G. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) Ridlon.

History of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 online

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Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 84 of 103)
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lipsburgh (now Hollis), Me., Xov. 11, 1789; was married Feb. 2, 1812,
to David Martin, of Baldwin (or Sebago), and settled on a farm adjoin-
ing her father's, wdiere her husband erected the brick house so long known
as the "Uncle David Martin house," about one half-mile from Modera-
tion Falls, on the Bonnie Eagle road. This farm was formerly owned by
that John Redlon — uncle to Mrs. Martin — who died in Ohio at the age
of 106 years, and a son of his was buried near the present brick house,

* Luke Mills, the ancestor of the New England family of that name, came from
Virginia, and settled in Saco, Me. He had a son named Elligood Mills, who mar-
ried Mary Dyer and had issue Joseph, Lucy, Luke, Elligood, William, Lydia, John,
and James; the latter was the well-known and eccentric old millwright. I have
full records.



BIDLONS OF HOLLIS, MAINE. 637

the second one built by Mr. Martin. Mrs. Martin is still living in the
family of her daughter, Mrs. Martha Ridlon, in Hollis, and although 95
years of age she is intelligent, and actively engaged in braiding and sew-
ing rugs. "Aunt Eunice" is a small woman with the features character-
istic of her family, and in habits and disposition closely resembles her
brother Matthias. She had a clear, shrill voice, and could be heard a great
distance as she stood in the door and called her husband and sons from
their work in the field. Like her sisters she was a nice weaver, and the
author remembers the "clash" of her loom and "click" of shuttle as she
threw it from side to side through her web, while making cloth for her
family. She and husband were devoted Christians; they had a large
family, of several of whom hereafter.

William Ridlon 4 (1), second son of Thomas 3 (1), was born in Phil-
lipsburgh (now Hollis), Me., Feb. 26, 1792; married (the intention re-
corded Nov. 16, 1812) to Isabella, daughter of Robert Martin (records of
Hollis say "of Standish "), and sister of the husband of his sister Eunice,
before mentioned. His first wife died in the year 1843, and he married,
secondly, Feb. 28, 1844, Catherine Martin, sister of Isabella. This cere-
mony was performed by Elder Jeremiah Bullock, of Limington. Mr.
Ridlon first settled in Hollis, not far from the homestead of his brother
Thomas, but was induced to sell this excellent tract of land, and moved
to Brido-ton or Sebatfo. The names of his children are recorded in
Bridgton, and I think he lived some time in that town ; he finally located
on land in Sebago, in a neighborhood called "Folly," — appropriately
named, — where he erected farm-buildings and has lived ever since. Had
he remained in Hollis he would have owned one of the best farms in town;
but he has worked hard on a rocky, ungenerous little farm among the
mountains, and consequently was always poor. He is still living, at the age
of 93, and has attended every State election since his majority; his politi-
cal sentiments are strictly Democratic. He is tall and rather slim, but
has a strong, well-knit frame; his head is high, but not so broad as his
brothers'; hair, originally black; brows, long and outstanding; eyes, gray;
complexion, florid. He is nervous and impulsive in temperament, quick
to resent an insult, or any intrusion upon what he considers his personal
rights; and God pity the man who stands in his way when his temper is
up. He once had a neighbor who habitually came home intoxicated and
abused his wife, and "Uncle Billy" was frequently called to take the poor
woman's part. When he was cutting his wood the following autumn he
found a knotty, scrubby oak limb and laid it up in his wood-house ; on
being asked by his wife what it was for, he replied, "I am gwine to keep
that to wallop O. T. with when he comes home to whip his wife." Not
long after the woman was heard to scream, and "Uncle Billy" seized his
club and ran for the house ; he met the infuriated man at his door, and
pulling him into the yard gave him such a thrashing as he never forgot,
and which completely cured him from whipping his poor wife. This took
place when Mr. Ridlon was an old man, and shows the spirit that was in
him. He had issue twelve children (all by his first wife), of whom here-
after.

