Elizabeth “Lizzie” Marvin De Very 1874-1945

One of the most ardent, well-spoken women in the Shelby suffrage movement lies in an unmarked grave in Oakland Cemetery.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Marvin was born to John Quincy Adams Marvin (1837 – 1927) and Mary Anita McDonald Martin (1823-1921) on Sept. 15, 1874. John was the son of Silas Marvin, who came to the area with his father Isaac, one of the earliest settlers, in about 1816.

In 1893, when she was just 19, she briefly printed and published the Shelby Weekly Echo, but halted production the next year because of ill health.

Lizzie quickly became involved in social issues, first with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, then as vice president of the newly formed offshoot Equal Franchise Association in 1912. Lizzie was one of about 60 Shelby women who led the effort to give women the right to vote. She began writing for the Daily Globe, covering visiting speakers, both for and against the suffrage movement. But, her writing had a decidedly pro-suffrage slant. Of anti-suffragist Miss Minnie Bronson, who visited Shelby in 1912, Lizzie wrote –

“The speaker gave a heartrending, tear-starting, hysteric-provoking picture of the disrupted homes to follow the enfranchisement of women. This was high class farcical comedy, in which even the leading lady must have found amusement. To say that homes would be disrupted, should one more of its members be given the power of self-government, is an insult to the manhood and a libel upon the womanhood of Ohio. The American home still stands in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington and California.”[1]  

Although Shelby men voted for suffrage, the state, as a whole, did not, and the 1912 proposed amendment failed. Lizzie and others began to visit nearby towns to speak about women’s right to vote. And she continued to write for the Daily Globe, covering debates. Well known anti-suffragist Lucy Price came to town in August 1913, claiming Shelby to be an anti-suffrage stronghold, with only three suffragists in the place. She claimed, “The men all seem to be antis or else on the fence waiting to learn what the women want.”[2]

Lizzie lashed out out in a rebuttal after Price’s speech –

“The anti suffrage speaker at the city hall Monday evening instead of presenting logical reasons why women should be denied the ballot, spent much of the time in eulogizing legislation on non-suffrage states and in veiled sarcasm toward the body of suffragists who were fair enough to add their presence to an exceedingly small crowd.”[3]

Lizzie remained an ardent supporter, helping to expand Shelby’s Equal Franchise Association to the Woman Suffrage Association of Richland County. She was a member of the Congressional Union for Women’s Suffrage, which campaigned for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women’s suffrage. Nationally, women were given the right to vote August, 1920 through the adoption of the 19th Amendment.

A prominent Democrat in the community, Lizzie immediately filed a petition with the county board of elections as a candidate for Charter Commissioner, which would draft a charter form of government for Shelby. She was the only woman of sixteen candidates. Fifteen were to be chosen through voters. An unofficial vote had Lizzie winning the final spot over Howard D. Seltzer by one vote. A more careful review of the election figures showed that two votes weren’t counted for Seltzer.[4]  A recount was made, showing 153 votes for Lizzie, 154 for Seltzer and 155 for M. E. Roberts. Fifteen men had been chosen for the commission.[5]

Lizzie also ran for mayor in 1921 against three-time mayor, C.E. Morris. The illness of her mother, who died just a few days after the election, along with a lack of campaign funding, as well as the immense popularity of the incumbent, hindered Lizzie’s chances for election.[6]

In 1927, while in her 50’s, Lizzie married itinerant umbrella mender Charles De Very. Although she had known him for 5 years, the marriage was a short one. Lizzie filed for divorce after 3 months on the grounds of habitual drunkenness and extreme cruelty.[7]  The marriage ended in 8 months. The feud started with coffee grounds. De Very wanted her to reuse them and she threw them out. There were further allegations of De Very’s stinginess. A final fight ended with a call to the police about wife beating. In a very public trial, Lizzie claimed he was a drunk, and he claimed she was a gold digger. She asked for her name to be restored to Marvin but at the time of the divorce, she kept the De Very name for “business reasons.” She was awarded $500 alimony.[8]

Lizzie became a columnist for the Daily Globe in the early 1930’s, drawing from her memories of her younger days in a series called “Do You Remember.”  The popular columns included places of the past, like the fair grounds and roller skating rink, hotels, homes of citizens, and mentioned notable people. 

She remained loyal to the Democratic party, helping to form the Eleanor Roosevelt Club in 1936 to support those running for office.

In 1945, while walking along Mohican Street where she lived, Lizzie suffered a stroke. She was taken to the hospital, where she died the next morning, on May 1, 1945. Lizzie was 69 years old.

