Background, page design, and transcription format 2003 - 2009 Leona L. Gustafson


Return to Main Page

SOLOMON JACKSON WOOLLEY.
Six unnumbered pages between 416-417

S. J. Woolley & Mrs. S. J. Woolley
Residence & Tile Works

This gentleman, in some respects, one of the most remarkable characters in Franklin county, is a native of the Buckeye State, born near Zanesville, Muskingum county, on the twelfth day of January, 1828, the first son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Askins) Woolley, poor but very worthy people, to whom our hero owes many of his traits and much excellent early training. Mr. Woolley describes his mother as "not a educated woman, but a woman of remarkable natural abilities." On her father's side, she was of Holland descent, and her ancestors, including her father and grandfather, had been people of considerable substance in Amsterdam, where they carried on a large manufactory of silks, linens, etc. Jacob Askins, her father, during a commercial voyage to England, some time in the last century, was overtaken by a terrible storm, which so disabled the vessel upon which he was a passenger that she drifted for several months at the mercy of the winds and waves, and was finally driven across the Atlantic, and cast a wreck upon the shores of Virginia, nearly all originally on board having perished. Mr. Askins, then still a young man, was among the survivors, but was deterred by his dreadful experiences from again venturing upon the sea, and decided to settle in the new world, to which he had so strangely emigrated. He settled in Loudoun county in the Old Dominion, married a Miss Shafer, and after some years, removed to Washington, Guernsey county, Ohio, where he reared his family, including Elizabeth, who was the mother of S. J. Woolley. Mr. Woolley's ancestors on the father's side were English, but emigrated from the mother country long before the Revolutionary war, and were among the first settlers of New Jersey. Jacob Woolley, his grandfather, removed to Athens county, Ohio, when that part of the State was almost an unbroken wilderness, and settled upon what is now called Jonathan's creek. His son Isaac, father of the subject of this sketch, was bred a stone-cutter, and afterwards spent most of his time away from the paternal home, working at his trade. After his first marriage, which was to a Miss Stokely, of Muskingum county, he settled on a place of his own near Zanesville, from which he removed, when Solomon was but one year old, to another, three miles from Amesville, in Ames township, Athens county, on a branch of Federal creek, where most of his family were reared. By this marriage he had several sons, half-brothers of Solomon, who, in after years, generously remembered them, as will be presently and more fully recorded. Their mother died while they were young, and Mr. Woolley, in the year 1827, to Miss Elizabeth Askins to wife. Several years afterwards, he sold the Athens county farm, and purchased another in Star township, Hocking county, where he resided for many years. Solomon was still very young at the time of the removal, but rendered all the assistance he could in the labors of the farm, and in due time, as the half-brothers, one after another, grew to manhood and went away, he took upon himself its chief burdens, as his father was absent a large part of the time, pursuing his vocation of stone-cutter. He found little time or opportunity for schooling, nine months in all, or three terms of about three months each, in the primitive country schools of that day, comprising the whole of his formal education. Until he was fourteen years of age, he had never had an hour's training in school. About that time the people of the neighborhood spontaneously agreed that they ought to have a schoolhouse, and forthwith set about the erection of a rude affair, which was ready for occupancy within a fort-night after the vote to build it was taken. Mr. Woolley thus pleasantly describes this antique structure:

"The architecture of this school-house did not correspond with that of the present day. It was made of round logs, with a clap-board roof, laid on loose, with weight-poles on top, to hod the clap-boards down; the floor was laid with what we called puncheons--a tree split in wide pieces, from two to eight inches thick, and hewn on one side; the chimney was made at one end, of stone, and we gathered up enough newspapers to pasted over the windows, in place of glass; the paper, being oiled, transmitted a very mellow light. Slabs, or boards, were fastened around the walls , for our writing desks, and pins upon the walls to hang our hats and dinners on. Our seats were made of small trees, split in tow, with the split side dressed, and four pins, or legs, underneath, making each of the proper height for a seat."

