. This, too, was wild, and Mr. Fuller once more had the work of a pioneer to perform. January 23, 1835, death again entered the household, and deprived Mr. Fuller of his wife. Being thus left with a farm to manage and four children to provide for, he could not well abandon house-keeping, and on the 6th of July, 1835, he married his third wife, Marcia M. George, a native of his New York home. She lived just one year from the day of her marriage, and died July 6, 1836.

October 19, 1837, Mr. Fuller was united in marriage to the lady, who presides over his home, Emma M. Levisee, born in Lima, Livingston county, New York.

By his first wife he was the father of four children, one of whom is living. They were Jason H., David, John, and an infant. Jason H. was born March 1, 1820; died August 15, 1826, as before mentioned. David, born July 8, 1821; married Mary Z. Higley for his first wife, who bore him six children, four of whom survive. His second wife, Eliza J. Plumb, bore two children, who are still living. He died in Townsend, May 18, 1879. John, born April 7, 1823; married Eliza Mallory; now resides in Branch county, Michigan; has one child living and one deceased. A son, born August 19, 1826, died in infancy.

Mr. Fuller's second wife bore two children, one of whom is living: William T., born April 10, 1832; married Mary J. Van Buskirk; resides in Townsend; is the father of six children, three of whom are now living. Cynthia M., born November 2, 1833, died December 22, 1853.

One child was the fruit of the third marriage, Jason E., born July 1, 1836, died September, 1836.

His present wife has borne three children, two of whom are living. Taylor, born March 29, 1840, married Angeline Stone, resides in York, has one child. James, born October 13, 1844, married Betsey Richards, resides near his parents, has one child. Albert, born June 22, 1846, died September 26, 1849.

Mr. Fuller had his full share of the hardships and privations of pioneer life. Commencing in a new country, while not of age, he fought his way onward against many difficulties and severe trials. In the days when wheat was only twenty-five cents per bushel, and groceries were held at enormous prices, salt being nine and eleven dollars per barrel, it was hard for a man to make and pay for a home. But all this is past and gone. His industry, activity and patience were rewarded in time. Mr. Fuller has been a successful business man. Though physically somewhat enfeebled by age and the results of years of toil, his mind is clear and cheerful, and he is passing the evening of his days among the scenes of his former struggles and triumphs, happy and contented. Each of his five sons who grew to manhood and married, were helped to a farm by their father.

Mr. Fuller was a Democrat until 1856, but since that time has voted with the Republicans. In religion he is a believer in the doctrine of universal salvation.

Mr. Fuller, wherever he is known, is recognized as a just and honorable man, and is respected by old and young.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 717-719


John Gardner was a pioneer in York township. With his family, consisting of a wife and six children, he emigrated from Vermont and settled here while nearly the whole township was original forest. John S. Gardner, the oldest son, was born in Vermont, on the 24th of February, 1806, and was consequently seventeen years old when the family settled in this county. Of a robust constitution he was well calculated for the toils and hardships which life in a new country imposed. Mr. Gardner, by working hard on his father's farm and for himself, accumulated some money which he invested in land then held at a very low price, but as improvements were made, gradually increased in value, making him by the time he had reached maturity, a man of considerable means. Mr. Gardner married, January 3, 1833, Ann Alexander, daughter of Theophilus and Mary Alexander, who came to Ohio in 1825, with a family of eleven children, from the State of New York. Ann was born in New York in 1811.  

John S. and Ann Gardner have had a family of seven children, five of whom are living — John A., was born June 25, 1834, was married March 12, 1857, to Emeline J. Bemis; Theophilus E., was born August 6, 1836, married May 10, 1866, to Sarah Ann Thompson, she having deceased, he married Justina Alexander in 1869; Mary E. was born December 4, 1838; Charles C. was born June 9, 1842, married Rebecca A. Lemmon; Dyer C. was born July 23, 1845, served in the army, married, in 1870, Sarah R. Rowe; Ann, born April 15, 1847, married, in 1868, William Ritter; Julia, born January 9, 1850, married to Henry Thomas; Mary E., died July 25, 1867; Charles C., died October 26, 1877.  

As will be seen by reference to the civil list of the county, John S. Gardner served as county commissioner for the period of four years. He was always prominent in the affairs of his township, and a working member of the Democratic party in the east part of the county. He was strong in physique and capable of doing much hard work. He was a persevering farmer and pushed work with a diligence which manifested itself in rapidly increasing landed possessions. He died May 23, 1861. Mrs. Gardner remains on the old farm. She has an excellent memory for a woman of her age, and narrates in an interesting manner the scenes and incidents of years gone by.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 694-695


Casper Hirt, a prominent farmer of Riley township, was born the 3d day of August, 1820, at Stilli, Canton Aargau, Switzerland. His parents were in limited circumstances, and had a large family. Under such conditions Casper Hirt concluded, in the year 1848, after the struggle of the Helvetic government, in which he was personally engaged, against her rebellious Cantons (Sonderbund), to emigrate to America, where better prospects are offered a poor man than in his native country. He came to Ohio, but not pleased with his fortune yet, he started about two years after for California. To travel from Ohio to California on foot, over the vast plains and deserts of the unsettled territories was in that time no small undertaking. Having arrived there Mr. Hirt met with fortunate circumstances. Nevertheless he was discontented, and, being fond of travelling, the new reports of very rich gold mines in Australia led him to new adventures. But he was badly disappointed in his hopes. He turned back to California again, but experienced a voyage over the Pacific of great privation and hardship. Gold could not deliver him from the suffering of homesickness. He was longing painfully for his native country. In May, 1854, he reached Switzerland again, and remained at his home until the fall of the same year, and then started, accompanied by a large number of emigrants, for America. After his arrival at Philadelphia he married Miss Fanny Vogt, born November 24, 1826, in Villigen, Canton Aargau, Switzerland. From Philadelphia he came to Ohio, and settled in Riley township, Sandusky county, the present residence of his family. In consequence of his industry, economy, and skill as a farmer, he made rapid progress in the accumulation of an estate. In the summer of 1878, he visited his native land for the second time. During his life he crossed the Atlantic Ocean five times, and the Pacific twice. In politics he was a Democrat. His family consisted of eight sons and one daughter — John Henry, born August 16, 1855, died January 21, 1877; Charles, born February 2, 1857; Samuel I., born August 20, 1858; Anna Maria Eliza, born June 10, i860; Frederick Franklin, born February 18, 1862; Henry Albert, born April 20, 1864; Edward Ursinius, born April 20, 1867; Adolph, born April 24, 1869; Lewis S., born October 26, 1872.

Mr. Hirt was brought up a member of the German Reformed church, and attended its services throughout life.

In the long and severe winter of 1881 Mr. Casper Hirt died (February 3d), in consequence of a bad cold, which turned into a lung disease, aged sixty years and six months. By his death his family lost a tender husband and father, the township a good citizen, and his neighbors a true friend.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp.


Seneca Dusenberry Hitt was a native of Danby, Rutland county, Vermont, and was born, October 6, 1800. His father Henry D. Hitt, was a native of New York, being of Welsh parentage on his father's side, and Dutch on his mother's side. The mother of Seneca D. Hitt was Mary Nichols, a native of Vermont. General Greene, of the Revolution, was her uncle.  

The boyhood of Mr. Hitt was spent on the shoemaker's bench, in business, and teaching school. He married, June 15, 1837, Mahala E. Stafford, a daughter of Palmer and Betsy (Paddock) Stafford, of Wallingford, Rutland county, Vermont. The ancestry of the Stafford family is traced back to a Rhode Island family of that name.  

The newly wedded couple left their home in Vermont on the 27th of June, and after a tedious journey of one month and two days, arrived in Bellevue. Mr. Hitt had, the year before, in partnership with his cousin, Henry Nichols, purchased the farm on which he settled, being one hundred and twenty-six acres, twelve of which was cleared. Mr. Hitt, during the earlier years of his residence in this county, made use of his experience at shoemaking to earn a few odd dollars, for ready cash was scarce, and the pioneers were driven to various expedients for earning money. But hard labor and economy triumphed over the rugged opposition of heavy forest and general scarcity. Mr. Hitt purchased, in a few years, Mr. Nichol's interest in the farm, which he continued to improve till death, when, as an heritage to his family, he left an enviable home.  

Mr. Hitt died in January, 1872, in his seventy-second year. He was frequently entrusted with local offices. He was a warm advocate of Whig principles, and after the fall of that party became a Republican. In appearance he was robust and strong, being five feet eight inches tall, and weighing about two hundred pounds.  

Mrs. Hitt is still living on the old farm. She is a well preserved woman, both physically and mentally. A naturally happy disposition fills her home with good cheer and hospitality.  

The family consists of three children living and one dead.  

Mary E. was born April 3, 1840. She was married in 1871 to Silas A. Wood, who died in June, 1872. She is employed as a teacher in the Fremont public schools.  

Marion Adelia was born February 3, 1842. She was married September 27, 1860, to George H. Mugg, a resident of Green Creek township. Their family consists of three children — Elmer E., Luella, and Susan M.  

Tamson Lavina was born January 17, 1845. She was married October 23, 1867, to Charles H. Welch. Their family consists of four children — Alice R., Mahala, Adelia, and Charles H., jr.  

Seneca D. was born January 16, 1849, died October 2, 1849.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 693-694


Nathaniel Hutchinson was a native of Massachusetts, and passed his life in Ambridge in that State. He was the father of John, Thomas, and Joseph Hutchinson, who moved to Clark county, Ohio, about the year 1818. John remained only a short time in this State, but went to southern Indiana and settled on the Wabash, where both he and his family fell victims to the fever. Thomas remained in Ohio some twenty years, then removed to Lagrange county, Indiana, and died in that State.

Joseph Hutchinson, the father of the subject of this biography, was born April 21, 1782. He was married in his native State in the month of October, 1805, to Mary A. Hodgman, who was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 10, 1783. She was left an orphan while very young, and was brought up in the family of Mr. Adams until her marriage. After coming to this State Joseph Hutchinson resided in Clark county until 1827, and in April of that year moved to Green Creek township, Sandusky county. He was a mechanic, and followed his trade through life. After locating upon his land in this county he went to Monroeville, Huron county, and there worked at his trade about six years. At the end of this period he returned to Green Creek and remained here until his death. Joseph Hutchinson was the father of eight children, three of whom are living at present. Following are their names and dates of birth: Mary A., born September 9, 1807, married June 14, 1829, to Asahel Franklin, Clark county; died in May, 1848. Joseph H., born April 17, 1809, died November 24, 1823. (He was killed by being thrown from a horse.) Charlotte, born February 7, 181 1. February 10, 1831, she married S. S. Kellogg, in Huron county, where they resided several years. She died in Huron county, in February, 1854. Louisa, born September 12, 1814, became the wife of Elisha Lake; resided in Huron county until her husband's death; married Charles Petty, and now resides in Woodbury county, Iowa. Josiah B., born November 30, 181 7, died May 28, 1836. Alfred, born September 17, 1820. Phebe M., born May 29, 1825; married Noble Perin, who died in Andersonville prison. She now resides in Green Creek township. Joseph, jr., born May 29, 1830; was killed by falling from a loaded wagon, the wheels of which passed over him.

The mother of these children died in February, 1851. Mr. Hutchinson died in January, 1855. They were both members of the Baptist church from their youth up, and were honored and esteemed for their integrity, industry, uprightness, and worth.

Alfred Hutchinson attended the common schools when a boy. At the age of eighteen he commenced learning the trade of brick-laying and plastering, working at this employment in summer and attending school in winter until he became of age. Mr. Hutchinson followed his trade about thirty years in this vicinity, and since quiting it has been engaged in farming.

He was married, April 6, 1843, to Mary Dirlam, daughter of Orrin and Annis (Gibbs) Dirlam. Mrs. Hutchinson is the fourth of a family of seven children, and was born August 18, 1823. Her mother died in Massachusetts when Mrs. Hutchinson was only six years of age. Her father came to Ohio and was a resident of Green Creek many years. He is still living in Lorain county at an advanced age.

