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History of Ashtabula County, Ohio

with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of its
Pioneers and Most Prominent Men.
by Publ. Philadelphia - Williams Brothers -
(Transcribed by Sharon Wick)



Hon. D. C. Allen
(Conneaut, OH)
HON. DANIEL C. ALLEN.  Among those who are widely known to and highly esteemed by the people of this county is he whose name heads this sketch.  Prominently connected with the material interests of the county, and especially of his own township, which he labored in a signal manner to promote; occupying a position as the editor of an influential newspaper, which, through many years, carried his name, his words, and his influence to the firesides of a large number of residents in the county; stanch and persistent in the advocacy of measures calculated to improve the habits and morals of his fellow-men; his has been a career of which any citizen might well feel proud. 
. Allen was born in Sommer Hill, Cortland county, New York, January 10, 1818.  He died in Conneaut, Ashtabula County, Ohio, March 5, 1878.  When fifteen years of age he commenced to learn the printers trade at Cortland, New York, and in 1837 came to Conneaut, Ohio, and began work in the Gazette office.  In the following January he associated himself with a Mr. Finch, and began the publication of the only daily paper ever published in Ashtabula County.  It was called The Budget.  It was devoted chiefly to news relating to the troubles in Canada at that time.  Mr. Allen, as soon as navigation opened, walked to the harbor—two and a half miles—every evening to gather the latest intelligence, upon the arrival of the daily steamer from Buffalo, for his paper, which would appear the next morning, and on which he would work until a late hour in the night, so as to issue it early in the morning, and have it delivered by carriers to its readers at breakfast-time.  The Gazette suspended June 12, 1841, for lack of patronage, but on the 11th day of September, of the same year, its publication was resumed by Messrs. Allen and Tait.  In September of the year 1842, Mr. Allen retired from connection with the paper, and the following April it ceased to exist.  The inconvenience of not having a newspaper was soon appreciated by the people of Conneaut, and in the winter of 1843-44, Mr. Allen raised a small amount of money, went to Buffalo, and purchased new material, which he transported from that place as one wagon-load, and in January of 1844 issued the first number of the Conneaut Reporter.  The struggle for a long time was a severe one. It required great business tact, indomitable perseverance, rigid economy, and unremitting toil to establish the paper on a paying basis.  Mr. Allen possessing in a high degree these essentials, succeeded when most other men would have failed.  Under his management the paper became remunerative for the labor expended upon it.  It seldom happens in the history of journalism that so long and fierce a battle, with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, is so successfully maintained, and in the end so signally won, as was the case in this instance.  In 1860 he sold the establishment to John P. Rieg, Esq., the present proprietor of the Reporter
     To show the character of Mr. Allen and to illustrate his adherence to principle and to his convictions, we give the following incident in his life:
     In the spring of 1847, at the township election, when a vote was taken for “license” and “no license,” Mr. Allen, being a stanch temperance man, took a decided stand against license.  The feeling ran high, and the excitement was great.  The license men were bitterly incensed against Mr. Allen for his course.  After counting the vote and ascertaining that the license party had been successful, Mr. Allen was called out into a shed and was faced by two men with whips in their hands, since quite prominent citizens, who demanded a retraction in his paper of what he had said against license.  This he refused to do, and the men would undoubtedly have executed their threats of violence but for the timely arrival of some of Mr. Allen's friends.  In the next issue of the paper, instead of a retraction, appeared a full account of the dastardly attack, with the names of the two assailants published in full. 
     He lost about fifty subscribers from among the license party, but this fact nor nothing else could make him swerve from his honest convictions. 
     In 1858 and 1859, Mr. Allen represented his county in the Ohio house of representatives.  His name being the first on the roll of members, he was invariably called upon for the first “ aye” or “ no” on all questions, and so prompt and decided were his responses that the house tendered him a unanimous vote of commendation on the last day of its session.  In March, 1861, he was made postmaster at Conneaut, and retained the office six years.  These offices he filled acceptably to the people and creditably to himself. 
