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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)



Capt. O. Salisbury
Residence w/ Portraits
Conneaut Tp.,
Ashtabula Co., OH
Conneaut Twp. -
CAPTAIN ONEY SALISBURY is the youngest of a family of six children.  He was born in Cortland county, New York, in the year 1812. His parents were Olender and Rebecca Tolbert Salisbury, the former of whom was born in Gloucester, Rhode Island, Oct. 19, 1772, and the latter in Killingly, Connecticut.  The family removed to Ohio, and located in Conneaut township, in October, 1822. The father died here in 1850, and the mother some three years previous.  Captain Salisbury was educated prior to his removal to Ohio.  At the age of fourteen years he commenced his seafaring life as a cook on the “Conneaut Packet was on her two seasons, then went “before the mast” on the “New Connecticut” two seasons.  The season of 1834 he was in command of the sloop “Dart,” and the following spring sailed as captain of the schooner “Commercial;” and from this time until the year 1865, when he retired to his farm, he sailed as commander on eight sail- and eleven steam-vessels.  Two years of this time, however, viz., 1849 and 1850, he remained ashore, and during this time built the Empire flouring-mill at Conneaut.  This was a fine mill.  During the entire time the captain sailed he never met with any serious misfortune, and never cost an insurance company one dollar; and when he retired he was well and favorably known throughout the entire chain of lakes.  On Dec. 10, 1837, Captain Salisbury was married to Miss Sarah Benjamin.  The children of this marriage are as follows: Loren G., born Nov. 19, 1838, married Ellen Castle, resides in Conneaut; Ellen A., born May, 1840, married Theron A. Macumber; Frank D., born Dec. 3, 1843, married M. E. Griswold, —he, with Milo O., who was born Dec. 24, 1844, and married Ida Parker, resides on the old homestead.  The next three children are deceased, viz., Sarah B., Mary E., and Oney W.  The captain and his estimable wife are regular attendants at the Christian church at Conneaut. Politically, Captain Salisbury is stanch and true to the teachings of the Republican party, as are his sons.  He was an Odd-Fellow from the commencement of a lodge in Conneaut till its close, and is at present a member of Evergreen lodge, F. and A. Masons, of Conneaut, Ohio.
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

Alvin Schramlin
Pierpont Twp.
Ashtabula Co., OH
Pierpont Twp. -
A. SCHRAMLINGMr. Schramling, a view of whose fine farm residence may be seen on the opposite page, is a native of New York State, being born in Cattaraugus county, New York, in May, 1828.  At about the time of his birth his father removed to Otsego county,
and when Mr. Schramling was eight years of age to Columbus, Warren county, Pennsylvania, which was then a new country, with extensive forests.  Here the subject of our sketch spent his boyhood days engaged in lumbering, rafting, chopping and clearing land.  Being the oldest child of a family of seven boys and three girls, he was compelled to undergo severe labor, and received but little education.  When nineteen years old he acquired under competent instruction a knowledge of the carpenter trade.  Jan. 1, 1850, he was united in marriage with
Miss Deliah Robbins, who has been to him a faithful companion, and to whom he is largely indebted for his prosperity in life.  In March, 1854, he settled in Pierpont township, this county, purchased fifty acres of land, and which now constitutes a portion of the homestead farm.  In four days after his arrival he and his wife were living and keeping house in a dwelling of their own erection.  The same year he built a shop and began the manufacture of the revolving horse rake, which he introduced throughout western Pennsylvania and a portion of Ashtabula County. Three years later he built the first steam saw-mill, at the centre of the township . This he sold to try his hand in the oil business in Pennsylvania, but in 1S61 returned to Pierpont, and, buying more land, went to fanning.
     In 1863 he was made first lieutenant, and afterwards captain, of the Ohio militia. In 1864, after expending a great deal of time and money to prevent a draft in his township, he offered his services in defense of his country, received a recruiting commission, and during the last year of the war served as second lieutenant in Company K of the One Hundred and Seventy-seventh Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  Mr. and Mrs. Sehramling are the parents of three children, one son and two daughters.  A great bereavement came to them in May, 1875, by the death of their only son.  But Mr. Sehramling does not complain of his lot.  He has been greatly blessed with prosperity, has a beautiful home, and enjoys the esteem of his neighbors; and his only desire is that the remnant of his days may be spent in being useful to himself, his family, his neighbors, his country, and his God.

Col. G. H. &
Mrs. G. H. SeCheverel
GUSTAVUS HAMILTON SECHEVERELL was born in Amsterdam, Montgomery county, New York, on Dec. 13, 1796.  He was the only child of G. H. and Jane SeCheverell , of that point.  His father was a teacher, and was drowned in the year 1798, while crossing Lake Ontario in an open boat with a load of merchandise, which he had received for teaching a term or two of school in Canada.   The mother came to Ohio eventually, and died at the home of the subject of the present sketch, in 1857.  Mr., or Colonel, SeCheverell , as he was familiarly called, began life in Madison, Lake county, Ohio, where he remained some two years, and, after a year spent in Unionville, same county, purchased a wild farm in Harpersfield township, and removing thereon, set himself industriously to work subduing the dense forest with which it was covered.  Gradually, by dint of hard labor, he acquired a competence, and was induced to invest in one of those whirlpools which have ever proved ruinous to all concerned, viz., a Farmers’ Company store.  After a time it became a foregone conclusion that under the management then existing a “collapse” must ensue, and thinking that he could “hold the fort,” entered into an arrangement with the remaining stockholders, by which he became sole owner, they, however, pledging themselves to “stand by” him until he was “ out of the woods.”  This, as is often the case, they failed to do (there was one honorable exception, in the case of Hiram Hickok, who yet resides in Harpersfield), and after vainly fighting against fate for perhaps ten years, was obliged to succumb, and his once ample fortune was swept away, much of it in paying other people's debts.  He never recovered from the shock produced by the loss of his property and the perfidy of pretended friends, and died of softening of the brain in December, 1866.  Mrs. SeCheverell  died December, 1876.  Of the life of the colonel, we find that he was a soldier of the War of 1812.  Was a life-long member of the Methodist church, for the ministers of which he always kept open house and an open pocket-book.  He was a zealous adherent to the principles inculcated in the order of Freemasonry, having become a member of that society as early as 1819, and received the Royal Arch degrees prior to the time of the insane “Morgan excitement,” and throughout all those years maintained his allegiance, and was the founder of Grand River lodge, No. 297, of Harpersfield, of which he was Master for a number of years.  Colonel SeCheverell was united in marriage on Jan. 9, 1817, to Miss Esther Myers.  This lady died the following August, and in November, 1818, he was again married, to Mary, daughter of John and Hannah Brakeman, of Harpersfield township, this county.  From this marriage a numerous family was born to them, as follows, viz.: Lawrence, the eldest, was born Dec. 23, 1819.  In 1845 he started for South America, and as no tidings came from him after reaching New Orleans, it is presumed that he died before reaching his destination.  Prudentia, the next child, was born Mar. 4, 1822.  She married Thomas Baxter resides in Austinburg.  Alfred, born Dec. 31, 1823; married Hannah Foreman; died in 1859.  Jane, married Silas Kellogg; died in Madison, Lake county, in 1869.  Catherine, born Oct. 31, 1829; married John B. Mills; died in 1867.  Esther, born 1832; died young.  Henry Gustavus, born May 10, 1834; married Marion Elizabeth Knowlton; died Feb. 4, 1871; and John Hamilton, the junior member, was born Feb. 6, 1841; married Celia Bennett.
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 172
  JOHN HAMILTON SECHEVERELL.   Feb. 6, 1841, is the date, and Harpersfield township, Ashtabula County, the place, of the birth of him who is the subject of this sketch.  His parents were Gustavus H. and Mary SeCheverell.  He was the youngest son.  Receiving a fair common-school education, he early developed a strong predilection for the art epistolary.  When he was but fourteen years of age he was engaged in preparing local items for the Forest City Gleaner.  This experience served to cultivate a literary taste in Mr. SeCheverell, which has never deserted him.  In later years he has been a local correspondent for several papers of this and other localities.  He has written a large number of the township histories for this work, and has evinced an ability for this department of literary labor of no small merit.  Careful about his facts, he is accurate in stating them.
     In the War of the Rebellion he was among the first of his township to proffer his services, and became a soldier in Company B of the indomitable Twenty-ninth. The date of his enlistment was August 19, 1861.  He was in the battle of Winchester, Mar. 23, 1862, and was made prisoner, with others of his comrades, by Stonewall Jackson, at the same place, in the following June.  After a brief captivity he was paroled, sent to Washington, and by general order No. 65, adjutant general’s office, June 12, 1862, discharged.  He came home, regained his health, and July 28, 1863, re-enlisted in Company M, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery.  He was discharged from service June 23, 1865, at Chicago, Illinois, where he had served as hospital steward of the United States army.  Soon after his return home he was united in marriage to Miss L. Ada Alderman, of Hartsgrove township, this county.  He was compelled to mourn her death in a little more than a year from the date of their nuptials.  Prior to his enlistment he had devoted considerable time to the study of dentistry, and upon the death of his wife he repaired to Ypsilanti, Michigan, where, with Messrs. Alderman Brothers, he completed a full course of study, thoroughly mastering the subject of dentistry.  Returning to Harpersfield, his old home, he was married to Celia, the youngest daughter of Dr. L. L. and Sophrona Bennett, of that township.  The date of this marriage was Dec. 2, 1868. Dr. SeCheverell and his amiable and estimable companion have been the parents of three children, two of whom are still living, — Gurleigh Hamilton, the eldest, born Sept. 11, 1869, and Hugh Bernard, born Aug. 25, 1872.  Claude Lorrainne, born Apr. 10, 1870, died May 25, 1872.  Dr. SeCheverell prosecuted the duties of his profession for ten years in his native township, when he removed to Jefferson, Ohio, July 25, 1877, where he still resides.  He has justly won the reputation of a skillful and reliable dentist, and is known as a worthy citizen of the unpretending kind.  He has been a member of Masonry since 1862, and is at present connected with Tuscan lodge, No. 342, Jefferson, Ohio.  He has also for some years been prominently connected with the soldier organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic, and is at present the Commander of Giddings post, No. 7, which holds its sessions at Jefferson, Ohio.  He was for six years clerk of Harpersfield township, and filled the office for several years of secretary of Grand River lodge, 297, F. and A. M.  He is at present engaged with the proprietors of this work, and expects to accompany them to other fields of labor.
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 172

