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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)




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 118

H. R. Gaylord
     Levi Gavlord. well known in the early history of northern Ohio as “Major Gaylord.” was born Mar. 30, 1760, in New Cambridge (now Bristol), Hartford county, Connecticut.
     He was the oldest son of Captain Levi Gaylord and Lois Barnes Gaylord, and grandson of Benjamin Gaylord and Jerusba Frisbie Gaylord, for many years about 1720 to 1742 residents of Wallingford. Connecticut.
     The Gaylords (written also Gaillard, from the French mode, and sometimes Gaylard) now living in the United States are chiefly descendants of French Protestants who. in consequence of cruel and long-continued religious persecutions, left their pleasant homes in Normandy, about the year 1551, and took refuge in more tolerant England.  From the period of the Lutheran Reformation they have usually been sturdy Protestants, doing their own thinking, both in religious and political matters.
     The subject of our notice was a lineal descendant of Deacon William Gaylord, who. with his family, came to America from the city of Exeter, England, or its vicinity, at the beginning of the year 1630, and who is also the ancestor of a majority of the Gaylords in the United States.
     He and the other immigrants of his company had one chief object in view in coming to America, viz., “freedom to worship God and before embarking at Plymouth, England, formed themselves into a church, of which John Warham and John Maverick were chosen pastors and William Gaylord a deacon.  They reached America in 1630, and settled at Dorchester, near Boston.  In the years 1635, 1636, and 1638, Deacon William Gaylord was a representative in the general court at Boston.
     At the end of 1638 or beginning of 1639 he removed westward through the wilderness, and settled upon the banks of Connecticut river, where the Farmington river joins it.  The place was named Windsor.
     Deacon William Gaylord was a “deputy” or representative from Windsor in the first general court of Connecticut, held at Hartford, in April, 1639.
     It is recorded of him that he was elected to the same office at forty-one semiannual elections.
     Levi Gaylord. Sr., was a soldier in the old French war of 1756-57, and at an early period of the Revolutionary war June 10, 1776 was commissioned by congress as an "ensign in a regiment in the army of the united colonies, raised for the defense of American liberty.”  At a later period he was made captain in the army, a post of considerable honor at that period. 
     In all the relations of life he was a worthy man, honored and respected by all who knew him.  After the close of the Revolutionary war he removed to Harpersfield, New York, where he died Aug. 17, 1795, aged sixty-six years.
     His son, Levi Gaylord (2d), whose name heads this notice, at the age of fourteen years was apprenticed to the trade of manufacturing leather and shoes.  Two years later, May 14, 1776, with the consent of his master, he enlisted in the company to which his father belonged, and marched to East Guilford, Connecticut, whence he sailed to New York, and up the Hudson to Fort Lee.  Afterwards he returned to New York, and was with the troops under the immediate command of General Washington.  At the battle of White Plains he participated in some sharp and uncomfortably close fighting, which he never forgot in after-life.  However, he liked it much better than lying in trenches, or standing in the ranks to be fired at by distant or concealed batteries, without any chance to return the iron compliments.
     At the end of the year he again enlisted, and was in active service on Long Island sound and on the Hudson river.  He was on the opposite side of the Hudson, but near enough to see the smoke of Esopus, when it was wantonly burned by the British, in October. 1777.  At the end of his second years service he enlisted for three years in a corps of artificers, so called, composed entirely of mechanics of every kind required in army service.  They were to receive extra wages.  During that period of service, being usually with the main army, except when in winter-quarters, he often saw the great generals then in service, viz., Washington, La Fayette, Lee, Knox, etc., and witnessed with admiration the training of cavalry recruits by that skillful general, Baron Steuben.
     He assisted in making and placing across the Hudson river the great chain by which it was hoped the British fleet would be prevented from going up the river to attack Albany and form a junction with General Burgoyne.  But their hopes proved delusive, as the heavy war-ships broke the chain, to the great disgust of the young soldier and his comrades, who were anxiously watching the event.
     As an artificer, unless on detached service occasionally, he was usually in the front, taking his place in the ranks with his musket when any fighting was to be done, then quietly returning to work for the army until called into battle.  At the end of five years of arduous service he was honorably discharged, and returned to Connecticut, tired and somewhat broken in health.  The Continental money with which he was paid was then nearly valueless.  When returning home from New Jersey the kind people usually charged nothing for food and a chance to rest, but when otherwise, it required about one month’s wages to pay for a frugal meal; and when after his return home he desired to resume work, it cost over one month’s wages to purchase a dozen shoemaker’s awls!  But the years of service that he had cheerfully given to his country had taught him that patience and perseverance would generally secure success, and with a light heart, as well as purse, he engaged in work for himself.
     On Feb. 22, 1782, he was united in marriage to Miss Lydia Smith, second daughter of David Smith and Mary Potter Smith, of Southington, Connecticut, a young lady who possessed lively manners, a most amiable disposition, energy of character, and perfect health.
     He settled at first in Waterbury, Connecticut, but two years later (in 1784) removed to Harpersfield, Delaware county, New York.  Here in the wilderness he bought a farm, and subsequently engaged in the business of tanning and shoemaking.
     That he was a worthy citizen is evident from the fact that he was successively elected to the offices of lieutenant, captain, and major in the New York troops, and also was several times elected supervisor of the town, the chief civil office.
     In the summer of 1804 he was induced to visit Ohio, for the purpose, if the country pleased him, of making it his home, and taking the agency for the survey and sale of the lands of Captain Caleb Atwater, an extensive land-owner in the Western Reserve.