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hutchinson are the parents of four children, two of whom are living, viz: Zemira, born December 2, 1844; served in company A, Seventy-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and died in prison at Florence, South Carolina, October 30, 1864. Charles B., born March 21, 1848; married Emma Strickland, daughter of Franklin and Hannah Strickland, of Green Creek, and resides near his parents. He is the father of four children, three of whom are living — Aleck, Claude (deceased), Chellie, and Lottie. The next of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Hutchinson was a son, born May 30, 1851, who died in infancy. Frederick, the youngest, now living at home, was born January 28, 1861.

Mr. Hutchinson and wife have never united with any church, but in their work and in their lives they are recognized as friends to truth and religion. Mr. Hutchinson is a temperance man and a sound Republican. During the past years he has held various township offices, all of which he has filled acceptably. Both he and his wife are nicely situated in a pleasant home, and are now able to enjoy with tranquil minds the fruits of their toil and industry. 

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 639-640


Aaron Levisee was born in the State of New Jersey, June 19, 1774, to which State his father, James Levisee, had previously moved from Connecticut. Soon after Aaron's birth his parents returned to Connecticut, and there his father died.

Aaron Levisee was the oldest of a family of six sons and three daughters. He passed his boyhood in Connecticut and Massachusetts principally. Before he was twenty-one he engaged as a clerk on a sailing vessel, and followed the sea about three years, visiting many foreign countries. He acquired a very fair education, and, after quitting the sea, followed the profession of teaching, in Connecticut and Massachusetts, until he was married. While teaching at Lanesborough, in the latter State, he had for a pupil the lady who afterwards became his wife. One day he punished this scholar for some trivial fault, and a month later they were married. In his twenty-fourth year he was united in marriage to Anna Lyon, daughter of Thomas and Thankful Lyon, both natives of Massachusetts. Mrs. Levisee was born at Lanesborough, May 13, 1778. After their marriage they lived a short time in Massachusetts, then went to Greenfield, Saratoga county, New York, where they remained a few years, thence moved to Charleston, Ontario county. New York, now Lima, Livingston county, where Mrs. Levisee's parents had moved before them. In this last-named place John L. Levisee was born. In 1822 the family moved from Ontario county to Allen, Allegany county, in the same State, where Mr. Levisee died on the 18th of June, 1828. The widow moved, with her family, to Sandusky county, Ohio, arriving in Townsend township the l0th day of October, 1832. Here Mrs. Levisee resided until 1844, and then removed to the home of her daughter, Mrs. Thankful Botsford, north of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she died July 3, 1845. There were seven daughters and two sons in the family. Six daughters arrived at maturity, and two are yet living. Both of the sons are living at this date (September, 1881).

The names of the children of Aaron Levisee, in the order of their ages, were: Almedia, Eveline, Thankful, Eliza Ann, John L. and Sarah L. (twins), Sarah Sophia, Emma Maria, and Aaron Burton.

Thankful and Emma M. are the surviving daughters. The former is the wife of David Botsford, and resides in Washtenaw county, Michigan. Emma Maria is the wife of William Fuller, Townsend township. Mrs. Botsford was seventy-seven years old July 15, 1881, and Mrs. Fuller sixty-three March 24, 1881. The youngest son, A. B. Levisee, whose name was rendered familiar in the Louisiana election controversy of 1876-77, is now a lawyer at Fargo, Dakota Territory. He was born March 18, 1821.

The records of the deceased members of this family are as follows: Almedia, born August 1, 1799, married Ezra Lyons in 1819, resided in Livonia, Livingston county, New York, until 1831, then moved to Townsend township, where she died June 28, 1853; Eveline, born June 21, 1801, married Hubbard Jones in Livingston county, New York, moved to Townsend in 1842, died June 13, 1873; Eliza Ann, born May 6, 1806, married for her first husband Jonathan Wisner, resided in Allegany county, New York, until 1834, when she removed to Townsend, having previously married her second husband, Joseph Cummings, and died November 6, 1838; Sarah L., born July 4, 1809, lived to be a little over four years old; Sarah Sophia, born February 14, 1815, came to Ohio some time after her mother, married Charles Gillett in Townsend, moved to Steuben county, Indiana, died March 16, 1847.

John L. Levisee was born on the 4th of July, 1809. He passed his early life upon the farm. He being the oldest son, and until 1821 the only son, a large share of the work and care of the farm devolved upon him when quite young. He attended the common schools when he could spare tune from manual labor. His father was taken ill when John was about ten years of age, and from that time forward the young man's cares and duties were numerous. After his father's death he worked by the month farming, during two seasons, in Lima, his former home. Then, in the fall of 1831, he started for Ohio, and arrived in Townsend township on the 29th of October. Here he purchased, with some of the proceeds of his father's estate and his own earnings, eighty acres of land, the farm which is still in his possession. He erected a log cabin, then returned to New York. The next year his mother, with her two sons and Emma Maria, came and settled upon the purchase. Of course the country was wild. But one road in the township had been cut out, and the general aspect of the whole region might well be described by the inelegant but expressive words, "a howling wilderness." John began chopping, and continued through the winter and many succeeding seasons clearing away the forest and making field land. Hard work and a simple diet was the rule in those days. Meat was scarce except when, occasionally, a deer or wild turkey was shot. Wheat was little raised, and flour was an article not much in use. Corn-bread was the staple food. He secured a good crop of corn the first season after he began his farming operations, and from that time onward the family managed to live very comfortably.

May 10, 1836. Mr. Levisee married Diana Stanley, daughter of Asa and Anna Stanley, of York township. She was born in Rutland, Jefferson county. New York, October 25, 1810. To them were born nine children, viz: Sarah, born May 5, 1838; married for her first husband James Olds; for her second, Joseph Carter; is now living with her third husband, Emanuel Roush, near Hastings, Michigan. Anna, born July 28, 1840, married Hiram Blood in 1862; resided in Sparta, Kent county, Michigan; died November 30, 1874. Elizabeth, born October 27, 1842, married James A. Downing in 1865; resides at Whitmore Station. Eliza, born August 18, 1844, married Wallace Downing in 1866; lives in Clay township, Ottawa county. Mary Jane, born October 23, 1846, married Winfield Thomas in 1872; died August 28, 1873, in Townsend township. Civilia, born January 30, 1849, died September 22, 1853. David, born November 21, 1850, married Austany M. Cable in 1873; resides in Fremont. Chauncy, born May 23, 1855, married Mrs. Angeline McCreery in 1879; lives at home with his father.

Mrs. Levisee died July 4, 1855. She was a good wife and a kind mother, nobly assisting in supporting the family and putting by something for future use. She united with the Protestant Methodist church when young and lived a faithful Christian. After her death Mr. Levisee remained single eleven years, his daughter taking charge of household affairs.

November 15, 1866, he was married to the lady who now shares his home — Mrs. Statira E. Cable, nee Reynolds, who was born in Sheffield, Lorain county, June 7, 1830. Her parents were Shubal and Elizabeth Reynolds. Her father is deceased; her mother now resides in Fulton county, this State. This union has been blessed with two children, one of whom is living — Francis A., born July 12, 1868; and Willie, born July 12, 1870. Willie died December 14, 1870.

Mr. Levisee has followed agricultural pursuits principally. For a few years he worked at carpentry, but managed his farm at the same time. He has now retired from active business. His son, Chauncy, has charge of the farm, and Mr. Levisee is enjoying a season of rest after years of almost constant labor.

In politics Mr. Levisee is a consistent adherent to the principles of the Republican party. He has voted at every Presidential election since 1832. In religion he is a Universalist, firm in the faith and pronounced in his views. He is an enemy to cant and hypocrisy, but respects true Christians of whatever name or order.

Mr. Levisee has a valuable and well-selected library, and is a diligent reader of newspapers. A good memory and a habit of careful, constant observation of men and things have given him a discriminating, sound judgment and a reliable stock of useful information.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 719-722


The subject of this sketch is the son of Daniel and Margaret (Brill) Long, who were born in the State of Pennsylvania. Their son, Michael Long, was born May 3, 1814, in Guernsey county, Ohio. He was educated in attending the common schools of the neighborhood, and worked on a farm until he entered the ministry of the United Brethren church, in Sandusky, in the year 1835. He afterwards, on the 20th of April, 1837, married Sarah Gear, of the same county. Mr. Long had emigrated from Guernsey to Sandusky in the year 1834. Rev. Michael Long is still living with this wife, Sarah, of whom he has had five children yet living, namely: Desire Angeline, who is married to Martin Mowrer, of Ballville township; Newton S., who married Carry C. Stahl, daughter of Jacob Stahl. (This son is laboring in the ministry at Osceola, Wyandot county, Ohio); Barzillai M., not married, a minister, now stationed at Canton, Ohio; Sarah Calista, now wife of Professor John Worst, superintendent of the schools at Elmore, Ohio; M. DeWitt, who married Pauline C. McCahan, and is now principal of Roanoke Academy, Roanoke county, Indiana, and who is also an ordained minister of the United Brethren church.

Mr. Long has continually, since the commencement of his labors as a preacher, been in the service of the church, sometimes as an itinerant preacher, sometimes on a station, and for a number of years as presiding elder.

Mr. Long's services in the United Brethren church are set forth in an address delivered at a ministerial association, held in Attica, Seneca county, Ohio, in 1879. We here give the address in full, which relates many hairbreadth escapes, and also most palpably illustrates his zeal in the work he was engaged in. He is endowed with remarkable physical powers, weighs near two hundred pounds, and his voice is remarkable for its strength and power to reach the outermost limits of the largest gathering at any camp meeting. The following anecdote is told by a friend who happened to live about three miles from where a camp-meeting was in progress several years ago. A stranger enquired of the man where the camp-meeting was, and what road to take to get there. The farmer told him to listen, and on being silent a moment, the voice of Michael Long in full exercise came through the woods. The stranger was told to follow the sound, and he would find the camp-meeting about three miles distant in that direction. If there ever was a harder worker for the church than Michael Long, he has not been found in this vicinity. And he is still at the same work, and, no doubt, will be while life and strength are given him to work. He lives on a farm about three miles southeast of Fremont, and is still a hearty, vigorous and courageous man. Read the address, and you may gather a faint idea from it of Mr. Long's labors in preaching the gospel. The address is as follows:

I recollect a little over forty years ago I joined the Sandusky annual conference, and I have not forgotten the way preachers were then taken into conference. There was not half the trouble getting into conference then that there is now. Those days are gone by, and I do not wish to speak of or recall them now. I well recollect when I started on my first circuit, which was four hundred miles around, numbering twenty-eight appointments. It took me four weeks to get around the circuit; there was not to my recollection one in the entire conference; we preached, as a general thing, in private houses. The outline of mv work was something after the following: Northeast three miles below Port Clinton, on the lake; southeast, near Bucyrus; .southwest, on the Auglaize, twelve miles below Findlay. The points alluded to were the outposts of my field of labor. My salary the first year was forty dollars, although it was not quite a full year. My second year I was appointed to Findlay mission; I had given to me two appointments to start with; I increased my appointments to about one dozen; it was a year of great success. During that year I received into church fellowship about one hundred and sixty members; a revival spirit continued the whole year. I held one camp-meeting that year at which there were between forty and fifty conversions. There were wonderful demonstrations of God's power manifested during the meeting; many fell to the earth and lay for hours as dead, and when raised from that state they generally shouted "glory." This manner of demonstration was very general during that meeting. Surely God was there to kill and make alive. There was one circumstance transpired during that camp meeting very much like the one we read of in Mark, the ninth chapter. The conversion of Brother Galbreath was almost like that of St. Paul. Through the persuasion of his daughter he went with her to my meeting and then and there he became so powerfully convicted that on his way home he fell from his horse to the ground, where he lay for some time. When he came to, his daughter was on her knees by his side praying for him, and holding both their horses. Surely his conversion all the way through was marvellous. I remember of forming what we then called Huron mission; it was an entire new field. The conference got up a subscription for me to the amount of thirty dollars, although I never got it all. With that encouragement I started, having no assurance of any other support, but still I had a good time; the grace of God sustained me, and I had plenty to eat, such as it was.