     On the 16th day of February, 1840, he was united in marriage with Rachel L. Gifford, daughter of Elijah and Esther Stevens Gifford, of Conneaut.  Mr. and Mrs. Allen have been the parents of six children, whose names and dates of birth are as follows:
     Oscar E., born December 9, 1840, died September 24, 1871; Lydia E., born May 18, 1845; Henry C., born January 26, 1849; Jeannette W., born April 30, 1852; Mary A., born December 28, 1858; Laura F., born January 7, 1861.  The eldest son married Martha Houston, May 4, 1866; Lydia E. became the wife of Corwin N. Payne, October 2, 1867; Henry C. married May E. Fowler, July 19, 1868.
     Mr. Allen was for forty years a member of the Baptist church.  He was a prominent and influential member of the Republican party.  He was connected with a lodge of Good Templars, and was ever, both in his life and teaching, a strong advocate of temperance.  For more than twenty years he was a prominent member of the Conneaut Agricultural society, holding the office of secretary and treasurer of that society for about eighteen years from its organization.  His life was one of great usefulness, and his death was deeply and widely deplored.
Source: 1798 History of Ashtabula County, Ohio with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Pioneers and Most Prominent Men by Publ. Philadelphia - Williams Brothers - 1878 - Page 166

Mr. & Mrs.
Benoni Andrews
BENONI ANDREWS was a practical and successful farmer and dairyman, industrious, energetic, determined, and persevering in character.  The manufacture of dairy products was his specialty, in which he was self-taught and eminently successful,  have been awarded the first premiums at the State fairs in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Zanesville, and Sandusky, and wining for his products prices far above the general market.  He was a critical observer, analyzing and comparing in order to understand the philosophy of his manipulations.  He was a good financier, meeting his obligations, promptly, and never suffered the humiliation of a dun.  He performed the duties of magistrate with honor to himself and to the satisfaction of his fellow-citizens.
     In his domestic relations he was kind and affectionate, an obliging neighbor, and a true friend.  As a temperance man he was a model, his only beverage being water.  He yielded his influence and gave his support to all movements for elevating the condition of humanity, morally, intellectually, and religiously.  He bitterly opposed to the extension or perpetuation of slavery, and well acquainted with the working of the "underground railroad."  From an earnest Whig he became an active Republican, and gave the party his warmest support.  He was a warm friend of education, and gave several of his large family the advantages of academical instruction.
     Benoni Andrews was born on the 8th day of April, 1809, in the town of German, county of Chenango, New York.  He emigrated to Wayne with his father's family in the year 1821.  He was married to Betsy Palmate in 1825.  He soon purchased about three hundred acres of wild land  on credit, lying on the north and south centre road, near the north line of the township, which he cleared, improved, paid for, and on which he erected good farm buildings without pecuniary assistance.  Here he carried on his business until the financial inflation of 1865, when he sold the entire property at inflation prices, and moved his homestead to Conneaut, where he died Apr. 27, 1876, at the age of sixty-seven. 
Source: 1798 History of Ashtabula County, Ohio with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Pioneers and Most Prominent Men by Publ. Philadelphia - Williams Brothers - 1878 - Page 168
  Lenox Twp. -
JOSIAH ATKINSJosiah Atkins, Jr., a well-known citizen of Ashtabula County for more than sixty years, was born in Wolcott, New Haven county, Connecticut, Oct. 16, 1789.  He was a younger brother of Hon. Quintus F. Atkins, and came to Ohio when quite a young man.
     For several years previous to 1821 he was a confidential clerk in the mercantile house of Austin & Hawley, in Austinburg, one of the most important business houses in northern Ohio.  In 1821 he was a clerk and a deputy in the county auditor’s office in Jefferson, and a year or two later surveyed the lands in northwestern Ohio, granted by congress to the State, for the purpose of building a road from the west line of the Connecticut Reserve to Perrysburg, through what was known as the “Maumee Swamp.”
