As nearly as it can be determined, it was in the year 1810 that the township of Bedford was allotted, but no settlements were made until later. In 1823 it received its present name at the suggestion of Daniel BENEDICT, in compliment to the place of his birth, Bedford, Ct.
Bedford, O. is twelve miles southeast of the Public Square in Cleveland and four miles from the city limits. It is on the line of three steam railways and the A., B. & C. electric street cars, thus affording to its citizens unsurpassed facilities for reaching the city.
Bedford is in fact, what before many years it will be in name - a suburb of Cleveland. It lies about 300 feet above Lake Erie, and is noted for the romantic scenery along Tinker’s Creek, which flows through the center of the town, and is spanned by the C. & P. railroad bridge, a massive stone structure, offering great attraction for the artist as well as the student of nature.
Bedford is also noted as the Banner Chair Town” of the state, and Bedford chairs hold their own against any competition
As Bedford is the only one of the 126 townships of the Western Reserve, as far as I know, that has the honor of having a nobleman for its first settler, I wish to make the most of the fact, and will quote from the Cuyahoga County History:
“In 1813 Elijah or Elisha NOBLE settled on Tinkers, near the line of Independence, and was probably the first settler of Bedford.” *** “He moved to what is now the village of Bedford in November, 1815, and was the first man who lived there.”
Not a word of this indicates that there was anyone but a NOBLE man here at that time.
Further on it speaks of his “family being three miles from any neighbors,” which is a hint that there might have been a NOBLE woman to endure the hardships of pioneer life, and who came into the unbroken forest that she might make a home for those she held dear. - “Then meekly backward to the shade, Her noiseless spirit stole once more.”
Although forgotten here, I wish for her posterity in the highest and the best that heart can wish, or sense desire, even as she must have done.
Charlotte FITCH and her husband, Stephen COMSTOCK of Bozrah, Conn. settled at Tinker’s Creek in 1814, and on April 30, 1815, their daughter Sarah became the first white child born in the township.
Mrs. COMSTOCK was a very smart woman, and the mother of two sons and three daughters. Sarah married James BENEDICT, and lived in Bedford until her death in 1895; respected by the entire community. Mary Ann married J.O. ROSE and removed to York, Ind. Charlotte married Edmund GLEESON, and after his death she became the wife of James C. CLEVELAND of Independence, Ohio.
In 1815 Betsey COMSTOCK, a sister of Stephen COMSTOCK, with her husband Benjamin FITCH, who was a brother of Mrs. COMSTOCK, came from Independence where they had settled in 1813, to the eastern part of what is now the village of Bedford, afterward removing to North Street.
Mrs. FITCH was a native of Bozrah, Connecticut. She was the mother of three sons and two daughters, and was very industrious and a fluent conversationalist.
Andrew Garner FITCH, born at the center in 1818, was the first white child born in that locality. Mrs. FITCH was well known as the “Pioneer Chair Maker.”
Harriet M. FITCH married Wm. O. TAYLOR, a son of Orrin and Anna STREET HALL TAYLOR, of Buckland, Mass., who, during his life, did more than any other person to promote the interests of Bedford and its citizens. He also established and maintained a free library for the use of the residents of Bedford.
Mrs. TAYLOR was the mother of Caroline TAYLOR (Mrs. A.J. HENSEY) and Hon. V.A. TAYLOR. She was a lovable woman, and her friends cherish her memory with the tenderest regard.
Selinda FITCH (Mrs. Charles CULVER) was the first woman in town to keep bees, hiving the swarms and taking care of them herself. She is a widow and is living with her son, Madison H. CULVER.
Polly Richardson, with her husband, Moses GLEESON, removed from Stillwater, N.Y., in 1812, to near Massillon, O., where they remained about two years, when they came to Bedford and settled on the State road, where she lived until her death in 1870.
The general travel was upon that road and the stages carrying the U.S. mail passed their door, and their house was the usual place of entertainment for people who traveled that way. Many will gratefully remember the numerous favors received at the hands of Polly GLEESON. She was the mother of seven sons and four daughters.
The GLEESON girls were good looking and great favorites among the young people, no gathering being considered complete without their presence. Mary GLEESON (Mrs. Charles CURTIS), Nancy GLEESON (Mrs. Consider MORGAN), and Mrs. Stiles SMITH (nee Kate GLEESON) reside in Cleveland.
Anna GLEESON married Charles L. WILLES, son of Luther and Fanny WILLES. They are living in St. Paul, Minn., and are the parents of Judge John W. WILLES of the same place.
Hannah SKINNER was born in 1792 at Sherbourne, Vt., and married Jason SHEPARD of the same place.
