Monday, April 20, 2009

Mrs. Ida Gant

On May 31, 1962, the Sandusky Register featured a front page article about Mrs. Ida Gant, who died at the age of 101 in Sandusky. Ida was born into slavery in Oconee County, South Carolina during the time of the Civil War. (The exact date is not known.) She used to tell her children and grandchildren about how the slaves would hide their masters' valuable silver and watches in cabbage heads, so the Yankees would not steal them.

In 1917, after their home was mysteriously burned, Ida and her husband Lucas moved to Sandusky. The only possessions they brought were the clothes on their back. Lucas found work at the Farrell Cheek Foundry, and passed away in 1928.

The Gant family had several children. At the time of her death, Ida had outlived all her children except for one son, Arthur. She was survived by seventeen grandchildren, twenty-three great grandchildren and a great-great grandson. One grandson, London Gant, was an all-star athlete at Sandusky High School. He earned twelve athletic letters, for competing all four years in football, track, and basketball. London Gant was the second African American athlete at the University of Cincinnati. An injury sidelined his football career. London Gant's tombstone is in Block 77 of the North Ridge section of Oakland Cemtery.

Another descendant, Herman Gant, was also an outstanding athlete at Margaretta High School. Herman Gant died at the age of twenty one while serving in South Vietnam.

Ida Gant's descendants attended schools in Erie County, were very active in area churches, worked in Sandusky's factories, and many served their country in the Armed Forces during several different wars. Ida and Lucas Gant were among the founders of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Though there is no marker for Ida Gant at this time, she is buried in Lot Number 8, in Block 77 of the North Ridge at Oakland Cemetery. Her lot is just south of the marker for Samuel Cromer. (Click on the image for a larger view. London Gant's marker is visible behind the marker of Samuel Cromer.)

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