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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)



Rev. Joseph Badger

REV. JOSEPH BADGER.   No name is more prominent in connection with the early history of Ashtabula County than that of Rev. Joseph Badger. He was one of the earliest missionaries on the Western Reserve. He was the founder of the first church in what was called New Connecticut, namely, that at Austinburg. He was the first minister sustained by the Connecticut missionary society west of the Alleghenies. He was identified with the history of the churches of northern Ohio, and in fact with the history of this country for the first twenty-five years of its settlement. He was a resident of this county, and, though his biography does not belong to any local history, but rather to the whole country, yet we are happy to give a sketch of his life in this connection. It is fortunate that so much material has been preserved, notwithstanding the fact that his extensive diary was for the most part burned by his order just before his death. We have drawn for our information in reference to him from some unpublished portions of his journal, from the memoir which was published in 1851, but is now out of print, and from various other sources.
     Mr. Badger was the descendant of Giles Badger, who settled in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in the year 1635. He was of the Puritan stock, and his ancestor was identified with the early history of the New England colony. His father also was one of the first settlers of the new, uncultivated region in Berkshire county, Massachusetts. He was born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. The line of descent was Giles Badger, Newburyport, Massachusetts. John Badger, son of Giles; Nathaniel, John, Daniel, Edmond, Samuel, Mehitable, Henry, children of John. Henry Badger married Mary Langdon, and removed in 1766 to Partridge Field, Berkshire county, Massachusetts. Joseph was the son of Henry Badger, Mr. Badger spent his early days without schools or advantages, except as they were gained at the fireside. His parents were, however, professing Christians, and his mind was stored with much religious instruction. The spring after he was eighteen, which was February 28, 1175, he entered the Revolutionary army. This was about three weeks after the contest at Lexington. He was in the battle of Bunker Hill. He was enrolled in Captain Nathan Watkins' company, Colonel John Patterson's regiment, and at the time of the battle was posted on Cobble hill, in a line with the front of the battery, about half a mile distant. He says, "We could see the fire from the whole line, and the British break their ranks and run down the hill. On the third return to the charge they carried the works at the point of the bayonet." He was afterwards with his regiment at Litchmore's Point, where the British landed and endeavored to take off some fat cattle. "Here," he says," I had an opportunity to try my piece nine or ten times in pretty close order. The contest was sharp and fatal to some." After the British evacuated Boston, Patterson's regiment was ordered to New York, where they remained about three weeks, and then were ordered to Canada, and in time encamped on the banks of the St. Lawrence, in sight of Montreal. 
A portion of the regiment was ordered to the defense of a small fort, and here the soldiers came in contact with the noted Indian chief, Brant, who with his Indians was attacking the fort. Mr. Badger was within hearing of this action, but his company did not take part. General Benedict Arnold reinforced this regiment, and is spoken of in the memoir. The smallpox broke out among the troops at this place. Mr. Badger was inoculated, and made himself very useful to the suffering. At one time, when there was not a dish to be found, he ordered tools, and turned wooden dishes with his own hands for the use of the sick. He was also employed in baking bread, and speaks of himself as coming in contact with Colonel Buell, in command of the post, and others. He was with General Washington on the Delaware. Here he was called upon to nurse the sick. He says, "The general hospital had for several months been stationed at Bethlehem, and under the management of most wretched nurses. The doctors very earnestly besought me to go into the grand hospital. I finally consented. I attended them with the most constant care and labor until the 24th of February (1777), when I was taken sick with a fever and lost my reason, excepting a few lucid intervals, until the last of March, when I began to recover. I was so enfeebled and wasted that for some time I was unable to help myself. The doctors provided a convenient chamber in a private family, to which I was carried. The old lady and her husband, both Germans and Moravians, treated me with great kindness. As soon as my strength was recovered I concluded to return home. I took a discharge from the principal surgeon, as my time of service had expired." "There was soon a pressing call for men to guard the seaport towns. I again enlisted as an orderly sergeant for the remaining part of the year. I then returned to my father's, the 1st of January, 1778, having been absent a few days over two years." Mr. Badger, after spending a few weeks in visiting friends, returned to Connecticut and spent the winter under the instruction of the Rev. Mr. Day. He received about two hundred dollars in paper currency for his service in the army, "with the whole of which," he says," I could not get cloth for one decent coat. This was all the compensation I received for almost three years of hard service, until in 1818, when congress began to think of the old soldier." During his time of study Mr. Badger was converted, and began to think of educating himself for the ministry. He prosecuted his studies, keeping school in the mean time, until March, 1781, when his strength gave way from too great application. Recovering from this to a degree, he went with Mr. Day to New Haven to attend commencement, and was admitted to the college. During his college-course he taught singing, kept, school, and managed in various ways to support himself. He graduated in 1785, studied theology with the Rev. Mr. Leavenworth, of Waterbury, Connecticut, and was licensed to preach in 1786. He received invitations to preach in Northbury, Connecticut, and in Vermont, but was settled at Blanford, Massachusetts, on the 24th of October, 1787. Mr. Badger was married before he graduated from college, in October, 1784. His wife was a Miss Lois Noble. One son, Henry L., was born in Waterbury, and his other children, Julia Anna, Lucius, Sarah, who died young. Lucia, Sarah, and Joseph were born in Blanford. Mr. Badger was dismissed from this church in 1800.
