THIS township was named in honor of Governor De
Witt Clinton, and was organized June 7, 1825. Its population in
1870 was 1,502. The following is a list of officers of
the township, as appears upon the official record:
1838. Trustees - H. Beall, N. Chase, R. Newkirk; Clerk -
Thomas F. Jones; Treasurer - Tobias M. Gibbon.
1842. Trustees - Samuel Powers, James
Aylesworth, Thoams Battles; Clerk - James Keys; Treasurer -
1843. Trustees - Thomas Shreve,
Thomas F. Jones, robert Pocock; Clerk - James Keys; Treasurer
- Tobias M. Gibbon.
1844. Trustees - Thomas Shreve,
Thomas F. Jones, Robert Pocock; Clerk - James Keys; Treasurer
- Tobias M. Gibbon.
1845. Trustees - Thomas Shreve, William
Beall, James Newkirk; Clerk - A. G. Beall; Treasurer -
Tobias M. Gibbon.
1846. Trustees - Thomas Shreve,
William Beall, Robert Pocock; Clerk - W. H. Keys; Treasurer -
L. J. Jones
1847 and 1848. - Trustees - Thomas
Shreve, James Aylesworth, William Beall; Clerk - W. H. Keys;
Treasurer - L. J. Jones.
1849. Trustees - Samuel
Powers, John Robinson, William Aber; Clerk - Henry Shreve;
Treasurer - L. J. Jones.
1850. Trustees - W. W. Brown, John Robinson,
Thomas Shreve; Clerk - Henry Shreve; Treasurer - L. J.
1851. Trustees - James Aylesworth,
Timothy Baker, W. W. Brown; Clerk - J. H. Lee; Treasurer -
1852. Trustees - John Shearer,
James Moore, John Rainey; Clerk - L. D. Odell; Treasurer -
1853. Trustees - John Rainey, John
Harper, John Coble; Clerk - L. D. Odell; Treasurer -
1854. Trustees - Robert Filby,
John Harper, Aaron Lehr; Clerk - James Rainey; Treasurer -
1855. Trustees - William Beall,
Silas Funk, J. W. Newkirk; Clerk - J. E. Yocum; Treasurer -
T. M. Gibbon.
1856. Trustees - Silas Funk, W. D. Fouch,
J. W. Newkirk; Clerk - P. Newkirk; Treasurer - J. H. Lee.
1867. Trustees - Silas Funk, W. H.
Keys, J. W. Newkirk; Clerk - P. Newkirk; Treasurer - J. H.
1858. Trustees - T. M. Gibbon, W.
H. Keys, Moses Lockhart; Clerk - J. E. Yocum; Treasurer -
1859. Trustees - T. M. Gibbon,
Emmet Eddy, Moses Lockhart; Clerk - J. E. Yocum; Treasurer -
1860. Trustees - H. H. Reinhart,
Phil Troutman, George Fike; Clerk - W. J. Bertolett;
Treasurer - Robert Manly.
1861. Trustees - W. W. Brown, A.
Keister, George Strock; Clerk - A. Tidball; Treasurer - W.
1862. Trustees - John Rainey,
George Carl, Z. Lovett; Clerk - Isaiah Jones; Treasurer -
1863. Trustees - John Rainey,
George Carl, Z. Lovett; Clerk - T. G. Odell; Treasurer -
1864. Trustees - W. W. Brown, H.
Hinkle, John Shearer; Clerk - J. E. Yocum; Treasurer -W.
1865. Trustees - W. W. Brown, H.
Hinkle, John Shearer; Clerk - Henry Shreve; Treasurer -D.
1866. Trustees - John Rainey, John
Jones, J. Moore; Clerk - Henry Shreve; Treasurer -
D. K. Jones.
1867. Trustees - John Rainey, J.
W. Newkirk, W. W. Brown; Clerk - W. M. Knox; Treasurer -
1868. Trustees - John Aylesworth,
William Aber, J. W. Moore; Clerk - J. B. Odell; Treasurer -
1869. Trustees - J. W. Newkirk,
John Aylesworth, Warren Aylesworth; Clerk - J. H. Hunter;
Treasurer - Robert Manly.
1870. Trustees - Robert Popock, W.
H. Keys, Warren Aylesworth; Clerk - Thomas Hall; Treasurer -
S. B. Prowell.
1871. Trustees - J. W. Moore,
Henry Snyder, John Rainey; Clerk - William W. Wise; Treasurer
- Z. Lovett.
1872. Trustees - S. B. Prowell, J. W.
Moore, A. K. Eddy; Clerk - Thomas Hall; Treasurer - W. J.
1873 Trustees - James W. Moore,
Abner Eddy, Isaac Brown; Clerk - Thomas Hall; Treasurer -W.
J. Bertolett; Assessor - John Hughes..
1874. Trustees. - Isaac Brown,
Henry Snyder, Alexander Carl; Clerk - Thomas Hall; Treasurer
- John Jones; Assessor- Joseph Tribbey.
1875. Trustees - Henry Snyder,
Alexander Carl, John Aylesworth; Clerk - Samuel Pomeroy;
Treasurer - John Jones; Assessor: Joseph Tribbey.
1876. Trustees - A. W. Shearer, P.
W. Moulter, David Foltz; Clerk - Samuel Poweroy; Treasurer -
C. V. Vaniman; Assessor - Alexander Carl.
1877. Trustees - A. W. Shearer, P. W.
Moulter, F. M. Barton; Clerk - C. M. Lovett; Treasurer -
C. V. Vaniman; Assessor - R. S. Newkirk.
Justices of the Peace
- C. Spafford, April 23, 1831; Aaron Lytle, June 14, 1832;
C. Spafford, May 6, 1834; William Jewell, May 30, 1835;
Chester Spafford, October 20, 1836; L. D. Odell, April 28,
1837; Thomas McConkey, July 3, 1839; L. D. Odell, April
16, 18140; Thomas McConkey, July 16, 1842; L. D. Odell,
April 13, 1843; W. W. Brown, July 23, 1845; T. M. Gibbon,
April 21, 1846; W. W. Brown, April 12, 1848; T. M. Gibbon,
April 12, 1849; W. W. Brown, October 29, 1851; James
Aylesworth, April 21, 1852; W. W. Brown, October 21,1854;
James Aylesworth, April 17, 1855; W. W. Brown, October 30,
1857; James Aylesworth, April 14, 1858; James Taylor,
October 25, 1860; James Aylesworth, April 13, 1861; James
Aylesworth, April 15, 1864; John Robison, April 13, 1866;
James Aylesworth, James 8, 1867; E. G. Oldroyd, April 13,
1869; James Aylesworth, April 12, 1870; E. G. Oldroyd,
April 9, 1872; James Aylesworth, April 15, 1873; E. G. Oldroyd,
April 12, 1875; John B. Odell, April 13, 1876.
Reminiscences of Hon. Lorenzo D. Odell. -
My father, Nathan G. Odell, was born in Queen Anne county,
Maryland, November 4, 1872. He was a farmer and miller, and had
nine children. His ancestors were Irish, but had removed to
England, from whence they immigrated to America. For a number of
years he lived in Virginia, and was married in Berkeley county. In
1800 he removed with his family to Adams county, Ohio, and thence to
Wayne county, April 16, 1811, remaining there until the fall of 1830.
When he arrived, there was not a white inhabitant
living in what is now Clinton township, his nearest neighbor living on
the Perrysville road, near the residence of the late John Pile,
in Plain township. The Finleys, Hellars, Eagles and
Burns were living near Tylertown. He first entered the south
half of section 19, and afterwards half of section 29, new in Holmes
county, and his land was the first entered in the township. His
improvements were the first made in the township, and they were erected
in 1810 by him, the year prior to his removal. He cut wild hay the
year after he came, and kept his stock on this dried wild grass.
