Submitted by Mary Louise Laning Stewart

Huron County First Family Member #179

RUFUS SHELDON SR. and his son, RUFUS JR. both came to Greenwich in 1824. Rufus and his wife, JOANNA BROWN had five children. Rufus traded a sow and litter of pigs for a heavy Empire-style dresser to hold family possessions en route from NY to Greenwich Twp. I still have this dresser in my possession. Their son, RUFUS SHELDON Jr. was born in Boonville, NY in 1809. He married MARY GRIFFIN, the daughter of HENRY and ELIZABETH (MERRITT) GRIFFIN of Fitchville, Ohio in 1836. Mary was born in Hunter, Green Co., NY in 1816. She came with her parents to Fitchville OH in 1833. Rufus Jr. was a farmer and also served as Greenwich township’s first postmaster. He built a one-story wing onto their home on Rte. 224 east of Rte. 13 in order serve in this capacity.

CAROLINE WOOD, the eldest daughter of GILBERT WOOD and Sallie Reynolds was born in 1820 in Putnam County, NY and came with her parents to New London Township in 1832. In 1851, she married JOHN LANING who had come to New London, OH in 1844 from New Jersey to live with Stultz cousins. John was a stone mason and many of the New London buildings and homes between New London and Fitchville were said to contain his work. The Lanings lived a true pioneer life style, and their son Jay F. (my grandfather) never had a fork to use at meals until he was an adult. In later years, Caroline Wood Laning and Mary Griffin Sheldon spent winters together at the Laning home in Norwalk, where they reminisced about their childhood journeys as pioneers from New York State, but it is reported they were not too congenial. Mary is said to have remarked with disdain, "If old Aunt Laning would not spend so much time tearing pieces for quilts, her knuckles would not get so big."

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