W. O. Absher.

Portrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States online

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Online LibraryW. O. AbsherPortrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 8 of 76)
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his recovery, to act as Brigadier-General, and placed
in command of the celebrated Kanawha division,
and for gallant and meritorious services in the battles
of Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, he was
promoted Brigadier-Gener.il. He was also brevetted
Major-General, "for gallant and distinguished services
during the campaigns of 1S64, in West Virginia." In
the course of his arduous services, four horses were
shot from under him, and he was wounded four times.

In 1864, Gen. Hayes was elected to Congress, from
the Second Ohio District, which had long been Dem-
ocratic. He was not present during the campaign,
and after his election was importuned to resign his
commission in the army; but he finally declared, " I
shall never come to Washington until I can come by
the way of Richmond." He was re-elected in 1806.

Ir. 1867, Gen Hayes was elected Governor of CHiio,
over Hon. Allen G. Thurman, a popular Democrat.
In 1869 was re-elected over George H. Pendleton.
He was elected Governor for the third term in 1875.

In 1S76 he was the standard bearer of the Repub-
lican P.irty in ttie Presidential contest, and after a
hard long contest was chosen President, and was in
augurated Mond.ay, March 5, 1875. He served his
full term, not, hcwever, with satisfaction to his party,
but his administration was an average or^-^



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TiVENTIETH PRESIDENT.




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AMES A. GARFIELD, twen-
tieth President of the United
States, was born Nov. ig,
I S3 1, in the woods of Orange,
Cuyahoga Co., O His par-
ents were Abram and Ehza
(Ballou) Garfield, both of New
'f^ England ancestr)- and from fami-
lies well known in the early his-
*i, tory of that section of oar coun-
try, but had moved to the Western
Reserve, in Ohio, early in its settle-
ment.

The house in which James A. was
born was not unlike the houses of
poor Ohio farmers of that day. It
.t!C about 20x30 feet, built of logs, with the spaces be-
tween the logs filled with clay. His father was a
.nard working farmer, and he soon had his fields
cleared, ap orchard planted, and a log barn built.
f he household comprised the father and mother and
•heir four children — Mehetabel, Thomas, Mary and
'ames. In May, 1823^ the father, from a cold con-
.racted in helping to put out a forest fire, died. At
(his time James was about eighteen months old, and
Thomas about ten years old. No one, perhaps, can
:ell how much James was indetted to his biother's
toil and self sacrifice during the twenty years suc-
ceeding his father's death, but undoubtedly very
much. He now lives in Michigan, and the two sis-
itrs live in Solon, O., near their birthplace.

The early educational advantages young Garfield
enjoyed were very limited, yet he made the most of
them. He labored at farm work for others, did car-
penter work, chopped wood, or did anything that
would liring in a few dollars to aid his widowed
mother in he' struggles to keep the little family to-



gether. Nor was Gen. Garfield ever ashamed of his
origin, and he never forgot the friends of his strug-
gling childhood, youth and manhood, neither did they
ever forget him. When in the highest seats of honor
the humblest fjiend of his boyliood was as kindly
greeted as ever. The poorest laborer was sure of the
sympathy of one who had known all the bitterness
of want and the sweetness of bread earned 1 y the
sweat of the brow. He was ever the simple, ulain,
modest gentleman.

The highest ambition of young Garfield until hi
was about si.xteen years old was to be a captain of
a vessel on Lake Erie. He was anxious to go aboard
a vessel, which his mother strongly opposed. She
finally consented to his going to Cleveland, with the
understanding, however, that he should try to obtair
some other kind of employment. He walked all the
way to Cleveland. This was his first visit to the city
After making many applications for work, and trying
to get aboard a lake vessel, and not meeting with
success, he engaged as a driver for liis cousin, Amos
Letcher, on the Ohio & Pennsylvania Canal. He re-
mained at this work but a short time when he went
home, and attended the seminar;' at Chester for
about three years, when he entered Hiram and the
Eclectic Institute, teaching a few terms of school in
the meantime, and doing other work. This school
was started by the Disciples of Christ in 1850, of
which church he was then a member. He became
janitor and bell-ringer in order to help pay his wav
He then became both teacher and pupil. He soon
" exhausted Hiram " and needed more ; hence, in the
fall of 1S54, he entered Williams College, from which
he graduated in 1S56, taking one of the highest h(fc.-
ors of his class. He afterwards returned to Hiram
College as its President. As above stated, he early
united with the Christian or Diciples Church at
Hiram, and was ever after a devoted, zealous mem-
ber, often preaching in its pulpit and places where
he happened to be. Dr. Noah Porter, President of
Yale College, says of him in reference to hisrelision:







JAMES A. GARFIELD.