Ohio Mills,
Wm. Seymour & Son,
Center St.,
Ashtabula, O

Charles Stetson Simonds
CHARLES STETSON SIMONDS was born at Westminster, Windham county, State of Vermont, May 1, 1815.  His parents were of the Puritan stock.  His father, Moses Simonds, was a native of New Hampshire, and his mother, Priscilla Cook Stetson, was born and reared in sight of Plymouth Rock, where her ancestors landed from the "Mayflower."  They removed to Ashtabula County, Ohio, in 1821, among the settlers of the country along the old South Ridge road, then the great thoroughfare for emigrant travel from New England to the great west.  The people were generally poor (and none more so than this new arrival), living in log houses and wearing clothes of home manufacture.  On the 1st day of April, 1828, the family removed to Saybrook, and on the 3d of May following the husband and father died, leaving his widow with six minor children.  A woman of more than ordinary mind and character, her influence was at once an education and inspiration to her children, who clustered around her until, by their joint industry and prudence, they acquired a competence, and she lived to see them among the most affluent citizens of that township.
     William T., the oldest, still resides in Saybrook, where he has held places of trust, either in the township or county, for more than thirty years.  One of the sisters died unmarried.  Louisa married Rufus Harris, and Maria married David H. Kelley, and they with their families are all honored and respected residents of that township.  Moses H., the youngest brother, settled as a lawyer in Missouri, and died a captain of cavalry volunteers in the war with Mexico.
     Charles, the subject of this sketch, was industrious in his habits, and while the day was spent in the labors of the field, his evenings were studiously devoted to the acquirement of an education that might fit him for the duties of life.  His opportunities were limited to winter common schools and a few terms at the village academies.  His principal reliance was upon his own unaided efforts by the evening fire.  Indeed, some of the schools of that period furnished but little aid to the scholar, as an instance will illustrate.  During the summer that he was eight years old, he was sent to school with a copy of Murray’s grammar.  The teacher marked off all his lessons to be committed to memory, and they were daily recited, without note or comment, until the book was completed.  The teacher then for the first time asked him a question on the subject, “What is a noun ?”  The boy was astonished, and thought he had never heard of such a thing.  The book was returned, and he was bidden to find the word and its definition.  To him it seemed like the task required by the king of the Egyptian magi, “to find the dream and the interpretation thereof.”  But the feat was accomplished, and the information having been so acquired was not likely to be forgotten.
     Although the people were poor in the neighborhood, there were many books scattered through the community within the radius of three miles, and those were interchanged like a circulating library.  Among those he borrowed and read at an early day were a History of the United States, a History of England by Hume, Bisset, and Smollett, Josephus, Rollin’s Ancient History, Plutarch’s Lives, and Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of Rome; and occasionally he obtained a work of fiction, such as the Children of the Abbey, Thaddeus of Warsaw, and some of Mrs. Radcliffe’s novels.  David F. Harris, of that township, was a man of wealth and intelligence, and was possessed of a respectable library of miscellaneous works.  From that library the boy borrowed and became familiar with many poetical works, among which were Pope’s Iliad and Odyssey, the Æneid of Virgil, Paradise Lost and Regained, Poems of Sir Walter Scott, Montgomery, Campbell, and others.  At the age of seventeen he was employed to teach a district school for the term of three months, for which he was paid thirty-six dollars, —the first money he had ever called his own, except a few shillings at a time, which he had obtained from the sale of peltries, chiefly mink and musk-rat.  In the winter of 1835-36 he taught a school at Geneva village, for which he received the sum of sixty dollars.  With this sum in hand he left in the spring of 1836 for the great west to seek his fortune, designing to go over the plains to New Mexico.  He went to Pittsburgh, and there took a boat to St. Louis.  On his arrival at St. Louis he found that no trains for Santa Fe could start over the plains in less than two weeks, on account of the backward state of the grass.  Going back to the boat on which he had arrived, he watched the laborers on the docks and wharves, which were lined with boats; they were all colored or parti- colored, and spoke in an unknown tongue, principally French.  From the deck of the boat a spot was pointed out on an island where, the fall previous, two rival candidates for congress had shot each other down.  Soon some of his acquaintances on the boat returned from an exploration of the upper portion of the city, and among other discoveries they reported a negro burning at a stake, on the charge of having killed a deputy-sheriff.  On the whole, our traveler was not pleased with the country or its inhabitants.  He took the first boat up the river bound for Galena, the farthest place he could hear of.  He taught school during the summer, and in the fall of 1836 made his way over Indian trails to Rock River, in Illinois.  Here he opened up a farm which he improved about two years.  Meantime he had the use of a good private library owned by a neighbor.  Among other works he found a copy of Blackstone’s Commentaries, which he read, and followed up with Kent’s Commentaries.  He became interested in the study of law, and returned to this county in the fall of 1839, with accumulations sufficient to enable him to pursue and complete the study of his chosen profession.
     In the spring of 1840 he entered the office of Messrs. Wade and Ranney, at Jefferson, as a student of the law.  He was admitted to the bar at Marion, Ohio, June 30, 1842, and soon after opened an office and commenced practice at Jefferson.  He soon acquired a respectable business in his profession, and in February, 1844, he was married to Louisa Warner, a daughter of Jonathan Warner, of Jefferson.  In April, 1846, he was elected a justice of the peace, and in October, 1847, prosecuting attorney, which office he held for two years.  In the spring of 1847 he entered into partnership with Rufus P. Ranney and Darius Cadwell, under the firm-name of Ranney, Simonds & Cadwell.  This firm succeeded to the business of the former partnership of Wade & Ranney.  In 1851, Mr. Ranney was elected judge of the supreme court, and at that time the partnership of Simonds & Cadwell was formed, which continued for twenty years, terminating when Mr. Cadwell removed to Cleveland, in October, 1871.  Including the time embraced in the partnership of Ranney, Simonds & Cadwell, the partner- ship of Simonds & Cadwell continued twenty-four years.  In January, 1872, he formed a partnership with Edward C. Wade, which still continues. He has de- voted himself to his profession in the same place for about thirty-six years, during which time he has been identified with all its interests, and has maintained a reputation for integrity.  He has brought up a family of two sons and three daughters.  Though always an active partisan in politics, he is especially distinguished by never having sought or received offices of public trust or serious responsibility, but has rather taken pride in maintaining an independent position as a private citizen.  Yet the biography of those who were early in the field and who from nothing have acquired competence and respectability among their fellow-men, although honors have not clustered about their heads, may not be without interest as connected with the early history of the country, and may be useful as showing the means by which they rose from indigence and acquired and maintained positions of usefulness in society.
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 105
  W. T. SIMONDS,  was born at Westminster, Windham county, Vermont, on Nov. 29, 1809.  He is the eldest son of Moses and Priscilla C. Simonds, who removed to Ashtabula County, Ohio, in the fall of 1821, and located in Harpersfield township, where they remained for perhaps one year, and then removed to the township of Saybrook, and made a permanent location.  The father died in that township in April, 1828, and the mother in November, 1873.
     The subject of this biography was educated in the common schools, and has all his lifetime pursued the occupation of a farmer.  He has been a justice of the peace for twenty-seven years, and in the able discharge of duties has gained the respect and confidence of all who know him.  In the fall of 1857 Mr. Simonds was elected to the office of county commissioner, and served successively three terms,—W. B. Quirk succeeded him for one term,—was then elected again, served one term, and was succeeded by H. L. Morrison.   At the expiration of three years was again elected, and is at present an incumbent of that office.  Politically Mr. Simonds was an old-line Whig, and is now, of course, a Republican.  Although not a member of the army in the War of the Rebellion, yet he served his country well in the adjusting of quotas, and attending to the cause of the soldier.  On Dec. 23, 1852, Mr. Simonds was united in marriage to Susan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phineas Pierce, of Saybrook.  By this marriage two children were born to them.  The elder is Charles W., born Oct. 17, 1853; and the younger, Mary P., whose birth occurred Sept. 4, 1857.  They are unmarried, and reside at their father’s home.
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 185
  HALL SMITH.  The subject of this sketch was born in New Marlborough, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, in the summer of 1775.  At this time his father, John Smith, was absent, a soldier of the Revolutionary army.  His mother died when he was but seven days old, and he fell under the care of his maternal grandparents, Ebenezer and Anna Hall, by whom he was nurtured and raised, along with a son of their own, but a few days older than himself.  At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed to an uncle, Moses Hall, to learn the clothier’s trade.  At the close of his apprenticeship, he found himself disqualified for book-keeping in consequence of an accident.  He studied under the Rev. Jacob Catlin with that intense application which was his constitutional propensity.  Early in the present century he, by assistance, procured blankets and other goods, and came to the wilds of northern Ohio.   These were exchanged with the Indians of Sandusky and the white settlers in the wilderness of New Connecticut for furs.  This traffic he continued for several years, and about the year 1806 opened a store at Austinburg, the first store in Ashtabula County.  About 1807 he married Julia Anna, eldest daughter of the Rev. Jas. Badger, a very excellent woman, by whom he had one son, who died in infancy.  In 1809 his wife also died.  The year after her death he purchased lands and opened a store in Ashtabula, and here entered into business quite extensively, supplying the settlers with what was necessary to the clearing up and improving of a new country.  He was liberal in contributing towards all public benefits in the county.  The poor always found in him a benefactor.  In 1811 he was again married, to Achsah, daughter of Roger Nettleton, of Kingsville, by whom he had three daughters and one son.  In 1812, Mr. Smith entered into partnership with Nathan Strong, and built the grist- and saw-mills which so many years occupied the site of the stone mills now owned by Messrs. Fisk and Sillman.  In 1815, Mr. Smith, together with those other public benefactors of that day, Matthew Hubbard, Amos Fisk, and Philo Booth, erected a building for religious and other public meetings, which, though not formally, yet in fact was donated to the public.  The upper part of this building was for many years used for a Masonic hall.  This was afterwards removed and fitted up for an academy, and was afterwards again removed and occupied for a fireman’s hall.  Mr. Smith, having been educated a Congregationalist, although not a member of that body, was their first and for many years their principal supporter in Ashtabula.  The village of Ashtabula is indebted to the liberality of Mr. Smith for the North public square and the cemetery adjoining it, and for many other public benefits.  About the year 1813 he became a Mason, remained in good standing in that order while his reason lasted, and his body was attended to the place of burial Jan. 15, 1857, by the members of Rising Sun lodge, No. 22, and was interred with the impressive ceremonies of the brotherhood.  For many of the later years of his life the once brilliant mind of Mr. Smith was under a mental cloud, which continued until his death.
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 145