     He received an appointment from the Connecticut missionary society during the same year to visit the churches in the State of New York; but his appointment was afterwards changed, and he was requested to go to the Connecticut Western Reserve. He began his journey November 15, 1800. He took the southern route, crossed the Hudson at Newburg, and stayed with the Rev. Mr. Carr, of Goshen, New York. He arrived at Sussex Court-House, New Jersey, and here spent the Sabbath. He was recognized as a clergyman in the congregation by Rev. Mr. Brown, and was invited to preach. From this place he passed down the Delaware, stopped with the elder of Mount Pleasant church in Pennsylvania, and here remained eight days for the sake of having the company of four young men who were going the same journey. He started with the young men on Wednesday, crossed the Allegheny mountains, where it was very cold, and on the 14th of December crossed the Monongahela about twenty miles above Pittsburgh. Here he parted with his company, and spent several days with the Rev. Mr. Ralston, forming acquaintances with several ministers of the region. He reached the Reserve late in December. This journey of six hundred miles was taken at a difficult season of the year. There was at the time but one road leading from Beaver to the Reserve, and that almost impassable. Mr. Badger took a blazed path which led to the Mahoning river; was obliged to ford the stream where the water came over the tops of his boots while he was on his horse; but reached the shore, crossed the State line, and arrived at the cabin of Rev. Mr. Wick about dark, and was received by the family as a familiar friend. Mr. Wick had been settled a few weeks before in charge of three small congregations in Hopeful, Neshannoc, and Youngstown. Mr. Badger spent his first Sunday on the Reserve at Youngstown. This was the last Sunday of the year 1800. The year was spent in visiting various localities on the Reserve. His report of his journeys, until his arrival at Austinburg, is given in the history of that township. He underwent many adventures during this journey, but did much to encourage the people. He speaks of meeting George Blue Jacket, a Shawnese Indian; also of fording the Cuyahoga after dark, and spent the night in a small cabin, lying on the floor in his wet clothes. At Cleveland he lodged at Benoni Carter's. He swam his horse across the Cuyahoga, followed an Indian path up the lake and forded the Rocky river, encamping on its hanks that night. He pursued the Indian path to Huron river, and spent Sunday among the Delawares. He stayed in an Indian cabin, and was presented with a knot bowl of string beans boiled in fresh water and buttered with bear's oil. On his departure from this place he was also presented with a bread cake, baked in the embers, filled with beans, like a plum cake. He then passed, in company with an Indian boy for guide, to the Shawnee village on the Maumee. Here an Indian woman presented him with a bowl of boiled corn buttered with bear's grease, saying, "Friends, eat; it is good; it is such as God gives Indians." He went from thence to the French town on the river Raisin; stayed with Captain Blue Jacket in a comfortable cabin, which was well furnished with mattress, blankets, furniture for the table, crockery, and silver spoons. He spent Sunday at Maiden, Canada, and on Monday was in Detroit. Here he visited Rev. David Bacon, but says, "There was not one Christian to be found in all this region, excepting a black man who appeared pious." From this place he returned by way of the Maumee village, and arrived at Hudson the 13th of September, having been two days without anything to eat, except a few chestnuts. He organized a church at Austinburg the 24th of October, 1801, and started, with Judge Eliphalet Austin, to return to his home in Massachusetts. The account of the removal of his family to Austinburg is given in the history of that township.
     Mr. Badger's situation at Austinburg was attended with some hardships, but were borne cheerfully by himself and family. He was engaged in visiting nearly all the communities on the Reserve, as he was about the only missionary in the region for two or three years.
     His journal at this time reveals something of the state of the different settlements. At Euclid he stopped with Mr. Burke, who had come to this place three years before, and whose wife, he says, was obliged to spin and weave cattle's hair to make covering for her children's bed. He speaks also of Ravenna, in his unpublished manuscript, as follows: "In this place were twenty families, probably not a praying person among them. A considerable number attended meeting, but their conversation disclosed their state of heart. Reproaching one another, whisky-drinking, and fighting, with deistical sentiments, formed the prominent features of this place." He speaks of Newburg -- "Infidelity, and profaning the Sabbath, are general in this place. They bid fair to grow into a hardened and corrupt society."
     Mr. Badger's adventures were numerous. At one time he was followed several miles by a wolf. He spent a whole night in a tree watched by a bear. Tying himself to a limb with his large bandanna handkerchief, he remained until the morning. A heavy thunder-storm passed over him while in this position, but the heavy peals of thunder did not avail to drive off the animal. His horse was standing at the foot of the tree, in no way frightened by the bear. As he shook himself in the rain he scared the brute away, so that Mr. Badger, a little after daylight, was able to go on. He had no weapon but a horseshoe in his hand at first, and throwing this produced no alarm, and so his only resort was to climb into the tree and wait until morning.
     He often forded streams even when the ice was running. At one time he found himself entangled among some trees, with the water swimming depth, and was obliged to throw his portmanteau to the shore and jump on to a log, and then make his horse jump out of the water over the log. At another time, in crossing Mosquito creek, he found a place where he could cross the flood-wood and swim his horse through. And at still another was obliged to lie on the sand of the lake and dry himself in the sun. The settlements were very scattered, the rivers without bridges, the roads mere blazed paths for miles through the forests. The missionary was frequently wet with rain, covered with snow, drenched in fording streams, and was at times obliged to camp at night in the forests alone and without shelter. He bore his hardships, however, cheerfully, and was full of the self-sacrificing spirit. His family were left alone frequently for weeks and even months at a time. They were obliged to live in a small log house, which for the first summer had a floor only half-way across its room. The poverty which he experienced was great, and even amid his most arduous labors he speaks of the anxiety which he felt for his family. The little farm which he had was conducted by his boys at home, and he spent the intervals of his sojourn at home in assisting them to make sugar, to repair the house, and to do other work on the place. The variety of employments to which Mr. Badger could give himself was remarkable. He could repair the wagon on which he was moving to his new home; he could help his neighbors build log houses, and turn out with the other citizens to build bridges; could nurse the sick; could prescribe successfully as a physician; could write letters and sermons and reports; could revise confessions of faith, attend synods, preach two or three times on the Sabbath and frequently