I remember near this place (Attica, Seneca county, Ohio), or within a few miles of there, of crossing what we then called the Swamp bridge. The people on the west side of the bridge said they would go over the bridge to hear Long preach. There were about seventy on the bridge at once. It was built with great logs — they were all afloat and would not lie still, and some of the people got a very little wet, but on they went. They reached the place of worship, and we had a good time, as some of them, no doubt, remember well. I am not a little happy to look on some of those faces at this convention. Little did I think that I would live to see a ministerial association held on my missionary ground. I will now speak of some other circumstances.

I well remember when I travelled in the Maumee country, I would pass trains of Indians near half a mile long. I recollect preaching on this side of the Maumee River and then would ford the river and preach on the west side, and when I crossed the river I would take corn in my saddle-bags to feed my horse. One place I preached at they were real old Yankees. I asked them what they thought I was? They said they could see that I was a Yankee. I just let them have it so. We did not quarrel over our pedigree, nor over what we had to eat; it all tasted good so long as it lasted. We were thankful those days if we had a little corn-bread and a little venison. There was a difference between those days and the present. Oh, Lord, bring back some of the old kindred feelings that used to characterize this church. In those days there were but few bridges across the rivers in this country. When on my first mission in Hancock county I had to cross the Auglaize River some nine times; my mission was so assigned that I could not do otherwise. I often would swim my horse across the river. I recollect of one time attempting to cross on the ice, to go to my quarterly meeting — Rev. Z. Crom was my presiding elder, and my mission was his district. In those days we had local presiding elders; they would have one, two, three, or four circuits to preside over. I was the first man that spoke out in the conference in answer to the bishop when the question was asked, “Will you have local or traveling presiding elders?" I said travelling, and it raised a commotion for a little while, but it subsided. My elder and I, in crossing the Auglaize River, near the mouth of Riley Creek — it was in the spring of the year, and the ice was then very rotten. The elder's horse being the smallest I told him to cross first. He got across all right. I took off my saddle and saddle-bags, took my horse by the bridle and started, and when I got near the middle of the river the ice broke and my horse went under all but his head. I kept ahead of the horse; the bridle pulled off, and when I caught hold of the halter he made a number of springs. He finally succeeded in getting nearer the shore, and the ice bore him up. I then led him to the shore, put my saddle on him, and, having but about two miles to go to the appointment, I went those two miles in pretty quick time. My horse came out all right.

I recollect another circumstance in going from Elmore to the lake. The first four miles (all the way forest) brought me to Tousaint Creek. It being high I swam my horse across. I then had eight or ten miles yet through the woods to the lake. When I came to the prairie I came into a French settlement. It was so fenced up that there was no way getting through without going through the field or through Turtle Marsh. I called at a house. A French woman came out and muttered her French and motioned across the marsh. I started across, but had not gone more than one rod when my horse fell over some timbers of some kind. I slid off from my horse into the marsh, held on to the bridle, and got out on the same side. I think it was a little different from the Slough of Despond that Bunyan speaks of. I know the Lord did not want me to go through Turtle Marsh. The citizens told me that some French ponies had gone through, but an English horse could not. By that time a boy came there. I told him I wanted to go through the field. He opened the fence and let me through. I asked him if they had any meeting in their place. He said they had. I wanted to know who preached for them. He said the priest. I risked no more questions — I conjectured the rest. It was enough; the Lord delivered me out of Turtle Marsh.

Well, you see something of the trials of one of the old itinerants of Sandusky conference. I recollect when my circuit led through Wood county, at one time I came to the Portage River, near New Rochester; the river was very high. It extended all over the bottom about forty rods. The water had taken away part of the bridge. The middle bent and the one that extended to the shore on the east side was all that was left. Heavy timbers being laid on the bridge held those two bents and stringers together. I first got on the bridge and tried its strength. I then led my horse on the first part; then he had to jump down about two feet on the middle part of the bridge. I then led him to the end of that part, then made him jump into the water. It was about midsides to my horse. He then was so far from me that I jumped into the water and waded a few rods. I saw a stump extended above the water. I got onto the stump and then onto my horse, and after riding twenty or thirty rods my horse had to swim the rest of the way. Whenever I started for the west branch of Portage I had about one-half a mile from the river to the main woods. Before I got to the woods I heard a wonderful noise. I could not tell what it was till all at once a terrible storm broke upon me.

The timbers or trees fell all around me. I turned my horse and ran him back to the river, jumping him over the timber that fell. By that time the storm had passed over. I then again went on my way. When I came to the west branch of Portage I kept up the river, did not cross it. When I came within one-half mile of Brother Crum's the water again extended over the road so that my horse had to swim. When over or through the water I then got down into my stirrups and commenced singing, and sang all the way till I reached the house, and felt fine to preach for them at night — just as happy as I well could be. God said: "My grace is sufficient. As thy day is so shall thy grace be."

Let me state one more recollection. Well do I remember crossing what was known as the Lance bridge, a little west of Carey. My appointment was at Father Shoup's. The bridge across the prairie was one mile long, and there had been heavy rains, and on the south end of the bridge the freshet had taken away about two rods of the bridge. The rails had been laid tight one against another on the sod. At this place loose rails had been laid for people to walk over, about fifteen or twenty inches apart. It looked rather dangerous; there was no water there, yet I knew not what a wonderful place it was. I took off my saddle and knelt down and implored God to help me as on other occasions. I took my horse by the bridle, intending to lead him by the side of the loose rails, and as I started and stepped quick, intending the horse to walk by the side of the rails, he at once sprang upon the rails and followed me over; I returned my grateful thanks to the Lord. I then walked back and got my saddle, and got upon my horse, and went to my appointment. They asked me what way I came. I told them. They were alarmed when I told them how I crossed the prairie, knowing that some of the bridge was gone, that scattering loose rails were laid for people to walk over. A pole could be run down twenty feet anywhere near that place. So I was convinced the Lord safely led me through. Now, my dear brethren, I have just noted down a little of the travels of an early itinerant. Those days were days of grace, and not days of money or high salaries. Those days were days of grace and glory; many loud hallelujahs went up to God. Those days were days of love to God and love toward each other; no sparring, no trying to excel. The glory of God and the salvation of the world was the grand theme.


1 A published account of this affair says the Indians numbered twenty, seventeen of whom were killed. The statement in the text is on authority of general tradition.
2 Some tribes are in the habit of kindling their fire for sacrifices by the friction of two dry sticks.
3 The writer probably held to the theory no longer generally entertained that the Indians are descendants from "the ten lost tribes."
4 By Jacob Burgner
5 Author oF Histoy of United Brethren Church.
6 Author of History of United Brethren Church.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 601-603


Joseph McCauley was born in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, May 23, 1811. His father, John McCauley, of Scotch-Irish blood, came to America from Ireland with his parents when a young man. He married, in Pennsylvania, Mary Stumphff, and had a family of seven sons and four daughters. Of these four sons and two daughters are yet living. Joseph was the sixth child. He was brought up and educated in Pennsylvania. He was a farmer throughout his life. On the 28th of October, 1830, he married Anna Ulsh, daughter of Andrew and Barbara Ulsh. She was born February 17, 1811, and was the second child and oldest daughter. The Ulsh family consisted of nine children, five sons and four daughters. The youngest of these children reached the age of fifty-one years before any were removed by death. Three of the sons and all of the daughters are still living. Andrew Ulsh spent his life in Pennsylvania. He was born September 12, 1785; died April 9, 1864. Barbara Ulsh, born September 20, 1788; died October 22, 1828. Mr. Ulsh was married twice, Catharine being the name of his second wife.  

After his marriage Mr. McCauley resided one year in Snyder county, thence moved to Mifflin county in 1832, where he lived until the spring of 1845. In the month of April of that year he came to the farm in York township, which he had purchased two years before, and set about making a home. The farm contained seventy-eight acres, but was afterwards increased in size to one hundred and sixty-four acres. There had been slight improvements made, but not enough to make the farm of much utility until a large amount of work had been done. Mr. and Mrs. McCauley labored diligently, saved economically, and in due season had a comfortable home. Three children were born to them — John A. McCauley, born December 27, 1831; Matilda E. McCauley, born August 30, 1833; Sarah I. McCauley, born January 29, 1839. The daughters are both living, Mrs. Matilda E. Kopp in York township, and Mrs. Sarah I. Ulsh in St. Joseph county, Michigan. Joseph McCauley died April 21, 1853, a worthy and highly respected man. He was a man of industry and perseverance, and during the eight years he lived in Ohio, he made a large number of clearings and improvements, erected a substantial house, barn and out-buildings. He was a self-made man; commenced life with little, and worked his way upward by strict and careful attention to business. He was a member of the Lutheran church in Pennsylvania, but after coming to Ohio joined the Congregational church. He was a man of a cheerful and obliging disposition, and is gratefully remembered by his old friends and neighbors who had an opportunity to become thoroughly acquainted with him, and to know his worth.  

After his death his widow lived upon the old homestead over ten years. November 17, 1863, she was married to John Orwig, and since that time she has resided at Bellevue. Mrs. Orwig belongs to the Congregational church, and is a faithful member.  

John A. McCauley, only son of Joseph McCauley, was born in Snyder county,

Pennsylvania, and came to Ohio with his parents. He lived and died upon the old homestead, enjoying the peaceful life of a prosperous farmer. January 13, 1853, he was united in marriage to Lucy A. Jordan, born January 18, 1832, in Union county, Pennsylvania. This union was blessed by three children, two of whom are living — Mice A., born January 26, 1854; married March 16, 1874, to Harry S. Knauss; resides in the house with her mother; has three children — Virgie M., born November 22, 1875; Olive Maud, born August 3, 1877; and John W., born February 6, 1880. John Ezra, born May 25, 1857, died September 7, 1858. Joseph Ervin, born June 8, 1859, married Alice C. Drake, and resides in York township, this county.  

John A. McCauley died August 28, 1879. He united with the Congregational church when about sixteen, and lived a faithful Christian. He was a man of the highest integrity of character, and was highly esteemed by the community in which he resided. Like his father he supported the Democratic ticket.  

Mrs. Lucy A. McCauley is the daughter of one of the pioneers of Ohio. Her father, Adam Jordan, was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1803. He was married in his native State to Sophia Orwig, who was born in Schuylkill county, September 16, 1803. These parents had five sons and four daughters — Sarah A., who married Uriah Weaver; Martin married Mary Soyer; Lucy A. (McCauley); Joseph married Hannah Gamby; Mary A., George, and Hannah M., single; James married Emma Hubble; John, the only member of the family not living at the time of this writing, died when fourteen years old.  

Adam Jordan moved from Union county, Pennsylvania, to Ohio, in 1832; remained one year in Richland county, then settled in Seneca county, whence he moved to York township, Sandusky county, in 1844. Mr. Jordan died September 22, 1860. His widow survived until August 28, 1871. 

Mrs. McCauley joined the Congregational church in 1853. Her children also united with the same organization when quite young. She is a lady who enjoys the friendship and esteem of a large circle of neighbors and acquaintances.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 690-691


This departed worthy citizen of Sandusky county was born in Otsego county. State of New York, on the 19th day of January, 1802. His father's name was Oliver McIntyre, and his mother's name was Mary Hitchcock, a widow, whose maiden name was Miller. The subject of this sketch was married on the 12th of April, 1831, to Miss Maria Tyler, of Otsego county. New York, who died at Fremont on January 14, 1849. Mary, his oldest daughter, was born in Otsego county, and with his wife and this daughter he immigrated, and settled in Townsend township in 1835, where the following other children were born, namely: George T. and Winfield G. After locating in Townsend, Mr. McIntyre taught school winters and worked by the day in the summer for about twelve years. Here Mr. McIntyre bought land and settled, and thus taught and labored, serving meantime as justice of peace for a number of years, and until he was elected county treasurer of Sandusky county, in the fall of 1847. He served as treasurer four consecutive years, and no man ever served more faithfully, nor accounted for the funds of the county with more sincere honesty than he did.

Mr. McIntyre was married a second time on the 25th day of February, 1851, to Mrs. Margaret Bement, of Sandusky, whose maiden name was Margaret Heep, her first husband, George D. Bement, having died several years before, and about the same time Mr. McIntyre's first wife died, and of the same disease, erysipelas. By this second marriage he had one son, named Wallace, now living, who is unmarried. He lives with his mother, and is a devoted helper.