     He took charge of the removal to Ohio of Mrs. Hannah Skinner, a widow lady, and her blind son, Joshua O’Donnell, well known to the early settlers in Ashtabula and adjoining counties.  They were near relatives of the Harpers and Bartholomews of Harpersfield.  Isaac Bartholomew and family, with some others, removed to Ohio at the same time, and the kind assistance rendered on the tedious journey was often gratefully mentioned by them in later years.
     Being pleased with the country, he resolved to make it his home.  On his return to New York he was requested by Oliver Phelps, then a large holder of Western Reserve lands, to settle on and take charge of the survey and sale of his lands.  Protracted sickness in his family prevented his removal for nearly two years.
     In the summer of 1806 he, with several of his neighbors, removed through the wilderness to northeastern Ohio, arriving at the Harper settlement, near the present village of Unionville, late in July.
     He concluded to settle on the Atwater tract in Geneva, and selected a farm on the south ridge, in the east part of the tract.  He built a log house about one hundred rods west from the east line of the township, and soon after had the whole tract surveyed into lots.  At a later period he had Denmark surveyed into sections, and afterwards into quarter-sections.
     After a time, there being an urgent demand for it, he established a tannery, and also erected a shoe-shop, and for several years carried on a moderate business in tanning and shoemaking.  His tannery was probably the first one in the county.  But the country was destitute of money, the people generally poor, so that by means of poor pay and bad debts his small capital was hopelessly sunk.  Upon the organization of Ashtabula County he was, in 1812, elected one of the county commissioners, and made clerk of the board.  These offices he held by re-election until elected a representative in the Ohio legislature, in October, 1817.  His election district included nearly or quite all the “lake” counties from Pennsylvania to Sandusky.
     The journey to Columbus could only be made on horseback, and was scarcely a pleasant one late in November, as nearly all the streams had to be forded.
     The next year (1818) he was appointed county treasurer, which office he held until October, 1820, when he was again elected a representative in the Ohio legislature.  At the next October election (1821), the new office of county auditor having become elective, although he did not desire it he was elected to that office, while he also came near a re-election to the legislature.  However, he accepted the office thus forced upon him, and at the beginning of the second year of service (February, 1828) removed with his wife and a portion of his family to Jefferson, where he resided until the autumn of 1827, when he relinquished the active duties of his office to his son, who had long been his deputy, and returned to his farm in Geneva, where the remainder of his life was spent, except a summer trip, when upwards of eighty years old, to his old home and friends in Delaware
county, New York.  Until he attained the age of eighty-two years his bodily and mental powers remained vigorous.  Then old age came upon him, and his vigor declined, until he suddenly passed away on the 3d of June, 1846, in the eighty-seventh year of his age.
     Probably no man ever lived in northern Ohio who was more venerated and beloved.  His undoubted integrity, active benevolence, amiable temper, and gentle demeanor won the hearts of all who knew him.  He was an early and active friend of emancipation and temperance, at a period when it cost much to be thus known.  He was eminently a peace-maker, and was often appealed to for assistance in the settlement of disputed questions, both in civil and religious matters, and his decisions were always so just and wise as to give universal satisfaction, and leave the parties ever after, as before, his firm friends.
     Of his wife, Mrs. Lydia Smith Gaylord, so well and favorably known in the early history of Ashtabula County, some further mention may well be made.  Indeed, if space permitted, much might be written to illustrate and record the shining virtues and noble deeds of that excellent woman.  Notwithstanding the lack, of educational advantages shared with nearly all females of her time, she was a woman of varied knowledge as well as of superior mind.  She was one who daily made her faith manifest by the practice of all good works.  She visited the sick, nursed, and cured them.  In cases where they were despondent, her cheerful counsels, active sympathy, and great knowledge of remedies and all the requirements of good nursing seemed like a charm to drive away disease.  In the early settlement of the county she spent much time by day and night, undeterred by storms, darkness, or wild country roads, in visiting the afflicted for miles around and ministering to their needs.  Sometimes she took the invalids to her home, that she might the better care both for them and her own somewhat numerous family.  Especially did she do this where poverty was added to the other sorrows of the poor invalids.  And all for sweet charity’s sake!
     Some ten years before her death she became totally blind, and subsequently received a fall with such severe injury that she was never again able to walk, but her cheerfulness under these complicated afflictions was unfailing.  She neither repined at her sad fate nor seemed to wish it otherwise, except as it deprived her of the power of doing good to others.
     She had in her earlier days laid up a good store of religious reading, which now became a source of unbounded comfort to her.  Her memory was remarkably retentive of all Bible lore, and she was able to give not only the exact language, but the book and chapter where it might be found.
     For more than sixty-four years this worthy pair had peacefully trod together the path of conjugal life.  But the hour of her departure, for which she had cheerfully waited so long, came at last, and on May 17, 1846, she peacefully yielded up her life at the ripe age of eighty-two years.
     At the time when Major Gaylord and his wife died so nearly together (in May and June, 1846) there had been no death in their immediate family for more than forty years.  Eight of their children were married and had families, and with their husbands and wives were present at the funerals.
     Of these persons (sixteen in number) only four now survive, viz.: Mrs. Polly Bowers, Mrs. Selina Prentice Gaylord, widow of Levi Gaylord (3d), and Harvey B. Gaylord and his wife, Mrs. Stella Atkins Gaylord.
     Their grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren are numerous, and reside in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois.  Wisconsin, Minnesota. Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, and Texas.
