ELIJAH HERRICK, Biography
Elijah Herrick was born in Stillwater, Saratoga Co., New York December 12th 1809. In 1822 he came with his father to the present vicinity of Waterville on the Maumee, owing to the unhealthiness of the climate his father soon returned to New York leaving Elijah and his brother William behind. He worked for a short time across the river from Waterville and among other things made 4,000 rails at 80 cents per hundred. He also worked at blacksmithing and made the ironworks for the sailing vessel Ante___? built by Daniel Hubble. When about twenty years old he kept bachelors hall and raised corn on the big flats near Turkey Foot Rock.
In 1831 he was married to Orra Sophronia Noble by whom he had four children, one of which, a daughter, was living at the time of his death.
He now bought teams and went to teaming, moving many pioneers into the woods.
In 1836 he moved to Perrysburg and took a contract to haul goods for John Hollister, taking the most of them up the river to Defiance and Fort Wayne. One time Asa Miller had goods frozen in at Manhattan which he wished to take to Fort Wayne, they loaded two teams and Mr. Miller tacking an ax went with them, they were thirteen days chopping their way through and five days coming back, for which Mr. Herrick received $100.00 Mr. Miller bearing all the expenses. He also hauled the first load of goods from the Maumee to Adrian Michigan unloading them in a log cabin which had a blanket hanging up for a door.
In 1841 he moved to Miami and with his partner established the first line of boats on the canal between Toledo and Providence. In 1843 his wife died and in 1844 he was married to Abigail Allen to whom five children were born. They lived for a few weeks at Perrysburg, and came the same year (1844) to the present homestead in Fulton Township, Fulton Co. When he came to Fulton Co., it also was very new with a small clearing here and there but he in common with the other pioneers soon brought it to a good state of cultivation.
Mr. Herrick’s school advantages of course were limited but having obtained the rudiments of an education he was able by his superior natural ability to make up for the deficiency of early mental training. He held a number of offices and among others was Justice of the Peace for twelve years.
His was a long and eventful life for a private one, and the period of time over which the years of his life extended, saw wonderful changes in the physical, and industrial , social and intellectual life of the county. When he came a boy of twelve years to the Maumee he found it a vast wilderness abounding in swamp and full of malaria, he lived to see it cleared drained and made as productive and healthy as any place in the country. When he came he found it inhabited mostly by Indians, he lived to see it peopled by persons of the highest intelligence and morality. He found the country with scarcely any educational or religious advantages, he lived to see it well provided with schools and churches. In the beginning of his life the best moods of travel were the stage couch and canal packets at its close we have the swift steam and electric car and the speediest means of communications was the fast boy now we talk face to face be the distance long or short by means of the telegraph and the telephone and _____ ? it is not to much to say that he did his part to bring about these privileges and blessings.
Several years ago under the pastorate of Rev S. L. Klotzs he united with the United Brethren Church and in hope of the eternal life, died July 31, 1891, at his home in Fulton Township Fulton Co., Ohio.
Written by his Son in law Rev. Lucius E. Willson, Feb 19th 1892
(Lucius was married to Anna Herrick, Elijah's daughter with his 2nd wife Abigail)