Dea. Matthias Ridlon 4 (3), third son of Thomas 3 (1), was born in
Phillipsburgh (now Hollis), Me., March 28, 1794; married (intention
recorded Jan. 30, 1818) to Rachel Pendexter, of Cornish, whose grand-
mother was Rachel (Redlon) Field, and settled in Eaton, N. H., where
he built him a log-house, and planted a three-acre cut-down. He had no



638 BIDLONS OF HOLLIS, MAINE.

time to burn the logs and planted his corn between them on the newly
burnt ground ; from this plantation he sold one hundred and sixty bushels
of nice corn at fifty cents per bushel toward paying for his land. After
his brother Samuel married and moved from home, Matthias returned to
Hollis, purchased eight acres of the Field farm, — land now owned by
Hobson, where the old juniper-tree stands, — and lived in his father's
house. In 1838, he sold his property in Hollis, and moved upon a tract
of new land in Sweden, Oxford County, where he established a perma-
nent home, and continued the remainder of his days. He lived in a part
of Robert Morrison's house while clearing his land and building his log-
cabin ; but in the month of April, when his daughter Sabra was but a
few weeks old, the river-drivers came to Morrison's to board, and he was
compelled to move into his unfinished house, which had neither floor nor
roof. He immediately hauled boards and covered a piece of the roof over
his bed, and to keep out the rain, shingled it with birch bark. He built
a stone chimney, chinked the walls with moss, plastered up the inter-
stices between the loos laid a roue-h board-floor, and lived in the warmest
house he ever owned. He subsequently erected a good frame and clap-
boarded house, and suitable out-buildings for a large farm. The home-
stead of Mr. Ridlon was situated on a high hill, oveidooking several ponds,
and commanded a wide prospect of the country round about, — a rugged,
mountainous, and romantic section. The soil was strong and sustained a
heavy growth of hard-wood timber, especially of oak, which during later
years has nearly all been manufactured into hogshead-staves, and shipped
to the West Indies. The farm of Matthias was good and abundantly
productive, but hard to work, and so broken that his corn-harvest was
drawn to the barn on a wood-sled instead of a wheel-cart. Mr. Ridlon was
not as large as his brothers, but built like them. His complexion was
light, his eyes small and bright, and shaded by long, outstanding brows.
His features were very coarse, — a good type of the Shetlanders from
whom he was descended, — and his face florid. He was not as bald as his
brothers in early life. His hair in later years was snow-white, and worn
long in winter. In temperament he was like his father's family, quick,
impulsive, and determined. His voice was rather harsh and sharp. He
had a superabundant courage, and persisted in driving young, rampant
horses when old ; by these he was several times thrown from his carriage
and slightly injured, but he was never afraid to try again; he frequently
made journeys of a hundred miles with his "colts," as he called them,
when an old, decrepit man, and greatly against the entreaties of his family.
When more than eighty years of age, he purchased a horse which proved
to be unsound, returned him to the original owners, and commenced legal
action to recover his money. The case was tried at Portland. The old
man, with his long, white hair, bowed with years, excited great interest in
court, and jmblic opinion was strong in his favor ; but when he took the
witness-stand, holding his memorandum in his bony hand, and with
strong, clear voice, described the bargain with the circumstances ; when,
under a wearing cross-examination, he patiently endured, but still main-
tained his original testimony; and when, as his examiner intimated that
he had misrepresented the statement, he stopped short, straightened himself
in the witness-box, and with quivering lip and fire flashing from his eyes
demanded of the lawyer as follows : " Sir, you have known me for more
than forty years; do you call me a dishonest man?" and while the people
in the crowded room were hushed to stillness, waiting in suspense for the



RIDLONS OF HOLLIS, MAINE. 639

answer, the attorney heartily responded, " No, Mr. Ridlon, I know you
are a man of truth," every one believed he was on the right side, and could
not keep back the tears of sympathy. Of course he won his case.

Deacon Ridlon embraced religion near middle life, and I think when
c.imping in the woods, and was an earnest, devoted follower of his Mas-
ter. His impulsive temper was always a source of embarrassment to him,
but he kept it well in check. He was for many years a member of the Free-
will Baptist Church in Sweden, but subsequently united with a Christian
Church organized in his own neighborhood ; this body soon lost its visi-
bility, and it is believed he united with the Christian Church in Bridgton,
some seven miles from his home. He attended his church and conference-
meetings as long as age and health would admit of his going from his fireside,
and during his latter years he traveled from fifty to ninety miles to attend
annual and quarterly conferences. His bowed form, white hair, pleasant
face, and ringing testimonies will not soon be forgotten by those who at-
tended these gatherings.

Mr. Ridlon was very ingenious, and constructed almost any farm-imple-
ment that could be made of wood, in a neat and substantial manner. He
was an excellent cooper and worked for many winters in stave-camps.
In his last years he spent his winters making baskets in his own room.
From boyhood till old age he loved work, and was always restless and un-
happy if confined to the house. Mrs. Ridlon died in 1876, and her funeral
service was conducted by the author of this book. Mr. Ridlon died in 1882
aged 88 years, and was buried by the side of his wife in a small yard,
only a little way from his house. Children, of whom hereafter, thirteen
in number.

