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Revolutionary Soldiers
Buried in Lake County, Ohio
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ANSON SESSIONS, 1770 - 1827
     This pioneer of the Western Reserve was born in Windham, Conn., April 16, 1770, and died in Painesville, Ohio, in August 1827.  His father was a deacon of the Presbyterian church and a school teacher.  Anson Sessions, in 1770, left his native place and went to Cooperstown, N. Y.  After the defeat of the army of St. Clair he volunteered for military service under Gen. Wayne, and was with him on the Maumee, Aug. 21, 1794, when the indians suffered such an overwhelming defeat that they never after made serious head against the whites in the north-west.  After the treaty of Greenville, Ohio, he was ordered with the army to the Cherokee country.
     Mason, the notorious leader of the banditti that infested the Mississippi country, was killed by one of his own followers for the reward offered.  His head was brought in while Sergeant Sessions was at Natchez.  While at the south, Butler, his colonel, died and by request of that officer, made just before his death, Sessions accompanied Mrs. Butler and the children back to Pittsburg, then Fort Duquesne.
     Being a soldier and a frontiersman, he was solicited by Aaron Burr to join his expedition, but suspecting its true character, he refused.  Sessions was honorably discharged from the army after three years' service in the Indian wars, which on account of the part taken in them by Great Britain, were stated by Gen. Harrison in his speech at Fort Meigs, to be a continuation of the War of the Revolution.
     For his services in the army a warrant for 160 acres of land was issued to his widow in 1851.  It was obtained chiefly on the testimony of a Mr. Stevens of Montville, who was also in the army and one of the very few, if not the last survivor.  During all the years of his service, Mr. Sessions used to like to say, he had "not slept under a shingle."
     After his discharge he returned to Copperstown, N. Y., where he lived three years; then started on horse-back, with a few hundred dollars in coin, for Tennessee, to buy a farm.
     He stayed over night at Buffalo, there being at that place then two log cabins only, and following the lake shore, arrived at Painesville in October 1800, the same year of the arrival of Gen. Paine and Judge John Walworth.  He was hospitably entered by Walworth, and was induced by him to buy 180 acres of land, for four dollars an acre now known as the Fobes farm.  He immediately built a log cabin on the first hill near the river, cleared up most of the bottom land and a portion of the upland, and set out extensive fruit orchards.  Mr. William Fobes, who died in 1860, told of eating peaches from this farm in 1806.
     On the 16th of Dec., 1804, Anson Sessions married Asenath A. Fobes, a daughter of Lemuel Fobes, from Norwich, Mass.
     A contract with the Conn. Land Company was made Nov. 20, 1806, and signed by Abraham Tappan and Anson Sessions in pursuance of which all that portion of the Western Reserve lying west of the Cuyahoga River, comprising over 800,000 acres was conveyed.  Mr. Sessions was not a surveyor, but was then a man in the prime of life, of great bravery and perseverance in any business he undertook, making him a safe and trustworthy partner.  This statement was made by Judge Tappan in the Cleveland Herald in 1831.  He also says that "Mr. Anson Sessions was large and well proportioned, and in his younger days decidedly good looking.  He was a man of peculiar strength, and was known and esteemed among the pioneers as very kind and benevolent."
     Mrs. Sessions survived him, with four of their six children, named Norman, Aurel, Mariner, and Horace.  He was buried on his own farm, where his remains now rest.
     His name is inscribed on a monument in Evergreen Cemetery.
PELEG SIMMONS, 1761 - 1854.
     Peleg Simmons of Middletown, Hartford county, Conn, was born June 3, 1761, married May 22, 1788, and died Oct. 1, 1854, living to be ninety-three years of age.
     He was buried on Willoughby Plains, Lake Co., Ohio.
     During the Revolutionary War he served his country from Connecticut as soldier on a war vessel, which was used to protect the coast.
CAPT. ABRAHAM SKINNER, 1755 - 1826.
     Capt. Abraham Skinner, descended, as family tradition relates, from an old English family, was born in Glastonbury, Conn., in the year 1775.
     About the time of the accession of Charles the Second to British throne, the family emigrated to America, feeling, in consequence of their having espoused the cause of Cromwell, and held office under him, that a more congenial home might be found in this country.
     In the possession of this branch of the family, at the beginning of the past century, was a sword, which had been used by an ancestor in his service as an officer under Cromwell.  This same sword again did valiant service at the time of the Salem Witchcraft Craze, for the descendants of this branch of the Skinners boast, that it was one of their ancestors, who dared to lead a squad of determined men to rescue from the gallows a poor woman, condemned to death as a witch.
     Capt. Abraham Skinner, son of Abram Skinner and Phoebe Strong, was one of a family of ten children.  Two of his sisters marred pioneers of the Western Reserve.
     Phoebe was the wife of Benjamin Blish, who settled in Mentor, and Jemima married Benaiah Jones, from whom the Goldsmith family are descendants.  From another sister is descended the well known authoress, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps.
    
