Henry James Lee.

Portrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p online

. (page 8 of 83)
Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 8 of 83)
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not fail to realize under what circumstances he
became President, and knew the feelings of many
on this point. Under these trying circumstances,'
President Arthur took the reins of the Govern-
ment in his own hands, and, as embarrassing as
was the condition of affairs, he happily surprised
the nation, acting so wisely that but few criticized
his administration. He served the nation well
and faithfully until the close of his administra-
tion, March 4, 1885, and was a popular candidate
before his party for a second term. His name
was ably presented before the convention at Chi-
cago, and was received with great favor, and
doubtless but for the personal popularity of one
of the opposing candidates, he would have been
selected as the standard-bearer of his party for
another campaign. He retired to private life, car-
rying with him the best wishes of the American
people, whom he had served in a manner satisfac-
tory to them and with credit to himself. One
year later he was called to his final rest.




twenty -second President of the United States,
was born in 1837, i" the obscure town of
Caldwell, Essex County, N. J., and in a little
two-and-a-half-story white house, which is still
standing to characteristically mark the humble
birthplace of one of America's great men, in
striking contrast with the Old World, where all
men high in office must be high in origin and
bom in the cradle of wealth. When the subject
of this .sketch was three years of age, his father,
who was a Presbyterian minister with a large
family and a small salary, moved, by wa)- of the
Hudson River and Erie Canal, to Fayetteville, N.
Y., in search of an increased income and a larger
field of work. Fayetteville was then the most
straggling of country villages, about five miles
from Pompey Hill, where Governor Seymour
was born.

At the last-mentioned place young Grover com-
menced going to school in the good, old-fashioned
way, and presumably distinguished himself after
the manner of all village boys — in doing the
tilings he ought not to do. Such is the dis-
tinguishing trait of all geniuses and independent
thinkers. When he arrived at the age of four-
teen years, he had outgrown the capacity of the .
village school, and expressed a most emphatic de-
sire to be sent to an academy. To this his fa-
ther decidedly objected. Academies in those
days cost money; besides, his father wanted him ,
to become self-supporting by the quickest pos- i
sible means, and this at that time in Fayetteville
seemed to be a position in a country store, where '
his father and the large family on his hands had

considerable influence. Grover was to be paid
$50 for his services the first year, and if he proved
trustworthy, he was to receive $100 the second
year. Here the lad commenced his career as
salesman, and in two years he had earned so good
a reputation for trustworthiness that his employ-
ers desired to retain him for an indefinite length
of time.

But instead of remaining with this firm in
Fayetteville, he went with the family in their re-
moval to Clinton, where he had an opportunity
of attending a High School. Here he industri-
ously pursued his studies until the family re-
moved with him to a point on Black River known
as the "Holland Patent," a village of five or six
hundred people, fifteen miles north of Utica, N. Y.
At this place his father died, after preaching but
three Sundays. This event broke up the family,
and Grover set out for New York City to accept,
at a small salary, the position of under-teacher
in an asylum for the blind. He taught faithfully
for two years, and although he obtained a good
reputation in this capacity, he concluded that
teaching was not his calling in life, and, revers-
ing the traditional order, he left the citj- to seek
his fortune, instead of going to the city. He first
thought of Cleveland, Ohio, as there was some
charm in that name for him; but before proceed-
ing to that place he went to Buffalo to ask advice
of his uncle, Lewis F. Allan, a noted stock-
breeder of that place. The latter did not speak
enthusiastically. "What is it you want to do,
my boy?" he asked. "Well, sir. I want to study
law," was the reply "Good gracious!" remarkcil
the old gentleman; "do you, indeed? Whatever



put that into your head ? How much niouey
have you got?" "Well, sir, to tell the truth, I
haveu't got any."

After a long consultation, his uncle offered him
a place temporarily as assistant herd-keeper, at
$50 a year, while he could look around. One
day soon afterward he boldly walked into the of-
fice of Rogers, Bowen §t Rogers, of Buffalo, and
told them what he wanted. A number of young
men were already engaged in the office, but Gro-
ver's persistency won, and he was finally per-
mitted to come as an office boy and have the use
of the law library, receiving as wages the sum of
$3 or $4 a week. Out of this he had to pay for his
board and washing. The walk to and from his
uncle's was a long and rugged one; and although
the first winter was a memorably severe one, his
shoes were out of repair, and as for his overcoat he
had none; yet he was, nevertheless, prompt and
regular. On the first day of his service there, his
senior employer threw down a copy of Black-
stone before him, with a bang that made the dust
fly, saying "That's where they all begin." A
titter ran around the little circle of clerks and
students, as they thought that was enough to
scare young Grover out of his plans; but in due
time he mastered that cumbersome volume.
Then, as ever afterward, however, Mr. Cleve-
land exhibited a talent for executiveness rather
than for chasing principles through all their
metaphysical possibilities. "Let us quit talking
and go and do it," was practically his motto.

