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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)



Res. of
Charles Talcott
Ashtabula Co., O

Chas. Talcotts
Music & Jewelry Store
Geneva, OH

Geneva Twp. -
CHARLES TALCOTT.  We take pleasure in presenting the following sketch of the life and successes of one of Geneva's stirring, go-ahead business men.  Born Sept. 10, 1841, at Garrettsville, Portage county, Ohio, he was the youngest son of Nelson and Lovisa Talcott, of that point.  Was educated in the common school, attending the same until he was thirteen years of age, at which time he began his apprenticeship as tinner, in the shop of his oldest brother,—Henry,—at Jefferson; remaining there until twenty years of age, when he took a course in the Mercantile college at Cleveland, Ohio.  Returned to Jefferson when he had attained his majority, and on Jan. 1, 1863, associated himself with his brother, before spoken of, in the tin and hardware trade; continued in business at this point until November of that year, when the copartnership was dissolved, and Charley removed to Geneva, making his entree into that village on the 23d day of November, perched on top of a load of wooden pumps, and in company with V. J. C. Hodge commenced business under the firm-name of Talcott Hodge.  The business was at that time carried on in what was known as the old Mills store, a small one and a half story building, twenty-five by thirty-five feet, one of the first store buildings erected in Geneva, and at that time occupying the site of the present brick store of C. Talcott & Co.  The stock of goods at that time was quite small, amounting with shop, tools, and fixtures to about three thousand five hundred dollars.  The building was rented of George Turner.  The following year the building was purchased by Talcott A Hodge, and a small addition built to accommodate their business, which increased very rapidly.  Business was continued in this store until 1867, at which time Charles Talcott built the main part of their present hardware-store, on the site of the old building (the old store being removed a few rods on East Main street, and occupied by said firm while the new store was being built).  The new store was a substantial brick building, with a frontage on Centre street of twenty-five feet, running back to East Main, with a frontage on that street of thirty-five feet, —making a room for hardware twenty-five by seventy, and the balance of the building being used for a tin-shop.  During this year the interest of Mr. Hodge was purchased by Charles Talcott, and he continued the business alone until 1875.  The business had now increased from an annual sale of about five thousand dollars, the first year, to a sale amounting in 1867 and 1868 to over forty thousand dollars annually, and it soon became necessary to have more room, which was accomplished by purchasing the two lots adjoining the store on East Main street, and extending the building forty feet on that street,—making the store-room twenty-five by one hundred and ten (the largest room in the county), and the tin-shop beyond twenty-five by thirty, with second story same size as the ground-floor, in use for wareroom and storage.  About this time also the third story was built, and a room finished expressly for the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, and leased to them for a period of ten years, and is occupied by them at the present time, under an extension of lease of ten years longer.  It is said to be the finest hall in the county.  In 1871.  Mr. Talcott bought the right for this county of what is known as the “Pope & Tuttle Milk-Rack," for butter-makers, and immediately put men into the field canvassing for it, which resulted in the following years in completely revolutionizing the business of butter-making in this county.  In 1872 the stock of jewelry owned by H. B. Hunt was purchased by Charles Talcott and removed to his store, where, in company with C. M. Wright, the jewelry business was carried on until the spring of 1876, when the firm was dissolved, and the business continued by Charles Talcott (the stock being removed in the summer of 1877 to a new building purchased by him, and adjoining his hardware-store, on the north).  In 1875, Philip Doll purchased a half-interest in the hardware and building, and the firm was changed from Charles Talcott to Charles Talcott & Co., with increased capital. The business, already ranking among the first in the county, was pushed forward with renewed energy and success, with constantly-increasing sales.
     In the autumn of 1876, Messrs. F. and W. A. Hubbard, under the title of Hubbard Bros., purchased one-third interest in the hardware and building, and were admitted as partners to the firm of C. Talcott & Co. In 1877 the firm purchased the right for Lake county, and. together with Mr. Chapin, of Lenox, the right for Ashtabula County, for what is known as the “Stickles Milk-Pans," for buttermaking, and later in the season purchased the right for Ashtabula, Lake, and Geauga counties, of the Cooly system of butter-making,—a system far superior to anything heretofore discovered, and which must, when its merits are known, become adopted.  They are now pushing sales vigorously, having men employed in all of the above-named counties.  The firm have a paid-up capital of twenty-one thousand dollars actually invested in the business, and are considered among the leading hardware dealers in northern Ohio.  The business management is under the direction of Charles Talcott, who is also secretary and treasurer of the Enterprise Manufacturing company, of Geneva (a joint stock company for the manufacture of garden and household implements), and proprietor of the Geneva music and jewelry store.
     Mr. Talcott has the exclusive sale of the Knabe, Haines Bros., Hardman, and Decker Bros, pianos.  In organs, he is also agent for the Estey, Jewett, Goodman, Burdett, Smith, American, Palace, and Cleveland Organ company.  Sales for the year in instruments, twelve thousand dollars; jewelry, seven thousand dollars.
     On the 13th of May, 1863, Mr. Talcott was united in marriage to Weltha M., daughter of Gates and Betsy Hyde, of Lenox.  Two children were born of this marriage,—Lewis C., the date of whose birth was Apr. 15, 1866, and Bernice L., born Nov. 10, 1869.  Mrs. Talcott died Nov. 13, 1875, and on the same day in November, 1876, Mr. Talcott was again married, to Libbie H. Churchward, of Painesville, Lake county, Ohio.
     Mr. Talcott is a member of the Congregational church, with which he united in 1866.  Politically he is a Prohibitionist, having always taken a lively interest in temperance matters. 
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 180

