The Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio documents vault volunteers recently unrolled a photocopy of a two-page letter written in 1822 that was donated in 1967 by Mrs. Samuel J. Vogelhuber. The pages had to be placed on light box to read and decipher the old faded long-hand script writing on age-darkened paper but it provided a glimpse into early Wayne County, Ohio life.
The letter was from a 25-year-old William Kimmell, living here in Wayne township, Wayne County, Ohio in 1822, to his 53-year-old father Joseph Kimmell, living in West Buffalo township, Union County, Pennsylvania. The pages reveal some of the life and times of early settlers in Wayne County, Ohio and a bit about this particular family’s dynamics.
To Joseph Kimmell
West Bufeloe Township
State of Pennsylvania
Wayne Township and Wayne County March 9, 1822
Dear Father and Mother I take this opper(tunity) to let you know that we are well at present and I hope these few lines me finde you also in the same our son is a growing finely he will be a year old again the 29th of June he tries to talk a ?neary? he can say Dad and Mom and Cat we call him John after his grandfather bomen (Bowman) an his uncle John (Kimmell).
I would have wrote to you before now but I had know oppertunity without sending with the male but I thot that the money was to hard to be got for to pay the carage we have hard times about money but everything else plenty and cheap meat is from twenty five to fifty rye thirty seven corn twenty five thats about eighty bushels of corn of three acres I have three acres of wheat soed and if I have luck ?I’ll? have my bread.
I have foure acres of meadow cleared and i am about to clearing for corn about six acres our clearing is not so bad as yours the grubbing is light I can clear an acre in about fours days in daytime fit for plants.
I have two good shuggar camps of about one hundred each thats thirty trees taped and we boiled about sixty weight and about two gallons of molases I have leased the half of my quarter to a man for twelve years he is to clear thirty acres of land and make good fence and build a good log house and barn and plant one hundred apple trees and I hope that we may have plenty of every thing but ?money? and there is one good thing that I am Clear of Debt.
I wish that you would write to me the next oppertunity I have wrote two letters before this and have received non yet. Adam and John have told me that they have got severel letters and I begin to think that you don’t think it worth wile to write to me any more the distant is not much further only 35 miles if got any oppertunity to send one to Canton. Adam can send it to Woster almost any time.
No more at present from your beloved son,
Note: The text of this letter is presented as originally written: bad spelling and little to no punctuation. Anything between question marks could not be clearly read and is a guess as to what word was written. Items in parenthesis were not original and were added to clarify what might have been meant. The document given to the Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio is only a photo-copy of the original letter. The society does not have the original letter, only this photocopy.
William Kimmell’s father and mother were Joseph and Hanna Kimmell. Their first son, Adam Kimmell, was reported to have been born in Reading, Pennsylvania on March 22, 1794. Soon after Adam was born, they moved to Union County, Pennsylvania, where there is a record of a purchase of a lot in Lewisburg on September 15, 1796. Then they acquired a farm in West Buffalo Township, Union County, and here their other nine children were born: William Kimmell, 1797; John Kimmell, 1798; Cyrus, 1799; Rebecca, 1801; Joseph Jr., 1802; Hannah, 1803; Amos, 1804; Mary 1807; and Jacob 1816. Adam Kimmell served in Capt. John Bergstrasser’s company in the War of 1812. On October 1, 1816, Adam Kimmell and his wife Lucy, maiden name unknown, sold their farm which adjoined that of his father Joseph, and went to Canton, Stark County, Ohio. His brothers John Kimmell and William Kimmell followed in 1813. Sometime around 1820 William Kimmell bought land and moved to Wayne township, Wayne County, Ohio as the Wayne County Recorders office shows that William Kimmell bought the southwest quarter section of R13, T16, S18 from John Bowers in March of 1820 for $700.
It was reported that William Kimmell died around the age of 35 in October of 1833 from injuries sustained from the kick of a horse in Richland County, Ohio. What became of his wife, name unknown, and his son, John Kimmell is not known as it seems William Kimmell and family moved away from Wayne County, Ohio and had sold their land holdings here by 1832.
Daily National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C. newspaper dated November 7, 1833:
Canton, (Ohio) November 1
“Casualties–A few days since, Mr. John Kepler, of Green township, Starke county, was killed by a stroke from the sweep of his cider mill, the pins for holding it having given way. We learn also, that a few days since, Mr. William Kimmell, of Richland county, and son of Mr. Joseph Kimmell of Lake township, in this county, was killed by the kick of a horse.“