     HARVEY R. GAYLORD, for nearly sixty years a resident of Ashtabula County, is the fourth son of Major Levi Gaylord and Lydia Smith Gaylord, and was born in Harpersfield, Delaware county, New York, July 25, 1805.  In the succeeding year, 1806, his father and family removed to Ohio, settling on the south ridge in Geneva, then a part of Harpersfield.
     That part of the county was then an unbroken wilderness, heavily timbered, and for some years the huge forest-trees remained at a short distance from the house, on the north side of the road, the earlier “clearings" being on the south and east.  His earliest recollections are of the semi-annual migrations of the Indians, with their squaws and papooses, ponies and camp-kettles, between Sandusky and Cattaraugus (going east in the fall to hunt, and. after making sugar in the spring, returning west to plant corn), and of an intense childish desire to attend school with the older children.
     The school-house, the only one for several years within the present limits of Geneva, was a log structure on the west bank of Cowles' creek (then called Big brook), one and a half miles from his home.  When old enough he attended school there to a very limited extent, at first in summer only, but when old enough to gather up and burn the rubbish of a new farm in summer, then in winter only, and seldom for more than six weeks in a year.  One reason for the little time devoted to school undoubtedly was that, not being a strong, healthy child, he was often unable to endure the fatigue of the long walks to and from school, especially in bad weather. In those early schools the only branches taught in summer were the alphabet, spelling, and reading; in winter, arithmetic (as far as The Rule of Three”) was added; also writing for a short time each day.  Consequently his education was confined to the simplest rudiments of English studies. He never attended a school where geography or grammar, or any higher branches, were taught or studied.  His father had a small library, larger indeed than most of his neighbors, but of rather too solid a character to interest children.  Luckily for him a widow lady came to reside in the neighborhood when he was about eight years old, who had more attractive books, such as “Bunyan s Pilgrim's Progress” and “Holy War,” “Arabian Nights Entertainments,’ ‘ Robinson Crusoe,” and others of like character, from which she related wonderful stories to the little lad, and after his interest was aroused lent him the books to take home and read, until at length he came to regard everything except reading as irksome, and to be avoided when convenient.  After a time a public library was established in Harpersfield and Geneva, and its books of history, biography, and travels, were procured and read with avidity.
     At the age of seventeen his father, believing that his health was too uncertain for a farmer, employed him in his office at Jefferson, and after a few months sent him to New York and Connecticut, hoping that his health would thereby be benefited, and that he would be able to attend a good school for a few months.  In the first he was to some extent successful, but failed to find among his relatives in Connecticut, where he spent the winter, such a school as he desired to attend.  Being a green backwoods boy, the journey no doubt helped him to a better knowledge of the outside world than he could have obtained in home employments.  At the age of nineteen or twenty he was an acting, if not (for want of proper age) a legal, deputy county auditor, and continued as such deputy until March, 1829 (some four years), taking nearly the entire charge of the business for the last year or more, and apparently giving entire satisfaction to the public.  In October, 1829, he was elected recorder, and was re-elected in 1832, and again in 1835, serving in all nine years.  On the 5th of May, 1830, he was united in marriage to Miss Stella M. Atkins, third daughter of Honorable Quintus F. Atkins, of Jefferson, Rev. Giles H. Cowles, D. D., officiating.  He was assistant postmaster in Jefferson for some three or four years, and while holding that appointment (in 1835), by the construction of a map of Ashtabula and Trumbull counties, showing the leading roads and post-offices for the use of the post-office department at Washington, with suitable recommendations, he obtained an entire change and great improvement in the manner of carrying the mails, and especially of running stages between Ashtabula and Warren, which before that time had not passed through Jefferson.
     In the autumn of 1836 he made a journey on horseback through Ohio and Indiana, looking for a place for a home at the end of his term of office, intending to visit the present State of Iowa, then called the “Black Hawk purchase.”  Late in November he reached Vincennes, where a heavy rise in the Wabash river, with much ice, stopped his farther progress westward.  He therefore turned south to the Ohio river at Evansville, and after some explanation purchased lands for a large farm in one of the river counties.  But a protracted sickness in the spring of 1838 caused a change in his plans, and he sold his western lands and purchased a farm in Geneva, to which he removed at the end of his term of office, October, 1838.
     In October, 1839, he, with many other Ashtabula County men, attended a meeting of the American Anti-Slavery society at Cleveland, Honorable Myron Holley, of New York, presiding, and H. R. Gaylord, of Ashtabula, and F. D. Parish, of Sandusky, secretaries.  At that meeting Mr. Holley brought forward his famous project for forming a distinct anti-slavery political party; but the plan met with but little favor among the anti-slavery men of Ashtabula County at that time, and Judge Moffitt, of Monroe, was put forward as their representative to oppose it, which he did in an able and eloquent speech.
     Mr. Gaylord was, from early manhood, opposed to slavery in all its forms.  At first the American Colonization society seemed the only available mode of action, and was fully indorsed by such men as Gerrit Smith and Arthur Tappan.  He therefore, for several years, sustained a county society, of which Honorable Eliphalet Austin was sometimes president, Samuel Hendry secretary, and H. R. Gaylord treasurer, and freely spent his time and means in attending its meetings and promoting its objects.  But a better acquaintance with the actual working of slavery and colonization, and of the views of slave-holders regarding the institution itself, caused a change in his views, and he became an ardent abolitionist in the year 1835.  When the tide of fugitives from the south set northward through Ashtabula County, he never failed to assist them on their way to the extent of his ability.