Of the early life of Abraham Skinner, we know but little.  In the War of the Revolution, his military record shows that he served from the town of East Windsor, among the men who marched from the Connecticut towns, for the relief of Boston in the Lexington Alarm of April 1775, in Capt. Amasa Loomis' Company.  Again, enlisted April 24, 1778, in Capt. Harrison's company, served eight months and was Commissary of Prisoners, in the Fourth Regiment, Connecticut Line, Col. John Durke, commanding.
     In 1788 he was married to Mary Ayers, resided for a time in Mulberry, Conn., and then moved to East Windsor.  In 1796, as the agent of an association, he made a trip to England and returning brought with him three blooded horses, by the name "Creeper,"  "King William" and "All Fours."  From these have come some of the finest horses of Virginia and New England.
     In 1798, Capt. Skinner in company with Gen. Edward Paine, came to the Western Reserve and made large purchases of land in Painesville and elsewhere on the Reserve.
     In Painesville in conjunction with Col. Eleazer Paine he bought the entire tract No. 4, embracing about 2,240 acres.
     Capt. Skinner returned to Conn., remaining in East Hartford until 1803, when he again visited his Ohio lands in company with the family of Col. Paine.  They brought with them horses and cattle, farming implements and young fruit trees  They contracted for the clearing of lands, and built log cabins to shelter the Paine family, and one to be ready for the Skinner family when they should come.
     Col. Paine and Capt. Skinner at this time, together platted out a town, embracing the site of their improvements, and located on the west side of Grand river about two and a half miles form its mouth.  Much on the order of a New England town, this plot included a park or public square, and at the river landing a log warehouse was erected.  This town was called "New Market" from the old Indian name "Nemaw Wetaw."
     Capt. Skinner again returned to Connecticut and in March 1805 started with his family, consisting of his wife, two daughters, three sons and two hired men, for their new home in the wilderness.  Their journey took them over the accustomed route, through the state of New York and as far as Buffalo.  Thence by sleighs they came over the ice of the frozen lake.  On the last day, between Ashtabula and Madison a team driven by one of the hired men broke through the ice, soon the horse ridden by the younger daughter, Paulina, (afterward wife of Nathan Perry, and mother of Mrs. H. B. Payne of Cleveland) broke through and was extricated with some difficulty.
     They spent the night at Madison, and by the next day, the ice which had borne them up so well was unsafe, and they journeyed on by land to their new home, reaching it that same day.
     Capt. Skinner was active in the interest of the new place, and other settlers shortly came in, among them the families of Joseph Pepoon, Benj. Blish and Benaiah Jones.
    
He made strong efforts to have the county seat located  at "New Market," and the first trial was held in Skinner's barn.  Soon a two story court house built of black walnut logs was completed by Capt. Skinner, where for several years, law and justice were meted out.  At that time the whole of Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula counties were included in the limits of Geauga county.
     The first frame house of the new town was now built for the family of Capt. Skinner.  Here lawyers, judges, members of Congress, and the early governors, met with the free hospitality of these old pioneer days.
     This house is still in repair and occupied by a great-grandson of its original owner.
     In 1810 Geauga county was diminished by two-thirds of its former territory, and in 1812 the county seat was removed to Chardon.
     That same year Capt. Skinner laid out the village of Fairport, and was one of the most efficient men in getting appropriations for its harbor.
     It is said of him, that being a man of large means and his farm always well stocked, he was thus enabled to be a source of some help to the poorer settlers, that "polite to every body and generous to the needy and suffering everywhere, Capt. Skinner occupied a prominent place among the people of is day."
     A notice of his death on Jan. 14, 1826 at the age of seventy-one may be found printed in an early copy of the Painesville Telegraph of Jan. 21, 1826.
     He was buried with Masonic honors.
     In Capt. Skinner's direct line, the name has not been perpetuated, only the descendants of his daughters, Mrs. Mary S. Hine, and Mrs. Paulina Perry being now alive.  Of his children's children but one is now living, Mr. Augustus Hine, formerly of this place, now residing in Los Angeles, California.
SAMUEL SMEAD, 1748 - 1842
     Samuel Smead of Deerfield, Mass., was born Jan. 18, 1748, and died in Madison, Ohio, Oct. 26, 1842, aged nearly ninety-four years.
     He is buried in the cemetery at Madison Village.
     He enlisted from Deerfield in Apr. 1775, to serve in the Revolutionary War, as private under Capt. Joseph Lock.  Another enlistment in Dec. 1775 under Capt. Leonard and Col. Woodbridge.
    
Again in Aug. 1776, for three months with Capt. Samuel Taylor.
    
In August, 1777, he was sergeant under Capt. Sheldon.
    