     Afterwards he pursued the occupation of surveyor and builder, varied occasionally by services as storekeeper and accountant.  He also held the office of county surveyor for several years.  At a later period, ill health and infirmities intervening, he gave up surveying, and for a few years served as justice of the peace and postmaster in Lenox.
     In 1847, assisted by Colonel Erastus N. House, he wrote, for the county historical society, an interesting history of the pioneer settlement of Lenox, which, with many other valuable documents of like kind, is supposed to have been destroyed by the subsequent burning of the court-house, in which they were deposited.
     He was a diligent student and ardent lover of sound literature, as well as an industrious workingman, and in the course of his long life had accumulated a large and valuable library, which he gave, by will, to Tabor college, Iowa.
     He was widely known and justly esteemed as a man of strict integrity, great intelligence, and pure morals.
     He died Mar. 12, 1871, at Oberlin, Ohio, in the eighty-second year of his age.  He had never married.

Quintus Flaminius
QUINTUS FLAMINIUS ATKINS, the oldest son of Josiah Atkins, Sr., and Mary Gillett Atkins, was born May 10, 1785, in Wolcott, New Haven county, Connecticut. His father, descended from an English family of good repute, was a man of more than usual bodily vigor and energy.
     His mother, Mary Gillett, a daughter of Captain Zaccheus Gillett, and sister of Rev. Alexander Gillett, the first settled minister in Wolcott (then called Farmingbury), was a woman of superior intelligence and many virtues.
     Josiah Atkins was the youngest son of Joseph Atkins, one of the early find honored settlers in Wolcott, a man foremost in every good word and work, during a residence of many years.
     During the years 1798 and 1799, a war with France seeming probable, an army was raised by the United States government, into which the subject of our sketch, at the age of seventeen years, enlisted. The regiment to which he belonged was encamped in or near New Haven, Connecticut. The war-cloud having passed away the forces were disbanded, and our young soldier sought employment in the west.
     In 1801 and 1802 he worked at road-making on the "Genesee turnpike," in central New York.
     In October, 1809, he joined a party of emigrants from Connecticut, bound for the then land of promise, "New Connecticut." They arrived in Morgan, Ashtabula County, in November, 1802.
     Two settlers (with their families) had preceded them by a few months, viz., Timothy R. Hawley, a surveyor, and agent for the proprietors of the town, and Captain John Wright.
     Mr. Atkins selected a farm in the east part of the town, but during the first year worked chiefly for others, chopping and clearing lands, making roads, etc.
     On the 22d of February, 1804, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Wright, the youngest daughter of Captain John Wright, above named.
     During a considerable part of the year 1805 lie was engaged in carrying the United States mail between Cleveland and Detroit, his usual route being from Cleveland to Sandusky. This difficult and dangerous service was performed on foot through the wilderness, carrying the mail, a gun and axe. It required great courage and perseverance; but he was a man who never objected to any necessary service or duty, no matter what its hardships or privations.
     In the spring of 1806, Rev. Joseph Badger, then a missionary to the northwestern Indians, engaged Mr. and Mrs. Atkins as assistants at the missionary station at Sandusky.
     Having built a boat on Grand river in Austinburg, and loaded it with supplies for the mission, the party, consisting of Rev. Mr. Badger, Mr. and Mrs. Atkins: and their little daughter, Emily (afterwards Mrs. Colonel George Turner, of Geneva, Ohio), descended the river to its mouth, where they were joined by a party of Indians, who, with their families, in canoes, accompanied the missionary party along the southern shore of Lake Erie to Sandusky. Here they remained about one and a half years, when repeated attacks of ague and fever forced them to abandon the mission and return to Morgan. During 1808 he was again engaged in carrying the mails on foot, in a more rapid manner than before, called the "express mail." His route was between Cleveland and Vermilion river.
