Biography of George D. Cleveland
Ottawa & Sandusky Counties, OH Biographies





GEORGE D. CLEVELAND, though still in the prime of life, has witnessed a wonderful transformation in the land about Clyde, Sandusky county, in the village itself, and in the conditions under which the people here live.

He is the son of honored pioneers, James and Jeannette (Rathbun) Cleveland, and was born in Green Creek township, Sandusky Co., Ohio, September 9, 1838. In his youth Clyde was known as Hamer's Corners, and only a few buildings were then grouped here. The old stage coach lumbered lazily through the straggling village, stopping at the inn for refreshments, while the passengers dreamed about the time when they might hope to reach their destination. There were then no railroads. The inhabitants had not the thrifty and bustling metropolitan airs of the present citizens, but the transposition has been made, swift, it seems, as the shifting panorama. To one who has seen it all, as has George D. Cleveland, the change has been almost magical.

Clark Cleveland, Sr., his grandfather, migrated with his wife, Jemima (Butler), and family early in the century, from Mount Morris, Livingston Co., N. Y., to northern Ohio. He first settled in the forests of Huron county, and had made improvements, when he learned that his title to the land was not good. He then packed up his few household effects, and penetrated deeper into the western wilderness, entering eighty acres of government land in Green Creek township, and there building his second pioneer cabin some time prior to 1822. Here he remained until his death, which occurred in 1831, in his seventy first year. The children of Clark and Jemima Cleveland were as follows: Abigail, who married Oliver Hayden; Cozia, who married William Hamer; Moses; Sally, whose first husband was Benjamin Curtis, her second, Aipheus McIntyre; Clark, Jr., who married Eliza Grover, and left six children; Polly, who married Timothy Babcock; Betsy, who married Samuel Baker, and James. James Cleveland was born at Mount Morris, N. Y., March 14, 1806, and migrated with his father to the pioneer home in northern Ohio. He remained with his father until his marriage, March 3, 1831, to Jeannette Rathbun, who was born in Genesee county, N. Y., May 9, 1815, daughter of Chaplin and Lucinda (Sutliff) Rathbun, pioneers of Green Creek township, Sandusky county. At the time of his marriage James Cleveland had saved money enough to buy forty acres of land in Green Creek township, a part of the old Sawyer farm. For five years he was clearing and cultivating the land. Then during one winter he rented, with his father-in-law, a saw and grist mill on Green Creek, several miles from the farm. He supported his family, and accumulated enough lumber to build a barn on his farm, and in the spring he returned to his farming operations, and purchased some additional land.

In 1841 he took a contract to grade a half mile of the Maumee and Western Reserve turnpike. He moved his family near the scene of the operations, and upon its completion five months later returned to the farm richer by $600, paid in "State scrip." A part of this he traded for building hardware, and erected a large frame dwelling in 1845. Meanwhile he kept adding more acres to his now quite extensive farm. He was a sagacious, tireless, thrifty pioneer, and at the time of his death, which occurred September 1, 1878, he owned nearly 400 acres of land, containing some of the best and most extensive improvements in the county. His wife, who survived until August 8, 1891, was a woman of unusual energy, and was in every sense worthy of his ambitions and plans for advancement. She ably seconded his efforts to secure a competence that might support them in their declining years. In physique somewhat below the medium size, scarcely weighing 120 pounds in her best days, she left nothing undone to advance the interests of her family. When her husband was clearing up the farm she hauled the rails which he split and made the fences with. Once, when help was scarce, she fastened her child to her back by a shawl, and, thus burdened, she planted and hoed corn in the field. Her first calico dress she earned by picking ten quarts of wild strawberries, and walking to Lower Sandusky, where she traded them at a shilling a quart for five yards af calico worth two shillings a yard. Few pioneer families in Sandusky county have left a worthier record than that of the Clevelands. Ten children were born to James and Jeanette Cleveland, as follows: James, born December 3, 1831, who reared a family and died in 1890, a farmer of Green Creek township; Eliza, born November 29, 1833, married A. J. Harris, of Clyde, and died in 1861, leaving two children; Clark R., of Green Creek township, born April 1, 1836; George D., of Green Creek township, born September 9, 1838; Lucinda, born May 29, 1841, married Horace Taylor; Chaplin S., born July 28, 1844, a resident of Green Creek township; John H., born November 21, 1847, died October 28, 1879, leaving one daughter; Sarah, born September 22,. 1851, married Charles Sackrider, and now living on the old homestead; Mary, born February 25, 1854, married George Crosby, of Clyde; Charles, born December 30, 1857, died December 14, 1879.

George D. Cleveland grew to manhood on his father's farm near Clyde, and attended the schools in that village. He was married in 1864 to Miss Rosa Metz, who was born in Seneca county, near Green Spring, in 1842. She died in 1880, leaving three children: Clark, Minnie and Olivia; Bertie died aged thirteen months. The second and present wife of Mr. Cleveland was Miss Mattie Stroup, who was born April 30, 1860, in Crawford county, where she was raised. She was married June 29, 1882, to George D. Cleveland. After living a few years elsewhere Mr. Cleveland settled on his father's old homestead. He has been buying out the heirs, and now owns 135 acres located just outside the corporation limits of Clyde. He is engaged in general farming and stock raising, and in later years he has also devoted considerable attention to fruit. He has built an excellent barn, and his improvements are among the best in the township. In politics Mr. Cleveland is a Democrat, and as a thrifty progressive citizen he has few equals.

From:
Commemorative Biograohical Record
of the Counties of
Sandusky and Ottawa, Ohio
J. H. Beers & Co. 1896


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