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"Columbus 47 Years Ago. Commissioner Bellows Talks of Old Times in the City" Columbus Dispatch 7/22/1896 Page 7
Columbus 47 Years Ago.
Commissioner Bellows talks of old times in the city. Old Citizens and Landmarks Recalled for Modern Newspaper Readers.
(UNREADABLE) and Incidents Described by a Pioneer Resident – Changes of Half Century.
County Commissioner George Bellows is one of the old citizens of Columbus, and having been a very active man all his life has many interesting incidents stored up which are worth entertaining and of value in many ways. Recently Mr. Bellows was requested to address an appreciation of pioneers. He says it almost took his breath from him when asked to make a public speech, because that was not his forte. When it comes to relating reminiscences, however, Mr. Bellows is at home and relishes it as much as his audiences do. Recently Mr. Bellows, while taken with a spirit of going back to Old Times, told of the condition of things here 47 years ago, when he came to the city. He said Columbus had almost 18,000 inhabitants within the limits bounded by Livingston Avenue, the Scioto River, (UNREADABLE) street and Grant Avenue. The houses for the most part were small, plain brick and wooden structures with but few churches and only three school houses, the latter being the North, Central and South schools and a high school located on Town Street. Ada D. Lord was the superintendent and his assistants were Alma (UNREADABLE) and Anna C. (UNREADABLE). There were 23 (UNREADABLE) and 1,591 scholars in the High (UNREADABLE), and the school buildings numbered 12 with 16,746 scholars and over 400 teachers and principals. The churches have kept pace with the school houses.
Mr. Bellows says he came to Columbus to assist in the construction of Starling Medical College, which Mr. R.A. Sheldon, the architect had secured. “I was at that time working for Mr. Sheldon in Brooklyn, N.Y.” said Mr. Bellows, “his office at the time was located at No. 8 Wall Street, New York. Many of those who worked with me upon that building have been gathered to their kindred dust, as have many of those who comprised its first faculty and with whom I was well acquainted, notable among those being Drs. Howard, Carter, Smith and others. Dr. Gay who was the first administrator of anatomy is the only one that is living of the first faculty, so far as I know.”
"We had no railroads at that time. The present state house was not in existence at that time, but on the site of this building was a long line of low, plain two-story brick buildings fronting on High Street. The state house proper was situated about 100 feet back each way from High and State streets. It was only a two-story brick building with a (UNREADABLE) roof and (UNREADABLE) in which hung the belt made famous by the poetic lines of our brother townsman John M. Dening. And here I must not forget to mention the old First Presbyterian church in which the (UNREADABLE) Dr. Hogg ministered for so many years."
"It was said of the architect who remodeled the old church (all but the steeple) that he accomplished in one year what the doctor had failed to do in many, namely bringing them all to repentance, it having cost much more than the congregation had anticipated. It was also said of the original builder of the old church that the reason why he should have the contract was that he had carried that steeple in his head for a number of years, which when the immense size of the timbers used in the construction is considered, undoubtedly had great weight with the building committee for they gave him the job. He must have had an eye for business, for when we came to take the old steeple and replace it with the present one we found this admonition written onto a shingle; “I wish you would work harder and drink less whisky.”
"While we were getting the college building ready for the fall term we were very much hurried. I was at work on the stairs and I suppose it looked a little dangerous to Dr. Howard because we were up so high. One day while he was watching us, the doctor said “Hurry up the best you can George, and if you fall down and break your neck, I’ll set it for nothing." I appreciated his kindness, but in the mysterious providence of life, I am still here and he is not.”
“Among the people of this city at that time there were the McCoys, Kelseys, Keltons, Plattis, Medberys, Gwynnes, Gills, Moodys, Kilbournes, Goodales and many others with whom I had dealings, all of whom have passed into the Great Hereafter.”
“I remember of a (UNREADABLE) incident at the old city bank in which (UNREADABLE), Plate, McCoy and Moody were drinking spirits. They had an old Scotchman for a bookkeeper with whom I got quite well acquainted. I was making at that time $10 per week and managed to put into the bank $350 per year. One day I was putting some money in the bank and my old Scotch friend called me to him and whispered in my ear saying “That’s right, save your money for as long as you have money you will have plenty of friends.”