Samuel Ridloil 4 (2), fourth son of Thomas 3 (1), was born in Phillips-
burgh (now Hollis, Me.), Province of Massachusetts Bay, July 18, 1796;
married Esther Stanley, of Cornish, March 18, 1818, and settled (pre-
sumably) in Porter, — he was called "Porter Sam " by the family in Hollis,
to distinguish him from Samuel Ridlon, of that town, who married his
sister, — Oxford County, and has continued in that neighborhood ever
since. He first met his wife when at work for her father, William Stan-
ley, at his mills in Cornish; she was a strapping girl, and just suited to be
the helpmeet for a pioneer farmer. When her father raised his barn by
the broad-side, help was scarce, and his three daughters held the foot of
the posts; such girls are now hard to find. Mr. Ridlon cleared anew
farm, and while at work "piling," his wife used to carry her baby to the
"rick," spread a folded quilt under it upon the ground, and assist him
while burning logs and brushwood ; she was as strong as her husband, and
never failed to carry her end of the log. Samuel sometimes came home

— in his early years, when nearly all men took their glass — from "train-
ings" and "raisings" a little over-the-bay, and at such times was full of
sport and loved to plague his wife. "Aunt Esther" — as the old folks
called her — was good-natured, and endured her husband's pranks as long
as she could, and then there would be a test of bone and muscle; she
would lay her lord on his back upon the kitchen-floor, put her knee upon
him, box his ears soundly, and say, "Now, Sammy, you keep quiet." Mr.
Ridlon was a good, hard-working farmer and cooper; much of his land
was covered with heavy oak growth, and in winters this timber was
worked into staves for hogsheads, and became a means of placing con-
siderable money in the manufacturer's hands. "Uncle Samuel " was short,

— below the medium height, — broad-shouldered, and well formed; his



640 EIDLONS OF HOLLIS, MAINE.

neck, short, thick, and very full under the chin ; his head, large, high
crowned, well developed, and bald in early life; his hair and whiskers —
the latter worn heavily upon the sides of his face, like those of his brother
Thomas — were jet-black, and inclined to curl; his features were regular,
his cheeks red, and his expression serious and thoughtful ; indeed, he
was a deep thinker and reasoner. Since I knew him he was moderate in
his movements, and his disposition was more even and well-balanced than
that of his brothers. Candid, cautious, and of sound judgment, he proved
a valuable townsman and good neighbor, and few men in old age had as
many real friends and well-wishers. He lived in peace with all men, and
endeavored to make peace between others who were at variance. A dear
lover of home, and industrious always, he did not become involved in
those political broils and business embarrassments that have burdened the
lives of many ; he reared a large family of respectable children, who mar-
ried and settled in plenty around their parental home, where he could see
them all on a day. Scores of grandchildren gathered around his knee, to
love and venerate him, and his descendants of the third generation have
nestled their sunny heads in his patriarchal arms. In 1880 he had lived
to see between eighty and ninety descendants : fourteen children, fifty
grandchildren, and twenty-four great-grandchildren. Mr. Ridlon and his
wife died within a few weeks of each other, in 1883, and were buried in
a small cemetery a little north of his house, and near the South Hiram
meeting-house. Funeral conducted by the author of this book.

Betsey-E. Ridloil 4 (2), sixth daughter of Thomas 3 (1), was born in
Hollis, Me. (then in Massachusetts), Oct. 4, 1799 ; was married to David
Nason, of Limington, Nov. 14, 1816, and went to live in that town. She
was twin to Rachel, and a remarkably pretty woman — as good as beau-
tiful. She died June 24, 1841, aged 42 years, leaving a large family of
children, some of whom resemble the Ridlons, and was buried in Hollis
in the " Old Ridlon Burvin2,-s;round," near her father's lot.

Rachel Ridloil 4 (3), seventh daughter of Thomas 3 (1), was born in
Phillipsburgh (now Hollis, Me.), Oct. 4, 1799, and died at the home of
Samuel Ridlon, — who married her eldest sister, — in Baldwin, Nov. 2,
1811, but was buried with her parents.

Rebecca Ridloil 4 (2), eighth daughter of Thomas 8 (1), was born in
Phillipsburgh, Mass. (now Hollis, Me.), Nov. 11, 1802, and died when a
young woman, unmarried, at home.

Sarah Ridloil 4 (4), ninth daughter of Thomas 3 (1), was born in Phil-
lipsburgh (now Hollis, Me.), Sept. 1, 1805, and lived at home with her
father and maiden-sister Judith. She was in a feeble condition of health
many years, and died unmarried some years after her father, but I have
no date. She was laid to her earthly rest in her father's lot, in the " Old
Ridlon Burying-ground," so called.



