Lighting Ancestral Lamps

Page 64


Hyatt7, Early Pioneer
of Ohio and Illinois

Hyatt, eldest child and son of Beajamin6, patriarch of the southern Illinois clan and Margaret Hyatt Bunn, pioneer mother, is the next ancestor in the direct line of descent. He was born somewhere in Ohio, May 8, 1805. Probably the place of his birth was a crude log cabin on
the former site of, or in, an Indian village near the present town of Jeromeville, Ashland County. At any rate the story handed down relates that Benjamin and wife, Margaret, settled in an Indian camp, or on a former Indian campsite, upon their arrival in Ohio. They arrived in the early autumn of 1804. All records have been lost as to the exact whereabouts of this family until the spring of 1809. They showed up in the Finley settlement located two or three miles southeast of Jeromeville, Ohio.

During Hyatt's early boyhood he must have had numerous contacts with the Indians. Rugged Ashland and Wayne counties, his home areas, in the early 19th century were over-run by Indian tribes. The story of Hyatt's and his sister, Isabel's experience with an Indian brave was related in an earlier chapter. He was a lad of seven when the War of 18l2 was declared. The story of his father, Benjamin6' and others' building a block house and several families taking refuge therein during 1812-13 to protect themselves against possible Indian attacks also has been previously described.

After the war, Benjamin5, then in his early prime, proceeded in earnest to enter land from the government. Perhaps a large acreage seemed a necessity in order to make a living for his rapidly increasing family. More than five hundred acres were purchased, frequently on the installment plan. Hyatt, being the eldest of the ten children, doubtless did much to help his parents, particularly his father, to chisel out a homestead and make clearings for future farming operations.

Like his parents, he was a brawny fellow. The story handed down is to the effect that he was 6'2" tall, weighed 225 pounds in his prime, and wore a 44 size coat, etc. As a physical specimen, he ranked excellent, but the pioneer era and environment under which he lived left organized mental training in the background. He leaned to read write and do a little simple figuring. As early as can be checked, log cabins and meeting houses during his boyhood, were few and far between.

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