Endnotes

[1] Daily Globe, August 22, 1912

[2] Daily Globe, August 2, 1913

[3] Daily Globe, August 7, 1913

[4] Daily Globe, May 23, 1921

[5] Daily Globe, May 24, 1921

[6] Daily Globe, November 10, 1921

[7] Daily Globe, Feb. 15, 1928

[8] Daily Globe, June 4, 1928

Submitted by Christina Yetzer Drain

Giles Swan 1793-1849

Giles Swan, along with his brother Adam, were among the earliest settlers in the Shelby area, in what was then Blooming Grove Township, about 1816.1 They came from Fairfield County, Connecticut, following Indian trails the last few miles as there were no roads cut yet. The area was densely forested with birch, beech, ash, sugar and oak.2 Deer and turkey, among other wildlife, were abundant, so much so, it was a favorite hunting area for the Wyandot Indians who lived to the west.

Giles made a final payment for 160 acres of land from the US government in 1819, on Section 10 of Township 022N, Range 019W, at the southwest corner of what is now SR 96 and Plymouth Springmill Road. He had already erected a cabin on the property and was living there with his wife Jane Rockwell. Jane traveled with her parents Joseph and Mercy Rockwell to the the area shortly after the Swans arrived.3 They married July 27,1817, believed to be the first marriage in the township.4

The Swans were friends with many of those who came in later years. Stephen and Sarah Marvin, Deborah Moyer, Eli and Mabel Barnes Wilson, and Henry and Lucy Grumman Whitney, who settled in what is now the city of Shelby, came in 1818 from Fairfield County, Connecticut. The three families stayed with the Swans the summer of 1818 while they cleared the land and built their cabins about a mile away.

The Independent News in 1869 relayed a wonderful story about the friendship among the families and their Native neighbors.


While the above mentioned families were all living together, one night, there came there a small band of Indians, numbering about ten or twelve, among whom were several well known Indians; one called ‘Jacob’ and another ‘Williams.’ This latter Indian was said to be a very intelligent Indian, and spoke English quite fluently. The Indians were well supplied with whiskey, as were also the settlers; and after the greetings were exchanged, the bottle was passed around quite freely, both whites and Indians drinking out of the same bottle, and the very best feeling pervaded both sides. When both sides were pretty well warmed up, the settlers proposed that the Indians should exhibit their war dance. At first the Indians objected, alleging their want of preparation, and of the proper materials for paint, &c., and of the proper implements, such as a drum; &c. But they were finally persuaded to proceed with the dance and the whites proceeded to kindle a fire in front of the cabin of Mr. Swan. One old Indian took a seat on a log, and was furnished with a clap-board, which he placed on his knees, and commenced a song in the Indian language, keeping time on the clap-board with his knife and hatchet, while the others ranged themselves around the fire, and commenced the war dance, yelling like demons, gesticulating furiously, and leaping around in the most grotesque and violent manner. The subject of the old Indian’s song, as he informed the settlers, was the ancient exploits of his tribe in war, and their triumph over their enemies. It was in fact an epic poem in the Indian vernacular, and although no doubt far below our standard, in point of merit, yet it is said this rude song had some striking and beautiful passages. After the Indians had concluded their dance, they then proposed that the whites should dance after their fashion, and they would join. Accordingly the whites formed on the floor, to dance the “French Four,” and two Indians danced, one with Mrs. Moyer, mother of the late Stephen Marvin’s wife, and the other with Mrs. Swan. The Indians unexpectedly, proved to be very graceful dancers, gliding around in a very easy manner. After each dance, the bottle passed around freely, and the dance was kept up till about two in the morning. The music was furnished by the white women, who sang the tune.5

Sharon Township was created from part of Blooming Grove Township February 9, 1819, which included one-half of the territory that is present-day Jackson Township, and Giles Swan’s farm. At the first election in 1823, fourteen settlers were present: Giles H. Swan, John B. Taylor, Joseph Curran, Eli Wilson, Almon Hayes, Harvey Camp, Henry Whitney, Matthew Curran, James Smith, Adam Swan, James Kerr, James Rockwell, Levi Bargaheiser and DeLanson Rockwell. Giles Swan, John B. Taylor and James Rockwell were elected trustees.6

In 1823 and 1824, Giles Swan purchased two more land patents from the US government totaling 160 acres on the north side of what is now SR 96, with the northern border as present day East Smiley Road.

Two girls and a boy were born to Giles and Jane – Maria (1818), John (1820), and Lucy (1825).

Around 1820, the first schoolhouse was erected near the crossroads, and not far from the residence of Giles Swan.7 He likely was a proponent of the schoolhouse and education; Giles and Adam both graduated from Yale College.

