My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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EPHRAIM NEWTON TIBBETTS, a prominent and well-to-do citizen of Springfield, has, by his far-seeing enterprise, shrewd judgment and business tact, been an important factor in promoting the growth of this city, and has thus materially advanced its prosperity. He has an extensive acquaintance here and elsewhere, and his name is honored in financial and social circles throughout the county. He and his family are people of high standing in this community, and their cosy, attractive home is the seat of a generous and abounding hospitality, often shared by friend or stranger.

Mr. Tibbetts was born in the town of Madison, Carroll County, N. H., April 28, 1818. His father, Ephraim Tibbetts, was born near Portland, Me., and was a son of Samuel Tibbetts, a native of the same locality. The grandfather was a Revolutionary hero, and did faithful service under Washington during the seven years in which the Colonists fought for independence. He was a skillful mill-wright, and was successful in making money, a part of which he invested in lands near Portland. He finally sold his property there at an advanced price, and moving to New Hampshire located in that part of Stratford County now included in Carroll County, of which he was a pioneer. His object in going there was to secure more land than he had in Maine, that he might settle each of his sons on a farm. His land was located in Madison, and he devoted his time to its improvement, and resided there until his busy life was brought to a close by his death at a ripe old age. His wife, whose maiden name was Haines, died in Maine.

The father of our subject was reared and married in his native State, and subsequently accompanied his father and brothers in their removal to New Hampshire. He located in the town of Madison, and on his fine farm there successfully engaged in farming and stock-raising till death closed his mortal career. The maiden name of his wife was Dorcas Holmes; she was born near Limerick, Me., and died on the home farm in Madison. Her father, Samuel Holmes, was a native of the same place, and served under Washington in the same regiment with the paternal grandparent of our subject, doing gallant work in the cause of freedom. He spent his last years in his native State. Our subject was one of ten children, eight sons and two daughters, all of whom were reared to maturity, with the exception of two sons who died in infancy.

The son of whom we write passed the early years of his life on the paternal homestead, the place of his birth. He was a lad of an ambitious, adventurous spirit, well-endowed with independence, self-reliance and capability, and at the youthful age of fourteen years he took the ordering of his life in his own hands, and borrowing five dollars, started out into the world to begin an independent existence, with all his earthly possessions tied in a cotton handkerchief. He walked to Portland, fifty miles distant, and then boarded a steamer bound for Boston, and at sunrise the next morning stood on a wharf in that city, and before night had secured a situation with a painter, who took him into his family and gave him his board and sixteen dollars a month for wages.

Our subject was employed in house painting and paper hanging, etc., and remained in Boston three years. We next hear of him in Cincinnati, he having traveled thither rail to Providence, thence by steamer to New York, where a sharper sold him a ticket to Pittsburg to go by canal and rail. He was to have his board and the contract was kept with him to furnish his meals as far as Columbia, Pa., and from there he was made to pay for his board during the three weeks’ journey on a canal boat to Pittsburg. In that city he engaged passage on a keel boat, and while they were voyaging down the Ohio, the water became so low that at Wheeling he had to assist in pulling the boat along over the shallow places, and from there to the end of the journey the captain gave him $1 a day and his board for his services. He landed in Cincinnati in September with a few dollars in his pocket, and spent his first night in the Galt House. He soon found temporary employment in the city, but work being scarce there, he soon had to seek it elsewhere, and for the ensuing four years though he made his home in Cincinnati, he was working in various other places the most of the time.

Mr. Tibbetts then ventured into business on his own account in Cincinnati, and was prospered in his undertaking. In 1866 he came to Springfield to take up his residence in this city, and bought seven acres of land, later investing in other real-estate until he had forty seven acres of valuable land included within the city. When he purchased it there was but one house on the entire tract, and he utilized his land for agricultural purposes until it became worth more as building property, the city having grown in this direction quite rapidly. With shrewd and characteristic enterprise he laid out an addition to the city, and offered such liberal inducements to home seekers that he soon disposed of the lots at a good advantage. He has since platted two other additions to the city, extending from Clifton to Reed Streets and from Pearl to Taylor Streets, and there are now two hundred and ten houses in these additions.

Mr. Tibbetts has been twice married. He was first wedded in 1843 to Miss Elizabeth Timberman, a most estimable lady, a native of New Jersey, born near Philadelphia, and a daughter of Christopher Timberman. Mrs. Tibbetts died in 1853, leaving a daughter, Addie, now the wife of Joseph Wheldon. The marriage of our subject to his present wife was solemnized August 28, 1855. Mrs. Tibbetts maiden name was Abbie Tibbetts, and she was a native of Brownfield, Me. Her father was also a native of the Pine Tree State, and was there reared and married, Miss Hannah Decker, of English birth and antecedents becoming his wife. Her father, John Decker, emigrated with his family from his native England to this country and settled in Standish, Me., where the rest of his life was passed. Mrs. Tibbett’s father learned the trade of a shoemaker when young, and carried it on in the winter, and during the remainder of the year engaged in farming, and spent his closing years in Brownfield. Mrs. Tibbett’s mother was three years old when her parents brought her to America, and the rest of her life was passed in Maine, her death occurring on the home farm in Brownfield. The following is recorded of the five children born to our subject and his wife: Ida Belle is the wife of John F. Meals; Cassius C. married Florence Meals; Carrie May is the wife of Dr. J. P. Dugan; Minnie W. and Bertha, the two youngest children, are at home.

Mr. Tibbetts is a genial, whole-souled, high principled man, whose big kindly heart has bound to him many friends, and he is a general favorite, exerting a good influence upon all with whom he comes in contact. His public spirit is well known, and one who has done so much as he for the upbuilding of the city is justly regarded as its benefactor. He is just and honorable in his business dealings, always doing the right thing, and has the entire confidence of his fellow-citizens. We cannot close this brief sketch of the husband without paying a passing tribute to the wife who has been so much to him. She is a true helpmate, and has aided him to make life a success, and, indeed, as has been said of another, fills the perfect measure of wife, mother, and friend, and shares with him the regard of their neighbors. Both have a broad outlook on life, and have earnest and liberal religious views, which find expression in the Universalist faith, of which they are firm believers. In politics Mr. Tibbetts is a stanch Republican. A portrait* of Mr. Tibbetts may be found on another page.

*A portrait was included in the original printed volume.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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