Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Other Notable Ohioans
by [?]

Two names well-known in literature belong to Ashtabula County. Albion W. Tourgee was born there in 1838, and made a wide reputation by his novels, “A Fool’s Errand” and “Bricks without Straw,”–impassioned and vivid reports of life in the South during the period of reconstruction; and Edith Thomas, who was born in Medina County, made Ashtabula her home till she went to live near New York. While she was still in Ohio, the poems which are full of the love of nature and the sense of immortal things began to win her a fame in which she need envy no others of our time.

One of the earlier Ohioans of note was John Cleves Symmes, of Butler County, who believed that the earth was penetrated at the poles by openings into a habitable region within it. He petitioned Congress for means to explore the Arctic seas and verify his theory; of course he petitioned in vain, but he won world-wide attention and made some converts. He had been a gallant officer of the United States Army, and had fought well in the War of 1812, but he died poor and neglected. He was of New Jersey birth, and of that stanch New Jersey stock which gave character to the whole southwestern part of Ohio.

Another and still more famous theorist, who is not generally known to have been an Ohioan, was Delia Bacon, who first maintained that the plays and poems of Shakespeare were written, by Sir Francis Bacon. She was born in Portage County at Tallmadge, where her father was settled as minister.

A sculptor who, if not the greatest American sculptor, has yet achieved in his art the most American things ever done in it, is J. Q. A. Ward, the author of the “Indian Hunter,” and many other noble if less native works. He was born at Urbana, in Champaign County, of the old pioneer stock; and in a region remote from artistic influences, he felt the artistic impulse in his boyhood. His earliest attempt was a figure modeled in the wax which one of his sisters used in making wax flowers, and which he clandestinely borrowed. Then he made a bas-relief of the first train of cars he ever saw, but this he did in clay at the village potter’s; and he also modeled in clay the head of a negro, well known in the place, which all the neighbors recognized. A few years later he was sent to school in Brooklyn, where he used every day to pass the studio of the sculptor H. K. Browne, and long for some accident that would give him entrance. The chance came at last; he told the sculptor the wish of his heart, and Browne consented to let him try his hand under his eye. From that time the boy’s future was assured. The famous sculptor lives absorbed in his work in New York, where his ripe years find him crowned with the honor that will survive him as long as his bronzes and marbles endure.

To Clinton County belongs the name of Addison P. Russell, whose charming books of literary comment have so widely endeared him to book lovers; but whose public services in his own state are scarcely known outside of it among the readers of “Library Notes,” or of “A Club of One.”

The inventor of the first successful electric light, Charles Francis Brush, was born on his father’s farm in Euclid, Cuyahoga County, in 1840, and still pursues in Cleveland the studies which have literally illumined the world. One of the earliest pioneers of science in geology and archaeology, Charles Whittlesey is identified with Cleveland, where the girlhood of the gifted novelist, Constance Fenimore Woolson, was passed. There, too, Charles F. Browne began to make his pseudonym of Artemus Ward known, and helped found the school of American humor. He was born in Maine; but his fun tastes of the West rather than the East.