In 1820 the moved to Bedford on the Newburgh road. Ten years later they removed to Newburgh, where she died at the age of eighty-eight. Mr. SHEPARD was a great hunter and killed many bears, deer and wild turkeys. Their daughter, Manie SHEPARD, married H.S. BRAYTON, and resides in Newburgh.
John DUNHAM and Elizabeth HUNGERFORD, his wife, with five children, came from Herkimer, N.Y., in 1818 with a wagon drawn by oxen. They settled on the Dunham road in the northwest part of town, and were the first family on the street.
Mrs. DUNHAM was the mother of twelve children, five of whom where daughters. She was a very energetic woman, spinning and weaving the cloth, both linen and woolen, for the clothing of her household.
One day Mrs. DUNHAM and her daughter, Eliza (Mrs. Wm. L. WHEELER) wove ten yards of woolen cloth, cut and made by hand two pair of men’s pantaloons, besides doing their housework, which would be considered a pretty good day’s work now.
Laura DUNAHM (Mrs. Turner HUBELL) is a very quiet, sedate lady, and her friends like to tell the following anecdote regarding her youthful days:
One night there was a dance at a log house in the neighborhood, and Mr. DUNHAM, who was very fond of music, went over, and as the evening passed on he improved the opportunity to dance with a young lady who was present.
On arriving at home he told his wife that there was a stranger present, a very pretty young lady, and a good dancer, too. When the young people returned they were questioned in regard to the stranger. Miss Laura said: “Why, father, you only danced once, and that was with me,” when there was a merry laugh at his expense.
Mary BENEDICT was born in Roxbury, Vt., and married Stephen ROBINSON, of St. Lawrence County, N.Y., who was a soldier in the war of 1812. They came to Newburgh, where they lived until 1818, when they removed to Bedford and were among the first settlers of the town. Mrs. ROBINSON was the mother of eight sons and four daughters. Sally, who married Harris JOHNSON, is a widow and lives with her brother, Deacon Newman ROBINSON, who married Laura KENYON, daughter of James R. KENYON and Hannah OATMAN, of Adams, N.Y., who came here in 1833.
Mrs. Laura KENYON ROBINSON is a very neat housekeeper, and her needlework is a model of nicety in execution as well as beauty in design. She was the mother of two sons and one daughter, all of whom were removed by death. Dora B. ROBINSON was a lovely girl, a successful school teacher, active in church work, and idolized by her friends who mourn her loss.
In 1817 Samuel BARNES and Lucinda BARNUM, his wife, of Monkton, Vt., moved to Newburgh and in April, 1819, they came to Bedford, and lived in a log house on the place where Mrs. Avis GREY BORST now resides. Their daughter, Cordelia, was the first white girl born in the village, June, 1819.
Mrs. BARNES, or “Aunt Lucinda,” as she was called, was very jovial and quick witted, and many stories are told about her sharpness in repartee, as people took delight in joking her in order to draw out her apt replies.
In 1822 Daniel BENEDICT and his wife, Catherine ROSCOE, from Monkton, Vt., settled in the village. They had eight sons. “Aunt Katy” was a small active woman, off-hand in manner, with very strong likes and dislikes. The latter was made manifest when a family who had been living near her was moving away, when fastened a flag to the house and danced a jig.
Their log house was arranged similar to the one on the Public Square in Cleveland during the Centennial year. For a lamp they used a dish containing bear’s grease, with a rag for a wick, and lighted it by blowing a live coal until the sparks caught the rag on fire. In the early days none could excel Kathy BENEDICT in dancing and she used to go to dances when well along in years, with her husband and sons.
On one occasion the entire family went to a dance, and upon their return home entered the open court in the darkness. The dauntless mother said that she knew where to find the dish, and would make a light, went in without fear, not noticing that the door was ajar. No sooner had she taken the dish in her hand than she found herself astride of some creature which had arisen as she was stepping over it, and was giving vent to horrible sounds, as she was borne about the room on its back in the darkness, screaming: “Oh, Lordy! What has got me.” It proved to be an old porker that had pushed the door open and laid down by the fire.
Enos HOLLISTER and his wife, Lydia BIDWELL, came from Hartford, Conn. About 1824. Their daughter, Susan, married Ambrose DUNHAM, and lived until the age of seventy, when, after a short illness, she said: “My work is done; I am ready to go.” “And passed to where, beyond these voices, there is peace.” Albina DUNHAM, wife of R.J. HATHAWAY, is a worthy daughter of so excellent a mother.
Mary A. HOLLISTER married Seth PRATT, and removed to Assyria, Mich. Emeline HOLLISTER married Issac ROBINSON, and is living in Newburgh at the age of eighty-four.
