The gentleman whose name forms the caption to this article was, prior to his death, one of the respectable and respected residents of Greenfield. Many of those now living have no personal knowledge of him, but those of older years whose recollections bring him to view speak of him in words of highest respect and esteem.
Theodore Gwin was a native of the Buckeye state, having been born at Mount Vernon in July, 1823. He was the son of John and Catherine Gwin, natives of Pennsylvania. They left the Keystone state and settled near Mount Vernon, Knox county, Ohio, where the father followed farming. Subsequently they removed to Wisconsin, but after a residence there of several years went to Logansport, Indiana. They passed away there at the home of their daughter, Rebecca, who was the wife of Joseph Laird, a hotel keeper. They had eleven children, none of whom grew to maturity.
Theodore Gwin was reared at Mount Vernon, Ohio, and received such education as was afforded by the common schools of that neighborhood. He learned the trade of a carriage maker there and worked at that occupation for some years. Later he went to Bellville, Richland county, that state, and, in company with his brother, John, started a carriage shop. After marriage Mr. Gwin removed to Chesterville, Knox county, Ohio, and still later to Ithaca, that state, where he worked his trade until coming to Greenfield in 1852 and continued in the same line of business, in connection with which he and wife conducted a family grocery, to the details of which she devoted her attention. He died August 13, 1865.
On March 13, 1844, occurred the marriage of Theodore Gwin to Miss Abbie Barker, a milliner and dressmaker of Belleville, Ohio. She was born March 21, 1823, and was the daughter of Peter N. and Ann (Huffman) Barker, her parents being of German descent. Peter N. Barker was a native of the Keystone state, but removed to Wayne county, Ohio, and still later to Richland county, the same state, where he lived for a number of years. Here he was engaged in the occupation of farming and milling. Selling out his interests there, he located near Belleville, Ohio, but subsequently went to Marshall, Iowa, where he died aged ninety-six. His wife passed away in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the age of sixty-five. Mr. and Mrs. Gwin were parents of five children of whom we mention the following: Horatio Judson Gwin died in childhood; Inez L. became the wife of Capt. Stephen B. Lyons, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the latter served his country during the war of the Rebellion and rose to the rank of captain. He was an attorney at Shelbyville, Indiana, as a partner with Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks. After the war he opened an office at Greenfield and was government pension agent. He died here about 1869. He held the office of state librarian at Indianapolis as a young man. Mrs. Lyons has for some twenty years held a position in the United States treasury department Washington, D. C., being a clerk in the office of the third auditor. America J. died in infancy. Florence Belle became the wife of E. P. Millikan, a shoemaker and a soldier, and they became the parents of four children, of whom two, Loua and Lottie, are living. Lena H., born January 17, 1863, died April 15, 1885, was the wife of Vincent L. Early, a druggist of Greenfield, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this volume. They became the parents of two children, Nellie G. and Inez May, who have been reared by Mrs. Gwin, the youngest being but two months old at her mothers death.
Religiously Mr. Gwin was affiliated with the Missionary Baptist Church, in which he held the office of deacon and was otherwise active in church work. Mrs. Gwin possesses considerable energy and marked intelligence and because of her many eminent qualities is possessed of the sincere regard of all who know her. She has devoted her life, since her husbands death, to her children and grandchildren, rendering such assistance as possible to each in securing a suitable education and home. She still lives at her residence at No. 77 West Main Street, in the heart of the city, in the house erected by herself and husband, and where forty-five years of her life have been passed. She is a member of the Presbyterian Church, in which she is held in highest esteem, her activity in the missionary and other societies rendering valuable service to the cause of the Master. During her husbands life she was ardent in the demands of the Missionary Baptist Church, accompanying her daughter when she affiliated with the Presbyterian society, through the teachings of her former associates have ever retained a firm hold on her own intelligence, seeing in them much of the true spirit of Christianity.
Transcribed from Biographical Memoirs of Hancock County B. F. Bowen, Publisher, Logansport, Indiana, 1902 Pages 371-373.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 23, 2002.
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