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Jacob Wohlford

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Jacob Wohlford

Huntington County Volunteer (View posts)
Posted: 4 Jan 2001 5:00AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Edited: 23 Jun 2001 9:50AM GMT
Surnames: Wohlford, Kreamer
From Biographical Memoirs of Huntington County, 1901, pages 575-576

The world in its onward rush is now taking time to look back, and the story of the pioneer is daily becoming of more absorbing interest. Northern Indiana was for many years considered "out west," and its people, scarcely out of the woods, took little interest in those traditions relating to a condition of society but little removed from their own. But the grand march of civilization has pushed back the western frontier until instead of being in Indiana or skirting the Mississippi river, it now rests upon the shores of the Pacific, and has made the northwestern territory the central link in a brilliant chain of states. This awakening to the true value of the early history of this part of the country comes in many respects too late. Most of the pioneers have been gathered to their fathers, and one by one the old landmarks have decayed and passed away with those who reared them, while that period is fast rolling on when none can truly say, "I remember them and their works." Thus, while we may, let us rescue from oblivion the simple facts in the lives of these sturdy men who were the heralds of civilization in our beloved state and by their sturdy energy and self-denying efforts made possible the condition of things which we to-day enjoy.

Among the strong-armed, strong-minded pioneers of Huntington county is Jacob Wohlford, who for a period exceeding a half century has been an honored resident of Jackson township. He was born in York county, Pennsylvania, March 7, 1819, and when six years of age was taken by his parents to Centre county, that state, where he grew to manhood. In his nineteenth year, in company with a brother, he went to Columbiana county, Ohio, and about two years later went to Wayne county, Ohio, where he took a contract to cut wood and make rails, and to this work he addressed himself for some time thereafter. Some idea of the magnitude of this undertaking may be had when we learn that with the help of his brother he cut ten thousand cords of wood and split twenty thousand rails, besides doing other kinds of work in timber, receiving for his services sufficient money to enable him to purchase eighty acres of unimproved land in Jackson township, Huntington county, for which he received a deed in September, 1851. He paid for this land four hundred and sixty dollars, all of which was earned with his ax. After erecting on his land a little round-log cabin he proceeded at once to the greater work of removing the timber in order to prepare a portion of the ground for tillage.

The reward which in the long run attends perseverance came to Mr. Wohlford in the course of years. As time went by the area of tillable land gradually increased, the pioneer cabin gave place to a modern dwelling of enlarged capacity, and a fine farm with splendid improvements in the way of buildings, fencing, drainage and other accessories now occupies the space once covered with primitive forests in which the wild beast and its scarcely less wild companions, the untutored savages, made their home or roamed at will. For one year over a half century Mr. Wohlford has lived on this farm, working hard during his prime in order to acquire a competency for his family and lay aside something additional thereto for the benefit of those to come after him. He is now in his eighty-second year, enjoying the fruits of a well-spent life; and while looking back over the stirring scenes of the past is preparing himself for the great unknown future toward which the footsteps of mankind are ever turned.

Mr. Wohlford was married January 22, 1841, to Miss Mary S. Kreamer, a native of Pennsylvania, where her birth occurred on the 30th day of October, 1825. In 1827 her parents moved to Wayne county, Ohio, where she grew to womanhood, and it was there also that she met the gentleman to whom she afterward linked her life and fortune. To Mr. and Mrs. Wohlford nine children have been born, namely: Benjamine F., who died in the army; Thomas J., who resides in South Dakota; John M., a soldier in the great Rebellion, now lives in Huntington county; James died in infancy; Emeline, deceased; Henry is living in Garrett City; William resides in Chicago; Samuel P., a farmer and stock-raiser of Jackson township; and Harriet E., also deceased.

Mr. Wohlford is a Republican in politics, but has wisely refrained from aspiring to official honors. In 1842 he united with the United Brethren church, and has been an earnest and devout member of the same from that year to the present time. He is rich in all the essentials of noble manhood, and has always aimed to live up to his highest ideals of duty. His career has been singularly free from the faults which usually characterize men in his station; and to-day, so far as known, he is without an enemy. Nearly all of his companions of the olden times are calmly sleeping beneath the somber shades of the quiet "God's acres," scattered here and there, while he awaits the final summons to rejoin them in the afterwhile where toil shall cease and friendships never more be severed. His life in the main has been along the quiet, sequestered vale, and while comparatively uneventful, it has abounded in much good for humanity and proved an inestimable blessing to those with whom he has daily associated. His friends are numerous, and they all unite in wishing for him the recurrence of many anniversaries of his birth.

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