Betsey PALMITER came from Vermont to Newburgh in 1821, where she married Eli BURKE, who was a drummer. They settled in Bedford in 1824, afterwards removing to York, Ind. There were two daughters, Jane and Mary; to the former, Mrs. Jane BURKE BROOKS, of Pleasant Lake, Ind., we are indebted for the information concerning many named in this article.
Nancy FOSTER, with her husband, Hiram SPAFFORD, came from Genesse, N.Y., to Bedford in 1824. She was the mother of ten children. Her daughter, Harriet SPAFFORD, married Daniel CULVER, and was the mother of Hetty CULVER, wife of Col. John GIBBONS, of Cleveland. Hannah SPAFFORD married Rev. E.H. HAWLEY and lived but one year afterward.
Hiram SPAFFORD was noted as the bear hunter, and he married for his second wife the widow of his brother, Nathan B. SPAFFORD, who was Mary MORRISON of Stoddard, N.H. She used to do a great deal of fine weaving, and her daughter, Mary C. SPAFFORD (Mrs. Wm. HURST) has some beautiful coverlets that she wove. Mary SNELL, wife of Daniel GOULD, was a native of Ware, Mass. They came to Bedford in 1825 and put up a log house where the M.E. church now stands. Their daughter, Laura S. GOULD, was one of the early teachers of the place. She was well educated for the times, literary in her tastes, and a good singer. She married Stephen G. REMINGTON, and the last year of her life were spent as a recluse.
Fanny WILLEY, a sister of John W. WILLEY, the first mayor of Cleveland, was born in Lemster, Vt. She came to Bedford with her husband, Luther WILLES, about 1827. Mrs. WILLES was short and rather fleshy, and used to wear her front hair in curls. She was very aristocratic for the times, stylish in dress, wearing white in the summer. She was a remarkable woman for business, carrying on the post office after her husband’s death. She also built a church for union meetings, which was known as “Mrs. WILLES’ church,” afterward donating it to the M.E. church. She used the building while on her premises for carrying on select school. Mrs. WILLES withal was a very devoted mother. To illustrate this phase of her character, a former pupil relates: After a recitation she would sweep across the room in her dignified manner, take up her daughter, Fanny, who was a small child, sit down and sing:
‘Mama’s pretty little honey - hon -|
Honey - honey - honey -
Fum - fum - fum - fum -
Fiddle, faddle fum -
Fiddle, linktum, faddy’
After which she would resume her teaching as if there had been no interlude.” She was the mother of one son and three daughters. Marie Louise WILLES married Jacob MEDARY. She is a pleasant faced lady, with a quiet dignity of manner, and is the only one of the family living in Bedford. Mr. Dr. SLAWSON nee Carrie WIILLES, inherited her mother’s business qualities. She resides in Cincinnati. The youngest daughter, Mrs. Fanny WILLES, is living in Florida.
Rebecca WELLS, of Stow, O., married Justus REMINGTON, a school teacher from the east. They came to Bedford in 1828. Mrs. REMINGTON was the mother of five daughters, Polly, Loretta, Louisa, Matilda and Margery. Her sister, Delilah WELLS, was the wife of Darius WARNER.
Mrs. Enock ALLEN (Anna Rossiter HART), of Ticonderoga County, N.Y., came to Bedford in 1828. Mr. and Mrs. ALLEN kept tavern, and preachers were entertained without charge, as well as any without the means to pay, especially if overtaken by the many ills incident to a new country. They were then nursed and cared for until health was restored, when no pay was expected or taken.
They were charter members of the Disciple church in 1832, and probably no one did more than they to secure preachers of the Gospel to hold regular meetings here.
Delia Caroline ALLEN married J.K. CULVER, a son of John and Catherine GOODRICH-CULVER, and is now living with her son, Wm. CULVER.
Lucy A. ALLEN married George W. CARPENTER and resides in Midland, Mich.
Moses and Betsey BARNUM, parents of Lucinda and Philena BARNUM-BARNES, with their daughters, Julia, who never married, came from Monkton, Vt., in 1820.
Mrs. Sally BARNUM, mother of Abijah S. BARNUM, lived across the road from the Ozro OSBORNE place.
Among the early settlers were Geo. M. PAYNE and his wife, Susan HOLCOMB, with their daughter, Livonia, who married Newell BARNUM; Dr. Charles and Mrs. Palmiter GOODRICH, with five daughters; Nathaniel H. JOY and Betsey TORRY, his wife, and five daughters.
The first wedding was that of Laura, daughter of Solomon and Polly WHITE, and James TITUS.