Talcott Residence
Mr. & Mrs.
& Sons,
And Business Blk.,


HENRY TALCOTT was born in Nelson, Portage county, Ohio, Dec. 28, 1832.  His father, Nelson Talcott, was an extensive chair-manufacturer, and Henry was placed in the paint department, at the age of eleven, to learn to do ornamental chair-painting.  Winters he attended the high school in Garrettsville, Ohio, but at the age of seventeen his health failed him, and he had to abandon the painter’s trade and learn another.
     The following spring he commenced to learn the tinner’s trade in Burton, Geauga county, Ohio, and serving two years’ time there, at thirty-five dollars and forty-five dollars per year, he then went to Ravenna, Portage county, Ohio, and worked one year more under instruction, at one hundred dollars.  Out of these sums he clothed himself entirely and saved fifty-four dollars to commence business with.  And the 1st of August before he was twenty-one years old, he came to Jefferson, Ohio, and purchased a small tin-shop and stove-store of James Norris, —consideration seven hundred and thirty-six dollars,—rolled up his sleeves, and went to work.  He never received any aid or assistance from any quarter, except a loan of two hundred dollars from his father, for six months, when he first commenced business.  This was on Aug. 1 , 1852. The business interests of Jefferson were very small at that time, and for that matter were the same all over the county.
     Talcott’s hardware-store was the first one, exclusively in this branch of trade, started in the county, but the following spring Geo. C. Hubbard commenced one in Ashtabula, and has always kept even pace with him, while at the present time there are at least a dozen good hardware-stores, situated in different parts of the county, every one of them selling more hardware than was sold in the whole county, prior to 1850, each year.   The first year's sales amounted to only two thousand eight hundred dollars, but steadily increased until, 1864, it reached forty thousand dollars and more, and requiring a stock of from fifteen to twenty thousand dollars.  After adding the sale of Buckeye mowing-machines, wagons, and agricultural implements, he was compelled to build a large brick block fifty-two by seventy-five feet, three stories high, to accommodate this greatly increased business, and in addition to this, he has an extensive wareroom thirty-two by sixty-five feet, two stories high.  This business has all been built up in the past twenty-five years. In 1863, always having had a passion for a farm life, he purchased the old Michael Webster farm, one mile west of the court-house, one hundred and ninety-six acres, moved on to it, and commenced farming in addition to his hardware business.  Still later he purchased the old Jonathan Warner farm, adjoining his other purchase and also the borough line of Jefferson, and built him a fine brick residence adjacent to it, but inside the borough, and is now doing an extensive business breeding thoroughbred short-horn Durham cattle for sale, and has some very choice animals in his herd, bred from Clarendon,—five twenty, — Duke of Clark (2d), and Royal Britain.
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 155