L. W. Smith & Son
Smith's Opera House
Ashtabula, O

L. W. Smith & Son
Ashtabula Store
Ashtabula, O
  LEWIS W. SMITH.   The parents of this gentleman were James Smith, who was born in Clinton, Oneida county, New York, and Laura Scoville Smith, of Saratoga county, same State.  They came to Ohio in 1818, locating in Ashtabula and erecting a grist- and saw-mill.  These mills being among the first on the Reserve, were widely known, and patronage was drawn from a circuit of many miles.  It was in this grist-mill, in January, 1831, that the father, while freeing the wheel from ice, was so severely injured that he died from its effects within an hour.  He left considerable property, the bulk of which was, however, absorbed in settlement.  The mother survived him many years; died Nov. 14, 1875.  Lewis W. Smith was born in Ashtabula on the 23d day of September, 1825, and is the third of a family of children, three sons and two daughters.  He was educated at district school and Ashtabula academy.  Prior to 1851 he was a farmer.  At this date he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, and engaged in the retail millinery business for one year; then removed to New York and entered into the importing and jobbing of silks, millinery, and straw goods.  Continued there until 1873, when he returned to his native place, and with his son founded the now widely-known Ashtabula store.  On Jan. 6, 1849, he was, by the Rev. James Lowe, of the Methodist Episcopal church of Cleveland, Ohio, united in marriage to Mary Ann Gillmore, of that city, she being the daughter of Rev. James and Clarissa Gillmore.  The fruit of the union is James Lewis Smith, who was born Mar. 7, 1850, at Ashtabula, Ohio, and is, as stated above, a partner with his father.  Mr. Smith is one of the substantial men of Ashtabula, and is largely identified with the city’s interests, being proprietor of several of the best business blocks of the place.
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 145

Mr. & Mrs.
Plin Smith
Conneaut Twp. -
PLIN SMITH.  It was in Sheldon, Franklin county, Vermont, on the 5th day of August, 1802, that the subject of the following sketch was born.  His father, John Smith, who was born in New London, Connecticut, died when Plin was fourteen years of age; he, however, remained at home until 1821, when he came to Ohio, the greater part of the way on foot.  Arrived at the house of his uncle, Roger Cadwell, in Andover, on Feb. 15 of that year.  His first business on reaching this wilderness was chopping.  To procure an axe, he cut an acre of heavy timber and piled the brush; he estimates that this axe and helve cost him at least seven dollars.  He then hired out to chop, and continued to prosecute this vocation until he had cleared one hundred acres of forest.  From the effect of this labor he became an invalid, and returned to his native place.  In doing this he was so fortunate as to engage for a gentleman to drive cattle over the mountains to Philadelphia.  B. F. Wade was his companion, and they received for their services nine dollars per month; arrived home, he learned the trade of wagon-making.  On Jan. 25, 1829, was married to Aurelia, daughter of John Weeks, of Sheldon, Vermont, and the subsequent Oct. started again for Ohio, and after some two weeks spent on the road arrived at the above-mentioned uncle's house, purchased twenty-five acres of wild land, put up a log house, and began house-keeping.  The first wagon he built was hewn from the adjacent timber, his wife assisting him in turning the hubs, and also in sawing logs from which to make the rails necessary to fence their farm.  They have lived in Richmond and Austinburg township, but the greater part of their lives was passed in Andover.  They are living in Conneaut.  The children of this venerable pioneer couple are Philo, born June 6, 1830, married Elsie Frink, and lives in Madison, Lake county; Jasette, born Nov. 4, 1832; she is the wife of E. B. Linn, M.D., Richmond township; Sagito, born Aug. 23. 1834, married Alicia Lake, and lives in Conneaut.  Delia was born Apr. 17, 1836. married Olmstead Baker, and now resides at Andover.  Mary was born Mar. 28, 1838; she is now the wife of the Rev. L. E. Beardsley, of Akron, Ohio.  John Harrison was born Mar. 29, 1840, married Martha Hartshorn, and lives at Frayer. Iowa.  Aurelia, born Mar. 12, 1842, married Cyrenus Laughlin; home at Rouseville, Pennsylvania.  Eliza Ann, the next child, was born Mar. 19, 1844; died May 29, 1867.  Plin Weeks, born Jan. 1, 1847, married Mary Kelley, and lives in Chicago, Illinois.  Aurelia A. was born May 6, 1849; her husband is Professor N. L. Guthrie, of Conneaut.  Lizzie H., born Dec. 12, 1853, married Chas. Morris, and lives at Millerstown.  They have been life-long members of the Methodist Episcopal 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 168