during the week, and all the time be useful. His visits mere always welcome. He frequently found a pious family who were glad to see a minister of the gospel, and even those who made no profession regarded him with great respect and esteem. The humility of the man was one of his prominent traits. No service was too lowly for him, no sacrifice too great, if he might serve his Master. Doubtless he felt the hardships of his lot, and considered that others were perhaps improving their time and gaining reputation in other respects, while he, a poor missionary, was laboring with but little compensation and amid great privations. His zeal, however, was not without its reward. He preached in most of the places throughout northern Ohio, and was well known as the pioneer missionary of' those days. He was not settled as a pastor when he came to Ohio, but he spent his life in laying the foundations for others to build upon. As a wise master-builder, he toiled until the Lord called him to his reward. His reward was certainly not in worldly things. He spent a large part of the little fortune he had after he went to Ashtabula to live in the support of his family. His efforts as a minister of the gospel seemed to have been very successful. There was that about his preaching -- the spirit which he manifested, his zeal, his humility, and devotion, or something it was -- which gave him great effect when he was addressing the people. He frequently speaks of the people being moved even to tears, and seemed to have produced by his preaching great solemnity among his hearers. He ascribed these impressions to the spirit of God, but doubtless it was that spirit working through his own humility and devotion, and imparting to others the faith which he had. It was a contagion of an earnest faith and of such self-denying zeal, and the work of God's holiness found no impediment in his pride or self-seeking. He was plain, unassuming, but kindly, and always gained the confidence and affection of the people. We picture him as going about among the settlements, which were scattered through the wilderness, with his portmanteau on his horse and his plain dress. When he arrived at a village he would alight and always find a welcome, and made it his home where he was. He generally visited all the families in the hamlet, talked with them kindly, and would most always have something to say of a religious character. He would gather even the children together and catechize them, and the effect of his influence was very great upon them. Children were frequently impressed by his preaching, and some of the most remarkable conversions mere among the young. At the same time he seemed to carry conviction to older persons. Judges and lawyers were frequently impressed by his words, and many additions to the churches were of adults. Those assemblies in private houses, in which whole neighborhoods were gathered, were quite remarkable. There was a kindly way among the people which made them attractive, and the very sociability of the occasion prepared the attendance for the better feeling which worship might bring. There was the true idea of the church in these gatherings. It was but a family, and God was the father, and the home feeling was the religion of it. Worship was at that time peaceful. The missionary, whether a pastor or not, was a shepherd and had a love for the flock.
     A few extracts from his journal will show something of the character of his congregations and the nature of their surroundings: "Having spent about five weeks with my family, I set out for my winter's tour. Preached at General Payne's the first Sabbath in December." "Went to Newburg and spent Sunday; from this to Hudson, twenty miles, -- a lonely tour in the cold, snow, and mud. Here I preached twice on the Sabbath and visited all the families. I visited and preached in all the neighboring settlements -- Ravenna, Aurora, Mantua, and Burton -- until some time in February, 1803." "At Palmyra preached a lecture; mostly Methodists. At this time a Methodist preacher had never been on the Reserve." "From this I went on to Canfield. Preached on the Sabbath and visited all the families. I then went through all the settlements in the south and eastern part of the Reserve, preaching twice every Sabbath and one or two lectures weekly; visiting and preaching from house to house until the forepart of April." "Having returned to my family, I continued to help them for several weeks, and visited the settlements in this part of the Reserve, preaching on the Sabbath, with frequent lectures, until the 8th of June, when I again left for another preaching tour. Rode to Vernon. Visited two sick persons and prayed with them." "Rode to Hartford. Conversed with several professing Christians on the subject of forming a church." "Rode to Vienna. Preached on the Sabbath to about sixty." "Rode to Fowler's store in Poland, the only store on the Reserve at this time. Consulted with Brother Weeks in regard to spending two Sabbaths in places where the revival was attended with extraordinary power. The next Sabbath at a place called Salem, in Pennsylvania. Preached to about five hundred people. From candle-lighting till near twelve o'clock it was made a time of extraordinary prayer and singing. I then preached a third discourse, on the doctrine of repentance, and dismissed the people. During the meeting numbers cried aloud, 'Oh, my hard heart! my sinful, rebellious heart!' and soon became powerless for some hours." "Rode to Cross creek. I preached in the afternoon to about three thousand people, -- the largest worshipping assembly I ever saw. In time of preaching there were many who cried out, and fell into a perfectly helpless situation." "From June 18 to July 1 I rode more than two hundred miles. July 10, preached twice in the woods; had a shower of rain. Rode on to Warren, visiting families. Preached on Saturday, and on the Sabbath three times. Had in the afternoon a heavy shower; took a violent cold." "August 1, rode to Nelson, then to Aurora, thirty miles; very unwell with my cold." "Rode to Hudson; visited several families, and on the Lord's day preached twice and administered the sacrament." "Attended the funeral of an infant, and then rode to Aurora, and preached to one family, -- the only one in the place, -- and the next day preached in Mantua; frequently got wet with heavy showers. Rode to Burton; visited one woman on her dying bed. Sabbath, preached twice. Monday, rode to Mesapotamia. Wednesday, rode to Windsor; stopped at Judge Griswold's about two hours during a heavy shower. Rode on through the woods without path or marked trees; came to a deep ravine filled with water running rapidly, and muddy; was met by a large bear." Here follows the record of his spending the night in the tree. "August 21, attended the funeral of Mrs. Hawley; made a prayer at the grave; preached in Mr. Austin's barn and administered the sacrament to twenty-one communicants." "The Connecticut Missionary society sent on at this time as many books as I could carry in a large bag, to accommodate the population with means of instruction. Rode to Grand River after the books. Saturday, rode to Conneaut, twenty-five miles; no marked roads. Sabbath, preached twice. Monday, visited a school of sixteen children; gave primers and books. Tuesday, rode to Erie, twenty-eight miles; then to North East, fifteen miles." The presbytery met here, and Mr. Badger preached the sermon. "Rode five miles to visit a sick man who had been drinking and abusive in his family. The next day rode to Chautauqua to visit a family. The husband and father was drowned in the lake," etc.