The first public office to which Mr. Cleveland
was elected was that of Sheriff of Erie County,
N. Y., in which Buffalo is situated; and in such
capacity it fell to his duty to inflict capital punish-
ment upon two criminals. In 1881 he was
elected Mayor of the City of Buffalo, on the
Democratic ticket, with especial reference to bring-
ing about certain reforms in the administration
of the municipal affairs of that city. In this of-
fice, as well as in that of Sheriff, his performance
of duty has generally been con.sidered fair, with
possibly a few exceptions, which were ferreted
out and magnified during his Presidential cam-
paign. As a .specimen of his plain language in
a veto message, we quote from one vetoing an

iniquitous street-cleaning contract: "This is a
time for plain speech, and my objection to your
action shall be plainly stated. I regard it as the
culmination of a most bare-faced, impudent and
shameless scheme to betray the interests of the
people and to worse than squander the people';
moncj-." The New York Sun afterward very
highly commended Mr. Cleveland's administra-
tion as Mayor of Buffalo, and thereupon recom-
mended him for Governor of the Empire State.
To the latter office he was elected in 1882, and
his administration of the affairs of State was
generally satisfactory. The mistakes he made,
if any, were made \-ery public throughout the na-
tion after he was nominated for President of the
United States. For this high office he was
ncTminated July 11, 1884, by the National Demo-
cratic Convention at Chicago, when other com-
petitors were Thomas F. Bayard, Roswell P.
Flower, Thomas A. Hendricks, Benjamin F.
Butler, Allen G. Thurman, etc.; and he was
elected by the people, by a majority of about a
thousand, over the brilliant and long-tried Re-
publican .statesman, James G. Blaine. President
Cleveland resigned his office as Governor of New
York in January, 1885, in order to prepare for
his duties as the Chief Executive of the United
States, in which capacity his term commenced at
noon on the 4lh of March, 1885.

The silver question precipitated a controversy
between those who were in favor of the continu-
ance of silver coinage and those who were op-
posed, Mr. Cleveland answering for the latter,
even before his inauguration.

On June 2, 1886, President Cleveland married
Frances, daughter of his deceased friend and part-
ner, Oscar Folsom, of the Buffalo Bar. Their
union has been blessed by the Ijirth of two daugh-
ters. In the campaign of 1888, President Cleve-
land was renominated by his party, but the
Republican candidate. Gen. Benjamin Harrison,
was victorious. In the nominations of 1892
these two candidates for the highest position in
the gift of the people were again pitted
each other, and in the en.suing election President
Cleveland was victorious by an overwhelming



gENJAMIN HARRISON, the twenty-third
President, is the descendant of one of the
historical families of this country. The first
known head of the family was Maj .-Gen. Harrison,
one of Oliver Cromwell's trusted followers and
fighters. In the zenith of Cromwell's power it be-
came the duty of this Harrison to participate in
the trial of Charles I., and afterward to sign the
death warrant of the king. He subsequently
paid for this with his life, being hung October 13,
1660. His descendants came to America, and
the next of the family that appears in history is
Benjamin Harrison, of Virginia, great-grandfa-
ther of the subject of this sketch, and after whom
he was named. Benjamin Harrison was a' mem-
ber of the Continental Congress during the years
1774, 1775 and 1776, and was one of the original
signers of the Declaration of Independence. He
was three times elected Governor of \'irginia.

Gen. William Henry Harrison, the .son of the
distinguished patriot of the Revolution, after a
successful career as a soldier during the War of
18 12, and with a clean record as Governor of the
Northwestern Territory, was elected President of
the United States in 1840. His career w?s cut
short by death within one month after his in-

President Harrison was born at North Bend,

Hamilton County, Ohio, August 20, 1833. His!
life lip to the time of his graduation from Miami
University, at Oxford, Ohio, was the uneventful
one of a country lad of a family of small means.
His father was able to give him a good education,
and nothing more. He became engaged while at
college to the daughter of Dr. Scott, Principal of
a female school at Oxford. After graduating, he
determined to enter upon the study of law. He
went to Cincinnati and there read law for two,
years. At the expiration of that time young Har- j
rison received the only inheritance of his life — his '
ainit, dying, left him a lot valued at $800. He
regarded this legacy as a fortune, and decided to
get married at once, take this money and go to
some Ea.stern town and begin the practice of law.
He .sold his lot, and, with the money in his pocket, j
he started out with his young wife to fight for a!
place in the world. He decided to go to Indian-'
apolis, which was even at that time a town of
promise. He met with slight encouragement at.
first, making scarcely anything the first year.
He worked diligently, applying himself closely to;
his calling, built up an extensive practice and
took a leading rank in the legal profession.