Luther Spelman
Wayne Twp. -
DR. LUTHER SPELMAN, whose portrait appears in this work, was born in Granville, Massachusetts, July 27, 1779.  His father's name was John Spelman, who married Miss Damaris Rose of Granville, Massachusetts.  Dr. Spelman studied medicine with Dr. Harvey, of Massachusetts.  He married in 1804, Miss Anna Vail, of Morristown, New Jersey, a lady of Quaker descent.  The father was a cook for General Washington while his army encamped at the above-named place during the
War of the Revolution.  Dr. and Mrs. Spelman emigrated to Deerfield. Portage county, in 1808, where they remained in the wilderness for one year, when they removed to Youngstown, Mahoning county, Ohio.  In 1812, Dr. Spelman was appointed a surgeon in one of the militia regiments of Ohio, but was not able to go to the frontier, and performed duty at home in making examinations for exemptions from the service.  He was an old schoolmate of Titus Hayes, of Wayne, and, on account of the friendship existing between the families of those named, he was induced to remove to Wayne, Ashtabula County, in 1823, where he commenced the practice of medicine.  In 1823, Dr. Spelman was elected one of the associate judges of Ashtabula County, being associated with Judges Moffit, Wood, and BurchardDr. Spelman practiced medicine in Wayne and in the adjoining townships for the long period of forty years.  He died in Wayne, Sept. 3, 1863, aged eighty-four years, and his wife died in the same town, Mar. 12, 1870.  The children of Dr. L. and Anna Spelman were Corintha, born in New Jersey, Jan. 12, 1807, who married Benjamin F. Palmer, of Williamsfield; she died in Williamsfield, Feb. 20, 1846.  Sarah, born in New Jersey, Apr. 28, 1808, who married J. Anson Giddings, of Wayne.  Charles, born in Deerfield, Portage county, Ohio; died in Williamsfield, Ohio, Jan. 6, 1875.  Sidney, died at the age of ten years, at Petersburg, Columbiana county, Ohio, where the family had resided for some time.  Mary, born at Youngstown, Ohio, in March, 1814, married William J. Colby, of Cherry Valley, Ohio.  Harvey, born at Petersburg, Ohio, June 19, 1816, who died at Rome, Ohio, in 1877.  John and Henry, twin brothers, were born at Petersburg, Ohio, Jan. 30, 1818.  John married Miss Fidelia Hart, a daughter of Captain Jerry Hart, of Wayne.  John Spelman died in Wayne in 1842, and his wife Fidelia died in Wayne, June 14, 1842.  Henry Spelman married Miss Abigail Loomis, of Williamsfield.  He died in Cherry Valley, Ohio, Feb. 27, 1867.  Morris, born in Petersburg, Ohio, Dec. 31, 1820, has been a school-teacher in Wayne and Cherry Valley, and served for six years as a justice of the peace in Wayne.  July 5, 1871, he married Mrs. Rose Coulter, of Crawford county, Pennsylvania.  Their only child, Samuel A. Morris, was born in Wayne, May 6, 1875.  Franklin, youngest son of Dr. L. and Anna Spelman, was born in Williamsfield, Ohio, Oct. 22, 1824, died in Wayne, Apr. 2, 1852.  Jane, youngest daughter, born in Williamsfield, Ohio, Feb. 18, 1828, married A. T. Woodworth, of Wayne, May 26, 1847.
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 246
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HENRY CALEB AND HARVEY ALDEN SPENCER, twin sons of Platt R. Spencer, were born in Geneva, Ohio, Feb. 6, 1838.  During infancy, childhood, and early manhood they bore such close resemblance to each other that even their own mother was often puzzled to distinguish between them.  Their identity was the more difficult to establish from their roguish unwillingness during childhood to tell their names.  When they were old enough to accompany young ladies to social gatherings, it was not unusual for one to escort home the young lady the other had called for, and spend an hour in the family circle without the slightest suspicion of the exchange on the part of the young ladies or their friends.
     After the marriage of the brothers the continued resemblance caused laughable mistakes even on the part of their wives, each of whom was confident of the superiority of her choice, and wondered that people in general could not observe the marked difference.
     Persons who had met one of the brothers would invariably claim the acquaintance of the other; so that for many years their friends and reputations were common property.  The pictures preceding this sketch show that after a separation of twelve years, living in different climates and under different conditions, the resemblance has not been maintained.
     In childhood the “twins” were in constant companionship.  They attended district and select schools, Hiram Eclectic institute, and the business college, manifesting early the family talent for writing and teaching.  During their minority they taught writing-schools together and separately in East Ashtabula, at Ashtabula Harbor, Saybrook, Geneva, Jefferson, Madison, Hiram, and elsewhere.  Their father gave each of his sons and daughters practical training as teachers by making them assistants in his numerous schools and classes.  Here it is proper that the twins be noticed separately.
     HENRY C. SPENCER, at twelve years of age, was regarded by his father and other competent judges the best penman of his age in the country.  He assisted his father in many of his writing-schools, and in the public schools of Buffalo and Sandusky.  In 1858 he taught in the Bryant & Stratton Cleveland business college, the first of the celebrated chain of colleges, and, being then nineteen eyars of age, was offered a partnership.  Having other plans in reference to Spencerian, he did not accept.
     In 1859 he was in charge of penmanship in the public schools of Buffalo and in the Buffalo business college.  Subsequently, when the Spencerian copy-books were published for general use, he introduced them and systematized instruction in penmanship in the public schools of many cities and towns east and west.  Among them were Rochester, Syracuse, and Oswego, in New York; Detroit and Ypsilanti, in Michigan; Richmond and Fort Wayne, in Indiana; Madison, Wisconsin; and St. Louis, Missouri.  He was called the “Prince of Blackboard Writers,” and in this respect never found a successful competitor.
     In 1861 he located in New York city, teaching in the various institutions of the great metropolis and adjacent towns, introducing and firmly establishing the Spencerian system, and aiding in founding the Brooklyn business college.  He also taught in the Bryant & Stratton New York business college.
     In 1863 his father and himself had together prepared copies for engraving for new copy-books, and upon submitting them to Mr. Jas. W. Lusk, that he might select the most perfect, he selected for one book, from Henry's writing, twenty-two out of twenty-four of the written copies, and for another all of Henry's copies were chosen.  His father was proud of the result.
     In 1861: he was appointed superintendent of penmanship in the Bryant & Stratton chain of business colleges, comprising forty institutions located in the most important cities of the country.  In December, 1864, he married, in Poughkeepsie, New York, Miss Sara J. Andrews, a talented and estimable lady, whose acquaintance he had formed in St. Louis.  They have two promising boys.
     In 1865 he had main charge of the revision of the Spencerian publications.
     In 1866 he located in Washington, District of Columbia, where, for more than twelve years, he has successfully conducted the Spencerian business college, of which he is principal and proprietor.
     As a penman his reputation and acquaintance is co-extensive with our country.  He has instructed personally more than fifty thousand persons within twenty years, and has trained many teachers for the profession.  His penmanship, on large specimens, may be found upon the walls of business colleges in all parts of the country.
     Henry enjoys the confidence, respect, and fellowship of the best citizens of Washington, and may be counted an honored representative of Ashtabula County at the national capital.
     HARVEY A. SPENCER, is a fine penman  and an experienced commercial teacher.  From 1864 to 1866 he was engaged as teacher in the business colleges of Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts.  Since then he has taught chiefly in the western and southern States.
     He married, in 1866, a Boston lady, one of his pupils, who has the usual New England energy and force of character.
     Mr. Spencer was for several years superintendent of writing in the public schools of St. Louis, and later occupied the same position in the public schools of New Orleans.  He has traveled extensively through the south, teaching in the principal cities and towns.
     During the last five eyars he has been a citizen of Dallas, Texas.  He is business manager of the Commonwealth business college, and is also a dealer in Texas State lands.
     Harvey has the genial characteristics of his father, a clear head, a ready flow of language, and a rare faculty of making warm personal friends.
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 110
  LYMAN POTTER SPENCER,  youngest son of Platt R. Spencer, was born May 11, 1840.  He early manifested a talent for drawing, inherited from his father.  At the age of ten years he would draw striking likenesses, with pen or pencil, of those who sat for him, and he also sketched readily and faithfully from nature.  At the age of thirteen he designed and executed with pen the index page of Township Maps of Ashtabula County.  This piece of work, remarkable for a boy, consists chiefly of appropriate lettering, pen portraits of Mr. Giddings and Mr. Wade, and may be seen in the office of the county auditor at Jefferson.  Lyman was a faithful student in the district schools, attended Hiram Eclectic institute and Oberlin college.  In September, 1862, Lyman was one of the Ohio “Squirrel Hunters,” specially called out to protect the State from invasion. In June, 1863, enlisted as a private in the Second Regiment, Ohio heavy artillery, for three years or during the war.  Was made quartermaster-sergeant of the regiment, and subsequently promoted to second lieutenant, and acted as aide-de-camp on staff of Colonel H. G. Gibson.  Was on duty with his regiment and disconnected from it, to the end of the war.  Was engaged in actions in Cleveland, Tennessee, and Decatur, Alabama, and in the celebrated battle of Nashville.  To the pages of his sketch-book he committed many interesting views, and curious and amusing incidents of camp and army life.
     Since the close of the war, with the exception of two years in the State department at Washington, Lyman has been employed chiefly upon the publications of Spencerian penmanship, his skill in designing and producing work for the engraver being considered as eminently adapted to that work.  Those who visited the Centennial Exhibition may have seen the remarkable display of Spencerian penmanship by the Spencer brothers.  Prominent in the collection was a mammoth piece, the “Declaration of Independence,” designed and chiefly executed by Lyman.  It is without doubt the most artistic finished specimen of pen-work in the world.  It is valued at five thousand dollars.  With the soul of an artist, Lyman Spencer has studied and practiced art from boyhood, and produced many gems.  Some of his fine vignettes and beautiful ornamental designs and many specimens of his matchless writing have been rendered imperishable by the engraver, and multiplied in almost countless numbers by the press.
     In 1863, Mr. Lyman Spencer, the subject of this sketch, married Fidelia Bartholomew, daughter of Calvin Bartholomew, Esq., of Geneva, Ohio.  She is a devoted wife and mother.  They have four children,—two sons and two daughters, and reside in Washington, D. C.
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 110
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PLATT ROGERS SPENCER.    I have read with deep and affectionate interest the sketch of the life of Platt R. Spencer, which has been prepared for the History of Ashtabula County.  I am sure the authors of that work will honor their pages by an extended notice of that noble character.
     I first saw Mr. Spencer in 1857, when he came to Hiram, Ohio, and delivered a lecture before the students of the Eclectic institute.  I was struck with the clearness and originality of his mind, and with the pathetic tenderness of his spirit.  Soon afterwards he and his sons took charge of the department of penmanship in the institute, and from that time forward I was intimately acquainted with his mind and heart.  I have met few men who so completely won my confidence and affection.  The beautiful in nature and art led him a willing and happy captive.
     To know what books a man delights in enables us to know the man himself, and when I say that Robert Burns was one of his favorite authors it is equivalent to saying that a keen relish for the humorous, sympathy with the lowly, and love of all that is beautiful in nature and art, were the distinguishing traits of his character.
     Like all men who are well made, he was self-made.  Though his boyhood was limited by the hard lot of pioneer life, his love for the beautiful found expression in an art which his genius raised from the grade of manual drudgery to the rank of a fine art.
     It is honorable to undertake any worthy work and accomplish it successfully.  It is great to become the first in any such work, and it is unquestionably true that Mr. Spencer made himself the foremost penman of the world.  And this he did without masters.  He not only became the first penman, but he analyzed all the elements of chirography, simplified its forms, arranged them in consecutive order, and created a system which has become the foundation of instruction in that art in all the public schools of our country.
     But his mind was too large and his sympathy too quick and active to be confined to any one pursuit.  The poor and the oppressed found in him a friend and champion.  He was always ready to lend a helping hand to those who were struggling for a higher culture; for he had experienced in his own life the obstacles which poverty places in the pathway of generous and ambitious youth.
     To such a nature the right of every man to his freedom was as clear as his right to the air and sunshine, and hence we find that in the beginning of the anti-slavery agitation, at a time when sympathy with the slave meant not only political but social ostracism, Mr. Spencer was outspoken in his denunciation of slavery in all its forms.
     I shall never forget the ardor with which he supported the cause of the Union against the slaveholders’ rebellion, and the sadness with which he referred to the fact that he was too old to serve his country in the field.  He did not live to see the final triumph of the Union, but he saw the light of coming victory and shared the joy of its promise.
     To the thousands of young men and women who enjoyed the benefit of his brilliant instruction, to the still larger circle of his friends and acquaintances, and to all who love a gifted, noble, and true-hearted man, the memory of his life will remain a perpetual benediction.
                                                                                           JAMES A. GARFIELD.

WASHINGTON, D. C., Apr. 20, 1878.