The site of this cabin was about 20 rods south of the house of the late
Isaac Newkirk. He found what is known as the Big Prairie
covered with wild, and sedge grass, some of which would grow to the
hight of ten feet, and was most difficult to suppress and conquer;
the timber was scarce and principally oak and hickory. Father soon
began the construction of a grist-mill, which was located about four
rods north-west and close to the bridge spanning the stream near the
late Isaac Newkirk's barn, and on the road from Big Prairie to
Lakeville. This mill was 25x25, two stories high, hewed logs,
shingled roof, breast-wheel, puncheon floor. The burrs were made
from nigger-heads, gathered upon section 18, in Clinton township, on the
farm owned by Ira H. Aylesworth. The hopper was made of
split cherry. There was not a sawed board or sawed stick of timber
in the mill, and was built by A. Trux, of Richland County, Ohio.
It was originally intended for grinding corn, but a small bolt was added
for the manufacture of flour, which was turned by hand. This mill
stood until 1822, and was called "the old corn-cracker." In 1825
he built the mill near the residence of the late Joseph Newkirk;
but prior to this, and as early as 1814, the first mill was erected
here, some Indians helping to raise it. These red scalpers were
qite numerous, and a block-house was constructed on a slight eminence
north of the late Isaac Newkirk's barn. Here the people
would assemble at night and sleep. A small stockade stood also
where John Rainey now lives. Father removed to St. Joseph,
Michigan, and died October 25, 1835.
The first settlers of Clinton township: Nathan G.
Odell, John Newkirk, Joshua and Thomas Oram, Mr. Brewer, Thomas Odell,
Abner Lake, Sen., Jacob Funk, Abner Eddy, Thomas McConkey, John Jones,
Stephen Morgan, Asa Griffith, Jacob Kunmere and his father,
Christian and John Smith, William and J. Wells,
Reuben Newkirk, John B. Brown, Henry Newkirk, Thomas Gorsuch, Joseph
Newkirk, Ira and Philip Aylesworth, Shadrach Benham, Noah Whitford,
Lorenzo D. Odell. After them came the Leydas, Pococks,
Shreves, Keys, Bealls, Metcalfs, etc. Mr. Brewer built
a cabin on the east bank of the Newkirk spring, about twenty feet
from its source, which Henry Newkirk subsequently occupied for
general shop purposes, the few shanties being built on Mr. Rainey's
place, and on a knoll west of where John Aylesworth now lives,
and where there are yet some apple trees standing. These were the
first houses built after my father's.
The first election was held in the cabin of John
Jones, where Thomas A. Brown, resides. Nathan G.
Odell was chosen first Justice, but refused to serve, when James
Priest was elected and served during his life. John Smith
was the first Clerk of the township. The first public road opened
was the one running form Wooster to Loudonville. An Indian trail
extended from the head of Odell's Lake to Millersburg, and
another trail from the same point diverged to Jeromeville. This
Indian town was located on the north side of the lake, and contained
about three hundred inhabitants under Mohican John.
What is known as the Big Prairie, was at first looked
upon as impassable swamp; it was soggy, wet, full of ponds, dangerous to
cattle. In Brown's Lake a son of Samuel Shreve, aged
seventeen years, was drowned.
A man named Thompson, was the first man who died
in the township. He was an emigrant who took sick while stopping
with John Newkirk, where Mr. Rainey lives, and died there
and was buried to the rear of the house. Dr. Henry Peters
was the first physician in the township, and was located at the
intersection of the roads, at the Newkirk graveyard.
Thomas Oram's wife was the first white person who died in the
township. In 1814 Reuben Newkirk and Thomas Odell,
two young men, went to Wooster to procure a coffin, carrying it home on
the backs of the horses. Each bore one end of it, though at times
the ends would strike the trees, when they would singly, time about,
have to carry it on their shoulders. The first resident of the
township married was Thomas, son of Nathan G. Odell, who
was joined in wedlock to Nancy Drake, of Holmes county, in 1813.
Some of Harrison's men encamped a little north
of east of father's house, and he sold them meat and other provisions.
The fist school-house built in the township was called
the Newkirk schoolhouse, and was situated on Henry Newkirk's
land, near the stream issuing from the Big Spring, and where the road
crosses it. It was a small log affair, the neighbors having met
together, cut them and erected the house. It was covered with
shingles, and contained three long benches for the children, and a
fire-place running the whole length of it. The first teacher was a
lady named Theory Parker, of Holmes county, who received
seventy-five cents per week for her services.
The first church was built by the Disciples, about one
and one-half miles north east of Shreve, on the farm of James Moore.
Revs. John Chester, Lewis Comar, Jewell Mitchell, etc., were the
pioneer ministers of this denomination.
The Methodist curch, near the Newkirk spring, was the
first of that persuasion in the township, and erected in about 1843.
David H., son of Henry and Jane Newkirk, was the first
person buried in this graveyard. The pioneer ministers in this
denomination were Revs. John Lane, James Goff, James McIntire, Joseph
Foster, Frederick Ruark (Ruark was a half-nigger, and married a
beautiful white woman on the representation that his complexion resulted
only from "the burnished livery of the sun"). Henry Ditmers
built this church, and its first minister's name was Samuel Whiteman.
Jacob Lee, Nathan G. Odell, William Greenlee, Joshua Oram and
Benjamin Bauer were the pioneer members of this church, and after
them came Joseph and Henry Newkirk, James Leyda, etc.
The Baptist church was organized in 1816, by Priest
Jones and David Kimpton, and its earlier members were
James, Jonathan and William Wells, John and Stephen Lamert,
Charles Isbell, Alpheus French. Its first minister was Rev.
Alpheus French, who was licensed the year the church was
constructed. The present Baptist church was built in 1855, by
Samuel Bennington. In this township in the early days were the
following distilleries, owned by Almond Aylesworth, Henry Shreve,
Thomas McConkey, thoams A. Brown, Mahaley McConkey, one of the land
formerly owned by Samuel Power, and another near the mill of
Joseph Newkirk, conducted by John Comer. * *
Cornelius Quick built the first mill, at the out let of the lake,
1825; his dam back-watered the region, and raised the lake about
eighteen inches. Nathan G. Odell sold the land, as he did
not desire litigation, to John Comer at a reduced price.
Comer bore a law-suit and soon "whaled" it to Quick. It
remained in court a number of years, and, as protracted and malicious
litigations do, well-nigh broke up both parties.
Abner Eddy, Sen.,
was born in Salsbury, Conn., Apr. 4, 1773. His father was a native
of Rhode Island, and his grandfather was an Englishman. He
remained with his father, who was a tanner and leather dealer, until he
was twenty-five years of age, when he was married to Martha Chapman,
of Litchfield, Conn., in 1798, when he removed to Birmingham, and thence
to Luzerne county, Pa., thence to Madison county, New York, and thence
to Erie county, same state, having been in the neighborhood of Buffalo
when it was sacked and burned.
From Erie county he removed to what is now Clinton
township, in 1815, settling on the place now occupied by Asa Eddy.
Though Mr. Eddy can not be classed with the first grade of
pioneers, he nevertheless entered the county at a period when there were
but few white settlers, and when the surrounding country was a
wilderness. On his arrival he built a log-cabin, in which he lived
for thirteen years, when he erected a brick house upon the foundation of
the original one, and upon its completion, in January, 1830, he opened a
place of public entertainment, called "Eddy's Inn," in which he
continued until the opening up of the railroad, in 1852.