Mr. McIntyre, shortly before his second marriage, bought the Hawk farm on Green Creek, and settled on it, and was residing there at the time. This farm was situated on the east side of Green Creek. He sold this farm April 1, 1875, and purchased one on the west side of the creek, to which he immediately moved, and there lived until the time of his death, which was nearly a year after his removal. He died on the 11th day of September, 1876.

Wallace McIntyre, the son by the last marriage, was born at the farm on Green Creek on the nth day of December, 1857, and is a bright and promising young man, devoted to the maintenance and comfort of his widowed mother. Although an ardent Democrat, when the news came that Fort Sumter had been fired upon, Oliver McIntyre's patriotism submerged his party predilections, and a more thorough and patriotic Union man could not be found in the county.

One day a member of his party, who had publicly uttered disloyal sentiments and denounced the war, was waited upon by a committee, who wished to save him from violent treatment. The accused came with the committee, a large crowd following, and was placed on a dry goods box in the middle of Front street, and asked to declare his sentiments, while a Union man floated the Stars and Stripes over him. The man made a satisfactory statement and apology. The writer was then standing near Oliver McIntyre, who, pale with excitement, and flashing eyes, in a voice half-choked with emotion, turned to the writer, and said: "Homer, thank God! there is yet power in that old flag, and we can save the country!"

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 640-641


Silas Richards, the father of Franklin, was a native of Connecticut and passed his days in that State. April 28, 1805, he married Mary Rogers, daughter of John Rogers, a Connecticut soldier in the Revolutionary war. He was a farmer by occupation, and an honest, honorable man. Both Mr. and Mrs. Richards attained a ripe old age, the widow surviving the husband a few years. They reared a large family of twelve children, whose names were as follows: Harriet B., Frances A., Franklin, Ira J., Cynthia H., Archibald, Mary, Calista E., Silas, Esther R., Patience, and Frances M. Of these there are four survivers, viz: Franklin, Townsend township; Archibald, Clyde; Esther, the wife of Abraham Darrow, New London county, Connecticut; and Frances M., the widow of Samuel Darrow, in the same county and State.

Franklin Richards was born in Waterford, New London county, Connecticut, February 24, 1809. There he lived until 1834, working at farming the greater part of the time. He received a limited common school education. His father was a poor man, and Franklin was accustomed to hard and faithful labor from boyhood. In the month of September, 1834, Mr. Richards and his brother Archibald came to Sandusky county and commenced improving land in Townsend township which they had bought previously. They were both young men and unmarried. During the winter they hired their board at the house of their cousin, Lester Richards. In the spring of 1835 they erected a log-cabin in which it was their intention to live and keep bachelor's hall. One day on returning from a visit to their cousin's they found that their house with all its contents had been destroyed by fire. Mr. Richards lost a considerable sum of money in the flames. This was not a pleasing prospect to a young man, to be placed in the midst of a large forest without a dwelling-place, until one could be made by his own labor or earnings. However they built a small shanty and lived in it, doing their own housework, until a new house could be erected. In this way passed the first years.

In 1837 Archibald married and established a home of his own. Franklin lived alone until July 1, 1838, when he was united in wedlock to Diantha May, who continued his faithful helpmate and devoted wife until May 8, 1879, when she passed from earth and its sorrows in the sixtieth year of her age.

Of the hardships and perplexities of the first years which Mr. Richards spent in Ohio, it need only be said that by unceasing persistency and courage he was enabled at length to accomplish the purpose which brought him to the new country — to establish a home. Rugged toil and exposure gave him a constitution capable of enduring much physical strain. He never yielded to discouragement or despondency, and in due time had the satisfaction of seeing his efforts to gain prosperity rewarded. He planned judiciously, saved carefully, and worked diligently. Now, the possessor of a fine home and a comfortable property, with a mind of quiet contentment, he lives at peace with all men in the same place where his early trials were experienced and his later successes achieved.

Mr. Richards has never been much of a politician. Formerly a Democrat, he now votes with the Republicans, but believes in electing the best men to office, regardless of party. In his religious views he is a Baptist, though he has never united with the church.

Mrs. Richards was a member of the Free-will Baptist church in her youth, but afterwards joined the regular Baptists. She was a sincere and devoted Christian, a noble mother, a good neighbor, and one whose acquaintance and friendship was valued by all. We close this sketch with something of her family history.

Diantha May was born in Livingston county, New York, October 10, 1819. She was the third child of Isaac and Rachel (McMillan) May, and at the time her parents came to Ohio, in 1822, she was the oldest of the two surviving children. Her father was born in Vermont, October 5, 1796, and died in Townsend township, November 5, 1874. Rachel McMillan was born in New Hampshire, January 5, 1797, and died in York township, November 13, 1829. They were married in New York State, where the parents of each had moved when they were but children. Mr. and Mrs. May resided in Livingston county until 1822, and in that year moved to Thompson township, Seneca county, Ohio, and the following year settled on the North ridge, near the northern line of York township, being among the very first settlers. In 1831 the family moved to the eastern part of Townsend township, and in 1833 to the southwestern part, where they continued to reside until the death of Mr. May. By his first marriage Isaac May was the father of seven children — a son who died in infancy, Emily, Diantha, Emily Louisa, Mary Ann, James H., and William. Three survive, viz.: Mrs. Emily Louisa Tew, Townsend township; Mrs. Mary Ann Mason; and James H. May, Lenawee county, Michigan.

Mr. May married his second wife, Mary McMillan, a sister of his first, in 1830. This union resulted in ten children — Sophronia, Cynthia, Laura Ann, Rosetta, and Hiram, all deceased; and Mrs. Laura Maria Vine, Townsend; Marilla May, Lenawee county, Michigan; Mrs. Emeline Elliot, Jackson county, Kansas; Theron R. May, Lenawee county, Michigan; and Mrs. Ida Kidman, Townsend, still surviving.

Mrs. May is still living with Theron and Marilla, in Michigan; Isaac May was a minister of the Free-will Baptist denomination, and preached in this vicinity until within a few years preceding his death. He is well remembered by many who have listened to his sermons. The family had their full share of hardships. They came here when it required the utmost effort to feed and clothe a family. The daughters used to work in the field doing manual labor, and often worked out for the neighbors.

Mrs. Franklin Richards bore twelve children, five of whom are living. We subjoin a copy of the family record:

Simon G., born July 12, 1839; died in Libby prison December 2, 1863, a member of the One Hundreth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Silas L., born December 10, 1840; married Josie Kennedy, March 4, 1869; resides in York township.

Theron R., born November 8, 1842; died November 30, 1842.

Charles M., born. February 28, 1844; married Phebe E. Rhodes, June 1, 1865, who died December 25, 1873; married Florence Kellogg, October 20, 1874; resides in Townsend, near his father.

James P., born February 20, 1846; married Rachel E. Harvey, June 24, 1868, who died April 5, 2873; married Alice Straight, September 12, 1874; resides in Jackson county, Kansas.

Joseph D., born February 16, 1848; died March 26, 1848.

Frances S., born June 1, 1849; married Charles E. May, March 1, 1870; lives in Townsend near her old home.

Milo S., born August 1, 1852; died August 24, 1852.

William A., born September 4, 1853; died June 4, 1870.

Benjamin F., born June 26, 1855; died April 18, 1866.

Mary C., born September 30, 1857; died December 20, 1866.

Imogene D., born August 8, 1861; married Ekin Ridman, September 4, 1878, lives with his father.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 722-724


Michael Rife was born in Frederick county, Maryland, February 15, 1814. His parents were Daniel and Elizabeth (Sumbrun) Rife. They had three sons and seven daughters, with names as follows: Susan, Michael, Daniel, Julia Ann,

Elizabeth, Mary and Sarah (twins), Sophia, John, and Frances. The sons and four of the daughters are now living. Michael and John reside in York township, and Daniel in the village of Clyde. They are all farmers. Susan is the widow of Chester Kinney, and resides at Green Spring, m this county; Julia Ann married John Hamlin, her home is in Steuben county, Indiana; Mary married Aaron Bartlett, and lives in Fulton county; Elizabeth is single, and resides in Bellevue; Sarah, Sophia, and Frances are deceased. Frances was the wife of Frank Joint, of Bellevue.  

The parents of Mr. Rife came to Sandusky county in 1832 and located where John Rife now lives. The country at that date was but thinly settled, and the father and his sons had before them the difficult task of making a home in the wilderness and earning a living there. That they succeeded well in this undertaking, the neat and pretty farms in possession of the family are sufficient proofs. Daniel Rife died when fifty-five years of age, and his wife when fifty seven. Both were members of the Lutheran church during the greater portion of their lives, and were earnest and sincere Christians.  

Michael Rife has always followed the good, old-fashioned employment of tilling the soil. At the age of twenty-five he married and began work for himself. His marriage took place January 1, 1839. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Longwell, was born in Berlin township, Delaware county, Ohio, November 9, 1821. She was the only daughter of Robert and Lucinda (Butler) Longwell, who were among the very first settlers in this county. They moved to York township in 1823. Mr. Longwell brought his goods in an ox-wagon, and Mrs. Longwell rode horseback, carrying her child in her arms. They were here but one brief year before they were overtaken by death. Mrs. Longwell died September 17, 1814, aged thirty-two years, and her husband followed on the 22d day of the same month and year, dying at the age of thirty. After the death of her parents, Mary lived with her relatives until her marriage with Mr. Rife, in 1839.  

For the first few years after this couple began housekeeping the utmost diligence was required to " make both ends meet." Mrs. Rife raised chickens many seasons to sell, and paid taxes with the proceeds. Produce brought but a small equivalent in money, butter often selling for only five cents per pound, and other articles in proportion. Young people at the present day can form but a vague idea of the difficulties which this stout-hearted pair met and overcame.  

Their union has been blessed with four children, three of whom are living. The family record is as follows: Eudora Ann was born March 30, 1841, she married Robert Zuel, and resides in Johnson county, Kansas; Sarah F. was born September 7, 1842, she is the wife of William L. Richards, and lives near her old home; Robert L., born April 27, 1846, married Maria Dimock; he also resides near his parents; Charles, born February 20, 1848, died March 24th of the same year.  

Mr. and Mrs. Rife, now in their declining years, are the happy possessors of a pleasant, pretty home, a good farm of three hundred acres, well improved, and supplied with a good orchard and plenty of timber. They have always been industrious and economical, and by toiling early and late have merited the good things they now enjoy.  

Mr. Rife is a Republican and has never voted any other ticket, excepting that of the Whig party. He has never aspired to township or other offices.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 691-692


Charles Rozell was born in Mercer county, New Jersey, October 21, 1803. His parents were John and Jane Rozell, both natives of New Jersey. Charles was the oldest of a family of twelve children, seven sons and five daughters. He passed his early years at home, and served an apprenticeship to learn the shoemaker's trade, but not liking it, left the shop and engaged in farming. In 1826 he married Catharine Wiley, of Mercer county.

In 1831 Mr. Rozell left New Jersey and came to Jackson township, Sandusky county, and purchased the farm upon which he passed the remainder of his days. The farm was a wild lot; not a stick of timber had been cut, and only an unbroken forest marked the spot which he selected for his home. It was the month of March when he arrived. He erected a log house and cleared sufficient ground for a garden and cornfield, and in the fall sent for his family, consisting of his wife and two children. They came, accompanied by Mrs. Rozell's brother. Mr. Rozell met them upon their way and conducted them to his wild and unattractive home. At that date there was little of romance about life in the woods. The roads, or paths — for there were no roads worthy the name — were in the worst condition imaginable. Lower Sandusky was the nearest point where milling was carried on. Mr. Rozell bought a pair of oxen with which to do his work. He used up nearly all of his money before his farm was in a condition to bring any returns.

Both Mr. Rozell and his wife toiled earnestly, and saved economically all they could gain. They denied themselves many of the comforts and luxuries now found in almost every farmer's home, and restricted themselves to the necessaries of life. They made sugar from the maples for the family use, and strove to curtail expenses in every way.

In 1836 Mr. Rozell's parents came to Seneca county, and settled a few miles distant from their son's home. Mrs. Rozell died upon their farm in Seneca county, and Mr. Rozell a few years later in Jackson township.

John Rozell gave the land for the cemetery in Seneca county, south of Bettsville. There reposes his body and the remains of those of the family who have died in this vicinity.

