Wickham, Gertrude V.
Memorial to the Pioneer Women
of the Western Reserve
(Cleveland: Centennial Commission, 1896)
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Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve
UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
THE WOMEN'S DEPARTMENT OF THE CLEVELAND
MRS. GERTRUDE VAN RENSSELAER WICKHAM,
242 HARKNESS AVE.
P A R T O N E.
P R I C E 40 C E N T S E A C H.
INDEX TO HISTORICAL SKETCHES
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PIONEER WOMEN OF TROY.
Youngstown. For eleven professional visits...
Phebe Fowler, the daughter...
fire in the one room.
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PIONEER WOMEN OF TROY.
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PIONEER WOMEN OF BAINBRIDGE.
O time, in thy flight,"
And make this a year
Filled with memories bright.
Her youngest child was the first born in the township. This son, Rev. A. N. McConoughey, studied four years at Oberlin College, graduated in theology, and was active in the ministry for over forty years.
The eldest daughter, Mary E., married Zebnia Kennedy, of Aurora, in 1813. This was the first marriage in Bainbridge, Esquire Blackman, of Aurora, officiating. Mr. Kennedy did not live long, and the widow afterward married Julius Riley, of Aurora. She was familiarly known as "Aunt Polly," and noted for her many deeds of kindness.
The second daughter of Mrs. McConoughey married Horace Crosby, of Bainbridge, but resided in Oberlin most of her long life. She was a woman of taste and refinement, prominent in society during the early days of Oberlin College.
Portia Ann, born in Blanford in 1801, married Asahel North, her brother, P. D. McConoughey, officiating at the nuptials. She was a valued member of society for many years.
The son already mentioned married Margaret Nettleton. After the passage of the fugitive slave law, their home was a place where those unfortunates found rest, where they were furnished with clothing and helped on their way to freedom.
As well may be presumed, the mother of this interesting family, Mary Carter McConoughey, was a woman of superior intellect, and retained her faculties unimpaired to the last hours of her life. She died aged ninety-three years.
Jasper Lacy and family came in soon after the McConougheys. They remained here a few years, then removed to Aurora. Many of Mrs. Lacy's descendants were teachers.
The third family that settled in the township was that of Gamaliel Kent, 1811. They were from Suffield, Conn. Mrs. Kent (Deborah Huntington) was a woman of intelligence, of culture, and good executive ability; ever ready to bear her full share of the burden of pioneer life.
In 1818, while neighbors were few, and they widely scattered, Mrs. Kent conceived the idea of having the then almost impassable roads improved. She appointed a day and place of meeting, and asked every man, woman, and child, who was able to work on the road. Nearly all complied with the request, and by her direction the men felled the trees, the boys cut off the branches, and the women and children carried and piled the brush. Before night they had cleared a road a half-mile in length and broad enough for a wagon to pass. Mrs. Kent provided supper for the company.
While the country was still new Mrs. Kent made the entire journey to Suffield, her childhood home, on horseback to visit her daughter, Delia Kent McCartey.
The second daughter, Laura, was twice married. These two daughters, with their brothers' wives, Mrs. Clarissa Blish Kent, and Mrs. Lucy Bull Kent, were mothers of intelligent, refined, and cultured families, the members of which held many responsible positions in society. In their homes the best literature was provided. Five girls from each of the first two families became teachers.
The McConougheys and Kents were the only families in town until 1814, when George Smith, with his wife, Susannah, and five children, moved in. They had buried a little son at LeRoy, N. Y., while en route from the East.
Mr. Smith settled on the farm from which Jasper Lacy, Sr., had removed. He purchased additional land, amounting to four hundred acres, for which he paid $3 per acre. There was some clearing done and a log house built, although it was without doors or windows when the family moved in. This was the house where the first religious services were held, and was a place of worship for several years.
Susannah Smith's daughter, Maria, was the first girl born in Bainbridge. She became Mrs. Gorham, and still lives, with her husband, at an advanced age, on the home farm.
To be a little longer grown."
Robert Smith and family came in the fall of 1814 from Washington, Mass., and bought a farm of five hundred acres, for which he paid $1.50 per acre. In 1822 they built a commodious frame house, the first in the town. This stood until a few years ago, and was known as "Smith Castle." The eldest daughter of this family married Dr. David Shipherd, the first physician in Bainbridge. He was very skillful, and proved a benefactor to the people, among whom he and his estimable wife continued to live during their long and useful lives.
The second daughter, Rachel, in relating her experience in the new country, said: "Our mother taught her children economy, prudence, and frugality, which served us well when making homes for ourselves." She also said they were obliged to be very careful of their shoes, and to make them last a long time; often went barefooted to church, or put them on just before entering the church.