     In the period of one year Mr. Badger visited forty-nine or fifty different places, and preached one or more sermons every Sunday, and frequently several times during the week. During the year he attended five funerals, married one couple, organized two churches, -- the one at Hartford and the one at Warren, -- and administered the sacrament nine times. He also attended two presbyteries, -- one at Slippery Rock and one at North East, -- and the synod at Pittsburgh. He began the year with the revival work at Cross Creek, Pennsylvania, where were such remarkable exercises, and continued through it with the same extraordinary interest attending his labors wherever he went. Mr. Badger was very faithful in his missionary work. The church at Austinburg, where he lived, made great progress, though he seemed to have been absent from it most of the time. On the 10th of June forty-one persons were added to this church, and among them some of the most prominent persons in the place. The church at Harpersfield also prospered. He speaks of having visited Ashtabula and preached to about twenty persons. He occasionally also visited Conneaut, though the path from Austinburg to that place was not even blazed, He says of this place," Notwithstanding there are some here, as in other places, who do all they can to profane the Sabbath and promote infidelity, yet God is carrying on the redemption of souls." Mr. Badger, after laboring five or six years as a missionary in this and other counties, resigned his commission. The reason for this was that the Connecticut Missionary society had reduced the amount of the appropriations to the missionaries on the Reserve. Mr. Badger felt that, with all his labors and hardships, the society did him a great injustice. He says, "I felt myself and family exceedingly injured by their vote to reduce the means of my support. I had encountered indescribable hardships, with my family, in performing missionary labors, and had repeatedly written to them respectfully on the subject. The subject had also been presented to them by gentlemen who were my neighbors, and well knew that my reduced pay to six dollars per week was much below the necessary expenses of my family. But all applications on the subject were unavailing."
     This action of the society in reducing his salary and the consequent resignation involved a great change in the circumstances of Mr. Badger's life. He afterwards received an appointment from the Massachusetts Missionary society, and commenced labors as a missionary among the Indians at Sandusky. This change involved a removal of his family, and there were many hardships endured again in entering upon a new life. He began building a boat of three tons burden, finished and launched it, loaded it, and passed down to Austin's Mills, where he was obliged to unload and draw the boat over the dam and load again. It often stuck on the rapids, and they were obliged to get into the water and lift hard at the boat to get it down the river. They succeeded, however, and passed up the lake to Cleveland, where they arrived on Saturday night. Here Mr. Badger preached on Sunday. During the week they made out with great hardship to reach Sandusky. He says, "My labors with the Wyandot people from upper Sandusky to a place eight miles below Detroit were very fatiguing, exposed as I was to rains and heavy dews and camping in the woods." In October, 1807, he went with his wife to Pittsburgh, and was taken unwell, and was confined five weeks with sickness. On his return quite a company went with him to Sandusky, all on horseback, camping out four nights on the way. He says in his journal, "Under many discouraging circumstances I continued to labor in the mission, visiting and preaching in their villages, more than one hundred miles apart from each other." In the year 1808 he came to the determination to move his family back to Austinburg. The missionary board thought it was best that he should take a tour to the east to solicit donations. He accordingly started with his wife on the 1st of November, on horseback, to visit friends in New England, and arrived at Blanford on the 15th. During this visit the Connecticut Missionary society became sensible that they had erred and their missionary had suffered by their means. At a meeting of the board recompensation of two hundred and twenty-four dollars was paid to him, and a donation of one hundred dollars was given to him for his mission. His labors among the Indians were very useful. His influence among them was such that intemperance was very much removed. The chief, Blue Jacket, complained bitterly of the traders, and, through Mr. Badger's advice and co-operation, those who were disposed to sell liquor were driven away from the reservation. As a missionary he adapted himself to the people. He helped them build their houses, went into their corn-fields and hoed corn with them, mended their broken plows and utensils, and assisted them in this way. He prescribed for the sick, comforted the dying, and sympathized with them in all of their troubles. He gained a great influence over them. They generally listened to his advice, and were respectful in religious services. Occasionally there is a record of a few rude savages entering into the meetings and shouting the war-whoop, and so trying to make disturbance; but the sentiment of the chief and most of the tribe was friendly to the missionary's labors. He continued here, laboring faithfully, until the year 1809, when he received a letter from his wife that his house was burned, and almost all the clothing and furniture destroyed. This distressing circumstance made it necessary for him to leave the mission. He got home about the middle of November, and found his family without a house, depending on a neighbor for temporary lodgings, and were in great want of clothing as the cold season grew on. By the help of neighbors they soon got up a cabin, moved into it with but one chair, and without bedstead, or table, knife, fork, or spoon, but these and other necessary articles for housekeeping were soon procured. Mr. Badger spent the winter in preaching in a few settlements in Ashtabula County. In April, 1810, he moved to Ashtabula, where he preached half the time and missionated in other settlements. Having made an exchange of land with Nehemiah Hubbard, he commenced making a home. He had a good garden, raised some corn, and was comfortably situated. At this time there was no organized church in Ashtabula village, but Mr. Badger alternated in his preaching between Kingsville and this place. It is said that after the burning of the school-house on the east side a meeting was held one Sabbath on the banks of the Ashtabula river, near where the iron bridge now stands. The preacher took for his pulpit a tree which was leaning over the water, and the people were scattered about on the grass. During Mr. Badger's stay in this place he started a book-store, but was not successful in it, and soon sold out.
