1883 History of Hardin County

CHAPTER XVII

Old Settlers' Associations

One of the most enjoyable affairs is the reunion of the pioneers of any given locality.For the purpose of providing for stated reunions, associations of old settlers are formed in almost every county throughout the length and breadth of the States west of the Allegheny mountains--States that have been settled during the present century. These associations have done and are doing much for the preservation of historical events, and as such are surely commendable. The lessons of the past teach us the duties pertaining to the future. The fires of patrotism, the love of country or of home, is strengthened by a narration of such important events as tend to stir the blood or quicken to life those divine affections in man. Many a youth has chosen the life of a soldier from reading the accounts of the great battles and glorious deeds of an Alexander, a Hannibal, a Napoleon, a Wellington, or our own brave and noble Washington. The lists of statesmen have been augmented by the example of a Pitt, a Webster, a Clay, or Calhoun. Patroitism and love of country have been awakened by reading the sublime utterances of Patrick Henry, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. The love of home, love of parents and kindred have been strengthened by oft-told tales of aged fathers or mothers, expecially of that pioneer father or mother who toiled early and late, hard and long, in order to give their descendants the priceless boon of a home of plenty and of peace, of refinement and love for God and humanity.

The pioneers, in gathering together in these annual reunions, seem to live over again the early days. Their eyes sparkle and they grow young as the fading reminiscences of other days are recalled. As well stated by a speaker--himself a pioneer--at a meeting in a neighboring county:

"You come together with varied emotions. Some of you, almost at the foot of life's hill, look back and upward at the path you have trod, while others, who have just reached life's summit, gaze down into the valley of tears with many a hope and fear. You, gray-headed fathers, have done your work; you have done it well; and now, as the sunset of life is closing around you, you are given the rare boon of enjoyment, the fruits of your own labor. You can see the land won by your own right arm from its wildernes state, and from a savage foe, pass to your children, and your children's children--literally 'a land flowing with milk and honey;' a land over which hovers the white-robed angels of religion and peace; a land fairer and brighter and more glorious than any other land beneath the blue arch of Heaven. You have done your work well, and when the time of rest shall come, you will sink to the dreamless repose with the calm consciousness of duty done.

"In this hour let memory assert her srongest sway; tear aside the thin veil that shrouds in gloom the misty past; call up before you the long-forgotten scenes of years ago; live over once again the toils, the struggles, the hopes and ffears of other days. Let this day be a day sacred to the memory of the olden time. In that olden time there are, no doubt, scenes of sadness as well as of joy. Perhaps you remember standing by the bedside of a loved and cherished, but dying wife--one who, in the days of her youth and beauty, when you proposed to her to seek a home in a new, wild land, took your hand in hers and spoke to you in words like this: 'Whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; when thou diest I will die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me and more also, if aught but death part me and thee. Or, perhaps, some brave boy, stricken down in the pride of his srength, or some gentle daughter, fading away in her glorious beauty; or some little prattling babe, folding its weary eyes in the 'dreamless sleep.; If so--if there are memories like these, and the unbidden tear wells up to the eye, let it come, and to-day one and all shed a tear or two to the memory of the 'loved and lost.'

In 1874 a meeting was held of the old settlers of Hardin county, at the court house, in Eldora, on Wednesday, February 10, when the following articles of association were adopted:

Articles omitted.

At the meeting held March 4, 1874, the following named officers were duly elected for the ensuing year:

President -- T.N. Hauser, Union
Secretary -- J.M. Scott, Eldora
Treasurer -- S.R. Edgington, Eldora
Vice-Presidents:
   A.Leeser, Etna
   James S. Smith, Hardin
   Duane Young, Alden
   L.T. Beard, Buckeye
   S. Axtell, Ellis
   B.F. Bear, Jackson
   S.F. Lahtrop, Clay
   S.G. Winchester, Eldora
   John Downend, Pleasant
   A. Mitterer, Tipton
   Isaac S. Moore, Sherman
   P. Shintaffer, Grant
   E. Andrews, Providence
   J.Q. Irvin, Union

The following named signed the Constitution:

NAME

ARRIVAL YEAR

NATIVITY
E.W. Eastman 1857 New Hampshire
Celia F. Eastman 1857 Iowa
Landie C. Eastman 1857 Iowa
J.Q. Rathbone 1853 Illinois
M.A. Rathbone 1855 Illinois
S.B. Cunningham 1855 Ohio
Mary P. Cunningham 1855 Ohio
S.R. Edgington 1853 Ohio
S.F. Lathrop 1856 New York
J.Q. Irwin 1851 Indiana
Mrs. J.Q. Irwin 1855 Indiana
S.G. Winchester 1855 New York
M.E. Winchester 1854 Pennsylvania
A.M. Mulford 1855 New York
Mrs. H.B. Mulford 1855 Virginia
James Bachman 1856 Pennsylvania
Emma C. Bachman 1856 New York
O.C. Rathbone 1853 Illinois
G. Arnold 1854 Indiana
B.F. Reed 1854 New Hampshire
W.A. Greer 1852 Ohio
L.F. Wisner 1855 New York
B.F. Bear 1855 New York
John Kelso 1854 Ohio
George McMillen 1859 New York
Jonathan Edgington 1853 Ohio
T.L. Ford 1855 Ohio
D. Freeman Ellsworth 1854 Pennsylvania
M.J. Crosser 1855 Indiana
J.M. Scott 1855 New York
J.S. Ross 1857 Canada

For some cause the meetings were not kept up, and all interest apparently died out, but in the summer of 1882 this interest was revived. Glowing accounts of meetings of old settlers all over the West were published in the daily and weekly newspapers, and it was determined once more to see what Hardin county pioneers would do. A meeting was called, to be held at the court house in Eldora, July 22, to perfect a permanent organization.