Soon after this, Eunice GOODALE, a girl only fourteen years of age, daughter of Joseph and Eunice WELLS GOODALE, was married to David BENJAMIN by Esq. Geo. M. PAYNE.
Susannha GIBBS, of Hebron, N.Y., was married to Abraham TURNER in Delabout, Canada in 1808. They came to Bedford in 1828 with two sons and three daughters. Mrs. TURNER was a good singer and lived to be over ninety years old. Anna TURNER (Mrs. Thomas PEAKE) is a very kind, pleasant woman.
Hannah TURNER married Joseph S. GRANT, and was one of the first teachers in the Sunday school of the M.E. church, continuing in this service over forty years. She is still an ardent member of this church and Sunday school.
Jemima TURNER (Mrs. Solomon ENNIS) was a fine looking woman and a great reader.
Rev. Nathaniel C. HAINS and his wife, Rachel SAWYER, of St. Albans, Vt., came to Ohio in 1822 and remained about a year each in Sandusky, Hudson and Bedford, then in Warrensville until 1829, when they returned to Bedford. In June, 1825, Mr. HAINS preached the first funeral sermon in Bedford. Soon after they came from Warrensville he formed the first class, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. TURNER, Anna and Hannah TURNER, himself, wife and daughter Polly, which was the beginning of the M.E. church in Bedford.
Mrs. HAINS one day saw a flock of turkeys in the clearing, and raising the window with great caution, she took the gun brought with them from Vermont, hanging in the top of their wagon, and, resting it on the window sill, she fired. So good was her aim that she brought down one of the largest of the flock, and they had turkey dinner next day, done to a turn on the home-made split, which consisted of a cord fastened to the ceiling, from which the fowl was suspended before the big fireplace.
Mrs. HAINS was the mother of nine children, Cornelius and Cornelia being twins, and the latter, who married T.M. BEMAN, is the mother of twin daughters, Ella and Eva, the former being a teacher in the Bedford schools.
Polly HAINS married Sidney M. HAMMOND. She was a great lover of flowers, her yard being filled with them. She used to say that “flowers were the gift of God to brighten our pathway to heaven,” and sent them to the sick whenever possible. She had two large plants of night-blooming Cereus, and when they blossomed sent word to all who might wish to see them.
Jemima GIBBS, a sister of Mrs. TURNER, married Stephen PECK, and used to assist him in finishing the coffins that he had made.
Stephen C. POWERS came to Bedford when quite a young man, and soon after his arrival he was taken sick with measles. As the people at his boarding place were afraid of the disease, he was taken in the home of Amos BELDEN, where he was nursed through his illness. Upon his recovery, he discovered that he had lost his heart, and that it was in the keeping of Charlotte BELDEN, who was of a very amiable disposition, and a great worker. They were soon married and he put up the woolen mills, the ruins of which are standing on Tinker’s Creek at the foot of Columbus street.
Anna HILLMAN, of Wilton, Me., came to Bedford with her mother, Clarissa BUTTERFIELD HILLMAN, wife of Hezekiah DUNHAM, in 1831, and celebrated the Fourth of July the next year by her marriage to Capt. Otis BUTTON.
The village of Bedford was then a scattered hamlet, the public square being covered with oaks.
Mrs. BUTTON was one of those patient, tender spirits that shone brightest in the home circle, and she ever exhibited the characteristics of the Christian lady. Her only daughter, Charlotte E. BUTTON, wife of M.B. DAWSON, resides in Cleveland.
Jane WARD and her husband, Robert DAWSON, of Rosedale, England, after living a few years in Canada, came to Bedford in 1832. She was the mother of four sons and two daughters. Mary McCLURE (Mrs. Abraham WHITAKER) was a devout woman, and in many ways patterned after Susanna WESLEY in the care of her household and in her relations to the church.
Mary Jane SMITH of West Brownsesville, Pa., married Andrew M. WHITAKER and came to Bedford in 1849. She was the mother of Alfred WHITAKER, whose death by a railroad accident last winter was deeply deplored by his large circle of acquaintance. His integrity of character was equaled by few and surpassed by none.
Emma WHITAKER (Mrs. H.O. COURTNEY) and Margaret WHITAKER are living in Bedford.
Jess TRYON and Prudence HURLBURT, his wife, with their family of five sons and two daughters, left Wethersfield, Conn., with a four-horse team. They arrived at Bedford in November, 1831, locating on the Twinsburgh road, where her son, John, and daughter, Mary, now reside. Mrs. TRYON lived until her ninety-first year.
Mehitable TRYON (Mrs. Chauncey GAY) came here two years before her parents. She was the mother of five sons.