The schools kept in such buildings in those days, were of the kind, long since passed away in this State, known as "subscription schools." Miss Rebecca Prindle was the first teacher in this school, and so young Woolley's the preceptor, except his mother, from whom he had already received, as he subsequently learned, a valuable instruction at home. The old-fashioned spelling-school was held by her once every week in term-time. In the summer he attended a Sabbath-school nearly four miles from his home. He was even now remarked as different from other young people of his age, preferring to associate with men rather than boys, and poring over his book at noon-time, during recesses, and in spare hours at home, rather than engage in play as the others did. He learned rapidly within the limited round of studies to which his opportunities confined him, and has since considerably redeemed his early deficiencies by persistent and careful reading, and is now fairly accounted among well-diciplined and well-informed men.

When but sixteen years of age, young Woolley achieved a notable business and industrial triumph. Through bad management his father's finances became involved, and he was compelled to borrow four hundred dollars at ten percent interest, giving a mortgage upon his farm by way of security. A year rolled speedily around, and nothing was realized toward the extinguishment of the debt. It was considered in the neighborhood inevitable that the mortgagee would get the place by foreclosure. At this crisis Solomon came to the rescue, and proposed that while his father should continue at his trade for the support of the family, he would undertake the sole charge of the farm (one hundred and sixty acres) in a vigorous effort to make enough to lift the mortgage. It was agreed to. Within eighteen months the full sum must be raised, and Solomon saw that with the best of management it was only possible to effect it by sowing most of the land to wheat, and that then, with a good harvest and fair price, success was certain. He had not only the entire responsibility to shoulder, but almost the entire labor to do, since his adult half-brothers had now all gone from home, and his younger brothers were too small to be of much service. He buckled fearlessly and stoutly, however, to his task. Beginning his day of labor at four o'clock, he worked three hours until breakfast, and then, with brief intermissions for dinner and supper, he kept on until dark and on moonlight nights until far into the evening. His faithful toil, though it brought him many hours of weariness and somewhat impaired his health, met with its reward. It turned out to be "a good wheat year," and Solomon's crop--"good, well-filled grains, of a superior quality"--was the finest in that region. Wheat, too, was higher than usual, and he sold for a good price. Consequently, when the mortgage fell due, he had the proud satisfaction of releasing it in full, and presenting it to his lately burdened and anxious, but how overjoyed and grateful parents.

His first commercial venture, however--an enterprise which was taken in hand as soon as the troubles and labors induced by the mortgage were well out of the way--was not so fortunate. In the spring of 1845, he discovered an earthly substance upon his father's place, which turned red in course of burning or baking and which, after sundry experiments, he concluded would be an acceptable substitute for Spanish brown or Venetian red. As soon as his big wheat crop was disposed of, he set about the erection of a horse-mill for grinding the stuff, though he had not the slightest experience as a mill-wright, and in his effort incurred the risk of unlimited ridicule from his neighbors. It was finished in about six months, and did run successfully, notwithstanding the unfavorable prophecies of his friends. He prepared about twelve hundred pounds of the new "Spanish brown," and soon afterwards started with it on his first visit to a large city. Taking a steamer at Pomeroy, he went to Cincinnati, and there made diligent and persistent attempts to sell the novel product. The real article of commerce, however, was bringing but a small price, and all the dealers were fully stocked with it, so that he did not succeed in effecting a single sale, and finally left the whole for sale on commission with the firm of Springman & Son, from whom he does not appear ever to have received a single remittance on its account. His first independent enterprise was thus a flat failure. Young Woolley made no complaint, but returned quietly to his rural home, where he remained, the last of his regular residence beneath the old roof-tree, during the winter of 1845-6.

