Shadrach and Lydia Hudson

Shadrach and Lydia (Winans) Hudson were among the very first settlers of Miami county, then of Paulding county, Ohio. Their daughter Abigail married one of my great-great-grandfather's older brothers, Isaac Carey. Their biographical sketch appears in Our Hudson Family History (OHFH), by Eberhardt and Hudson, beginning at page 125. It contains an excellent description of what life was like on the frontier. The following are excerpts from their chapter:

[13] Shadrach6 Hudson (1775-1841)
of Auglaize Township, Ohio

SHADRACH (SHADRACK)61 HUDSON (Abraham5, Samuel4, Samuel 3Robert2, Robert1) was born in Morristown, N.J., 4 January 1775, and died at Junction, Paulding County, Ohio, on 25 May 1841.1

He married in Miami County, Ohio, 26 May 1797, LYDIA SARAH WINANS2 of Rahway, N.J., who was born 27 March 1781 and who died at Junction, Paulding County, Ohio, on 25 May 1841, the same day that her husband died.1

Shadrach was named after his mother's uncle, Shadrach Howard who was born in 1724, or after his mother's brother, Shadrack Howard who was baptized on 8 December 1762.2

On 12 April 17782 when Shadrach Hudson was only three years old, his mother, Abigail (Howard or Hayward) Hudson, died, leaving him, his brother, Abraham, and his sister, Elizabeth, to be cared for by relatives (perhaps on the Mendham, N.J. farm of his great grandparents, Samuel3 and Zerviah (Schellinger)3 Hudson) while his father was on active duty in the Revolutionary War.

Shadrach received a bequest of 10 pounds in the Will of his grandfather, Daniel Hayward (Howard), to be awarded when he was age 21.3

Shadrach Hudson spent his childhood in Mendham, N.J. On 19 May 1791 at the age of 16, he enlisted for six months in the U.S. Army as a Private in Lieut. Col. Gibson's 2nd U.S. Levies, Major Thomas Patterson's Battalion, Capt. Zebulon Pike's Company.4

Shadrach Hudson marched with the 2nd U.S. Levies from Trenton, N.J. to Western Ohio, a distance of 710 miles, taking 47 days to make the trip, averaging 15 miles per day.

In Ohio, Shadrach Hudson's Unit was under the command of General Arthur St. Clair who set out from Fort Washington in September 1791 with an Army of 1,000 men, to break the power of the Miami Indian Confederacy.5 On the night of 3 November 1791, St. Clair and his Army had reached a point nearly 100 miles north of Fort Washington, and encamped on the upper tributary of the Wabash River in what is now the southwest section of Mercer County, Ohio.6

On the following morning at sunrise, his improperly guarded camp was suddenly assailed by more than 2,000 warriors led by the celebrated Indian, Little Turtle. After a terrible battle of three hours, St. Clair and his men were completely defeated with a loss of one-half of his men.

Shadrach Hudson was one of the men who fought in that battle. Fortunately, he was not injured in the attack, and when his term of service expired 19 November 1791, he was discharged.

In 1794, General Anthony Wayne pushed his advance into Indian country to the place of St. Clair's disaster, where he erected a work of defense which was named Fort Recovery, signifying that the hitherto lost ground had been recovered. Peace on the Northwest Ohio frontier followed General Wayne's victory 20 August 1794 over the Indians at Fallen Timbers, Ohio, on the Maumee River about 12 miles southwest of Toledo, Ohio.7

It is not certain exactly when Shadrach Hudson left Mendham, N.J., to settle permanently in Ohio. One source states that he married Sarah Winans of Rahway, N.J., before leaving Mendham, and that they lived there until after their first son, Abram, was born before moving to Pennsylvania and then to Miami County, Ohio.8

Other sources state that Shadrach Hudson came to Miami County in the autumn of 1797 and that he became a permanent settler there in the spring of 1798.9 Among the early settlers in Miami County were the Winans,10 possibly relatives of Shadrach's wife, Lydia, so that the marriage may have taken place in Ohio rather than in New Jersey. Shadrach Hudson's first son, Abram, was born 26 March 179811 apparently in Miami County, Ohio.12

Like his father, Abraham5 Hudson, who discovered northwestern New York State during his Revolutionary War military service and liked it so much that he moved there to live, so Shadrach Hudson discovered Miami County, Ohio, during his 1791 military service and liked it so much that he decided to live there.

The severe castigations given the Indians by General Wayne, and the Treaty of Greenville, secured to the Miami River Valley, immunity from Indian ferocity after 1794. Immediately after this Treaty, inducements were offered in the shape of donations of land, with other privileges, to actual settlers. The parcels of land ran as high as ten acres.