“At that time the country around
Albert G. Lucas1
Co. E, 34th ILL. Infantry
Pages 627-632 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905.
ALBERT G. LUCAS.
Albert G. Lucas, A. M., long an active minister of the Christian church, almost throughout his long lifetime writer for or editor and publisher of newspapers, a man of varied experience in public, business and professional affairs, is now closing up his life accounts in his home at Girard, and at the age of eighty odd years is active in mind and body and hopes to continue so until the summons to the great beyond.
Mr. Lucas not only has a long personal history but also his family annals cover and are closely identified with the most important phases of American nationality. He was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, June 23, 1823, a son of Samuel and Hannah (Blair) Lucas, who were the parents of nineteen children, fourteen sons, of whom our subject was the youngest, and five daughters, but Mr. Lucas is now the only survivor of this large family. His mother, who was a woman of excellent intellect, transmitting many of her qualities to her children, was related to the ancient Scotch stock of the Montgomerys, Campbells and McPhersons. On the paternal side Mr. Lucas has reason to be proud of the patriotic record of his forebears, for his grandfather served five years and six months in the war for independence, was with Washington at Valley Forge, at the fighting in New Jersey, at the famous crossing and recrossing of the Delaware river, and at the surrender of Cornwallis. Afterward he served nearly three years in the Indian wars, and he lived to the great age of one hundred and three years. The entire family are noted for vigor of mind and body, and longevity is one of their marked characteristics.
Going back into the old ancestral lines, there is ample documentary evidence to prove that the Lucases descended from a long line of Saxon barons, who were among the first to accept the Lutheran reformation, and, although the more immediate ancestors married into a family of Irish Catholics, Mr. Lucas' father never yielded one jot of his Protestantism, but was himself a stout Presbyterian with all that word implied a hundred years ago.
Samuel Lucas, the father, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, April 10, 1778, and was a farmer and a school teacher. He voted for Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. He served eighteen months in the war against Great Britain in 1812-15.
Mr. Albert G. Lucas, who is the only living representative of his parents' large family, was reared in Pennsylvania mostly, and began his education as a child, both parents taking part in his instruction and thus supplementing the meager work of the public schools. At his sixteenth year he was considered competent to teach, a pursuit which he entered upon in Clarion county, Pennsylvania, beginning February 14, 1839, and he taught every winter and some in the summers until the winter of 1850. In March of the latter year he graduated in medicine at Philadelphia, and in the April following took up practice. He continued to pursue his studies, literary and otherwise, with unremitting ardor till in 1878, when the faculty and management of Abingdon College, Illinois, saw fit to bestow upon him the honorary degree of "Magister in Artibus." He also holds two state teacher's certificates, one for Illinois and one for Missouri, and by hard study and honest industry attained the degrees of M. D. and A. M.
At the outset of his career for a year or so he was inclined to ramble, incidentally forming habits of intemperance, which, indeed, he inherited to a great extent, it being customary in those days to drink on all public occasions and also in the family. As already stated, his first step was school teaching, by which he was enabled to continue his studies, and which also gave him an opportunity to study human nature, which he did to the extent of his ability. His life experience has in fact been a rather checkered one. He began writing for the press when only fourteen years old, and from that time on there was not a year when he did not produce something to appear in print. In 1847 he was engaged as associate editor of the Franklin (Pennsylvania) Gazette, a mildly Whig paper. His productions were all of an anti-slavery cast, and mostly in poetry.
While living in Ohio in the early forties he was married, and he continued to reside in that state until the spring of 1845, when he returned to Pennsylvania, where he lived until the autumn of 1854, engaged in teaching, preaching, and studying medicine and the German and Latin languages. Becoming somewhat disgusted with the uncertainty of the "healing art," he left for Illinois, where he intended to put in his time teaching and preaching. Here he fell in with a homeopathic physician, and soon was convinced that i
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