Death of Gershom V.
Mr. Gershom V. DeForeest, one of
our oldest residents, died at his home, south of town, on Tuesday after a
lingering illness of nearly two years, at the extreme old age of nearly
ninety-five years. Mr. DeForeest came to this neighborhood from New
Jersey, where he was born on the 20th of Dec, 1787 and where he lived
until he was a middle-aged man of forty-five, in 1832, and two years later
brought the farm on which he afterwards lived until his death.
He came of a long-lived race, his father, who was a captain in the
Revolutionary War, attaining within a few months of a century; and of his
brothers and sisters, a sister, Mrs. Stout, who lived in New Jersey, and
whom he visited at the centennial, when he was eighty-nine years of age,
died three years since at the age of eighty-seven and his only brother,
Isaac DeForest, Sr. still lives below town at the age of eighty-five.
Mr. DeForeest was an infant in his second year when Gen. Washington was
inaugurated President and remembered seeing that illustrious personage in
a New Jersey village when a lad of twelve. His life certainly spanned an
immense amount of the world's history, and the mind fails to grasp the
human progress and achievements that have been made in that time. Through
much of his active life he was prominently identified with the M.D. church
of this town and was steward in it for many years, and was recognized by
all who knew him as a kind neighbor and a good citizen.
Mr. De Foreest was the father of ten children, all of whom but one
attained mature age, and six of whom are still living in our midst - Mrs.
Seth Christy, and Abram, Samuel, John, Isaac and W.C. DeForeest.
His funeral took place yesterday afternoon and was largely attended.
His pall-bearers were four of his old neighbors and friends, Mr. Jas.
Bently, eighty-four years old and the first white child born on the
Shenango; Mr. Robert Luce and Mr. Wm. Ulp, each seventy-one, and Mr. I.D.
Cole, aged sixty-nine.
Gersham V. De Foreest was a New Jersey farmer, and July 2, 1832, he
arrived in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, having made the trip from New
Jersey by team and wagon, with his wife and eight children. He was
anything but a well-to-do man and purchased in New Jersey a team of
horses, wagon and harness for $36.36, borrowing four hundred dollars,
which amount he was to pay within four years with interest. The family was
six weeks en route and located in Mercer county, Pennsylvania. near the
Ohio state line, where he rented a piece of land with a log house upon it.
It was in the year 1836 that he purchased one hundred and fifty-seven
acres of land, over the county line, in Trumbull county, Ohio, paying one
hundred dollars down and getting time on the balance. He paid six dollars
and a quarter an acre. In the autumn of 1836 he returned to New Jersey
with his wife, as he promised her he would return in four years. She had
been very industrious in the Buckeye state and had made a large amount of
excellent cheese, which they loaded into their wagon, drawn by a fine
team. They sold this cheese product all along the road back to
"Jersey," thus obtaining money with which to pay their hotel
bills. He had by that time got well stocked up with cattle on his farm and
saved up his money from all sources of revenue, so that he was able to pay
off the four hundred dollar loan, with accruing interest. Indeed, a proud
day in their lives was this pay-day on their farm in the west. They
returned to Ohio and continued farming in a highly profitable manner, so
that at the date of his death he left an estate valued at twenty-eight
thousand dollars. Today this farm-the old homestead above described-is
well known as the "De Foreest Farm. " It is owned by the
Carnegie Steel Company and Miss Alice Luce.
Sharon Herald - Friday, April 7, 1882 - Page 3
by Theresa Davids