" President Garfield was more than a man of
strong moral and religious convictions. His whole
history, from boyhood to the last, shows that duty to
man and to God, and devotion to Christ and life and
faith and spiritual commission were controlling springs
of his being, and to a more than usual degree. In
my jadgmeni. there is no more interesting feature of
(lis character than his loyal allegiance to the body of
Christians in which he was trained, and the fervent
sympathy which he ever showed in their Christian
communion. Not many of the few 'wise and mighty
and noble who are called' show a similar loyalty to
the less stately and cultured Christian communions
in which they have been reared. Too often it is true
that as they step upward in social and political sig-
nificance they step upward from one degree to
another in some of the many types of fashionable
Christianity. President Garfield adhered to the
church of his mother, the church in which he was
trained, and in which he served as a pillar and an
evangelist, and yet with the largest and most unsec-
tarian charity for all 'who loveour Lord in sincerity.'"

Mr. Garfield was united in marriage with Miss
Lucretia Rudolph, Nov. 1 1, 1858, who proved herself
worthy as the wife of one whom all the world loved and
mourned. To them were born seven children, five of
whom are still living, four boys and one girl.

Mr. Garfield made his first political speeches in 1856,
in Hiram and the neighboring villages, and three
years later he began to speak at county mass-meet-
ings, and became the favorite speaker wherever he
was. During this year he was elected to the Ohio
Senate. He also began to study law at Cleveland,
and in 1S61 was admitted to the bar. The great
Rebellion broke out in the early part of this year,
and Mr. Garfield at once resolved to fight as he had
talked, and enlisted to defend the old flag. He re-
ceived his commission as Lieut. -Colonel of the Forty-
second Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Aug.
14, 1S61. He was immediately put into active ser-
vice, and before he had ever seen a gun fired in action,
was placed in command of four regiments of infantry
and eight companies of cavalry, charged with the
work of driving out of his native State the officer
'Humphrey Marshall) reputed to be the ablest of
those, not educated to war whom Kentucky had given
to the Rebelhon. This work was bravely and speed-
ily accomplished, although against great odds. Pres-
ident Lincoln, on his success commissioned him
Brigadier-General, Jan. 10, 1S62; and as "he had
been the youngest man in the Ohio Senate two years
before, so now he was the youngest General in the
army." He was with Gen. Buell's army at Shiloh,
in its operations around Corinth and its march through
.■\labama. He was then detailed as a member of the
General Court-Martial for the trial of Gen. Fitz-John
Porter. He was then ordered to report to Gen. Rose-
crans, and was assigned to the " Chief of Staff."

The military Wstory of Gen. Garfield closed with



his brilliant services at Chickamauga, where he won
the stars of the Major-General.

Without an effort on his part Ge» Garfield was
elected to Congress in the fall of 1S62 from the
Nineteenth District of Oliio. This section of Ohio
had been represented in Congiess for si.xty year*
mainly by two men — Elisha Whittlesey and Joshui.
R. Giddings. It was not without a struggle that he
resigned his place in the army. At the time he en-
tered Congress he was the youngest member in that
body. Thert: he remained by successive re-
elections until he was elected President in 1880.
Of his labors in Congress Senator Hoar says : " Since
the year 1864 you cannot think of a question whicK
has been debated in Congress, or discussed before a
tribunel of the American people, in regard to whict
you will not find, if you wish instruction, the argu-
ment on one side stated, in almost every instance
better tlian by anybody else, in some speech made in
the House of Representatives or on the hustings by
Mr. Garfield."

