Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Nathan Corning

This biography is taken from History of Geauga and Lake counties; Williams Brothers, 1878. pg 253

Transcribed and submitted by Becky Falin, 1996.

Nathan Corning, the son of Warren and Elizabeth Corning, born in Acworth, New Hampshire, February 17, 1805, the subject of our sketch, was the fifth of a family of nine children.

He came, with his father, to Mentor, Ohio, when not quite six years of age.

His education was obtained at the common schools, with a short course of instruction at a select school in Painesville. His first ownership of land was in 1827, when his father deeded him a farm of one hundred and seventeen and seventy-four hundredths acres at the centre. That portion lying south of the road is now owned by Daniel B. Harr, and that on the north side by the widow of Abram Van Etten.

To this, and adjoining it on the north, he added, in the year 1853 or 1854, two hundred and seven acres, from what was then known as "the Perkins tract."

Having previously disposed of the southern portion, his farm now consisted of three hundred acres, which he sold, in 1865, to Mrs. Van Etten.

A few months after he bought the farm formerly owned by his brother Warren, adjoining that of his sister, Mrs. Dickey, now owned by General Garfield, known as the "Aldrich farm." This he retained until the spring of 1866, when he sold to Mr. Aldrich, the father of the present owner.

In 1828, September 18, he was united in marriage to Phoebe E. Wilson, daughter of David and Phoebe Wilson. She was born in Pittstown, New York, in 1809, and with her parents removed to Mentor when she was in her sixth year. Her parents settled on the farm adjoining that first owned by her husband's father. Thus they were playmates and acquaintances in childhood and youth. After marriage, their house was often an asylum for the homeless; and a deaf ear never was turned upon those in distress or want. Mrs. Corning was of Quaker descent through her mother, who believed their lineage could be directly traced to George Fox. Her great-grandmother was Phoebe Fox. "Uncle Sam," used as a synonym for the United States government, was first applied to her father's brother, Samuel, usually known among his acquaintances as Uncle Sam. He, with his brother Ebenezer, were inspectors of government stores, contracted by Elbert Anderson for the army, in the war of 1812. These were marked "E.A., U.S." A workman being asked the meaning of the letters, answered: "He did not know, unless they meant Elbert Anderson and Uncle Sam." U.S. really meaning United States, the joke was readily appropriated, and Uncle Sam was often congratulated upon his increasing possessions.

Mrs. Corning's useful life ended August 27, 1878.

To Mr. and Mrs. Corning were born the following named children: Emily, Nelson D., James N., Mary L., Phoebe Elizabeth, Huldah W., and Elizabeth Phoebe. Emily Corning became the wife of J. Mills Bradley, formerly of Mentor, but at the time of their marriage a resident of Troy, New York, where for several years he was associated with James E. Kimball in the flour commission business. He was a member of the board of supervisors of that city two terms, which body in that State reviews the financial interests of public affairs. His death occurred in 1869. Mrs. Bradley now resides in Mentor. Nelson D. married Adeline Tyler, is a farmer, and also resides in Mentor. Mary L. married James M. Blish, who died in the service of his country in the war of the Rebellion.

She afterwards married Henry A. Hills, a farmer, and is now living in Highland, Kansas. James N. married Mary A. Thompson, and is a justice of the peace at South Bend, Indiana.

Huldah W. married Selden B. Kinsbury, who for several years was principal of the high school of Constantine, Michigan, and is now a lawyer of that place. Elizabeth Phoebe married Wm. W. Mills, a civil engineer, and lives at Oakland, California. Phoebe Elizabeth died in infancy.

Mr. Corning's occupation has been that of a farmer, though he has been also a manufacturer of brooms and a dealer in real estate. He has been honored by his fellow-men with several offices of public trust, the duties of which he has discharged in an efficient manner. The office of coroner of Lake County he held three terms. He has also held the offices of township treasurer and assessor. At the first election held in the incorporated town of Mentor he was chosen mayor, and also at various subsequent elections. He held the position of township trustee for several years, and was a member of the school board more than twenty years. He has always taken an active part in every project looking to the advancement of public interest, and sometimes made his individual interests subservient to them. In business transactions he has ever been a man of whom it can be truly said, "his work is as good as his bond." He is a stanch Republican, and an influential member of that party in his township.

Mr. Corning possesses, as he justly merits, the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens, and is loved an revered by his family and many friends.

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