Judge Eddy's house was headquarters for
stage-men, public officials and speculators, who traversed the old
coach-line for nearly a quarte rof a century. This coach-line was
owned by Neal, Moore & Co., of Columbus, and superintended by
K. R. Porter, of Wooster, who also had stock in the route.
This route extended from Cleveland to Cincinnati, and the travel upon it
was simply immense. Mr. Eddy was appointed Postmaster in
1822, the first appointment, probably, in the township, and retained the
office for many years. He was elected Justice of the peace about
1822, the first record in the journal bearing date of May 13, 1822, and
the first case he issued upon was that of Albert White against
Abner Lake, in a civil transaction. From the appearance of
Judge Eddy's docket, and his old files of papers, he must have done
a thriving business, for he had them nearly all brought before him,
"dead or alive," from John Driskel up to the Baptist minstrel or
the Methodist class-leader.
He slammed even justice into the face of the professional Christians the
same as into the professional thief. The Driskels, the
Jewells, the Rowans, the Conner and Lytles, and
the notorious Nathan Nichols and Jones, all were at times
brought under his jurisdiction. One party he sent to the Wooster
jail for thirty days for stealing a hog.
When Judge Eddy* settled on his place 63 years
ago he encountered many obstacles, before which men of less
determination would have succumbed. In going to Wooster, for the
first five years he had to go by the way of Newkirk's, for the
reason that he could not cross the prairies east of him. Near his
house were distinct remains of beaver dams, and rattlesnakes and
blacksnakes. Deer roamed the county in abundance, and a fact
notably observable was that they remained in that section ten yeas
longer than elsewhere in the county. Cranberries grew north of him
in abundance, and so plenty were they that his son, Asa Eddy,
remarked to us that "he could pick a bushel in an hour." They were
finally destroyed by drainage and general pasturage. He had eleven
children, eight boys and three girls. His death occurred June 22,
1861, in his 89th year.
Judge Eddy was a useful, valuable and
intelligent citizen, and performed a heroic part in the early settlement
of the county. Emmet Eddy, his son, was born in Madison
county, N.Y., Feb. 25, 1807, and removed to Wayne county with his father
in 1815, and Asa Eddy, another son, lives on the homestead farm
entered by his father on his arrival in the county. They are men
of business and intelligence, and scrupulously honest in their relations
of the world. They are men of independent minds, energetic
workers, devoted to agriculture, stock raising, and are honorable,
hard-working, prosperous and wealthy famers.
McConkey, was born in Washington County, Pa., in 1781,
and removed to Ohio about the beginning of the war of 1812. He
first stopped a short time in Wooster, purchased a farm near Millbrook,
remained there a year, and then removed to the farm a short distance
east of Shreve, and where he lived until his death, February 29, 1869,
having in the meantime accumulated seven hundred acres of land. He
was married to Elizabeth Hague, and had two sons, and seven
daughters. He was a member of the Disciple church, and served
three years as Justice.
William H. Brown,
was born Mar. 23, 1815, in Pike, or what is now Clinton township.
His father, John B. Brown, was a native of Loudon county,
Virginia, and immigrated to Wayne county with the Funks, in 1813.
April 6, 1837, he married Phoebe Lee, the union resulting in the
following children: Elias, James, Hugh, Caroline, William W., Mary
M., Millard Fillmore, David Stephen, Phoebe E. He was elected
Justice of the Peace in 1845, and held that office fifteen years
consecutively, and served as township Trustee and School Director for
the last thirty-five years. He is an excellent citizen and
Shreve was a native of Westmoreland county, Pa., where he
was born July 28, 1787. He visited Wayne county in 1817, and April
21, 1821, settled in Clinton township with his father, his wife (Mary
Wigle) and five children, five more being born to him in Ohio.
He was a miller by occupation, and immediately bought the mill now owned
by George W. England, and cleared land, farmed and run the mill.
In time he became highly prosperous, owning at one time 1,400 acres of
land in Wayne and Holmes counties. He held many public offices -
was Justice of the Peace; member of the Legislature in 1839-40; in 1841
was a candidate for State Senate, but beaten by Charles Wolcott,
of Wooster; was delegate frequently to State conventions; held nearly
all the township offices; and was President of the convention held in
Wooster to take action on the construction of the P., Ft. W. & C.
Railway through the county. He died July 4, 1858.
Shreve, the eighth child and fourth son of Thomas
Shreve, was born near Shreve, Mar. 5, 1826, and has always been a
citizen of Clinton township, and a man of prominence in the county.
He is a steadfast Democrat, and has held all the township offices.
He was elected County Commissioner in 1859 over Benj. Norton,
and re-elected over James Aylesworth in 1862. He has had
seven children, one of whom, a daughter, is dead. His son, Ezra
D. Shreve, of Wooster, is the present County Surveyor.
Ira H. Aylesworth, Sr.,
was born in Vermont, and was married to Esther Gray, a native of
Massachusetts, by whom he had six children, four of whom are living.
He emigrated from the State of New York to Wayne county in October,
1816, and settled in Clinton township, near where the brick house now
stands, and directly south of the late residence of W. P. Aylesworth.
He bought the land of William Larwill, paying therefor $5 per
acre. About two years after locating here he returned to New York
on business, and made the trip on foot, a distance of 500 miles, and
returned in the same manner. He was a man of business energy; was
Justice of the Peace, Trustee, and held various other offices, and
accumulated considerable property.
oldest son and child of Ira H., was born in Otsego county, New
York, Sept. 1, 1812, and came with his parents to Wayne county in 1816,
where he resided until his death. He had all his life been devoted
successfully to agriculture and stock-raising, and was a useful man and
first class citizen. He held every office within the gift of the
township; was in favor of all public improvements; canvassed for the
Wooster University, and gave liberally to it of his means. In 1852
he was elected Justice of the Peace, and held that office
uninterruptedly a period of twenty-five years. He had seven
Philip Aylesworth, was
born in Otsego county, New York, in 1793, his father being a farmer.
He was married in Otsego county, to Miss Mary Gray, in 1812, and
removed to Wayne county in the spring of 1815, bringing his wife and son
John, then two years old. He settled a short distance
north-west of Dogtown, on eighty acres he entered from the Government,
and the family had to camp out until he put up a cabin, 16x18 feet, with
stick and mud chimney and puncheon floor. He remained on this
place six years, then sold it, and moved to the farm where Mr. Carl
now lives, which he bought of Elder French, paying $500 for fifty
acres. Here he lived until about 1830, in the meantime buying the
balance of the quarter, one hundred and ten acres, all of which he then
sold and moved to where John Aylesworth now lives, where he died
in June, 1856, his wife surviving him until Mar. 3, 1877. He had
eight children, namely: John, Elvira, Ira, Aurilla, Elliott, Eli,
Electa, Eunice. Ira married Jane Bealer, of Holmes
county, and removed to Porter county, Indiana, and died in 1875;
Elliott married Caroline Priest, of Holmes county, and died
there in October, 1857; Eli died unmarried, in his twenty-first
year; Electa married Washington Porter, and died in Holmes
county, in 1864; Alvira married James Sawyer, of New York,
and lives in Porter county, Ind.; Eunice married John Au,
and lives in Mansfield.
son of Philip, was born in Otsego county, New York, Mar. 1, 1813,
and when two years of age removed with his father to Wayne county.
He worked with his father until twenty, and then started peddling clocks
in Medina, Lorain, Holmes, Coshocton and Knox counties, following that
pursuit for two years. Then he went to Kentucky and sold
wind-mills, disposing of $3,000 worth in four months. After he
quit peddling he bought a farm one and one-half miles from Goudy's
mill, Ashland county, 160 acres for $625; kept it a year and sold it for
$1,400 - then removed to where his son, Peter Aylesworth, now
lives, and continued adding to the farm until he had 400 acres.
Sept. 20, 1833, he was married to Miss Sallie Jones, daughter of
Richard Jones, of Fayette county, Pa., the union resulting in the
following children: Elias, married to Julia Beebe in
1858, and died in January, 1874; Sylvanus, married to Martha
Rose in 1861; Peter B., married to Ella Munson in
1870; William J., married to Catharine Zaring in 1866;
Nancy O., married to John W. Myers in 1865; Mary N.,
married to Alexander Carl in 1869; M. J., married to
Harvey Ross in 1874; Neal N., married to Martha Smith in
John Aylesworth is a respectable and industrious
and industrious farmer, who, by his energy and frugality, has acquired
much and valuable real estate. His sons are hard-working and
prosperous young men, and own some of the best farms in the township.
