Ashtabula Co., Ohio
SOURCE: History of Ashtabula County, Ohio
Large, Moina W.
Topeka :: Historical Pub. Co.,, 1924, 1132 pgs.
NOTE: Other Biographies will have a note stating their sources.
ALSO NOTE: I will transcribe biographies upon request. Please
state the County and State in the Subject line of the email. ~ SW
|* GALLAGHER, Eileen M., Miss
* GALLUP, Charles Herbert
* GALLUP, Edward Parker
* GALVIN, Roland E., Dr.
* GAPE, William
* GARDNER, E. E.
* GARY, Dorance
* GARVEY, T. E.
* GEARY, Frank
* GEBRICHER, Russell
* GEE, Mary L.
* GEER, E. V.
* GEER, Moses E.
* GERALD, Anson Smith
* GIDDINGS, Joshua Reed
* GIFFORD, B. L.
* GLEASON, Harry A.
* GODLEY, Raymond H.
* GOLDSMITH, Leverett
* GOODALE, Hugh E.
* GORDON, C. H.
* GRAHAM, A. E.
* GRAHAM, Emmett A.
* GRAHAM, J. P.
* GRAN, W. A.
* GRANT, Josiah T.
* GREEN, W. W.
* GREENLLEE, Anson, Dr.
* GRIFFEY, E. E.
* GRIFFIN, William
* GROSS, Edward C.
* GROVES, Charles D.
JOSHUA REED GIDDINGS,
one of the eminent statesmen of America and prominent in the ante-bellum
anti-slavery movement, was an honored resident of Jefferson, Ashtabula
county. He was a native of Pennsylvania, born at Tioga Point, Bradford
county, of Connecticut parents and of remote English ancestry. When he was
six weeks old the family moved to Canandaigua, New York, and when, he was
ten years of age they settled in the heart of the Connecticut Western
Reserve, in Wayne township, Ashtabula county, where their life and
experiences were those common to western pioneers; but the members of this
family were of broader intellect and more liberal and cosmopolitan views
than most of their neighbors.
Joshua grew up there, as a personal friend
described him, u. a tall, raw, shapeless boy, with pleasant face,
frolicsome gray eyes and an abundance of light, curly hair that grew dark-hairish
till the sun tanned him." Having great ambition and a studious and
capacious mind, he attained that extraordinary manhood of which we so
often read in the life of great men. He became great in spite of untoward
circumstances,—yea, on account of them. He read everything he could get
hold of, and thoroughly digested everything he read, no matter how
When, during the war of 1812, Detroit and all Michigan
were surrendered by General Hull to the British, Giddings,
though only sixteen years of age, joined Colonel Hayes'
regiment and marched to the Huron and on to the stockade, later famous
under the name of Fort Stephen son. Very soon he volunteered to engage in
two attacks upon hostile Indians near Sandusky Bay, in which he behaved
gallantly. The Indians left the peninsula never to trouble it again. These
two skirmishes were the first engagements fought in Ohio during the war of
1812, and were overlooked by all historians of the war until, in 1843,
Mr. Giddings himself contributed an account of them to the
public. Five months after enlistment Mr. Giddings was
mustered out of the service with his regiment and returned to his home
At the age of nineteen years he taught school in his
neighborhood. At the age of twenty-three he made choice of his life work,
entering the law office of Elisha Whittlesey, of Canfield,
Ohio, as a student. Whittlesey was a good preceptor, and
Giddings made the most of this advantage. Admitted to the bar in 1821,
he began practice at Jefferson, his home and the county seat, and thus
continued until he entered Congress in 1838, never to resume it. To all
intents and purposes he abandoned its practice forever. No lawyer could
have made better arguments in court than he did in Congress when
discussing the legal and constitutional bearings of the slavery question,
nor more moving appeals at nisi prius than were his in behalf of
the same cause from stump and rostrum: but all those efforts contributed
to his reputation as a statesman more than as a lawyer. In those days the
courtroom was a place for the display of ready wit and eloquence far more
than at the present day, and the practice he had, and the customs he
observed at the bar, constituted a school to train and discipline the
young man for his day in the American parliament. According to the old
maxim, both himself and the times fitted each other, and to a great extent
made each other. In the language of one of his biographers: With the first
collection of Ohio Statutes, known as the old "Sheepskin Code," and such
other books as he could command, and such clients and cases as came, the
young lawyer procured a horse and portmanteau, joined his few professional
brethren and started with the presiding judge on the common-pleas circuit,
through mud and forest, legal lance in rest, stopping at log cabins and
settling grave cases in log temples of justice. Those were the days of
free manners, free lives and practical jokes, though the Grand River
presbytery expressed their disapproval of gathering sap on Sunday."