On one occasion when Rachel and her mother were on their way to church, and while stopping to put on their shoes, they were surprised by the presence of a young man of fine appearance, who asked if he could accompany them "to meeting." The request was granted, and the acquaintance so singularly begun resulted in marriage, and Rachel Smith became Mrs. George Wilber. A son of this couple was a graduate of Williams College and one of the first teachers in Hiram Institute. The daughters are all women of culture.
The spring of 1816 Enos Kingsley,
from Becket, Mass., with his fair bride (Sally Harris) arrived and commenced life in earnest in a log house in the wilderness. The following winter Mrs. Kingsley died, leaving an infant daughter to the care of strangers. This was the first death in the settlement, and all the circumstances connected with it were very sad indeed. She was a very intelligent, refined amiable woman, much believed by all who knew her.
Mr. Kingsley afterward married Miss Mary Mann, a teacher, and an excellent lady, who proved a true mother to the little Sally. Mary Kingsley proved a heroine after her marriage. Her husband was an invalid for many years, and they met with financial losses, but by her perseverance and industry and the help of neighbors, the family was made comfortable. She spun and wove for her neighbors, shopped, piled brush, and helped prepare a piece of land for cultivation.
Sally Harris Kingsley, who was so fortunate in having such a kind step-mother, became Mrs. John Fitch, and reflected in her long life of usefulness the same motherly love she had received in childhood.
Mrs. Kingsley's own daughter, Jane, married Warren Fairbanks. She still lives, a well preserved old lady, who works for the good of others.
During the years 1817, '18, and '19 Bainbridge witnessed the arrival of several large families, principally from Massachusetts. Among them were the Elys, Howards, Fowlers, and Osbornes. Simon Henry's family consisted of himself, wife Rhoda, and ten children. There were the families of Deacon Childs and Justice Bissell. The latter kept the first post office. The McFarlands were numerous and consisted of the families the families of Haskings, Vincents, Benjamins, and Phillips.
Mrs. Celestia Ely married Albert Haskings, and is the only surviving child of Mrs. Joseph Ely. She moves about with a grace acquired while young, though past four score years, and her mind is seemingly as clear as ever. When asked to relate the experiences of her pioneer life, she said: "We moved into a log house without door or windows, only a puncheon floor over part of the room, just enough to put up the beds. Blankets were hung where the window and door ought to be, while green logs were piled a few feet high for a chimney. We children were obliged to go to bed to keep warm and avoid suffocation from smoke. We lived in this way all winter, for father took cold and had the rheumatism, rendering him unable to finish the house until spring.
"This was about the first season maple sugar was made in the township, and father sold a quantity, for which he received twenty-five cents per pound. Wheat could not be sold for more than fifty cents per bushel, and seldom for cash. Sugar brought money, and much of this was used for taxes. Girls don't know anything about spinning and weaving nowadays. I am quite sure some do not know the meaning of distaff. Mother never had a tablecloth or towel that she did not make at home, and for many years father and the boys did not have a cotton shirt but what we made."
The "mother," Mrs. Ruby Ely, here referred to, was mother of Rev. L. W. Ely, an efficient member of the Northern Ohio conference for forty years. Celestia can show many fine specimens of artistic needlework, bits of lace nicely finished, showing ingenuity and skill. Also a very fine table spread embroidered in colors, which is nearly two hundred years old.
The Henrys came from Berkshire, Mass. This family have done much for the cause of education as ministers and teachers. Aunt Polly Henry and Aunt Mary French will always be remembered as faithful attendants at church and true church workers in every sense of the word. "Aunt Mary" was the milliner of the town long before she became Mrs. French.
Rhoda married Robert Root and lived for many years a life of usefulness. Calvin married Loretta Jackson, who lived on the old farm many years. She is remembered as a devout Christian lady of an unusually lovely character. She is living in Cleveland with her daughter, Mrs. Brown.
Mrs. Lydia Kingsley Childs, wife of Deacon Childs, was an earnest worker in the Congregational Church for more than fifty years.
"Aunt Patty" Howard Howard is well remembered for her earnest work and for her kindness to children.
The McFarland families came from Berkshire, Mass. Daniel McFarland purchased two thousand acres of land here which was divided among his children. Their first night in the wilderness was an event long remembered. The wife and daughters in their rudely constructed log house were kept in a state of alarm at the howling of wolves outside. The mother was so frightened as to cause hemorrhage of the nose, which nearly cost her life, and from the effects of which she never fully recovered.
