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CAPTAIN THOMAS TIPTON
Between Pages 434 & 435
[Captain Thomas Tipton] was born in Fredrick county, Maryland, January, 1892. His father, Sylvester Tipton, was a teacher by profession, and lived in Jefferson county, Virginia, near Harper's Ferry, but at the time of the birth of the subject of our notice, he was temporarily residing in Frederick county, Maryland. Both his paternal and maternal ancestors were of Scotch-Irish extraction, and were worthy descendants of that sterling race of Highlanders whose representative was the famous John Knox, of the Reformation. Sylvester Tipton was a man of very limited means, but had a fair education, and, better than all else, possessed a good name. He was small in stature, but had a good constitution, and lived to a ripe old age, dying at the age of ninety years. His wife was a woman of more than ordinary strength of character. Her maiden name was Mary Starks, a niece of Gerald Starks, of Revolutionary fame. She was tall and dignified in appearance, and being unusually intelligent,occupied a conspicuous place in the communities where she resided. Such were the parents of Thomas Tipton, who was ten years old when they settled in Chillicothe, Ross county. There he obtained his education, in such schools as the times and place afforded. It may be a matter of some interest to the young people of to-day to note, in this connection, what were the facilities for education, and what the qualifications expected of school teachers in those primitive times. The school-house was built of unhewed logs; the floor was made of puncheons, as were the most uncomfortable seats, which were supported, when not on wooden legs, by the ends being passed through between the unchinked logs. The qualifications of the teacher were in harmony with the school-house and other appliances. The certificate stated that the person therein named was "qualified to teach spelling, reading, writing, and ciphering, excluding fractions." At the age of fourteen, young Tipton closed his school days, at which time he could spell most of the words in Webster's spelling book and write his name, as will be seen by reference to his autograph, which was written at that time [see illustration]. He was united in marriage, December 6, 1813, by Asa Shepard, a justice of the peace, to Miss Elizabeth Tomlinson, of Chillicothe, a woman of heroic fortitude which, it is said, never gave way amid all the hardships and privations of their pioneer experience. Her beneficence was limited only by her ability, and the poor and destitute who were the special objects of her care and attention, regarded her with reverential respect and gratitude. Mr. and Mrs. Tipton began their married life in Franklin county, where they purchased, from time to time, one thousand acres of land, and brought the same under cultivation. To build up a home of this sort, from such a forest, with poverty on one hand, distance from market on the other, and malaria everywhere, gives some idea of Captain Tipton and his good wife's energy of character, courage, and determination.
During the war of 1812, Captain Tipton was called into the military service of his country, and responded by at once raising a company, and was with General Harrisonat Fort Defiance at the time of Hull's surrender. Captain Tipton, or "Uncle Tommy,"as he was familiarly called by his friends and neighbors, possessed a hopeful, buoyant nature, and a kind and benevolent disposition; he would often, at great inconvenience to himself, help those less fortunate than himself, who could render no return but kindly good will and gratitude. He was an ardent friend, and absolutely had no enemies. The young approached his as a father, the aged sought his counsel as a friend in whose motives and judgment they had the utmost confidence. His character was one to be held in pleasant remembrance by all who enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with him, on account of his quiet, unobtrusive manner, and the healthful moral influence he exerted. Perhaps nothing more conclusively proves the pure and upright character of the man than the respect and filial affection of his children for him. While his life was always strictly moral and upright, he was over fifty years of age before he mad a profession of religion. In October, 1841, he was called to witness the wonderful consolation of religion in the triumphant death of his daughter, Mary, then the wife of Elijah Chenoweth, jr. This was the first time that death had ever visited his own family circle, and it made a deep impression on his mind. His daughter, shortly before her death, exacted a promise from both father and husband that their names should be enrolled on the church book in place of her own. Shortly after this event Mr. Tipton called his family together, on a Sunday morning, and opened the family devotion with singing two verses of the hymn beginning:
"And must this body die,
This well-wrought frame decay?"
After which his wife offered up one of those soul-stirring petitions for which she had long been noted in the praying circles of the neighborhood. In the evening of the same day he offered, in the presence of his family, his first prayer--at least his first audible one. The family altar thus established was continued the remainder of their lives, and they enjoyed the consolation of often hearing each of their sons conduct the family devotion. Captain Tipton was a member of the Methodist church, as are all of his children, save one, who is, at this time a member of no church.
In politics, he was a Republican, and his sons are adherents of the same party. He served as county commissioner of Franklin county for the term of two years--but he was not an aspirant for office, and once declined a nomination for State representative.
He died, of a malarial fever, the thirteenth day of September, 1864, and his wife on the fifth of February of the same year.
Pleasant Ridge farm, known as the "Tipton farm," is on the west side of Darby creek, two miles north of Harrisburg, in Pleasant township, Franklin county, and is now owned by J. H. Chenoweth. The old cabin has been demolished, but the associations connected with it remain in the memory of the children who, though long since grown to man's estate, speak with peculiar tenderness of the old home, and with the most affectionate veneration of the father and mother who built it in the woods, protected it from savage violence, and brightened it with love and kindly feeling; regarded no trial or sacrifice too great, or labor too severe, to raise their children to a condition better than their own.
Captain Tipton was the father of eleven children: Samuel S., who married Miss Lydia Gantz, is a farmer and a stock dealer, and lives in Kansas. Frances married John Taylor, who is also a Kansas farmer; John S. married Miss Tabitha Stump. He resides in Kansas, where he is engaged in farming and the manufacture of agricultural implements. Jonathan married Miss Rebecca Shattuck. He lives in Franklin county, Ohio, and is a farmer. William A., now deceased, married Miss Julia Wilcox. Richard H., married Miss Minerva Buckles, and resides in Darbyville, Pickaway county, Ohio. He is a physician and surgeon of thirty-four years' experience, and is a graduate of Jefferson college, Philadelphia. Dr. Tipton was surgeon of the Ninetieth regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, in the war of the Rebellion, serving with credit for three years. Mary, now deceased, was the wife of Elijah Chenoweth, jr.; Sarah is the wife of George Stump, a farmer living in Kansas; Thomas C. married Miss Miranda Loomis, and is a resident of Williamsport, Pickaway county, Ohio. He is a physician and surgeon of many years' practice. A biography of Dr. Tipton is given elsewhere in this book. Nelson F. married a Miss Elder, of Illinois, who died, leaving him with one child--a daughter. He married, for his second wife, Miss Hayes, of Harrisburg, Ohio. She died, leaving a son as a result of this union. His present wife was a Miss Morgan. He is a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and a member of the Southern Kansas conference, and is at present stationed at Melvern, Kansas. Hiram C. married Miss Mary Shattuck, and is a farmer of Franklin county, Ohio.