Locally the young lawyer gained a wide fame in having won two remarkable
lawsuits with all the odds apparently against him. Within ten years after
beginning practice he seemed to be at the head of the local bar. - In 1831
he formed a law partnership with the afterward celebrated Benjamin F.
Wade whose sketch is next given; Wade was rather too modest for the
rough work of the bar, but he was excellent in the office preparation of
cases, while Giddings would present them at the bar, in which work
he excelled. Within the short space of five years these gentlemen made
money sufficient to enable them to retire from practice, at least
temporarily, for money was plentiful and largely invested in the thousand
wild-cat enterprises of that day, which all collapsed at once, wrecking
many public-spirited men. Giddings was caught in the downward
whirl, and had to resort to work again, to earn a livelihood. Forming a
partnership with Flavel Sutliffe, a brilliant young man, who
two years afterward became insane, Mr. Giddings again
prospered and made money. In 1838 he was elected to Congress. Prior to
this he had had some legislative experience, as in 1826 he had served in
the Ohio House of Representatives. After the close of that legislative
term he ran for State Senator, but was defeated,—the only defeat he ever
met at the polls.
Of necessity, in order to appreciate the services of
Mr. Giddings upon his entrance into Congress, the reader must
call to mind the history of the slavery question up to that time, and its
status. The Missouri Compromise had been adopted in 1820, with the hope
that that finally and forever settled the vexed slavery controversy; but
the so called Abolitionists," with their leaders mostly in New England and
New York, began to exert themselves. African slavery in America, like a
nauseating mass in the stomach, would not remain down by any dosing. The
stomach will continue its efforts at emesis until the work is complete,
and thus Mr. Giddings was continually drawn into the vortex
of abolition effort.
On his way to and arrival at Washington, Mr.
Giddings made close observation of every politician and of every event
that might have a bearing upon his career at the capital. " It is a fact,"
said he, "which every man of observation must see, by spending a few days
in the Representatives' hall, that there is a vast difference in the
character of the members from the North and South. During this week every
person present must have witnessed the high and important bearing of the
Southern men; their self-important airs, their overbearing manners, while
the Northern men, even on the subject of slavery, are diffident and
forbearing. I have myself come to the honest conclusion that our Northern
friends are, in fact, afraid of these Southern bullies. I have bestowed
much thought upon the subject; I have made inquiry, and think we have no
Northern man who dares boldly and fearlessly declare his abhorrence of
slavery and the slave trade. This kind of fear I never experienced; nor
shall I submit to it now. When I came here I had no thought of
participating in debate at all, but particularly I intended to keep
silence this winter; but since I have seen our Northern friends so
backward and delicate, I have determined to express my own views and
declare my own sentiments, and risk the effects. For that purpose I have
drawn up a resolution calling for information as to the slave trade in the
District of Columbia which, among other things, calls for a statement of
the number of slaves who have murdered themselves within that district
during the last five years, after being sold for foreign markets, and the
number of children who have been murdered by their parents during said
time, under the apprehension of immediate separation for sale at a foreign
market, and the amount of revenue collected on sale of licenses to deal in
human flesh and blood."
"I showed the resolutions to several friends, who
advised me not to present them, on two accounts; first, that it will
enrage the Southern members; secondly, that it will injure me at home.
But I have determined to risk both; for I would rather lose my election at
home rather than suffer the insolence of these Southerners here."
In his speeches before Congress on the subject of
slavery he was frequently called to order by the Southern members and
their Northern sympathizers, but generally his right to the floor, to
continue his argument, was recognized by the Speaker. In 1839 he won a
signal victory over the opposition in the advocacy of the duty of Congress
to respectfully consider the anti-slavery petitions sent in, which made
the Southern members mad and their sympathizers from the North disgusted.
The prominent defections from the Free Soil party in
1848 and the persuasions to enter a course that would elevate him to the
United States senatorship, etc., were no temptation to Mr.
Giddings to abandon his anti-slavery aggression, and he joined the "
Free-Soilers." He had a conscience, not only with reference to the slavery
question, but also in regard to the public treasury. Hence it pained him
to see the servants of the people at Washington wasting their time with
frivolous adjournments, etc., while pressing and important claims received
The following anecdote is taken from Mr.
