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George Dunbar Letter

DUNBAR FAMILY LETTER submitted by Mary Jo Barton, 6370 Fairhaven Pl., Reno, NV 89523 and E-Mail:

This old letter is written by George Dunbar of Canton, Starke Co., OH to his brother, Robert, of Picaway Co., OH. John Dunbar, of Scottish extraction and the founder of the family in America. He was born and reared in the town of Dunbar, Haddingtonshire, Scotland. John was commissary to General Washington at Valley Forge. John died of typhus contracted in the Revoluntary War. Soon after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, John moved his family consisting of his wife, two sons and one daughter to Dauphin Co., PA. John Dunbar is the father of George and Robert Dunbar and Susanna Dunbar Kraft.

George was born May 1, 1770 and Robert in 1771/73 in Philadelphia Co., PA.

They had a sister, Susanna b in 1772 who married George Kraft. They all lived in Hummelstown and Mifflinburg, PA circa 1800. Susanna and George lived in Middletown, PA.

George Dunbar married Elizabeth Elliott on April 21, 1796, Dauphin Co., PA and they had five sons and four daughters. In 1802 they moved to Mifflinburg, Northumberland Co., PA, 1814 to Columbiana Co., OH and in 1816 to Starke Co., Canton, OH. His wife Elizabeth, died August 12, 1816.

In the autumn of 1821 he married Mrs. Catherine Slusser, who survived him. Her death occurred in 1892. George served as Mayor of Canton.

Robert married Magdelena Bretz and they moved to Pickaway Co., OH. She was the mother of the older children. After she died Robert married a second time to Mary (unknown maiden name). Robert died November 1831 and was buried in the Sayler Cemetery, Richland Twp., Marion Co., OH. Mary was his widow and Mary died August 11, 1837 and was buried in the Woods Cemetery, Pike Twp., Warren Co., IN.

The ten children: Joseph, George, William, Lewis, Mary, Catherine, Adam, Susan, John and Elizabeth.

The connection of this Dunbar family is through Robert and his son Lewis who was born Hummelstown, PA and to Montgomery Co., IN in 1830.

He had a few wives: Mary "Polly" Powers daughter of Elizabeth Bryant and Daniel Powers. Lewis and Polly had sixteen children (Lewis had eight more children by another marriage) and Marion Dunbar was born in 1840 and married Amanda Stook, daughter of Samuel A. Stuck and Ann Catherine Sharpnack. Marion died January 18, 1894 and is buried in Plainview Cemetery, Colfax, Clinton Co., IN John William "Jack" Dunbar, my father, was born January 18, 1863, Montgomery Co., IN and was first married to Ida Blacker of Colfax, Clinton Co., IN who died in 1933. They had one son, b 1900, John Marion "Babe" Dunbar.

Then Jack Dunbar married Josephine A. Clouser daughter of Martha Ann and Charles Wilbur Clouser. Their children are Charles Richard, Julia Ann, Mary Jo (the submitter), and Regina Louise.

Dear Brother & Sister { Canton Ohio April 12th 1829 I have onst (once) more taken my penn in hand to inform you that we received your letter about two weeks back which was a great satisfaction to hear of you enjoying good health. We have enjoyed the blessing of health through all the past sickly season and still continue to enjoy usual health. I wrote you soon after mother's decease but it seems you never got my letter s. After I had been to see you and got home I received a letter from Hummels Town that mother had arrived there and that she could never stand a journey to Ohio and that she was anxious to see me. And while I was making arrangement to go to see her, I received a letter of Aunt Fox that she had departed this life. The shock was great but when I reflected a little, I thought nature must have its way. It is even so with mankind when we are laded with years. We must think of giving up this earthly bearer. I understand that Kraft and his family used mother more barberos (sic) than she was able to bear after getting all her property then turning her off naked in the most inhumane manner. Our friends at Hummels Town burried (sic) mother in a most Christian manner for which God will reward and bless them. If they would send me the bill of expense for their trouble, I would pay all charges. Kraft has been so hard harted (sic) that he never sent me a scrap of a penn (sic) about mothers death. And it is now plain that he has used her far worse than I have mentioned. After cheating her out of her property and living turn her into the wide wourld (sic) like a villain as he is. The savages of the wilderness would not have done so. You may read this to his son, John Kraft if you think proper. What I have written, I believe, I can prove against him and much more if I was put to the test. But it may so happen that he may yet see the day that he may be dealt in the same manner by his children.

I will now turn the subject. Our part of the Country has been very sickley (sic). The last fall and many have died. In the County Canton was genrely (sic) healthey (sic) except the new common from Germany. Many of them died. Old James Estess died last fall near Asneburgh (sp?). The reverend Anthoney Wier and his wife died. A few weeks back, my son-in-law, John Sala sold his printing office. He was forced to quit printing on account of his health. He now keeps a confictionerey (sic) and a grocery store. Canton is still improving, and we have an established market. Every Wednesday and Saturday butter will bring twelve and one half cent in market. And since the canal is boatible, wheat is one dollar and flour six dollars. And the Canton Bank is renewed and Canton Bank proper in seureliation (sic) circulation again. It is strangely talked of in making a canell (sic) from the Ohio canell (sic) up to Canton. If so, it would come within a few yards of our house. We held an election last Monday for a Justice of the Peace in Canton in which there was two parties, one partie for me and one partie for one Abraham Lind. When the poles (sic) closed I had 260 votes and the other had 23 votes. My son John did not succeed in getting to be sheriff as there was twenty two candidates for that office and our John Caskey was elected.