The next spring, at his own solicitation, he went to Chauncey to learn the trade of cabinet-making, but left it shortly for the purpose of enlisting among the volunteers in the Mexican war. Visiting home, however, before enlistment, he there met with so much opposition that he changed his plans, and went to work for two months with Mr. H. Kanode at Logan, Hocking county. He then served Mr. Alvin Finney, as a laborer for a month, when he went to Chillicothe, and obtained employment in a slaughter-house for a short time. He had now got about twenty dollars ahead, and determined to embark in book-agency. Arranging with a Hartford (Connecticut) firm, the publishers of a "History of the United States," for a supply of books, he went to Cincinnati to procure the first lot shipped to him, and returning to Pomeroy, at once began his journey from house to house, in the effort to sell his wares. It was disheartening work at first, and several days elapsed before a single sale was made. Meanwhile he had revisited home, and in the neighborhood by giving adequate security--for such was the general want of confidence in his success as a book-canvasser, notwithstanding his financial victory on the farm the year before, that he could get nothing "on time" without giving security--he purchased, on credit, a cheap old horse and the wood-works of a buggy, which he rigged up for his business, and started out again. He soon began to make sales, and rapidly reaped a tolerable harvest, selling over one hundred and fifty books in a comparatively short time. He remained at this work until the fall of 1848, traversing parts of Ohio and Virginia, and then intended to launch out more extensively into the business, but was forestalled by a Columbus firm, which secured the general agency for his book for all the western country, and effectually shut him out of the canvass.

Mr. Wolley now retired, temporarily, from the book business, but in no way discouraged by his various, reverses and checks, he determined to make a bold push for the great metropolis of the country, the city of New York, to see what opportunities it had to offer in the way of business. At Kingston in Ross county, he engaged to accompany a party going with a drove of horses to that city, taking his own horse with the lot. They started about the first of March, 1849. It proved a singularly interesting and eventful journey to the youthful adventurer. He records, with enthusiastic delight, his observations of scenery, especially in the region traversed by the Alleghenies, of the towns and farming country passed through on their slow journey to the seaboard, which was reached in about six weeks. After staying at Chatham near New York, ten days, to put the horses in suitable order for market, they were sold, and among them the horse owned by young Woolley, for which he realized seventy-five dollars. He did not engage in any employment in the city, but, after investing most of his means in a lot of brass clocks and some more books, the former of which he had shipped to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the books to Logan, Ohio, he embarked on the river Hudson for Albany. On the way thither, late at night, the "Empire," the steamboat on which he had taken passage, came in collision with a schooner heavily loaded with lumber, in Newburg bay, and sank with considerable loss of life.1  Mr. Woolley had not yet retired at the time of the collision, and with some difficulty made his escape to the schooner, losing all his clothing, except what he had on, but thankful to escape with life, especially when compelled to view the heart-rending scene of terror, panic, and drowning that speedily succeeded upon and near the "Empire." Albany was reached in safety upon another steamer the next morning, where cars were taken for Buffalo, and there he took passage on the steamer "Baltic" for Cleveland, en-route home. Upon this vessel he was destined to meet with another thrilling adventure. When about twelve miles out, the "Baltic" collided with a propeller, which did considerable damage, and led the captain of the former to return to Buffalo. An inspection of the injury, the next morning, however, resulted in a decision that the vessel might safely proceed on her voyage. She again put to sea, and Cleveland was reached without further incident. Mr. Woolley proceeded thence homeward by stage, receiving generous aid and hospitality, after his money was exhausted, from Judge Robison and other friends at Wooster.

After resting a few days at home, Mr. Woolley started for Fort Wayne, to sell his clocks. It was now the middle of August; the wheat crop of the year had failed and the cholera had broken out in many places. It was, apparently, a very unfavorable season for such operations as his; and the clock peddlars [sic.], with which the neighborhood of Fort Wayne was then overrun, had already made an unlucky and discouraging canvass of the whole region. But the young speculator was not daunted, and, setting vigorously and intelligently to work, his clocks and books were soon all disposed of, in and about the the localities to which they had respectively been consigned. Returning in November, he was able to make an investment in land to the amount of one hundred acres, in the same township where his family resided. He realized at least one thousand dollars from this one operation. He afterwards made a present of eighty acres from it to Isaac Casey, his half-brother.