While conversing with an old gentleman, a few days since, he said: "I have
been acquainted with this large family from boyhood. The women were a power in their families. Intelligent, prudent, economical -- qualities which served them well in securing homes for themselves, their children, and grandchildren.
Aunt "Visa" Haskins, daughter of Daniel McFarland, was the first to make cheese in Bainbridge, a business which afterward became the leading industry of the town. She was excellent in the sickroom and her wise counsel and advice were ever sought for. Her sisters, Polly and Clara, married brothers by the name of Jenks. They moved to Rockford, Ill., and the following is from a Rockport [sic] paper:
"Mrs. Clara Jenks, aged eighty-six years, has just finished the Chautauqua course of study. She commenced the course six years ago and has been a diligent student since that time. In that period she has read all the lectures and familiarized herself with all the many branches of study embraced in the course. Notwithstanding her advanced years she still retains her ability to see and hear as well as ever. Much of her spare time is spent in making fancy work. She is an intelligent old lady and a bright conversationalist. The diploma, of which she is justly proud, was received from Bishop Vincent, with whom she has long enjoyed a personal acquaintance."
Joseph Chamberlain, who came from East Haddam, Conn., in 1825, married Miss Louisa Brown, who by her many virtues gained the esteem of the entire community, where she resided for fifty years.
Mrs. Josiah Nettleton (Sally Fuller), better known as "Aunt Sally," was a weaver of beautiful coverlets and fine linen. She was regarded as one of the most amiable and intelligent women in the community, a skillful nurse, ever ready to visit the sick. She was the wife of the man who killed the last bear, seer, and wolf in Bainbridge. But many names worthy of extensive mention can only be noted here.
"Aunt Mary" Chamberlain was a fine lady of "ye olden time," and one of the first school teachers.
Between 1833 and 1840 many Eastern people came to Bainbridge. The names of some of the families were Bliss, Burgess, Bonny, Ellis, Brown, Goodsell, Giles, and Milo.
The first school house was built of round logs in 1825, not a model of comfort by any means, but these things were not thought of at that time. "Aunt Betsy" says: "If we could have enough to satisfy hunger and shoes to wear we could withstand the hard benches and a cold now and then, for mother's pepper tea or a little piera was sure to bring us all right again. I shouldn't wonder if we enjoyed ourselves as well as the children of to-day."
Not so with Cousin Rhoda, who distinctly remembers not having a good time. The teacher would often tell her if she was not a good girl "the bears would come out of the woods and eat her up." This so frightened her that when alone and in the darkness she momentarily expected to see the ugly creature before her. To this she attributed her nervousness and poor health.
Grandman Brown recalls many times when, mischievously disposed, she was call out to stand for an hour on one foot, with a split goose quill on her nose, while tall "rods of correction" stood in one corner of the room.
The Niece family, consisting of nine sons and one daughter, were all teaching at one time sufficiently near home to meet there once a week. Sally Niece is remembered as giving many rewards of merit. The Misses Abigail and Nathalie Lacy, Miss Arvilla Root, and Miss Sheldon, are also kindly remembered as teachers. The latter taught twenty-nine terms and was the first teacher to allow sewing and drawing in the schools after the lessons were committed.
Mrs. Ira Foot (Eliza Benjamin) remembered on returning from a visit to a cousin's of seeing a young fawn start from a thicket in her path. She gave chase, caught it, and carried it home in her apron for a pet.
Too much praise cannot be given to the mothers of the first half of the nineteenth century, for their courage, untiring energy, and influence which is still felt in the community. "High on the roll of honor will stand the names of our sisters, daughters, wives, and mothers, who perform the duties of the home with unfaltering courage, lofty faith, and holy love."
SARAH S. CADWELL,
Historian, Chagrin Falls.
Bainbridge Committee -- Mrs. Hattie Harmon, Mrs. Henry Brewster. Bissellville: Mrs. Amelia R. Coleman, Miss. Libbie Kent.
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PIONEER WOMEN OF AUBURN.
If there is anything which should be of value to the citizens of a township it would seem to be more than all else a knowledge of the part taken by women in all that relates to the welfare and best interests of its early settlement. These women left homes of culture and refinement, breaking family ties, abandoning schools, churches, and all the comforts of an older country to seek hopes in this, then the "far west."
The first to come was Mrs. Bildad Bradley (Emily Vesey) with her husband and one child. They first located in Newburg in 1813, there remaining until the spring of 1815, when Mr. Bradley purchased land on the north line of Auburn township, put up a log cabin, and moved in. This was the first house built in the township. Mrs. Bradley was a native of Vermont, and there married her husband in 1809.