The industry and economy of Mr. Charles Rozell were rewarded. He began with eighty acres of wild land, but added to his possessions at different times until, at his death, he had one hundred and seventy-four acres of cleared land, and eighty of wood land.

When the plank road to Sandusky was in process of construction, Mr. Rozell contracted to build several miles. In 1858 he erected a costly and beautiful residence and furnished it neatly and tastefully. March 4, 1861, Mrs. Rozell died in her sixty-first year. She bore two children, both of whom are living, viz: Susan Ann, wife of John Fabing, who resides on the farm adjoining her old home; and Martha, the wife of Lucien Hull, who lives in Seneca county, about two miles from the place where she was brought up.

On the 14th of January, 1864, Mr. Rozell married Mrs. Rachel J. Reed. Her maiden name was Bay, and she was born in Morgan county, Ohio, November 9, 1822. Her grandfather, Robert Bay, was a native of Pennsylvania, who served throughout the Revolutionary war; also in the War of 1812. Her father also served in the War of 1812. Robert Bay married Tama Ann Phillis, of Pennsylvania. Mrs. Rozell's father, Joseph Bay, was born in 1790; died in 1835. In 1813 he married Catharine Derrick, who was born in England in 1795. She is still living in Zanesville. The Bay family were among the first settlers in Jefferson county, in this State. They lived there until 1822, then moved to Morgan county, and to Zanesville in 1824. Mrs. Rozell is the filth of a family of eight children, three sons and five daughters. She has one brother and two sisters living at this time.

By his second marriage Mr. Rozell was the father of one child, Jennie, born April 3, 1865, who is now living with her mother in Fremont.

Mr. Charles Rozell was always active in his business, strictly fair and honorable in all of his dealings, and treated every man justly. He was kind to the poor and unfortunate, and ever ready to assist the deserving. Though not a professing Christian, his moral character was above reproach, and his reputation for sincerity of friendship and integrity was unsullied. By attending diligently to his business, be became the possessor of a good property, and departed from earth honored and esteemed. He was a Republican, a strong Union man during the war, and assisted the soldiers and their widows by every means at his command. He died at his home in Jackson, November 27, 1870, at the age of sixty-seven.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 759-760


Zachariah Sanford, father of the Sanfords of this county, and a Townsend pioneer, was born near Saybrook, Connecticut, in the year 1790. At the age of eighteen he left Connecticut, with his widowed mother, and settled in Madison county, New York. He married Mary P. Mantor, who was born in Massachusetts in 1798. The newly-wedded couple settled on a farm in Ontario county, New York, which was their home till the fall of 1832, when, with their family, they removed to Ohio, and settled in this township. Mr. Sanford purchased an eighty acre lot entirely covered with native forest. The father and sons made an opening for a log cabin upon their arrival, and during the winter prepared a tract for spring crops. On this farm Mr. Sanford lived until his death, which occurred May 6, 1862. His wife, Mary Sanford, died March 17, 1868. They reared a family of seven children — five sons and two daughters.

Elias M. was born July 17, 1817. He died in Townsend township May 31, 1843, leaving a wife and one child.

Carmi G. was born December 28, 1818.

Henry A. was born March 4, 1820. He married Mary Rice, daughter of Daniel Rice, and lives on the homestead farm.

Sally M. was born December 27, 1826.

William B. was born April 7, 1828. He resides in Riley township.

Almira was born July 10, 1832. She was married to Samuel H. Tibbals, and died without issue.

George W. was born February 2, 1839. He resides in Townsend township.

Zachariah Sanford was a man of quiet temperament, unobtrusive and hospitable. In his family he was kind and indulgent; in intercourse and dealing with his neighbors he avoided anything like conflict. It has been said of him that he died without an enemy.

Mrs. Mary Sanford was an excellent mother. She was a woman of deep religious convictions, being in this respect like his mother, who made her home for many years in the Sanford residence.

Bible reading was especially encouraged in the family. Carmi G., while a boy, was given a sheep as a prize for having read the entire Bible through.

Carmi G. Sanford was in his fourteenth year when the family removed to Ohio. His educational advantages in New York were limited, and in this county still more meagre. He worked industriously on his father's farm until young manhood. His first purchase of land was a tract of forty acres, which he still owns. He married, March 9, 1844, Lydia Allyn, and settled on a farm, for which he traded three years before. Only a small portion of this farm, located three-fourths of a mile north of his present residence, was cleared. The cabin was made entirely of logs and puncheons, except one door, which was made of the boards of a store-box. In this cabin they lived, for about ten years. Mr. Sanford removed to his present residence in 1863, retaining possession of the old farm. By economy and industry he has accumulated real estate, until at present he owns four hundred acres of well-improved land. Mr. Sanford has always been an advanced farmer, keeping pace, in methods and machinery, with the times. In politics he has been active, and is looked upon as a leader. A Whig by inheritance, he became a Republican from principle. During the war he spent time and money in the encouragement of enlistments and support of the families of soldiers in the field. When the One Hundred and Sixty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry was formed, Mr. Sanford was chosen captain of the largest company, C, composed of volunteers from Riley and Townsend townships. At the regimental organization at Fremont, he was chosen to the position of lieutenant-colonel, and Nathaniel, a brother of William E. Haynes, was elected colonel. Through the caprice of Colonel Wiley, Mr. Sanford was dismissed before being mustered into the service.

Since the war Mr. Sanford has remained an active Republican, by which party he was elected to the offices of county infirmary director and county commissioner.

He had previously served his township as clerk and justice of the peace. He is a member of Clyde Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and of Erie Commandery No. 23, located at Sandusky.

Mrs. Sanford is the daughter of Isaac and Permelia Allyn, and was born March 20, 1828. Isaac Allyn was born in Connecticut, September 21, 1786. He left home at the age of eighteen years, and settled, after travelling to various places, in Erie county. About 1820, in company with Jonas Gibbs, he came to this county, and settled on the prairie in the north part of Riley township. He raised horses and cattle for market, frequently making large sales. He also engaged largely in raising hogs, and in pork packing. Mr. Allyn made his home in the Gibbs' family for a few years, and then kept bachelor's hall in a cabin on his own place until he was married, which event took place June 12, 1827.

Permelia Allyn, daughter of Cyrus Downing, was born June 24, 1795, in Windom county, Connecticut. Before she was two years old her parents removed to New York, where they lived till 1800, at which time they came to Ohio and settled near Huron.

On account of Indian hostilities, the family was compelled to leave this new home and take refuge in the fort at Cleveland. Permelia married, in April, 1813, Jeremiah Daniels. About twenty families lived at Huron at this lime. They were compelled by hostile Indians to leave their homes nine times during one year. Mr. Daniels having deceased, Permelia married Isaac Allyn, in 1827. The fruit of this union was three children — Lydia (Sanford), born March 20, 1828; Isaac M., born February 8, 1832, living in Riley township; and Permelia (Sanford), born November 6, 1837, died June 25, 1881.

Isaac Allyn died January 30, 1839. Mrs. Allyn survived him many years, the date of her death being September 18, 1874. She was a hard worker, and a woman of good business ability. She carried on her husband's stock business for several years after his death. One year she salted with her own hands more than one hundred barrels of pork. Mrs. Allyn, during the last year and a half of her life, made her home with her daughter Lydia.

Mrs. Sanford is naturally a happy and cheerful woman. She takes great interest in the welfare of her family. Her home is one of the most attractive in the county.

Mr. and Mrs. Sanford have had seven children, three of whom are living — Mary P., born April 24, 1846, died in infancy; Winfield Scott, born August 16, 1847, married Eliza McCartney, and has three children, resides in Sandusky; Flora A., born February 3, 1850, married James Gaw, died February 28, 1872; Morgan C., born July 25, 1861, resides at home; Kate L., born November 7, 1864, died March 1, 1868; Haltie M., born January 24, 1868, lives at home; Charles G., born January 24, 1871, died October 6, 1872.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 715-717


Christian Schultz was born May 10, 1820, in Alsace, department of Strasburg, county of Bichweiler, in Oberhoffen, France. When ten years of age he came to the United States with his mother, Mrs. Margaret Schultz, his father having died when Christian was about six months old. He was the only child by the first marriage of his mother. She became the wife of Albert Strawhacker, and bore five other children, of whom three daughters and one son are yet living. With this family his mother came to America, where her husband had gone two years previously. They remained near Kenton, in this State, one year, then came to the southern part of Sandusky county, about one mile west of Green Spring, where Mr. Strawhacker had entered land, and where the family continued to reside.

Christian Schultz engaged in farming until he was about seventeen years of age. Then he entered the mills of Jacob Stem at Green Spring, and continued this employment about twelve years. He commenced work in the saw-mill, but during the last eight years of this time was engaged in running the grist-mill. While at work here, he was united in marriage May 26, 1849, to Anna Longanbach, daughter of George and Anna Longanbach, of Rice township.

In 1856, in the month of November, having purchased a farm, he removed and settled in Riley township, on the place which is still the home of the family. The farm had a few improvements, but Mr. and Mrs. Schultz found work enough to keep them busy. There was only a small log cabin upon the place, and no barn or stable. About forty acres of land had been fenced, but it was not all improved. The land was wet, and remained so until it had been drained. Crops were small; little of wheat or other staples could be raised. During the first few years of his residence here Mr. Shultz devoted a large portion of his time to getting out timber for staves, hubs, spokes, etc., which he sold, and supported the family with the proceeds. During the last few years a great change has been wrought in this part of the county. Twenty-five years ago a trip to Fremont and back was an all-day's journey for Mr. Schultz. The school-house was three-fourths of a mile distant, and during a part of the year it was impossible to get to it with a team, owing to the condition of the roads.

But the log cabins have mostly disappeared, and in their places stand the neat and tasteful residences of to-day, comfortably and even elegantly furnished, and barns and outbuildings, with all modern improvements. The beautiful and substantial dwelling now the home of the Schultz family, was the result of the untiring labor, and constant, progressive industry of Mr. Schultz and his worthy wife.

Mr. Schultz was an energetic man. Though not possessed of great physical strength, he could never endure being idle. Through his efforts and economy he prospered, though very likely his life was shortened by too vigorous exertion.

Mr. Schultz was an honest farmer, a good husband, a kind and indulgent parent, and a respected citizen. In his business transactions it can safely be asserted that he never wronged any man. January 16, 1877, he passed peacefully from this life to the other, a victim of the dread disease, consumption. He had been ill for nearly two years, but through the entire period he manifested a cheerful disposition and uttered few complaints. He was a member of the Evangelical Association for twenty years, and bore the
reputation of being an upright and sincere Christian. Politically he was a Republican, an anti-slavery man and a true lover of his country.

Mrs. Anna Schultz was born in the Province of Wurtemburg, Germany, May 12, 1829. She was the sixth child of a family of thirteen children, eight of whom are living, four sons and tour daughters. Her parents came to the United States in 1836, and settled in Seneca county. New York, where they remained five and one-half years, removing to Rice township, where Mr. Longanbach died in July, 1861, in his fifty-fourth year. Mrs. Longanbach is still living in Sandusky township, at the home of her oldest son, Martin.

To Mr. and Mrs. Schultz were born nine children, five of whom are living. Amelia Margaret was born October 7, 1850; married C. Frederick Jacobs, February 7, 1875; died August 8th, the same year. John Frederick, born December 18, 1852; died January 15, 1854. Ezra Christian, born October 29, 1854; died April 2, 1856. Lydia Ann, born December 23, 1856; died December 23, 1877. Mary Elizabeth, born March 6, 1859. Charles Martin, born May 12, 1861. Jesse Nelson, born February 26, 1863. Ida Elmira, born October 12, 1865. Estella Rosine, born June 24, 1869. Mrs. Schultz belongs to the Evangelical Association. Now situated in a pleasant home with all her surviving children about her, she enjoys the peaceful consciousness that in all things she has striven to do her duty to her family, her neighbors and associates. The Schultz family are well known and respected.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 737-739


The first settler of Washington township — Josiah Topping — located on the pike in 1826. He was followed by David Grant, then John Wolcutt, and, fourth, in the spring of 1831, came George Skinner with his family.