Joseph W. Kean,
a native of Pennsylvania, but whose father came from Ireland, removed to
Wayne county in the spring of 1821, bringing his family, consisting of
his wife and nine children, first settling about a mile west of Wooster
on a farm owned by William Kelley, a brother-in-law of
Alexander McBride. Here Mr. Kean lived until spring,
when he removed to East Union township, north of King's Tavern about a
mile, and lived here a year on a farm rented from Hubbard Carr.
He then removed to Plain township, where DeWitt Kean now lives,
where he entered 80 acres of land, plain lands chiefly, but also some
growths of good timber, on which he built a cabin 21x21 feet of round
logs. At the raising of this cabin he got severely hurt by one of
the logs falling on him, and he had to be carried to Jacob Weltmer's,
where he lay some time before he was well enough to be taken home.
He died Sept. 15, 1826, from the effects of that hurt. He was
married in Mifflin county, Pa., to Miss Sophia Kearns, May 25,
1801, and had nine children, as follows: Elizabeth, William,
Catharine, Thomas, John S., Sophie, Joseph A., Mary and Hezekiah.
son of Joseph W., was born Jan. 12, 1805, in Mifflin county, Pa.,
six miles east of Lewistown. His father left Mifflin county in
1815, and staid in Beaver and Allegheny counties, Pa., for six yeas, and
then removed to Wayne county. He was nearly 21 years of age when
his father died, and after his death remained eleven years working on
the farm to help support his mother and the family. After her
death, in 1836, he went west to look up a home, but became discouraged,
and returned and bought the old homestead. He was married Jan. 13,
1831, to Elizabeth Case, daughter of Augustus Case, of New
Jersey, who settled in Plain township, on the plains, in the spring of
1815. He had six children, viz.: D. C., Sophie, Anner,
Augustus C., John, Tamer, all of whom are living, except John,
a member of Captain J. H. Downing's company, 120th Regiment, who
died at Vicksburg, Mar. 12, 1863. Mr. Kean, with his wife,
has been a member of the Methodist church nearly forty years. He
served as Justice of the Peace two terms, and has held every township
office but Constable. Mr. Kean is one of the intelligent
and reliable men in his township whose public and private lives are
without reproach or blemish.
The Leyda Family -
Jacob Leyda, the oldest of three brothers, was born in Washington
county, Pa., and removed to Wayne county prior to 1819. He married
Elizabeth Wolf, of Lake township, Ashland county. He died
about 1836; his wife is also dead. James Leyda was born in
Washington county, Pa., July 17, 1801, and removed to Holmes county,
Ohio, in March, 1826, and from thence to Wayne county in 1833, settling
where he now lives, although he had visited the county in 1819. He
was twice married - first to Susannah Harman, of Washington
county, Pa., who died in January, 1831, leaving two children; second, in
the fall of 1831, to Huldah Sanford, of Wayne county, by whom he
has had nine children. Benjamin Leyda was born in
Washington county, Pa., Sept. 29, 1806, and settled in Clinton township
in 1825, where he married Elizabeth Newkirk, daughter of John
Newkirk, who was born June 3, 1812, and died Dec. 9, 1845. She
was the mother of the following children: Reuben N., Cyrus,
Louisa, Christena, Elmira, Newton, John N., of whom Louisa,
Christena and Elmira are dead. Mr. Leyda was
married a second time to Elizabeth Betz, of Holmes county, but a
native of Germany, and by this marriage had six children, viz: Henry
A., George W., Frank P., Flora E., Clinton C., and Mary
J., George W. Leyda was born Oct. 3, 1850, in Clinton township, and
on Oct. 25, 1873, was married to Miss Ella C. Eberly, sister of
Professor J. B. Eberly, of Smithville Academy. In 1871,
with his brother Newton, he engaged in mercantile business in Big
Prairie; was burned out Aug. 6, 1876, and erected his present building
in 1877. He is the present postmaster of Big Prairie, and railroad
agent at that station.
was born in Hartford county, Maryland, Dec. 29, 1770. At an
early age he was apprenticed to a blacksmith, with whom, after lived
years service, he was apprenticed to a blacksmith, with whom, after five
years service, he arrived at the age of manhood and maturity. He
immediately began the duties of his trade, of which he had acquired a
superior knowledge and mastery, and in the course of a few years of
persevering industry, unremitting labor and rigid economy, he
accumulated a handsome amount of money - in fact, a little fortune.
A man of resolute purpose, of firm,
unbending will, and with a determination of placing himself in a
situation where no man could be his master or dictator, he concluded on
a trip west of the mountains. He was married in the summer of 1815
to Catharine Hughes, and in the summer of that year he immigrated
to Wayne county, where he purchased from the Government and at private
sale over 2,000 acres of land, 1,760 acres in Clinton township, Wayne
county, and 640 in Ashland county. He then returned to Maryland,
where he remained till 1820, when he removed his family to Ohio and
settled upon his land. He now devoted himself wholly to his farm,
abandoning his trade altogether. An unfortunate occurrence
transpired soon after his arrival, in the death of his wife, who had
borne him five children, all of whom are dead. He was married a
second time, to Grace Smith, by whom he had ten children.
Jabez, the oldest of the boys, married Hester Dull, of Plain
township, and lives in Montgomery county, Illinois, and is a farmer - a
high-minded gentleman, whose life has been successful and prosperous.
Cornelius is unmarried and lives in Iowa. Robert was
married to Keziah White, lived in Clinton township, dying July
12, 1865. Elias H. lives in Walnut, Indiana, and is a
practicing physician. He had one daughter, Eleanor C. Pocock,
who married Hiram Whitney, and who died in Mansfield, Ohio, May
16, 1861, leaving one son, Harvey W., who now resides in Nokomis,
Montgomery county, Illinois, and is a teacher. John is a
citizen of Shreve, and is married to Alice, daughter of John
Moore. Eli D. Pocock, M. D., was born June 13, 1845, read
medicine with Dr. J. H. Todd, and graduated at Bellevue Hospital
in February, 1870, began practice in Mansfield, staid there three years,
and came to Shreve in 1873. He was married October 18, 1870, to
Luilla B. Foltz, of Shreve.
Elijah Pocock, the apprenticed
blacksmith, the owner of over 2,000 acres of land in the primal days of
the county, was indeed and emphatically a forest nobleman. He
started upon life in poverty, and by the blows struck upon the anvil,
carved out the means with which he laid the basis of his fortune.
He was a man distinguished for his prudence and sterling honesty.
He detested and despised the indolent man, and his disposition was most
liberal, charitable and benevolent. He believed that God
helped the man who helped himself, and he was ever ready to bestow
assistance and benefactions upon all worthy objects. We pronounce
him the best type of the pioneers who settled in the county - a man of
remarkable life and signal achievements.
Newkirk was born in Washington County, Pa., and removed
to Clinton township in 1814. He was among the earliest of the
settlers, and upon his arrival purchased from Joshua Oram the
farm now owned and occupied by John Rainey. He was married
to Christena Clouse, and had seven children, to wit:
Elizabeth, Milton, Newton, Ursula, Cyrus, George W. and Rhoda.
