Recently, the Laning-Young Research Center (Firelands Historical Society Library) was given a large group photograph that was taken on Tuesday, September 21, 1886. The occasion was the 100th birthday celebration for Martin Kellogg of Bronson township, Huron County and the group was an assembly of many of his descendants: children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great grandchildren.
The program for the day was planned by the Firelands Historical Society, and another photograph of Martin Kellogg was taken surrounded by members of the Society, many being pioneer settlers. The proceedings of the day were published in full in the January 1888 issue of The Firelands Pioneer (New Series, Volume IV) with a picture of the honoree as the frontispiece.
Martin lived nearly six more years, dying August 17, 1892 just five weeks shy of his 106th birthday! He is buried with his wife of 56 years in the Mesnard (Axe Handle) Cemetery on South Norwalk Road. His father, also Martin and a Revolutionary War veteran, in later life came out to Ohio to live with his son and is buried near him.
Martin Kellogg was born in Bethel, Windsor County, Vermont in 1786, his parents, Martin and Lucy (Dunham), having been early settlers of that town following the Revolution. Martin completed his basic schooling in the one-room schools of the period, and then began teaching. He taught in several of the schools in Bethel and in the adjoining town of Barnard. It was there, teaching on Mt. Hunger, that he boarded with the family of Aaron Fay (also a Revolutionary veteran). He married Aaron's daughter, Polly Fay, December 7, 1809, being 23 at the time, and Polly 22.
After marriage Martin taught school for several winters, working the Aaron Fay farm summers. He also farmed his father's place for a time. Two of Aaron Fay's sons (Polly's brothers) came to Ohio in the winter of 1814. Their letters home may have inspired the Fay family and Martin to follow suit, for on June 17, 1815 the journey to Ohio was begun with three two-horse wagons. The group consisted of Aaron Fay, his wife Rebecca (Winslow), his sons Lucius and Apollos, his daughters Clarissa and Polly, and the latter's husband, Martin Kellogg, and their three small daughters. The party was delayed a week at Granville, New York, where Polly gave birth to their fourth daughter, and the men hoed corn for the local farmers and earned some extra money. They then pushed on and arrived at old Ft. Avery July 30, 1815.
Martin joined a team surveying Bronson township, chose and purchased a lot, and built a log cabin into which the family moved June 17, 1816. The "Old Homestead", the house in the picture, was built about 1836 with lumber from his won sawmill in the stream below the house.
Martin and Polly had twelve children of which the eight still living were in the birthday picture. Other facts about the life of Martin "The Centenarian": starting out a Methodist, he became a Universalist and served for many years as Secretary to the church at Peru. His first vote was for James Madison as President in 1808, later admired Henry Clay, and voted for William Henry Harrison, and later for Fremont, Lincoln and Grant. In 1876 he voted for Peter Cooper, the Greenback candidate. He was anti-slavery and a vigorous supporter of Women's suffrage, but did not live to see the latter accomplished. A temperate man, he never indulged in alcoholic beverages, and never used tobacco in any form.
Originally published in the Huron County Kinologist, the newsletter of the Huron County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, Vol. 11, No. 2, Summer 1997.
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