A newspaper account from 1928 mentions Giles Swan’s death in detail. The story was not true – 

Giles Swan was killed at a log rolling, and its the first death on record in Jackson Township of our early settlers. He was buried along the bank of Bear Run, directly east of the Wm Gilchest home 1 1/2 miles east of Shelby.8

When Lucy was 18, in about 1843, the family moved west to Missouri. They lived there about four years, then moved to Polk, Iowa, where Giles again homesteaded 80 acres, purchased from the US government.9 He barely had time to clear land before he died two years later. Jane died in 1876 in Iowa. Little is known about brother Adam.

Giles Hallam Swan
B: 29 Apr 1793, Stonington, New London, Connecticut
M: 27 July 1817, Sharon Township, Richland, Ohio
D: Dec 1849, Polk City, Polk, Iowa

Jane Rockwell
B: 5 Jan 1798, Wilton, Fairfield, Connecticut
D: Mar 1876, Des Moines, Polk, Iowa

Children
Maria Swan
B: 1818, Jackson Township, Richland, Ohio
M: 1837, to Eli Mosier
D: 11 Apr 1862, Madison Township, Polk, Iowa

John R. Swan
B: 31 May 1820, Jackson Township, Richland, Ohio
M: 7 Mar 1844, Elizabeth Warren Strode, Clay, Missouri
D: 28 Feb 1900, Clay, Missouri

Lucy Swan
B: Apr 1825, Jackson Township, Richland, Ohio
M: 12 Sep 1856, Oliver Ralph Jones, Des Moines, Polk, Iowa
D: 2 May 1908, Des Moines, Polk, Iowa

Endnotes

  1. A.A. Graham, 1880, History of Richland County, Ohio, Mansfield, Ohio, A.A. Graham & Co., Publishers, 421
  2. Original land survey.
  3. A.A. Graham, 1880, History of Richland County, Ohio, Mansfield, Ohio, A.A. Graham & Co., Publishers, 421. 
  4. A.A. Graham, 1880, History of Richland County, Ohio, Mansfield, Ohio, A.A. Graham & Co., Publishers, 422.
  5. Independent News, Shelby Ohio August 19, 1869. Story relayed by T.H. Wiggins, who interviewed Samuel Rockwell, nephew of Jane Rockwell. Mrs. Marvin was alive and present at the dance. 
  6. A.A. Graham, 1880, History of Richland County, Ohio, Mansfield, Ohio, A.A. Graham & Co., Publishers, 572.
  7. A.A. Graham, 1880, History of Richland County, Ohio, Mansfield, Ohio, A.A. Graham & Co., Publishers, 422.
  8. A History of Shelby, The Shelby Daily Globe, 5-9-1928. The story is not true. Giles died in Iowa in 1849. The writer may have meant Joseph Rockwell, who was the first recorded death of an adult in Sharon Township in 1818.
  9. The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, Polk, Iowa, 3 May 1908, page 9, obituary of Lucy Swan Jones.

Submitted by Christina Yetzer Drain.

Henry Wentz, Jr.

In 1834, Henry Wentz Sr. brought his family to Cass Township, Ohio from Perry Co., PA where Henry Jr. was born on Dec. 9, 1839. Henry worked on the family farm until age 18 when he began to learn the carpentry trade. At age 21, he moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana where he worked in the railroad car assembly shops.

At the start of the Civil War, on July 11, 1861, Henry enlisted as a private in Co. E., 11th Ind. Vol. Inf. and he served throughout the war in various capacities in campaigns including – Vicksburg, Winchester, Fisher Hill and finally Cedar Creek on Oct. 19, 1864.

After the war Henry returned to Crestline, Ohio. On June 8, 1865, Henry married Abraham Bushey’s oldest daughter Sarah and entered the lumber business. After a year, he sold the business and began a hardware store that he ran until about
1875. In 1875 he began an interest in the fire insurance business which he followed until 1880 when he became the secretary the Underwriter’s Mutual Fire Insurance Company, which would become the Shelby Mutual Insurance Company. Also during the mid 1880s, Henry served as the clerk for the Sharon Township Trustees and was a member of the Crestline city council.

Henry and Sarah were the parents of two sons and a daughter.

Submitted by Lisa Wentz-Steiner

 

Jacob Fletcher

Jacob Fletcher was born in Bedford County, PA. ca. 1809. His parents, Baltzer & Mary Means/Fletcher moved to PA from the Frederick Co., MD area. They were listed as living in Cumberland Valley Twp., Bedford County, PA, during the census years 1830-1850.

Jacob first married Elizabeth Robison, daughter of Thomas & Sarah Conrad/Robison. This marriage was of very short duration and there are no known children.

Jacob then married Hannah McFerren, daughter of William & Barbara (Weirich,Weyrich,Wirick) /McFerren, in about 1832, in Bedford County, PA. Barbara is a daughter of Valentine & Catherine Ann unknown / Weirich, Weyrich,Wirick.

