Lake County Ohio GenWeb

Judge Grandison Newell Tuttle

This biography is taken from Biographical History of Northeastern Ohio, Embracing the counties of Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake; Lewis Publishing Company, 1893.

Transcribed and submitted by Becky Falin, 1996.

Judge Grandison Newell Tuttle is a well known attorney of Painesville, Lake county, Ohio. He is a native of the county, having been born in Concord township March 20, 1837. He comes of one of the pioneer families of Northeastern Ohio and of New England stock. His paternal ancestors emigrated from England to the New World in 1635, and settled first in Massachusetts and afterward in Connecticut, where many of their descendants still reside. The family from an early time, has been connected with some of the most distinguished people of New England. The wife of the celebrated New England divine, Jonathan Edwards, was of this family, and the mother of Elihu Burritt was of the same family. Governor English of Connecticut and many other men of note, including college professors and other distinguished citizens, have claimed kinship with the family, while, of course, the more numerous portions of the family have occupied only the more humble stations in life and among their fellow-men. John Tuttle, the great-grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Connecticut, and was a wheelwright and carpenter by trade. In 1759 he removed with his family to Sunderland, Massachusetts, where he died some years afterward, at about the age of sixty years. His son, Joseph Tuttle, was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, August 31, 1756. This Joseph was grandfather of the Judge. His boyhood and early manhood were passed in Massachusetts, and here he married and soon emigrated to the State of New York. His first wife was Lovisa Mack, a daughter of Captain Mack, of Sunderland, Massachusetts. She died some fourteen years after her marriage, leaving no children. Her sister was the mother of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and after her son became distinguished as the leader of the new faith, she removed with him to Kirtland, Ohio, and, learning that a son of her deceased sister's husband was living in the vicinity, tried to interest the Judge's father, who then lived in Concord, Ohio, in their family; but he had so poor an opinion of the Mormon faith that he took no interest in making an acquaintance with a family who had at one time been connected in marriage with his father. After the death of his first wife, which occurred about 1793 or 1794, Mr. Tuttle married for his second wife Hannah Messenger, a daughter of Isaac and Anna Messenger, formerly of Simsbury, Connecticut. In 1807 he emigrated with his family to the Western Reserve, locating at Palmyra, Portage county, where he arrived August 12, and where his brother, John Tuttle, had lived for more than two years. The journey was made with two yoke of oxen, a span of horses and a wagon, and occupied forty-eight days. The country through which they passed was mostly one of great wilderness, and settlers were few. Indians were met with in considerable numbers at several places along the route; they were, however, at that time entirely peaceable. West of Buffalo the roads were scarcely worthy of the name, and the party traveled much of the way along the beach of the lake. The Judge's father, then a boy of eleven years, made the journey with his family and retained to the end of his life a vivid recollection of the journey and its incidents. They passed through Painesville, where they stopped over night at what was then called "The Little Red Tavern," which was situated on what is now State street, a few rods south of the Episcopal Church. The village then contained only two frame houses. Soon after his arrival at Palmyra, Mr. Tuttle purchased sixty acres of land, about half of which had been improved on, on the road leading from Palmyra to Deerfield.

Privations incident to a new settlement had to be endured. Provisions of nearly all kinds were scarce, and salt, which had to be brought over the mountains on pack-saddle, was worth from $3.50 to $4 per bushel. Mr. Tuttle was not contented in his Western home, and in 1809 sold his farm and went back to New York, where he died May 13, 1816. His second wife, Hannah, had died four years before, and the family, of which Joseph, the father of the Judge, was the oldest, being thus deprived of both parents, had little to depend upon but the kindness of neighbors. The father of the subject of this sketch, Joseph Tuttle, was born in Bridgewater, Oneida county, New York, May 10, 1796. Early in life, as we have already seen, he was thrown upon his own resources. His opportunities for an education were very limited, a few months covering all the time he ever spent at school. After the death of his parents he made his home for several years with his maternal grandparents, the Messengers. They also were of the Revolutionary stock of New England, the grandfather and six of his brothers having taken part in the war of the Revolution, and three of the number being present at the battle of Bunker Hill. Although far advanced in life, in 1817, they removed with their grandson, Joseph Tuttle, to Lake county, Ohio, the journey being made in sleighs. In March 1818, Mr. Tuttle bought 120 acres of new land in what is now Concord township, Lake county. Here he rolled up a small log cabin, in which he lived until 1820 with his grandparents, when he was able to build a more pretentious log-house. On January 2, 1823, he was wedded to Mary Adams, widow of Martin Adams, Jr., and daughter of Moses and Mary Kibbee, of Barkhamstead, Connecticut. In 1833 he erected a frame house, which he occupied until his death, which occurred April 20, 1884.