She was a kind, sympathetic woman. Although her family cares were many, she ever was ready to assist her friends and neighbors in times of sickness, going many times long distances to relieve those in distress. At an advanced age she died on the farm in 1859 and Mr. Bradley died there in 1865. Thus passed away the first settlers.
Mrs. John Jackson (Huldah Chadwick) was born in Tyringham, Mass. In the fall of 1815, with five children, a hired man, tems, and two well-laden wagons, they emigrated to Ohio, encountering the autumn storms and the fearful roads along the lake shore near Erie, where they were able to travel but one mile per day.
Late in November they arrived in Auburn, having been forty-one days on the road. They stayed the first night with Mr. Bradley, and the next morning took up their abode in the log cabin which Mr. Jackson had built the June previous. Blankets were substituted for windows and doors.
Late that afternoon the men started for Burton for provisions, leaving Mrs. Jackson alone with her children, the youngest a small babe. Soon after dark the wolves made their appearance. Mrs. Jackson gathered her frightened children about her, and with the babe in her arms
CROUCHED BY THE FIRE,with only a blanket between her and the howling bests without. Late in the evening the men returned, and with torches drove the wolves away.
The following winter was long and cold, and was followed by the cold season of 1816, remembered because frosts were seen in every month of the year.
Mrs. Jackson was left a widow in 1824 with seven children. Being by nature a very energetic woman, and an expert tailoress, she by this means, together with the farm, was able to bring up her family to fill honorably their respective places in society.
Bestsey Belcher (wife of Daniel Wheelock) was among the very early settlers. But little is known of her, except that she was amost excellent woman. She died in 1855.
Lury, daughter of Oliver and Roxana Snow, was born in Tyringham, Mass., in 1796, and in 1814 married Zadock Renwee. In the fall of 1815, with a babe six months old, a horse team, covered wagon and what few things they could carry, they journeyed from South Tyringham to Auburn, making the trip in 32 days. One Saturday night, in the fall of 1817, Mrs. Reuwee remembered that she had borrowed some flour of a neighbor, one-half mile away. Not dreaming any harm would befall her little boy, she put him to bed and took the flour home, going as quickly as possible. On her return she saw the home on fire; and ere they could rescue the child, it perished in the flames. This was the first funeral held in Auburn, and the sermon, as near as we can learn, was the first preached in the township.
Drusilla Moore was born in Cherry Valley, N. Y., in 1793. There she married Enoch Hayes, and to them was born one child, Chester G. Hayes. Mr. Hayes lost his life in the war of 1812. Mrs. Hayes was again married in 1816 to Wm. Crafts (a widower with one son), and together they made their bridal trip to Auburn the following February, with an ox team and wagon, in which were their two children and all their household effects, their cow being tied to the rear of the wagon.
Mrs. Crafts was a women well fitted to share the trials and privations of pioneer life, and one who was ever ready to bear her full share of its burdens. Six children were born to them, all of whom are now living but one.
Another noble pioneer was Hannah Orton, second wife of David Smith, Sr., who came here from Connecticut in 1816. She was a woman of quiet domestic tastes. Her life was full of graciousness and her good deeds were many. Her five stepchildren honored and loved her. Mrs. Smith's husband was the first postmaster in the township, receiving his commission in 1823. They both died in the fifties on the old homestead, at the good old age of 89 and 82 years.
In the fall of 1816 Mrs. Elihu Mott (Caroline Lothrop), with her husband and one child, moved in from Palmyra, N. Y., and settled on the north line if the township. To their daughter,
DIDAMIA MOTT,belongs the distinction of being the first white girl born in Auburn. The Motts lived here only a short time, when they moved to Welshfield (now Troy). There Didamia married Daniel M. Crafts and settled in Auburn, where she spent most of her useful life. Mrs. Crafts was ever cheerful and possessed the faculty of making friends wherever she went, especially with the children.
Mrs. John Marble, a niece of Gen. Wolf, of revolutionary fame, was a woman of great faith. She was marvelously versed in the Scriptures and her hopes of the "world to come" were undimmed by shallow doubt or the weakness of decision.
Emily (Bradley) Colim, whose parents were the first settlers of Auburn, brought up a large family of children. She was a woman of great industry, and well loved by her neighbors and friends.
Mehitable Marble, of Gocean, Mass., went with her parents to Palmyra, N. Y., and there married Benjamin Woods in 1796. In the fall of 1817, with her husband and eight children, she came to Auburn, and they settled on a farm just north of the corners.
