Biography of Col. Cyrus Sears
Pitt Township, Wyandot County, OH Biographies





COL. CYRUS SEARS is a native of Delhi Township, Delaware Co., N. Y., born March 10, 1832. His parents were Elkanali and. Desiar (Phelps) Sears, whose history is elsewhere detailed. (See sketch of J. D. Sears). Cyrus Sears, the subject of this sketch, removed with his parents to a farm near Bucyrus, Crawford Co., Ohio, in 1836, where he resided till about 1852, attending the district schools during winters in the meantime. He afterward attended the Union Schools of Bucyrus one year; taught one term; took a course in book keeping, and while waiting for a business opening, learned the art of telegraphy. He was employed one year by T. Stout & Co., of Upper Sandusky, as book keeper, and in the spring of 1855 began the study of law with his brother J. D. Sears at Upper Sandusky, subsequently entering the Cincinnati Law School, where he graduated at the close of the first term, but attended a second course of lectures as a more thorough preparation for his work. After spending about one year in the employ of Messrs. Ferguson & Long, he located in Bucyrus one year and then formed a partnership with his brother, J. D. Sears, with whom he remained till 1861. Mr. Sears then removed to Cincinnati and engaged in the practice of his profession, but soon joined the Burnet Rifle Company, of which ex President Hayes was first Captain, and ex Gov. Noyes and many other since distinguished men were privates. In July, 1861, Mr. Sears began recruiting the Eleventh Ohio Independent Battery, and August 12, of the same year, was mustered into it as private, serving till March 22, 1866. He was commissioned First Lieutenant of said Battery October 12, 1861, and for gallant and meritorious conduct, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Eleventh Regiment Louisiana Volunteers, soon after known as the Forty ninth Regiment United States Colored Infantry. Owing to the absence or disability of the Colonel, Mr. Sears was in command of this regiment during twenty seven of the thirtyfive months of its service, and as evidence of his efficiency Gen. Rosecrans indorsed. in his own hand, the order of his brigade commander, sending him home on recruiting service after the battle of luka, and recommended that he should be permitted to go, on account of gallant conduct. This order was also indorsed favorably by Gen. U. S. Grant, who, also, in his own band, recommended him for promotion for gallant conduct. His promotion was also recommended and his general good conduct commended by several more of the most prominent officers in the service by letters and orders, which he now has in his possession, but which are too numerous and extended for insertion in this sketch. That portion of Gen. Rosecrans' order referring to the action of the Eleventh Ohio Battery, under Col. Sears, in the above battle is as follows: "The Eleventh Ohio Battery under Lieut. Sears was served with unequaled bravery under circumstances of danger and exposure such as rarely, perhaps never, have fallen to the lot of a single battery during the war." Col. Sears was severely wounded in this battle by a musket ball. On May 27, 1865, he was married to Sarah A., Harpster, daughter of David and. Rachel (Hall) Harpster. (See sketch.) He took his bride to Vicksburg, Miss., from whence he was soon placed in command of the District of Yazoo City, where they spent the summer of 1865. At the close of the war, our subject returned to Upper Sandusky and resumed his legal profession, in the course of which he made the argument credited to J. D. and C. Sears, in the case of Shaffer vs. McKee in the 19th Ohio State Report, which argument received the compliment of the court (see report), and attests the ability of its author. During the summer and fall of 1867, he was engaged in reporting the proceedings of the Louisiana Senate at New Orleans, and while there, reported the celebrated Pinchback speech so extensively circulated. By rigid economy, Mr. Sears was enabled to save about $6,000 of his military wages, and this with $1,000 more, was totally lost in an attempt to raise a crop of cotton near Vicksburg immediately after the close of the war. Hoping to more speedily retrieve his broken fortune, he abandoned the legal profession and purchased a halfinterest in the machine works of Upper Sandusky, where for several years a profitable business was conducted under the firm name of Stevenson & Sears. This. firm being dissolved, he established himself in the mercantile business in the new village of Fowler in 1876, where he is still engaged and where he has erected .one of the finest homes in the county. He has four children, Horace H., aged seventeen; Iva R., fourteen; Fanny E., eleven, and Laura J., the latter but ten months old. During his attendance at the law school, Mr. Sears boarded himself as a necessary economic measure, living so plainly as to reduce his expenses to less than $1 per week, but notwithstanding this he was one of the most athletic in the school, being one of the few chosen from about 1,500 members of the Young Men's Gymnasium, to take part in their public exhibitions, and, at his present age, is a man of remarkable physical health, strength and activity, who bids fair to reach threescore and ten years in a good stage of preservation.

From:
The History of Wyandot County, Ohio
Liggett, Canaway & Co.,
Chicago 1884


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