Elizabeth LEVISEE was a daughter on one of the early Baptist preachers. She married Robert TRYON, and their daughter, Sarah TRYON, is an artist of New York city.
Rena LATHROP, wife of Rev. Carl F. HENRY, of Cleveland, is the daughter of Mrs. Henry LATHROP, nee Melissa TRYON.
Timothy TITCOMB and family lived here in 1831 and for several years after. The question arises, How did J.G. HOLLAND become possessed of “Timothy TITCOMB’S Letters” which he published?
Alonzo FRANKLIN and his wife, Diantha TORRENCE, of Jay, N.Y., came to Bedford in 1834. She raised a family of three sons and seven daughters, all but one of whom are now living. She was a strong temperance woman, and after hearing that with every missionary to foreign lands went thousands of gallons of rum, she decided to give to Home Missions instead, believing the senders needed instruction before the receivers.
Mrs. FRANKLIN remarked once: “That none of her children had married rich, but she was thankful that none had married drunkards.” She was quiet and unassuming in manner and always at peace with her neighbors. Teaching her children the obedience due to parents, they in turn delighted to do her will.
Dr. Ezra GRAVES, who used to practice medicine here, was in Canada during the war of 1812, when he was required to swear allegiance to the crown or leave the country. He chose the latter course, and told his wife that she could stay there or go to the United States with old Ezra, just as she pleased. She said: “I’ll go with old Ezra,” and she came.
Mary BUCKLEY, wife of Anthony THOMAS, was born in Norwich, Conn., in 1777, and was the mother of seven daughters and one son. Five her daughters married and came to Ohio, three going to Newburgh, while two settled in Bedford. Mrs. THOMAS traced her family back to the year 1400. Her grandmother, Mary CHANEY, came over on the Mayflower and married Pictus BUCKLEY. After the death of her husband, Mrs. THOMAS married Thomas COX and came to Bedford.
She was one of the charter members of the Baptist church, organized in 1834.
Sarah THOMAS (Mrs. Nathan B. ROBINSON) lived on North street and was the mother of Harriet ROBINSON, who married Augustus HUBBELL. She was called one of the prettiest girls in town. Helen ROBINSON, who married Calvin PURDY, was a well known temperance worker and a member of the Cleveland Sorosis.
Ellen THOMAS married Phillip SLADE, and was the mother of E.P. and Albert T. SLADE, both lawyers of Cleveland, and Ellen SLADE who married H.D. DICKEY. Mrs. DICKEY was untiring in her efforts to relieve suffering wherever it may be found. Mrs. SLADE was a milliner, and also very fond of flowers.
Mrs. Lucretia (John) HAMMOND had an unconquerable desire to see a bear, and her husband was anxious to gratify her. As he was passing through a cornfield one day, he encountered a bear, and although a half-mile from home he called at the top of his voice - Creshy! Creshy!! Creshy!!! Here’s a bear.”
This so frightened Master Bruin that he dropped his corn and started off on a run, and for aught we know to the contrary, is still running. It is suspected that he took a south-east course and reached Wall street, New York city, where he could have his accustomed diet of corn, and is now running up and down the Board of Trade, striking terror the hearts of those with whom he may come in conflict.
Rachel PACKARD and her husband, Reuben ELDRED of Plainsfield, Mass., came to Bedford in 1833. Mrs. ELDRED was of a very domestic nature, and used to spin and weave a good share of the time that she could spare from household duties. The names of all their children began with the letter R. Rosella ELRED married S.N. WINCHESTER, and was a very active woman. At the time of the Civil War her husband and two sons enlisted in the service of their country, while she was one of the moving spirits of the Soldiers’ Aid Society.
Romelia ELDRED (Mrs. A.D. ACKER) is still living in Bedford, where she has many friends. She has been down to the village many times with twenty-five cents to pay postage on a letter.
Marilla HOLT of Columbus, N.Y., married Esq. John TINKER, and with her family came from Adams, N.Y., to Bedford.
Mary TINKER married L. TARBELL, and is the mother of two sons and one daughter. J.D. TARBELL, the youngest son is mayor of Bedford.
May TARBELL married Grove G. CANNON, and after his death she became Mrs. Alfred WHITAKER. She now resides in Cleveland.
Adelia J. TINKER, Mrs. J.D. SHOLES, is a contributor to several papers and magazines.
