Biography of Harden A. Tucker
Erie County, OH Biographies





HARDEN A. TUCKER. Among the notable pioneer residents of Erie County still surviving, the lives of few have been so lengthened by a gracious Providence as to afford them a retrospective view of eighty years of their own participation in the development of the county. Such, however, is a distinguishing feature of the career of Harden A. Tucker, "The Grand Old Man of Milan," whose life in Milan Township, where he still makes his home, spans a period of four score years. A companion of the wilderness, when wild animals still roamed the untamed forests, a pioneer teacher when schools were few and far between, a witness of primitive conditions and a participant in the wonderful development of this region, he still stands among the younger generation, like a forest monarch among the younger growths. His life has been full and eminently useful; his record is one on which no blemish appears.

Harden A. Tucker was born near Scituate, Rhode Island, April 21, 1833, a son of Harden and Sabra (Clark) Tucker, natives of that state and of fine old New England ancestry. In 1836, after the birth of three sons and one daughter, the parents set out for what was then the Far West, making their way down the Hudson River and Erie Canal to Buffalo; and then to Huron, Ohio, by way of the Great Lakes. There they settled on a wild farm near the present home of Harden A. Tucker, first erecting a primitive home, later replacing it with a more substantial and commodious one, and finally building a good brick dwelling, in which the parents resided until their retirement, when they sold out and moved to Milan. There the father died in June, 1872, when sixty eight years of age, the mother passing away at the home of her sons, in January, 1879, when seventy nine years old. They were Spiritualists in religious belief, and in political matters the father was first a whig and later a republican. Harden and Sabra Tucker were true pioneers of Erie County. In spite of leaving the refining influences of New England, with no experience in the rough life of the frontier, they accepted conditions as they found them, worked out their own material success, and reared their children to lives of usefulness and honesty.

Harden A. Tucker was but three years of age when brought to Erie County, is one of the oldest living settlers of Milan Township, and is the oldest man of Milan on the North Road. His boyhood and youth were passed in the midst of pioneer conditions and his education was secured in the primitive log schools, but he made the most of his opportunities, and when a young man divided his time between cultivating a farm and teaching in the local school. The wildest of game were still to be found here, and Mr. Tucker relates many interesting experiences in regard to incidents of his early years. On one occasion, while he and several other persons were passing under a large chestnut tree near his home, a panther leaped from a tree sixty feet across the road, and, to use Mr. Tucker's words, "let out a yell that could have been heard three miles away." A few more leaps and it had disappeared into the dense forest. At another time, when Mr. Tucker was returning to his home at night, a huge panther followed him for more than a mile along the wild highway. the beast not turning away until he had reached the very door of his house.

Mr. Tucker settled on his present farm in 1866, and has owued it since 1868. This tract consists of 96.81 acres, the greater part of which he has himself improved, in addition to which he has cultivated other land, and has turned more furrows of land than any other man who lived in Milan Township. Here he has erected modern and commodious buildings, including a brick house, and the land has been thoroughly tiled by him, making it one of the most productive in this part of the county. The land lies almost level, drifting north toward the Huron River, and on it the best of all kinds of crops may be raised.

In 1915 Mr. Tucker celebrated his golden wedding anniversary. He was married August 10, 1865, at Speares Corners, Milan Township, to Miss Elizabeth Rockwell, who was born in New York, January 19, 1838, and was six years old when brought to Ohio by her parents, and eleven years old when she came to Milan Township, where she became a school. mate and neighbor of Mr. Tucker. She has been a devoted wife and much of Mr. Tucker's success he attributes to her assistance, advice aud good management. Mrs. Tucker is a daughter of John and Sarah (Wilcox) Rockwell, natives of Connecticut, of an honored New England family. As young people they moved to New York, and then to Erie County, Ohio, where Mrs. Rockwell died in Oxford Township, aged seventy two years, while Mr. Rockwell died at Milan when past hips eighty fifth birthday.

To Mr. and Mrs. Tucker there have been born the following childreu: Henry, who is a prosperous farmer of Milan Township, is married and has six living daughters, of whom four are married, while one son and one daughter died young; Charley, a widower without children, who resides with his parents; Glenn, who is operating the homestead property, married Lula Snyder, of Milan Township; B. Frank, who is a bachelor and lives on his farm at Hartland, Huron County, Ohio.

Mr. Tucker has been a lifelong republican, his first presidential vote having been cast for John C. Fremont. He has been content to be a voter rather than an office seeker, but has taken a keen interest in the success of his party's candidates and policies and has always given the Grand Old Party his warmest support. Mr. Tucker has been a diligent, energetic and industrious farmer, and in all the privations, hardships and difficulties incident to the life of the early settlers manifested that resolution, patience and perseverance that enabled him to contribute his full share toward the development of Erie County, of which, for eighty years, he has been a representative and highly esteemed citizen.

From:
A Standard History of Erie County, Ohio
By: Hewson L. Peeke
Assisted by a Board of Advisory Editors
The Lewis Publishing Company Chicago and New York 1916


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