Thomas Sumner 7 BIGELOW

15336.84      Thomas Sumner 7 BIGELOW, son of Elisha 6 ( Paul 5 , Cornelius 4, Samuel 3, Samuel 2, John1 and Eliza (Elizabeth) (SUMNER) BIGELOW, was born 12 August 1808 at Jamaica, VT the only child of his father's second wife. Thomas spent his early years in VT and when 16 years of age, moved with his parents to Middlebury which was then a suburb of Akron, OH. At the age of 18, he met and married Lydia Searls on 08 March 1827. As she was underage and he was unable to support her, her parents had the marriage annulled and she was taken back to New England. He early studied medicine, but took up the trade of jeweler and watch-maker. He invented the first oscillating engine, the endless drive and gear belt chain and the first self-turning well drill. Other inventions included the Little Giant sugar cane mill, a rotary pressed-brick machine, invented and improved a machine to manufacture cut nails and tacks from cold sheets of steel. This led to the end of the "trunnel", or wooden peg, in construction. He received $50.00 for developing the double-seaming tin machine, which could "bottom" anything from a tin cup to a large dishpan without the use of solder. This was used until the age of plastics. The treadle sewing machine used a principle first used by Thomas. Many other inventions, too numerous to mention, were his. He passed up several fortunes as a result - he felt that his few minutes' time was not worth a large sum of money and that if his inventions could lead to the betterment of mankind, they should be free for all to use. In October 1832, he married Mrs. Clarissa (Jacobs) Warner. She died 05 May 1848 Akron, Summit, OH. He moved to Lake Mills, WI in 1849 and by 1850 we find the 6 youngest children living with friends in various homes. He refused to let them be adopted. He continued the watch trade until 1872 when he moved to Preemption, Mercer, IL to live with his daughter, Eliza, where he died on 20 November 1878.

Children of Thomas S. and Clarissa (Jacobs) Warner Bigelow, all but the oldest born at Akron:

15336.841     Napoleon Bonaparte, b 17 Sept 1833; d April 1906 Hamline, MN; in 1871 Ellen Eggleston; no children; res. OK, MI, MN; a merchant.

15336.842t    Celestia E., b 23 March 1835; d_____April 1912 Port Byron, IL; m 24 Sept 1854 Benson Huntley; 9 children.

15336.843t    Eliza Ann, b 13 March 1837; d 22 Nov 1879 Mercer, IL; m (1)21 Nov 1854 Victor Valentine, 1 child; (2)31 Dec 1866 Henry Holmes; 6 children.

15336.844t    Clarissa Landers, b 12 June 1839; d 11 Dec 1904 Tacoma, WA; m 25 Sept 1864 Zebulon McAlpin; res. NE and OH; 8 children;

15336.845t    Edward Elisha, b 0l July 1841; d 1925 Long Beach, CA; m 05 July 1877 Ella Ecles; res. MI and MN; 2 children.

15336.846     Lydia A. (Ada W.), b 17 Oct 1843; d __ Sept 1914 Ellsworth, KS; m 12 Feb 1865 George W. Townsend; 4 children.

15336.847t    Charles Sumner, b 15 Dec 1845; d 13 April 1931 Long Beach, CA; m (1)19 Aug 1873 Abigail Alma Pierce and (2)12 July 1916 Neva Bromley; 4 children.

15336.848     Elijah C. (Wm. Henry), b 16 Feb 1848; d 02 Nov 1862 Akron, OH.

Bigelow Society,The Bigelow Family Genealogy, Vol II, pg 89;
Howe, Bigelow Family of America;
Genealogy of a Branch of the Bigelow Family, by Rev. Lincoln Huntley; published 1923;
records of Bigelow Society historian/genealogist.

Modified - 09/18/2002
(c) Copyright 2002 Bigelow Society, Inc. All rights reserved.
Rod  Bigelow - Director
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Rod Bigelow (Roger Jon12 BIGELOW)

P.O. Box 13
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929
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