Upon Jan. 14, 18S0, Gen. Garfield was elected to
the U. S. Senate, and on the eighth of June, of tiie
same year, was nominated as the candidate of his
party for President at the great Chicago Convention.
He was elected in the following November, and on
March 4, iSSi, was inaugurated. Probably no ad-
ministration ever opened its existence under brighter
auspices than that of President Garfield, and every
day it grew in favor with the people, and by the first
of July he had completed all the initiatory and pre-
liminary work of his administration and was prepar-
ing to leave the city to meet his friends, at Williams
College. While on his way and at the depot, in com-
pany with Secretary Elaine, a man stejjped behind
him, drew a revolver, and fired directly at his back.
The President tottered and fell, and as he did so the
assassin fired a second shot, the bullet cutting the
left coat sleeve of his victim, but in.licting no further
injury. It has been very truthfully said that this was
" the shot that was heard round the world " Never
before in the history of the Nation had anything oc-
curred which so nearly froze the blood of the people
for the moment, as this awful deed. He was smit-
ten on the brightest, gladdest day of all his life, and
was at the summit of his power and hope. For eighty
days, all during the hot months of July and August,
he lingered and suffered. He, however, remained
master of himself till the last, and by his magnificent
bearing was teaching the country and the world the
noblest of human lessons — how to live grandly in the
very clutch of death. Great in life, he was surpass-
ingly great in death. He passed serenely away Sept.
19, 1883, at Elberon, N. J , on the very bank of the
ocean, where he had been taken shortly previous. The
world wept at his death, as it never had done on the
death of any other man who had ever lived upon it.
The murderer was duly tried, found guilty and exe-
cuted, in one year after he committed the fouT deed.



TWENTY. FIRST PRESIDENT.



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HESTER A. ARTHUR,

^%'__^twenty-first Prcsi-^.m ijf the

United States was bom in

Franklin Cour ty, Vermont, on

thefifthofOdober, 1830, andis

the oldest of a family of two

sons and five daughters. His

father was the Rev. Dr. William

Arthur, aBaptistd',rgyman,who

emigrated to tb.s country froM

the county Ant.im, Ireland, in

his :Sth year, and died in 1S75, in

Newtonville, neaj Albany, after a

long and successful ministry.

Young Arthur was educated at
Union College, S( henectady, where
he excelled in all his studies. Af-
ter his graduation he taught school
S in Vermont for two years, and at
the expiration cf that time came to
New York, with $5°'^ i" his ;xjcket,
and catered the office of e.x-Judge
E. D. Culver as student. After
being admitted to the bar he formed
a partnership with his intimate friend and room-mate,
Henry D. Gardiner, with the intention of practicing
in the West, and for three months they roamed about
\\\ the Western Slates in search of an elisible site,
but in the end returned to New York, where they
nungout their shingle, and entered upon a success-
111! career almost from the start. General Arthur
soon atterward niirr'^d the daughter of Lieutenant



Hemdon, of the United States Navy, who was lost at
sea. Congress voted a gold medal to his widow in
recognition of the bravery he displayed on that occa-
sion. Mrs. Arthur died shortly before Mr. Arthur's
nomination to the Vice Presidency, leaving two
children.

Gen. Arthur obtained considerable legal celebrity
in his first great case, the famous Leramon suit,
brought to recover possession of eight slaves who had
been declared free by Judge Paine, of the Superior
Court of New York City. It was in 1S5; that Ton.
athan Lemmon, of Virginia, went to New York with
his slaves, intending to ship them to Texas, when
they were discovered and freed. The Judge decided
that they could not be held by the owner under the
Fugitive Slave Law. A howl of rage went up from
the South, and the Virginia Legislature authorized the
Attorney General of that State to assist in an appeal.
Wm. M. Evarts and Chester A. Arthur were employed
to represent the People, and they won their case,
which then went to the Supreme Court of the United
States. Charles 0"Conor here espoused the cause
of the alave-holders, but he too was beaten bv Messrs
Evarts and Arthur, and a long step was taken toward
the emancipation of the black race.