He now, in the latter part of 1849, at the instance of a friend, Dr. T. P. Jackson, turned his attention to the then comparatively new business of taking portraits by the daguerreotype process. Early in the next year, with an apparatus and stock, purchased in Cincinnati, and only four days' instruction, received from Mr. V. L. Richardson, a Zanesville artist, at an expense of as many dollars, he embarked in this business, to which much of his future life was faithfully and successfully devoted. His beginnings were very small, however. At New Plymouth, his first point, he took no pictures for a week, but had more encouragement the second week, and then moved on to McArthurstown, where he seems to have become disheartened at his poor success, both in getting orders and in managing his chemicals so as to take good portraits, and sold his apparatus to one G. W. Pitcher. A siege with the chills and fever followed, which lasted about three months. Procuring a larger apparatus than before, Mr. Woolley started out again, and operated, with varying success, at Logan and Amesville, where he again sold out. Purchasing another outfit in Cincinnati, he took it to Virginia (that part of it now West Virginia), where he visited Parkersburgh, Harrisville, Point Pleasant, Buffalo, Ripley, making some progress, but not yet doing very well. It was now January, 1857, and most of this year was spent in another Ohio tour. The next year he took his apparatus and stock down the Ohio river, landed at Henderson, Kentucky, and remained there and at other points in that State for several months. At Madisonville, the county seat of Hopkins, county, he saw, for the fist time, a slave sold, a young negro girl being struck off at auction by the sheriff. Another place of interest visited was Russellville, the birthplace of the notorious forger, Monroe Edwards2. From Kentucky, Mr. Woolley pushed into Tennessee, visiting Nashville, Franklin, Lebanon, Gallatin, and Memphis. At the latter place he took passage on the steamer "Charleston," for New Orleans, where he embarked upon a gulf steamer for Franklin in the Attakapas country. In this place he stayed but nine days, returning to New Orleans by way of the Bayou Plaquemine, and thence going to Bayou Sara, where, and at St. Francisville, Morganza, and other places in Northern Louisiana, he operated successfully during the early part of 1853. On the sixteenth of April, at Springville, Louisiana, he was initiated into the mysteries of the Sons of Temperance. He returned to New Orleans the latter part of the month, and there reembarked for Cincinnati, and the dear old home in Hocking county. A few weeks were passed pleasantly here, and, on Independence day, 1853, he started for New York, to revisit that city and see the World's fair, then being held at the well-remembered Crystal Palace, in the upper part of the city. During this visit he purchased a new instrument for daguerreotyping, and several hundred dollar's worth of stock, and returned, as from his former eastern trip, by way of Albany, Buffalo and Cleveland, but without the perils of the trip of four years previous. He set up his new apparatus at home, and took a large number of portraits, and also operated with much success at Athens and Pomeroy. At the latter place he dropped daguerreotyping for at time, and entered upon a new and bold undertaking. Purchasing a flatboat and its load of sash for one thousand and forty-one dollars, he embarked with it, in person, down the river, having, also, two families, a small party of emigrants, on board. Dropping slowly down the Ohio and Mississippi, at times leaving the frail and uncomfortable vessel and going on to some important point in a steamer, he arrived, with his animate and inanimate cargo, after many adventures and dangers, and a thoroughly disagreeable voyage in general, at Memphis. He found that he could sell none of his sash here at a profit, but, nevertheless, disposed of a small amount at this place, and, presently, of a much larger quantity in Vicksburgh. At the latter point he sold the flatboat to the heads of the families on board.