Giddings' journal: "An incident occurred in my view that
illustrates the difficulty of obtaining justice from the Government. A man
named Nye has claimed about $6,000 from the Government for several
years, and has himself personally pressed the matter for some sessions
past. During the last session Mr. Whittlesey, chairman of
the committee on claims, reported against it. although the Senate had
reported in favor of it. Mr. Whittlesey was looked upon as
an infallible authority on the subject of claims. Nye was put in jail for
want of money and suffered much. Nye himself wrote an able review
of Whittlesey's report and pointed out its errors, but many things
intervened to prevent the committee from passing on it until today. I
agreed with two or three others that we would get together and pass upon
this claim, provided that it were possible to get a quorum to the
committee room. This we effected, and agreed to report the bill giving him
his whole claim. This was done as late as two o'clock p. m. When we left
the room I was in front, and Nye was at the door. I told him we had
agreed to report his bill for the amount claimed. He attempted to thank
me, but tears choked his utterance, and I felt deeply myself,—so much so
that I found tears were running down my own cheeks, and, unwilling that
my weakness should be discovered, I averted my face to disguise my
feelings from those passing by me in front. As I turned my
face my eye rested upon. Mr. Chambers, our chairman, who,
though a man of rough exterior, and has been through many a bloody battle,
was so wrought upon by Mr. Nye's feelings that he wept
Mr. Giddings advocated the right of slaves
when upon the high seas to free themselves, and he presented to Congress
resolutions to the effect that it had no right to compensate the owners of
such fugitives; but he was persuaded by his friends to withdraw them. For
offering such resolutions he received the censure of the House, but he was
not permitted to speak in his own defense. He thereupon resigned, but was
soon re-elected to Congress by a greater majority than before. He was
opposed to the admission of Texas into the Union, with the constitution
offered, as he regarded it as an extension of slave territory. In 1850 he
had the fugitive slave law to fight, also the compromise slave measures of
that year, and in 1852-56 the Kansas-Nebraska bill of Stephen A.
Douglas, etc. When Nathaniel Banks, an anti-slavery
representative, was elected speaker of the House, February 4, 1856, after
more than two months' failure to organize that branch of Congress,—which
was the first signal victory of the anti-slavery party in Congress—Giddings
felt rewarded for his life-long fight.
For a number of years he was the real editor of the
Ashtabula Sentinel. He was a delegate to the famous Republican national
convention at Chicago in 1860 which nominated Lincoln for president. He
endeavored, but in vain, to induce that convention to incorporate
anti-slavery resolutions in its platform. In 1861 he accepted a consul
generalship to Canada under Lincoln, and while serving in that
capacity at Montreal he died, May 27, 1864.
"Giddings, far rougher names than thine
have grown Smoother than honey on the lips of men; And thou shalt aye he
honorably known As one who bravely used the tongue and pen. As best befits
a freeman;—even for those To whom our laws' unblushing front denies A
right to plead against the life-long woes Which are the negroes' glimpse
of freedom's skies.
Fear nothing and hope all things, as the right Alone
may do securely; every hour The thrones of ignorance and ancient Night
Lose somewhat of their long usurped power; And freedom's slightest word
can make them shiver With a base dread that clings to them forever."
(See Note 1 Below)
GERMOND, contractor and builder, Conneaut, Ohio, was born in
Dutchess county, New York, in 1843, son of Barton and Harriet (Davis)
Germond, also natives of New York.
Barton Germond was born April, 1817, and in 1843
came with his family to Ashtabula county, Ohio, settling in Pierpont
township, where he still carries on agricultural pursuits. He is a
member of the Congregational Church. His wife was a Methodist.
She died at Pierpont in 1848, aged thirty-two years. Mrs.
Germond's parents, Jonathan and Sallie (Herrington) Davis,
natives of New York, came to Ohio in 1842, settling at Pierpont.
Grandfather Davis, a highly respected farmer, is still living,
having reached his one-hundredth mile-post March 12, 1893. He
enlisted as fifer in thewar of 1812, but the war was over before he was
called into service. He has been twice married. His first wife
died about 1850, aged fifty-seven years. She had three sons and
three daughters, two of whom are deceased; two reside in the State, one in
Idaho, and the other in Oregon. His present wife was, before her
marriage, Miss Sallie Turner. They have two children, residents of
Barton and Harriet Germond had four
children, namely: Oscar, a resident of this township;
Nathan A., and George and Harley, who have charge of the
home farm, both being unmarried.