     In June, 1811, the county of Ashtabula was organized, and Mr. Atkins was appointed its sheriff, serving until July, 1813, when he resigned to enter the United States service, as a lieutenant in the northwestern army under General W. H. Harrison.
     Previous to this service, however, in the fall of 1812, while sheriff, he, with other prominent citizens exempt from military services by age or official duties, viz., Colonel Eliphalet Austin, Major Levi Gaylord, Captain Roger Nettleton, Matthew Hubbard, Esq., Samuel Hendry, Esq., and many others, spent some time as mounted volunteers in scouting the country about Sandusky bay and Huron river, then threatened with invasion by the British forces and their Indian allies. Their effective service, it was believed, prevented an attack upon Camp Avery, an unfinished and therefore weak stockade upon Huron river.
     Upon the reduction of the army to a peace establishment, in 1815, Lieutenant Atkins received an honorable discharge from the service, and returned to his farm in Morgan.
     At the first general election after the close of the war (October, 1815), Mr. Atkins was again elected sheriff, and removed his family to Jefferson, where he continued to reside for the ensuing twenty-three years, save a brief sojourn on the lake-shore, in Geneva, about the year 1830.
     Having served as sheriff the legal limit of four years, he was appointed, in the winter of 1819-20, to the then new office of county auditor, and served in that capacity until March, 1822.
     At the next session of the Ohio legislature (1823-24) he was appointed to superintend the building of a turnpike-road through the "Maumee Swamp," so called, and to survey and sell the lands granted by congress to the State of Ohio, for the purpose of building said road. He was engaged in the duties of that appointment until the road was completed, occupying about three years.
     He next turned his attention to the Ohio canal, then being built from Cleveland to Portsmouth. In company with a young man of some previous experience on the Erie canal, New York, a considerable job was undertaken, which proved a much more expensive and difficult work than had been anticipated by engineers or contractors, involving a very heavy loss. To add to the difficulty, his partner, having possessed himself of all the company funds, suddenly decamped to parts unknown. This misfortune and treachery forced Mr. Atkins into hopeless insolvency. He voluntarily placed in the hands of a trustee, for the payment of his liabilities, all the savings of his previous life, and having a large family, was unable in after-years to do much towards retrieving his ill fortune.
     In 1835 and 1836 he was in the employ of the "Arcole Furnace Company," in Madison, Ohio, and was a careful and efficient agent in its then large business.
     In the autumn of 1836 he went to Olean, New York, in the employ of a land company, to take charge of a considerable property, comprising most of East Olean, with grist- and saw-mills, pine lands, etc.
     The reverses of 1837-38 so crippled the company that it was forced to sell the property, and early in 1839, Mr. Atkins removed to the farm of Edward Wade, in Brooklyn, near Ohio city, now Cleveland. At this place he resided most of the time until 1854. While residing there he was appointed an associate judge of the court of common pleas of Cuyahoga county, and held the office until, by a change in the constitution, that court was abolished. In February, 1853, his amiable and much-respected wife, Mrs. Sarah Wright Atkins, died at their home in Brooklyn, they having lived together in the marital relation forty-nine years.
     Subsequently he resided for a time with his son, Captain A. R. Atkins, in Chicago and Racine, but usually had a home with his daughters, Mrs. H. R. Gaylord, in Geneva, and Mrs. P. Judson, in Brooklyn.
     He died at "Barber Cottage," Brooklyn, then the home of Mr. Judson, January 23, 1859, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.
     During a large part of his life Mr. Atkins was an active and efficient promoter of religious observances, and during all his later years was an earnest and unwearied laborer for the abolition of slavery. At first he held aloof on the ground of its impracticability; but the tendency of pro-slavery opinion to enforce its views with stale eggs and other objectionable arguments soon brought him to the side of the party weak in numbers, but using only reasonable arguments. He was a sturdy believer in free speech, and held mobs in utter abhorrence.