     Platt R. Spencer was a man of a rare combination of qualities.  With an intellect clear and active, and a memory exceedingly tenacious, he united a strong poetic sense, lively imagination, and sincere love for the beautiful in nature and in art. At times subject to melancholy, he was in general of a cheerful disposition, prolific in anecdote, and possessed of a keen relish for humor.  With a fine sense of justice and honor, he was inclined to be more exacting of himself in his dealings than of others.  His affections were strong and his friendships abiding.  He was a generous, open-hearted man, overflowing with good-will, with few enmities, and not a particle of guile or hypocrisy in his nature.
     The father of the subject of our sketch was Caleb Spencer, a native of Rhode Island, and a soldier of the Revolution.  He married a Massachusetts woman, Jerusha Coveil, from the town of Chatham, on Cape Cod.  They settled in the eastern part of the State of New York, living for a few years in Dutchess county.  Then for a time in Westchester, when they returned to Dutchess, and occupied a farm on the high hills of East Fishkill. It was here, on the 7th of November, in the first year of this century, that Platt Rogers Spencer was born.
     He was the youngest of a family of eleven, nine of whom were boys.  Two of these gave their lives to their country in the War of 1812,—one dying at Malden, Canada, in the army under Harrison, and the other while a prisoner by the surrender of Detroit.
     In Platt’s third year we find the family removed from Fishkill and living near the Hudson, in the vicinity of Wappinger’s Falls.  Their next home was upon the Catskill mountains, in Windham, Greene county, New York.  The parents were true children of New England, born and reared upon its rugged coast, and nothing seems to have pleased them better than to face the mountain winds, and wring from intractable soils the necessaries of life.  They had few riches beyond the promising band of young hearts that gathered at their fireside.  These they gave such educational privileges as their scanty means would afford, and trained to the exercise of sterling virtues.
     The beautiful scenery of the Catskills and the Hudson left a lasting impress upon Platt’s susceptible young mind, and ever afterwards in his western home, among attractions less picturesque, and of a quite different order, he cherished a delightful remembrance of the charms of nature,—the blue mountain ridges, the glens, cascades, and expansive views that surrounded him in early childhood.
     It was here in Windham, at the age of seven, that he began to exhibit a fondness for his favorite art.  His taste manifested itself, almost before he had begun to handle the pen, in his observations and criticisms of the handwriting of the public notices posted at the door of the school-house.
     His first, and, it seems, his only instructor in writing, was Samuel Baldwin, the district schoolmaster. Of the beginning of his “ chirographic pilgrimage,” seated upon a slab bench in the Windham school-house, and armed with the indispensable goose-quill and Barlow knife, he afterwards gave one of his characteristically graphic and humorous accounts.
     Nothing will better illustrate the intensity of his boyish passion for his art than the story of his first whole sheet of paper, which we cannot forbear reciting in his own words.  He says, “Up to February, 1808, I had never been the rich owner of a whole sheet of paper.  At that time, becoming the fortunate proprietor of a cent, I dispatched it by a lumberman to Catskill, which, though twenty miles distant, was the nearest market, and instructed him to purchase the desired paper.  He returned at midnight, and the bustle awakening me, I inquired eagerly for the result of his mission.  He had been successful, and brought the sheet to my bedside, rolled tightly and tied with a black linen thread.  Having carried it the entire distance in his bosom, it was of course much wrinkled.  I at once arose, and having smoothed it commenced operations.  Before its arrival, my imagination had pictured to me what beautiful work I could do thereon.  But the trial proved a failure.  I could not produce a single letter to my mind; and after an hour’s feverish effort, I returned to my bed disappointed, and to be haunted by feverish dreams.”
     Paper being to Platt a luxury rarely attainable in those days, he had recourse to other materials.  The bark of the birch-tree, the sand-beds by the brook, and the ice and snow in winter, furnished his practice sheets.  One of his favorite resorts also was the shop of his indulgent old friend the shoemaker, whose depleted ink-horn and sides of leather covered with the efforts of the young enthusiast, gave frequent proof of his boyish zeal.
     Platt had lost his father in his sixth year, and the care of the family had devolved upon the mother, a woman of much energy and perseverance, and upon the elder brothers.  The pioneer spirit seized the family, and quitting their mountain home, they turned their faces towards the new State of Ohio, in the then far western wilderness.
     After a tedious journey of fifty-one days in wagons, they arrived in Jefferson, Ashtabula County, Ohio, on the 5th of December, 1810.  The family gradually separated, settling in the shore-towns of Kingsville, Ashtabula, and Geneva.
    Platt had left  his eastern home with reluctance.  He feared that even the meagre advantages of schools and education he there enjoyed would in the new country he denied him, and the hopes that had begun to dawn in his young breast be doomed to disappointment.  In the many privations and rugged labors of the pioneers he had to bear his part, but his love for his pen and desire for learning were too deeply rooted to die out.  Of books there were few, and teachers almost none; yet, without repining for denied advantages, he made industrious use of those at hand.  The poet's injunction,

"That is best which lieth nearest,
Shape form that they work of art,"

found an early lodgment in his heart.
     The shore of the noble lake near which he dwelt had a peculiar fascination for him.  There he loved to spend his leisure hours, and its broad, beautiful beach from spring till autumn, and its expanse of ice in winter, he covered with endless chirographic tracings.
     To a mind like his, keenly responsive to Nature’s touch, such a school, even in such an art, could not be fruitless.  The perfections of form and movement in the things about him—in wild flowers and trailing vines that adorned the bank, the rounded pebbles at his feet, the birds that soared or skimmed the surface of the lake, and, more than all, the restless, unwearied, rhythmic sweep of the waves—diffused through him their influence upon his work, and, as he practiced on, those forms and ideas grew that in after-years lent a charm both to his teachings and to the products of his pen.  Of the impress thus received, he long afterwards beautifully wrote, under the title “ Origin of Spencerian Writing,” the following:

“Evolved ’mid Nature’s unpruned scenes,
On Erie's wild and woody shore,
The rolling wave, the dancing streams,
The wild rose haunts in days of yore.
“ The opal, quartz, and ammonite
Gleaming beneath the wavelet’s flow,
Each gave its lesson how to write.
In ihe loved years of long ago.
“I seized the forms I loved so well,
Compounded them as meaning signs.
And, to the music of the swell,
Blent them with undulating vines.
“ The grace that clustered round me came
Through the rapt sense to living forms,
And flowing lines, with rapture traced,
The broad and shining beach adorned.
“ Thanks, Nature, for the impress pure;
Those tracings in the sand are gone;
But while the love of thee endures
Their grace and ease shall still live on.”

     In his twelfth year Platt enjoyed for a time the privileges of a school opened by Mr. Harvey Nettleton, in Conneaut.  In order that he might not be disturbed by the mischief-loving, or lose a grain of this golden opportunity, he partitioned off from the rest his desk in the corner, and there applied himself eagerly to his studies.  The copies and instructions in writing required in the school were furnished by him.  Here, also, he made his first attempt, that has been preserved, at
     Being anxious to complete the study of arithmetic, we find Platt a while after this walking twenty miles, barefooted, over a frozen frontier road to obtain the loan of a copy of Daboll.  His sole refreshment upon this trip was a lunch of raw turnips at a wayside patch, and being overtaken by night, upon his return, he sought his lodging in a settler’s barn, being too bashful to apply at the cabin near by for accommodations.
     After leaving Mr. Nettleton’s school he was employed as a clerk in a store, first by Mr. Ensign, of Conneaut, and afterwards by Mr. Anan Harmon, of Ashtabula.  With the latter be remained some years.  It is related that while in the employ of that gentleman, who, among other things, was a ship-owner, Platt was at one time, when about seventeen, sent out with a vessel as supercargo, and that on her return to port the decks, cabins, and sides of the craft were covered with multitudinous chirographic embellishments, the handiwork, it need not be said, of the young supercargo.
     Use in actual business now gave to his writing the required practical mould, and continuing to think and practice much upon his art, with increased facilities, his ideas and skill developed so rapidly that ere his twentieth year, it is said, the beautiful style and system were essentially formed, which he afterwards practiced, taught, and published.
     Mr. Spencer seems now to have been employed for some years in teaching writing and common schools.   His fine social and intellectual qualities also, and his talents as a public speaker, were manifested, and, together with his skill as a penman, were continually increasing his reputation and widening the circle of his friends.  His fine social and intellectual qualities also, and his talents as a public speaker, were manifested, and, together with his skill as a penman, were continually increasing his reputation and widening the circle of his friends.  In 1825 he re-visited the east, and continued for two years teaching in the vicinity of the homes of his childhood.  Then, returning to the west, he was married in the year 1828 to Miss Persis Duty, also one of the teachers of those pioneer times, and a woman of sterling character.  They settled in Ashtabula for a time, and then removed to Geneva, where, save short residences in Jefferson and Oberlin, they continued thereafter to make their home.
     Here upon his farm, and not far distant from his house, with the forest in the background, a pleasant grassy lawn in front, and groups of peach-trees and thrifty chestnuts shading its sides or growing near, stood the famous rustic structure he used as a school-room, and known as Jericho, or the Log Seminary.  He would alternate his teaching at cities and villages abroad with classes at the Log Seminary, and at this shrine, year after year, were gathered from far and near the devotees of the chirographic art to light their tapers at its genial flame.  Here the atmosphere of cheerful kindliness surrounding the master, the works of his pen, and the charm of his instructions, quaint, humorous, wise, and full of quiet enthusiasm, made the times spent at Jericho “red-letter days” in the memory ofthose who enjoyed its advantages.
     In 1838, Mr. Spencer was elected treasurer of Ashtabula County, and he served the people with such acceptance in that capacity, that he was retained by them for twelve years in the discharge of the duties of that office.
     In the establishment of commercial and business colleges Mr. Spencer was a pioneer. In 1852 we find him at the head of the Spencerian Commercial college in Pittsburgh, his eldest son, Robert, one of the principal teachers of commercial branches.  That prosperous institution after two years, owing to the protracted sickness of Mr. Spencer, was sold to Peter Duff, and merged into the well-known Duff college.  In 1855, two of Mr. Spencer's pupils, Messrs. Lusk & Stratton, arranged to open an institution in Cleveland, and were soon joined by Mr. H. B. Bryant, and the school called Bryant, Lusk & Stratton’s Commercial college.  Mr. Spencer was the chief benefactor of the enterprise; his ideas, his extensive acquaintance and high reputation as a teacher, and his famous system of penmanship, under the business tact and management of Mr. H. D. Stratton, especially, were utilized not only in the establishment of the Cleveland institution, but in the establishment successively of forty or more similar colleges in the important commercial centres of the United States and Canada.  These have made a grateful mark upon the business interests of our times, and shaped the career of many thousand young men.
     As early as in 1842 he became interested in the temperance reform, then beginning to engage the attention of the people.  His own prolonged struggle with the tempter in earlier life—in which he was helped to gain the victory by the kindly, Christian influence of his wife—brought this subject home to him with a vital interest.  From the first he took the strong and safe ground of total abstinence from everything which could intoxicate.  He was active in forming and maintaining temperance associations, was constantly using his personal influence, and frequently his gifts as a public speaker and poet in behalf of the cause.  This stanza is from one of his temperance poems, entitled “ Touch not, taste not”:

“ Touch not the juice that wooes the taste,
Its promises are false and frail;
Its siren pleasures quickly waste,
And all its proffered treasures fail.”