Laverne Ingram Piatt notes: Any woman descending through Hannah McFerren Fletcher would be eligible to join the DAR on an existing line due to the descendency from Valentine Weirich,Weyrich,Wirick, who is in the DAR patriot index.

By 1852, Jacob and Hannah were raising a family of at least 9 children, 8 sons and 1 daughter:

David Fletcher b: April 28, 1833 in Bedford Co., Penn.
William Fletcher b: December 25, 1834 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Charles Baltzer Fletcher b: October 30, 1836 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Rebecca Fletcher b: March 11, 1839 in Bedford Co., Penn.
John Fletcher b: May 13, 1841 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Samuel Fletcher b: July 19, 1843 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Henry Fletcher b: June 15, 1845 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Franklin Fletcher b: Abt. 1847 in Bedford Co., Penn.
Hiram Fletcher b: Abt. 1851 in Bedford Co., Penn.

In about 1853-54, they sold their property in PA and moved to Sharon Twp., Richland County, Ohio. Jacob and family are listed as living in Sharon Twp., Richland County, Ohio in the 1860-1880 census years. During the period of 1856 to the start of the Civil War, Jacob and the younger sons were area farmers.
David was listed in the 1860 census as a carpenter and living at home on the family farm.

The start of the Civil War changed this family dramatically.  Sons: David, John, Samuel, William, and Henry, all enlisted in the Union cause.

David enlisted in Co. I., 15th Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf.
John joined Co. B., 121st Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf.
Samuel enlisted as a pvt. in Co. D., 15th Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf.
William joined Co. H., 64th Regt., Ohio Vol. Inf.
Henry served as a pvt. in 84th Ohio Vol. Inf. for 3 months, then
reenlisted in Co. I. 15th Ohio Vol. Inf and served until the end of the war.

A 6th son enlisted on the confederate side. (Not yet determined, but probably Charles Baltzer)

William got sick at Chattanooga, Tenn, was discharged to return home, where he died after only two days.

Samuel enlisted, April 17, 1861 in Shelby, just slightly before his 18th birthday. His first enlistment lasted 3 months, and he was discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio after spending his 3 months primarily in W.VA. and Maryland. He reenlisted and was sent to Camp Dennison, Ohio. During the following years, Samuel saw action in the battles at: Shiloh, Chattanooga, Liberty Gap, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, Peachtree Creek, and the siege of Atlanta. Samuel was discharged at Chattanooga, Tenn,
Sept. 17, 1864, after 3 yrs., 4 mos., and 21 days of active service.

Henry enlisted as a pvt. in the 84th Regt. Ohio Vols., and served 3 months. He returned home for about a year and then reenlisted in Co. I., 15th Ohio Vol. Inf. He was in the battles of: Chattanoga, Mission Ridge, and Nashvile. He was discharged at the end of the war, at San Antonio, Texas.
After their service, four sons returned to Sharon Twp. to start their families.

David Fletcher married Nancy Hawk (born about 1845) on October 01, 1868.

On November 22, 1866, Samuel Fletcher married Catherine E. Laser
(born May 05, 1843) daughter of Samuel & Catherine Henry/Laser.

Henry Fletcher married Elizabeth S. Hershiser (born June 02, 1846) on
September 03, 1868.

Charles Baltzer Fletcher appears to have been married c. 1862. He married Margaret ?
and their first child Louisa was born December, 1862. Their other child Katherine “Katie”
was born c. 1868. Both children were born in Ohio. In 1870 Charles Fletcher and family
were living in St. Louis, Mo. and Charles was 2nd mate on a steam boat.

Submitted by Tom Clabaugh

David Crall

David Crall was born in Dauphin County, PA in Nov. 25, 1821. David was a son of
Henry (born abt 1779) and Elizabeth Henshaw / Crall. David was the youngest of
six children:

Simon
John
Elizabeth
Susannah
Henry II
David

David worked on the family farm until he was about 22 years of age. In 1844,
David and his oldest brother Simon, came to Ohio on horseback and purchased
about 230 acres of land in Sharon Township, Section 19. He returned to PA and
stayed for about a year before returning in 1845, to “improve” his land. On
April 12, 1846, in Richland County, David married Mariah “Mary” Stentz
(or Stein) born March, 1825. David and Mary had nine children:

Elizabeth
John
Sophronia
William Rhinehart
Susan
Mary Sophia
Emily Alice
Henry Nelson
Anna Eliza

David and Mary also owned land in Section 24, Sharon Twp. Their land was a large
part of that which became the center of Junction City (and later Vernon Junction), founded in 1872.

Submitted by Iris Crall.