Mrs. Woods was a physician of the Thompsonian school, and did valuable service in relieving the sick, not only in
Auburn, but in the surrounding townships, frequently riding long distances on horseback through an unbroken Wilderness.
Her last fatal illness was on one of her "professional calls," when she was stricken with apoplexy from which she never recovered. She had a mild, gentle but firm nature, and in times when decision was necessary, she it was who was pre-eminent.
Mrs. Phillip Ingler (a sister of Mrs. Benj. Woods) came in 1817 from Palmyra, N. Y. Her husband was a great hunter, and on one of his exploits, was shot and killed by a party of hunters, who took him for a bear.
Mrs. Ingler was a woman of marked eccentricity and a very devoted Christian. After her husband's untimely death, she set apart one day each month to fast and pray. On one of these fast days she was found dead in her room.
Elizabeth (Wilber) Gordineer was a native of Rhode Island, and came to Auburn in 1817 from New York. She was born during the "Tea Party" in Boston harbor, and came into the world with a natural hatred of "taxation without representation." Each year, or often as the tax collector put in his appearance, she resumed the fight, sometimes with a railing speech. A niece writes that Mrs. Gordineer was endowed with a wonderful memory; that she had heard her repeat the whole Book of Job
IN ONE DAY.Mrs. Amaziah Keyes (Nancy Crafts), a native of Boston, Mass., came in 1817 from Palmyra, N. Y., with her husband and nine children. The names of their daughters were: Nancy, Elizabeth, Sally, Amanda and Eunice. Nancy married Roswell Rice; Elizabeth, Samuel Moore; Sally, Jeremiah White; Amanda, Chandler Marryfield and Eunice, Daniel Butts.
Mrs. Butts is the only one living, and she resides with her daughter, Rosina, at Auburn. Mrs. Butts is a remarkably preserved woman, and has a very retaining memory, calling with pleasure incidents and dates of these early days.
The year 1817 brought Amasa Turner and wife, nee Polly Thayer, Lewis Finley and wife, John and Lewis Bosworth and families, from Walworth, N. Y.
Mrs. Rebecca (Bowler) Wilber, of "blessed memory," was one of the very early settlers, not later than 1817. Together with her husband, Pardon Wilber, and three children, George, William and Rebecca, she came to Auburn from Schoharie, N. Y., and located in the western part of the township.
A native of Rhode Island and of Yankee parentage, she was a woman of strong personality, never failing common sense, accompanied by a keen sense of humor. Her ready sympathy and neighborly helpfulness in times that tried men's souls, made her a model neighbor and a delightful companion and friend.
She was a good Methodist, attended all the conference meetings within twenty miles or more on horseback (her sure-footed "Old Nell," her companion for more than thirty years), through dense forests, with no guide, only blazed trees.
Her garb was a compromise between the Quaker and Martha Washington style. The close lace cap and folded neckerchief, with her old-fashioned manners, form a picture of never-failing delight in the memories of her grandchildren, which the present or "coming woman" can never hope to eclipse. She passed to the higher life at the age of 83 years, at the home of her son, William, in Toledo, O.
Nancy Turner, who was the wife of Charles Hinckley, came to Auburn in 1817 from Walworth, N. Y., with ox teams and by sledding, and endured with fortitude the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. Her daughters, Nancy C., became Mrs. George Fox, and Lenina became Mrs. A. Morse. Betsey, a sister of Nancy Turner Hinckley, married Gilbert Hinckley, and was the mother of eleven children.
She was possessed of gentle ways and affectionate disposition, which endeared her to her many friends. The last ten years of her life she was blind, which affliction she bore without a murmur.
Her daughter, Nancy E., was a graduate from the Cleveland Homeopathy Medical College, and for many years was associated with the water cure established at Shalersville, O. As a physician she was capable, conscientious and painstaking.
Mrs. Rensselaer Granger (Lorana Smith), of Chester, Mass., came in 1818. Here her four daughters were born -- Minerva, Rasella, Harriet and Ellen.
The year 1818 brought Rodger W.
Antisdale and wife (nee Elizabeth Butts) from Farmington, N. Y. They had one daughter, whose name was Betsey. In after years shed became Mrs. Cyrus Canfield and the mother of seven children, all of whom are now living
Mrs. Canfield is a woman possessed of fine social and intellectual qualities, has every artistic taste and is an expert with the needle. Since she was seventy she has made seven crazy quilts; the last one, made in the present year, is a beauty, and would so credit to one many years younger.