     When the crusade against slavery began in this country, Mr. Spencer was among the first who rallied to the standard.  Human slavery was a thing abhorrent to his generous, liberty-loving soul; and he joined earnestly in the work of freeing his country from that terrible blot of crime and suffering.  A friend of Joshua R. Giddings, he was one of those men whose hearty co-operation and sympathy at home upheld the hands of that gallant old disciple of freedom in the national councils.
     It was the influence of such spirits that, when two-thirds of the north cowered at the feet of the slave power, made the Western Reserve one of the strongholds of freedom.
     In his public addresses, particularly in the Fourth of July orations he was called upon to deliver from time to time, Mr. Spencer would frequently employ the opportunity to raise his voice effectively against the great national crime.  Among his papers we find the following note from Mr. Giddings, addressed to him from the hall of representatives at Washington:
     “Thanks for that speech, which I presume was delivered on the Fourth. That is the true style; let us have the words of independent freemen on every hand, in every place, and on every occasion.  These are stirring times.  Our cause is onward.”
     He lived to see the contest between freedom and slavery transferred from the court of reason to the terrible arbitrament of the sword.  And although he was not permitted to see the end, he retained a firm faith that the principles he so cherished would eventually triumph, and his country emerge from the conflict a truly united people.
     Mr. Spencer took a deep interest in historical subjects, especially those relating to his own county.  When the Ashtabula Historical and Philosophical society was formed, in 1838, he was chosen its secretary; an office he continued to fill till the time of his death.  He loved the annals of the early times, and it was mainly through his efforts that the history of his county was gathered and recorded for preservation.
     While Mr. Spencer was widely known for his noble personal qualities and generous sympathies in matters of general interest and welfare, his name, in connection with his own profession, has become a household word throughout the land.  The admirable system of writing which he produced forms the root whence nearly all others taught in the schools of our country to-day are but outgrowths.  In style he chose the golden mean between the labored fullness of the round hand and the rigid sharpness of the angular, aiming to combine the legibility of the one with the ease and directness of execution of the other.  He introduced, also, improved forms of capitals, a simple and beautiful analysis and classification of both small letters and capitals, and a tasteful mingling of light and shade.  With these he combined a correct theory of position and movement, and a free use of exercises to discipline and develop the muscles employed to wield the pen.
     His idea was, as expressed in his own words, to present a system

“ Plain to the eye, and gracefully combined
To train the muscles and inform the mind,”

and he must be accorded the praise of having well achieved his high ideal.
     The first publication of the system by himself was in the year 1848, and in the form of copy-slips with printed instructions.  In this he was associated with Victor M. Rice, a former pupil, and afterwards superintendent of public instruction for the State of New York.  In 1859 he was induced to present the system in copy-book form.  In 1861, in connection with his sons and Mr. James W. Lusk, an old pupil and well-tried friend, he revised his system and produced a new and beautiful series of copy-books, which were first published by Phinney & Co., Buffalo; but in 1869 were transferred to the house of Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor & Co., of New York, the present publishers.  The popularity of the system was shown by the fact that, during the year succeeding the publication of this series, more than a million of copies were distributed to the youth of the country.
     Since Mr. Spencer’s death the care of the system has fallen to his sons, assisted from time to time by other teachers of experience.  And they have been enabled to build so well upon the noble foundation laid by the father, that his system now meets with perhaps wider use and favor than ever before.
     Mr. Spencer’s poetical spirit found early and frequent expression.  His first attempt at versification, that has been preserved, was written at the age of twelve, when a pupil at Mr. Nettleton’s school.  This youthful effusion was again read at a reunion of the survivors of that pioneer school fifty years afterwards.  It celebrated, in humorous style, the fall of the master through a rotten puncheon in the floor into an excavation beneath.  His emerging thence, greeted by the unbounded merriment of his scholars, is thus expressed in one stanza of the rhyme:

“He struggles up—he’s out again,
Greeted with sturdy roar,
A shout that burst our paper panes,
And died on Erie’s shore.”

     Most of his poetical productions appeared from time to time under his own name or the assumed titles, “Cleonora,” “A Young Lady,” and “The Western Bard,” in the periodical press.  These embrace poems humorous and sentimental, temperance and religious poems, and those historical and chirographic.  They evince the presence of a genuine poetical instinct, and reflect well the rich current of their author’s thought and feeling through life.
     His favorite poet was Burns, and the influence of his fondness for that poet may be traced in some of his own productions.
     His love for versification was continually manifesting itself, even in those things seemingly farthest removed from the realm of the muses.
     No prospectus for a writing class, no circular advertising his copy-slips, and no copy-book cover or sheet of instructions to accompany his slips or books, was regarded as complete without a few pertinent lines of poetry, which were usually of his own composition, and some of them veritable gems.  On one of his copybook covers we find the following:

“The tongue is not the only way,
Through which the active mind is heard:
But the good pen as well can say,
In tones as sweet, a gentle word.
Then speed we on, this art to gain, —
Which leads all others in its train;
Embalms our toils from day to day, —
Bids budding virtues live for aye;
Brings learning home, the mind to store,
Before our school-day scenes are o’er.”

     In the calls for meetings of the historical society, which as its secretary he issued from time to time, he was wont to weave in bits like the following:

“Gather we from the shadowy past
      The struggling beams that linger yet,
  Ere o’er those flickering lights is cast
      The shroud that none can penetrate.”

     It was this poetical spirit, in the main, that enabled him to throw about an art commonly regarded as dry and uninteresting a charm that made it attractive often to the most stolid and indifferent.
     While Mr. Spencer’s occupation through life was mainly that of a teacher, he lived upon a farm which he owned and carried on.  Though the work of the farm was intrusted to other hands, yet he was fond of joining at times in its labors: which afforded a pleasant and healthful relief from the confinement of his profession.  Fishing and bathing parties to the lake were also favorite recreations with him, into which he entered with the utmost zest even to the last years of his life.
     In his domestic relations he was peculiarly happy.  One could hardly be found fonder of his own fireside or more loved and respected there than was he.  Called much from home by his profession, it still remained to him the one greenest, sunniest spot on earth.  He wrote, -

“ I would not change my humble cot,
      Reclining o’er blue Erie's waves,
For India's richest, spiciest spot,
      With nought that friendship gives or craves.”

     These lines occur in a poem on “Home,” written when that home was a log cabin in the woods.  He loved to have his children about him, and for them would draw forth from his rich resources of knowledge, humor, and experience such things as would amuse and instruct, always inculcating lessons of the highest honor and truth.
      In 1862 he met with a sad loss in the death of his wife.  His intense sympathy for her in her long and trying illness, together with the affliction of her death, so wrought upon him that he seemed never to regain fully his wonted spirit and vigor; nor, though continuing in the discharge of his duties, did he retain in the affairs of life the interest of former days.
      He did not long survive his loved companion. As the spring of 1864 was beginning to open, his declining health obliged him to lay down his faithful pen, which was not again to be resumed.  An illness protracted through several weeks, but comparatively free from pain, seemed to be yielding kiudly to the treatment of his physicians, when an unexpected change in its character left little room for hope; and on the 16th of May,—when it was expected that he would still survive some days or weeks,—with scarcely a struggle, he passed peacefully away.
      From the tributes to his memory we select the following from the gifted pen of his nephew, W. P. Spencer, as a fitting conclusion to this imperfect sketch of a truly noble, useful, and beautiful life:

"A debt of gratitude is due to thee,
       Great master of the Pen !
Thy beauteous forms, so bold, so free,
In all the walks of life we see
       Amid the haunts of men!

"Wherever commerce spreads her wings
       To bear the wealth of trade,
This noble art its offering brings,
And on its record daily springs
       The forms thy genius made.

"The Pen glides on, but others guide
       Its track along the page;
But while time rolls its ceaseless tide,
Who loves this art will point with pride
       To this, its golden age.

"Nor less than in this peerless art
       Dost thou in memory shine;
For thou wast kind and pure in heart, —
In life’s great drama was thy part
       Played with a will sublime.

"Gone but too soon, Teacher and Friend,
       Yet thou hast earned thy fame:
It lives in all thy band hath penned, —
The work of art with which we blend
       Thy loved and deathless name.”

