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History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties, Ohio
 with Illustrations & Biographical Sketches -
Vol. II
Cleveland - H. Z. Williams & Bro.

Also See Individual Townships for more short biographies.


  Gustavus, Trumbull Co. -
BUEL BARNES was born in Farmington, Connecticut, in 1797, on the 6th day of June, 1820.  Mr. Barnes was a leading and influential man in Gustavus.  His first commission as justice of the peace was dated Apr. 23, 1835, and he held the office continuously until Apr. 15, 1871.  He was twice elected to the State Legislature, in 1844 and in 1845; was an honorable member and faithful in the discharge of the trust the people of his county placed in his keeping.  He did not come to the bar until quite late in life, and, being a man of ample fortune, did not care to enter the arena with younger men, and therefore had not much practice in the county courts.
     Mr. Barnes was highly esteemed by his neighbors and acquaintances, and died at the ripe age of eighty-seven years, in 1880.
Source: History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties - Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bro. -  VOL. 1 - 1882 - Page 190
  Trumbull Co. -
MATTHEW BIRCHARD.  The Hon. Matthew Birchard was born in Becket, Massachusetts, Jan. 19, 1804.  His parents were Nathan and Mercy ( Ashley ) Birchard, and he was the seventh of ten children born to them.  The family is of English extraction, the founder of the family being Thomas Birchard, who arrived in Boston, September 16, 1635.  In 1812 his father settled in Windham, Portage county, Ohio, where he became one of the original proprietors of that township, when the subsequent judge was a young lad.  Judge Birchard was educated in the common schools of that period, with some academical advantages at Boston, Portage county, and Warren, Trumbull county.  At the age of twenty years he commenced the study of law with General Roswell Stone, in Warren.  He was admitted to the bar in 1827, and at once entered into partnership with the late Governor Tod, who was admitted to the bar about the same time, under the firm name of Birchard & Tod.
In 1829 he was appointed postmaster at Warren, under General Jackson's administration, which office he held until 1833, when he resigned to accept the position of president judge of the court of common please of the circuit in which he lived, which at that time embraced nearly the whole of the Western Reserve.  In 1836 he resigned the judgeship to accept the office tendered him by General Jackson of solicitor of the general land office at Washington, which position he filled for three years.  His capacity and ability being appreciated, he retained his position until the coming in of President Van Buren, when he was promoted to the office of solicitor of the treasury, where he remained until the Harrison administration came into power in 1841.
     While Judge Birchard  was solicitor of the Treasury, the celebrated "Florida claims" were pressed upon the  Government, in the adjustment of which Judge Birchard took a leading part - his management of the same being so able and honorable that leading men of both political parties gave him high credit. 
     In the autumn of 1841, upon his retirement from the Treasury department, he married at Washington the eldest daughter of Lieutenant William A. Weaver, of the United States Navy, one of the survivors of the memorable engagement between the Chesapeake and Shannon; being wounded and taken prisoner in that action by the British.  His widow and two children survive him.
     Returning to Warren he resumed his law practice with Mr. Tod, continuing it until 1842, when he was elected by the Legislature to the supreme bench of the State; holding this position for seven years, being chief justice for the last two.
     At the expiration of him term on the bench he resumed the practice of the law in Trumbull county, and continued therein until 1853, when he was nominated by the Democratic party for Representative in the General Assembly, and was elected in what had been one of the strongest Whig counties in the State.
     After the expiration of his legislative term, Judge Birchard devoted the greater portion of his time to the practice of his profession, finding peculiar delight in the pursuit of that which was so congenial to his feelings and tastes.
     As solicitor of the land office and of the treasury, he made an excellent record, instituting in these departments numerous beneficial changes and practices, which proved to be of the highest importance in the administration of the Government.
     As a lawyer Judge Birchard ranked high in his profession.  His knowledge of the fundamental principles of the law was exceedingly clear, whilst his tact in their applications was not surpassed by his colleagues on the bench.  His cool reflection and matured judgment made him eminently safe as a counsellor.  In the preparation of his cases he used the greatest care.  As an advocate he confined himself to the presentation of the law and the evidence, presenting both in a calm, lucid, and logical manner for a verdict rather on their intelligence and good sense than on any biased appeal to their passions or prejudices.  This course he regarded as the true mission of the advocate. 
     The possession of these qualities peculiarly adapted him to the bench; and we are not surprised to find that in the office of judge he achieved his greatest success.  Being a man of sober reflection, sound judgment, mature deliberation not easily swayed by prejudice or emotion, together with high integrity, and possessing an innate perception of what constituted justice and equity, he became a model judge.
     His decisions are always made with the greatest circumspection, prudence, and diligent research.  He did nothing hastily, but supported every decision with such copious, standard authorities, and such sound, logical reasoning, that they stand today as authority.  In fact, but few of his decisions, which were made with the majority of the court, have been reversed.
     In political belief and action Judge Birchard was a Democrat of the old school, casting his lot with that party in its earlier and palmier days - the days of Jackson, Van Buren, and Wright.  Conscientiously believing in the principles of his party, he clung to it with marked fidelity through all its vicissitudes; working earnestly and faithfully for its success, always standing high in the councils of its leaders.  But not alone as a political leader, or his ability as a judge, did the deceased stand high in the opinion of the people.  As a good citizen, a kind neighbor, and an honest man, he had a strong hold on his fellow men.
     He was public spirited, working for the advancement of the educational, the religious, and material interests of the community.  His kindness of heart, his sympathy for the suffering or afflicted, his generosity to the poor, and his leniency towards his debtors, were proverbial.  His word was as good as his bond.  His integrity and honesty were never doubted at home or abroad.
    Although descended from pious parents Judge Birchard never connected himself with any church, and for many years he regarded himself as inclined to infidelity; but was an habitual student of the Bible and led a moral and upright life.  However, during the last six months of his life, his religious feelings experienced a charge, and his end was the quiet, cheerful, trusting death of the Christian - of one who unreservedly trusted to the atonement of Jesus Christ for the pardon of his sins - looking toward with implicit confidence to the blessed immortality of the faithful.
     During the last three years of Judge Birchard's life his health gradually declined; but he had a wonderful tenacity of life, and an indomitable with that resisted the attacks of disease which would long before have undermined a less vigorous constitution.  He peacefully expired at his residence in Warren on the 16th of June, 1876.
     On the 17th of June a meeting of the Trumbull county bar was held, at which appropriate resolutions were passed, and his funeral was attended in a body by his brethren.
Source: History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties - Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bro. -  VOL. 1 - 1882 - Page 177
  Bloomfield, Trumbull Co. -
