A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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Notes for Samuel HUSTED


According to the Pioneer History of Clarksfield (Ohio), Samuel Husted was a son of Andrew Husted, who died in 1812. His wife was Esther Wildman, a daughter of Samuel Wildman of Danbury, Conn., and a sister of Ezra Wildman and Grace Rowland, the mother of Aaron and Levi Rowland and Nancy, wife of Ezra Wood. Their children were Hiram, Edward, E., Samuel W., Thomas F., Hoyt, Betsy, Mary Jane and Obadiah J.

In 1817 a number of the men who became pioneers of Clarksfield owned land here and in this year we find the first attempt to make a break in the forest. Samuel Husted was a stirring man of 38 years of age and with a growing family, living at Danbury, Connecticut, and he decided to set up a home for himself on the land he owned in Ohio -- that land of promise so far away from civilization. Ezra Wood, a young man whose wife was a niece of Mrs. Husted, also desired to see the new country. These two men started from Danbury in a one horse wagon, May 19, 1817. The narrative of their journey has fortunately been preserved in print. We quote from the narrative of Jonathan Fitch in the Firelands Pioneer of June, 1864: "On the 19th day of May, 1817, I left Norwalk, Conn., for Ohio, in company with Capt. A
Swan, his Irishman Kelley and John and Seth Keeler. We went by the way of New York City, which we reached about noon on the 20th. After resting a few hours, we crossed the river to what is now Jersey City, and reaching Morristown, we put up for the night. Moving forward the next morning, we arrived at the top of a long hill about mid day, when we stopped by the wayside, fed our horses and resorted to our provision chest. While eating, we discovered two men in a one horse wagon ascending the hill. As they came near they raised the shout: "Hurrah for Ohio!" They proved to be strangers to us, but we were not long in making their acquaintance. They were Captain Husted and a Mr. Wood, (given name not remembered.) They hailed from Danbury, Conn., and were bound for Ohio.

Learning at Norwalk of our departure, they had hastened to overtake us. Our numbers being thus increased to seven, we moved on over hills, valleys, rivers and mountains to Pittsburg, which we reached the 8th of June. Here we rested for the Sabbath. Monday we traveled on to the west side of the Big Beaver bridge, where our new acquaintances left us, taking to the right hand road to go to Clarksfield, Huron county, while we kept on direct to Mansfield, Richland county. We arrived at Mr. Giles Swan's, north of Mansfield, June 17th." In the same year Mr. Fitch started back to Connecticut on horseback. He and another man left Mr. Swan's, near Mansfield, Nov. 10, 1817. He says: "On our journey east of Pittsburg, we met an ox team with household goods. I told Smith it must be Captain Husted, but the driver was a stranger to me. We soon, however, met three horse teams. I raised a hurrah for Captain Husted, and in response he dropped his lines and waded through the mud to reach me upon my horse. He said he was overjoyed to see one he knew. A Mr. Starr, I think, was with him. After a brief interview we bid each other farewell, and went on our ways." Husted and Wood went to Florence and stopped with Major Barnum, another Danbury man who had come to Florence eight years before. Fitch says that his party reached Mansfield June 17, and we may reasonably suppose that Husted and Wood reached Florence about the same time. Making Florence their headquarters, they came over into the woods of Clarksfield, on Husted's land, and worked for six weeks, preparing the timbers for a log cabin and clearing off the trees adjoining. Six men raised the house, and these men were probably from Florence. Wood says that Husted cut the first tree and built the first house in the township, and E. M. Barnum, who came two years later, also says that Husted put up the first house. We find no reason to dispute this claim, Husted and Wood went back to Danbury after this.

The first of November, 1817, Samuel Husted again started from Danbury, Conn., for Ohio, but this time he brought his family of wife and six children with him. Hester Paul and Jachim Morris must have come with them as members of the family. Eli Seger and family also accompanied them. The Mr. Starr which Fitch mentions as being with Husted was not Smith Starr. Mary Jane Husted was only six weeks old when they started and her cradle was a basket hung from the top of the covered wagon, and she is said to have been the least trouble of any of the children. Probably the swaying of the wagon as it passed over the rough roads kept her cradle rocking. They were six weeks on the road. Husted drove an ox team with a white horse ahead. This animal lived for many years afterward and was known by the name of "Knitting Work," on account of her nipping kind of a gait. A piece of their wagon is still preserved by the youngest son. They came by the way of Pittsburg, Petersburg, Canfield, Rocky River, Ridgeville and Black river, as an old account book shows. Husted furnished the means to pay Seger's way and charged him $14 for carrying a chest three hundred miles. He went into his own log cabin, which stood near the brow of the hill north of the Hollow, near Albert Stone's house. After a few years he built the first frame house in the township in the Hollow, near the brick store. The old log house was used for a school house and William Stiles, John Barnum, Samuel Gray, Hiram Gray and others of that age attended school there. Daniel Stone afterward used the old building for a barn.
He was a sergeant in the Connecticut Militia and was a Captain in the Ohio Militia and was generally called "Captain Husted." Platt Benedict says that he "with his regimentals" had command of the military guard at the hanging of two Indians at Norwalk in July, 1819. He took an active part in the affairs of the community and was, perhaps, the best known citizen during the earlier years of the settlement. He was a Freewill Baptist and as early as of 1821 had an account with the Baptist Missionary Society. Before there was any church building in town services used to be held at his house and he used to read sermons from a book. He used to be a regular attendant at the Congregational church when that building was erected and became a member and gave his assistance to help build it. There was a post near his seat and he used to hang his tall hat on a particular nail on that post. After he had lost his mind so as not to know his own children he used to go to the church, during the week, thinking it was Sunday and wonder why the people did not come. He had a large wen on his forehead and he used to rest his glasses there when he stood at the door of his store, and he was a very familiar figure to those who passed through the Hollow.

Esther Wildman Husted died in 1842 at the age of 63. Mr. Husted afterward married the widow of his brother, Platt, of Cincinnati. She was Fanny Barnum, a sister of E.M. and Levi Barnum. Her daughter in New York was a fine musician. She used to visit her mother frequently and sent a piano out to her, which was probably the first one in the township. Her playing and singing on summer evenings when she was visiting her mother used to attract many hearers who gathered around The Husted home at the Hollow. Mrs. Husted went east to visit her daughter and while there was taken sick and died. Mr. Husted died not long afterward in 1863 at the age of 84.
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