Monday, September 24, 2012

Jerome and Lydia Bixby

A lengthy biographical sketch of Jerome Bixby is found in the 1916 edition of Hewson L. Peeke's A STANDARD HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO.

"The ability to create success regardless of circumstances and difficulties has apparently been the chief factor in the career of Jerome Bixby, now president of the Castalia Banking Company. Mr. Bixby has lived in Castalia since 1875. For several years he sold general merchandise and operated a wagon for the country trade. In 1882 he established a general store at Castalia and kept this up for about ten years, during part of which time he was postmaster of the village. In 1894 he restricted his mercantile operations to hardware and farm implements, and almost continuously for the past twenty years has been identified with that business, being now senior member of the firm of Bixby & Meikle, who have the largest stock of general hardware and farm implements in Margaretta Township. On the reorganization of the Castalia Banking Company a few years ago Mr. Bixby was elected president, and has since had the executive management of that substantial institution, and is also a member of its board of directors.

On July 15, 1840, Nathan and Mary (Klock) Bixby, whose home was in Savannah, Wayne County, New York, became the parents of a son whom they christened Jerome. These parents were both natives of New York State. The Bixby family is of English origin, while the Klocks belonged to the old Dutch stock of the Mohawk Valley. Grandfather Joseph Klock served in the Revolutionary war.

When he was about seventeen years of age Jerome Bixby, who had previously profited by attendance at the common schools, entered Red Creek Union Academy in Wayne County, remained a student there about four years, and later for a time was in the Michigan State Normal at Ypsilanti. He also taught school for a short while in Columbia, Michigan. His student days in Ypsilanti were interrupted when he enlisted in Company F of the First Regiment of Michigan Cavalry. With this noted regiment he joined the Army of the Potomac, and served successively under such noted leaders as Buford, Hatch, Kilpatrick and Sheridan, and for the latter part of his service Was in the famous Custer's Brigade. His active participation in battle included Winchester; ; he was in Pope's army during its operations along the Rappahannock ; was in the second battle of Bull Run, and a short time prior to the battle of Gettysburg was detailed for clerical work at the military headquarters at Washington. He was given his honorable discharge from the army August 20, 1864. Mr. Bixby gained an appointment as sutler and in that capacity accompanied the Twenty-fifth Army Carps, Army of Observation, to Texas and continued as sutler to that 'organization until the fall of 1867. He then returned to Savannah, New York, lived there and at Saratoga Springs and at Lapeer, Michigan, until he came to Erie County, as above noted. Mr. Bixby owns two substantial farms in Margaretta Township, aggregating about 150 acres, devoted to general agriculture.

Mr. Bixby married Lydia L. Higley, who was born in Townsend Township of Sandusky County, Ohio, a daughter of Orson Higley, who in his time was one of the most prominent citizens of that locality. Mr. and Mrs. Bixby have one daughter, Pearl B., now the wife of Andrew J. Meikle of Castalia. Mr. Bixby has been a republican Once his days as a soldier of the Union, and is now and for several years has been commander of Post No. 423 of the Grand Army of the Republic at Castalia. He is also affiliated with the Masonic Lodge at Lapeer, Michigan, and has long been active in the Congregational Church at Castalia, which he has served as trustee."

The lovely marker in the Castalia Cemetery honoring Mr. and Mrs. Bixby indicates that the couple was held in high esteem by their family. The microfilmed copies of the Castalia Cemetery interment cards, on file at the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library, provides these birth and death years for Mr. and Mrs. Bixby:

Jerome Bixby, 1840-1920
Lydia L. Bixby, 1859-1941

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