He was a man of strong physical consitution, vigorous and active mind, keen observation and retentive memory. These did much to make up for his want of school opportunities. He was an easy and pleasing conversationalist, and was widely acquainted in the vicinity, where he had many stanch friends; yet he was a man of decidedly outspoken opinions, determined in supporting whatever he believed to be right, and earnestly and firmly opposing whatever he thought to be wrong. He was one of the earliest anti-slavery men in this part of the State, and many times fed and aided fugitive slaves on their journeys to Canada, by the way of the once famous underground railroad.

In his early manhood he had been a Henry Clay Whig, and later a radical anti-slavery Republican. He held various local offices, and was a man highly respected by his acquaintances generally. In his old age he was fond of relating the incidents of his pioneer life.

Judge Tuttle is the youngest of four sons, all of whom are still living in Lake county. A sister, Mrs. Harriet A Kibbee, and youngest of the family, died in Painesville, March 19, 1887. All of the family have proved worthy and respectable citizens, and have the general esteem and good will of the community in which they reside. Judge Tuttle was reared on his father's farm and received such education as the common school of his distruct could afford. He attended school during the winter months, laboring upon the farm with his father and brothers during the remainder of the year, until he had passed his eighteenth birthday. In the fall of 1855 he went to school a term at the Orwell Academy, then conducted by Professor Jacob Tuckerman. The ensuing winter he taught the district school in the "Governor Huntington district." For the next three years he spent his time in attending academic and select schools and in teaching. In April, 1861, he entered the State and Union Law College at Cleveland, Ohio, of which Judge Chester B. Hayden was president, and Professors King, Elwell and others were teachers. In June, 1862, he graduated and soon after admitted to the bar of the State and United States Courts at Cleveland. The next year he taught school again. In the fall of 1863 he opened an office and began the practice of law at Willoughby, in his native county, where he resided until the fall of 1869, when he was elected Probate Judge of the county, and removed to Painesville. This office he filled with so much satisfaction to the people that he was twice re-elected without opposition, being the first in the county to hold the office for more than two terms. His home has always been in this county, where he is still in the practice of his profession. In politics Judge Tuttle was a Republican until 1876, when he supported Peter Cooper, the candidate of the Greenback party for President.

He continued to act with this party and with the Union Labor party until 1888, since which time he has cast his lot with the Prohibitionists. He has always taken great interest in political matters; has been very independent in his opinions and in making choice of his party connnections; has never studied the question of numbers, or the prospect of political success, being guided simply by what he believed to be politically right. Even while he was connected with the Republican party he always asserted the right of indepedent action whenever he thought any of the candidates of the party were unsuitable or unworthy of the confidence of the people. During the candidacy of General Garfield for congress in 1874, in his district, the Judge was one of the most earnest opponents. His opposition, however, was purely political, and arose from his conviction that General Garfield's official acts had not been in harmony with the best interests of the people in general.

In 1878 the Judge was himself a candidate for Congress on the Greenback ticket, and received a vote considerably larger than that of his party. During this campaign he made a large number of speeches upon political issues, speaking not only in his own districut but in other parts of the State, and was regarded by the members of his party as presenting their views in the most able and efficient manner of any man in his part of the State. In 1884 Judge Tuttle was named as a candidate for Judge of the Supreme Court of the State by the Union Labor party, and received a full vote of that party throughout the State. In 1891 he was a candidate for Judge of the Common Pleas Court on the ticket of the Prohibition party, which nomination was indorsed by the Democratic and Populist parties of the district. In 1892 he received the nomination of the Prohibition party of his district for Congress, and received considerable more than the full vote of his party for that office. He has always been a strong advocate of temperance, and of the rights of the laboring and industrious classes. He regards temperance reform as intimately connected with labor and finance reform, and believes that the saloon must be deprived of political control before monopolies and trusts can be overthrown. He, therefore, regards the temperance question as the most important and the leading question in politics today before the American people, and has no faith in any system of temperance legislation or temperance reform that does not look for the final prohibition and abolition of the saloon and saloon traffic.

Judge Tuttle was married December 24, 1861, to Miss Lizzie A. Wilder, of Willoughby, Ohio. She was the daughter of Joel D. and Clarinda A. Wilder, and was born in Vernon, New York, and is a descendant of an old New England family. Mr. Tuttle and wife are the parents of four children: Carlos G., who died March 1, 1875, aged seven years; Martin A., born March 12, 1869, who is a graduate of Adelbert College and is now (1893) a law student in his father's office; Mary C., who was born February 7, 1875, and Walter S., who was born March 15, 1877.

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