Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jasper Wood, Pioneer Settler of Erie County

According to Volume 2 of Harriet Upton Taylor's book HISTORY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE, Jasper Wood was reared in New York State, and emigrated to Erie County, Ohio in 1818. He was a civil engineer, and his wife was the former Elizabeth Boylston. Miss Taylor's biographical sketch of Jasper Wood, in the article about his grandson, Thomas Corwin Wood, provides very interesting details about his experience as a settler:

Jasper Wood, his grandfather, was born, reared and educated in Onondaga county, New York, and there married Elizabeth Boylston, the descendant of a substantial New England family. He was well educated, being fitted for a civil engineer. Migrating to Ohio in 1818, he became one of the first settlers of Groton township, Erie county, locating near Bloomingville. He found his way to these wilds by following a path marked much of the way by blazed trees, settling here when the country was in its primeval condition, bears, deer, wolves and other wild beasts being plentiful. He bought 1,000 acres of land, making but a partial payment of the tract. Before acquiring title to his land, in about three years after his arrival, he died, a victim of milk fever, leaving his widow with several children to care for. Being unable to meet the payments on the land, the entire sum invested was lost, and the widow and children had to battle for a living. She was a woman of heroic courage, and reared her two sons and three daughters to men and women of worth, training them to habits of industry and thrift.

Sadly, Jasper Wood died on July 24, 1821, leaving behind his wife and five children. The inscription on Jasper Wood's tombstone at the Bloomingville Cemetery in Oxford Township, Erie County, reads:

Of the cup of life.
I have taken a sip.
Then reclined my head.
And now I sleep.

The Bloomingville Cemetery is east of State Route 4 in Oxford Township of Erie County, Ohio, close to the intersection of Mason Road and Taylor Road. The Ohio Turnpike is just south of the Bloomingville Cemetery.

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