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(John Ludlow Portrait)
(Elimina (Getman) Ludlow Portrait)
IT is the dictate of our nature no less than that of enlightened social policy to honor the illustrious dead; to bedew with affectionate tears the silent urn of departed genius and virtue to unburden the fullness of the surcharged heart in eulogium upon deceased benefactors, and to rehearse their noble deeds for the benefit of those who come after us. It has been the commendable custom of all ages and nations. Hence, the following tribute to one of nature's noblemen. Of comparatively humble origin, he nevertheless belonged to the highest nobility of the race. No accident made his career, no opportunity offered itself to him.. He made his opportunity; he achieved every step of his career, often in the face of obstacles that would have overwhelmed souls of less sterling mettle. The basic principle by which he strove and conquered was loyalty; when he recognized a duty, the service gave him joy, a joy that was second only to the consciousness of work well done. He was universally recognized as a splendid citizen, one of Springfield's leading men of affairs, progressive in all that the term implies; a man of lofty character, sturdy integrity and unswerving honesty. During the pioneer period, he shared fully the trials and difficulties known to the early settlers of a new country. He was one of the sturdy figures upon which the burdens of the community fell, and he bore his part in the general upbuilding of the same manfully and well, and the record of those days is one of tireless and unselfish devotion. Truly the good he did lives after him.
John Ludlow was born at a point just west of Springfield, Ohio, on December 10, 1810, and was the son of Cooper and Elizabeth (Reeder) Ludlow. He was also a grand nephew of Israel Ludlow, one of the founders of Cincinnati, and a grandson of John Ludlow, who was the first sheriff of Hamilton County, Ohio. The subject was reared under the parental roof and secured his education in the log schoolhouse of that period. Upon attaining mature years he decided to pursue the vocation of a druggist, and to that end commenced a course of training with Moses M. Hinkle, completing it with Goodwin & Ashton, at Cincinnati. He then engaged with Dr. W. A. Needham of Springfield, eventually becoming his successor, after being associated for a period, successively, with Cyrus A. Ward and joseph Wheldon. Mr. Ludlow continued in the drug business at the same stand for the long period of thirty years, during which time he gained an enviable reputation as a man of high business principles and the strictest integrity.
Aside from his main business interest, Mr. Ludlow was also interested in other enterprises in the community. He was a stock-holder in the Springfield bank, and in 1854, he was elected president of that institution, a position which he continued to fill with ability and satisfaction until his death. He was one of the promoters of the movement which established beautiful Ferncliff cemetery and was president of the association from the date of its organization, September 4, 1863, until the time of his death.
At the time of his death, the Springfield Republic, said of him: "Mr. Ludlow had his head and heart and hands in all movements, social, economical or political, designed to promote the public good. He was the model citizen, broad, liberal, generous, true-hearted, self-sacrificing. The act which caused his death, indirectly, was characteristic; it was done by way of administering gratuitous relief. As he lived, so he died; thoughtful in the behalf on others; solicitous for the welfare and prosperity of his fellows. There are few like him; in all respects, none! A blow has fallen not alone upon relatives, but on a whole community."
Politically, Mr. Ludlow was first a Whig, but was staunchly aligned with the Republican party from the time of its birth. But over forty-two years he was a faithful, devoted and zealous member of Christ Episcopal Church, to which he contributed liberally, and he was for fourteen years treasurer of the Clark County Bible Society.
On the thirty-first of August, 1835, Mr. Ludlow was married to Elimina Getman, in Herkimer County, New York, a union which resulted in the birth of three children; namely, Ellen, who became the wife of Governor Asa S. Bushnell; Frederick, who was engaged in business in Napa, California, and Charles, who succeeded his father in the drug business in Springfield.
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