     In politics he was an anti-slavery Whig (though attending the Buffalo Free-Soil convention in 1848, and faithfully sustaining by word and vote its nominees) but he gladly joined the Republican party at its first organization in 1854, and has sustained it to the best of his ability since.  While recorder in 1834, to obviate the great difficulty of tracing land-titles, he took measures to secure the passage of a law to authorize the transcribing of records from Trumbull and Geauga counties, and the necessary transcripts were completed in three large volumes before the end of his term of office.  As the agent of the commissioners, he examined the laud-titles and wrote the mortgages given for loans of the surplus revenue funds deposited with the county about the year 1838.  In 1846 he was one of the district assessors to make a new assessment of lands at their value, including improvements.  The previous assessment had been made without regard to improvements, except to a limited extent.  At a later period he made a general index to the thirty-seven volumes of records in the recorder’s office,—a work of great benefit to the public, as many of the indexes were inaccurate, and all of them defective in the extent of information required.  This is believed to have been the first index of its kind made in the Western Reserve.  From 1831 to 1864 he was engaged to a limited extent in the sale of wild lands for settlement and cultivation in the townships of Geneva, Denmark, and Richmond.  His youngest son, Henry T., having died from wounds received at the battle of Shiloh Church, Tennessee, in April, 1862, and subsequent exposure, and his older children having previously migrated westward, he sold his farm in Geneva in 1864 and removed to Saginaw, Michigan, where he is now engaged in active business at the age of nearly seventy-three years.   Recently he has sustained a severe loss in the death of his oldest son, Augustine S., one of the rising young lawyers of Michigan for some time, and, until sickness, long continued, compelled his resignation, assistant attorney-general of the United States for the interior department in Washington.  While serving in that office, in August, 1876, he was appointed one of the commissioners and the law-adviser of the board to visit the Indians of the western plains, under Red Cloud and Spotted Tail, and endeavor to make treaties with them for the purchase of the Black Hills country and their removal to reservations, all previous attempts having failed.  While fully successful in the objects of the mission, sickness was induced by the unwholesome water of the country, from which he died in June, 1877.  His third and only living son, Edward W., resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has been, since quite a young man, engaged in building and managing railroads.  His present family consists of his wife, Mrs. Stella Atkins Gaylord, an excellent and able woman, with whom he has lived forty-eight years in married life, two daughters, all that remain alive, two grandsons, and a granddaughter.  The widow of his son, Augustine S., with two daughters and two sons, resides near him.
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 116
  Conneaut Twp. -
THOMAS GIBSON was born in Windham county, Connecticut, on the 6th day of September, 1800.  He is the sixth of a family of nine, the children of James and Elizabeth Gibson, of the before-mentioned point, and who resided there until their decease.  Mr. Gibson was educated at the district school in his native place, and for some nine years after attaining his majority was employed in the cotton-mills in different parts of Connecticut.  At the age of thirty years (1830) he removed to Ohio, and located in the same township which is now his home.  Soon after his arrival he became a  partner in the firm of Farnham & Gibson, and erected the grist-mill yet known as the “ Farnham mill.”  There was also a saw-mill in connection.  He continued in this business some three years, when he disposed of his interest and purchased and located upon the farm he now occupies,—lots 42 and 54,—consisting at present of two hundred acres.  The business of his life since his occupancy of the farm has been that of stock-raising and farming.  He has served as trustee of Conneaut township for some fourteen years; was first elected in 1842.  Mr. Gibson was united in marriage, on Dec. 23, 1822, to Lucretia, daughter of Thomas and Abigail Farnham, of Hampton, Windham county, Connecticut.  From this union have been born to them the following children, viz. : Charles C., born Apr. 11, 1824, married Loanda Moon (deceased); Mary L., born Jan. 6, 1826, married Dr. D. W. Raymond, and now resides in Conneaut village; Maria E., born Jan. 22, 1828, married James M. Fifield, also a resident of Conneaut; Henry C., born May 2, 1832 (died young); Julia L., born Sept. 8, 1834, married George C. Brown, now living in Jefferson county, Kansas; John M., born Jan. 25, 1838, married Roxy R. Burington, is living on the old homestead; Thomas F., born May 9, 1840, married Mary Clark, resides in Springfield, Pennsylvania.  Politically, Mr. Gibson is heartily in sympathy with the Republican party, and his religious views are in unison with the teachings of the Universalist church.
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

Joshua R. Giddings.
Photo by M. A. Loomis, Jefferson, O.
Turn back the years to 1806, and imagine the state of the American world of that period.  Telegraphs, railroads, and steamboats, - steam itself, were not.  The west was an undreamed-of empire, the east a possibility.  The population of the United States was but six millions.  Ancient Boston dwindles to a town of twenty-five thousand, and New York shrinks to sixty-five thousand.  If one should journey west, he would find less than six thousand in the old town of Albany, Buffalo a straggling village of a thousand, while the huts and cabins of Cleveland held less than a hundred souls; Cincinnati would have twelve or fifteen hundred; and there were the old towns of Marietta and Chillicothe, in the infant State of Ohio, four years old.
     Her whole population did not number fifty thousand, scattered in rude cabins through her interminable forests, which sheltered many fragments of Indian tribes, and hid the scenes of savage ambuscades, battle forays and fields, destined to be renewed within her borders.  All animals known to her natural history, save the buffalo, inhabited her woods in undiminished numbers.  The river whose name she bore ran in solitude along her southern border, and the lake, a lonely waste of waters, was the boundary of her unpeopled northern wilderness.  With her nine outline counties, she was herself but a giant outline, whose fortune was yet to be fashioned.  The Federal capital, six years old, was an unseemly scattered village, unconscious that within the span of a single life it was to be the scene of interminable war between the darkness of old oppression and the light of new aspiration, the chronic barbarity of centuries and the long-repressed throbbings of freedom.