Nathan A. remained on his father's farm
until the war came on. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company B,
Twenty-ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as a private, and participated in
the battles of Winchester, Fort Republic, Antietam, Chancellorsville,
Gettysburg, and Buzzard's Roost; was with Sherman on his famous march to
the sea; and was one of the victorious soldiers in the grand review at
Washington. From Washington he went with his command to Louisville,
Kentucky, where he was honorably discharged July 22, 1865. He was
once captured by a rebel, but made good his escape, and three times he was
wounded, first in the finger, at Fort Republic, in the head at the battle
of Chancellorsville, and in the foot at Buzzard's Roost. After receiving
the second wound he was disabled about five months, remaining, however,
with his regiment but not being able to carry a gun. After being wounded
in the foot, he came home on a thirty days' furlough, at the end of that
time rejoining his command at Atlanta.
While at home from the war in 1864, Mr.
Germond was married, January 14, to Miss Carrie
Colson. They have had two children, Minnie and Charles.
Minnie became the wife of B. M. Talbot, of Alliance, Ohio,
and her young life closed when she was twenty-one years of age. For seven
years she was a faithful member of the Congregational Church, I and her
whole life was characterized by the sweetest of Christian graces. Mrs.
Germond is a member of the Congregational Church.
Politically, Mr. Germond is a Republican.
(For Source, see Note 1 Below)
RAYMOND H. GODLEY, who
ranks among Ashtabula's most substantial and enterprising citizens, is a
native of Pennsylvania. He was born at Easton, June 3, 1873, and
is the son of Charles R. and Mary Josephine (Brotzman) Godley.
Charles R. Godley, who now lies retired, is a
veteran of the Civil War. He was born in Northampton County, Pa.,
and has spent most of his life at Easton, Pa., where he was employed by
the Lehigh Valley Railroad for 51 years. Mr. Godley was a
railroad carpenter, having learned his trade when a boy with the Lehigh
Valley Railroad. At the age of 16 years he volunteered for service
during the Civil War and served with the 129th Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Mr. Godley is the son of William V. Godley, a native of
New Jersey who settled in Pennsylvania at an early date. He was
superintendent of the Glendon mines for many years. There were 14
children in William V. Godley's family, of whom 12 are now
living. To Charles and Mary Josephine (Brotzman) Godley 11
children were born, as follows: Forrest A., died in service
in Cuba during the Spanish American War; John P., a foreman in
the plant of the Westinghouse Electric Company at Brooklyn, N. Y.;
Charles A., postal clerk at Easton, Pa.; Paul, Watchman for the
Lehigh Valley Railroad at Easton, Pa.; Grace, married Frank
Coppock, lives at Easton, Pa.; Cora, married William
Walters, deceased, and she lives with her father at Easton, Pa.;
Elva and Hattie, deceased; Raymond H., the subject of
this sketch; and the remaining children died in infancy. Mrs.
Godley is deceased.
Raymond H. Godley attended the public and high
schools of Eaton, Pa., and began life as a machinist with the LeHigh
Valley Railroad in 1887. He remained with that company until 1899,
at which time he went to Buffalo, N. Y., where he spent two yeas.
Mr. Godley has since been in the employ of the Pennsylvania
Railroad and has been located at Ashtabula since 1902. He is
engine house foreman.
In 1896 Mr. Godley was united in marriage with
Miss Elizabeth Bittner, a native of Phillipsburg, N. J., and the
daughter of Phaon and Alma (Hineline) Bittner, the former a
native of Pennsylvania and the latter of New Jersey. Mr.
Bittner was a truck farmer and died at the age of 77 years.
His wife died when Mrs. Godley was about 10 years old and he was
later married again. There were six children in the Bittner
family: Amanda, William, Herbert, Mrs. Godley, Emma, and
Laura. To Mr. and Mrs. Godley five children have been
born, as follows: Kenneth, died in 1899; Elizabeth,
lives in Cleveland; Margaret, attends college at Athens, Ohio;
Dorothy, who was graduated from high school in 1923; and
Ellen, a student.
Mr. Godley belongs to the Masonic Lodge and the
Ashtabula Chamber of Commerce. He and his family hold membership
int eh Presbyterian Church and are well and favorable known throughout
(See Note 2 below for Source)
HUGH E. GOODALE is
an enterprising farmer and stockman of Jefferson Township, and is now
farming 60 acres of good farm land which was improved by his
grandfather, Erastus Goodale. He was born on this farm
Sept. 2, 1887, and is the son of John and Sarah (Walker)
Erastus Goodale was a native of Connecticut and
came to Ashtabula County during the early days, making the trip from his
native state by oxen team. His son, John, improved and land
further and became a prosperous farmer of Ashtabula County. He
died March 18, 1907, and his wife, a native of New York City, lives at
Jefferson and is 78 years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Goodale had
three children: Birdie, married G. N. Soden, a
farmer, lives in Monroe Township; Hugh, the subject of this
sketch; and Susie, lives at Jefferson.
