Lake County Ohio GenWeb
The following article is from the Painesville Telegraph, 4 Sept 1879 and reprinted in "LakeLines" 18:4 October 1992, the newsletter of the Lake County Genealogical Society. It was retranscribed here by Casi Dosky, teen volunteer, and submitted by Sally Malone.
I hasten to chronicle the departure of a pioneer, in that he was early in this county and has taken the TELEGRAPH from the first, and the widow says she intends to continue as long as she lives. Reuben B. Chaffe, born in Pompey, Onondaga Co., N. Y., Aug. 26th, 1797, died at Thompson, Geauga Co., Ohio, Aug. 20, 1879, lacking six days of being 82 years old. Of his earliest life little at hand - enlisted when fifteen years of age into the N.Y. militia, Capt. E. Benjamin; was at Sackett's Harbor about a year, and discharged for disability, his discharge papers destroyed when Court House at Chardon burned. Ashbel Messenger, his step-father preceded him to Concord, Ohio, and he came with balance of family in the year 1815. His was a strong physical frame joined with a good constitution, which rendered him capable of enduration, which condition was necessary for the hard work and privations of the early settlers. He married in 1821 the widow of Benjamin Trask, who was living on lot 18, of Thompson, on lands taken by Trask, by whom be had four girls and one son living with her, some fifteen years of age. Here I might present an item of unpublished history, the exactness of which none are alive to tell, and I venture from best remembrance of my informers, though not from Mr. Chaffe: Benjamin Trask was one of the three sons of Retire Trask, who came here in 1808, and settling near Hulbert, Stockwell and Bartlett. Of the date of his marriage, probably 1818. Maiden name of wife I do not know; suffice in Feb., 1819, Trask had occasion to go to what is now Hambden, for family supplies. It was winter, considerable snow on the ground, but his purchases were made - a kettle bail and some groceries were his burden as he started homeward. Whether early enough to have reached home by daylight does not appear - he did not come - near midnight the wife, for who should know his step so well, surely did hear his step, could not be mistaken, arose to receive him, but no one came in. This afterward became to her the full assurance that the event revealed that next day occurred at this hour. The next forenoon a stranger passing from Chardon by way of Hambden, while pursuing this only bridle pathway, when to the northeast and near what is now known as Stoney Ridge, though considerable north of where we now cross the ridge, came upon a track of some one in newly fallen snow, but a very crooked one, turning from side to side, and concluded it was made by some one intoxicated, but following on soon came to an iron kettle bail which he picked up, and still farther on came to a bag containing some groceries and secured this also, and only a little farther on the track ended and he found a man sitting bolt upright by the side of a large tree, dead. He hastened through to Esq. Mark Barnes and told what he had found, and says: "I will go no farther till you have opportunity to investigate and know if there be foul play that might implicate me." Accordingly he with Barnes followed his track back, taking oxen and sled, and brought the man in. Barnes being acting justice took such steps as seemed to be demanded in the case; but who were summoned at that time, not even his daughter can now tell, or if a formal inquest was held, thinks Daniel Miller who was successor to her father and then teaching in that district, and Geo. Moseley among others, was there. Various speculations have been indulged in as to the cause of the death, some affirming it was lock-jaw, that he had a sore toe that often was very painful, that his fatigue and tremp in the snow, etc., and that one of his stockings was wrong side out and shoe on that foot untied, indicating to his wife that the foot troubled him, as she might gather from the turned stocking, which she always did.
A few months after the death of Mr. Chaffe's wife he married early in 1837, Hannah Kibbee of Concord, and by her had six girls and two boys. Four of the daughters and the boys and the only daughter of the first wife, Mrs. Mary Ann Brocklehurst, of Oil City, Pa., making seven of the nine living children, were present at his funeral. One daughter living in Mentor, was watching her youngest child, some two and a half years old, which died on the 26th, and was brought and buried by the side of its grandfather. The other daughter resides in Kansas.
Mr. Chaffe was for nearly forty years a consistent member of the M.E. Church in this place.
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