     The element of slavery which had enmeshed itself in the fibre of the organic law of the nation was an ever-active principle, insidiously extending and pervading, corrupting the sources of thought and springs of action, moulding the policy, and inspiring the national law, till the unconscious republic awoke, to mark with little concern the wide departure already taken from the principles on which it had been founded.  It awoke, bound and helpless, seemingly without the will, almost without a wish to return to them.  The land was yet to be filled with many millions, new States were to be born, great cities to spring up, ere this conflict should set its armed hosts in battle array.  The men of these armies were yet to be born, and in that final struggle the thought, the intelligence that should mould and marshal the minds and opinions of the free States, and so conduct them to the inevitable contest, were yet to have birth, take form, be worked out, diffused, accepted, and acted upon.  The men who were to do this great work were already in childhood, and unconsciously receiving the tuition, taking the bent that should fit them for their mission.  Men of the old heroic mould they must be. Men capable of sacrificing all, enduring all, daring all.  Clear to see, strong to feel, inflexible in justice, relentless in hatred, changeless in love, narrow and bigoted it may be for the right, never wearying, never despairing.  Men of power, of resources, masters of themselves, greatly practical, who could wield themselves as hammers, as claymores, as rapiers.  A man fitted to this work must be one born and practiced to partisan warfare, who could assault a fortification single-handed, withstand a thousand in the field alone, or with his single arm defend a pass against an army.  One who on the approach of success could see himself superseded by the soldiers of his own training, see them wear and bear the crown and fruits of victory.  Such men must be of the people, knowing them, and what will move them.  From the levels of life, knowing all around, above, and below them.
     The woods of the infant Ohio, with the wild Indians and beasts in them, its virgin soil, fresh life, and rude experiences, were to be the nursery, the training ground, of one of the foremost of these exceptional men.
     The 16th of June, 1806, was noted for a total eclipse of the sun.  Darkness came down on an emigrant team of four oxen slowly moving a wagon in which were a middle-aged woman, a fresh young girl—a bride, whose young husband drove the cattle and guided the movement, aided by a youth, and attended by a lad of ten.  Just across the Ohio and Pennsylvania line were they when the darkness came down, and they were obliged to camp in the woods.  They journeyed, all the way from Canandaigua, for weeks on the road; from Buffalo, much of the way on the lake-beach, beaten hard by the waves.  Six days more to the point of rest and toil.  One night's camp in the forest, caused by the breaking of the wagon, and they were kept awake by the howling of the near wolves, the most melancholy and plaintive sound of all the wilds.  At night-fall of the 21st they crossed a stream called by the natives Pymatuning; on the thither bank they found a deserted wigwam, where they passed the night, not far from the famous Omic’s town.  The next day they made their way across the woods to where the centre of Wayne now is, in Ashtabula County, where they found a new rude cabin, without hearth, chimney, or window, surrounded by a small clearing, prepared by the father and eldest son, who went on the preceding winter.
     The man was Joshua Giddings, and these were his wife, children, and son-in-law.  The lad was Joshua Reed Giddings, just arrived to finish his growth and complete his education.
     The Giddingses came over from England in 1635, and settled in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  The boy's great-grandfather removed to Lynn, Connecticut, about 1725, and there his father was born. In 1753 the family changed its residence to Hartland, in the same State; thence, in 1773, his father, having acquired a family, removed to Bradford county, Pennsylvania.  The mother was Elizabeth Pease, descended from John Pease, who settled on Martha's Vineyard in 1635.  Nomadic were the Giddingses. as if gathering here and there material and elements to furnish forth the remarkable man who was to crown their line.  Joshua R. was the youngest of his father’s family, and was born at Tioga Point, Bradford county, Pennsylvania, Oct. 6, 1795, two years after the birth of the first fugitive slave act.  Six weeks after his advent his parents removed to Canandaigua, a new but fertile region.  Here they remained till the migration to Ohio. In the winter preceding, the elder Joshua, accompanied by his oldest son, made his way into the woods, built a cabin, cleared a space of ground, planted a garden and small corn-field, where they were joined by the rest of the family, as stated.  It was at the beginning of the colonization of the Western Reserve by New England.  So much of Massachusetts and Connecticut transplanted and translated into the freer expanse of the west. Vigor, hardihood, courage, and enterprise were needed to carry the emigrants so far into the wilderness.  An exercise of the same qualities, with endurance, industry, frugality, and hopefulness, were necessary to their maintenance in their forest homes.  Their lives were elementary.  They took everything at first hand.  When their small supply of food and clothing was exhausted they must go to the earth, the forest, streams, and Indians, to the wild fruits of the plum bottoms.  They carried with them the frugality, industry, religious faith, love of law and liberty, the hope and wish of bettering their condition, with the habits of thought, intelligence, and deep strong lines of character, of their dear “down country” home, relieved of the constraints of the older society and the oppressions of poverty.  They planted themselves and native institutions in a more fertile soil, a more genial climate, a perfectly free atmosphere, with the glow and warm life of young communities, under conditions that called into constant exercise the warmest social elements, and permitted the rapid development of individual traits, where men are strong and women fruitful. The first years
were a struggle for existence; the first social condition that of absolute democracy,— the best for the formation of character.