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 107

  PLATT R. SPENCER, JR. third son and namesake of his father, was born May 3, 1835, in Geneva, Ohio.  At three years of age he entered school at Jefferson, where his parents were temporarily residing.  Their return to Geneva two years later secured to him the advantages of the “old red school-house,” near the homestead, and the healthful exercise incident to farm life.  When eight years of age he entered the academy at Jefferson, his father being engaged, incidentally to his duties as county treasurer, in teaching writing in the ball-room of the Jefferson House.  The youthful
Platt was one of his most zealous pupils, and it soon became evident that the peculiar gifts of the father were inherent in the son.  When he had attained the age of twelve years the fame of “Spencer’s Log Seminary” was attracting pupils from all parts of the laud, and Platt junior was relegated from the position of learner to that of assistant teacher.  He labored successfully in this capacity, with intervals of work upon the farm, until fifteen years of age, when he opened his
first school in East Ashtabula, followed by others in neighboring towns.  A year later we find him at Hiram college, zealously pursuing his studies and defraying his expenses by teaching writing.  The same system of labor and study was maintained subsequently at Kingsville academy.  In the spring of 1856 he entered Bryant & Stratton’s college at Cleveland, and completed the business course during the following year, having charge of the writing department during the time.  He then went to Pittsburgh as instructor in the Iron City college.  The next year he became connected with the Bryant & Stratton college of Chicago, where he remained several years.  In 1860 he assumed a similar position in the Bryant & Stratton college of Philadelphia.  In Dec. of this year Mr. Spencer married Mary Duty, of Cleveland, a lady of fine culture, a daughter of one of the pioneer residents of that city, and began his married life in Philadelphia.  They have, living, four interesting children.  A little later the certainties of civil war began to divert the energies of the youth of America from the peaceful pursuits of learning to the sterner duties of the camp and field.  Mr. Spencer therefore turned his attention to a new field of labor and secured the position of teacher of writing in the public schools of Cleveland, which office he discharged for two years with great credit to himself and profit to the city.  In 1863, Mr. Spencer became resident principal and half-owner of the Bryant & Stratton college of Indianapolis, and conducted a very successful business.  While in Indianapolis Mr. Spencer was baptized and confirmed in Christ church, of the Episcopal denomination, of which he is still an active member. In 1865, Mr. Spencer established the Spencerian Institute of Penmanship at Geneva, Ohio.  The great advantages of the school, aided by the historic associations of the town as being the place where the illustrious author of the “ Spencerian” had lived and labored, drew hither as pupils a great number of ladies and gentlemen from all parts of the Union.  Mr. Spencer here enjoyed the privilege of residing at the “ old homestead,” amid the cherished associations of his boyhood; but his duties became too burdensome, and the institute was removed to Cleveland and incorporated with the Union (old Bryant & Stratton) college.  In 1877 he became sole owner of this college, and later changed its name to “Spencerian Business College.”  This college, under other names, has for twenty-six years occupied a leading position among schools of its kind;  but under Mr. Spencer’s intelligent management, aided by a large corps of teachers of wide experience and ability, and in the closest sympathy with his plans and principles, the college has attained a popularity hitherto unknown.  In Mr. Spencer’s peculiar department, his reputation as penman and teacher is second only to that of his father, and undoubtedly a greater number of the best penmen of the United States owe their proficiency to his instruction than to any other living teacher.  But it is not alone in his skill with the pen that Mr. Spencer seems most worthily to bear his father’s name.  The same close sympathy that existed between the father’s pupils and himself seems to be a marked feature of the son’s work as teacher.  Mr. Spencer not only takes a genuine, practical interest in the welfare of all his pupils, but strives to imbue them with his own high sense of honor and refinement of taste and character.  This has proved very helpful and elevating to his pupils generally, but especially to the young when at the formative period of character.
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 110
  ROBERT CLOSSON SPENCER, son of Platt Rogers and Persis Duty Spencer, the oldest of eleven children,—six sons and five daughters,—was born June 22, 1829, in the village of East Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, Ohio; removed in infancy with his parents to Geneva, in the same county, where he grew to manhood, attended the district schools, worked on the farm, with several terms at Jefferson and Kingsville academies; graduated at Gundry’s Mercantile college, Cincinnati, in 1851; soon after joined Hon. Victor M. Rice in a commercial school at Buffalo, New York; then united with Bryant, Stratton & Co. in organizing and extending their chain of commercial colleges,
having charge successively of schools at Buffalo, Chicago, St. Louis, and at Milwaukee, where he went in 1863, and has established his permanent residence.
     At the outbreak of the war of secession he was in the St. Louis college, but joined the Union army under General Nathaniel Lyon.  On his return to the St. Louis college, he found the sentiment in the school strongly disloyal.  Confederate flags were raised by students over their desks without objection from teachers.  Mr. Spencer announced that the college would live or die under the Stars and Stripes, and at once proceeded to gather and destroy all emblems of secession that were displayed in the institution.  This act drove away nearly all the students and made enemies of the secessionists in the community, but enlisted the warm sympathy and support of Unionists, and the college soon began to prosper more than ever before.
     In 1865, Mr. Spencer led a reformatory movement in business colleges that separated him from Bryant & Stratton and some of his old professional associates and co-laborers.  The movement caused a somewhat heated and bitter conflict, but resulted successfully in the formation of the International Business College association upon a basis that enlisted Mr. Spencer’s hearty co-operation, in which he served two years as corresponding secretary and member of the executive board; was then elected president, and in his annual address to the association outlined what was pronounced the most comprehensive, practical, and elevated view of the scope, functions, and future of business education and business colleges that had ever been presented.  It was the opinion that the ground mapped out and the work indicated in that address comprehended all that could be accomplished in the next half-century.
     In the field of business education Mr. Spencer’s influence and views are widely felt, and are distinguished for their solid merit and elevated character.  Although his best energies are devoted to his college in Milwaukee, in the education and training of young men for business, he is at the same time an ardent and active friend of public schools, advocating and leading the most liberal and progressive measures on that subject.  Through his instrumentality organizations have been formed in Milwaukee around the public schools of the city “to promote public education, encourage culture, develop social life, and foster general improvement in the interest of all the people.”  In the board of school commissioners of Milwaukee he has done much for the improvement of the public schools and the development of the school system.
     Although it was thought that be could have been elected, he declined to allow his name to be used as a candidate for the office of mayor of Milwaukee.  The known liberality of his views induced the Socialist party of Wisconsin to seek Mr. Spencer as their standard-bearer for governor of the State, which he peremptorily declined, on the ground that he was opposed to some of their views and tendencies regarding property, etc.  The independence of his political and religious opinions disincline him to the restraints of public office, and attract him toward reform movements, in which he is moderate and judicious though firm and resolute.
     The National Liberal league, having for its platform of principles “ the total 0separation of religion and the state,” “ national protection to national citizens in their equal religious, civil, and political rights,” and “ universal education as the basis of universal suffrage in this free republic,” appointed Mr. Spencer on its national executive board and head of the organization in Wisconsin.
     To these measures he lends his influence with characteristic liberality and energy.
     Mr. Spencer has been twice married. May 15, 1853, he united in marriage with Miss Sarah Elizabeth Beach, second daughter of William and Susan Roop Beach, Erie county, New York, a lady of rare talents, refinement, and beauty of character, whose acquaintance he formed in Buffalo, where she was known as a most accomplished teacher.  She died in 1856, leaving an infant son, Junius.
     June 22, 1863, he married Mrs. Ellen Whiton King, widow of Chancy P. King, a lawyer of Janesville, Wisconsin, daughter of Hon. Daniel G. Whiton, and niece of Edward V. Whiton, first chief-justice of Wisconsin.  By this marriage there are seven children, Robert C., Jr., Edward W., Henry K., Anna E., Charles L., George S., and Earnest D.
     The residence of Mr. Spencer in Milwaukee, on Prospect avenue, is by the shore of Lake Michigan, looking out upon Milwaukee bay, a most delightful spot, not unlike the haunts of his boyhood, the shore of Lake Erie, at Geneva.  The Spencerian business college at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, of which Mr. Spencer is founder and proprietor, holds the highest rank, and is widely and favorably known for its thoroughness and success in educating and training young men for business life.
     During the past twenty-five years Mr. Spencer has instructed thousands, who are well represented among the best business men of our own and other countries.  As a business educator he makes a deep impression upon the minds and character of his students, inspiring the best spirit and giving safe direction to their ambition and energies.
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 111

W. P. Spencer
     The Spencer family, of which the subject of this sketch is a descendant, were “Roger Williams' ” people, and first settled in Rhode Island.  His branch of the family removed to Connecticut in early times, thence to Fishkill Landing, Dutchess county, New York, and afterwards, about the year 1803, to Windham, Greene county, in the same State.  Here the grandfather of the subject of this notice died soon after, and the grandmother, with the three younger sons.—Daniel M., Harvey S., and Platt R., with her only daughter, Phebe, afterwards Mrs. Dr. Coleman, of Ashtabula,—determined to remove to the “New Connecticut.”  She made the long, perilous journey through the wilderness, reaching Jefferson, in Ashtabula, in the year 1807 or 1808.  After a residence in that town of some two years she removed, first to Austinburg, remaining in that town about one year, when she again broke up her home, and settled in Geneva with her family, where the son, Harvey S., married Miss Louisa Snedeker, in the year 1817, and settled on a farm on the North Ridge road, about one mile east of the village of Geneva.  Here Warren Platt, his third son, was born on the 23d day of June, 1825.  In the year following, his father removed to a new farm on the shore of Lake Erie, in Geneva, the locality being quite widely known at the present time as "Sturgeon Point.”  Here the son grew up in the rugged duties of farm life, with seasons of attendance at the district school.  It was just the place at that early day to get deeply in love with nature as exhibited in the surroundings.  The waters of the lake la)- before, and the vast forests, almost unbroken, formed the background of the scene.  The limited facilities for study and improvement afforded by the schools of the time became apparent as the son approached man’s estate, and he determined to cut loose from the old home and seek other fields.  The want of means to study abroad was met with the pen, in the use of which he had been carefully and kindly taught by his uncle, Platt R. Spencer, who had already become famous as the foremost penman and teacher of his time.  Aided by the avails of teaching the art of writing, he was enabled to pursue his studies for several terms at Jefferson academy, taught by Ashbel Bailey, and at Farmington academy, Trumbull county, Ohio, under charge of Professor Thomas.  In the autumn of 1846 he entered Twinsburg institute, in Summit county, Ohio, presided over by Rev. Samuel Bissell, and one of the most popular schools of that day in the State, where he remained, with the exception of two terms, for three years, leaving in August, 1849.
     On returning to Ashtabula County, in the month of Sept. following, he entered the auditor's office as a clerk, the office at that time being presided over by that excellent officer, J. C. A. Bushnell.  In the capacity of clerk he alternated between the auditor's and treasurer's offices for four years,—the last-named office being administered by P. R. Spencer and Caleb Spencer during the time.  In September, 1854, he left Jefferson, went to Buffalo. New York, and took charge of the writing department of the public schools of the city for six months, and then became a teacher in the Buffalo mercantile college of Bryant, Lusk & Stratton, the second college of the great chain that afterwards took in nearly all the principal cities of the Union and the Canadian provinces.  Serving in such capacity about one year, he next was employed as teacher of penmanship and as book-keeper for the Buffalo female seminary, under charge of Dr. Charles West, serving till June, 1857.  In Aug. of that year, having for several years previous spent his leisure time in the reading of the law, he went to the city of Albany, New York, and entered the law department of the University of Albany as a student, graduating therefrom, on examination, in the class of 1858.  Returning to Ohio in March of that year, he was employed as a teacher in the Cleveland business college, Dr. J. C. Bryant, principal, and in Aug. following was united in marriage with Miss Parthenia H. Gaylord, daughter of Levi Gaylord, Jr., and granddaughter of Major Levi Gaylord, a soldier of the Revolution, who settled in Geneva in the year 1806.
     Finding his health failing from long and close labor and study, he set out in the month of March, 1859, for the terra incognita of that time,—the Pike’s Peak gold country,—together with six companions, footing the entire distance from the Missouri river up the great Arkansas valley to Pueblo, in Colorado, thence north to the South Platte river, where the city of Denver is now built, and from there into the mountains to where the “Gregory mines” were located, now the site of Black Hawk and Central City, driving an ox-train the entire distance, about eight hundred, miles!  This train was reputed at the time to be one of the first dozen to reach the “diggins” after the discovery of gold in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Spending the summer of 1859 with his companions in the mining region, he returned in the following fall down the valley of the Platte river to the Missouri, walking the entire distance, and assisting to drive the train of oxen.
     This campaign of “roughing it” restored his health completely, and he went back to Buffalo in November, 1859, entered into a copartnership with Messrs. Bryant & Stratton in conducting the Buffalo mercantile college, which existed for nearly two years, when he withdrew, and was chosen by the board of education to conduct the writing department of the Buffalo public schools. In the spring of 1864, after serving two years, he resigned the position and returned to Geneva, Ohio, for a home, but continued to teach at intervals in Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Buffalo, and other points till July, 1868, when he, with C. A. Vaughan, purchased the office of the Geneva Times newspaper, established Jan. 1, 1867, by W. H. ThorpMr. Spencer was, however, the editor of the Times from the first, and wrote the “salutatory” for the first number of the paper, issued Dec. 20, 1866.  The copartnership of Spencer & Vaughan terminated Sept. 30, 1873, by the purchase of Mr. Vaughan’s interest by H. W. Lindergreen, the junior member of the present firm.
     The Geneva Times at this writing, 1878, is in its twelfth volume, with Mr. Spencer still at its head, laboring faithfully to make it a journal worthy of the enterprising town in which it is published, and of its numerous and intelligent readers.  The Times was established as a Republican paper in politics, in which political faith it steadfastly remains.
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 122

