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David Woodruff


A History of Newton, New Hampshire



David Woodruff of Muskingum County, Ohio

Submitted by Tricia Schumate <triciashumate-at-yahoo.com>

I, Tricia Shumate, descend from three generations of David Woodruffs. I am enclosing a copy of a biography done for the 4th David. I am his 3rd great grandniece through his sister Lovina. I also have information about another woodruff in the Muskingum Co area that I haven't been able to tie into any of the other lines yet.

In 1813 they moved from New Jersey to Brush Creek Twp, Muskingum Co., OH. In 1814, David taught school at the Stovertown School in Brush Creek, Muskingum Co. and later was employed as the Township clerk.

From the book Muskingum County Schools ...

There were children being taught in a log cabin even before Brush Creek Twp was formed. The township was annexed from Harrison Township in 1817; however, David Woodruff taught several children in a log cabin beginning in 1814. the first school building was located on Adam Baughman’s farm and was built by George Swingle, who according to J. F. Everhart’s MUSKINGUM COUNTY HISTORY was the first settler of the township.

Mr. Swingle arrived here in 1810 with his son, Nicholas. He settled and improved the land on the farm where Solomon Swingle was reared and lived with his wife, Grace. Solomon Swingle was the superintendent of schools at Roseville for several years. His wife, Grace Swingle, was a teacher in the county schools for many years. James Swingle, one of the sons of Bennett Swingle, a descendent of George Swingle, now resides on this farm with his wife, Gail, and their two children. James’s mother Dorothy, now deceased, was also a teacher in the Muskingum County Schools.

The first school was replaced by what is now known as the Stovertown School. It is now a pretty home located on a hill overlooking the little village of Stovertown Ohio. This building was remodeled by Dalton and Genevieve Jenkins Swingle, who are now deceased. The family contributed very much to our present school system, as Mr. Swingle was a successful farmer in the township, and Genevieve was a teacher in several of the township’s one room schools and in the Philo Elementary building for many years. Members of the first class held in 1814 were: James Bridger, Thomas Davidson, John, Mary and Margaretta Swingle, Ruth Wittaker, and Nathan and Hannah Woodruff.

Among the students of this school you will find these family names: Anders, Anderson, Baumgardner, Baughman, Butt, Brown Cummings, Dean, Dietrich or Dietrick, McConnell, Miller, Morrison, Plantz/Plants, Pletcher, Ross, Roush, Shook, Shattuck, Showers, Schuck, Simms, Stover, Swank, Swingle, Thomas, Tyo, Wentworth, Whittaker, and Woodruff."

From Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Muskingum Co., Ohio, 1892
(transcribed as close to verbatim as possible)

David Woodruff (deceased) was a native of Cumberland Co., NJ, born November 12, 1773, and was one of the pioneer settlers of Muskingum County, coming here as early as 1813. He was the son of David and Hannah Woodruff and the grandson of David Woodruff who was a native of England and who passed his entire life there. David Woodruff Jr (father of the subject), was also born in England and was the founder of the Woodruff family in America. The subject of this sketch, David Woodruff third, was married in his native state to Miss Deborah Mulford on March 9, 1800. She was a native of New Jersey, born January 27, 1776. They resided in their native state til 1813 and then with their children, three in number, emigrated to Ohio, making the journey in wagons. After arriving Mr. Woodruff leased land near Stovertown and there resided until about 1819, when he entered 80 acres of school land, the same on which his son, David fourth, now resides.

He built a cabin, began clearing and improving his farm, and there he and his wife passed the remainder of their days, he dying on March 28, 1844 and she on December 13th, 1858. He had previously been married twice, first to Lavina Dare, who died without issue. To his second marriage was born one child, N. F., whose birth occurred on October 16, 1798. To his third union, to Miss Deborah Mulford, were born nine children: Stephen, born August 12, 1801 was drowned in Brush Creek in 1822; Hannah, widow of Ichabod Randolph, was born September 21, 1803, resides in Illinois; Gemala, born March 13, 1805, died in childhood; Noah (deceased) was born January 13, 1807; Rachel (deceased) was born February 2, 1809; Phoeba (deceased), born January 23, 1811; David, born February 1, 1813; Julius (deceased) was born June 18, 1816; and Lavina (deceased), born March 11, 1819.
In making their journey from New Jersey to Ohio, and after they had reached Zanesville on the way to Brush Creek, a commotion appeared in the brush and a number of the men, including Mr. Woodruff, loosened their dogs, which immediately pounced upon and killed a bear on the spot where the Market house now stands. Mr. Woodruff and his dogs subsequently killed a bear where the Lutheran Church of this township now stands.