Hon. Freeman Thorp

HON. FREEMAN THORP, of Geneva, a representative in the general assembly, and the subject of this sketch, was born in a log house in Geneva, June 16, 1844.  He is a son of Dennis Thorp, Esq., a highly-respected citizen, and for many years a justice of the peace of Geneva township, is a grandson of Aaron Thorp, one of the early settlers of Austinburg, and a great-grandson of Peter Thorp, a soldier of the French and Indian war, from Massachusetts colony.  Freeman is the youngest of a family of four, and is by education fairly the product of our common schools, supplemented by a constant habit of study in after-life.  His early life was passed upon the farm and in the workshop up to the age of sixteen, when at the breaking out of the war for the suppression of the Rebellion, in 1861, he enlisted as a private soldier in Company D, Second Ohio Cavalry, serving three years in that capacity.  His commanding officer said of him at the close of his term of service, in a letter to the governor of Ohio, “He was a faithful, conscientious soldier, studious in his leisure moments, his moral and social qualities excellent, his habits perfect.”  This, which was true of him then, is true of him to-day, being a man of exemplary habits.  After the war he engaged in the practice of photography, studying at the same time the profession of portrait-painting, in which he soon attained to high rank, without other aid than such as the best printed works upon the subject and his own genius and experiments afforded, and in 1870 was elected an honorary member of a Berlin society of art.  This attracted considerable attention in this country, and coming to the notice of public men at Washington, they invited Mr. Thorp to come to that city, and he has practiced his profession there during a portion of each year with eminent success, standing at this time securely in the front rank of “ American portrait-painters.”  In 1874 his picture was the one accepted in a competitive painting of portraits of General Simon Cameron for the war department; he was honored soon after with a commission from the President for a portrait of himself, and also a portrait of Mrs. Colonel Fred. Grant.
     In 1873, Mr. Thorp declined an appointment as honorary commissioner to the Vienna exposition, tendered him by the President, to come home and engage in the political campaign of that year. In political discussion, Mr. Thorp, though earnest, is fair and courteous to his political opponents.  In the campaign of 1877 he was nominated on the Republican ticket for member of the general assembly, having for competitors Hon. Eusebius E. Lee, Democrat; Professor Jacob Tuckerman, Independent Republican; and Charles Talcott, Prohibitionist.  After a spirited campaign, Mr. Thorp received a majority over all his competitors, and the certificate of election.  Soon after his election he went to Cincinnati, and entered into competition with other artists in painting portraits of ex-Attorney-General Alphonso Taft, for the department of justice at Washington.  In this undertaking he achieved eminent success, distancing all his competitors, and adding greatly to his professional reputation.  His work in Cincinnati was completed just in time for the commencement of the Sixty-third general assembly, which began its session in the city of Columbus, Jan. 7, 1878.  As a member of the legislature, Mr. Thorp has been an industrious, conscientious, painstaking member, opposing with manly firmness and marked ability every abuse of legislative power or encroachment upon the constitutional rights of the people.  His legislative career begins auspiciously, and gives promise of great usefulness to the State.
     Mr. Thorp was married Aug. 25, 1865, to Miss Orlena A. Eggleston, of Geneva, daughter of E. M. Eggleston, Esq., a skilled mechanic, a foreman in the Geneva Tool company, and a man greatly respected.  They have two children, a daughter, Miss Nellie I. Thorp, aged ten, and a son, Clark L. Thorp, aged eight.
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 119

