Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mrs. Percy House

Mrs. Percy House, born Percy Taylor in Connecticut in 1786, came to Ohio with her husband Julius House in 1815. The June 1865 issue of the Firelands Pioneer tells of the fourteen families from Connecticut who packed their belongings into covered wagons led by oxen and horses. John Beatty led the group. At the time of the long journey, Percy had four children ranging in age from infancy through age seven, that she had to care for along the way. Making meals, washing clothing, sleeping in the wagon (or at strangers' homes on occasion), must have been very challenging in 1815. Her husband was sick with fever during part of the trip. Then, after arriving in Ohio, the new settlers had to build their cabins, raise crops and livestock, make the family's clothing, and survive the long cold winters, with no modern conveniences. Percy was truly a pioneer woman.

After arriving in Ohio, Percy House would have three more children, the baby, Amelia, being born in 1822. On February 3, 1827, Percy House passed away after a lengthy illness. Her obituary appeared in the March 5, 1827 issue of the Sandusky Clarion.

Here is a transcription of the obituary of Mrs. Percy House:

On the 3d of Feb. 1827, in full assurance of hope, Mrs. Percy, wife of Julius House, Esq. aged 41. She was for upwards of 22 years an acceptable member of the Methodist E. Church. In her Christian character she was truly amiable, constantly laboring to attain to the happy art of holy living; by which means the pleasing current of practical piety ran parallel with her Christian course in the church militant.

She ever appeared peculiarly anxious to promote peace, brotherly love, and harmony amongst Christians, and good will to all mankind. Her religious acquaintance will lament the loss of good and constant friend. Her husband has lost a valuable wife, and the seven promising children an affectionate mother, who may all entertain the reviving consolation, that their loss is her infinite "gain", aid if not wanting to themselves they will meet her again, where (illegible word) pain and parting can never enter.

She was a great sufferer, especially in the last six weeks previous to her death. She often was heard to say, in her moments of keen distress: How long—Oh How long ere I shall be released from these sufferings, and be at rest? She had an unshaken confidence in God, in whose infinite mercy, she had hope. Of all such it may be truly said "O blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."

Happy soul thy days are ended,
All thy mourning days below,
Go by angels guard attended.
To the sight of Jesus go.

Julius House remarried, to Mehitable Hollister, who must have played a key role in raising the House children. The House family was very active in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Perkins Township. I think their deep faith helped them cope with the challenges, losses, and the plain hard work which accompanied pioneer living. Mrs. Percy House, is buried in Perkins Cemetery, beside her husband Julius, the second Mrs. Julius House, and her daughter Harriet.

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