     From what young Joshua grew to be we may fancy what he was at ten,—a tall, raw, rather shapeless boy, with a pleasant face, frolicsome gray eyes, and abundant light, curly hair, that grew dark, fairish till the sun tanned him.  He had mastered the English alphabet in Canandaigua.  He has a plenty of growing and filling out to do, and the rudiments of a great many things to master.  He had doubtless acquired some elements of pioneer life, and rapidly gained the knowledge and habits of wood-craft.  The faithful, patient oxen were unyoked and turned into the woods with a bell on the neck of “ Bright,” and it was his duty to bring them up at night-fall, and he soon became familiar with all the forest haunts, and could conduct his mother and sister to the nearest neighbors, two miles and a half away, and made the acquaintance of most of the wild animals of the forest, including Omic and his Massasauga red folk, at their town on Indian Pymatuning.
     When the corn ripened a cavity was hollowed in the top of a large hard wood stump with fire, and a heavy pestle attached to a spring-pole hung over it, and in this “samp mortar” he did the family grinding.  He was soon furnished with an axe, and, broad-shouldered and long-armed, he became an expert axeman, one of the most thoughtful of all employments.  Next came the shot-gun and rifle, old flint-locks. That first autumn we know that the pioneers sowed wheat on the corn-land, and were busy felling the trees during the winter; that they constructed a chimney of sticks and clay mortar, and a stone hearth, and lit up the one-roomed cabin with bright wood-fires and hickory-bark torches; that the boys climbed up a ladder and slept in the loft, and put their clothes under the bed to keep them from being covered with snow.  We know that they heard the wolves howl every night, and that many deer came about their small clearing, and that the young men became hunters; that they had a supply of venison, many wild turkeys, and occasionally a bit of delicious bear-meat from their own guns or from Omic’s hunters; that in the spring they made sap-troughs with their axes, tapped the maples, and made sugar; that they cleared a good deal of land that season and raised potatoes and flax; that somebody became a benefactor and set up a saw-mill not far away; that a cow was purchased that summer, a log barn built with a thrashing-floor, and hand-flails were made, and a hand-fan to winnow the new wheat, which it took three days to carry to a mill; that new settlers came, new cabins were built, and more woods cut away.  Roads were opened and bridges built, more cows were driven in, and sheep made their appearance, hand-cards for wool and hatchels for flax, wheels and looms, and finally somebody set up a fulling-mill.  We know that the elder Giddings was a God-fearing Presbyterian, and the first Sabbath-worship was held at his cabin during the first summer; that a school was established the second winter, and that the new community in the woods began to assume the forms and practice the usages of civil and social life.
     Young Giddings grew up, passing through all the vicissitudes of frontier life.  Seeing the sun rise and set amid the trees till his own hands had helped to clear them away.  Eating venison and bear-meat, wearing a tow frock and pants in the summer, and butternut-colored flannel, faced and seated with deerskin, in the winter, with his feet in Indian moccasins.  Chopping, logging, and clearing land, gathering ashes and boiling black salts, making maple-sugar, going to mill, hunting stray cattle on the bottom lands, breaking steers, turning grindstone, and
saying the New England Catechism.  Became a hunter expert with the rifle.  Spent days and nights in the woods. A fisherman, and knew all the streams, with excursions to the lake.  Went to meeting and Sunday-school. Docile, and of a joyous temperament, an athlete, trained in pioneer life, where muscle and agility are at a premium, the swiftest footman, and the masterful wrestler of all the strapping youths of the range, he grew broad in the shoulders, deep in the chest, straight of limb, strong of loin, erect, carrying his massive head with the pose of a man, his motions and manners fashioned in the free, bold atmosphere of the west; dreaming his boy dreams and thinking his boy thoughts.  Hearing stories of adventure in forest, of hunting and Indian warfare.  Legends of down east life and catching echoes of the great world beyond the woods.
     Came the War of 1812.  Suddenly to the dwellers in the woods; a frightened whisper borne on the wind; and later the terrible names of Proctor and Tecumthá on the Maumee, and marching eastward.  Hull surrendered Detroit and the whole of Michigan in August, and there was a call for soldiers.  Though but sixteen, young Giddings took his place in the ranks of Colonel Hayes’ regiment, which was hurried on to the Huron, encamping near the present town of Milan.  From this point, Major Frasier, with one hundred and thirty men, was pushed forward to a little stockade, afterwards known as Fort Stephenson, and famous for its defense by Croghan.  Of this band was our young soldier, which was soon weakened by sickness.  On the 28th of September came word that Indians were plundering the abandoned farms on the “Peninsula,” and sixty-four men, under Captain Cotton, volunteered at night-fall to meet them.  Young Giddings, on coming off guard, found them marching at drum-beat up and down for recruits; and took his place with them.  They made the advance by water that night, fought two sharp battles the next day, lost twelve men and their boats.  The Indians were more numerous and might have cut them off, but were too roughly handled.  Their hardships were very great on the return.  Their old friend Omic, to whom they had always been kind, must have led the enemy, as his scalping-knife was found in the body of one of their slain, advertising his presence and prowess.
     Colonel Hayes’ regiment was not needed for long service, and after five months the young soldier returned home.  It is curious that, although several men were killed in this affair on the Peninsula, no account of it is to be found in any history of the war.  Though his term of service was short, it was very useful in many ways to young Giddings.  His strength, vigor, and endurance on the march, good conduct in camp, his courage and coolness in battle, were themes of praise through the regiment, and laid the foundation for the love and confidence of the people within his personal influence.  The restraints and discipline of even five months’ service were a useful lesson to him.