George Skinner and his wife, whose maiden name way Mary Goodin, were natives of Somerset county, Pennsylvania. They removed to Perry county, Ohio, at an early period of the settlement of that county, and accumulated property which was well improved when the Black Swamp became a much talked of land of promise. Mr. Skinner's desire to give his children, fast growing to maturity, a start in life, led him to sell his farm in Perry county and enter land here. His original purchase was larger than that of any man in the township with one exception.

In April, 1830, the party, consisting of George Skinner and wife, and eight of their children, three of whom were married, arrived in Lower Sandusky. A short time after they penetrated the swamp and made a settlement in the southeast part of Washington township. The Skinner family consisted of twelve children, three of whom died in Perry county before the family's settlement in this county — Elizabeth, Fanny, and Jane. David, the second child, settled in Morrow county. Those who came to Sandusky were: Rhoda, wife of William Black, settled in Washington township, where her husband died, and she is yet living, being a woman well known for her kindness of heart and neighborly assistance in every time of need; Rebecca, accompanied by her husband, Samuel Black, settled in Washington township, where he died, she now living with her children in Illinois; John, accompanied by his family, settled in Washington township and subsequently removed to Livingston county, Michigan; Samuel, the subject of this biography, came a single man; George married, in Seneca county, Elizabeth Kimes, settled first in Seneca county, then in Washington township, and subsequently removed to Williams county, where he is now living; Aaron, after the immigration of his family, returned to Perry county, where he married, and then settled in Washington township, and has since removed to Illinois; Nathan married, in Washington township, Sophia Dayhoof, settled in Washington, and subsequently removed to Cass county, Michigan, where he now lives; Mary Ann married, in Washington township, John Walters, and died in Tiffin, Ohio.

It was not for Mrs. Skinner long to bear the toils of pioneer life. She died in Washington township September 24, 1831, about eighteen months after leaving the old home in Perry county. George Skinner died September 25, 1838, aged fifty-seven years and three months. He had abandoned the comforts of a well improved home with a view to providing homes for his children. He came to a country which nature had favored with richness, but a full generation's labor was needed to make it an inviting dwelling place. He lived to see a part of his large tract improved. He lived to see a cabin on almost every section and quarter-section in his township. This was the beginning of that transformation which half a century has effected.

Samuel Skinner, whose portrait appears in this volume, is one of the few men who has seen that transformation from beginning to end, and, at the same time, has been an active agent in effecting it. He was born in Perry county, Ohio, May 10, 1814, and was consequently about sixteen years old when the family came to this county. His education was such as the primitive schools of his native county afforded. Accustomed to hard work, he was well calculated by physical strength for the life which lay before him. He married in Washington township, October 17, 1833, Elizabeth Geeseman, who was born in Pennsylvania, in 1812. Her father, George Geeseman, removed to Perry county, Ohio, and from there to Washington township, Sandusky county, in 1831. When Mr. Skinner was married, to obtain a start in life was not an easy matter. He was unable to provide for the necessities of life without performing day labor for his neighbors. Agricultural productions could not be exchanged for money, and the wages of a day laborer look very small in this period of plenty. But these obstacles of early life finally yielded to the continuous hard licks of the pioneers, and eventual success and financial prosperity rewarded hardships endured. The family of Mr. and Mrs. Skinner is somewhat remarkable. There were ten children, one boy and nine girls, all of whom are living, all married, and all in promising circumstances. Their names and places of residence are as follows: George W. was born July 25,1834. He married Theresa Fox, and is living on the old homestead farm, in Washington township. Mary was born December 7, 1835. She was married to Jacob Rearick, and resides in Henry county, Ohio. Sarah was born May 1, 1837. She was married to George Rearick, residing in Sandusky township, this county. Cynthia was born January 4, 1841. She is married to David Burgoon, residing in Sandusky township, this county. Eliza Ann, wife of Edward Choate, residing in Monroe county, Michigan, was born May 25, 1843. Margaret E., was married to Eli Hansberger, of Monroe county, Michigan. She was born October 3, 1844. Laura M., wife of Frederick Zorn, lives in Poweshiek county, Iowa. She was born April 4, 1847. Harriet M. was born October 30, 1849. She is the wife of Lewis Zorn, of Madison township. Jane E. was born September 7, 1851. She is married to Peter Cornelius, and lives at Helena, Jackson township. Emma N., the youngest child, was born August 20, 1853. She is the wife of Jacob Hendricks, of Henry county, Ohio.

Mrs. Skinner died March 8, 1869.

Mr. Skinner married for his second wife, in April, 1870, Mrs. Sarah Guyer, daughter of George M. Gunter, who settled in Wood county in 1824.

There is enough of danger connected with a bear hunt to give it a peculiar interest. Mr. Skinner was the discoverer of the track, and one of a party to pursue the last bear, so far as is known, to enter the marshes of Sandusky county. In the winter of 1834 Mr. Skinner discovered, one afternoon, the track of a large bear. The animal at that period was rare in this part of the State, and his track promised a fine day's sport. During the night a light snow fell, which obscured the former track, but the following day a couple of young men of the neighborhood, while returning from an errand to Jackson township, on Muskallonge, saw the track in the snow. The discovery was reported, dogs collected, and on the following morning, at four o'clock, a party of four, consisting of Samuel Skinner, Robert McCulloch, Samuel Geeseman, and James Fisher, with their pack of dogs and well charged guns, were on the track. Patiently step after step was followed by the light of the moon. Daylight came, and the dogs, as the track became fresher, were more anxious and pushed ahead. About noon they bounded forward with fierce barks, and the sound soon came from far away in the thicket. The party hurried in eager pursuit of the pack, for the barking and shrill howls of the dogs, just audible, clearly indicated the progress of a battle. After the pursuit had continued for some time, Mr. Skinner, who was far in advance of his comrades, met two of the battle-scarred dogs returning from the fray. One had been severely wounded, the other considerably scratched. Suddenly the character of the barking changed from sharp yelps and long-drawn howls, which hunters recognize as the rapid advances and retreats of determined fighting, to the continuous noise of the chase. When the party came to the place of encounter, under a large tree, the snow tracks clearly indicated what had happened. The pack had overtaken their game at that place, and he backed himself against the tree, thus being securely fortified in the rear and prepared to give battle with both paws. The condition of the dogs and blood on the ground showed bruin's victory, and as the pack returned one by one from their futile pursuit, the failure of the chase was apparent. The party returned to Miller's tavern, near Woodville. The host was boastful of his dogs, and anxious to give them a trial. He offered to keep the party over night, but Messrs. Skinner and McCulloch returned to their homes. The next day's chase was more unsuccessful than the first. But a week later a bear, supposed to be the same one, was killed near Findlay, Hancock county.

Mr. Skinner retired from the farm in 1871, and has since been living in Fremont. He is a large, good-natured, full-hearted gentleman, on whom time and hard labor have had little effect. As remarked before, he has seen the growth of his township, and contributed his strong physical energies toward that growth. In reply to the question, "Do you feel repaid for your labor, and the hardships which nature and the times imposed upon the early pioneers of the Black Swamp?" he replied: "I would not like to say that I have not been repaid, but if I was again a young man, and could foresee the course of life I have followed, I would not sacrifice society and improvement for what I have accumulated." When we remember that Mr. Skinner is among the most successful of the pioneers of this part of the county, and has certainly been peculiarly fortunate in respect to health, his remark has a deep meaning. If those of the early immigrants who became wealthy do not feel repaid for their toil, what sorrow and suffering must have prevailed among the multitude less fortunate!

But if pecuniary gain has not been sufficient reward, Mr. Skinner and other pioneers of his class can look back over the busy and clouded past with a consciousness of having added to the world's wealth, of having completed nature's work and conferred an appreciated boon upon their descendants and humanity. No feeling of self-approbation is stronger in an old man than the sense of having been useful. The life of such commands our admiration, and the memory of such is worthy of preservation.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 776-779


In the spring of 1818 George Frederick Schmidt and family, natives of Wurtemburg, Germany, emigrated to America and settled in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania. In his native land Mr. Smith — as the name is now written by his descendants — was united in marriage to Dorothea Maumann. They brought up a large family, there being nine children in all, seven of whom arrived at maturity. Four are still living. Seven of them were born in this country. The names of the children in the order of their ages were as follows: Maria D., married David Moore, and resided in Bellevue; died December 7, 1879, in her sixty-seventh year. Anna M. married James Chapman, of York township; died November 8, 1879, aged sixty-five years. Frederick, the subject of this sketch; David, a resident of York township; Catharine, widow of William White, Grundy county, Tennessee; Sarah A., wife of Elmer Simpson, Placer county, California; and John F., a resident of York township; and two who died young.  

The family resided in Pennsylvania until the year 1836, when they came to York township and settled upon the farm now in possession of one of the sons. At the time of their settlement this entire region bore a very uninviting aspect. After coming here Mr. Smith purchased a piece of land on which a small clearing had been made and a cabin erected. They had the usual difficulties and experiences incident to life in the woods, but by the combined efforts of the whole family they succeeded in accomplishing the mission which led them hither and established a home. Mrs. Smith did not live to enjoy many of the subsequent improvements. She died in November, 1842. Her husband survived until the 18th of February 1858, when he passed away. Both were worthy people, and possessed of that industrious and frugal disposition which enables the German emigrant to succeed in the face of many obstacles.  

Frederick Smith was the oldest son. He was born in Lehigh county, Pennsylvania, December 10, 1818, and consequently was about eighteen years of age when his parents came to this county. He lived at home and assisted in clearing up the farm and making improvements. In 1845, on the 2d day of October, he was joined in marriage to Mary A. Box, of Washington township. The following year he bought a farm adjoining the old homestead, upon which he ]:)assed the remainder of his days. His first purchase was eighty acres, twenty of which were partially cleared. There was also a small cabin upon the farm. Mr. Smith labored diligently, making inroads upon the forest and improving his fields, and as they became fruitful under his skilful hands, thus furnishing the means for enlarging his farm, he made additional purchases, upon which in turn he continued the work of clearing. Before his death he became the owner of six hundred and forty acres of excellent land, as the reward of his steadfast industry and perseverance. His elegant brick esidence, the present home of his widow, was erected in 1866.  

Mr. Smith was a successful farmer and a lover of his occupation, which he carried on most extensively. He also possessed considerable skill and ingenuity in the use of various kinds of tools, and frequently did blacksmithing and carpentry work for himself He was a man who had many sincere friends, won by his upright character and manly qualities. In politics he was a strong Democrat, and always labored to promote the success of his party. Early in life he became a Christian, and continued to the end a devout member of the Reformed church. Just before his death, while conversing on religious subjects, he referred to his early religious associations with much pleasure and satisfaction. He was elected a trustee of St. Paul's church some three years previous to his death, and faithfully served in that office until prevented by failing health. He was prostrated by illness in December, 1878, and continued gradually declining until the 1st day of April, in the year 1879, when the end came.  

Mrs. Frederick Smith was born in Northampton county (now Carbon county), Pennsylvania, August 13, 1826. Her parents were Nicholas and Eve Margaret Box. Her mother's maiden name was Mehrcome. Her father died in Pennsylvania December 2, 1835. Her mother came to this county in 1836, and settled in Washington township, where she died April 22, 1857. Mrs. Smith is the youngest of a family of eleven children. She has three brothers and two sisters living. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born three sons and four daughters, all of whom are living in York township. Their names are: William Frederick, Mary Armena, Samuel David, Henry Franklin, Margaret Anna, Sarah Catharine, and Dora Ella. Two of the sons and one of the daughters are married. William F. married Sarah C. Wilt, and has two children; Henry F. married Hannah E. Richards; Mary Armena is the wife of George Wilt, York township, and has four children.  

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 688-689


Among the many courageous men and women who penetrated the forests of Ohio while the State was yet the hunting grounds of the Indians, the sons and daughters of New England hold a conspicuous place. Bravery, generosity, unwavering honesty, united to a strong religious faith, were the virtues that characterized them, and the principles that animated them.  