EPHRAIM BROWN.  It is impossible within the limits of a short sketch to give an adequate idea of the character, or to detail particular events in the life of Ephraim Brown.  His father, whose name was also Ephraim, resided at Westmoreland, New Hampshire, and was much esteemed for his many excellent qualities.  His mother was Hannah Howe, a woman of deep religious feeling.  The family consisted of ten children, of whom Ephraim, born Oct. 27, 1775, was the oldest.  Mr. Brown owned a small farm and by adding to its productions the fruits of occasional labor in some mechanical pursuit, his large family was comfortably supported until he lost all his property by going security for a friend, a loss from which he never recovered.  It thus happened that the eldest son, at an early age, became the main support of a large family.  This misfortune of his father offered him a field for the exercise of that indomitable perseverance which was so conspicuous an element of his character.  At this formative period of his life the engrossing labor which circumstances threw upon him was not allowed to interfere with his intellectual culture.  He read the best books obtainable, and sought the society of the best people in his neighborhood and wherever business called him.  It is inferred from letters still in existence that he soon became a young man of some mark, for his advice was sought by elders, and his judgment received with much deference.  Considerable of his correspondence at this early period related to moral, religious, and political subjects.  He shows in these letters habits of earnest and honest thought, always ready to listen to argument, and when convinced of error always ready to renounce it.  For example, when a young man he joined the Masonic fraternity, but years afterwards, when a young man sought his advice on the subject of joining he expressed the opinion that with advanced civilization the need of such societies was past.
     Being a man of broad and tender sympathies Mr. Brown very early in life conceived a bitter hatred of the system of slavery, then fast growing into a political power, which sixty years it required the whole energy of the nation to suppress.  In a letter written in 1807 to a Southern relative, who had located in the South and was endeavoring to persuade him to follow by arguing the superior facilities for making money in that section, Mr. Brown questioned the method by which wealth might be acquired so rapidly by "commerce in human flesh," and added, "I have been taught from my cradle to despise slavery, and will never forget to teach my children, if any I should have, the same lesson."
The same letter contains sentiments thirty years afterwards given public utterance by William Lloyd Garrison and other distinguished abolitionists.
     Mr. Brown inherited from his mother deep religious feeling, which was strengthened by analytic habits of thought and extensive reading.  But he distinguished between real piety and the mere semblance of religion, and his whole life was characterized by a high moral tone.  His denunciation of evil was always vigorous and sometimes alarming to the more conservative and temporizing souls about him.  His love of freedom and habits of thought prevented him from being closely associated with societies of any kind, though as an individual he was always industrious and kind.
     As early as 1803 Mr. Brown became engaged in mercantile pursuits in connection with Thomas K. Green, of Putney, Vermont, who had charge of the business at that place, and Mr. Brown managed the branch at Westmoreland, and continued in business until his removal to Ohio in 1815.  In the meantime he had represented his town in the Legislature several times.  He was married on Nov. 9, 1806, to Mary Buchanan, eldest daughter of Gordon anbd Temperance (Huntington) Buchanan.  She was born at Windham, Connecticut, Aug. 29, 1787; while yet a child her father and mother removed to Walpole.  New Hampshire.  She was a woman of talent, which she cultivated during her whole life.  She taught school before her marriage; her attainments were therefore of a solid character.
     In the year 1814 Mr. Brown formed a partnership with his uncle, Thomas Howe, and purchased of Peter C. Brooks, of Boston, township seven, range four, of the Western Reserve, since known as Bloomfield, to which place he removed his family in the summer of 1815.  The journey was accomplished in six weeks and the family reached its future home July 16, some preparations      having been previously made for its comfort and support.  The two partners, Messrs. Brown & Howe, were in business temperament and character the antipodes of each other.  The former was energetic, pushing, and fearless; the latter slow, hesitating and doubting.  It is not strange that two such men should soon dissolve business relations.  Mr. Howe after a short time retired from the partnership, and Mr. Brown assumed the burden of the debt, which in a few years, by the most scrupulous economy, unresting industry, and fortunate thriftiness was fully discharged.
     A few years after Mr. Brown's settlement in Bloomfield (in 1819) the Ashtabula & Trumbull Turnpike company was formed and chartered under the laws of Ohio.  Mr. Brown took an active part in pushing this enterprise, which at that time looked like an enormous undertaking, to a
successful completion. For many years he maintained a ceaseless care for the interests of the company and the preservation of the road.  The post-office at Bloomfield was secured through his influence.  Within seven years after the first settlement of Bloomfield daily four-horse mail coaches
passed through the place on their route between the lake and the Ohio river.  Land rapidly advanced in value, and the more thrifty settlers were soon able to improve their homes.
     Mr. Brown was several times a member of the General Assembly, and always gave his potent influence to measures looking toward material improvement and educational advancement.  His love of freedom was active, and influenced his whole conduct.  The effort of a prominent religious sect in 1822 to dominate in politics, was condemned and resisted as strongly as the effort of the slave power to rule the country in after years.  In his younger years^ he was a Jeffersonian Republican, and an avowed abolitionist always.  He always offered assistance and protection to fugitive slaves, as is shown by instances elsewhere narrated.
     The tide of colonel was conferred upon Mr. Brown in New Hampshire, not, however, on account of any military service.  He was captain of a company of militia, and promoted Governor's aid with the rank of colonel. 
     It has been said of Mr. Brown that he never sought or desired fame, but in a certain sense he won what was better than fame—the perfect respect and confidence of all who were capable of appreciating such a character.  An intimate friend at the time of his death said in a letter, "In his social relations he was distinguished for his kindness, benevolence, and hospitality; in his business transactions for prudence, promptness, and integrity. Throughout a long and active life he eminently sustained the character of a patriot, philanthropist, and an honest man."  He died of paralysis after a short illness, April 17, 1845, being in the seventieth year of his age.
     Mrs. Brown was a woman of great excellence as wife, mother, neighbor, and friend.  A life of well directed study gave her broad culture; a knowledge of the world widened her sympathies, and tenderness of feeling made her charitable.  In her family she was gentle, loving, and interesting.  In the social circle her influence was elevating and refining.  Her death occurred January 26, 1862.
     The family consisted of nine children : Alexander, born in 1807, lives in Bloomfield; George W., born in 1810, engaged in business in Pittsburg
and died in Bloomfield in 1841; Mary, born in 1812, married to Joseph K. Wing and resides in Bloomfield; Charles, born in 1814, died in South Carolina in 1880; Elizabeth, born in 1816, resides in Bloomfield; James Monroe, born in 1818, died 1867 in Massillon; Marvin Huntington, born in 1820, resides in Painesville, Ohio; Fayette, born in 1823, resides in Cleveland, Ohio; Anne Frances, born in 1826, resides in Bloomfield.
Source: History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties - Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bro. -  VOL. 1 - 1882 - Page 398