It is not every town that can boast of a woman who was so much married as Betsey HAMLIN. She became Mrs. WAY, Mrs. Nathaniel FARRAR, Mrs. John CULVER, Mrs. Hezekiah DUNHAM, and Mrs. Adamson BENTLEY. She died at the age of eighty-four, having been a widow for several years. When she was Mrs. CULVER, a young lady of the family about to be married was feeling somewhat nervous over the ceremony when Mrs. CULVER said: “Oh that is nothing when you get used to it, why I would just as soon stand up and get marred as not!”
Betsey PALMITER and her husband, Allen PRATT of Phelps, N.Y., came to Bedford in 1831. She was the mother of four sons and two daughters. Mary J. PRATT who married Philemon SMITH, and Betsey A. PRATT, Mrs. Luman BARNES, are widows and reside in Holden, Mo. There are fifty-six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren in the PRATT family.
At a wedding in the 30’s some young men wheeled the village cannon to the home of the bride and fired a salute in honor of the event. Inadvertently the cannon was pointed toward the house and blew the mortar chinking from between the logs, filling the house with dust and smoke, so that one could not distinguish the bride from the groom.
Abner CLEVELAND with his family came from Rutland, Vt. The only daughter, Fanny L. CLEVELAND, lives with her brother Clark, both being unmarried.
Rufush LIBBEY came from the east and took up a farm. After a few years he decided to take unto himself a wife. He went to Waverly, O., where he was married to Cassandra FOSTER, who is till living at an advanced age with her son E.W. LIBBEY.
Eliza QUIGLEY was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and moved to New York city where she married Wm. CARLISLE. They came to Bedford in 1834. Mrs. CARLISLE was the mother of eight children, a member of the Baptist church, a woman of great moral courage and strong religious convictions. She is now living with her daughter, Mr. J.M. LEWIS of Cleveland, and retains all of her faculties, and the characteristics that the pioneer life developed.
Hannah BARTLETT married John C. HALL, and Zarina married Rev. H.G. MARCH, of Solon. Lucy A. was compelled at the age of twelve years - by the death of her mother, to assume the responsibilities of housekeeping for her father and brothers, which she did with ability and cheerfulness.
Wm DICKEY and his wife Mary KENYON, with three sons and three daughters came from Adams, N.Y. in 1833. Almira DICKEY, Mrs. Nelson HAMLIN, although of a retiring disposition, is a woman of dignified manner. She resides in Cleveland, also her sister, Mrs. Geo. RUGG, Harriet DICKEY.
Catherine WINFIELD and her husband, Thomas MARBLE, with four children came from Phelps, N.Y. in 1833 and settled on the Newburg road. Mr. MARBLE died in 1838 leaving her with six children. She then married Thomas BURGESS, and four children were the result of this marriage. She was the mother of six daughters and lived to be ninety-one years of age.
Serephina MARBLE, who married E.D. LEMOIN, is living in Dry Town, California, and the other daughters reside in Newburgh. They are Lucinda MARBLE, Mrs. Chauncey PALMER; Mrs. Phebe MARBLE TERRELL; Acenith MARBLE, who married “Honest Joe TURNEY,” afterward State Treasurer; Mrs. Thomas RIDDLE, nee Julia BURGESS, and Rhoda BURGESS, Mrs. Henry PUTNAM.
Nancy McCLINTOCK was born in Manchester, N.Y. and came to Bainbridge, O. with her uncle’s family, where she met and married Calvin PERKINS, whose father, Stephen PERKINS, came from the east with David HUDSON, the founder of Hudson, O. At the time there was only one house in Cleveland, and that was a block house. Mrs. Stephen PERKINS was a Bishop and related to the HUDSONS.
Mr. and Mrs. Calvin PERKINS with three children came to Bedford in 1844, settling on the farm now occupied by their son Samuel. Elizabeth PERKINS who married George ARNOLD, is a widow and resides at Five Pints near the old home. Anna PERKINS is the wife of Geo. P. NICHOLS. Mrs. PERKINS was a woman of rare ability and physical strength. None excelled her as a devoted nurse, and her services were in demand in cases of sickness among her neighbors.
Sally WATSON was born in Providence, R.I., and when eight years of age lived in Renseselaerville, N.Y., where she went to school to Silas GREY, and they were married when she was in her fifteenth year. They came by boat to Cleveland, which on the passage got aground on a sand bar at Erie, when all hands - women included - had to take their turn at the pump. Their son Alanson was born on Lake Erie during their voyage, which lasted eleven days.
On reaching Cleveland, they went to Ravenna and remained until 1833, then came to Bedford and bought the Allen Hotel on Willes street. Afterward Mr. GREY bought and painted what was known as the “Checkered Hotel,” on what is now North Park street. Mrs. GREY was a fine looking woman, and very kind to the poor.