His total loss by this venture was about eight hundred dollars, but he considered it a decided advantage to him in the long run. From Vicksburgh, he went to Bayou Sara again, to begin another tour of business as a daguerrean artist. He operated in a number of towns in this region, and on the twenty-fourth of June reached his first point in Texas, at the pleasant town of Marshall. He remained here over a month, and thence proceeded to what eventually became an extensive tour of the State, which he found remarkably profitable, and by which he far more than redeemed his recent losses. At Jefferson he sold his apparatus to a Mrs. Hargrave, and then traveled, by stage, to Shreveport, where he awaited the arrival of another instrument from New York. Re-entering Texas, he made another tour of travel and business in the State during 1855 and a part of 1856, visiting a large number of important towns, and everywhere observing men and things with his characteristic shrewdness and care. About the middle of the latter year, he returned to his father's home, now removed to a farm, fifteen miles northwest of Columbus. In August, his health having been impaired by his long and arduous labors in a southern climate, he went to New York city, to reside for a time at Dr. taylor's water-cure establishment, where he soon reaped decided benefit. He had now accumulated about seven thousand dollars as the gains of honest industry; but aspiring to still higher rank in the profession, he took the opportunity of his short residence in New York city to learn the art of taking portraits on paper and glass, with the then celebrated firm of Meade Brothers. Upon his return, he opened a photograph gallery in Columbus, and continued in business there for several months. In October, 1857, he lost, by consumption his own and only brother, to whom he was very attached. The next month he bought a tract of seven hundred acres of land in Brown township, Franklin county, about three miles from the present Hilliard's station, on the Columbus, Cincinnati & Indiana Central railway, the same which he has since developed into the beautiful and very valuable "Appledale farm." During this year he took another professional tour through Ohio, and made a second visit to Kentucky, during which, at the State fair, in Henderson, his photographic work was honored with the first premium offered by the society. In December, he revisited Louisiana, and operated there, and in Texas, until the last of June, 1858, when he returned to Columbus, and spent some time and money in improving his new place near Hilliard's. In November, he again went south, and at Pattersonville, Louisiana, formed a partnership with a Dr. Cissna, and with him built a floating gallery, for business along the rivers and lakes of that region. This arrangement was dissolved the next June, and Mr. Woolley spent the rest of the summer in Ohio, occupying a part of it with the erection of a handsome marble monument over the remains of his brother. In the fall of this year (1839), he made more ample preparations for business, by the engagement of Mr. Asa Bushby, a landscape and portrait painter of some note, to travel with him, color pictures, and perform such other duties as his special talents and training fitted him for. With him another and final southern trip was projected, and the pair arrived at Alexandria, Louisiana, on the twenty-sixth of December, where they remained two months, and afterwards visited one or two points in Texas, when Mr. Bushby, disgusted with southern experiences, although they paid well, withdrew and returned to his home in Massachusetts. Mr. Woolley continued the tour in the Lone Star State, with greater success than ever, making in a single month, at Bonham, for example, nearly six hundred dollars net profit. This trip kept him away from home for many months, being the longest absence he had had; and he did not come north until after the great drama of the Rebellion had opened, when he took passage on the "Grey Eagle," the last boat whish was allowed by the rebels to leave New Orleans for the north, and reached Columbus in safety, about the first of June. By this one trip, extending over something less than two years, he had netted about five thousand dollars.

His traveling business, now for a time over, Mr. Woolley settled down to the improvement of his large tract in Franklin county. It had originally been exceedingly swampy and rough--apparently about the most hopeless piece of landed property in that part of the country; and the neighbors scouted [doubted?] the idea of his being able to make any thing of it. They expected to see him "pour money down a rat hole," and prophesied that he would sink is entire fortune amid its bogs. He set resolutely to work, however, clearing, draining, planting an orchard, etc., until, by successive improvements from year to year, he has made this once forbidding tract one of the most productive and valuable farming properties in Ohio. Early realizing that an immense amount of drainage must be done, he purchased and set up a tile-mill on his own premises, which has been sufficient to equip fifteen or sixteen miles of tile-drain on his farm, as well as to fill numerous orders for his neighbors. His success in the reclamation of this unpromising purchase (made from Mr. M. I. Sullivant, the great Illinois farmer, at fifteen dollars per acre), is one of the most noteworthy features of his career, and has, of itself, sufficed to make his name known far and wide.