     Though the young soldier returned, the war-cloud darkened the woods that sheltered his home.  In the early autumn General Harrison assumed command of the northwestern army, yet to be created.  In the latter part of January, 1813, Winchester was surprised, captured, and his army massacred at the river Raisin.  In February, Perry was constructing his fleet at Erie, and Harrison compelled Proctor and Tecumthá to raise the siege of Fort Meigs early in the following May.  They made another invasion of the Ohio the following summer, and were beaten off at Fort Stephenson in August . Then came the famous sea fight of Perry, followed by the flight, pursuit, and capture of Proctor’s army and the death of Tecumthá.  Though the tide of war rolled backward and forward across the border below Lake Erie, flight and terror were forever banished from the homes and dreams of maids and matrons in the cabins of the Western Reserve.
     The elder Joshua had invested his all in lands, the title to which failed; the party of whom he purchased was insolvent, and he was reduced to poverty, from which he never recovered.  He changed his place of habitation and began anew, and the youngest son was remitted to his old tussle with the trees and beasts of the forest.  A writer in the New York Tribune said of him that he suffered and accomplished more between his tenth and twentieth years than any other young man on the frontier.  There were no schools, no time or opportunity for education.  Few books, no newspapers, or magazines.  It is said that all the days spent by him in school in any place of public instruction were but a few weeks. Nevertheless, among his sagacious neighbors, he acquired the reputation of a scholar.  He early manifested that avidity and eagerness for knowledge, that longing for books, which amounts to bibliomania.  Every book that he could hear of, within long distances of his father’s cabin,—and his information was extensive in this respect,—that he could borrow, and none were refused him, every pamphlet, newspaper, or scrap of print that his hands could reach, he made his own. History, travels, biography, the Bible, poetry, tales,—all, he made their life-blood his.  Every crevice of time, every moment snatched from toil or needed sleep, by the hickory torch, the sugar-camp fire, at his hunter’s camp, was devoted to reading and study.  No volume was too soiled or worn, no author was so dull that he did not find them of interest. Stupidity, which is said to be too much for the gods, yielded to his assaults when in print.  It was before the improvements in schoolbooks with new methods.  He came into possession of a Lindley Murray, and mastered English.  Rev. Harvey Coe helped him into mathematics, and he helped himself forward. At nineteen he was solicited to teach school.  He undertook it.  His was a mind to profit more than those of his scholars by his efforts to instruct them, even when most successful in that.  This season of teaching was his own best time of pupilage.
     This self-communing mind and soul, nursed in forest solitude, reared in familiar intercourse with nature, fertile in expedients, trained by intercourse with people who showed him all their native qualities without restraint and thus helped to mature, early became familiar with the whisperings of young ambition, and dreamed of position and influence among his fellows.  Such success attended his efforts that he was enabled to undertake the study of law at twenty-three, which he did in the office of the late Elisha Whittlesey, at Canfield, Ohio, from which so many distinguished lawyers graduated, and who was himself worthy of a memoir.  One would like to know what books he read at that day.  Plowden, Fearne, Bacon's Abridgement, Bowel's works, Buffer’s Nisi Prim were doubtless among them.  Whatever they were, one knows he mastered them.  He was eminently fitted by nature for the study of the common law. and at the end of the two years’ reading he was an inchoate lawyer.  He was admitted to the bar in 1821, and commenced practice at the small town of Jefferson, the shire town of Ashtabula County.
     Less numerous in proportion to the whole number of people, the lawyers of that time occupied a higher position in popular estimation than at the present, not so much by reason of any individual superiority or greater learning.  In this last respect they were probably not the equals of the same class of to-day.  Nor is this the place to discuss the causes of the difference in the consideration accorded to the lawyers of the two periods.  It is doubtless due to the causes which have wrought general changes in the tone and spirit of social life in this country in the past fifty years.  No calling among a free people so well fits a man for leadership of his fellows as the bar, to which is mainly due the preponderance of the men of that profession in public life; and usually there is nothing so fatal to continuous success at the bar as any considerable withdrawal from it for political employment or a position on the bench.  With us, eminence as a lawyer is not attainable without fair ability as an advocate.  Fortunately, most men, American born, can acquire reasonable fluency in speech.  No people, ancient or modern, surpass us in this respect.  Among the endowments essential to the qualification of an advocate is the capacity to see and feel intensely one and his side of a case,—the reverse of the judicial.  It is probable that a country practice, on the whole, presents a better school for the formation of that many-sidedness so necessary to a popular leader than that of a large city.  He deals with a wider range of cases, sees and mingles with a greater variety of men.  In cities there occurs among lawyers that usual division of labor which tends to specialties, so fatal to the production of fitness for leadership.  A residence in a small town has its disadvantages, hardly in existence at the time of which I write, in the west.  While a man can much easier acquire a reputation in a village, he soon reaches the limit of what it can do for him in this respect. It is only a great city that can make his name widely renowned. 
     In 1821, the period of Mr. Giddings' appearance in the courts, the region of his practice was stiff sparsely populated, the courts sat in log structures, the cases few and fees small.  There was this compensation : nothing was then so attractive to the people as a lawsuit, and no point could equal in interest the county-seat during court week, and no men were so famous as the ready, fluent lawyers.  The court of common pleas had a wide jurisdiction, composed of four members elected by the legislature, a presiding judge, usually the most eminent lawyer of the circuit, and three associates, laymen, of the county where it sat.  The circuit was composed of five or six counties, in which this court was held three times each year.  The supreme court was composed of four judges, which was also a circuit court with a jury, and sat in each county once each year.  It early began to reserve cases to be heard by the four judges in banc,—the origin of the fixed sessions of that court.