Sally Greeley was born in Connecticut, and while yet in her teens, accompanied her parents to Auburn, then a dense wilderness. She was a girl of good education, and at the age of fourteen taught school in Parkman, going back and forth on horseback through the forest with only blazed trees for her guide. In 1827 she married George W. Antisdale, Jr., and became the mother of fourteen children, eleven of whom are now living. Mrs. Antisdale buried her husband several years since, and now resides at Chagrin Falls, at the advanced age of eighty-four years.
Thankful Turner, afterwards Mrs. Joseph Bartholomew, came from Walworth, N. Y., to Auburn in 1819, with her husband and four children, the youngest only
THREE WEEKS OLD.Five children were born here. Her son, Drayton, was killed in the battle of Gettysburg.
Mrs. Henry Canfield (Rachel Kent) was one of the early settlers of Auburn. She was born in Manchester, N. Y., and in 1820, with her husband and ten children, began pioneer life on a farm in the southwest part of the township. Her only daughter, Hannah, married Joseph Dodge, and is the mother of the
HON. MARTIN DODGE.of Cleveland, O. Her sons (except three who died young) were distinguished citizens in the places where they resided, inheriting from their mother her energy and industry.
In the summer of 1820 David Smith, Sr., very generously gave the use of a room in his log cabin for the purpose of holding school. Here Mrs. Betsey (Orton) Woodcock, afterwards Mrs. David Smith, Jr., gathered the children around her, as a hen gathers up her chickens, to try and imprint upon their youthful minds right ideas and wholesome truths that would in after years bring forth good fruit. This was the beginning of common schools in Auburn.
In 1825 Benjamin and Lydia (Hungerford) Chamberlain removed from the state of New York to Auburn. With them came Mr. Chamberlin's mother and two brothers, and the father and mother of Mrs. Chamberlin. They endured many hardships in their journey, their conveyances being teams and wagons.
On their way they came to an Indian village of the Cattaraugus tribe, and put up there for the night. Some of the party slept in their wagons, others slept with the Indians in their huts and were well treated by them! At last the journey ended, and the log houses in the forest received the tired emigrants. On the same farm where she toiled, surrounded by a cheerless forest, the luxuries of a well earned home served to ease her declining years.
Mrs. William Stafford was Ruth, and Mrs. David Stafford was Delilah Butts, of Farmington, N. Y.; Mrs. Lucius Redfield (Sally Canfield), of Palmyra, N. Y., a sacrificing, noble woman, were all residents in an early day.
To save shoes, the girls went barefooted, and many were the "Trilby feet" that wended their way through the forest to church on the Sabbath day. One summer day Rachel Smith, who, like "Priscilla," was the spinner in the Smith family, dressed herself in her home-spun gown, and taking her shoes in hand, went gaily through the forest to the church. When near there she seated herself on a fallen tree for the purpose of putting on her shoes. While thus engaged she heard footsteps in the rustling leaves, and looking up, beheld a robust young man, a stranger, whose merry black eyes took in the situation. Thus began a friendship that terminated in the marriage of George Wilber and Rachel Smith.
Of Mrs. Ethan Brewer (Perlie Chadwick) who lived here in an early day, but little is known, only that she had the honor of being the first landlady in the township.
Mrs. J. Palmer Bartholomew (Mary Wilson) was a sturdy pioneer woman, enduring with fortitude the hardships of early times. After a long and useful life
she died on the old homestead in 18__, greatly beloved and respected.
Betsey Thayer, wife of James C. Waterman, in early life was an ardent church worker. Having a sweet voice, she was often depended upon to take charge of the singing; her husband, acting as chorister, frequently would turn to her, saying, "Cornation Betsey."
Mrs. Betsey (Palmer) Wadsworth was the first woman to fill the position of assistant postmaster in the township, which place she filled with honor for over seventeen years. Mrs. Wadsworth possessed a superior intellect, scholarly tastes, and a very retentive memory, and was quite a literary woman.
Rachel Schmuck (Mrs. Daniel Frazee [sic - Frazer?]) was four weeks on the road making the journey from New York state to Auburn with her husband and five children, in what in those days was called a "prairie schooner." Many are the yeards of linen and wool that she has carded, spun and wove, not only for her own family, but for those of her neighbors.
By faith she was a Quaker, and well do we remember her
QUAINT QUAKER GARB.Her daughter, Sarah, has in her possession a counterpane made by her mother from flax and cotton, which in those days was a great novelty.
Another beautifully rounded character was that of Mrs. Jonathan Burnell, more familiarly known as "Aunt Lucina." She was born in Tyringham, Mass., and came to Auburn in 1822. She and her husband were prominent in the organization of the Disciple Church in 1841. Their house was ever the ministers' house, and among those who often shared their hospitality were the late Rev. A. S. Hayden and President James A. Garfield.