In i860, ]\Ir. Harrison was nominated for the
position of Supreme Court Reporter, and then be-
gan his experience as a stump speaker. He can-



vasjcd the State thoroughl}-, and was elected by
a handsome majority. Iii 1862 he raised the
Seventeenth Indiana Infantry, and was chosen its
Colonel. His '."ghuent was composed of the raw-
est materiril- b!:t Col. Harrison employed all his
time at first in mastering military tactics and drill-
ing his men, and when he came to mo\-e toward
the East with Sherman, his regiment was one of
the best drilled and organized in the army. At
Resaca he especially distinguished himself, and
for his bravery at Peachtree Creek he • was made
a Brigadier-General, Gen. Hooker speaking of
him in the most complimentarj- terms.
■ During the absence of Gen. Harrison in the
field, the Supreme Court declared the oflice of
Supreme Court Reporter vacant, and another
person was elected to the position. From the
time of leaving Indiana with his regiment until
the fall of 1864 he had taken no leave of absence,
but having been nominated that year for the same
office, he got a thirty-day leave of absence, and
during that time made a brilliant canvass of the
State, and was elected for another term. He then
started to rejoin Sherman, but on the way was
stricken down with scarlet fever, and after a most
trying attack made his way to the front in time to
participate in the closing incidents of the war.

In 1868 Gen. Harrison declined a reelection
as Reporter, and resumed the practice of law. In
1876 he was a candidate for Governor. Although
defeated, the brilliant campaign he made won for
him a national reputation, and he was much sought
after, especially in the East, to make speeches.
In 1880, as usual, he took an acti\-e part in the
campaign, and was elected to the United States
Senate. Here he served for six years, and was
known as one of the ablest men, best lawyers and
strongest debaters in that body. With the ex-
piration of his senatorial term he returned to the
practice of his profession, becoming the head of
one of the strongest firms in the State.

The political campaign of 1888 was one of the
most memorable in the history of our country.
The convention which a.ssembled in Chicago in
June and named Mr. Harrison as the chief stand-
ard-bearer of the Republican party was great in
every particular, and on this account, and the at-

titude it assumed upon the vital questions of the
day, chief among which was the tariff, awoke a
deep interest in the campaign throughout the
nation. Shortly after the nomination, delegations
began to visit Mr. Harrison at Indianapolis, his
home. This movement became popular, and from
all sections of the country societies, clubs and
delegations journeyed thither to pay their re-
spects to the distinguished statesman.

Mr. Harrison spoke daily all through the sum-
mer and autunni to these visiting delegations,
and so varied, masterly, and eloquent were his
speeches that they at once placed him in the fore-
most rank of American orators and statesmen.
Elected by a handsome majority, he served his
country faithfully and well, and in 1892 was nom-
inated for re-election; but the people demanded a
change and he was defeated by his predecessor
in office, Grover Cleveland.

On account of his eloquence as a speaker and
his power as a debater. Gen. Harrison was called
upon at an early age to take part in the dis-
cussion of tl:e great questions that then began to
agitate the country. He was an uncompromising
anti-.slavery man, and was matched against some eminent Democratic speakers of his.
State. No man who felt the touch of his blade
desired to be pitted with him again. With all
iiis eloquence as an orator he never spoke for ora-
torical effect, but his words always went like bul-
lets to the mark. He is purely American in his
ideas, and is a splendid type of the American
statesman. Gifted with quick perception, a logi-
cal mind and a ready tongue, he is one of the
most distinguished impromptu speakers in the
nation. Many of these speeches sparkled with the
rarest eloquence and contained arguments of great
weight, and many of his terse .statements have
already become aphorisms. Original in thought,
precise in logic, terse in statement, yet withal
faultless in eloquence, he is recognized as the
sound statesman and brilliant orator of the day.
During the last days of his administration Presi-
dent Harri.son suffered an irreparable loss in the
death of his devoted wife, Caroline (Scott) Har-
rison, a lady of many womanly charms and vir-
tues. They were the parents of two children.







JHE time has ?- Wed when it
becomes th^ ^uty of the
people of this county to per-
petuate the names of their
pioneers, to furnish a rec :d
of their early settlement,
and relate the story of their
progress. The civilization of our
day, the enlightenment of the age
and the duty that men of the pres-
ent time owe to their ancestors, to
themselves and to their posterity,
demand that a record of their lives
and deeds should be made. In bio-
graphical history is found a power
to instruct man by precedent, to
enliven the mental faculties, and
to waft down the river of time a
safe vessel in which the names and actions of the
people who contributed to raise this country from its
primitive state may be preserved. Surely and rapidly
the great and aged men, who in their prime entered
the wilderness and claimed the virgin soil as their
heritage, are passing to their graves. The number re-
maining who can relate the incidents of the first days
of settlement is becoming small indeed, so that an
actual necessity exists for the collection and i)reser-
vation of events without delay, before all the early
settlers are cut down by the scythe of Time.