William Ridlon 4 (2), eldest son of John 3 (3), was born in Phillips-
burgh (now Hollis, Me.), April 10, 1791, and was burned to death when
a child by falling into the open fire from a clothes-basket, in which his
mother had placed him, while she went out for some wood. This child
was the first person buried in the small ground just back of the brick
house subsequently built by David Martin.

Matthias Ridlon 4 (4), second son of John 3 (3), was born in Phillips-
burgh (now Hollis, Me.), June 4, 1793. He was taken to Vermont with
his parents, enlisted in the army during the war of 1812, and having, from



ttEDLONS OF OHIO. 641



exposure and over-exertion, being so young and naturally frail, contracted
disease, was discharged, and died soon after his return at his father's
home in Vermont. Place of burial unknown.

John Ridloil 4 (7), third son of John 3 (3), was born near Burlington,
Vt., Aug. 15, 1795 ; married Sarah Myers, in Ohio, — after his father had
emigrated to that State in 1814, — and settled first in Loveland, as a
farmer. When his father became old he removed to the northern part of
the State, and purchased a farm in the town of Waynesfield, Auglaize
County, where he lived with his father till the time of his death in 1848.
His widow, by whom he had twelve children, married a second husband,
and was living near her first husband's old farm, in Waynesfield, in 1873,
at which time I dined at her house. Mr. Ridlon — or Kedley, as he spelled
his name — was tall, slender, and very nervous and quick of movement ;
he was impulsive and high-tempered ; sensitive and sure to resent an in-
sult, but kind-hearted and pleasant when well used. His hair and beard
were black, his eyes small and bright, his features rather long, and in gen-
eral appearance resembled his mother's family more than the Ridlons.
He was said to be a man of great physical strength, and many traditions
respecting feats accomplished by him are held in his family.

Abigail Ridloil 4 (1), eldest daughter of John 3 (3), was born in Ver-
mont, Sept. 20, 1797; went to Ohio with her parents in 1814; married
Benjamin Carl, of Loveland, Clearmont County, Ohio, and had issue.
She was left a widow and went to Michigan to live with her daughter,
where she is said to have died at a good old age. I question the accu-
racy of the above date of her birth ; think she was born in Maine, and at
an earlier year. Her cousins now living in Hollis, Me., say, " Aunt Abby
had three children when she went to Vermont, and one was a daughter."

Sarah Ridlon 4 (5), second daughter of John 3 (3), was born in Ver-
mont, Jan. 17, 1798; went to Ohio with her parents in 1814, and married
Roswell Graves, of Loveland, Clearmont County, in that State, and had
issue. She was left a widow, her husband having died in middle life.
No record of her death.

Judith Ridloil 4 (3), third daughter of John 3 (3), was born in Ver-
mont, Sept. 10, 1800, and died in infancy.

Rachel Ridlon 4 (4), fourth daughter of John 3 (3), was born in Ver-
mont, June 6, 1802, and died there in infancy. She was probably by
John Ridlon's second wife.



Timothy-Tibbetts Ridlen 4 (1), eldest son of Abraham 3 (2), was
born in Pepperellborough (now Saco, Me.), Aug. 2, 1786; was carried to
Ohio by his parents in 1800; married Sarah Wright, in 1810, and settled
in Clearmont County, Ohio, where he carried on farming many years.
When crossing the Alleghany mountains, while on the way from Massa-
chusetts to the Ohio River, he was thi*own from a young horse he was
riding and sustained a bad fracture of his arm. There was no physician
to be had, and the men and women reduced the arm to as near its natural
position as they could, bound splints about it, and proceeded on their
way ; the limb was not properly united, however, and the movements of
the horse caused him such pain he was placed in a carriage, but suffered
extremely all the remainder of the journey. Timothy and his broth-
ers changed their names, after going West, to Ridlen. He was of me-
dium height, well built, and very strong ; his hair was brown, and his com-
plexion ruddy. He was firm in his principles and an earnest Christian,
41



642 KEDLONS OF OHIO.



A good farmer and something of a mechanic. He died in Marian Coun-
ty (Indiana?), Ohio, in 1853. I have no record of his wife's death ; they
had issue ten children, of whom hereafter.