James S. Brown

Mary A. Brown

Mahoning Co. / Trumbull Co. -
JAMES S. BROWNWilliam Brown, the father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Pennsylvania, Sept. 28, 1788; came to Trumbull county (now Mahoning) in an early day and located on the farm now occupied by his son, James S.  He married Miss Ann Porter Apr. 15, 1813.  Their children were James S., born Jan. 4, 1814; David, born June 30, 1816, and died Mar. 7, 1824; Martha, born June 24, 1822, married Wyoming N. Fry, and resides in Suffield township, Portage county.  William Brown served in the War of 1812.  He died Apr. 20, 1833.  James S. Brown was married to Mary Ann Printz, who was born in Canton, Ohio.  Her parents were Joseph and Susan (Blosser) Printz, who were united in marriage Sept. 23, 1830.  They had the following children:  Henry, born June 21, 1831; Mary Ann (now Mrs. Brown), Aug. 20, 1832; Barbara, Jan. 29, 1834; Isabel Sept. 22, 1835; Jacob, Mar. 17, 1837; Samuel, Nov. 27, 1838; Ambrose, Feb. 3, 1843.  Mr. Brown is a Democrat in politics, yet he recognizes a higher duty in the use of the ballot than mere attachment to party, and endeavors to vote for the best candidates.  He has resided all his life on the old homestead, having been born there.  From actual experience he knows what pioneer life is, and his memory carries him back to the days when the present beautiful and thrifty neighborhood where he lives was covered with the original forest, interspersed here and there by small clearings and rude log cabins.  He has always been a hard-working and industrious man, and is now, in his old age, blessed with a comfortable home.  Mr. and Mrs. Brown are Presbyterians in their religious faith.
Source: History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties - Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bro. -  VOL. 2 - 1882 - Betw. pps. 72 & 73



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