Her death occurred Sept. 17, 1827, and his, Oct. 2, 1827, he being
but forty-one years of age. He was better known as Captain John
Newkirk, and in the early days kept a stage-office, running from his
place to Wooster. He was among the first Justices of the township,
and taught the first school in Lake township. His name is of
frequent occurrence in the county records, and he was a brilliant, keen,
Newkirk, a native of Washington
county, Pa., emigrated to Clinton township, Wayne county, as early as
1814. He settled upon a farm, which his father, Isaac Newkirk,
a soldier under General Crawford, had entered, and immediately
addressed himself to its improvement. As early as 1815 he had
erected upon his own farm, near the Big Spring, a frame dwelling for
He returned to Pennsylvania thereafter and married
Jane Hart, of Washington county, when he returned with is wife to
his new home on the hillside of the most beautiful valley of the whole
county. Here the wedded pair toiled and struggled, and here the
problem of life was finally solved.
In 1827 Mr. Newkirk, in conjunction with
General Thomas McMillen, constructed the carding factory, the first
one ever erected in the township. Mr. Newkirk devoted his
attention more exclusively to the farming interests, in which he was
highly prosperous and successful, eventually acquiring competence and
wealth. His family consisted of David H., Sarah, Isaac, Rhoda
Maria, Paxton, Emily J. and Nercissa L. Newkirk. David H.
died July 3, 1826, aged fourteen months; Sarah married George
Bell, and died in the West; Rhoda Maria married A. P.
Hopkins, Esq., of Washington county, Pa., and has two
children, Henry and Mary; Isaac married, and is dead;
Paxton married Ellen Pocock, and died May 3, 1861; Emily,
a graduate of Washington Seminary, Pennsylvania, married W. N. Paxton,
a prominent lawyer of Pittsburg, Pa., and who served through the
Rebellion as a Captain; Nercissa L., a graduate of Urbana
Seminary, Ohio, married Ben Douglass, the author of this history,
June 20, 1861, having two children, Misses J. Mabel and Anna
D. Douglass. The father of this family died Aug. 21, 1847,
aged 57 years, 10 months and 27 days, his wife, Jane, dying Feb.
He was a man of great uprightness of life and purity of
character, and his wife was a most gentle, amiable and prepossessing
woman, of rare intellectual culture and refinement, whom death
relentlessly separated from her family when many of them needed the
guidance and counsel of both father and mother. The mysterious
influence which the Christian life of the parent imparts, in this
instance left its impression, and all of the children, those dead a well
as living, became members of the church.,
In early life he and his wife united with the Methodist
church, and deeded the grounds on which the church edifice now stands;
likewise deeding he present beautiful cemetery grounds to the public and
neighborhood, as a free, open place of interment, and which is now
incorporated and bearing the Newkirk name. The lives of
Henry and Jane Newkirk illustrated the excellency of the Christian
character, and they sleep together in the sacred enclosure which was the
gift of their hearts, waiting the resurrection and the ultimate re-union
of the scattered but golden links of the riven household.
Newkirk, son of Henry, was born June 5, 1821, in
Clinton township, and was married to Sarah O. Gibbon, Mar. 27,
1847, and united in the Methodist church in the winter of 1856. He
was suddenly seized with violent illness while attending the grand jury
in Wooster, and died Dec. 22, 1870. The following is an extract
from an obituary written at his death:
The large concourse which followed his remains to the
grave, was a beautiful tribute to the might of simple goodness.
Riches, rank, fortune, intellect, all have commanded their homage
before; but only that rare and beautiful combination of all that is
lovely and of good report, which was found in our friend, could have
called forth that spontaneous homage from all hearts. Mr.
Newkirk was known and beloved by his neighbors, for his lofty spirit
of honor, spotless integrity, delicacy of conscience, kindness of heart,
and promptness of decision. In all the varied relations of
Sunday-school Superintendent, Steward and Class-leader, he gave fine
satisfaction to the church. During most of his illness he was
favored with peace and tranquility; and when coffined and hearsed, the
uniform testimony borne to his life was, "He sleeps well." He was
greatly respected and beloved by a large and numerous circle of friends,
especially by the society at Newkirks, of which he was a member.
Association, of Big Prairie, organized and incorporated
Apr. 7, 1877. John W. Newkirk was elected Trustee for three
years, Asahel W. Shearer Trustee for two years, and Henry M.
Newkirk for a term of one year; A. W. Shearer, President;
J. B. Odell, Clerk and Treasurer. Members - L. D. Odell,
J. W. Newkirk, A. W. Shearer, O. W. Lake, John Pocock, James J.
Stewart, John Rainey, Edmund A. Lehr, Allen Metcalf, James Rainey, James
Leyda, H. M. Newkirk, T. G. Odell.
Odell was born in Adams county, Ohio, Oct. 29, 1810.
His father removing to Wayne county the ensuing year, he became a
citizen of the county at a very early date. The earlier years of
his life were spent upon the farm and assisting his father in the mill.
His opportunities for procuring an education were of a limited
character, and consisted chiefly in the endeavor he made to procure it
When quite a boy, and before he began teaching, he
visited Michigan and became associated with a corps of surveyors, who
were running off Government lands, with which body of men he remained
for a period of six months. After his return, and in the fall of
1829, he began teaching, and continued in this pursuit until 1832, when
the next year he purchased a portion of his father's farm, when he
devoted himself to agriculture and surveying.
He was elected Justice of the Peace in 1836, holding
that position for twelve years, being elected the two last terms without
opposition. He acted in the capacity of County Surveyor from 1847
to 1850, and was elected to the Legislature of the State of Ohio from
Wayne county, serving in that honorable body two terms - from Jan. 7,
1856, to Jan. 2, 1860.
He took an active part in the construction of the
Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne & Chicago Railroad, and was instrumental in
procuring the station at Big Prairie.
He was married July 12, 1832, to Annie Gibbon,
of Lycoming county, Pa. Mr. Odell has been a member of the
Baptist church since 1841. Thomas Odell, who settled in
Wayne county in 1810, soon began preaching, and continued his ministry
until 1829, when he removed West, dying in Kansas, July 23, 1861.
Lorenzo D. Odell, in his more active years, was
a man of prominence and influence in Wayne county, of which he has been
a citizen for nearly sixty-seven years. On his arrival there was
not a township organized in the county, and the city of Wooster had but
a paper existence. He has witnessed its growth, its sudden
transition from wilderness misrule and darkness to unprecedented
prosperity and enlightened civilization. Few men in the county
have had such an experience, and few indeed possess the recollection of
its scenes and its early history, with the certainty and vividness of
Mr. Odell. He is a man of strong and self-poised intellect, of
extraordinary memory, of sound and solid judgment, and matured,
disciplined and cultivated mind. He is an excellent judge of human
character, and his perceptive powers are remarkably acute and brilliant.
He is possessed of calm reflection, arrives at his conclusions
cautiously, and reasons and deduces from the tangible premise to the
logical conclusion. When entrenched in his opinions he knows how
to defend them. He discriminates keenly, and while he believes
there is purity in the world, he has looked at it long enough through
the spectrum of the observing man to detect its flaws, shams and frauds.
He is secretive, reserving his thoughts and forces, only putting them in
motion as occasion requires; hence he is a reliable adviser, a
trustworthy counselor, whose suggestions compel attention and gravity of
His official life is unclouded by errors of heart or
action. As County Surveyor he ably sustained his already achieved
reputation, and in the Legislature of the State he established a record
such as his successors may worthily imitate. He is a life-long
Democrat of the original school; has ever maintained in his course a
true consistency, and in this respect he has punctuated his record with
Newkirk, a native of Washington county, Pa., removed with
his brothers, John and Henry, to Wayne county, settling in
Clinton township in 1814, and , with his brother Henry, was an
unmarried man. He and John set to work and built a
saw-mill, the first one erected in the township. That season he
returned to Pennsylvania, and whilst there married Miss
Margaret Leyda, of Washington county, returning with his wife
to the scene of his former labors in 1815. They made the passage
in wagons, crossing the Killbuck near what was known as Sharp's Bridge,
the water being so high that the horses had to swim across the stream.