     In the early of his student days Mr. Giddings was married to Laura Waters.  All marriages of the young were pure love-matches then. Imprudent for any other but this, any man is safe with such a girl as Laura Waters.  A Yankee girl, who cared for herself since fourteen, who kept school, and earned a flock of sheep, a sale of which purchased the beginning of the young lawyer’s library, — “orthodox law sheep.”  Pretty, piquant, witty, devoted, full of resources, the happy mother of several children, whose care mainly devolved on her in the absence of the lawyer and congressman.  What a delicious picture of family home life, sketched by the hand of the youngest of that favored band,* lies under my eye, tempting me to linger and transcribe!  What neighbors! what friends!  so loved and blessed the parents were. And when the husband passed suddenly away, spite of the love of the surviving children, the wife pined, drooped, and died within a few months.
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 72
* By Hon. A. G. Riddle

Mr. & Mrs.
William Giddings
WILLIAM GIDDINGSElisha Giddings was born at Hartland, Connecticut, 1785, and was married to Philathella Fish, Sept. 11, 1803, who was born at Townsend, Vermont.  He married from Canandaigua, New York, in 1805, and settled in Green, Trumbull county, now Wayne, Ashtabula County.  They had eleven children,—nine sons and two daughters.
     William Giddings, who was the fourth son, was born in Wayne, Jan. 11, 1810.  In April, 1813, his parents gave him to Jonathan Tuttle, of Williamsfield, his mother carrying him through the woods on horseback.  Mr. Tuttle adopted him, and he lived with him until he was of age.  His schooling consisted of about three months,—summer and winter,—until he was eight years old.  After that time until of age it was limited to about two months each winter.  With this meagre amount of schooling he obtained a fair education, and the notes relating to his life furnished the writer are in a good hand, although written when he was almost seventy.
     When he arrived at his majority, his worldly wealth might be represented with 000.  He resolved to earn a farm of one hundred acres, and then marry.  He began work with this intention.  His wages varied from thirty-three to fifty-six cents a day, yet when he was twenty-seven years old he had bought his hundred acres in Williamsfield, for which he paid seven hundred dollars.
     Sept. 25, 1838, he married Maria Webber, of Kinsman, and settled on his farm.
     He and his wife have always been members of the Congregational church, and interested in Sunday-school matters.  They had four children, two of whom died in infancy.  Two sons are now living: F. R. Giddings, born Feb. 5, 1840; married May 11, 1869, to Senna Banning, of Kinsman.  They now live in Cleveland.  W. Danvin Giddings, born June 29, 1850; is unmarried.  He is employed in United States mail service, on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern railway.
     Mr. William Giddings is the only Giddings in Williamsfield, where that family were once so numerous.  He has always been an anti-slavery man and a straight out-and-out Republican, and in his younger days was almost always a member of the county conventions.  He has not missed voting at a State election but once since 1831.  In 1836 he was in Genesee county, New York, and voted for Harrison.
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 242

David Douglass
Gist, M. D.
DAVID DOUGLASS GIST, M. D., was born in Loudoun county, Virginia, on the 10th day of November, 1810, and is the second of a family of seven, the children of Thomas and Elizabeth Gist, of that county, but who removed to Ohio in 1822 and located in Guernsey county.  The education of Mr. Gist was acquired, as is the case with most American boys living remote from cities or towns, in the district school, finishing in the Wellington (Ohio) college.  In the year 1836, he commenced reading medicine with Drs. Hazlop Williams and John C. Anderson of Jacobsport, Coshocton county, Ohio.  Continued alternately reading and teaching for two years.  In 1838 he came to Ashtabula County, and locating in Harpersfield, finished his professional reading with Dr. Jonathan Williams of that township.  In 1840 formed a partnership with him, and practiced until the death of Dr. Williams in 1846, since which time he has practiced his profession continuously until the present.  In the year 1870 the doctor attended his last course of lectures, and graduated at the Eclectic medical college of Cincinnati in that year.  As early as 1848 he turned his attention to the treating of cancers and scrofula in all its forms, and the simple statement that he has since that date, successfully removed one hundred and fifty cancers is sufficient evidence of the faithfulness with which he has pursued his investigations in this specialty.  In October, 1865, owing to hsi large and increasing practice in that portion of the county, he removed to Jefferson, where he still resides.  On Jan. 1, 1833, the doctor was united in marriage to Susan, daughter of Samuel and Polly Newell, of Liberty township, Guernsey county, Ohio.  From this marriages one child was born (Martha Jane, who married Frederick Pangburn, of Harpersfield, and resides there at present).  ON June, 17, 1836, this lady died, and on Aug. 27, 1845, the daughter married his present wife.  She was the daughter of George and Eliza Pangburn, of Harpersfield.  The children of this marriage are Laura, the eldest, who died in infancy; Mary Eliza, married E. J. Pinney, a member of the legal profession at Jefferson; and Lunie, the youngest, who yet remains at home.  To give the reader an idea of the doctor's extensive practice, we will state that since 1848 he has ridden something over two hundred and fifty thousand mils, has been ever ready to attend to the calls of the afflicted, and thousands regard him almost in the light of a public benefactor.
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 148





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