     During the War of 1812, Mr. Badger's services were sought for on account of his acquaintance with the country and his influence over the Indians. General Perkins was then at Huron. Several officers wrote very urgently to Mr. Badger, inviting him to visit them. He went, and found the sick and wounded badly situated; but he soon got help, and made the block-house comfortable, and provided bunks and attendants for the sick. In a few days General Harrison came. Without being consulted on the subject, he was appointed chaplain for the brigade and postmaster for the army. He was very useful even in military service. When the army moved from Huron to Sandusky, he, with a guard of twenty men and several axe-men, marked out the road, and afterwards piloted the army to Sandusky. After the building of Fort Meigs, on the Maumee, the men began to be sick. Major E. Whittlesey, afterwards congressman for this district, was taken very sick, and given up to die. Mr. Badger took him to his own tent, and took care of him day and night. By careful nursing and the skillful practice of the surgeon he was, by the blessing of God, restored to health. Mr. Badger soon resigned his position and returned home. He never quite approved of the war, and said many things against it, and so gained the epithet of "old Tory." After his return home, two of his sons were taken with the epidemic which had prevailed in the army. The youngest one died. Mr. Badger continued to preach in Ashtabula and neighboring settlements until about the last day of July 1818. At this time his wife was taken suddenly ill. She lingered a few days in painful sickness, and died on the 4th of August. Of her Mr. Badger says, "She was a discreet wife and affectionate mother; a consistent Christian, beloved as a friend and neighbor. She bore with Christian patience and fortitude the trials we had to encounter with our young family in this uncultivated land. On her devolved almost exclusively the task of forming their youthful minds, and storing them with principles of piety and virtue, and this she performed with unwearied fidelity." At this date the autobiography ceases. Mr. Badger married again in 1819, and his second wife, Miss Abigail fly, survived him a few months. He removed from Ashtabula to Kirtland in 1822, and preached alternately here and at Cheater. At the age of sixty-five he received a call from the people of Gustavus. He organized a church here of twenty-seven members. This was April 27, 1825. In October following he was regularly installed pastor of the church by the presbytery of Grand River. Rev. Dr. Cowles preached the sermon. During his pastorate he held a protracted meeting, in which many were converted, and the church was much strengthened. He was appointed postmaster at this place. As the mail came in on the Sabbath, he sent in to the government a remonstrance, and declared his purpose to resign unless he was relieved from this secular care on the Sabbath. His remonstrance was so far successful as to secure such a change of the route as to cause the arrival of the mail at Gustavus on another day of the week. Mr. Badger resigned his pastoral relation at the end of ten years, in 1835. He was then seventy-five years old, and the infirmities of age were creeping upon him. The church, when organized, consisted of twenty-seven members. During Mr. Badger's ministry forty-eight were added, of whom twenty-eight were by profession. The veteran missionary removed to the home of his daughter, at Plain, Wood county, who had married a minister. During his residence here, which included ten years more of his life, no particular incidents occurred. It was a season of quiet retirement, though he continued to preach almost every Sunday in destitute places. He organized a church in Milton, and supplied them about a year. His last sermon was preached in Plain, on the day of the fast proclaimed by the President. He enjoyed great peace and serenity of mind. His language was uniformly that of praise, and his constant theme the goodness of God and the glories of the future state.
    His missionary life precluded study, but he always took an interest in literary advantages. The Social library in Ashtabula was established mainly through his efforts. During his stay in Plain, Wood county, he was able to procure a gift of books from the east, and succeeded in establishing what has since been incorporated by the name of the Badger library. His religious character was his most remarkable trait. It gave him a gentleness and patience and depth of character which are rarely possessed. His words were always full of feeling, but amid all his trials and disappointments no bitterness mingled with them. He had a submissive, quiet, and loving spirit. Few men have undergone more hardships, and yet few have been more useful. His memory is still cherished among the citizens of many communities, and the scenes of his former homes are redolent with his praise. His life was a sweet savor, and, though the blossoms of his hope were often crushed, they emitted a sweet perfume. During the last days of his life he seemed to live in the visions of the future. At one time, when he was apparently unconscious, his granddaughter put her hand upon his head, when he exclaimed, with a groan, "Oh, why did you call me back? I thought I was in heaven!" He died as the righteous die. His path was the path of the righteous, growing brighter to the perfect day. Surely we can say of him, "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, and their works do follow them."
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 86 [Photo Available]

  REV. J. B. BARTHOLOMEW.   It seems but simple justice that this gentleman should be placed on record in this volume, he being the pioneer minister of his faith in Ashtabula County.  Born in Bristol, Connecticut, Apr. 8, 1807, he was the eighth child of Jacob and Rebecca Beach Bartholomew, who removed to Ohio in 1810, locating in Farmington, Trumbull county, and were among the pioneers of this township.  His educational advantages were of course meagre, the clearing of the forest being considered of prime importance.  At the age of twenty-one he found himself broken
down with labor, and has remained an invalid until the present.  At the age of twenty-three he married Martha Reeves, and until 1846 passed much of his time in travel.  In the above year he came to Eagleville, where he still resides.  In 1844, was ordained a minister of the Disciple church, and sent out as an evangelist.  Called to Eagleville, March, 1846, by a class of twenty-five.  Mr.
Bartholomew raised this church to a membership of one hundred and ten in three years.  Through his efforts during this time churches were established in Saybrook, Geneva, Trumbull, Footville, Hartsgrove, Denmark, Orwell, Rome, and many other points, making a total of seventeen.  Truly he has done a noble work for his Master.  In his township, he has been a justice of the peace for fifteen years, and postmaster for perhaps the same length of time.
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 193

Res. of A. E. Beals,
Chery Valley Tp.,
Ashtabula Co., OH
Cherry Valley Twp. -
ABILENO E. BEALS.     In the year 1818, Edson Beals, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, who was a Universalist minister, and Jane Beals, his wife, removed from Burlington, Orange county, New York, to Ohio, and made settlement in the township of Pierpont (this county).  Remained there until 1828, when they removed to Cherry Valley.  The place of their location was in the east part of the township, on the Creek road, purchasing what was known as the Hubbard farm.  Here the Rev. Mr. B. lived until his decease, in 1851.  The mother is still living at the advanced age of ninety-two years, the last twenty of which she has been confined almost constantly to her bed. Ethener Beals, father of Abileno E., was born in Burlington, New York, Feb. 13, 1816.  His wife, Lucretia Low, was born Dece. 28, 1815; lived in Pennsylvania during her youth.  They were married in 1838, and lived pleasantly together until his death, July, 1872.  This worthy couple were among the hard-working settlers of the township, always striving to do that which was right.
     A. E. Beals was born in Cherry Valley, Sept. 15, 1848; lived at home until Feb. 24, 1870, when he married Miss Elrena J., daughter of Charles and Sally Skeels Spellman, of Wayne township (this county), and immediately began housekeeping on a farm purchased for him by his father, some two mile south of the old homestead, where he yet resides.  They have one child, Frank, horn Dec. 1, 1876.  The other children of Ethener and Lucretia Beals are Josiah, born 1839, died at Grand River institute, Austinburg, 1861, and Ensign, born Feb. 8, 1842, married Maggie Sell; resides on the old farm.  This family are Republican in politics.