Another great service was rendered bv General
Arthur in the same cause in 1S56. Lizzie Jennings,
a respectable colored woman, was put off a Fourth
.'\ venue car with violence after she had paid her fare.
General Arthur sued on her behalf, and secured a
verdict of S500 damages. The next day the compa-
ny issued an order to admit colored persons to ride
on their cars, and the other car companies quickly



CHESTER A. ARTHUR.



followed their example. Before that the Sixth Ave-
nue Company ran a few special cars for colored per-
sons and the other lines refused to let them ride at all.

General Arthur was a delegate to the Convention
at Saratoga that founded the Republican party.
Previous to the war he was Judge-Advocate of the
Second Brigade of the State of New York, and Gov-
ernor Morgan, of that State, appointed him Engineer-
in-Chief of his staff. In 1861, he was made Inspec-
tor General, and soon afterward became Quartermas-
ter-General. In each of these offices he rendered
great service to the Government during the war. At
the end of Governor Morgan's term he resumed the
practice of the law, forming a partnership with Mr.
Ransom, and then Mr. Phelps, the District Attorney
of New Yoik, was added to the finn. The legal prac-
tice of this well-known firm was very large and lucra-
tive, each of the gentlemen composing it were able
lawyers, and possessed a splendid local reputation, if
not indeed one of national extent.

He always took a leading part in State and city
politics. He was appointed Collector of the Port of
New York by President Grant, Nov. 21 1S72, to suc-
ceed Thomas Murphy, and held the office until July,
10, 187S, when he was succeeded by Collector Merritt.

Mr. Arthur was nominated on the Presidential
ticket, with Gen. James A. Garfield, at the famous
National Republican Convention held at Chicago in
June, iSSo. This was perhaps the greatest political
convention that ever assembled on thecontinent. It
was composed of the leading politicians of the Re-
publican party, all able. men, and each stood firm and
fought vigorously and with signal tenacity for their
respective candidates that were before the conven-
tion for the nomination. Finally Gen. Garfield re-
ceived the nomination for President and Gen. Arthur
for Vice-President. The campaign which followed
was one of the most animated known in the history of
our country'. Gen. Hancock, the standard-bearer of
the Democratic party, was a popular man, and his
party made a valiant fight for his election.

Finally the election came and the country's choice
.vas Garfield and Arthur. They were inaugurated
•vlarch 4, 188 1, as President and Vice-President.
A few months only had passed ere the newly chosen
President was the victim of the assassin's bullet. Then
came terrible weeks of suffering, — those moments of
inxious suspense, when the hearts of all civilized na-



tions were throbbing in unison, longing for the re
covery of the noble, the good President. The remark-
able patience that he manifested during those hours
and weeks, and even months, of the most terrible suf-
fering man has often been called upon to endure, was
seemingly more than human. It was certainlv God-
like. During all this period of deepest anxiety Mr,
Arthur's ever)' move was watched, and be it said to hi?
credit that his every acrion displayed only an earnest
desire that the suffering Garfield might recover, to
serve the remainder of the term he had so auspi-
ciously begun. Not a selfish feeling was manifestec^
in deed or look of this man, even though the most
honored position in the world was at any niomen*
likely to fall to him.

At last God in his mercy relieved President Gar-
field from further suffering, and the world, as nevei
before in its history over the death of any othei
man, wept at his bier. Then it became the duty 0/
the Vice President to :.3sume the responsibilitR-s ol
the high office, and he took the oath in New York.
Sept. 20, i88t. The position was an embarr.tssing
one to him, made doubly so from the facts that all
eyes were on him, anxious to know what he would do,
what policy he would pursue, and who he would se-
lect as advisers. The duties of the office had been
greatly neglected during the President's long illness,
and many important measures were to be immediately
decided by him; and still farther to embarrass him he
did 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 Government in his owi,
hands; and, as embarrassing as were the condition c^f
affairs, he happily surprised the nation, acting so
wisely ihat but few criticisea his administration.
He served the nation well and faithfully, until the
close of his administration, March 4, 18S5, and was
a popular candidate before his party for a second
term. His name was ably presented before the con-
vention at Chicago, 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 peo-
ple, whom he had served in a manner satisfactory
to them and with credit to himself.




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TWENTY-SECOND PRESIDENT.