Romanzo Spring

Residence of
R. Spring,
Ashtabula Co., OH

Geneva Twp. & Village -
ROMANZO SPRING.  It is with pleasure that we present the following sketch of the life of the above-named, who is emphatically one of the self-made men of Geneva.  He is the sixth of a family of nine.  His parents, Squire and Polly Spring, originally of Vermont, emigrated to Painesville, Lake county, in the year 1814.  Mr. Spring, Sr., took an active part in the building up of that now beautiful city.  In 1821 removed to Fairport, and engaged in the hotel business; was also owner of the “Columbus,” one of the finest vessels built upon this shore at that time.  In 1828 removed to Saybrook, in this county, purchased a farm, built a hotel, and died there in 1844.
     Romanzo, the subject of this sketch, was born in Saybrook, Jan. 24, 1829, and was, upon the death of his father, thrown entirely upon his own resources, and he has perhaps had one of the most eventful business careers of any man of his age in the county.  His education was acquired at the district school, with one year at Kingsville academy.  Entered the store of James Mills, at Unionville, as clerk, remained perhaps two years, and then came to Geneva and began business for himself.  The building now occupied by the Times office stood where is now the post-office.  In this he established the pioneer drug-store in Geneva; continued in this until 1855, when he sold out.  Removed to Delaware, Ohio; entered into partnership with Judge Wood and others in the forwarding and commission business; closed out in 1856.  Went to Cleveland, and engaged in packing and shipping beef to Europe for the Crimean soldiers.  Went to Warren, Trumbull county, in the spring following, purchased an extensive drug-store, where he carried on a wholesale and retail business until 1859, when he returned to Geneva, and established a hardware-store, on the site now occupied by Charles Talcott & Co.
     In 1861, Mr. Spring disposed of this stock, and went to war; was then second lieutenant of Company “ F,” Light Artillery.  On expiration of service, he returned to Geneva, and, in 1865, established a dry-goods store,
in company with H. W. Turner.  This was eventually merged into the firm of Stephens, Turner, Lamb & Co.
     In the fall of 1866 ho made his celebrated “raid” into Tennessee, and many doubtless remember the cavalcade of mules, horses, oxen, army wagons, contrabands, etc., with which he came by special train to Geneva, on his way to the oil regions, where he fondly hoped to strike a “ big bonanza” by transporting oil, but the establishment of pipe-lines entirely obviated the need of team transit.  A halt was ordered.  The contrabands returned to their homes in the sunny south, in part, the balance finding homes in this vicinity.  The wagons were donated to the town; and after again returning to the south with the mules, and disposing of the same, he found that the trial balance-sheet showed well in the item of profit and loss, with the latter largely in excess.
     In 1869, upon the passage of the bankrupt law, he made a specialty of closing out bankrupt stocks, of which he has handled fifty-four.
     In 1872, he purchased the dry-goods establishment of Stephens, Turner, Lamb & Co., which is still in successful operation. In October, 1877, he established a fine furniture-store in Geneva.
     He was first married, Oct. 20, 1852, to Miss Mary J., daughter of Aseph Turner, by whom he had three children, viz.: Charley, the eldest, died in infancy; Edwin Wilbur, born Mar. 27, 1856, now at Oberlin college; and Nellie M., born Jan. 26, 1859, who is at Beaver college, Pa.
     He married his present wife, Sophia Morse, in Norwich, N. Y., Aug. 9, 1871, by whom he has had two children (twins), Grace and Gertrude, born June 8, 1872.  The latter died in infancy.
     We might give many further interesting incidents, but owing to the excessive modesty of Mr. Spring we desist.
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 176

A. W. Stiles
ALBERT WARREN STILES was born in Warrensville, Cuyahoga county, Ohio, on the 3d day of September, 1841, and is the fifth child of Hiram and Mandana Stiles, who removed to Rome, Ashtabula County, in March, 1858, where the father died suddenly of heart-disease in 1865.  The mother is living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at present.  The education of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch was obtained at the common schools; had commenced a course of studies at Grand River Institute, at Austinburg, this county, which were relinquished for the dangers of soldier life and never resumed.  The military record of Captain Stiles is one of which he may well be proud, and is as follows: enlisted Apr, 24, 1861, in Company D, Nineteenth Ohio Volunteer Militia, Captain Crane, and was the first volunteer from Rome township; was under McClellan in West Virginia, and at the battle of Rich Mountain was first under fire.  Mustered out Aug. 29, 1861, and the 5th of Sept. following enlisted in Company A, Sixth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, Captain Amander Bingham.  He did prison duty until May, 1862, when the regiment was ordered into the field and assigned to Fremont’s command in West Virginia; promoted sergeant. Oct. 14. 1861; orderly-sergeant, Jan. 1, 1863; re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer, Jan. 1, 1864; appointed second lieutenant Company D. May 9, 1864; promoted first lieutenant Company B, Nov. 18, 1864, and to captain, Company E. Feb. 17, 1865; resigned June 19, 1865; was in some twenty-five general engagements and numerous skirmishes; received a sabre wound and was made prisoner in the charge at Upperville, June 21, 1863; taken to Libby prison, and shortly afterwards paroled.  Served under Fremont, Sigel, McClellan, Burnside, Hooker, and Meade; was in Sheridan's cavalry corps, and participated in his raids in May and June, 1864.  Captain Stiles was married on the 24th day of September, 1866, to Miss Jane E., youngest daughter of Levi and Sarah Crosby, of Rome township, this county, and have had two children.—Jay, born Mar. 6, 1869, died May 6, 1871, and Maud, born Dec/ 3, 1876.  Mr. Stiles has followed the occupation of an “honest tiller of the soil’’ from the date of his mustering out of service until January, 1870, when he removed to Jefferson and entered upon the duties of the office of sheriff, to which he had been elected the Oct. preceding; was reelected October, 1871; appointed coroner January, 1877, and elected to same office in October, 1877.  The captain has always been a Republican.  This gentleman is a nephew of Professor P. R. Spencer, the father of the admirable system of penmanship which bears his name, and whose fine portrait will be found in another part of this volume.
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 126

Residence of
James Stone,
Morgan Twp.,
Ashtabula Co., OH
w/portraits of
Nancy M. Stone
Abbie A. Stone
James Ralph Stone
James Stone
Morgan Township -
JAMES STONE.  July 4, 1803, the father of the subject of this sketch made his entrance into the township of Morgan.  He came originally from Connecticut.  In the War of 1812 he was in command of a volunteer militia company.  The farm upon which he made a settlement is now owned by the heirs of James Stone, Jr.  His parents were James and Isabel Dewey Stone, who deceased, the father Feb. 17, 1831, and the mother Feb. 24, 1860.  James Stone, Jr., was born Feb. 13, 1809.  He was the fifth of a family of eight children and acquired his education as best he might at that early day, attending the district school at such times as he cold be spared from the labors of the farm until he arrived at the age of twelve years, after which he studied evenings by the light of the wide open fireplace.
     About the time of the death of his father he became the owner of fifty acres of land, and this was the start for the ample fortune afterwards accumulated.
     He was for many years actively engaged in the dairy interests of the county, usually manufacturing the milk from one hundred cows.  He will be remembered as having made several enormous cheeses; for one of these, weighing some nineteen pounds, he was awarded a silver cup by the American Institute in New York, in 1848.
     In his township he was public spirited and energetic, and as a consequence was usually in some township office.  Was a justice of the peace for many years.
     He early espoused the cause of the colored man, and was one of the seven in Morgan township who voted for James G. Birney, candidate of the Abolition party for President.  His house was a station on the underground railroad in the early, perilous days of the slavery agitation.
     Early left with the care of his father's family, he brought them up in a manner creditable to his kindness of heart.  In his social relations he was ever kind and affectionate.
     On the 5th of February, 1834, Mr. Stone was united in marriage to Abbie A. Loveridge, who came with her parents from Colchester, Conn., and was residing in Morgan township at the time of her marriage.  From this marriage was born, on Aug. 29, 1836, Abbie A., who is still resident on the old homestead.  The 6th of the subsequent Oct. the mother of Abbie died, and on Sept. 8, 1842, Mr. Stone was again married to Nancy M., daughter of Harry W. and Nancy Wright Loomis, who were of the pioneer settlers in Windsor township.  The children of this marriage are James Birney, born Aug. 25, 1845, deceased; Berenia L., born Apr. 20, 1849, deceased; Lillie Bertha, born June 20, 1854, deceased; and James Ralph, who was born Aug. 22, 1858, and is now completing his education at Grand River institute, Austinburg, this 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 199
( Contributed by Don Labaj)





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