They then fastened grape-vines to the wagons, and, hitching the horses
to these, drew the wagons over. The year before this Reuben,
assisted by his brother Henry, had constructed a house.
Mr. Newkirk immediately proceeded to clearing up and improving his
farm, and in the course of time made it both attractive and beautiful.
He was a man of great energy and determination, and in the end his
labors were largely compensated. Physically he was a fine specimen
of manhood. He was a man of strictest integrity, rigid morality
and unimpeachable private character. He died Sept. 14, 1863, and
in his 72d year. His son John occupies and owns the old
homestead, and O. S. Newkirk, another son, lives in Ashland,
Ohio. He is a land-owner, and is comfortably fixed, having retired
from the farm possessed of a competence of this world's goods. He
is a first class citizen, and has raised a fine intelligent family.
Newkirk, son of Reuben, and a native of Clinton
township, was born on the spot where he lives, July 4, 1826, and
therefore is as indigenous to the soil as the trees upon his farm.
His boyhood life was spent with his father upon the farm and in the
mill. He availed himself of the advantages of such an education as
the district school presented, and soon acquired a business bent of
mind, which has subsequently characterized his whole career.
He was married Mar. 1, 1849, to Rebecca Wells,
daughter of William Wells, of Holmes county. He is a
professional farmer, and an active, enterprising, wide-awake citizen.
His inclination at times induces him to indulge in politics, in which
sphere he is a strong opponent and shrewd manager. He has served
pretty nearly through the whole scale of township promotions, and in
1871 was elected Commissioner of Wayne county, and his three years of
service in that capacity marks an epoch in its history. He is a
man of decided views, resolute determination, strong moral courage and
stern and independent convictions.
Rainey was born Nov. 5, 1799, in Washington county, Pa.,
and was married in November, 1824, to Luzerba Newkirk, of the
same county with himself, by which marriage there resulted eight
children. His wife dying Sept. 16, 1864, he was married a second
time to Elizabeth Wells, May 18, 1868. He is a farmer by
occupation, and the owner of a large tract* of real estate, which may be
ranked with the superior lands of the township. He is a citizen of
sterling worth, strictest integrity, and great kindness and simplicity
of character. He has long been a member of the Presbyterian
church, of which he is a zealous and devoted member.
or, as he is sometimes denominated, "The Jerusalem Pilgrim," immigrated
to Wayne county in 1814, from the State of New York in company with his
father, who was a farmer, and with whom the subject of this notice, we
believe, spent his earlier life.
The disposition to "orate" vociferously and
promiscuously, on multitudinous and incomprehensible themes, together
with a stalwart proclivity to travel, in more mature years violently
exhibited itself, He precociously developed an instinct for
"isms," notably so of those pertaining to the church. The
Universal idea at once prevailed in his mind; at another time he
danced to the music of Alexander Campbell; again he tumbled to
the dogmas and tenets of the immortal Wesley; and again hoisted the
"Bull's eye" motto of Brigham Young, the fibritudinous father,
the multiferous husband, the king and priest, the blinger and byzalcuum
of the Valley of the Saints.
Nobably, latterly, and lastly, he started on a solemn
pilgrimage to Jerusalem on horseback, with one hundred dollars in his
pocket, to set the remaining pawn-brokers of that village right on the
subject of religion. He had a lively time getting there, and on
his arrival found a queer people, with a strange language with which he
was unacquainted, though he was heard to speak in an unknown tongue
himself during the Mormon excitement. He found the Jerusalemites
sound on his doctrines, and after an absence of about two years he
returned with maps, charges, etc., footing it from Philadelphia to his
home without money. He is a man of intelligence, of good morals, a
farmer, and always a busy man. He is now far advanced in life.
named after Thomas Shreve, was originally called Clinton Station.
It had its beginning and date of existence with the completion of the
Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne Chicago railway, and is one of the most
enterprising villages in Wayne county. The north part was laid out
by D. Foltz and George Stewart, and the south by Thomas
McConkey and D. K. Jones - ten acres on each side - but now
has far extended beyond these limits. The first sale of lots took
place in March and April, 1853, at private sale, and some disposed of at
public sale in May, the same year. The first lots bought and sold
in the village were by D. K. Jones, on which he built a
store-room and residence, the same being at present owned and occupied
by him. The first house built in Shreve was a two-story frame,
erected by Neal Power in 1853. D. K. Jones was the
first postmaster, and opened the first dry goods store.
Christian Roth, now living in Wooster, built the first hotel.
Dr. W. Battles was the first physician, locating in 1855.
James Number's child was the first one born in Shreve, and the
first woman that died was Miss Barbara Muterspaugh.
It was incorporated as a village December
26, 1859, the citizens most instrumental in this enterprise being
Albert Richardson, V. D. Manson, D. K. Jones, John Robison, Joseph
Dyarman and William Batdorf. The first election of
village officers was held at the hotel of Captain W. H. McMonigal,
on March 10, 1860, and resulted: Mayor - V. D. Manson;
Recorder - William M. Knox; Trustees - D. K. Jones, John
Robison, Joseph Dyarman, James Taylor, William Johnson. The
officers since have been as follows:
Mayors. 1861 - Abraham Tidball; 1862 - Henry Everly;
1863 - William J. Bertolett, M. D.; 1864 - Zephaniah Lovett;
1865 - V. D. Manson; 1866 - V. D. Manson.
1867. Mayor - Elmer Oldroyd;
Councilmen - Albert Richardson, Daniel Gillis, William M. Knox, Z. B.
Campbell, J. H. Hunter; Recorder - J. H. Todd; Treasurer -
1868. Mayor - John Pomeroy; Councilmen
- A. Richardson, A. E. Becker, E. H. Montgomery, W. J. Bertolett,
John Robison; Recorder - W. M. Knox; Treasurer - S. D.
1869. Mayor - J. H. Hunter;
Councilmen - D. S. Smith, t. F. Bedford, G. W. England, Obed
Smetzer; Recorder - C. M. Kenton; Treasurer - S. D. Adams.
1870. Mayor - W. J. Bertolett;
Councilmen - P. H. Ebright, H. Everly, John Thomas, V. D. Manson, Wm.
M. Knox., J. B. Pomeroy; Recorder - J. H. Todd; Treasurer -
1871. Mayor - C. M. Kenton; Councilmen -
John C. Thomas, John b. Pomeory, S. D. Adams; Recorder
- J. H. Todd; Treasurer - Z. Lovett.
1872. Mayor - John Robison; Councilmen
- Isaac Brown, David Smith, B. F. Mohn; Recorder - John H. Boyd;
Treasurer - B. F. Mohn.
1873. Mayor - John Robison; Councilmen -
J. C. Thomas, A. Todall, Obed Smetzer, Isaac Brown, David Smith, B.
F. Mohn; Recorder - E. G. Oldroyd; Treasurer - John M.
1874. Mayor - John Williams; Councilmen -
John Jones, Jacob Eberhart, Lenry Lefever, J. C. Thomas, A. Tidball,
Obed Smetzer; Recorder - E. G. Oldroyd; Treasurer - John
1875. Mayor - John Williams; Councilmen -
John Tomas, Benj. H. Palmer, John B. Pomeroy, John Jones, Jacob
Eberhart, Henry Lefever; Recorder - William W. Wise;
Treasurer - John M. Robison.
1876. Mayor - Daniel Barcus; Councilmen -
W. H. Grossjean, Lemuel Wilent, Jacob Weiker, John Thomas, Benj. H.
Palmer, John B. Pomeroy; Recorder - William W. Wise;
Treasurer - John M. Robison.