In 1862 Mr. Woolley determined to do something of his old work inside the army lines. Proceeding to Fayettesville, Virginia, he opened a gallery in such rooms as were to be had. The provost marshal here at this time was Col. R. B. Hayes, now president of the United States, from whom Mr. Woolley received sundry favors. Driven form house, to house, however by the necessities of military occupation, he was finally forced to fit up a cow shed for his artistic operations. He remained here through the winter and most of the spring, leaving on the fiftee[n]th of May for home. He now had his aged and infirm parents removed to his own farm, near Hilliard's, where they died in due course of nature, and were remembered by their son, by way of external honor, in the erection of a noble monument, of Scotch grey stone, standing sixteen feet high, and built at the cost of eight hundred dollars. He afterwards operated inside the army lines, at Corinth, Mississippi, having now a photographic tent of his own, one hundred and twenty-five feet in size, the largest of the kind then used anywhere with the army. He was here during the battle of Corinth, October 3, 1862, in which he lost a nephew, killed in the ranks, whose remains he had decently buried in the cemetery at that place. His health was very poor while here, and he was unable to work more that half the time; yet, by careful superintendence of four picture-rooms which he had established in and about Corinth, he cleared over three thousand dollars in this one venture. In 1863 he operated at Memphis and other points; but was compelled, by the state of his health, to spend part of this and several after years at the water-cure, in New York city, before mentioned. While on his way to Little Rock, Arkansas, in the fall of the year, he had a narrow escape from capture by the rebels--a large steamer, in full sight of that upon which he was, being taken and destroyed by them. At this place he remained until May, 1864, and cleared four thousand dollars. During the following summer, at the request of his fellow-townsmen and on the commission of the governor, he undertook to raise men to fill the quota of Brown township. He visited many points in Tennessee and Alabama for this purpose; but the field had been too persistently and diligently gleaned, and he returned without success, but generously bearing all his own expenses, and returning every penny of the three thousand seven hundred dollars raised in the township for the procurement of recruits.

His career in the portrait business was now ended, as he supposed, and he was to give thenceforth his entire time and attention to the development of his home property. In the fall of 1867, however, his health compelled him to go to Dr.Trall's water-cure, at St. Anthony, Minnesota, to spend the winter. He took his photographic apparatus along and opened a room in that place, where it was destroyed by fire shortly afte[r]wards. Much sympathy was expressed for him at Dr. Trall's, and offers of pecuniary aid were made, which he, of course, declined, and returned to his home the March following. His life since has been comparatively uneventful. Although an ardent and unswerving Republican since the birth of the party he has declined to go actively into politics, and has invariably refused office, although frequently tendered him, except once, when he accepted a petty township office rather that pay the penalty with which he was threatened; and he has also filled some school offices in his township. He has not spent much time upon secret societies, but was made a Free and Accepted mason in 1857, at Logan, Hocking county; and is the original granger of Franklin county, having been instrumental in securing the organization of the first grange of the Patrons of Husbandry within its borders. In religion he has long been a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and is fairly orthodox in his views, yet an independent thinker, with broad sympathies and liberal tendencies. He is a vegetarian in his dietetic belief, but is by no means rigid or troublesome in the application of his principles, at the home table or elsewhere. His feelings are strongly with any society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. While still a boy, he notes the killing by his shot of one of the deer that abounded in the forest adjoining his early home; but declares that "the poor thing made such a pitiful crying that I could never be induced to shoot at another,"He would not rob or tear up a bird's nest or allow other boys to touch one. Some humane views of his on the subject of killing birds, communicated to the Ohio Farmer a number of years ago, were very kindly received and led to his engagement as regular correspondent of that paper--an arrangement which was maintained with mutual satisfaction for six or seven years. He has also written much, mainly agricultural topics, for the National Agriculturist; the American Patron; the Western Rural, of Chicago; the Dirigo Rural, of Bangor, Maine; the Western Patron, of Findlay, Ohio; the Southern Agriculturist, of Columbia, South Carolina; the Germantown (Pennsylvania) Telegraph; the Ohio State Journal, of Columbus; and the Drainage and Farm Journal, of Indianapolis, Indiana. To the topic largely treated by the last named, as indicated by its title, he has given especial attention; and his writings thereon, growing as they do out of his large practical experience, have especial value. One communication of his, traversing an opinion expressed by the Drainage and Farm Journal, converted the editor of that magazine, and brough[t] it into harmony with Mr. Woolley's views. In 1878, an essay upon drainage, prepared by him, took the prize of twenty-five dollars, offered by the State board of agriculture, for the best paper upon this theme; and it will be found printed in full in the report of the board for that year. His writings, although devoid of rhetorical effect and making no attempt at exhibition of scholarship, have proved thoroughly acceptable and useful to sensible, practical men.

