John 6 BIGELOW
15145.1 John 6 BIGELOW,
son of John 5 ( John 4, John 3,
Samuel 2, John
and Mary ( ___ ) BIGELOW was born 05 March 1774 at Goshen,
county, MA. At the age of twenty he left his home in Cummington, MA,
moved to Salem, NY, where he taught school for three years. In 1797 he
married Lydia Benedict, daughter of Lewis and Jemima (Newman) Benedict.
Later they moved to Broome, Schoharie County, NY, where they lived for
15 years, and where seven of their children were born. In 1815 John and
Lydia packed their
household goods and eight children into two Conestoga wagons. With
horses and two oxen they headed west.
Stopping briefly at Buffalo, they loaded their
outfit onto a boat--wagons, beasts, freight, and humans, and sailed for
They landed at Cleveland, which was at that time a very small village
Lake Erie. They lived for a year at what is now the corner of East
and Euclid Avenue in the heart of Cleveland. They had a small plot of
which they farmed while looking for a place to make their permanent
They occupied a log house already standing, which was later taken apart
moved to Richfield when they relocated to the land that John bought by
off both the rightful owner and the occupant.
John was elected the first clerk of Richfield
Summit county, which was formed in 1816, an office he held for many
John's original log house also served over the years as church,
town hall, social hall, and occasionally as jail. In 1830 John built a large
house (see below), three
stories high, with 14 rooms, eight fireplaces, and four staircases.
His initials, J.B., are carved above the door. The third floor was
used for spinning, weaving, and cheese-curing. While the property is no
in Bigelow hands, it is now remodeled and in good condition, though the
is somewhat altered and the front chimneys removed.
John was a great advocate of freeing the
the south. In his house one fireplace in the basement hides an entrance
a small room which is said to have been a hiding place for runaway
and this was a station of the Underground Railroad, in hiding fugitives
their escape into Canada and freedom. Tradition says that a secret
led from the Bigelow home to the next hiding place, but the present
of the house has never found any evidence of its existence. Since John
twenty years before the Civil War, this help to the blacks probably was
on by his family. Lydia, mother of 10, grandmother of 49, would never
allowed a fugitive, whether black or white, to go away hungry.
We have a handwritten record that says John
in 1842 and Lydia in 1863. Howe's Bigelow genealogy varies in claiming
died in 1838 and Lydia in 1866. No headstone remains to identify in
cemetery they are buried. In addition to her own family, Lydia raised
three surviving children of her deceased daughter Elsy. Lydia
to Cleveland and back by horse. One day her horse threw Lydia, crushing
leg so badly that amputation was necessary. She went through the
operation without any anaesthesia, but the folded man-size handkerchief
which she held
clenched in her teeth was chewed to bits at the end of the ordeal. As
as the stump of her leg healed, she placed it on the seat of a chair
soon resumed her household activities using the chair as a walker. The
chair that had been Lydia's walker is still owned by the family (1986).
Children of John and Lydia (Benedict) Bigelow:
b 1799 Salem, NY; d 1835 Parma, OH; m 16 Mar 1820 David Smith.
b 16 Oct 1800 Broome, Schoharie co, NY; d 1880 Richfield, Summit, OH; m
01 Apr 1823 Mabel Sheldon; (2) Jane Simmons; (3) Ann Page; (4) Harriet
Res MO and OH. 13 children.
15145.13 Nancy, b 1802 (
headstone has 1812) Broome, NY; d 10 Dec 1839 Meriden, CT; m 16 Apr
1835 Almond Andrews; res Meriden, CT.
Ann, b 15 Jan 1804 Broome, NY; d 1884 Richfield, OH; m 15 June
Thomas E. Ellsworth. 5 children.
15145.15 Lydia, b 1806
Broome, NY; d 1891 Cleveland, OH; m (1) 01 Jan 1828 J.B. Denison, and
(2) Thomas Palmer.
15145.16t Jemima Minerva, b 1808 Broome, OH; d 1891
OH; m 09 Feb 1825 David Stoffer. 1 son.
15145.17t John, b 1810 Broome, NY; d 1885 Cleveland,
m ca 1831 Philena Humphrey; res Parma and Cleveland, OH. 5 children.
15145.18t Washington, b ___ 1814 Broome, OH; d
Apr 1853 Richfield, OH; m (1) 21 Dec 1837 Harriet Oviatt; m (2) 04 Oct
Nancy Huntley; Res Richfield, Summit co, OH. 5 children.
15145.19t Ann Jenette, b 1816 Richfield, OH; d 1868
m Joseph Mace. 2 daughters.
15145.1A Susan, b _ Feb 1819
Richfield, OH; d ____ Tucson, AZ; m Horace Pomeroy.
Bigelow Family Genealogy Vol I , p 214-215;
Howe, Bigelow Family of America;
vital records OH;
manuscript of Anna (Bigelow) Mortimer,
printed in Forge: The Bigelow Society Quarterly, vol.8, no.3;
early marriage records of Medina and Summit counties, OH and of Goshen,
pension application of Nancy (Huntley) Bigelow (her son Luman being a
census records of OH;
correspondence with many family descendants.
Homestead, Richfield, OH
Modified - 09/27/2012
(c) Copyright 2012 Bigelow Society, Inc. All
Rod Bigelow - Director
Box 13 Chazy Lake
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929
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