Eliza GREY, Mrs. Thomas GREER, and Adaline GREY who married Alonze HESTON, removed to Charlotte, Mich. Lorinda GREY married Alonzo HESTON and removed to Chicago. She was a handsome girl as will be seen by the following report of a banquet given by the Cleveland Grays at the American House, which she attended in company with her sister and Mr. MONROE, who was a member of the Grays.
“The Cleveland Grays presented a fine appearance, but it would take the pen of an angel, dipped in the sunbeams of heaven to describe the beauty of the Bedford GREYS.”
Lucy A. GREY married Dr. S.U. TARBELL and resides here, being the only one left of her mother’s family of twelve children. She is a widow and is very charitable and sympathetic to those in trouble, and many have occasion to remember her with gratitude.
Ira. LAMSON and Lydia WARD, his wife came from Phelpstown, N.Y. to Bedford in 1834. On their way they put up at a hotel for a night, and in the morning after feeding the horses, the covered basket used in taking out the feed for them was hung under the rear of the wagon. After they had gone quite a distance on their way, a noise was heard, and a hen flew out of the basket cackling. The boys caught the hen, and they had pot-pie for dinner next day. Mrs. LAMSON was the mother of four sons and five daughters.
At one time the children were going for the cows when a number of deer, having been frightened in some way, ran across their path, and one of the young became entangled in the brush, when a man who happened along just then, killed it, and carried it off on his shoulders. Alvira LAMSON taught school, and as very young children used to attend school at that time, she would carry peppermint candy to amuse them, and when they were tired make a bed upon the benches for them. She married Edwin HENDRICK and removed to Paw Paw, Mich.
Mrs. W. B. HILLMAN, nee Thankful LAMSON, is living in Hudson with her daughter, Mrs. Mollie Hillman HITCHCOCK. Mrs. Caroline LAMSON (A.H. COMSTOCK) has two daughters, Alice COMSTOCK, Mrs. E. INGERSOLL of Portland, Oregon, and Carrie COMSTOCK who married R.W. SADLER of Akron. Martha LAMSON married Halsey HESTON, and her daughter, Rosetta, Mrs. A.J. HUBBARD, resides in Birds Eye, Ind. Mrs. Phebe LAMSON (F.D. BENTLEY) resides in Bryan, O.
Mrs. COMSTOCK remembers being called to the door by her father one morning in 1837 to see the pigeons fly north. There were such immense numbers of them as to completely hide the sky from view. Mrs. Lydia WARD LAMSON was a remarkably bright and active woman, and lived to be ninety-four years of age. Judge LAMSON of Cleveland is her grandson.
Erastus IVES and his wife Peggy RONK were among the early settlers. She was an enthusiastic church member, and once said when giving her testimony, that “She should come to church if she had to go above her knees in mud.” During a protracted meeting the house was crowded, and Mr. IVES was present. In the meantime something had gone wrong at home and he was needed there. His wife came to the church door and called out, “Erastus, come home!” Standing not upon the order of his going, he seized his hat and rushed down the aisle.
The SKINNERS lived on North street. Mrs. Jared SKINNER was a very kind woman, and used to roast potatoes to put in the hands of the neighbors children to keep them warm while going to school. Mrs. Joseph SKINNER, nee Calista BOYNTON, was a cousin of James GARFIELD. Mrs. David SKINNER was Lydia WEBB, and her mother lived with her. James SKINNER married Lydia WARNER.
Mrs. James YOUNG (Mary Smith) was always singing about her work. The entire family used to go to church, rain or shine, and all were fine singers.
Amelia YOUNG who married Dr. D.G. STREATOR, was one of the daughters.
Betsey SMITH (Mrs. John YOUNG)used to gather the neighborhood together Sunday afternoons and give them instructions in the Bible.
Augustus PEASE and Patty ALLEN, his wife, were ardent members of the Baptist church.
Theron and Samantha KING-SKEELS, and daughter Almeda were from Lebanon, N.Y.
Absolom SALISBURY and Betsey BECKWITH, his wife, who cane from Henderson, N.Y. were the parents of Charlotte SALISBURY who married Otis FARRAR, and is now living with her daughter, Mrs. N. F. WOOD, nee Frances FARRAR.
Peter ROBINSON and Hetty his wife, the parents of Dr. J.P. Robinson were early settlers. The latter married Betsey DUNHAM. They removed to Mentor, O. where they were very intimate friends of President and Mrs. GARFIELD.
Lydia DUNHAM, Mrs. F.H. CANNON, resides in Twinsburgh.
Polly HILLMAN married David B. DUNHAM. Their daughter Julia DUNHAM married Levi COMSTOCK and resides in Cleveland.
