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Pioneer Women of Lenox
Posted by: Carol Page Tilson (ID *****2353) Date: April 16, 2010 at 00:59:33
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From "Memorial to the Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve," Part I, Mrs. Gertrude Van Rensselaer Wickham, Editor [published under the auspices of the Womenís Department of the Cleveland Centennial Commission, July, 1896], p. p. 167-169:


Lenox, first named Millerstown, is bounded on the north by Jefferson, the county seat, east by Dorset, south by New Lyme, and west by Morgan. Situated five miles from the center to the J. & F. Railroad station, and sixty miles east of Cleveland. It was formerly a heavily timbered section, but now it is covered with pleasant farms and homes, has three churches, three times as many school houses, and am thankful to record, no saloons. A strong temperance society was organized in 1833 in which the pioneer women stood shoulder to shoulder with their husbands and fathers in the cause, one hundred and fifty names being enrolled before 1840.

The first pioneer woman of Lenox was Mrs. Lisle Asque, nee Pritchard, who with her husband and four small children, came from Chesapeake Bay, Md., in June, 1807, and settled in the northeast corner of the township, supposing it to be Jefferson until accurately surveyed. They lived in a rude bark shanty, with a sheet for a door and a big fire outside to protect them the wolves and mosquitoes, for a number of weeks, enduring fatigue, loneliness, and privations. She died in Lenox July, 1864.

Mrs. Reuben Morrison [Caroline Asque] was born in Lenox in 1810, and had the honor of being the first pioneer baby in the township. Her last residence was Jefferson.

Sibyl Crowell, of Rome, O., was married to Colonel E. N. House and settled in Lenox in 1813 and died in 1818, leaving her three little daughters motherless.

Abigail Clark, second wife of Colonel E. N. House, was born in Bloomington, Conn. She wrote a memoir of her life, and by her request, after her death in 1861, it was published.

Mrs. Ira French [Minerva Bailey] of New Hartford, Conn., came in 1818, and was the mother of HON. N. E. FRENCH. Her daughter Mary L. was also born in Lenox and was the first wife of J. R. King. She graduated at Oberlin College and made a successful teacher. Her death occurred in 1865.

Mrs. John Bell [Lydia Stowe] came to the township in 1832 from Vermont and lived to the advanced age of one hundred and one years and eleven months. She died in Lenox.

Mrs. Erastus Fowler [Temperance Merrils] came to the township in 1813 from Hartford, Conn., and was an excellent nurse and the mother of twelve children, four sons and eight daughters, all born in Lenox, and who all lived to be men and women. She sleeps in the cemetery at the Center.

Mrs. Amos Chapin, Sr. [Rebecca Sheldon] came in 1827 from New Marlborough, Mass. She was also the mother of twelve children.

Mrs. Almiren House [Millicent Bridge] arrived in 1822 from Augusta, N. Y. Still another woman to add twelve to the population of Lenox.

Mrs. Harvey Lane [Asenath Waters], daughter of Benjamin and Lydia Waters, taught in the first school in Lenox in 1818, in a log school house south of what is still called Rayís Corners. Her last residence was in Michigan.

Mrs. Stalham Wing [Elizabeth Van Pelt], a native of New York city, came to the township in 1826 and was the wife of the first merchant. She removed to Napa City, Cal.

Caroline House was the wife of Hon. Samuel H. Plumb, and was born in Lenox in 1816. She died in Oberlin, O.

Lydia Dodge, daughter of Anson and Harriet Dodge, of New Marlborough, Mass., and wife of Hon. Stephen A. Northway, was born in Lenox in 1838 and is with her husband in Washington, D. C. She is a great lover of BOOKS, PLANTS AND FLOWERS.

Mrs. Asahel Smith [Fanny Hyre] came to Lenox in 1818 from Middlebury, Vt. She was a very courageous woman. At one time her husband had been almost helpless with rheumatism for six months. She saddled her horse and took her infant in her arms and followed a road made by blazed trees to Austinburg, a distance of twelve miles, and bought a bottle of liniment home, and after faithful application it perfected a cure. Another incident in her life as a pioneer was killing a blacksnake nine feet long with an ox whip, that was chasing her two little boys.

She once met a serious accident. A pumpkin seed lodged in her windpipe, which required a physicianís skill to remove. She lived to be four score years.

Mrs. Daniel Hall [Sally Vanwarmer] came from Preble, N. Y., in the year 1830. After her husbandís death she was married to Adrian Manly, now deceased. Having outlived all three of her children, she is now living with her grandson, F. M. Hall, in Cherry Valley, O., and is eighty-seven years of age.

Louisa Church, of Preble, N. Y., was the wife of Abiather Fowler, and after his death married Myron S. Jewett, also deceased. She is the only surviving pioneer woman now living in Lenox who came as early as 1830. She is now past her four score years. Her only daughter, Ophelia Bingham, born in Lenox, cares for her in her declining years.

Mrs. Samuel Lafferty [Margaret McDowell] came from Mercer county, Pennsylvania, in 1836. She died at the age of fifty-eight years. Fourteen children called her mother.

The following are incidents in the life of Mrs. Joseph Farley, nee Electa S. Little. She says: "I was born in Tuily [sic, Tully?], N. Y., in 1816; came to Lenox with my parents four years later, my father being the first settler, clearing off and building a log house with a blanket for a door. And I remember well, although being only four years of age, of seeing my mother throwing out firebrands to frighten the wolves away; also of going outside and bringing in a little calf to save it from the wolves. Our family consisted of three children, father, mother, and my grandmother. My father worked at Austinburg and came home every Saturday night.

"I well remember of my father bringing us home a luxury in the shape of a cheese, which had to be cut with an ax. And later, when I began my schooling, it was a little log house with only ten scholars, and wolves following us to and from school. My father, to make us brave, told us that all, alarming noises were screech owls, but we must hurry and not play by the way.

"The first sermon ever preached in Lenox was by a Mr. Cole, of Austinburg.

"It was not an unusual thing to pick berries from one side of a bush with a bear on the other side.

"There was simply a road cut through the solid woods from Lenox to Jefferson or to Austinburg, and we had to drive many miles to mill. Wild cats were very numerous.

"My mother took flax to spin on shares to earn our clothing. I learned to spin on a quill wheel at the age of eight, and at ten years of age, I did my work on a big wheel, standing on a platform in order to reach over the hub of the wheel. In summer our clothing was all linen of our own make. Our hats were of oak straw that my mother braided and made. My father made our shoes at the rate of one pair a year, and also made our chairs and bedsteads out of limbs, and bottomed them with elm bark.

"Our fire, of course, was not an open grate, but a big fireplace with a stick chimney plastered with mud.

"When I was twelve years old my brother and I went after the cows, and one day I was the proudest girl that ever lived, for I carried home a little fawn in my apron that I had caught. Our meat was principally deer meat and wild turkey. Our sheep pens had to be built a good many feet high to keep the wolves away. Our church dresses were made in a check of blue. Our school dress was colored with copperas.*"

As chairman of Lenox, I add the sequel to this story. The subject of this sketch was married when sixteen years of age and was the mother of several children. She is still living and will be eighty years of age next September. She is a widow and lives with her daughter, Mrs. E. A. Mills in Jefferson, O.

MRS. J. D. MOSHER, Chairman and Historian; Lenox Committee -- Mrs. J. R. King, Mrs. O. O. Bingham, Mrs. Lee Park, Mrs. Evander Spender, Mrs. Eli W. Root, Mrs. E. Z. Smith.


* Copperas is a common name for the chemical compound ferrous sulfate.

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