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 238

Residence of
Henry Bedell,
Geneva Tp.,
Ashtabula Co., OH
Geneva Twp. -
HENRY BEDELL was born in Amsterdam, Montgomery county, New York, Sept. 4, 1818, and is the second of a family of seven, the children of William and Margaret Bedell of that place, but who removed to Ohio in June, 1842.  They located in the township of Orwell, this county, on the farm now owned by Henry Sansom.  They are yet living in that township, and keeping their own house.  Their ages are respectively eighty-three years.  It is quite remarkable that there has not been a death among these children in all these years.  The subject of the present sketch was educated in the common schools of his native town prior to his removal to Ohio. His occupation has been that of a farmer, and in that capacity has cleared two separate farms.  In the year 1864, Mr. Bedell purchased his first laud in Geneva.  This was the sixty-two acres now owned by O. F. Barry.  Occupied this some eighteen months, then sold it and purchased twenty-two acres
of land at the “north centre.”  Removed his family thither, and made a tour through the States of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana.  He returned to Ohio, however, perfectly satisfied that this State was good enough for him.  After two or three sales and purchases in 1869, he bought the farm he now occupies, which consists of thirty-five acres, and is situated in lots No. 11 and 12.  A view of his residence and pleasant, surroundings appears in another portion of this volume.  He has been township trustee several terms, and was efficient and prompt in the discharge of his duties.
     Mr. Bedell was united in marriage, Feb. 1, 1853, to Lucy A., daughter of Sidney and W. A. Curtis, of Lenox, Berkshire county, Massachusetts.  From this marriage two children have been born to them, viz.: Luzerne H., born in Orwell (this county), Jan. 31, 1855; and Mary E., whose birth occurred in Green, Trumbull county, on the 10th day of August, 1861.  These children are both residing at home.  Politically, Mr. Bedell is ardently Republican.  Both he and his wife are members of North Star grange, No. 671, Patrons of Husbandry.  Financially, Mr. Bedell is beyond a care for a “ rainy day,” having an ample competence.
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 181
     This gentleman was born at Norwalk, Connecticut, on the 4th day of June, 1838, and is the fourth child of Josiah and Jane Betts, who reside at present in the village of Jefferson.  Judge Betts has been a resident of Ashtabula County since January, 1853, and of Jefferson since April, 1863.  His education was acquired in the common schools of our county, and in Orwell and Kingsville academies; upon the completion of which he engaged in the occupation of school-teaching.  Taught eleven terms. Studied law with Hon. Stephen A. Northway; was admitted to the bar at Painesville, Lake county, Ohio, in May, 1864, and began the practice of his profession in Jefferson, in July, 1865, as a member of the firm of Wade & Betts.  He continued as a partner in this firm, excepting a period of about six months, until January, 1872, at which time he was appointed to the office of probate judge, to fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation of B. T. Cushing.  The October following he was elected to the same position, and in October, 1875, was re-elected.  On the 3d day of June, 1866, Judge Betts was united in marriage to Olive A., daughter of Jeremiah and Harriet Dodge, of New Lyme, this county, by whom was born to him on the 16th day of August, 1872, Ella J., who died on the 19th day of the following November.  Jan. 14, 1873, Mrs. Betts died.  On the 28th day of February, 1874, Judge Betts married Martha T., daughter of Rufus and Jane Houghton, of Jefferson.  They have by this marriage one child,—Cora M., who was born Feb. 14, 1877.  Politically the judge is a stanch Republican.
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 125
     We cannot, perhaps, at this time, do greater honor to the memory of this former antiquarian and historian than by quoting from an obituary written by a personal friend, under date of Dec. 12, 1863, as follows: “Mr. Blakeslee was born in Colebrook, Connecticut, Aug. 13, 1787. His father was Colonel Samuel Blakeslee, son of Joseph, who lived near the city of New Haven long before the Revolution.  Colonel Blakeslee, the father of the subject of this notice, enlisted in the army of the Revolution, July 1, 1776, then sixteen years of age.  He was in several battles, at Valley Forge, Monmouth, the storming of Stony Point, etc., served something over three years, and was honorably discharged.  He was several times elected to the State legislature, and was highly respected as a citizen.  After a term of years he moved to Avon, New York, and in the War of 1812, although exempt from military duty, he enlisted, and was promoted to colonel, in which capacity he served at the battle of Black Rock, where he came near losing his life.  Returned to Avon, where he spent the rest of his life.
     “ Joel emigrated to Ohio in 1819, arriving in Lebanon (New Lyme) on Feb. 16 of that year.  After about one month he removed to Colebrook and made a permanent settlement, remaining there through life.”  Being of slight frame and frail constitution, the hardships of pioneer life were almost beyond his endurable, yet he persevered and lived to see the lands denuded of the forest, churches and schools flourishing around him, and society rapidly attaining that high and cultured condition for which Ashtabula County is justly famed.  He was not adapted to the life of a farmer, and much of his time was devoted to the teaching of day and singing-schools.  He had an easy, free delivery, and was often called upon to deliver addresses in his own and adjoining towns on different occasions.  He was an examiner of school-teachers, clerk of his township for many years, and in various ways served the public in a manner always satisfactory to them and honorable to himself.  “But the one characteristic of his life that was the most prominent was his love of antiquity.  He lived in the past. Perhaps no one knew better than he did the incidents connected with the early history of every town in the county.  Many of the readers of this sketch will remember him in connection with a cabinet of relics of his own collection often exhibited at our county fair; these are deposited with the historical and philosophical association at Jefferson.  As agent of the society, he spent much time and labor in preparing a history of the county.”