Of late years, Mr. Wooley has given much attention to the growth of Devon cattle and Southdown sheep, from the sale of which he has realized large sums. About the only designation in the way of business which he himself, as indicated by the return-card upon his envelopes, is "Proprietor of the Appledale Herd of Devon Cattle." With his vegetarian proclivities, he would not be likely to neglect fruit-raising; and the orchard which was among his first improvements nearly twenty years ago, with subsequent additions, is now in fine bearing condition, and is a very valuable feature of the property. It comprises about forty acres, mainly set to apples and pears, producing, of the former alone, about four hundred bushels last year.

Mr. Woolley is a quiet, self-contained man, not familiar in his manners, nor easy in the formation of acquaintances; yet he is thoroughly faithful and tenacious in his friendships. His retiring nature is not the result of timidity or lack of nerve, as his long and courageous battle with the fickle Dame Fortune would indicated, as also the following incident: About two years ago, while engaged in cider-making, the end of a forefinger was unluckily smashed. It needing immediate attention, as he thought, and disdaining to await the services of a physician, he had his pocket-knife taken out and opened by a friend, and then coolly and deliberately amputated his finger at the first joint. It healed up without difficulty, "at the first intention," and presents a more sightly appearance than most of the fingers which the doctors amputate.

His practical benevolence to his relatives is also well worth a note. The gift of and eighty-acre farm to a half-brother has already been recorded. To another he presented a farm in Union county, of one hundred acres, worth four thousand dollars; and to a brother-in-law he gave another farm in the same county, of sixty acres, held at three thousand dollars. In the later years of his parents he also voluntarily relinquished a mortgage which he had taken on their farm, to save it from falling into the hands of designing men, and handed the place over to them unincumbered [sic.].

In response to the great desire of his many friends in Ohio and elsewhere, Mr. Woolley is now engaged in writing an autobiography. It is almost finished, and promises to be a volume of great interest, not only to those with whom his own life has come in contact, but to those who desire to see the record of a life devoted to the honest pursuit of life's great ends and works, and all beautiful with generosity, kindness, and truth.

Mr. Woolley was united in the holy bonds of matrimony August 30, 1869, to Miss Fannie Virginia Cromwell, also of Franklin county, by the Rev. Daniel Horlocker, at the residence of the latter, near Groveport. In August and September, 1876, they took a pleasant trip on the Centennial exposition at Philadelphia, visiting on their way Harper's Ferry, Valley FOrge, Mount Vernon, and other interesting historic points. In their pleasant home at "Appledale," enjoying the fruits of their labor, and with the promise of a serene and sunny course and ending of life, we now bid them farewell.


NOTE: Solomon Jackson, his parents, and wife are buried at Big Darby Cemetery, Canann Twp., Madison County.

1 http://www.ulster.net/~hrmm/steamboats/dayton/steam4-47.html
The second steamboat for the Troy Line was Empire, Captain R. B. Macey, built in 1843. The owners feared that travelers would mistake the boat for an Albany liner and the paddle boxes were lettered "Empire of Troy." Empire was then the largest [steam] vessel in the world, 936 tons, 307 feet length, 30 feet beam and 9 feet depth of hold. W. A. Lighthall built the two inclined beam engines, with cylinders 48 inches diameter by 12 feet stroke. Empire was in collision with the schooner Mary Brown in Newburgh Bay, May 18, 1849, when twenty-four lives were lost.

2 http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/EE/fed7.html
EDWARDS, MONROE (ca. 1808-1847). Monroe Edwards, early Texas slave smuggler and forger, son of a once wealthy plantation owner, Moses Edwards, was born in Danville, Kentucky, about 1808. He moved to the Galveston Bay area of Texas about 1825 as a clerk for a prosperous merchant, James Morgan.qv Soon after his arrival, however, he found more lucrative, if less respectable, pursuits. He became involved in smuggling slaves to Brazil from Africa and soon made a profit of $50,000. Through his mistress's husband, a Mexican official, he obtained a large land grant in Brazoria County. He called his property Chenango Plantation (see CHENANGO, TEXAS) and used it as a base for continued slave smuggling to Texas from Cuba. His only claim to favorable historical recognition was his arrest and brief imprisonment, with others, by the Mexican garrison at Anahuac in 1832 (see ANAHUAC DISTURBANCES).

TOP



NOTICE: This electronic page may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any organizations or persons. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must obtain the written consent of the .