In the autumn of 1797, Jonathan Rollins, Samuel Hilliard, John Gerard, Shadrach Hudson, Daniel Cox, and Thomas Rich, were induced through promises of lands and lots, to go to the Piqua villages in Miami County and lay out a town. Shadrach Hudson located near the mouth of Spring Creek where, in the following spring, he became a permanent settler.13

Shadrach Hudson came from North Bend on the Ohio River and settled in Huntersville or East Piqua, Ohio, on the west side of the Miami river within the present limits of Washington Township, Miami County, Ohio.14

He was listed as a Grand Juror for Miami County in 1808 and 1810.15 He was a farmer and carpenter.

About 1808, Shadrach Hudson built a huge log barn for John Johnston at Piqua, Ohio. The barn is still standing much as it was in the beginning as far as the original hewed log walls are concerned. In 1852 a new roof was erected using the old log walls as supports, thus preserving for posterity an unusual historic structure.16

John Johnston, in enumerating the early settlers in the Miami River Valley, placed Shadrach Hudson at Upper Piqua, Ohio, and wrote: "Hudson had been in the Army and planted the first corn on the place in 1802." (Late in 1802, Ohio was admitted to the Union as the 17th State.)

Johnston continued: "Shadrach Hudson told me his manner of cultivating the soil. He broke up the prairie ground with two yoke of oxen. The sod, being freshly turned over, could not be scored out in the usual manner, so he drove his wagon over the ground making the rows by the wheels; then crossing the same at right angles and planting his seed at the points crossed. He was late in planting, but had a fair crop."16

On 1 June 1810, a patent was granted John Johnston for the northeast quarter of Section 1, Township 8, Range 5, in Miami County, Ohio. In the spring of 1811, he bought the quarter section east of this. The latter tract had been entered by Shadrach Hudson, who had erected a two-story log cabin and a log barn.17

Shadrach Hudson served gallantly in the War of 1812. He enlisted 25 April 1812 at Fort Lorimies, Ohio, for one year as a Private in the 2nd Company of United States Mounted Rangers, commanded by Capt. William Perry, Capt. Samuel McCormick, and Lieut. John Hopkins. On 14 May 1812, he was issued "one horse." He was paid $1.00 per day for his service. He re-enlisted 5 July 1813. His last day of service according to Pay Roll Records was 30 September 1813.18

It is interesting to note that Shadrach Hudson's oldest son, Abram7 Hudson, enlisted in Miami County, Ohio, as a Private for one year, with Capt. Samuel McCormick's Company of U.S. Mounted Rangers, commencing 12 November 1813,18 the same Unit in which his father served, but about a month after his father's last day of service.

At one time during the War of 1812, Shadrach Hudson was a teamster with the United States Army and became quite familiar with the territory along the Auglaize River as he brought supplies up over the Anthony Wayne Trail. He was much impressed with the beauty and fertility of the Auglaize River Valley. He noted the Indian Corn that grew in the fields across the river from the Indian Village of Charloe.19

In 1818 he staked his claim on the east bank of the Auglaize River in Auglaize Township, Paulding County, Ohio.19

Early settlers found much of Paulding County swampy, wet, and flooded, with troublesome marshes. It was situated within the "Black Swamp" of the "Old Northwest Territory." There were many miles where no bit of dry land was to be seen, and the horses at every step waded in the marsh up to their knees. However, there was some good land in Paulding County. The first settlers built their cabins on high ground along the rivers. Not only was the soil fertile, but the rivers were an excellent source of transportation.19

In 1819, Shadrach Hudson migrated with his family from Staunton Township, Miami County, Ohio, north to Auglaize Township in Paulding County, Ohio, via the route which had been opened by General Wayne to Defiance, then up the Auglaize River to his land.20 See the location of the "Au Glaize River" on the 1804 Map of Ohio in [13]; note the direct route up the Miami River, up Leromies Creek, and up the Au Glaize River.

But why did Shadrach Hudson take his family from the good and well-improved farm that he owned near Spring Creek in Miami County? Like many other pioneers, he sometimes imbibed too freely of strong drink and one time, when under the influence, he signed papers for one of his drinking companions that made him liable for a sum of money that led to the loss of his farm and relocation in the wilds of Paulding County where he and his sons and daughters and his wife Lydia, went to work to rebuild the lost fortune.21

Court Records22 show that in 1820, John7 Hudson and Abram7 Hudson, sons of Shadrach Hudson, purchased 153.84 acres in the southeastern portion of Section 19, Township 3 North, Range 4, in Paulding County, and that half of the land was held separately by Shadrach Hudson. The father resided as a tenant on the land and helped improve it. With this real estate maneuver, the family either wanted to keep creditors from seizing more property owned by Shadrach Hudson, or wanted to avoid a repeat of the previous loss in Miami County, Ohio.