Irene CLEVELAND (Mrs. Stanton BROWN) came from Watertown, N.Y. She was a short, good looking old lady, with a motherly face and is remembered with great tenderness.
Alonzo DRAKE and his wife, Sarah E. PARMELY came from Monkton, Vt. In 1835. Mrs. DRAKE was a fine looking woman, and was one of the first teachers in the Baptist Sunday School. She was the mother of Emma H. DRAKE who married Z.J. WHEELER, and Sarah E. DRAKE, Mrs. Dr. Eli CLARK of Willoughby.
Nancy HATHAWAY was a very fine singer. She married Joseph COMSTOCK, and was the mother of Julia Ann COMSTOCK who married Reuben PARKINSON. Mrs. COMSTOCK afterward married Augustus PETTIBONE.
Adelaide PARKINSON (Mrs. Ozro OSBORN) has a pleasant face which combined with a suave manner attract to her many friends.
Anna TAYLOR (Mrs. Godfrey RICHARDSON) and family located on the Kellogg CULVER place in 1838. Her husband died the next year, and she was left with a family consisting of two sons and seven daughters. She was a very energetic woman and used to take in weaving to help support her family. She afterward married John MOUNT, and died in 1880, at the home of her daughter Mary. Mary RICHARDSON married Levi MARBLE, a son of Aunt Katy MARBLE-BURGESS. She lives on Main street and is the mother of C.B., F.D. and B.L. MARBLE who inherit from her qualities that make them good business men.
Adeline C. PLATT and her husband, Bloomfield J. WHEELOCK of Hunter, N.Y., among the Catskill Mountains, came to Bedford about 1849 with a delegation of one hundred and ten persons. This company came to Bedford under the auspices of Mr. WHEELOCK, and among them were many estimable ladies whose influence was exerted for good in community in church, educational and philanthropic work.
Elizabeth SHAW (Mrs. James GORDON) of Fifeshire, Scotland, with her son A.M. GORDON who was about two years old, came to Bedford in 1844. She was the mother of seven children; very patient under severe trials, seldom away from home, except to attend church. She was a great reader, a strong temperance woman, and her last words “Calvary is coming,” were expressive of her undying faith in her Savior.
There were some women teachers in the early days, all of whom deserved especial mention, but lack of space forbids. Among them were Alzina AMES, Polly ALLEN, Lucy BALDWIN, Miss BARNES, Julia BARNUM, Linda BASSETT, Arzelia BENEDICT, Harriet BOYNTON, Zeriah BURKE, Rosamond CLARK, Caroline HARTSHORN, Cornelia KNAPP, Alvira LAMSON, Sarah NEICE, Julia PARSHALL, Jannah Jane PECK, Maria PECK, Fammy Robinson, Mary Ann SILL, Mrs. SMITH, Julia Ann TRYON, Jemima TURNER, Sally WARNER, Eunice WATERS. I will quote from a district report of 1840 showing the comparative wages of men and women for about the same amount of work.
“The average number of scholars in attendance on the male teachers was 16 males and 6 females, the wages was $20 per month”
“The average number of scholars in attendance on the female teachers was 16 males and 5 females, the wages was $4 per month.”
In a school taught by a lady in the ‘30’s, a boy answering a question in geography as to the form of government of the United State, in contrast to that of Great Britain said, “We have no ducks, eels or heddiddle-diddles.” (Dukes, Earls or hereditary titles.)
Some of the teachers had to board around among the patrons of the school, and at one place a young lady teacher was obliged to sleep with the eldest daughters in a trundle-bed which was drawn from under the bed occupied by the parents, and two of the smaller children.
In the early days of no newspapers, and few books, ghost stories were prevalent, and things not otherwise accounted for were often laid to this source.
When Laura GOULD was teaching school in the brick school house, strange noises were heard in an out house. This continued for a day or two when such a fear came upon the scholars that they could not study, and school was dismissed. No one dared to go near the building until a man came along the road who said, “I am going to find out what in creation that is” - and he did; upon forcing the door open he found a big black calf.
The pioneer mothers of Bedford were possessed of the requisites of true womanhood - “Grace” to endure, “Grit” to dare, and “Gumption” to make the best of the hardships incident to such a life. We deplore the fact that we cannot fully set forth the merits of anyone mentioned in this article, or even name all who are entitled to mention, but shall endeavor to have the statistical table as complete as possible.
Miss Dema BENNETT
Chairman and Historian
Bedford Committee - Mrs. Eliza DUNHAM WHEELER, Mrs. Mary FRANKLIN ALLEN, Mrs. Caroline LAMSON COMSTOCK, Mrs. Joseph B. HAINS