Hugh Goodale spent his boyhood on
the home place and received his education in the schools of Jefferson.
After engaging in the green house business there for several years, he
returned to the farm. Mr. Goodale specializes in dairy
farming and is a breeder of pure bred Holstein cattle. The place
is well improved and contains a 75 ton silo.
In February, 1916, Mr. Goodale was
married to Miss Lila Sheldon, a native of Ashtabula County, born
Nov. 30, 1890, and the daughter of Rollo and Jessie (Downs) Sheldon.
Mr. Sheldon, a well known lumber dealer of Jefferson, is a native of
that place. His wife was born in Illinois. Mr. and Mrs.
Sheldon have four children, as follows: Margaret,
deceased, was teh wife of Walter Owen; Mrs. Goodale; Ellen,
married Ira Bliss, retired farmer, lives at Conneaut; and
Katherine, married Maynard Faucett, lives in Ashtabula.
To Mr. and Mrs. Goodale have been born Oct. 7, 1921; and Helen
Elizabeth, born Sept. 25, 1923.
Mr. Goodale is a Republican and a member of
the Congregational Church.
(See Note 2 below for Source)
C. GROSS, general yard master of the Nickel Plate Railroad,
Conneaut, Ohio, is the right man in the right place. His strict integrity
and business qualifications have secured him promotion to his present
position. The following facts have been gleaned in regard to his life and
Edward C. Gross was born in Erie county,
Pennsylvania, February 25, 1862, son of William and Carolina (Wherle)
Gross, the father a native of Germany and the mother of Erie county,
Pennsylvania, in which county they were married. William Gross came
with his parents from Germany to America when he was a boy, and settled in
the city of Erie, where he and his wife still reside. For twenty-eight
years he was in the restaurant business, but is now retired. During the
late war he served a short time in the Union army. Both he and his wife
are members of the German Lutheran Church. Mrs. Gross, while
a native of Pennsylvania, is a descendant of German ancestors, her
parents, Michael and Carolina Wherle, having
Germany to the United States in the early part of this century. They
settled on a farm twelve miles south of Erie, which was at that time a
mere village, and there they passed the rest of their lives and there
died. They reared a family of three sons and three daughters, all of whom
are living and in Pennsylvania, namely: John, Frank, Michael,
Lizzie, wife of Colonel Kurtis; Carolina, and
Mary, wife of Norten Newell. William and
Caroline Gross had five children, as follows: William,
engaged in the lumber business in Brooklyn, New York, married Lilly
Hughes, daughter of a wealthy contractor of that city; Edward C;
Emil, a boiler-maker of Erie, Pennsylvania, married Kate
Liebel; Nettie, wife of Robert Dunkin, of Erie;
and Flora, the youngest, at home.
Edward C. Gross started out in life as a
traveling salesman, and for two years was in the employ of a wholesale
boot and shoe house of Erie. Then he spent three years working at the
trade of boiler-maker in Brooklyn, after which he began railroading. He
was brakeman on the Pittsburg & Lake Erie Railroad four years. In 1885 he
accepted a position as conductor on the Nickel Plate and came to Conneaut,
where he has since resided. He was changed from conductor to night yard
master in 1889 and was promoted to his present position in June, 1891. The
position of general yard master is one of great importance. He has under
his charge between thirty or forty men, besides all crews entering
Conneaut, hiring and discharging the men being a part of his duty.
Mr. Gross was married October 15, 1878,
to Miss Maggie Sherman, daughter of Mott
Sherman of Albion, Erie county, Pennsylvania. Her parents are still
living. Their family is composed of three daughters, of whom Mrs.
Gross is the oldest, Nellie and Kose being the
others. Miss Nellie is a fine pianist and is now in the
Musical Conservatory of Allegheny College. Mr. and Mrs. Gross have
four children: Willie Morrison, Lulu Belle,
Eddie and Lillie. Both he and his wife are members of the
Episcopal Church. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, and in
politics is a Democrat.
(For Source, see Note 1 below)
Source 1 - Biographical History of
Northeastern, Ohio Embracing the Counties of Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake.
Containing Portraits of all the Presidents of the United States with a Biography
of each, together with Portraits and Biographies of Joshua R. Giddings, Benjamin
F. Wade and a large number of Early Settlers and Representative Families of
Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company - 1893.
Source 2 - History of Ashtabula County, Ohio by Mrs. Moina W. Large - 1924
NOTE: There will be an asterisk (*) next to the biographies that have a