     He was united in marriage on Sept. 10, 1815, to Mary Emmitt, who was a daughter of Rev. Samuel Emmitt of Sparta, New York.  The fruits of this union were seven children, viz.,—Sarah P., born July 21, 1816, married James H. Williams (deceased); Harriet A., born Aug. 20, 1818, married Lorenzo A. Saunders; Samuel E., born May 16, 1821, married Elizabeth De Lano; Nancy T., born Jan. 2, 1824, married Sylvester Perrew; John A., born Aug. 12, 1826, married Lucinda M. Gladding; Lemuel L., born Feb. 16, 1829, married Mary Cook; and Mary J., born Sept. 11, 1833, married William Addicott.
     He was a good neighbor, kind husband and father, a faithful friend, an enemy of no person, benevolent, and a true Christian.”  He was a life-long and worthy member of the society of Freemasons, and in his travels received much substantial aid from the brethren of this mystic brotherhood.  His death occurred on the 27th day of November, 1863, and his funeral was conducted under the auspices of the order, a numerous audience being in attendance despite the inclemency of the weather.  His works will stand a perpetual monument so long as time endures.
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 212

Chas. Booth
CHARLES BOOTH, ESQ., whose portrait is shown in connection with the group of leading attorneys of Ashtabula County, was born on the 15th day of January, in the year 1814, and is the fourth son of Philo and Sophia C. Booth, who removed from Jefferson county, New York, and located in Ashtabula township, in January, 1814.  The education of the gentleman under consideration is, as he expresses it, "academic only," which is considerably above the average for that day.  He began the study of law prior to attaining his majority, but soon abandoned it for other duties; and it was not until 1840 that he began, in the office of Hon. O. H. Fitch to read law in earnest.  The five years preceding this date he was engaged, first as clerk and afterwards partner, in the mercantile establishment of his father, in Ashtabula village.  He was admitted to the bar August 27, 1842, and for the first two years thereafter was a partner with L. S. Sherman, since which time he has been in business for himself.  He has held numerous borough offices, among which was that of mayor for two years.  Politically, he began life as a Whig, and afterwards became a Republican.  He is an able advocate, and is recognized as one of the leading lawyers of the county.
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 92

Philo Booth
Ashtabula -
PHILO BOOTH was the son of Lemuel Booth and Mehetabel Morse, his wife, and was born at Huntington, Connecticut, August 11, 1780.  Was apprenticed to a druggist of Troy, New York, named Hyde. Afterwards, while a clerk in the store of Abraham Cooper, at Trenton, Oneida county, New York, he married Sophia Cooper, a sister of his employer, August 22, 1805.  He afterwards engaged in merchandising at Rodman, in Jefferson county, New York, and in the fall of 1813, as soon as Perry’s victory on Lake Erie had freed the west from all danger of hostile Indians, he started with his family and goods for Cleveland, Ohio, expecting to transport his goods in boats from Buffalo to Cleveland.  On arriving at Buffalo he found that all of the boats and shipping on the lake had been taken by the government, for the purpose of bringing General Harrison’s army down the lake, and the road west from Buffalo was almost impassable, having been badly cut up by the transportation of military stores.  Leaving most of his goods in Buffalo, he employed two teams to transport his family and some light goods, and in nine days arrived at Erie, Pennsylvania, where he remained over two months. In the mean time the British took Buffalo and burnt it, and he lost all the goods that he had left there.  He was at Erie when General Harrison arrived there from the west, and the town being crowded with soldiers and sailors, he started again, with his family and what property he had, in wagons, and arrived at Ashtabula, January 15, 1814, and being detained there by the birth of a son, and having no merchandise to sell, lie concluded to settle there.
     His father and mother were with him, and as his father was a tanner, he at once started a tannery on the west side of Ashtabula creek, and continued in that business for about fifteen years.  In the fall of 1827 he commenced merchandising in company with his son-in-law, Charles Crosby, and continued in the business for many years, generally in company with one of his sons. 
     He was one of the most enterprising, honorable, and public-spirited business men of the town, and did his full share in building up the village, which is now so prosperous.  He died at Ashtabula, June 27, 1852. His widow, born September 17, 1785, died September 3, 1861. 
     They lost in infancy three sons and reared a family of two sons and six daughters, all of whom, excepting the oldest and youngest daughters, have remained at Ashtabula, viz.:
     Cordelia C.,
born at Western, Oneida county, New York, September 29, 1807; married November 16, 1825, to Charles Crosby; both now living at Chicago, Illinois.
, born at Rodman, July 26, 1809; married Mary Ann Fuller, May 9, 1836, who died July 13, 1856.  He still lives at Ashtabula.
, born at Rodman, October 24, 1811; married, November 18, 1829, to Stephen H. Farrington, M.D., who died March 8, 1875, at Ashtabula, where she still resides.
     Charles, born January 15, 1814, at Ashtabula, where he still resides.
, born March 4, 1816, at Ashtabula; married, June 10, 1841, to Ezekiel C. Root, a merchant, who died, May 8, 1861, at Ashtabula; and she died there, May 10, 1875.
     Caroline, born June 22, 1822, at Ashtabula, where she still lives.
     Catherine, born at Ashtabula, January 26, 1825; married, November 10, 1846, to Stephen B. Wells. They still live at Ashtabula.
     Harriet, born at Ashtabula, January 3, 1828; married, March 16, 1849, to Augustus Henry Griswold; both now living at Oakland, California.
     His father died at Ashtabula, May 5, 1825, aged seventy-six; and his mother died at Ashtabula, August 4, 1838, aged eighty-five.
  New Lyme Twp. -
JOHN BROWN.  The subject of the present sketch, a fine portrait of whom appears in connection with a view of his pleasant home-surroundings, in another portion of this volume, was born in Bethany, Genesee county, New York, on the 30th day of June, in the year 1815, and is the eldest children of Nathaniel and Lorana Keith Brown, who removed from the above place to Ohio, and located in Trumbull township, to which point they arrived on May 24, 1828.  The place of their settlement was near the site now occupied by the residence of A. R. Eastman, at East Trumbull.  They resided in this little hamlet until their decease.