On assembling, the meeting was called to order by J.M. Boyd, who stated the object of the meeting, and on his motion, Samuel Smith, was chosen Chairman, and Stephen Whited, Secretary.

On motion of S.G. Wincheser, a c ommittee of three was selected to draft a constitution. Such committee consisted of J.M. Boyd, of Eldora; T.N. Hauser, or Union, and Jonathan Edgington, of Eldora.

The committee on constitution reported, and, after amendment, the following constitution was adopted:

Articles omitted.

On motion the meeting proceeded to elect officers for the current year, in accordance with the provisions of the consitiution, with the following results:

President -- Samuel Smith, of Eldora
Secretary -- J.M. Boyd, of Eldora
Treasurer -- Mrs. Mahala Winchester, of Eldora
Vice-Presidents -- Ichabod Lathrop, of Etna; James S. Smith, of Hardin; Martin V. Ptrichard, of Alden; Lazarus T. Beard, of Buckeye; T.I. McChesney, of Ellis; I.H. Bowers, of Jackson; S.A. Williamson, of Clay; Ellis Parker, of Eldora; Frederick Boody, of Pleasant; W.W. Boylan, of Tipton; Frederick Finn, of Sherman; J.A. Hubbard, of Concord; A.J. Hiserote, of Grant; W.F. Andrews, of Providence; T.N. Hauser, of Union.

Names Signed to the Constitution.

The following list of the persons who have signed the Constitution, and the year given is the date in which they settled in Hardin County:

Samuel Smith, Eldora, 1850
T.N. Hauser, Union, 1850
Isaac S. Moore,
S.A. Williamson, Clay, 1851
Levi Dobbins, 1851
Samuel Doud, 1851
John Marling, Pleasant, 1852
John Duke
F.B. Stact, Eldora, 1852
Ichabod Lathrop, Etna, 1853
S.R. Edgington, Eldora, 1853
C.B. Clark
Hiram Hoyt, Clay, 1854
J.J. Edginton, Eldora, 1854
Rebecca Edgington
Mrs. S.G. Winchester
J.D. Fiddler, 1854
I.H. Bowers
Frederick Boody, Pleasant, 1854
Ellis Parker
A.G. Mitterer, Tipton, 1855
T.G. Williams, Eldora, 1855
Wm. F. Andrews, New Providence, 1855
W.M. Brown, Providence, 1855
Thomas Nott
Lucebe Nott
George C. Myers, Pleasant, 1855
Sineon Furman
M. Frisbie
Arletta Frisbie
Mrs. Mary E. Doty
Peter H. Doty, Pleasant, 1855
H.L.Hugff
E.B. Huff
S.G. Winchester, 1855
Solomon Clover, 1855
W.M. Myers, 1855
James Woodside
Mrs. S.A. Simpson
R.N. Lane, 1854
W.J. Moir, Eldora, 1856
W.H. Pool, Eldora, 1856
Joseph Edgington
Alonson F. Wood, Union, 1856
John Lytle, Pleasant, 1856
Joliver J. Moir
George Boody, Pleasant, 1856
Richard F. Ripley, Eldora
William W. Boylan, Tipton, 1857
Susana C. Boylan, Tipton, 1857
Stephen Whited, Eldora, 1857
Samuel B. Hubbard, Pleasant, 1857
Myron Underwood, Eldora, 1859
Eli G. Merrill, Eldora, 1861
Delia A. Merrill
John E. King
Amanda E. Eastman
P.H. Rhodes
L.W. Southard, Eldora, 1851
J.M. Boyd, Eldora, 1857
Ezra Nucolls, Eldora 1857
Thadeus L. Ford, 1855
Alice Whited, Eldora, 1857
George McElroy
Sara J. Boyd, Eldora, 1858

First Annual Picnic.

The first first annual picnic of the Old Settlers' Society of Hardin County, was held at the fair grounds near Eldora, the first day of September, 1882. There were from 1,500 to 2,000 people on the grounds during the day, and "all went as merry as a marriage bell." There were representatives from almost every township in the county, and the pioneers enjoyed themselves as only pioneers can, who have suffered the hardships incident to the settlement of a new country, and who have lived to see a transformation that can scarcely be realized. Among those present were, Samuel Smith, Thomas N. Hauser and Jacob Miller, the only surviving heads of families that were living here in 1850.

The public exercises consisted of an address of welcome by the President of the Society, Samuel Smith, a short and pointed address by Governor Eastman, Toasts and responses by J.L. Rathbone, S.R. Edgington, Dr. Underwood, Jesse Rogers, H.L. Huff, S.G. Winchester, and L.S. McCoy; and a short address by W.J. Moir. All were attentively listened to, and recieved with cheers of approval. The remarks were interspersed with music by the Eldora Band, and Eldora Glee Club.