In 1822 a worthy couple, both natives of the State of Connecticut, settled on the South ridge, in York township. Their names were Jeremiah and Experience (Mills) Smith. Enough has been written in this volume to portray the condition of Sandusky county at that date. The trials, difficulties, and dangers which beset these bold representatives of the Yankee nation need not be rehearsed here. Here they lived, reared a family, and died. But one of their children survives, although the family consisted of three sons and three daughters. The names were as follows: Jeremiah, Edward, Barzilla, Lucy, Laura, and Triphena. Jeremiah settled in York township and resided here until the close of his days. Edward died in Lagrange county, Indiana. Barzilla died in New York State, where his parents had lived before coming to Ohio. Lucy married Charles Gardenier, of Montgomery county, New York, and died years ago. Laura married Abel D. Follett, of Bellevue, and now resides in Ventura county, California. Triphena died the year after her parents moved here, aged thirteen years.  

Jeremiah Smith, sr., died October 7, 1826, aged forty-nine years. His wife, a most estimable lady, survived until September 6, 1840, when she passed away at the age of sixty-six, universally respected as a woman of Christian benevolence and genuine worth.  

Their son, Jeremiah Smith, was among the most worthy and highly honored of the citizens of York township. He was born October 15, 1801. On the 10th of June, 1835, he married De Lora Knapp, daughter of Alvin and Lovisa (O'Bryant) Knapp. Mrs. Knapp's father, John O'Bryant, was an officer in the Revolutionary war. Alvin Knapp was born at Lebanon Springs, Columbia county, New York, and his wife in the western part of Massachusetts, about fourteen miles from the place of her husband's nativity. Mr. and Mrs. Knapp lived in New York State until 1833. At this date they came to Ohio and settled near the centre of York township. They had thirteen children who arrived at maturity, five of whom are yet living. Their names in the order of their ages were: Arad, Chester, Balsorah, Alanson, Kingsley, De Lora, Mary, Wilson, Sarah F., Henry, Martha, Anna, and Amanda. These were all married and all came to Ohio, but scattered to various parts of the country. Those now living are, Chester, in Cass county, Michigan; Wilson, in Lucas county, Ohio; Henry, in Decatur county, Iowa; Martha (Alexander), Whitewater, Wisconsin; and Mrs. De Lora Smith, York township.  

Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah Smith, jr., had no children. Mr. Smith died August 21, 1874, in his seventy-third year. He was a man of sterling integrity, friendly and courteous in his manners, pure motive, and honest and fair in all his dealings. He passed through a long life without losing a friend or gaining an enemy by any fault of his own. During the most of his years he was a member of the Free--will Baptist church.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 695-696


Among the leading, public-spirited men who have lived in this county, but are now gone from us to return no more, there ar3 few more deserving of notice in this work than he whose name heads this article.

Alonzo Thorp was born in Ontario county. New York, on the 9th day of September, 1817. He was the son of John and Jane (Wager) Thorp, and was the second of a family of nine children. His early life was spent in New York, working and attending school. When about eighteen years of age he came to Ohio, and engaged in teaching school in different parts of this county in winter, and working in summer. He taught several terms of school and writing school, and is remembered gratefully by many of his old pupils. He came here poor, but with a determination to get a start in the world, and he believed an education to be essential for becoming a useful citizen. Therefore he used his first earnings to pay his expenses at Milan high school, where he attended several terms.

In 1837 Mr. Thorp's parents followed him to this county, and settled in Townsend township. He then made his home with them until 1842, when he married, and commenced farming for himself. His first wife was Miss Eliza Cole, daughter of Hon. Matthew Cole, a man well known to old residents. He served as a member of the legislature, and in other public offices. By this marriage Mr. Thorp became the father of one son and two daughters. John C. Thorp was born April 12, 1843, died of consumption at the home of his father, November 6, 1869. Alma E. Thorp, born December 11, 1844, was married in March, 1865, to Dr. George Salzman, and now resides in Kenton, Ohio. Gertrude H. Thorp, born December 25, 1847, died at home January 20, 1873, of consumption. Mrs. Thorp died in April, 1850.

In 1857 Mr. Thorp married Mrs. Mary E. Ames, widow of Elon G. Ames, of York township, and daughter of Medad and Armida (Waller) Brush, who were among the early settlers in Green Creek township. Her parents were both natives of Connecticut, but lived in Pennsylvania until they came to this State. Mr. Thorp had no children by this marriage.

In 1852 Mr. Thorp moved from Townsend township to the village of Clyde, where he engaged quite extensively in the lumber business. He owned and operated a saw-mill, and was also considerably interested in farming and stock-raising. In 1863 he was elected a member of the Legislature from this county, and served a term of two years in a manner highly creditable to himself and satisfactory to his constituents. He also held various township offices at different periods. While residing in Townsend, in 1856, he was elected justice of the peace and served one term.

In May, 1873, Mr. Thorp moved upon the farm where his widow still resides, in Green Creek township, and lived there until his decease. He died January 28, 1879, in his sixty-second year. He was an energetic, active man, of unblemished character and reputation. Having fought his own way from poverty to the position he attained, he knew how to sympathize with the struggling and ambitious. He was universally respected as a business man, and stood high in social circles. A prominent politician of the Democratic party, he numbered some of its distinguished leaders among his intimate friends. In religion he adhered to the principles of the Episcopal church, with which he became connected soon after his first marriage.

Mr. Thorp was a good father, a good neighbor, and a kind and loving husband. His circle of friends was large, and all will bear cheerful testimony to his worth and usefulness.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 724-725

BOURDETT WOOD, 801-702 (again page numbers are wrong)

The eldest son of Jasper and Elizabeth (Boylston) Wood, was born at Manlius Square, New York, on the 19th day of February, 1803. The Woods are of English origin. Four brothers came to this country about two centuries ago, three of them settling in Massachusetts, and one in Virginia. Aaron, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, with three brothers, had emigrated to the State of New York a short time preceding the Revolutionary struggle, and had settled on the German flats just above Schenectady. All four of the brothers were soldiers in the Revolutionary war, and took part in the memorable battle of Monmouth. Aaron Wood was the father of seven children, as follows: Thaddeus, Benjamin, Jasper, Rebecca, Dorothea, Aaron, and Homer. Thaddeus was a lawyer of distinction and ability. He was, in his time, not only the recognized leader of the bar in Onondaga county, where he resided, but was esteemed as one of the best lawyers of the State. He was an active participant in the war of 1812, and, by reason of meritorious service, was elevated to the rank of brigadier general in 1818, and to the rank of major general in 1820. Jasper Wood, the father of Bourdett, was born in the year in which the war for Independence was declared, 1776, at Lenox, Massachusetts, where he lived until fourteen years of age, when he went to New York State in the service of a Mr. White, the founder of Whitestown, near Utica, that State. Here he continued to reside for eight or ten years, and then removed to Manlius Square, where he remained until 1815, the date of his removal to the Far West. After a temporary stay at Erie, Pennsylvania, of one year's duration, he came on with his family to Huron county, and settled at Bloomingville. Here he purchased a large tract of land, consisting of about one thousand eight hundred acres, for which he paid about two thousand dollars. Soon after this, the Government lands in the adjoining county of Sandusky came into market, and were sold to purchasers at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. This reduced the value of Mr. Wood's lands so as to render them comparatively worthless. He died in 1821. He was a man of rather superior education and abilities; was a good surveyor, and could speak the Iroquois language with considerable fluency. His wife's name was Elizabeth Boylston, whom he married May 3, 1802. The Boylstons were also English people, and were among the first settlers of Boston. They gave their name to many places connected with the early history of that metropolis, such as Boylston Common, Boylston Square, etc., Boylston Bank, Boylston street — places that are still thus designated. The Boylstons were a very intelligent and well-to-do class of people, and many representatives of the family are now living in Massachusetts, all occupying honorable stations in life.  

Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Wood were the parents of six children: Bourdett, Adaline, Julianne, Juliette, Worthington, and Aramenta. Mrs. Wood died in 1834.  

Bourdett received his given name from the Bourdett family, of Fort Lee, New Jersey.  

At the age of sixteen he was bound for a term of four years to Judge Timothy Baker, of Norwalk, Ohio. After an expiration of two years, his father having died, through the kindly efforts in his behalf, made by Mrs. Baker, he was released from this service. The maintenance of his father's family chiefly devolved upon him, and he was brought in close contact with the utmost severity of labor.  

Mr. Wood has been a successful man. To trace his career and bring to light the discovery of how he accomplished so much in the direction of getting on in the world, is an interesting undertaking. His father died when Bourdett was a young man of eighteen years of age, and not only left him no inheritance, but placed him in a position where he must, by the labor of his own hands or the employment of his own wits, provide, not for himself alone, but for others dependent upon him for the necessaries of life. Could the young man, the day after his father's death, have had his future career in life disclosed to him; could he have seen himself standing on the verge of that career, penniless and seemingly powerless, and then have followed his course through a term of fifty or nearly sixty years, to behold himself the possessor of hundreds of thousands of dollars of this world's goods, he would undoubtedly have disbelieved the revelation. Yet this is what he has accomplished.  

The acquisition of great wealth furnishes in itself no marvel, for many men become possessors of it. Some inherit it; some have it thrust upon them by kind fortune or good luck; and some obtain it by a systematic course of robbery in which knavery, extortion, and theft, in its various forms, have their part to play.  

After leaving the service of Mr. Baker, Mr. Wood's first employment was in working for Charles F. Drake, of Bloomingville, for two months, for a barrel of salt and a side of sole leather, each of which was equivalent to about three dollars and fifty cents, and would buy a good two year old steer. The following summer he raised five or six acres of corn. This he was persuaded to apply in the payment of a colt, which Mr. Caldwell had obtained at a cost of eleven dollars, and for which Mr. Wood was influenced to give twenty-five dollars. About one-half this money he got together by putting up four tons of hay for Mr. Caldwell, at one dollar and fifty cents per ton, and by chopping twenty-five cords of wood at twenty-five cents per cord. In piling this wood he showed himself to be a novice, for he made but about fifteen cords of it, the wood being put up very closely. Eben Dennis, who was present when it was measured, and who took a friendly interest in the boy, said to Bourdett, slyly: "You are a little fool to pile wood in that way; now you go ahead and chop more, and by and by, when the old man Caldwell is not around, I'll come and show you how to cord wood." He did so, readily extending the pile so as to include the requisite twenty-five cords. In process of time he got his colt paid for, and was by and by enabled to buy an old horse, and then exchanged his colt and horse for a yoke of oxen, thus providing himself with a team. In 1823, at the age of twenty, he raised a fair crop of corn, and then went sailing. He sailed to Sault St. Marie, and acted in the capacity of cook. The mate had laid in a barrel of whisky to supply the soldiers in garrison at St. Mary's, and Bourdett was promised half they could make if he would draw the whisky for those who purchased it.  

He had the good fortune to obtain quite a nice little sum of money in his sailing operations. This money he invested in calves. In 1825 he worked in the Bloomingville brick-yard for Dr. Strong. In 1826 he returned to Manlius, New York, and was employed in making water lines for the Oswego Canal, the building of which had at that time just been commenced. In 1827 he bought fifty-seven acres of land for two hundred and fifty dollars, a part of the old Wood homestead in Oxford, now owned by his son Thomas. On this purchase he was enabled to pay sixty dollars. In 1829 he carried the mail from Sandusky to Bucyrus, receiving four dollars and fifty cents per trip.  

On the 1st day of January, 1829, he was married to Miss Rhoda, daughter of Mr. Seth Harrington. Industrious and frugal, Mrs. Wood furnished valuable assistance to her husband in his efforts to get a start in life. He soon found himself the possessor of surplus funds, which he generously loaned to his neighbors upon application. Finally, old man Coggswell said to him: "Charge for the use of your money. It is no use to keep a cow unless you milk her." Adopting this sage advice, he began to loan money in small sums, and the accruing interest soon began to tell in his favor. About the year 1840 he began to buy and sell stock. He and Uncle Nat Chapman associated themselves together in the business of buying horses and sheep, for cash, in Holmes and Tuscarawas counties, bringing them to Huron and Erie counties, and selling them on credit to responsible farmers. And in 1844 he and Mr. Chapman began the purchase of Western lands. About this time they secured fifteen hundred acres of the Wyandot reservation, and in 1853 they bought twenty-three hundred acres in Iowa, mostly in Tama county. He began the purchase of lands also in Erie county, buying and selling, and always reaping a gain.  