Stephen Ridlen 4 (1), second son of Abraham 3 (2), was born in Phillips-
burgh (now Hollis, Me.), Province of Massachusetts, Nov. 4, 1787; went to
Ohio with his parents in 1800; married Ann Bellville, and had issue eight
children, of whom hereafter. He entered the American army in the war
of 1812, under Col. Findley of the Fourth Ohio Regiment, in the com-
pany of Capt. S. B. Kyler ; he was at Detroit, Mich., at the disgraceful
surrender of General Hull, and with his fellow-prisoners marched to
Cleveland, Ohio, where he was paroled and afterwards exchanged. He
endured great hardships during his term of service ; was marched from
Maume to Detroit, a distance of sixty miles, bare-footed. For his ser-
vices he received one hundred and sixty acres of land in Indiana, upon
which he settled in 1825 ; he cleared a fine farm here and lived a con-
tented, happy life. He also received a pension. He removed to Illinois
in 1852, and died in the family of his son at Willow Hill, Jasper County.
He was of medium height, very broad across his shoulders, and heavily,
compactly built ; his neck was very short and large, his jaws square,
mouth and chin broad, features regular, hair white and coarse, and his
facial expression calm and determined. Mr. Ridlen was esteemed a kind
and honest man. The author has his portrait.

Patience Ridlen 4 (2), eldest daughter of Abraham 3 (2), Avas born in
Phillipsburgh (now Hollis, Me.), Mass., Aug. 4, 1788, and went to Ohio
with her parents in 1800. She was married in 1815, to Levi Wells, in
Ohio, and is now living in the family of her daughter, Mrs. Nancy Fore-
man, at Rockville, Ind., in her 96th year. She has been a member of the
Church of the United Brethren for many years. Date of husband's death
unknown. It was supposed by the brothers and sisters of this woman
that she had been many years dead, until in 1881, I found her by adver-
tising in western newspapers ; and when the news of her survival reached
her friends she seemed like one raised from the dead. I have her portrait,
finished in India-ink, taken in her 94th year. She had issue, and several
children are still living.

Ruth Ridlen 4 (2), second daughter of Abraham 3 (2), was born in
Phillipsburgh, Mass. (now Hollis, Me.), Aug. 10, 1790, and was taken to
Ohio by her parents in 1800. She was married in 1816, to John Robert-
son, and lived at Adams, Decatur County, Ind., where she died in 1870,
leaving issue. Her husband was blind for some years, and her life was
one of many trials and vicissitudes; she was a good, patient, devoted
servant of God, and is now at rest. A good portrait of this woman is
owned by the author.

Samuel Ridlen 4 (3), third son of Abraham 3 (2), was born in the
township of Phillipsburgh, Mass. (now Hollis, Me.), June 10, 1792, and
was taken to Ohio in the year 1800 by his parents. He married Sarah
Davis, July 18, 1813, and settled near Cincinnati, Ohio, as a blacksmith.
He was in the Fourth Ohio Regiment, under Col. Findley, and served as
a sergeant in the company of Capt. S. B. Kyler, from April 25, 1812, to
April 24, 1813, and was at Detroit at Hull's surrender. Like his brothers,
he was marched over sixty miles with bare feet. He received one hun-
dred and sixty acres of excellent land in southern Illinois for his services
in the army, and settled there when in middle life; do not know the
year of his removal from Ohio, but his children were educated in that



- BEDLONS OF OHIO. 643

State. He built cabins on his new land and lived there alone many
weeks at a time, while clearing his farm, before moving his family. He
was a good farmer and had a deep interest in breeding improved stock ;
indeed he took the premiums at the State fairs on his cows for many
years. His farm was in Douglas County, in the well-known district called
"Egypt," and the land is not only remarkable for its corn and grain pro-
ducing qualities, but is also adapted to grass and all kinds of fruit. He
spent his last days in the family of his only son, and was for many years
nearly blind.* Two daughters lived near him, and being in good health
himself, he would mount a horse, and some of his grandchildren would lead
it by the bridle-rein from house to house, and thus favor the old patri-
arch with the privilege, almost every day in pleasant weather, of visiting
his children. He was of medium height and build, and had, when in his
prime, black hair and beard. His eyes were very dark and bright until
he became blind. In general appearance he represented his mother's
family, and said she had always told him he had a " Tibbetts nose" ; this
feature was large and prominent, and of a form (peculiar to the old mem-
bers of the Tibbetts family in New England) that would be hard to de-
scribe without the aid of the artist's pencil. Plis face was naturally quite
red. Mr. Ridlen's wife died in 1857. Children, nine in number. He
died in 1878, aged 86 years.

Polly Ridlen 4 (3), third daughter of Abraham 3 (2), was born in Phil-
lipsburgh, Mass., — now Hollis, Me., — Aug. 14, 1794; went to Ohio with
her parents when six years old, and married somewhere in the West. I



Online LibraryG. T. (Gideon Tibbetts) RidlonHistory of the ancient Ryedales, and their descendants in Normandy, Great Britain, Ireland, and America, from 860 to 1884 → online text (page 84 of 103)