May 16, 2011

Richard Johnson Ordway, Great-great Grandfather

I never knew the names of my great-great Ordway grandparents until I started to research the family.  Oh, how I wish I had a picture of them to display here, but in all my research, I have never found any. 
My great-grandfather, Henry Lemuel Ordway’s parents were Richard Johnson Ordway and Sarah Jane Hill Ordway.  Richard was born in Elk Township, Warren County, Pennsylvania, very close to the boundary with New York on 15 November 1839.  By 1850, his family had moved to Brighton, a town in Lorain County, Ohio. 
Finding the family in the 1850 census proved difficult, but after a page by page look at Lorain County, I discovered the ORDERWAY family.  Richard, 12, and his parents, Harrison and Philina, were there and five other siblings were named.  Malissa, who was 3 was the first born in Ohio, and brother Benjamin , 7, was born in Pennsylvania.  So, doing the math, the family moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio sometime between 1843 and 1847.  (More on his parents in another post.)

Richard and Sarah Jane Hill were married on 6 June 1858, according to the records of Henry County, Ohio.
Another challenge was finding Richard and Sarah in the 1860 census!  This time, after a tedious page by page search, they were found in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio.  The census taker had creatively spelled the name PRIDAWAY.  Richard, a farmer born in Penn., lived with his wife, Sarah, and their one year old daughter, Almina (Almedia.)  The family had no real estate and only $75 in personal goods other words, they were dirt poor.  Sarah could not read or write.

In June 1863, Richard was chosen for the Civil War draft.  He was 25 years old and married, of course, still living in Monroe Township.  The Enrollment Act of 1863 which legalized the draft was a very controversial law.  Many men had already volunteered for the cause, but now when quotas from states weren’t filled, the draft would be used.  Richard was a Class I draftee, which included men between the ages of 20 and 35. When the draft was held, the men’s names were put into a wheel and then a blindfolded person or a blind person would draw a name, hand it to an official to read, and then a clerk would write the name and pertinent information in a book.   I can find no evidence that Richard was ever called up or volunteered to serve, as his brother did.  He may have paid the $300 commutation fee or he could have procured a substitute to serve for him...and maybe his brother, Thomas, was his substitute.  I have no record at this point to determine that.

Sorry this image is so small.  Richard's name is the third one from the top.

 Richard lived in Monroe Township, Henry County, Ohio until his dying day.  In 1870, he was 31 and farming with real estate valued at $800 and a personal goods value of $200. Sarah, who was 30, had three children by this time: Almedia, 11; Elizabeth, 9; and Mary, 4.
By 1880, the family had expanded to also include Abba (Abigail), 9; Bertie (Albert), 6; and Henry (Lemuel), 3.  Edward Murphy, 24, was staying at the residence, too, as a servant or farm laborer. 
We have to skip ahead to the 1900 census of June 22nd to find Richard, born November 1839, 60 years old and married for 44 years, now owning his farm.  His wife, Sarah, born March 1841, 58 years old, had borne nine children and eight were living.  Two sons were at home: Chester, born October 1880, was 19, and Benjamin J, born April 1883, was  17.  Little did they know that they would lose Chester later that year in a tragic way.  (Stay tuned.)

My great-great grandfather, Richard Johnson Ordway, died 6 June 1905.
His obituary:
“ORDWAY: - Richard Johnson Ordway was born in Pennsylvania, November 15th, 1839, and died at Malinta, O., June 6th, 1905, aged 65 years, 6 months and 21 days.
When but a child, he came with his parents to Lorain county, O., later they came to Henry county when the subject of this notice was about 19 years of age.
In Sept. 1858, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Jane Hill of Monroe township.
The ceremonial words, which joined the young people for life were spoken by the bride’s father, a pioneer minister of the gospel.
Three sons and four daughters out of a family of nine children survive their father.
These, with their devoted mother, the wife of his youth, and his life long companion, together with twenty-six grand children, one great grand child, two brothers and one sister remain to mourn this great earthly loss to them.
but the sadness at his departure is not limited to the comparative few, for his was a grand and noble life.  To know him was to love and respect him, and hence sorrow is as dep and wide as his acquaintance are many.
Born and reared by Methodist parents, he was a faithful student of the doctrines of that denomination.  Later, under the preaching of G. W. Hill, late of Bowling Green, Ohio, he understood the way of the Lord more perfectly and at the age of 25 years, he obeyed the Gospel.  He became a member of the congregation of disciples worshipping at what was known as the Bigford school house.  Later he was one of the chief factors in organizing the Church of Christ of Malinta.  He was one of the elders of the church.  His christian life was consistent, beautiful and altogether Christ like. His brethern keenly feel their great loss, but they sorrow not as those who have hope only for this world, for it is written, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yes, Saith the Spirit that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.”
The funeral services were conducted by Chas R. Oakly of Wauseon, were held at Malinta, Friday, June 9th, 1905.  Interment in Hoy Cemetery in Harrison township.”

Richard was buried with Chester, his son.

His will was probated in Henry County and provided for the following:
-          that “the sum of one hundred dollars be paid to the Church of Christ at Malinta, Ohio, to be loaned by the Elders thereof and the interest thereon to be used by the Church as the Church may deem proper as long as the Church at Malinta, Ohio remains one organization: in case the said Church ceases to be an organization then my will is that said one hundred dollars shall revert at once to my lawful heirs.”
-          that “my beloved wife, Sarah J. Ordway, (have) the absolute use and entire control of the residue of my estate…during her natural life.”
-          “It is my will further that upon the death of my said wife, Sarah J. Ordway, and after the funeral and other necessary expenses have been paid, my estate shall pass to and visit in my three sons and four daughters as hereinafter directed to wit:
Lot No. Forty Three in John Bensing’s First Addition to the Village of Malinta, Henry County, Ohio, to my son Benjamin F. Ordway: the residue of my estate to pass to and vest in my sons Elbert O. Ordway and Lemuel Ordway, provided that said Elbert O. Ordway and Lemuel Ordway shall pay to each of daughters the following sums of money, to wit –
To Mrs. Almeda Combs, Three Hundred dollars
To Mrs. Elizabeth Jackson, Three Hundred dollars
To Mrs. Mary Smothers, Three Hundred dollars
To Mrs. Hattie Abigail Berno, Three Hundred dollars
to be paid as follows:  One Hundred dollars to each of my said daughters one year from the death of my said wife, Sarah J. Ordway, and One Hundred dollars to each of said daughters each consecutive year thereafter until the entire sum of Three Hundred dollars shall be paid to each of them without interest.

I hereby appoint and constitute Elbert O. Ordway executor of this my last will and testament.”

The will was signed 19 December 1904.

He asked for no inventory or appraisal of his estate and none was in this packet.  I couldn’t find a will for Sarah in Henry County.  Maybe she thought her husband had pretty well indicated how things were going to happen, so she wouldn’t need anything else.  The obituary indicated that Sarah’s father was a minister – a good clue.  I have just started to research Sarah's family.  Her father may have been Michael Hill, but I can't say for sure yet.  HILL was a fairly common name in Henry County at the time.
Sarah is buried near her husband in Hoy Cemetery.

1 comment:

  1. It's AMAZING what details you uncover, Dianne! I wonder if our great-great grandparents from Pennsylvania ever may have known each other or traveled together. Can you imagine 26 grandchildren?!