To be forgotten has been the great dread of mankind
from remotest ages. All will be forgotten soon enough,
in spite of their best works and the most earnest
efforts of their friends to perserve the memory of
their lives. The means employed to prevent oblivion
and to perpetuate their memory has been in propor-
tion to the amount of intelligence they possessed.
Tho pyramids of Egypt were built to perpetuate the
names and deeds of their great rulers. The exhu-
mations made by the archeologists of Egypt from
buried Memphis indicate a desire of those people

to perpetuate the memory of their achievements.
The erection of the great obelisks were for the same
purpose. Coming down to a later period, we find tht
Greeks and Romans erecting mausoleums and monu-
ments, and carving out statues to chronicle theii
great achievements and carry them down the ages
It is also evident that the Mound-builders, in piling
up their great mounds of earth, had but this idea —
to leave something to sliow that they had lived. All
these works, though many of them costly in the ex-
treme, give but a faint idea of the lives and charac-
ters of those whose memory they were intended to
perpetuate, and scarcely anything of the masses of
the people that then lived. The great pyramids and
some of the obelisks remain objects only of curiosity;
the mausoleums, monuments and statues are crum-
bling into dust.

It was left to modern ages to establish an intelli-
gent, undecaying, immutable method of perpetuating
a full history — immutable in that it is almost un-
limited in extent and perpetual in its action; and
this is through the art of printing.

To the present generation, however, we are in-
debted for the introduction of the admirable system
of local biography. Ey this system every man, though
he has not achieved what the world calls greatness,
has the means to perpetuate his life, his history,
through the coming ages.

The scythe of Time cuts down all; nothing of the
physical man is left. The monument which his chil-
dren or friends may erect to his memory in the ceme-
tery will crumble into dust and pass away; but his
life, his achievements, the work he has accomplished,
which otherwise would be forgotten, is perpetuated
by a record of this kind.

To preserve the lineaments of our companions we
engrave their portraits, for tlie same reason we col-
lect the attainable facts of their history. Nor do we
think it necessary, as we speak only truth of them, to
wait until they are dead, or until those who know
them are gone: to do this we are ashamed only to
publish to the world the history of those whose Uves
are unwcrtliy of public record.



/^ HARLES C. WP:LTY, deceased, was one of
^ y the old and highly esteemed citizens of
New Philadelpliia. For a long period of
j'ears he was officially connected with the Citizens'
National Bank of this place, having been appointed
Casliier in 1879, a position he held up to the time
of his demise; and in addition to this he was a
stockholder in the bank.

The birth of our subject occurred February 1,
1843, in Canal Dover. His father, Elijah Welty,
was one of the old settlers of that place, and was
for many years one of her prominent merchants.
The mother, whose maiden name was Clarissa Cook,
died when her son, Charles, was only six weeks old.
The father was called to his final rest in 1853.
Both parents were active and prominent workers
in the Methodist Church. Their only daughter,
Clara, died when about eight years of age. The
Welt}' family is of German origin, the founders of
the branch in the United States having fust lo-
cated in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Clarissa Welt3' was a
native of Bethany, Genesee County, N. Y.

After the death of his mother, Charles C. Welty
was taken into the home of his father's sister, Mrs.
H. T. Stockwell, of Canal Dover. The boyliood
days of our subject were passed in that town,
where he received good educational advantages.

When the war broke out, he responded to the
President's call for troops, and enlisted in New
Philadelphia, in Company A, rift3'-first Ohio In-
fantry. The date of his enlistment was September
7, 1861, and he continued to serve in the ranks
until the close of the war. As he was possessed of
the essential qualifications for clerical work, he was
given a position in the Quartermaster's depart-
ment, and March 1, 1863, was promoted to be Com-
pany Sergeant. He was again promoted, January
6, 1865, to the rank of Second Lieutenant of Com-
pany F, in the same regiment, and on the 1st of
the following July was made First Lieutenant.
Later he became active Regiment Quartermaster,
which position he filled until mustered outof serv-
ice at Victoria, Tes., October 3, 1865. He was
finally discharged at Camp Meigs, on October 12.
In every position which he occupied he was faith-
ful and reliable, being popular with the soldiers as
well as with his superior officers.

After the war, Mr. AVelty went to New York
City and became a salesman for the dry-goods
house of Bradley

Online LibraryHenry James LeePortrait and biographical record of Guernsey County, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with biographies and portraits of all the p → online text (page 8 of 83)