1877. Mayor - J. D. Barcus; Councilmen -
John Jones, B. H. Palmer, Jacob Eberhart, W. H. Grossjean, Lemuel
Wilent, Jacob Weiker; Recorder - William W. Wise; Treasurer -
D. B. Pocock.
Shreve School. -
In 1868 the corporation limit of the village of Shreve was
constituted a school district, separately and by itself. An
election was held on the 1st of May, at the instance of the Board of
Education, authorizing them to select grounds and adopt measures to
procure funds to construct a school-house. It was resolved that a
house be built, and that it be of brick. Bids were received, and
on motion of Henry Everly the contract was let to John P.
Wise, June 23, at his offer of $788. Edwin Oldroyd
was the first teacher occupying the new house. In May, 1867, it
was resolved to build a new school-house. After due deliberation
contracts were let, and a committee, consisting of A. Richardson, A.
Seebarger and John Jones, appointed to superintend its
construction. The first members of Board of Education in Shreve
were John Robison, W. S. Battles, Henry Everly, Albert Richardson,
Daniel Bertolet and W. G. Crossman. John Robison was
appointed President, W. S. Battles, Clerk, and A. Richardson,
Treasurer, same day.
Shreve Journal - Charles M. Kenton first
established a newspaper in Shreve in the spring of 1868. It was
issued monthly, and called The Home Mirror. Its name was
subsequently changed to The Shreve City Mirror, and it was
published weekly. In May, 1874, Mr. Kenton removed
to Marysville, Ohio, and Dr. J. C. Dalton and James N. Brady
introduced the Shreve Journal. In January, 1876, Dr.
Dalton disposed of his interest in the Journal to Mr.
Brady, who is the present proprietor. The Journal is a
finely printed eight-page paper, and under the influence of its present
conductor has attained considerable notoriety.
K. Jones, eldest son of Hon. Benjamin Jones,
was born in Wooster, July 21, 1815, and on February 3, 1842, married
Elizabeth Rayl, of Franklin township. They had six children,
viz.: Benjamin T., Lake F., Hannah E., Ella, Susan C.
(dead), and Delilah K. Since 1836 Mr. Jones has
engaged in commercial pursuits, commencing in the dry goods trade in
Wooster, with A. H. Trimble, and during late years successfully
following that business in Shreve, where he is an enterprising and
William S. Battles, M. D.,
was born at White Hall Station, at that time one of the suburbs
of Philadelphia, Pa., May 12, A. D., 1827. His ancestry being
somewhat illustrious in its bearings, we shall briefly advert to it.
On the paternal side he is half Scotch, his father being a descendant of
an old Pittsfield family, of Berkshire county, Mass. On the
maternal line of the old English blood is strongly infused, so that he
presents a felicitous ancestral combination of two of the most
intellectual and cultured civilizations of Europe.
His mother's name was Susan Snowden, a native of
Philadelphia, all of whose ancestors were Quakers for 200 years.
Her mother's name was West, a not distant relative of the celebrated
Quaker painter, Benjamin West, of Chester county, Pa. Her
grandfather, a Quaker, was excommunicated by the brotherhood in the war
of the Revolution for joining a Colonial regiment and performing
Thus it will be seen that the ancestral origin of
Dr. Battles is eminently significant and noteworthy, yet in a
country like ours, neither birth, title nor distinguished family
connections enter into the composition of American manhood, nor are they
stepping-stones by which there possessors climb to greatness or renown.
The mold of the American society is so uniform, and so equalized are its
various classes, that in the competition for honors the solid merit
alone of the competitors is called in question.
Thomas S., the father of Dr. Battles, removed from
Philadelphia to Cumberland county, Pa., where he sojourned for less than
two years, thence directing his steps to what was then called the
farther west, located in September, 1833, one and one-half miles north
of what is now known as the village of Shreve. His father being a
farmer, young Battles had an agreeable future, such as we record
of Firestone, plying the arts of husbandry and the tillage of the soil.
Here he discovered the true alchemy of transforming a clod into a loaf
of bread; and as he uprooted saplings with his mattock, and leveled the
golden grain with his old-time cradle, we fancy that whatever was ideal
in his nature became grossly realistic. There can be no doubt,
however, but that the Doctor exalted the province of agriculture; and he
absolutely claims that whatever honor attaches to the profession of a
rail-splitter he is entitled to a share of it, as well as Hanks,
or Abe Lincoln. At the age of nineteen a change came over
the spirit of his dream; he resolved to abandon the farm. His
first adventure in academic fields was at Hayesville, Ashland county,
where in the skirmish of research and the battle of books, he concluded
his course at the end of seventeen weeks. At the age of twenty he
taught his first school. On the 6th of August, 1847, he entered
the office of Dr. T. H. Baker, of Millbrook, with whom he
remained for a term of four yeas, teaching school during all this time,
with the exception of six months, both winter and summer.
He attended his first course of lectures at Starling
Medical College during the winter of 1850-51, in the spring of the
latter year beginning practice with his preceptor, the winter following
completing his course at Columbus, graduating Feb. 22, 1852. On
his return he resumed practice with Dr. Baker, continuing with
him till the winter of 1853, which he spent in Cleveland, Philadelphia
and New York, in attendance upon the hospitals of those cities, at
the termination of which time he once more renewed his professional
labors with his old preceptor. In the spring of 1855 he went to
Edinburg, in East Union township, where he staid seven months, during
which time he became a member of the American Medical Association.
On the 20th of November, 1855, he was married to
Miss Mahala Kister, of Millbrook, daughter of J. A. Kister, Esq.
In December of the same year he proceeded to the village of Shreve,
where he practiced till the spring of 1865, when, owing to
pulmonary hemorrhage, from which he had been suffering for a
series of yes, he abandoned practice and indulged in travel for a year.
In 1866 he was one of four gentlemen who organized the Citizens' Bank of
Ashland, his residence at this time, and for one year, being there.
Thoroughly dissatisfied with a strictly commercial life, he dissolved
his connection with the concern. His health being restored, he
again returned to Shreve, re-commencing professional work, in which
field he has labored with great assiduity and signal success ever since.
Dr. Battles is devoted, body and soul, to his
profession, and, notwithstanding its drudgeries and annoyances, has
endeavored to shed pleasure upon its labors. He is philosopher
enough to know that it is the very wantonness of folly for a man to
search out the frets and cares of his profession and give his mind every
day to the consideration of them, for there is no vocation or calling
that, in all its aspects, is wholly agreeable.
Moreover, he has great faith in medical societies and
associations, where a presentation and interchange of professional
opinions become of the utmost importance. While a student, in
1851, he joined the Wayne County Medical Society, and as before stated,
in 1856 became a member of the American Medical Association,
representing the home society at its meeting in Philadelphia, in 1856;
again at Chicago in 1863, and at St. Luis in 1873. In 1858 he
connected himself with the State Medical Society, of Ohio, and in 1873
united with the Union Medical Association, of northeastern Ohio, of
which he has been Vice President.
Dr. Battles is not a specialist, but has
been, and is successful in the different branches of his profession.
In it he has attained respectful and eminent rank, and by application
and punctuality has secured the confidence and patronage of the people.
Thus far we have chiefly spoken of him from
the professional standpoint. Viewed under the mirror of the social
microscope, he is a most entertaining companion. In his society
the portable quality of his good humor seasons all the parts and
occurrences we meet with in such a manner that there are no moments lost
when with him. His courtesies are manifested alike toward friends
and strangers; he has fine sensibilities and exhibits admirable gayety
and earnestness of sentiment. If he is familiar with the mysteries
of anatomy, he is equally acquainted with the elegancies of
conversation. With a disquisition on the former he can readily
accommodate you, and in the social circle, if you are not careful, where
he sits will be the head of the table. He is frank, cheery,
ever-hoping and enduring - the thorn might be in his foot a long time
before he would tell you. He has intellect and imagination, and
lives deeply in the inward nature.
He is ambitious and has moral courage. He is
self-made, self-investigating, and believes that in every nature, as in
Australia, there is an unexplored territory - green, well-watered
regions, and sandy deserts, and into that territory experience should
make progress day by day.