     The education of Mr. Brown was obtained at the district school, the greater part of it prior to his removal to Ohio.  Arriving in the wilderness, of course the first work was to subdue the giant forest-trees then covering the lands comprising his father’s purchase.  Steadily this vocation was pursued until the attaining of his majority, when he made his first purchase of real estate.  This consisted of thirty acres, and is now owned by Ira Slater.  In December, 1841, Mr. Brown purchased in company with his father, the grist-mill at East Trumbull originally built by Messrs.  Clark and Wait, paying therefor four thousand dollars.  This mill was conducted under different managements until 1865, when Mr. Brown became the sole owner, and still continues as such.  He has, however, thoroughly refitted the mill until now it does excellent work and commands a good custom.  Of the military record of Mr. Brown we find that he entered the United States service in the fall of 1861, as a private, Company K, Sixth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry; went into rendezvous at Warren, Trumbull county; was elected lieutenant of his company, but deeming Mr. Freer as justly entitled to the position, declined in his favor, and was appointed sergeant; went to the front; was engaged in numerous fights and skirmishes while in the Army of the Potomac; Sept. 8, 1864, was discharged.  Returned to Trumbull, and purchased the mill as above stated.  He was united in marriage, on the 30th day of January, 1837, to Polly A., daughter of Henry and Lovina Cogswell, of Trumbull township.  From this marriage were born the following children, viz.: Ellen, born Apr. 5, 1840; married Sam Evans; lives in Michigan.  Dann, born July 30, 1841; killed in action, at Enon Church, May 28, 1864.  Henry, the next child, was born Dec. 3, 1843; married Carrie HerrendineWallace, born Aug. 19, 1846; married Effie HackettGeorge, born Mar. 16, 1849 (died in infancy).  Jane, born in 1852; married Clayton McArthurOlive, born Apr. 12, 1855; died in 1863.  George, born Feb. 5, 1857; and Frank, the last, born Oct. 25, 1861.  These children remain in their native township except as above stated.  The mother of these children died on Sept. 11, 1864, and on Aug. 3, 1867, Mr. Brown married his present wife, who was Miss Olive Brainard, of Trumbull.  The first township office to which he was elected was that of constable, when he was of age; served five years.  Has been trustee of the township for a term of years.  He early became a Christian, and joined the Free-Will Baptist church.  On the organization of the Disciple church at East Trumbull he became a member of it, and has been foremost in promoting its interests.  He took the “lion’s share” in the erection of the church edifice.  He is a Republican.
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 230

Nelson Burington
Conneaut Twp. -
NELSON A. BURINGTON* was born in Burke, Caledonia county, State of Vermont, Sept. 8, 1807.  He removed to Ohio with his parents in 1819, and died in Conneaut, Ohio, March 6, 1877. Mr. Burington was well and popularly known as a man of  high character and standing.  He was an accomplished and thoroughly scientific mechanic, skillful, and competent for any position as an artisan and builder.  His name and avocation have been for the past thirty years or more identified with the building and completion of the United States public works upon the entire chain of lakes, and perhaps no other individual has filled so prominent a position in this line of duty as Mr. Burington.  He was engaged upon nearly all the public improvements from Mackinaw to Buffalo, consisting of light-houses, beacon-lights, public piers, jetties, etc.  He possessed a singular and happy power of attraction, and secured the respect and affection of all those with whom he was engaged; especially was this the case with the United States topographical engineers, their assistants, clerks, etc.
     As an artisan his experience was ripened by long services; his judgment good,  sound, and reliable.  Thus was it easy for him to win and retain confidence in his ability, integrity, and purity of character.
     He was a member of the Masonic lodge in Conneaut, Ohio, and by the order highly esteemed for his many virtues and excellent qualities.
     In the death of Mr. Burington, a man of exalted standing was removed, leaving a void that cannot easily be filled.  His death was deeply lamented.
     He was married, in the year 1836, to Miss Mary A. Lewis, of Conneaut, who survives him as his widow.  Their issue was seven children, three of whom have died and four survive,—two sons and two daughters.  They are all married.
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 167
* Written by F.

Dr. S. S. Burrows
DR. S. S. BURROWS.     Sylvester Smith Burrows, son of William Burrows, a native of Noble. New Turk, was born in Busti, Chautauqua county. New York. Nov. 11. 1826.  His father was of English descent, and his mother, whose maiden name was Maria Smith, and said to have descended from the Marshalls, was of Scottish descent.  In the spring of 1831 his parents, with family, removed to the town of Ripley, in the same county, where they remained only a little more than two years, when they settled in the adjoining township of North East, in Erie county, Pennsylvania.  Here, in quite a number of farm localities, the greater share of his early life was spent, assisting in the farm-work in summer and attending the district school during the winter.  With the exception of two terms at Westfield academy, under Professor Pilsbury, and two terms at Kingsville academy, under
Professors Graves and Fowler, all the education he received was at the district school.  Afterwards he taught school for six successive winters.
     In the spring of 1849 he commenced the study of medicine with Dr. Hall, of North East, and graduated in the spring of 1853, at the Michigan University of Medicine.  The following winter attended lectures at Cleveland medical college.  Meanwhile the family had removed to Ohio, settling in Ashtabula, near the township of Kingsville, in the spring of 1850.
     In the fall of 1852 the family to which he belonged moved to Geneva; and here, in February, 1854, he married and commenced the practice of medicine.  With the exception of eighteen months spent in the township of Lenox, in the years of 1855 and 1856, practicing his profession, his home up to the present time has been in Geneva.  In the fall of 1861 he received an appointment as assistant-surgeon in the Twenty-ninth Regiment. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, then in camp at Jefferson.  He followed the fortunes of said regiment in their campaigns through Western Virginia, until, by reason of ill health, he was compelled to resign, in February, 1863.  In the fall of same year he took a contract of surgeoncy and was assigned to duty at Camp Dennison, where he remained nearly one year, when he was commissioned as surgeon of the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Regiment. Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and remained with said regiment in the field until the close of the war.  Returning home in June, 1865, he continued to practice his profession until the winter of 1876 and 1877, when he occupied a seat in the State senate, being elected to that position in the fall of 1876 from the twenty-fourth senatorial district.
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 120





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