Mrs. Henry Capron (Laura Brown) came in 1828 with her parents and settled in the wilderness with only enough land cleared to build a log cabin, minus doors or windows. Her daughter, Sabrina, married Judge H. C. White, of Cleveland, and Julia, the youngest, married Sherman Eggleston, of Geneva, O., with whom she now resides.
Jacob Ensign came from Pittsfield, Mass., in 1828 with his wife (Lucy Brooker) and a family of ten children, four sons and six daughters. Sarah M., the eldest, was one of the early school teachers. Later she became Mrs. John Richards. The Ensign girls were all fine teachers and sweet singers.
Patience McNeer, a native of New York, was a very remarkable woman. She came in 1830 with her husband (John Hoard) and eight children and settled in Auburn Valley. Mrs. Hoard was a woman of pronounced views, a student of the Bible and Bible history. An old gentleman says of her, "that she could quote more Scripture than any woman he ever knew, and could give as good an exhortation as the best of ministers.
In the early thirties the people for miles around came with oxteams and carts, on horseback and on foot, to worship in the "old black town house," situated on a high knoll at the center. Here a representative from each family in turn was sure to be in attendance, not so much for the religious instruction to be obtained as to meet David Smith, the postmaster, with the
MAIL IN HIS HAT.as he was sure to be present to distribute the letters, also take up for mailing any letters the congregation might have. The rate of postage in those days was 12 1/2, 18 3/4 and 25 cents per letter according to the distance to be carried.
About the year 1830 we find Tile Stafford and wife (Damaras Vaughn) coming into the dense woods of South Auburn with Jeremiah Smith and his wife (Ruth Sweet), from Palmyra, N. Y. Here they began life as some of the early pioneers of the township.
Miss Mary Stafford, or "Aunt Mary," as she was more familiarly known, was a daughter of Tile Stafford, and came here with her parents, a maiden in her youth, and remaining so until called home. To the brim she was full of kind words, deeds and counsel.
Matilda Goodneough (Mrs. Luke Barney), a woman of sterling worth, emigrated from Ellisburgh, N. Y., in 1831. She was the mother of fifteen children, all of whom grew up to manhood and womanhood and worthily filled their places in society.
Mrs. Barney was hospitable, kind and sympathetic. A prominent member of the Baptist church; with her the ministers of the Gospel alike were welcome, and the faithful and weary school teacher ever found a home.
Another noble character was Mrs. Benj. Barney, Sr., (Nancy Potter), of Jefferson County, N. Y. Her Bible and prayer-book were daily loved and read. She was a charter member of the Baptist church, organized here in 1837.
Margaret Jacobs, daughter of Samuel Jacobs, of New York city, married William Quinn, a rope-maker, in 1806. In 1811 they moved to Pittsburgh, Pa., crossing the mountains in a wagon drawn by four horses. There Mr. Quinn worked at rope making, and there made rope and cordage for Perry's fleet, helping to get the same across the country on heavy wagons built for that purpose, from Pittsburgh to Erie; also helped rig the ships comprising the fleet, which so successfully fought and won the battle on Lake Erie September 10th, 1818.
In 1832 Mrs. Quinn, with her husband and ten children came to Auburn, settling on a farm in [the] west part of the township. During the journey to Ohio she walked much of the way, knitting as she walked. She was the mother of ten children, who grew to maturity, much respected by all. Sympathy and charity were marked characteristics of her life.
Polly Blodgett, of Gorham, N. Y., who became Mrs. Numan Wadsworth. was one of the active and useful women of her time. She was a sweet singer, and those of her children and grandchildren who were musical inherited their talent from her.
In 1832, with her husband and six children, she came from Harbor Creek, Pa., to Auburn, and spent most of her life here.
Sarah Granger was born in Hadley, Mass., and while yet in her teens accompanied her parents to Palmyra, N. Y. She was a girl of fine education and a teacher. A teacher's certificate, given her at Palmyra, N. Y., is still in existence.
In 1832 she married Homer Mills and came to Auburn and began housekeeping in a log cabin, which in after years was succeeded by a nice house, and here she spent the balance of her life. She was a sprightly, vivacious woman, and noted for her great hospitality.
Martha Smith (Mrs. Chas. Stafford) was among the early school teachers, and to this day a few of her pupils are left, who first secured the rudiments of an education at her hands. Later on she was associated with Jerusha Cole and Catherine Hoyt in the millinery business.