He aspires to excellence, and has strong
convictions, and will maintain them vigorously, until convinced that
they are untenable. He rejects what is specious and simply
plausible, on the hypothesis that truth is the supreme reality. He
does not assent until fully persuaded, and believes that even the
logical side of things should be made lucid and available.
If he has fluency and flexibility of conversation he
has force and facility of composition. He is a correspondent of
some of the standard medical magazines, and his productions are pretty
sure to arouse discussion. He writes good poetry, and can spear
you with a prose jest, or bore you through with an epigrammatic javelin.
He loves poetry, not because he has been upon Parnassus, but because he
has a natural affinity with the gods of Parnassus. His sentimental
and emotional nature have put him in harmony with nature, with whose
heart his own must be in tune; hence he not only loves her, but revels
in her; plunges into her infinite bosom and fills himself with
intoxication with her charms. He now in the vigor of manhood, and
has many yeas of activity and usefulness before him. He is a
member of the Methodist church, and his private life is blameless and
exemplary. He is a valuable citizen in the community - contributed
to Wooster University, aided in the project of the Shreve schools, and
is a friend to all popular education. In him the aesthetic faculty
is largely developed. Hence he adorns, ornaments, plants trees,
flowers, etc. He has faith in man, for God made him; faith
in the true relition, for it is intended to save man. Like
Tenneyson, he looks forward to the Golden Year -
|"When wealth no more shall rest in mounded heaps,
But smit with freer light shall slowly melt
In many streams to fatten lower lands,
And light shall spread, and man be liker man
Thro' all the season of the golden year."
Dr. Battles, having frequently visited the
courts of the muses, we append the following:
"LOVE THEY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF."
by Dr. W. S. Battles
We love Thee, Lord, we've long
But do we love our brother?
We love ourselves we fear too much,
O help us love each other.
We serve Thee, Lord, in wordy prayer,
We praise in lengthy song,
But quite forget that we were made
To help the weak along.
We give our goods to build Thine house,
We give Thy word to spread;
And then forget Thy starving poor
Should share our daily bread.
We whisper in Thine ear of love,
And tell how kind Thou art;
Then turn with bitter words and wound
A brother's tender heart.
Help us, O Lord, to love Thee more,
Thy goodness more proclaim;
But in this service not forget
Our fellow's kindred claim.
Help us to wipe from sorrow's cheek
The scalding tears of care,
And make these humble charities
The incense of our prayer.
J. H. Todd, M.D.,
was born in Franklin township, Feb. 4, 1838. On the paternal
side he inherits the Celtic block, although his father, James Todd,
is a native of York county, Pa.; but tracing the genealogy tree
another generation, we find that he descends from a line of
mariners, his grandfather being a sea-captain and the owner of ocean
ships plying the waters between American ports and the farther
Indies, addicted not only to the daring adventures of the foaming
main, but a speculator and importer of blooded horses from Arabia -
a friend to the amusements of the turf and field, and who sought to
render life one glad, prolonged enjoyment.
The subject of this notice spent his earlier years upon the farm and
attending the public schools at Jeromeville, Wooster and Haysville.
He began the study of medicine in the spring of 1861 in the office
of Battles & Bertolet, of Shreve, where he remained till 1863.
After the battle of Gettysburg was fought, Dr. Todd obeyed the call
of the nation for help, and on July 10th hastened to the scene of
that carnival of blood. There and at Harrisburg he continued
during the summer and until the lecture term commenced at Bellevue
Hospital, New York, where he remained during the winter of 1863-64.
He next placed himself under the private instruction of Austin
Flint, Sr., of New York, receiving special instruction in the
branches of percussion and auscultation of the longs, or pulmonary
disease, continuing with him during the winter term, at the end of
which he received a flattering certificate of qualification.
Simultaneously he was taking lessons in the principles of surgery
from Professor Smith, of Bellevue.
the spring of 1865 he received his diploma and settled in Shreve.
In the summer of 1869 he was commissioned as delegate by the Medical
Society of Wayne county, to the National Medical Society, of New
Orleans, to which signal honor he responded, returning after an
absence of six weeks. In 1870 he re-visited New York, putting
himself under the special care of Austin Flint, Jun.,
as second assistant in the department of physiology. During
this time he also applied himself to microscopy, under
Delafield, and in this case, as under Profession
Flint, he never went into the lecture room, but enjoyed all
the advantages of strictly private instruction. His facilities
for private instruction under Professor Hamilton in
surgery at Bellevue were equally favorable, and fortified with this
more than ordinary practical experience, he returned to Shreve and
entered again upon practice.
married Oct. 1, 1872, to Miss Ophelia Campbell, of
Dixon, Ill., their issue being one son.
When Mr. Todd entered upon his studies his aim was
to be an educated, practical man. Turgid dissertations, florid
compositions, plumed didactics and lecture-room prolusions, are not
the sole aliment of practical men. Opportunity has been
gracious to him, of which he availed himself, and by unremittent
effort he has made great achievements. He has made a specialty
in the domain of surgery, and takes rank with the best operators of
Ohio. The flesh-separating knife, and bone-shattering saw move
to the government of his eye and the machinations of his hand, with
which he is as familiar as Gildersleeve with his
rifle, or Bogardus with the science of the
If he did not, like
Torricelli, invent the microscope, he is nevertheless wedded to the
myriad microcosms, that, in the twinkling of an eye, may be
developed by its mirrors. In this most vital branch of his
profession, which reduces the diagnosis of most diseases to a
certainty there are none in the county to aspire to rivalry.
Dr. Todd has an excellent professional, historical and miscellaneous
literary library, and his passion for the accumulation of books is
tantamount to the mania. His books - and his library is one of
the best in the county - have been selected with extreme care, the
professional department embracing many volumes which are not to be
found in modern libraries, and which, in fact, can not be procured,
only by sales of private collections. On entering either of
his office or dwelling you are at once impressed with his museum of
curiosities and cabinet specimens. Archaeologist, antiquarian,
naturalist - all are suggested. Animals, fossiliferous
remains, petrifactions, botanical, mineralogical, zoological and
geological specimens, stalactites from the Mammoth Cave, gold quartz
from Colorado, Peru and Mexico, splintered rock from El Capitan,
fishes and alligators from the Gulf, boas, anacondas, elk, bison,
lichens and mosses from Alaska; in short, everything, almost, from a
buffalo to the ancient lyre of the tortoise-shell.
He is largely interested in the advancement of the claims of medical
science, especially those departments which embrace the higher walks
and loftier altitudes of the profession. To understand man and
his anatomy, the marvel and mystery of him, is the first table of
the law. His hospitality is best known to those who have
partaken of it. His is an intense life, and calls for
enjoyment. His social nature is of a high order, and he
believes, with Carlyle, that "man has joined himself with man, and
that soul acts and reacts on soul."
~ Page 806 -
History of Wayne County, Ohio - Publ.
Indianapolis, Ind.: R. Douglass, 1878, 887 pgs.
David Yarnell was born in Uniontown, Fayette county, Pa.,
Mar. 19, 1818, and, with his father, immigrated to Wooster at an early
day in its history. He has lived in Clinton township since 1844,
having purchased a farm formerly owned by Elijah Pocock. He
was marred in 1839 to Mary Wagner, daughter of Nathan Warner,
and had six children - four boys and two girls. His wife dying in
1855, he afterward married Miss Laura Henderson.
END OF CHAPTER XXXII - CLINTON TOWNSHIP
* Near to, and perhaps partly upon his farm, Isaac Newkirk,
father of John, Henry and Reuben, laid out a town, called
Perriopolis, Sept. 26, 1816, the plat of which was recorded the same
day, and is found on pages 168-9, Vol. I, Recorder's office. No
lots were sold and no buildings erected.
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