Shadrach Hudson's land that was purchased and divided in 1820 by his sons, John and Abram Hudson, into two parcels of 76.92 acres each, is shown on the 1892 map of Auglaize Township in the southeastern portion of Section 19. In 1892, this plot was still divided, with 76.89 acres held by John G. Klein, and 76.90 acres held by Mary Davis.23

In 1836, John Hudson deeded and conveyed to his father for $100 his portion of the land.22

The 1820 U.S. Census lists Shadrach Hudson as a resident of Staunton Township, Miami County, Ohio, so it is probable that he did not move his family from Staunton to Auglaize until after the Census was taken in 1820.24

He was the first actual settler in Auglaize Township. In 1822, he built the first house in the County on Section 19--a double log cabin, 20 X 30 feet, of hewed logs. The cabin was located on the high bluff on the east bank of the Auglaize River, about one-half mile below the Junction bridge, about one-half mile east of the present village of Junction, Ohio, and about ten miles south of Defiance, Ohio.25

This house was known as "the oldest house in the county," and was still standing in the 1920's. The following description of this house was given in June 1890 by a correspondent of the "Oakwood Sentinel":26 "It was built by Shadrach Hudson in 1822 or 1823. It is of square logs, is two stories in height, and has a huge fireplace in each end. There are two rooms on the first floor. The house commands a fine view, both up and down the Auglaize River. The house is situated on what is now known as the "Potter Farm," one mile northeast of Junction, Ohio. Nearby is the Cemetery where are buried pioneer settlers from the Hudson, Shirley, and Carey families."

When Shadrach Hudson's barn was raised, the workers had no block and tackle for the job. The foreman, John Hilton, was very energetic and for the task he fastened a bent (a framework for carrying lateral as well as vertical loads) together and arranged his helpers along the bent ready to lift at his command. The men were warned not to risk the lives of the others by, from fear, running away when the bent was halfway up. When Shadrach Hudson's barn was almost finished, the last purlin plate, when being pushed over the top of the building, started to slip back by some mishap. One man panicked and ran away. The others, with John's encouragement, managed to secure the plate in place without injury.27

In bringing his farm in Auglaize Township under cultivation, Shadrach Hudson was rather eccentric in that trees or saplings had to be cut "right and left" so the stumps would all have a like appearance and be of uniform height. He insisted that land to be planted had to be free of all sticks and roots. His crops grew well in the black, well-prepared, virgin soil. In those early times, there were no bugs to destroy the crops.28

In 1822, Shadrach and Lydia Hudson deeded to Isaac Carey, their son-in-law, for $1,000, 77 acres of land located along the eastern bank of the Auglaize River in the southeastern portion of Section 19 in Auglaize Township. Their son, David Hudson, was a witness to this document.29

In the winter of 1832, there was a prolonged thaw and break-up of the ice on the Auglaize River. Along Shadrach Hudson's farm, the river had a short bend which caused a heavy dam of ice to form, forcing the water and large cakes of ice onto Shadrach's corn field of 8 to 10 acres. His fine crop of corn was covered with ice from 6 to 10 feet in depth, and the ice remained until late in the spring. The corn was nearly a total loss.30

Shadrach Hudson owned a horse named "Dick" that he was proud of. One day the horse turned up missing. After much fruitless searching about the region, Shadrach finally spied "Dick" in the village of Charloe with two Indians on his back and pulling a plow under the guidance of the Indian Chief of the village, Ocanoxy. "Dick" was promptly released from his unnatural burden and returned home.31

One day an Indian entered Shadrach Hudson's house and, while under the influence of alcohol, started to cut and tear up the furnishings. Shadrach was informed and grabbed the Indian and threw him down the stairs where he landed on his head. The Indian was glad to escape with his life.32

Probably among the first, if not the very first school taught in Paulding County, was in a room in Shadrach Hudson's private residence. It was a private school taught by a "school ma'am" who was kind and attentive to her profession.

The next school was in a little log building that stood near the Auglaize River bank, a little south of the Cemetery on Shadrach Hudson's farm. It too was a private school supported by Shadrach Hudson, Isaac Carey, his son-in-law, and Nathan Shirley. Books included the Webster Speller, English Reader, and Pike's Arithmetic which was full and running over with pounds, shillings, and pence, which had to be reduced to dollars and cents.33

Shadrach Hudson, who was a man of medium stature and who possessed intelligence as was rarely found in the men of the day, and his wife, Lydia, lived a life of piety, and daily gathered their large family around the family altar. They were very hospitable and entertained many a stranger who chanced to pass their way. Game was plentiful and many huge roasts of bear meat, venison, and wild turkey were prepared in the two fireplaces.34

