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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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
This page was last updated March 5, 2007.