grain dealer and substantial business man of Canal Winchester, is the son of Elihu and Betsy Bartlit, and was born in Jay, Essex county, New York, November 16, 1811. His parents died when he was young--his mother, in 1816, and his father in 1824. He lived with his oldest brother, John F., until he was twenty-one years of age, when he went to Keesville, in Essex county, and attended school. A short time afterward he was elected constable, and subsequently was appointed deputy sheriff of the county. Next we find him a clerk in a hotel in Albany, for about a year, when he joined his brother, John F., and family, in 1837, on their way to Ohio. They located in Kirkersville, Licking county, Ohio, where the brothers opened a store, which they continued about a year, removing thence to Reynoldsburg, Franklin county, Ohio, then a growing little town. They remained in trade there, however, only a few months, when they sold their goods and came, in the spring of 1839, to Canal Winchester. They immediately afterward opened, with a miscellaneous stock of goods, in a one-story frame building, on the site of the present dry goods store of the Messrs. Gayman. They soon afterward changed their location to the tow-path side of the canal, in order to catch the boat trade, occupying the small, red building which used to stand where the Commercial hotel now does. Merchandizing was carried on, in those days, almost entirely by barter and trade, and the Bartlit brothers exchanged their goods with the farmers fro produce, pork, butter, eggs, et., which in turn, they sold to the boatmen for cash. Samuel would sleep in the rear part of the store, and when the boatman cam along, as he did, in the night, he would arouse him by tapping on the window, and receive whatever of produce had been taken into the store during the day. The brothers continued in trade together until 1844, when John F. sold his interest to his brother, and removed to Waterloo, and subsequently to Columbus, where he was engaged in banking. In 1850 Samuel Bartlit erected the building no occupied by the Gayman brothers, and continued there in trade until September, 1856, when he sold out to his nephew, Samuel Pond. During all this time Mr. Bartlit was engaged in the grain and produce business, which gradually grew in proportions, and he erected, in 1847, a large warehouse (since burned down) on the north side of the canal.
Mr. Bartlit has given but little attention to outside speculation, but the result of the few ventures he has mad in this direction, attests the soundness of his judgment. In 1856 he purchased some real estate in the eastern part of Columbus, and the same year a tract of land of nine hundred acres on Big Darby, in this county, for seven thousand nine hundred dollars. At the time of this purchase he had not seen the land, but the investment proved highly profitable, as did the other also.
Mr. Bartlit was largely instrumental in securing, in 1851, the annexation to Madison township of one tier of sections in Fairfield county, by which the village of Canal Winchester was thrown in to Franklin county.
In 1853 he was the candidate of the Democratic party for State senator from Franklin and pickaway counties. He was nominated, as he himself says, not because of any special merit or qualifications, but rather because of his availability.His election over so strong an opponent as P. B. Wilcox, the Whig candidate, and overcoming an adverse majority, was a handsome compliment to his personal popularity and strength. His two years' term in the senate was alike creditable to himself and to his constituents.
Mr. Bartlit was a pronounced Union man during the war of the rebellion, but he continued to act with the Democratic party until the nomination of Vallandigham [Vallandigham, Clement Laird (1820-1871)], in 1863, when he left it, voted for Brough, and has since been a staunch Republican.
As a successful business man, Mr. Bartlit's career furnishes an instructive lesson. With little to begin with, save a liberal capital of pluck and energy, he has, by industry and the observance of sound business principles, amassed a fine property and established an honorable reputation.
Mr. Bartlit has never married. On the death of David M. Cowan, the husband of his half-sister, Amanda, in 1850, Mr. Bartlit brought the mother and her two children, Charles and David--the youngest less than a year old--to his home. The mother married again, in 1868, but the boys have always remained with their uncle, who has been to them all that a father could be to his children. Charles was given a collegiate education, graduating at Kenyon college, Gambier, Ohio, in 1868. He is proprietor of the Empire mills, near Winchester, and has practical supervision of his uncle's business.
Elihu Bartlit, son of Rev. Moses and Lydia Bartlit, of Middletown, Connecticut, was born March 6, 1743. He graduated at Yale College in 1764, and married, August 7, 1771, Statira, daughter of Deacon Timothy and Mary Meigs, who was born September 14, 1741. They were the parents of three children, namely: Lydia, Elihu, and Miner. Elihu the father of the subject of the present notice and of Samuel Bartlit--a sketch of whom appears above--was born on Sunday, March 26, 1775, and married in 1801, Betsey Foot, and died June 1, 1824. Betsy Foot, who was born in Arlington, Vermont, December 25, 1778, and died May 4, 1816, was the second of eleven children of John Foot and Ruth Searl. They were born, respectively, July 14, 1754, and October 9, 1756; were joined in wedlock in 1775; and died respectively, June 16, 1826, and January 29, 1846. John Foot was the son of George Foot, of Stratford, Connecticut, who was born in 1721; the son of Jehiel Foot, of Stratford, Connecticut, who was born in 1687; the son of Daniel Foot, of Stratford, Connecticut, who was born in 1652; the son of Nathaniel Foot, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, who was born in 1620--the eldest child of Nathaniel Foot, "the settler," who emigrated from England in the year 1633, and settled in Connecticut.
Elizabeth Bartlit, the subject of this sketch was born in Jay, Essex county, New York, December 1, 1806. She possessed a naturally strong inclination for the attainment of an education, which was gratified by the study of such branches as the common and public schools of the time afforded. When only sixteen years of age, she began teaching in the public schools of Greenwich, New York. She subsequently taught at various places in her native State. and at intervals attended several institutions of learning, spending one term, in 1834, at a seminary in Clinton, New York. The following year she went to Michigan, and engaged at teaching in the public schools of the town of Branch, then the county seat of Branch county, of that State. In 1838--March 1st--she was united in marriage to Lewis Pollay, of Branch, Michigan, who died, November 22d of the same year. After her husband's death, Mrs. Pollay returned to her former avocation, teaching in Coldwater, Michigan, from 1841 to 1851, when she came to Ohio and took up her residence with her brother, Samuel Bartlit, in Canal Winchester. In 1853 she was appointed matron of the Central lunatic asylum, of Columbus, Ohio, in which position she served with efficiency two years. Returning to Canal Winchester, she taught in the schools of that place one year, when she permanently retired from the discharge of public duties.
Mrs. Pollay is a lady of unusual energy of character and vigor of mind, and is honored and respected for her moral worth by a wide circle of friends. She has been a member of Westminster Presbyterian church since 1853. Mrs. Pollay is the mother of one child--Eliza Maria--born December 6, 1838, who was married October 1, 1863, to Charles H. Town, colonel of the First Michigan cavalry, and died October 26, 1873. Mrs. Town was a lady of thorough scholarship, and was the first principal of the female department in the high school of Detroit, Michigan.
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