In 1846 he removed to Bellevue with his family, and from this time forward made money-lending the leading specialty of his business. In 1871 he associated himself with Abishai Woodward and E. J. Sheffield in the banking business, under the firm name of Wood, Woodward & Co., and when the bank was reorganized as a stock company, Mr. Wood was made president of the institution — a position he still retains.  

Mr. and Mrs. Wood are the parents of the following children: 1. Jasper, born November 15, 1829. He is a resident of Bureau county, Illinois, and a very successful farmer and stock raiser. 2. Emeline Adelia, born May 6, 1831. She is the wife of Peter G. Sharp, and resides near Stockton, California. 3. Richard Boylston, born December 2, 1832, was killed at the battle of Tunnel Hill, Georgia, February 25, 1864. He was captain of a company of cavalry soldiers, and a gallant soldier, a brave and efficient officer. 4. Henry Bourdett, born July 25, 1834, died April, 1873. 5. Elizabeth Malvina, born March 19, 1836. She is the wife of Adam Burgett, a wholesale boot and shoe merchant of Toledo, Ohio. 6. Benjamin Lester, born June 21,1838. 7. Florella Sophia, born September 7, 1840, died May 14, 1866, of consumption. She was a young lady of much attractiveness and superior mental qualities. 8. Thomas Corwin, born April 27, 1842. He resides in Bellevue. 9. Susan C., born August 7, 1844. She became the wife of W. W. Williams April 9, 1868, and died of consumption November 5, 1872. In the Western home in which she lived during her wedded life, she won many friends, by whom her memory is cherished with pleasing recollections. 10. Julia Louisa, born February 28, 1847. She is the wife of James B. Wood, of Bellevue, Ohio, whose home she renders blessed.  

On the 1st day of January, 1879, the relatives and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Wood assembled at their residence in Bellevue, and celebrated with them their golden wedding. The occasion was one of the pleasantest, to all participants, that ever took place within that quiet village.  

Mr. Wood is now in his seventy-ninth year, but possesses as much vitality as the average man of fifty. He has hardly ever known a sick day, and the prospect that a dozen years or more may yet be added to his days is not discouraging. Physically so sound and well-preserved, he is no less so mentally. He attends to all the details of his extensive business, and, though his memory is becoming treacherous, his judgment is as unerring, his discernment as acute, his reasoning faculties as sound, as they ever have been.  

Mr. Wood is a man of clearly-defined traits of character and mental characteristics. In manner often abrupt and blunt, he nevertheless possesses a kindliness of heart that is rarely found beneath so rough an exterior. No man in need, whom he believes to be deserving, has ever appealed to him in vain. Schooled in the methods of money-lending, and having become naturally cautious and careful as to his securities, he has loaned money to hundreds of people who had no security to offer him, and toward whom he has stood wholly in the light of their benefactor.  

He is not a member of any church, but Mrs. Wood has been for many years a aithful and consistent member of the Protestant Episcopal church, and is active in her zeal for its prosperity.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp.  (probably) 701-702

GURDON WOODWARD 701-801 (numbering of pages appears to be off) 

was of English ancestry and New England birth. His parents were Abishai and Mary Spicer Woodward. The Woodwards settled in New London, Connecticut, at an early day in the history of that State, and Abishai Woodward, the father of Gurdon, was a leading citizen of the town of New London during and following the revolutionary period. Though not of the number whose losses from fire by British soldiery were compensated by a donation of western lands made by the State, yet he became the owner, by purchase, of a large amount of these claims, and, upon the partition of the Firelands, he acquired proprietorship of more than four thousand acres, all lying in sections one and four of what now is Lyme township. The father of eleven children, he gave to each an equal, undivided interest in these lands. To the ownership, by his father, of western territory, is due the fact of Gurdon's coming to this locality. Mr. Woodward, Sr., came into the possession of his lands November 9, 1808, the date when partition was effected, and died the following year.  

Gurdon Woodward was born February 21, 1795, in New London, Connecticut, and at the age of fourteen, immediately after the death of his parents, went to reside at Whitestown, New York. There he learned the trade of millwright. His educational advantages were not the best, yet he made wise improvement of such as were afforded, and acquired a thorough knowledge of the practical branches then taught, and, for his day, was more than an average scholar.  

Upon the outbreak of the last war with England he volunteered his services in behalf of his country, served her with fidelity, and, at the close of the war, received an honorable discharge at Sackett's Harbor, New York. This was in 1815. He had at this time reached the age of twenty years. His mind now turned with eager thoughts toward the distant West. At Whitestown, New York, lived at this time a young lady to whom he had become attached. Miss Mary Shepard Savage, youngest daughter of John and Rachel Shepard Savage. She became his betrothed. Amos, the oldest brother of Gurdon, who was the youngest son, had married Rachel, the oldest sister of Mary, who was the youngest daughter.  

In 1816 Gurdon Woodward started for the lands of his inheritance, and after a temporary stay in Huron, where his sister Betsey and her husband, Mr. George Sheffield, located in the same year, he came on to Lyme in the spring of 1817, and made a selection of his lands. His first night in Lyme township, then Wheatsborough, was spent by the remains of an Indian camp fire — his dog and gun his only companions — upon the very ground which was afterwards to be his home during many years of his life. His dreams that first night must have been filled with thoughts of far-away Whitestown, and of the loved one who awaited there his return.  

Two years of heroic toil were now spent in fitting his chosen heritage for the advent of her who, at the expiration of that time, was to be his bride. A log house was erected and portions of the land cleared and fenced. The day finally came when he retraced his steps to his former home, Oneida county, New York, and there, at the village of Whitestown, on the 14th day of April, 1819, he united his fortunes in holy matrimony with those of Miss Mary Shepard Savage. Westward the star of love, as of empire, took its way. Waiting only to receive the congratulations of their friends, the happy pair started for their Western Ohio home, the husband, however, coming some weeks in advance of his wife, who came accompanied by Amos Woodward, Gurdon's oldest brother. Their journey hither, thus taken separately, was their only wedding tour, and the first days of their wedded life — in their wilderness home — their honeymoon. Those first summer days which the young bride, then only eighteen, passed in the rude but comfortable home which her lover had, with dauntless perseverance, prepared for her, must have been in striking contrast to the life she had spent in her father's home in Whitestown. Yet who can doubt that they were happy days?  

With energy and determination, enduring many severe privations, and denied innumerable comforts to which both had been accustomed, they strove together to better their worldly fortunes, to improve the condition of their farm and its surroundings, to beautify their home, and to make life attractive. Heaven smiled benignantly upon their constant love and patient labor. Seven children blessed the former, and as a result of the latter, the rude log cabin, in which their wedded life began, gave place, in time, to a large, substantial and comfortable dwelling — at the time of its erection, perhaps, the best in the township. Their beautiful home they christened "Woodlawn." Here they dwelt together for forty years, and here were born to them all their children: Lucy, Abishai, Amos, William, Mary, Rachel, and Julia M.  

In 1859 Mr. and Mrs. Woodward removed to Bellevue, and, purchasing the Dr. Lathrop property, on West Main street, spent there the remainder of their days, receiving kind attentions from relatives and friends. Each lived to a ripe old age, the former dying December 8, 1874, in the eightieth year of his life, and the latter February 25, 1879, nearly seventy-eight years of age.  

On the fiftieth anniversary day of their marriage, April 14, 1869, their relatives and numerous friends assembled at their pleasant home to celebrate their golden wedding. It was a time of joyous greetings and hearty congratulations. The aged pair could look back upon a happy, well-spent life, and regard with pleasure their present condition, blessed with every comfort that heart could wish. Death had robbed them of three of their children, Lucy, William, and Julia, and hence their happiness was tempered with sad recollections, but their surviving sons and daughters were all happily situated in life — a fact that must have been of great gratification to them. In their declining years, their four children and their grandchildren ministered to them with devoted attentions; and rarely in this life is seen so marked an exhibition of filial affection as was shown Mrs. Woodward by her sons and daughters during the four years of her widowhood.  

Of the children, Lucy became the wife of George Sheffield; Abishai married Mary Amsden, the second daughter of Mr. Thomas G. Amsden, and is vice president of the Bellevue bank, and universally esteemed by his fellow-townsmen; Amos married Arabella, eldest daughter of Mr. Frederick A. Chapman; is vice president of the First National bank, and a man of wealth and influence; William died at about the age of fifteen; Mary became the wife of Rev. Mr. Hamilton; Rachel married Mr. Boardman, who died some years ago; a man of culture and intelligence, and a resident of Lincoln, Illinois, at the time of his death; Julia M. died in early womanhood.  

Gurdon Woodward was a man of marked and clearly defined characteristics. Of commanding person, he was possessed of sound judgment, a strong will and an inflexible purpose. In politics, he was a staunch adherent to the Democratic faith, and never swerved from fidelity to party and Jacksonian principles. In religion, though not a communicant, he was active in church affairs, and liberal in sustaining its service. He was ever a kind and devoted husband and an affectionate father. Of Mrs. Woodward's religious and domestic life the biographer can say nothing more to the purpose than to quote the following just words taken from an obituary notice published in the Standard of the Cross, at the time of her decease, and written by one who knew her intimately: "Amidst the trials and deprivations of pioneer life, she ever retained the grace and culture of her early life. She loved the church, and as soon as opportunity offered, received the apostolic rite of confirmation by Bishop McIlvaine. There was nothing ostentatious in her piety, yet she did not hide it under a bushel, but let her light shine before others. She took a deep interest in all that related to the prosperity of the church. She loved with a pure and earnest affection. In every relation of life she was admired and loved, but it was as a Christian woman that they who loved her best, love now to think of her. In her decease the community in which she lived has lost a generous benefactor, the church a devout and exemplary member, and her domestic and social circle a most kind and warm-hearted relative and friend. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors.”  

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp.



Among the early pioneer farmers of Sandusky county was Martin Zeigler, a native of Hessen, Germany, born in the town of Grunberg on the 3d of April, 1795. His wife, Catharine E. Kruder, was born in the same place on the 23d of November, 1796. With a family of five children, in June, 1832, they took passage in a sailing vessel from Bremen, and after a stormy voyage of seventy two days arrived at Baltimore, Maryland. Here, Martin Zeigler was taken with the cholera, which was then raging in the city. He escaped with his life, but with feeble health, which for some time prevented him from taking active measures for his family's support, and consequently reducing his capital to a considerable extent. They removed to Zanesville, and remained there until 1835, when, having purchased a tract of three hundred and twenty acres of land in Riley township, four miles northeast of Fremont, they settled themselves permanently. A stranger had determined upon the purchase of this land at the same time with Mr. Zeigler. The former, with that intention, left Zanesville by stage, for the Government land office at Bucyrus, on the same morning that the latter started on foot on the same errand. The foot-traveler beat the stage by several hours, and accomplished his purpose before his disappointed competitor put in an appearance. Martin Zeigler was a man of great energy and perseverance, of sterling honesty and uprightness of character. He was of nervous disposition, showing this strongly in his conversation which he always carried on in a remarkably impressive, earnest and most excitable manner. He died at his home July 24, 1867. His wife died in Fremont, February 3, 1879. They reared a family of eight children, all of whom (with the exception of their oldest son, Henry, who was for twenty-five years one of the leading merchants in Fremont), carried on the occupation of farming.

John Zeigler, the subject of the engraving, was born at the residence of his parents, Martin and Catharine Zeigler, in Riley township, on the 15th of December, 1 84 1. In 1865 he married Mary Jacobs, and lived up to the date of his death on the homestead left vacant by his father's demise in 1867. His death occurred in a violent manner on the 15th day of August, 1876. While working in the field on the morning of the last-mentioned date, he was kicked in the abdomen by a vicious horse, and died the same evening, at the age of thirty-four years, leaving a wife and four children. He was an exemplary father and husband and a model farmer. Through hard labor and ceaseless industry he had accumulated a small fortune, and had life been granted him, by the time he had reached middle age he would have been one of the wealthy farmers of that district, as he was then a representative man. Honesty, frugality, and industry are unfailing indicators of ultimate success.

Source:  History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers, by H. Z. Williams & Bro., Homer Everett, (c) 1882, pp. 739