     Between the years 1841 and 1853, Mr. Atkins devoted much time and means in aid of the anti-slavery movement in northern Ohio and western New York. His earnest and able addresses doubtless assisted in awakening the public mind in the localities he visited to the great wrong and injustice of the institution of slavery then darkening the whole country.
     In a long service as justice of the peace in Jefferson, and later, as a judge of the courts in Cleveland, when party spirit was often bitter and unreasoning, his sterling love of justice and his dealing was ever apparent. And although his friendships and aversions were strong, he never permitted them to affect his legal administration of justice.
     Through a long life his bodily and mental powers were vigorous, and whatever he undertook to do, whether chopping and clearing lands, splitting rails (in his younger days he was a famous "chopper and rail-splitter"), making roads, carrying mails on, foot through the wilderness, or arresting desperate criminals as sheriff, all was thoroughly well done.
     In his later years Mr. Atkins often wrote for the press; his contributions of most general interest probably being "Recollections of Pioneer Life in Northeastern Ohio," "Road-Making in Central New York at the Beginning of the Present Century," "A Trip through Iowa in its Early Days," and "Recollections of Military Service about Huron River and Sandusky Bay in the War of 1811-15."
     Of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Atkins, ten (one son and nine daughters) lived to maturity. The son, Captain Arthur R. Atkins, is married and resides in Chicago. Five of the daughters are still living, in 1878, vie., Mrs. Stella M. Gaylord, in Saginaw, Michigan; Mrs. Ophelia Bostwick, in Oberlin, Ohio; Mrs. Mary Lynch, in Santa Barbara, California; Mrs. Martha Todd, in Tabor, Iowa; and Mrs. Bertha Judson, in Cleveland, Ohio.
     Helen Atkins died in Brooklyn, Ohio, in 1839; Mrs. Emily Turner, in Geneva, in 1841; Mrs. Flora Wheeler, in Portville, New York, in 1850; and Mrs. Sarah L. Wade, in Brooklyn, Ohio, in 1852.
     The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Atkins are numerous, intelligent, and actively engaged in various pursuits in life. They reside in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, California, and Texas. They comprise clergymen, lawyers, college professors and teachers, railroad-builders and managers, manufacturers, mill-owners and lumbermen, ship-builders, ship-owners, and ship-captains, who have sailed on all our lakes and on every ocean and nearly every sea on the globe.
     One of the latter, Matthew Turner, a native of Geneva, Ohio, while engaged in commerce between San Francisco and the Amoor river, in Siberia, in the year 1863, was the first to discover and open to the traffic of the world the Pacific cod-fisheries, in the Gulf of Tartary and on the coast of Kamschatka and subsequently about the Aleutian islands.
Source: 1798 History of Ashtabula County, Ohio with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Pioneers and Most Prominent Men by Publ. Philadelphia - Williams Brothers - 1878 - Page 113  [Photo Available]
  HON. ELIPHALET AUSTIN was born at Youngford, Litchfield County, Connecticut, in 1761.  His father was Aaron Austin. There were six brothers, and the most of  them were soldiers in the War of 1776.  The elder, Judge Aaron Austin, of New Hartford, was a captain in the Revolutionary war.  Nathaniel Austin, father of Jacob Austin, was a lieutenant.  Cyrenius died with the smallpox in the service.  Eusebius was a physician, and settled in the State of New York.  Colonel Samuel Austin settled in Vernon, New York, removed to Randolph, Portage county, Ohio.  Colonel Eliphalet left the army in 1781, and married Sihette Dudley, of Bethlehem.  He for some years remained in the old homestead, taking care of his then aged parents, but subsequently removed to New Hartford, and developed his natural bent and taste for a close business by keeping a tavern, a store, and an ashery, and buying beef cattle to supply the market at Hartford and New Haven, and was the president of a turnpike company.
Source: 1798 History of Ashtabula County, Ohio with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Pioneers and Most Prominent Men by Publ. Philadelphia - Williams Brothers - 1878 - Page 114





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