Lake County Ohio GenWeb
The following article is from the Geneva Times, ca 4 Aug 1894 and reprinted in "LakeLines" April 1990, the newsletter of the Lake County Genealogical Society. It was retranscribed here by Casi Dosky, teen volunteer, and submitted by Sally Malone.
"Fell asleep Aug. 4, 1894, in his old family mansion, North Geneva, Capt. Ezra Brakeman, in the 83d year of his useful life. Mr. Brakeman was the youngest of Christopher Brakeman's six children; two of them, Stephen and John, are still living, the later in robust health at 86 years old. In the war of 1812, the father, then a resident of Harpersfield, left his six children with their mother in their forest home, and with other brave pioneers, hastened to defense of the then village of Cleveland against the threatened invasion of the British and Indians, where he and six of their comrades lost their lives, and were buried on the grounds now occupied by the Marine Hospital of that city. Brave, stalwart men were our pioneer fathers, and we can well afford to now and then, devote, in memory to their worth, a few lines in retrospection. Lewis Brakeman (Lodovid Brotzman), grandfather of the subject of the obituary, was a native of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, and came to this country about the year 1760; he and one son taking part in the war of the Revolution, suffering the loss of his goods at the hands of the Tories and Indians. In the year 1836, Capt. Brakeman became the husband of Miss Hariett Bartholomew, who from that day to the present has shared with him the hardship, deprivations, and also the pleasures of success incident to the carving out of a home in the then dense forest, a lovely, quiet, happy home-nest, made so by their united toil and unbroken occupancy for 58 years. Its fruit-laden trees, farm hedges and vineclad acres attest the care of a master hand. Of their six children, five are still living. Winslow, the eldest, entered the Union army in defense of the Union, and like others of his patriotic kinsmen, risked the dangers of war for its perpetuation, giving his life that it might live. Azan and his excellent wife have remained at the old home, kindly caring for his parents, bestowing on them that filial affection so highly prized by the aged. Mrs. H.H. Thorpe, at present in Geneva, Hiram, a steamboat engineer; Follin, horticulturist in Florida, and Lowell, marble artist in Mississippi, complete this enrollment.
Ezra Brakeman, in physical vitality and mental ability was much above the average man. In his earlier years, he was an able school teacher which occupation he laid aside for the more rugged work of subduing the forest. In politics, he was an old line Whig, until that party dough-faced to the slave power of the South, when, by the law of affinity, he identified himself with the Free-soil party until that organization was merged into that of the Republicans, in the ranks of which, "Old Union Sliver," he remained its ardent supporter while he lived. The Captain was a man who did his own thinking, having clear-cut convictions of the right, as he understood the right, with the ability and the courage to defend them, however unpopular they might be. Hence his repudiation of the thousand and one religious sects and secret oath-bound fraternities, regarding them as the bundles of tares gathering for the final destruction in fulfillment of the prediction of Christ. Yet with these generally considered heterodox views, his profound reverence, knowledge and practice of ths principles of the Hole Scriptures, might to their moral and religious profit, be imitated by many who make higher professions than his. Thoroughly honest himself, he made no excuses for the crooked ways of others, whether in official or private life. Those who knew him best trusted him the most readily. Whether in office, or in the juror's chair, where he often served, or in his home life among his neighbors, the duties of each place were discharged with faithfulness and good judgment. When he chose to, he could draw from his armory of wit and repartee, those dangerous weapons. Though he rarely used them so as to leave a sting behind. Much we shall miss his genial presence and his cheerful smiles, the latter of which neither years nor death could rob him of. Restful and well does the old pioneer sleep. The necessary brevity of this imperfect tribute to the memory of one so long an actor in life's drama, obliges the leaving unsaid of much of interest. Nor can this, nor pages of just eulogy, be of any interest to the dead; and save to a few, will be only briefly so to the living. "The gay will laugh, the solemn brood of care plod on, and each one as before, will chase his favorite phantom."
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