He received a pension.
JOHN SMITH, 1752 - 1836 (?)
     "In November, 1800, John Smith came to Painesville with his family.  They landed on the beach at the mouth of Grand river, about the middle of the month.  With the winter of a new country already commenced, without a home or provisions, they would have suffered had it not been for those already accustomed to pioneer life.  They remained at the house of Judge Walworth, until their log house was built on the hill leading to the Arch Bridge east of Seth Marshall."
     John Smith served in the Mass. Continentals, receiving a pension in 1818, at the age of sixty-six.  His name appears on the poll books of Painesville township, each year until 1836, when he would have been 84 years of age, and it is supposed he died, though his burial place is not known. In 1803 he purchased a farm of 150 acres on lake shore, now owned by the Fairport Land Co. just west of Shorelands, said to be the place of Gen. Paine built his first house in Ohio.  He held town offices.
MARAUCHIE VAN ORDEN SPERRY, 1754 - 1845.
     Marauchie Van Orden Sperry seems entitled to a record among the brave ones of the Revolution.
   She was born in Holland in 1754, daughter of Pieter Van Orden, came to New York in childhood, was driven from the city by Lord Howe's forces, married Lieut. Elizah Sperry in April 1779, died in Kirtland, Ohio, May 13, 1845, and is buried in the "Angel" burial ground.
     Her father and two brothers were killed in the service, her mother died from the poisoning of their well by the British, who also burned their home and confiscated their estate.
     She was the proteǵe of General and Mrs. Washington; was present at the capture of Burgoyne, and "assisted the suffering Americans on that memorable day."
     The aid rendered to this publication by one of her descendants is done in her memory.
     Her husband, Elijah Sperry (b. Sept. 8, 1751, d. Sept. 4, 1818), was  Corporal, Sergeant, and finally Lieutenant in Capt. Osborn's company of Artificers, Col. Baldwin's Conn. Regiment.  He was in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, etc., and helped to make the chain obstructions in the Hudson River at West Point; he was a pensioner.
     Contributed by her grand-son Harley Barnes.
CALEB SWEET, 1764 - 1840.
     According to the Massachusetts Records, "Joshua Sweet of Deerfield received a bounty for enlisting into the Continental army for a term of three years, in 1781, at which time he was seventeen years of age, and is credited with service in Capt. Smart's Co., Third regiment, in July 1781."
     He enlisted March 23, 1781, and served until Dec. 22, 1783, a part of the time under Captains Lee and Thos. Hunt, with Lieut. Col. William Hull.
    
In an obituary notice of Joshua Sweet in "The Telegraph" of May 7, 1840 is this:
     "Thus has fallen a sturdy oak of the Revolution, amidst the  storms and tumults of war, he stood foremost in the ranks, and in the defense of Liberty, a principle which he could duly value and appreciate, knowing full well its primitive cost."
     In the village cemetery in Madison his grave is marked as follows:
     Memorial of Joshua Sweet, a Revolutionary soldier, who died 2nd May 1840, aged 76 years.
JOSHUA SWEET, - ___ - 1828.
     Caleb Sweet came from the state of New York to Ohio in an early day, and was a resident of North Perry.  While in New York he served in the Fourth regiment, Albany County Militia, in the Revolutionary War.
     In 1817 he was an officer in Perry township, was justice of the peace until his death, which came very suddenly on March 3, 1828.  He was buried on his farm in Perry, now owned by James L. Parml y.
ASA TURNEY, 1759 - 1833.
     Asa Turney, of Madison, Ohio was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, under Gen. Arnold; was in the battle of Danbury, Conn., when that town was burned by the British.  He enlisted when eighteen years old, and served throughout the war.
     He was born in Fairfield, Conn., in 1759 and emigrated to Ohio in the winter of 1806, being fifty-three days on the journey, with an ox team, following a wild trail through the woods, as there were no roads or bridges.
     He purchased one hundred acres of land on the south ridge in Madison, which still remains in the family.  He married Polly Downs, who died in 1835.
     Asa Turney died Sept. 5, 1833  and lies in the Middle Ridge Cemetery in Madison.
JACOB TYLER, 1762 - 1847
    Jacob Tyler was born in Branford, Conn., enlisted in the Revolutionary War from New Haven, Conn., in the spring of 1779 for three months, under Capt. Mix and Col. Sabin; again, in 1781, under Capt. Enoch Staples, for six months; and again in 1782, for six months, under same Captain; later was stationed on the coast as guard, serving as sergeant in Capt. Aaron Foot's company, in Col. Hooker's regiment of Connecticut militia.
     He applied for a pension in 1834 while residing in Broome, Schoharie County, N. Y.  He married Abi Wheeler, Sept. 11, 1789 at Catskill, N. Y.  He removed to Ohio about 1839, settling near Little Mountain.
     He died Feb. 19, 1847, and is buried in Mentor Cemetery.

 

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