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TEPHEN GROVER CLEVE-
I AND, the twenty-second Pres-
ident of the United States, was
born in 1S37, in the obscure
town of Caldwell, Essex Co.,
N. J., and in a little two-and-a-
h ilf story white house which is still
standing, characteristically to mark
the humble birth-place of one of
Amenca's great men in striking con-
trait with the Old World, where all
men high in office must be high in
ori^n and born in the cradle of
wealth When the subject of this
sketch was three years of age, his
father, who was a Presbyterian min-
ister, with a large family and a small salary, moved,
Dy way c: the Halson River and Erie Canal, to
Favetteville, in search of an increased income and a
larger field of work. Favetteville 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 tlie
manner of all village boys, in doing the things he
ought not to do. Such is the distinguishing trait of
all geniuses and independent thinkers. When he
arrived at the age of 14 years, he had outgrown the
capacity of the village school and expressed a most



emphatic desire to be sent to an academy. To this
his father decidedly objected. Academies in those
days cost money; besides, his father wanted him to
become self-supiwrting by the quickest possible
means, and this at that time in Fayette/iUe seemed
to be a position in a country store, where his father
and the large family on his hands had considerable
inri.ience. Grover was to be paid $50 for his services
llie first year, and if he proved trustworthy he was to
receive $100 the second year. Here the lad com-
menced his career as salesman, and in two years he
had earned so good a reputation for trustworthiness
that his employers desired to retain him for an in-
definite length of time. Otherwise he did not e.x-
hibit as yet any particular " flashes of genius " or
eccentricities of talent. He was simply a good boy.
But instead of remaining with this firm in Fayette-
ville, he went with the family in their removal to
Clinton, w!iere lie had an opportunity of attending a
high school. Here he industriously pursued his
studies until the fami'v removed with him to a point
on Black River known as the " Holland Patent," a
village of 500 or 600 people, 15 miles north of Utica,
.M. Y. .■\.t 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



5. GROVE R CLEVt.LAND.



calling for life, and, reversing the traditional order,
ne left the city tc =eeV his fortune in?t=-'' o' '^'-■'r;?
to a city. He first tnougnc oi Cleveland, Ohio, as
th»"re was some charm in th.it name for him ; but
before proceeding to that place he went to Buffalo to
jsk the advice of his uncle, Lewis F. Allan, a noted
stockbreeder of that place. The latter did not
;pi;ak eathusiastically. "What is it you want to do,
my boy?" he asked. "Well, sir, I want to study
la\"," was the reply. "Good gracious [" remarked
ih" old gentleman ; " do you, indeed ? What ever put
that into your head? How much money have you
got?" "Well, sir, to tell the truth, I haven't got
any."

After a long consultation, his uncle offered him a
place temporarily as assistant herd-keeper, at $50 a
year, wriile he could " look around." One day soon
afterward he boldly walked into the office of Rogers,
Bowen & Rogers, of Buffalo, and told Lhem what he
wanted. A number of young men were already en-
gaged in the office, but Grover's persistency won, and
ne was finally permitted to come as an office boy and
nave the use of the law library, for the nominal 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 his overcoat — he had
cone — yet he was nevertheless prompt and regular.
On the first day of his service here, his senior em-
ployer threw down a copy of Blackstone 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 ;
out in due time he mastered that cumbersome volume.
Then, as ever afterward, however, Mr. Cleveland
exhibited a talent for execuliveness 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
ejected was that of Sheriff of Erie Co., N. Y-, in
which BuSfalo is situated; and in such capacity it fell
to his duty to inflict capital iii'-'.ishment upon two
can.inals. Li tS8i he was elected Mayor of the
City of BulTalo. on the Democratic ticket, with es-
pecial reference to the bringing about certain reforms



in the administration of the municipal affairs of tliat
rit" Tn this office, qp w^l as that of Sheriff, his
penormance of dury has generally been considered
fair, with possibly a few exceptions which were fer-.



Online LibraryW. O. AbsherPortrait and biographical record of Auglaize, Logan and Shelby Counties, Ohio : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens, together with biographies and portraits of all the Presidents of the United States → online text (page 8 of 76)