David Woodruff, third, whose name heads this sketch, was a man of some educational attainments, taught the first school in the township, and was its clerk for many years. His son, David Woodruff, fourth, was born in Pennsylvania, and was a babe in his mother’s arms when the family settled in the wilds of Muskingum County. He has seen the entire development of the country from its primitive state to its present prosperous condition. In the subscription schools, then in vogue, he learned to read and write and cipher in the few parts of terms he attended. He remained with his father until the age of twenty-one, when on June 12, 1834, he was wedded to Miss Mary Barker, a native of Perry County Ohio, born February 22, 1814, and the daughter of John and Mary Chamberlain Barker. Mr. Barker and family came from New York to Perry County Ohio, in 1809, bringing their household goods in wagons.  

After his marriage, Mr. Woodruff settled in Brush Creek Township, and after the death of his father, removed to the old homestead, where he has since made his home. For thirty-one years he served in the capacity of school director, which evinces the interest he has always taken in educational matters. To Mr. and Mrs. Woodruff have been born eleven children: Stephen (deceased), Calvin, Philena, Tamson (deceased), James, Mary, Nancy E., Charles, Eliza (deceased), Sarah L. and an infant unnamed. Three of these children, Stephen, Mary and Charles, were school teachers and all have good English educations. Mr. and Mrs. Woodruff are acceptable members of the Baptist Church with which they have been connected since July 4th, 1853.  

The Woodruff family have not been wanting in patriotism, as three of the sons responded to the call of their country in its hour of need and fought with great bravery until the country was wrested from the clutch of traitors and the flag again waved over an undivided people. Stephen and Calvin enlisted in October, 1861, in Company A, Sixty-second Ohio Volunteer infantry, but were soon after transferred to the front, in the army of the Potomac, and later served under Gen. Gilmore. They were in the battle of Winchester, March 23, 1862, and then in numerous small engagements until the battle of Fort Waggener where Calvin was wounded by a piece of shell. Stephen died in the hospital at Washington, May 30, 1862. Calvin veteranized at Hilton Head, S. C., returned with the army to Alexandria in 1864, thence to Yorktown, from there to Bermuda Hundred, served under Butler in his siege of Petersburg, and then with the army crossed the James river and participated in the numerous engagements before Richmond in the fall of 1864. He took part in the pursuit of Gen. Lee’s army which was forced to capitulate on April 9, 1865. Calvin was taken prisoner at Farmville and was robbed of his clothes, watch and valuables by the confederates. A few days later he was retaken. He enlisted as a private, passed the successive grades and was commissioned first lieutenant in 1864. He was discharged May 15, 1965.

James Woodruff enlisted February 23, 1864 in Company A sixty-second Ohio Volunteer infantry, and joined the regiment at the front soon after the enlistment. He participated in all the battles in which the regiment engaged and was made corporal in 1864. In August 1865, the sixty-second regiment was consolidated with the sixty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry. On December 12, 1865, James was discharged.

Calvin settled in Oskaloosa , Iowa, where he served two terms as sheriff of Mahaska County. James resides in Columbus Ohio. He was married on December 16, 1866, to Miss Susan C. Crane, daughter of James Crane, of whom mention is made in this volume. To them have been born six children: Charles Edwin (deceased), Willard Warner, Willis Warren, Stephen Raymond, Mary Lucinda, and an infant deceased.

In 1888, Mr. Woodruff removed to Columbus Ohio. He is a member of the Moxahala Lodge No. 144, I. O. O. F., Patriotic Order Sons of America, No 43, Knights of Pythias 129, of Birmingham Iowa, and the National Union at Columbus Ohio.


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