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From The Clyde Enterprise, Thursday, 18 Feb 1892

Rev. Joseph Jackson

Rev. Joseph Jackson, probably the oldest citizen of Sandusky county, died at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Brown, on George street, on Friday last, Feb. 12th, aged 96 years, 5 months, and 21 days.

The funeral services were held in the Methodist Episcopal church, Monday morning, February 15th at 10 o’clock, conducted by Rev. L. K. Warner, assisted by Rev. G. E. Wilson. The text chosen for the occasion was from Job v.26, “Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season.”  The burial took place at the Lowell cemetery, where other of his family lie buried.

The following sketch of this aged man, written by himself, appeared in the Napoleon, O., Signal in 1884, and was read at his funeral on Monday last:

“I was born in Fishing Creek township, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, August 21, 1795. My grandfather Jackson was a Scotchman; his wife was a Frenchwoman. My mother’s parents both came from Holland and settled on Long Island near New York City, where my mother was born and lived till she was grown up to womanhood; she then removed to Morris county, New Jersey, where she became acquainted with my father and they were married and lived there until about the year 1780. They removed to Pennsylvania and settled on the Susquehannah river a few mile above Sunbury, the county seat of Northumberland county.

In 1794 he removed to the place of my birth, having previously built a hewed log house with shingled roof, containing two rooms with a fire place in each, quite a contrast with the round log cabins covered with clap-boards and weight poles to hold them on.

My schooling commenced in the winter after I was six years old in a log school house, puncheon floor to tread on, and the clap-board roof overhead to look at, and a hard hearted astute old man to be afraid of.  A female school teacher was unknown in those days. The seats were split slabs with the legs so high that my short limbs could not reach the floor, and I verily thought that my bones must break, having strict orders to sit still and study my book all the time.  I continued to attend this kind of school with many interruptions until fourteen years of age. When at the age of seventeen I had saved money enough to buy Walker’s Octavo Dictionary, and shortly afterward added Murray's Grammar with exercises and key; those were a rich treasure, and I studied them intensely at every opportunity. What little education I have, has been obtained in this way, working every day and studying when I could appropriate an hour by day-light and by pine knot light at night.

I was married at the age of twenty-two years to Chloe Watson, of Huntington, Luzerne co., Penn.; she died in January 1843. We had eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, all of who lived to be grown up men and women. Four sons and one daughter have died.

When very young, I was inclined to be religious; my mother having instructed me as to the being and attributes of God as the Creator of all beings and things. When sixteen years of age, I joined the Baptist church, the members of which thought I ought to preach and urged me to accept of a license and improve my gift. This I refused on account of my want of learning; having decided to remove to the state of Ohio in the year 1831. I received a license to preach, agreeing that if a door should open I would improve my gift and do the best that I could. So I came and settled in Adams township, Seneca county, O., and as there was no religious meetings there I commenced preaching. Was ordained in 1833, and gathered in a church of over fifty members. I came to Napoleon in 1860; finding a small Baptist church here I united with it, but it soon became extinct. I remained destitute of church fellowship until 1870, when I united with the Methodist Episcopal church under the pastoral charge of Rev. N.B. C. Love, and receive ordination at the hands of Bishop Clark at the meeting of Conference at Toledo that year.

For the last fifty years I have been termed a fanatical, ultra-Abolitionist; have kept a station and run a train on the underground railroad from Cincinnati to Sandusky until the war, and carried and harbored a good many passengers, two of them whom were white men having blue eyes and sandy hair; have had my house searched for fugitives but they didn’t find any. It’s hard to find a man six or eight feet underground. Thank God I have lived to see this curse removed but not its effects. It died hard and has left a stench that will corrupt our political, moral and religious atmosphere for years to come.

I have endeavored to practically illustrate the beneficial effects of total abstinence from the use of alcoholics for more than fifty years; gone beyond others; have advocated entire abandonment for all uses whatsoever; have made the doctors mad because I refused to swallow it and have excited the ridicule and contempt of so-called scientists and second-hand philosophers.

I have never used tobacco in any form; have always drank tea and coffee; have lived on plain diet; such a farmers usually eat; have always enjoyed good home-made wheat bread and milk; mush and milk for supper; have always been a small eater, not requiring near as much most men of my size. When in the prime of manhood I weighed 160 pounds, now my weight is 140.

I have lived with all the presidents. I was four years old when Washington died; have been in fourteen states; have visited most of the cities from New York and Philadelphia to Chicago, Kansas City, and the city of Lawrence, Kansas; have seen and mingled to some extent with high and low, rich and poor; have met for worship in groves, log cabins, through all styles of church  edifices up to the metropolitan M. E. church in Washington city. I believe there are truly pious worshiped in all these, yet I prefer the plan cheap comfortable place to all others. It matters not what or where the place if the heart is right.

Wife, children and friends: God and my country have been the things I have most highly prized. These I have enjoyed with the highest degree of pleasure. It is highly gratifying to see the prosperity of my country, the wonderful discoveries, inventions and improvements in all the departments of our social existence. Yet there is a dark side to this bright picture. The unequaled distribution of labor and wealth, the rich becoming richer and the poor poorer; bribery and dishonestly in high places; murder, riot, arson and robbery running wild, uncontrolled by law or justice; isn’t our experiment of a Republican Government a failure? I wish I could see the way through and out of all this complication of wrong, but I cannot. O, how I wish my people, like the inhabitants of Nineveh, would repent and escape the “wrath to come.”

My time is nearly up. “Watchman what of the night?” I am ready.


Joseph Jackson
Napoleon, O., March 31, 1884.”

In addition to the above sketch, Rev. L. K. Warner added at the funeral the following:

Eight years ago, nearly he wrote this, closing with the words, “My time is nearly up. Watchman what of the night? I am ready. Farewell.” The eight years added to his already long life have not altered his convictions of duty or his principles of living. His health and strength were wonderfully preserved, and his mind continued in remarkable strength. He united by certificate with the M. E. church, of Clyde, two years ago. He was apt in the quotation of scripture, had a ready utterance, had a mind well stored with useful knowledge, and desired that all things should assist the people to understand the goodness and mercy of our Lord.  He was a very faithful attendant upon the public services of the sanctuary.

Jerry's comment: The article continues but this is all that I have.

Janie's comment: This Joseph didn't know his grandparents personally, since grandfather Joseph had died 26 years before this Joseph was born.  His father Daniel had moved from NJ to Northumbertown, PA before this Joseph was born.  Joseph's father, Daniel was only 16 when his own father died.  I would think Daniel would know his father's heritage and pass it on to his son Joseph, but in a rough settler's life, maybe it didn't get passed on or remembered right so many years later.  The bit about his grandfather being a Scottish man doesn't quite jibe with the info we have.

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Transcription by Jerry Gross. You are welcome to use any of this transcription and please properly cite where you received it from.
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