Shadrach Hudson and the other early settlers of Paulding County were "men of integrity, hardy and brave, and whether they were clearing away forests, engaged at the hand-mill in cracking corn for food, or chasing the bounding deer, they showed a fortitude and determination of spirit which is worthy of imitation." Their habits were "exemplary, their hardships many, and their wants few."35

"The garb of the first settlers was of the simplest homespun material. The flax patch furnished the material for the bed ticking and the tow linen for shirts and trousers. The wool was carded, spun, woven, and fashioned into garments by the nimble fingers of the pioneer's wife and daughters." Often the tired backwoodsman was "lulled to sleep by the sweet hum of the spinning wheel as the faithful and toiling wife plied her vocation late in the night."36

The 1830 U.S. Census lists Shadrach Hudson as a resident of Defiance Township, Paulding County, Ohio, with a female age 40-50 (his wife, Lydia), a female age 15-20 (his daughter, Elizabeth), a male 5-10 (his son, Shadrach R.), three males age 10-15 (his sons, Samuel W. and William, 3rd male not identified), and one male age 30-40 (his son, Abram).37

The 1840 U.S. Census lists Shadrach Hudson (age 60-70) as a resident of Auglaize Township, Paulding County, Ohio, with his wife, Lydia (age 60-70), two males 20-30 (his sons, Samuel W., and Shadrach R.), one male 50-60 (not identified), one female 20-30 (his daughter, Elizabeth), and one female 15-20 (not identified).38

Shadrach and Lydia (Winans) Hudson both died on the same day, 25 May 1841, and are buried in the Hudson Family Cemetery located on the Shadrach Hudson farm property, near the Auglaize River, and less than one-quarter of a mile north of the site of their log house.

Auglaize Township now owns the Cemetery land, and the Cemetery is now known as the Hudson-Potter-Klein Cemetery. A marker was placed on the graves of Shadrach Hudson and his wife, Lydia, in 1979 by the Ohio Historical Society.1

On 18 April 1843, Court Records show that Abraham Hudson purchased 60 acres of his father's land located in the southeast portion of Section 30, Auglaize Township, and paid $19.49 to each of the following: John Mason, Robert and Sarah (Hudson) Shirley, Elias and Phebe (Hudson) Shirley, John Hudson, Abraham Hudson, Elizabeth Hudson, Samuel Hudson, Shadrach R. Hudson, and James Hudson.39

Shadrach Hudson's sons, James and Shadrach R. Hudson, were administrators of his estate, and filed final settlement on 6 May 1850.40

Children of Shadrach and Lydia (Winans) Hudson:

[17]i.Abram7 (Abraham) Hudson, b 26 Mar 1798,12 d 6 Mar 1874.
[18]ii.John Hudson, b ca 1799, d after 1860.
[19]iii.Abigail Hudson, b 24 Aug 1800, d 30 May 1847.
[20]iv.James Hudson, b 2 Mar 1802, d 22 Jan 1873.
 v.David Hudson, b ca 1805, d at age 17.
[21]vi.Phebe Hudson, b 21 Jan 1807, d 20 Aug 1848.
[22]vii.Sarah Hudson, b 23 Oct 1811, d 5 Nov 1857.
[23]viii.Elizabeth L. Hudson, b 1814, d after 1870.
[24]ix.Samuel W. Hudson, b ca 1815, d 22 June 1849.
 x.William Hudson, b ca 1818, d at age 15.
[25]xi.Shadrach R. Hudson, b 21 Jan 1820, d 21 Aug 1890.


Work is in progress on transcribing these footnotes.

1 The numbers appearing immediately after individuals' names refer to the generation numbering scheme of this book. Shadrach belongs to the sixth, of fourteen, generations of Hudsons documented. The codes which appear in green for various people were assigned by the OHFH authors for identification purposes.
2 It has been suggested by another researcher that this Lydia Winans is the daughter of John and Sarah (Pryor) Winans. She isn't listed among John and Sarah's children in Mrs. Egy's Winans Genealogy. Pioneer Marriage Records, Hamilton County Ohio, 1791-1820 lists a marriage 30 Jun 1794 between Shadrach Huston and Lydia Winans, which was performed by Minister of the Gospel John Smith, of Columbia. Lydia was 13 years old at the time.
3 Zerviah is the granddaughter of pioner Dutch settler Cornelis Melyn, through his daughter Cornelia Melyn, who married Jacob Schellinger. Shadrach's wife Lydia is also descended from Cornelis Melyn, via his daughter Susannah Melyn, who married John Winans.
4 These are Eberhardt and Hudson's footnotes, which are keyed to blue superscripts in the text. My own footnotes are keyed in red.
This page was last updated 25 May 2008.