Geneva Twp. -
CHARLES TINKER.   This gentleman is one of the foremost men of the county who are connected with the mechanical industries.  The son of a mechanic, his natural bent took this direction, and the employment of his life has been such as to give it ample development.  The father, during the boyhood days of the son, owned a farm in Kingsville township (where the subject of our sketch was
born on the seventh day of September, 1821), but in the winter time he applied himself to the trade of wagon-making.  Here the son received his first instruction in the line of mechanical labor.  He received a common school education, such as the limited facilities of those days afforded.
     He was united in marriage with Mary Webster, of his native township, on the twenty-fifth day of September, 1842.  Now he began life for himself in dead earnest.  In 1843 he built a saw-mill on the Conneaut creek, and in the following year he erected an oil-mill,—the first mill of the kind in that part of the county.  In 1850 we find him in Mantua, Portage county, Ohio, where, in 1854, he built a foundry and machine-shops, and for about six years prosecuted the business of manufacturing plows, threshing, wood-sawing, and mowing-machines.  Ten years later (in 1864) he is at Garrettsville, on Silver creek, Portage county, where he is again engaged in the manufacture of mowing-machines and plows.
     At the expiration of four years, in 1868, he formed a partnership with N. S. Caswell, of Geneva, Ohio, and with him began the manufacture of forks and other small farming tools.  The business at Garrettsville and that of Geneva were continued in conjunction with each other for two years, the wood work being done at the latter, and the steel work at the former place.
     Aug. 1, 1870, these gentlemen, finding that their business had so grown under their care and attention as to demand the investment of more capital than they had at command, and recognizing the importance of concentrating the entire business either at Garrettsville or Geneva, they submitted a proposition to the citizens of both places to sell out to a stock company at either point, the condition being that the stock on hand at both places should be purchased, and the works should be located at that place which would subscribe the larger amount of stock.  Geneva’s citizens having pledged stock to the amount of eighty-two thousand five hundred dollars,—a larger sum than the citizens of Garrettsville could raise,—the works were located at the former place, and a stock company, with Mr. Tinker as president, organized, Mr. Caswell becoming superintendent  To the prudent management and business ability of Mr. Tinker was this successful business strongly due, and he is justly entitled to be called the father of the Geneva Tool Works enterprise.  For seven years the general management of the company’s affairs was in the hands of Mr. Tinker, who remained president of the company up to Aug. 1, 1877, and will hold the said office to August, 1878, if alive.
     Although sustaining a serious loss in the fall of 1870, caused by the burning of the old shops on the South ridge, yet, through the skillful management of Mr. Tinker and his fellow-officers, the company was able to pay a cash dividend of ten per cent, in 1873, and the next year, in addition to a cash dividend of ten percent, a ten per cent, stock dividend was declared, at which time the company sold stock enough to make their capital one hundred thousand dollars. Up to this date, in addition to paying a regular annual dividend of ten per cent., the company have accumulated a surplus of twenty-two t housand dollars.
     The people of Geneva should ever hold Mr. Tinker in grateful remembrance as the founder and chief promoter of this important manufacturing industry, which has done so much for the growth and prosperity of their beautiful village.
     Mr. Tinker has made several unsuccessful attempts at farming during the course of his life; once in Kingsville, immediately after his marriage; once at Mantua, Portage county, in 1850; once at Geneva, in 1860; and lastly, at Garrettsville, Portage county.  The reason why these attempts were failures was because he is naturally an artisan and not a farmer.
     In 1849, when the gold excitement was at its height, he went to California by the overland route, with ox-teams, requiring four months for the journey.
     His wife, Mary Webster, born in Monroe township, this county, July 15, 1820, is the daughter of George Price and Mary Webster.
     Charles and Mary Tinker are the parents of five children, viz.: George L., born June 19, 1843, married September, 1874, to Miss Emma Sharp, of New Philadelphia, where he now resides; Maria A. Tinker, born Dec. 19, 1844, married A. D. Myers, of Geneva, Ohio, November, 1864, and died Nov. 28, 1869; Henrietta L. Tinker, born Sept. 21, 1846, married Frank Gregory, of Geneva, Ohio, November, 1863, and now resides in Ashtabula, Ohio; Emma J. Tinker, born Feb. 9, 1849, and married Otis B. Clark, of Streetsborough, Ohio, Sept. 24, 1867, and now resides in Ashtabula, Ohio; and Charles Otis Tinker, born May 9, 1852, is unmarried, and resides in Ashtabula, Ohio.  Mr. Tinker is deservedly esteemed in a wide circle of friends in Ashtabula 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 176






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