Clarissa Lothrop (Mrs. James Dutton), of Canandaigua, N. Y., came here in 1829. She was a very benevolent and hospitable lady. Although the mother of nine children, several adopted ones found a home beneath her roof. The first select school was held in her house, and through the generosity of herself and husband the teacher was paid, and many an aspiring youth was thus helped to a thorough education.
Mrs. Peter O. Hall (Lucy Ann Dutton), who left us so recently, will long be remembered for her kindness of heart and her sterling character.
Lucy Barber, second wife of George I. Bowler, from Carlisle, N. Y., in 1833, was well fitted for pioneer life, being skilled in all the industries and accomplishments required in those days. Endowed with courage and perseverance, she cared for her eight stepchildren with heroic fortitude, cheerfully toiling for home and loved ones and bearing her burdens to the end. Two sons were born to her, one of whom lost his life in the late war.
Betsey Merrill (Mrs. William Collins) was a native of Montreal, Canada, and came to Auburn in 1834, where she spent the balance of her life. She was a woman of great wit and humor. During the war of 1812 she had the honor of attending a reception given
GEN. LAFAYETTEin Rochester, N. Y.
Mrs. Moses Maynard (Lucy Davis) was born in Westboro, Mass, in 1777 and came to Auburn in 1835 with her family Consisting of her husband and fourteen children). Here she resided until the summer of 1877 when she passed to a higher life, lacking only seven days of the century mark. Mrs. Maynard was a most remarkable woman, possessed of a very superior intellect and retained her faculties unimpaired till the last. Only a year previous to her death she composed a poem of fifteen verses as an address to her relatives.
Betsey Van Wagoner was born 1795 in what is now Hyde Park on the Hudson. In 1813 she married Elias H. Fish, and about 1836 came to Auburn, where she resided for fifteen years. The
mother of ten children, two of her sons became physicians, one a lawyer and one a teacher.
Mrs. Fish was a most superior woman. Charity shone forth in all its manifold noble elements in her daily life. Her long life was filled with loving self-sacrificing labor for the good of others, which commanded the respect of all who knew her. At the age of 92 years she passed away, at her home, Burr Oak, Mich.
Abigail Hinckley was born at Stonington, Conn., in 1785, and there married Daniel Etheridge, and moved to Albany, N. Y., and from there to Walworth, N. Y. Mrs Etheridge was a woman of intellectual endowments, far above the ordinary, and was quite gifted as a poet. With her husband and part of her children she came to Auburn in 1886, and at once entered upon her duties as landlady of the Auburn House, which position she occupied for many years.
Her son, Nathan, married Louisa Caldwell, of Walworth, N. Y., and they settled here in the fall of 1836. Early left a widow with two children, Mrs. Etheridge in a few years married Chester G. Hayes, and for fifty years Auburn was her home. Mrs. Hayes was kindly of heart and very hospitable. No one was ever turned from her door empty handed.
Mrs. Whipple Hawkins (Polly Brown) was born in Brownsville, N. Y., in 1793. In 1838, with her husband and eleven children, she came to Auburn.
Her daughter, Maria Antoinette, married the Rev. James Baume, of Aurora, Ill., and soon after they went to India as missionaries, remaining there seven years. No stretch of the limits of this article can give an adequate portrayal of the noble life of this heroic woman. From her diary we copy: "Before sailing from England, we visited the graves of Wesley, Clark, Watson and Bunting, and on the following day went to hear the Rev. Spurgeon at Music Hall."
Mrs. George A. Peabody (Ann Spencer) came to Auburn in 1847, where she resided until her death in 1891, at which time her family numbered eight children, thirty grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She endeared herself to many friends by her cheerfulness, and though her body grew old, her mind retained its youthful vigor, and kept pace with the progress of time, and no one thought of her as aged. Her life was one of blessedness to her fellow beings.
There are many more names worthy of an honored place in this sketch, but our space is limited and so here we lave them. As we walk to the humble cemeteries where repose the remains of these noble, sacrificing pioneer women, and upon the quaint old stones which mark their resting places, read their names, let us tread lightly the sod covering their graves, and reverently whisper our acknowledgment of the great debt we owe to them.
ANNIE M. ETHERIDGE,
Chairman and Historian.
Auburn Committee -- Mrs. Eva W. Crafts, Mrs. Mary W. West, Mrs. Betsey Canfield, Mrs. Eunice Butts, Mrs. Harvey Washburn.
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PIONEER WOMEN OF NEWBURY.
where on account of illness...
sheltered nook and sat down...
which he lost on the way,...
Mrs. Hamilton Utley...
Mrs. A. C. Gardner...
Making maple sugar in Geauga Co., Ohio (late 19th century photo)