My daughter, Elizabeth, was married last summer to Hiram Myers, oldest son of John Myers, Esq. and is going someplace east after harvest to keep a store if he can find a place. There is no chance in this county now for a store as there are fifty-six stores now in Stark county and that is likely to be as many as can sell their goods. Our family is small. Harriet, the old woman, myself and an orphan garle (sic girl) that we are raising for whom I am guardian. Matilda still lives with Margaret and won't come home. George Goodman and his wife are still living in the Beach Wood and doing as they usley (sic) did, (?) along. I no (know) of nothing in particular to inform you. Whenever you find it convenient to write to us do not neglect the chance. We are getting old and most soon give up this earthly career in hope of landing on that peaceful shore where stands the Celestial city where the wicked cease from trembling and the weary are at rest. May God in his tender mercy watch over you and all your concerns and prosper all your undertakings udeu (sic -you do) dear Brother and Sister. We remain yours respectfully. Mr. Robert and Mary Dunbar

{ George and Catherine Dunbar Letter is folded to envelop form and addressed as such: Mr. Robert Dunbar 12 Circleville { Pickaway Township Post Office {Pickway County Canton 0 April 20 Ohio

GEORGE DUNBAR, Sr. -- Among the distinguished and honored pioneers of Stark county stood the subject of this brief memoir, who was a man of high intellectuality and exalted character, who was prompt in public affairs, having held offices of distinctive trust and responsibility, and who was known as an able and representative business man of Canton during the long years of his residence here. He was summoned into eternal rest on the 31st of May, 1859, and in his death the community lost an honored and valued citizen. In this connection we may state that the family is of distinguished and patrician Scottish extraction, its original home having been Dunbar castle, whose ruins are still to be seen among the fair highlands of Scotland, the same having been the scene of many historic events. John Dunbar, the founder of the family in America, came hither in the early colonial epoch, having been born and reared in the town of Dunbar, Haddingtonshire, Scotland.

Of the life history of George Dunbar, we can not do better than to quote from an appreciative estimate appearing in one of the Canton newspapers at the time of his demise: "When those who have lived long among the pioneers of our state who aided in laying the foundations of society in our community, are removed from us by death, it is becoming that a proper tribute of respect be paid to their memories, and that by this means their names and their virtues may be perpetuated. The subject of this notice had passed far beyond the ordinary limit of human life, -- eighty-nine years! How few number so many! The deceased was born in Philadelphia county, Pennsylvania, in the first day of May, 1770, and was thus six years, tow months and two days of age at the time when that immortal document, the Declaration of Independence, was signed. His father, John Dunbar, soon afterward removed to Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, in company with his family, comprising his wife, tow sons and one daughter, George being the eldest of the children. The father having been called to participate in the perilous events of the war of the Revolution, was engaged as a commissary, supplying the army of General Washington at Valley Forge with such provisions as he could secure, and while thus engaged he contracted what was then known as camp fever and was brought to his home where he soon afterward died, leaving his widow and children to struggle along through the trying days that followed, the hardships entailed being the greater by reason of the dangers and uncertainties attending the progress of the great struggle for national independence. Under such conditions and vicissitudes as these George Dunbar was reared to manhood. On the 21st of April, 1796, he was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Elliott, and they became the parents of five sons and four daughters, all of whom survived him except one son and one daughter. The first six years after his marriage were passed in Hummelstown, Dauphin county, and at the expiration of this period, in 1802, he removed to Mifflinburg, Northumberland county (now Union county), where he resided until 1814, when he came to Columbiana county, Ohio, where he made his home until 1816, in which year he came to Stark county and located in the little pioneer village of Canton. On the 12th of August of that year he was called upon to mourn the death of his wife. In the autumn of 1821 he married Mrs. Catherine Slusser, who survived him and lived to an advanced age, her death having occurred about 1892. Mr. Dunbar ever manifested a deep interest in the growth and prosperity of Canton. Within the forty years of his residence here he witnessed the gradual and healthy growth of the place until, from a town of three or four hundred inhabitants, it had grown to a city of five thousand population, while since his death the advancement has been still more marked. By his kind and amiable disposition, his integrity, his sympathy with his neighbors in their trials and afflictions, and his fidelity to those stations of public trust which he had been called upon to fill, Mr. Dunbar won for himself the respect, the confidence and the affection of all those by whom he was known. Mr. Dunbar was a notary public and had been mayor of the city and justice of the peace. He and his sons conducted a chair factory and did a flourishing business, manufacturing chairs of all kinds, while their trade extended into all parts of the state. Upon the death of his son George he closed out the business and thereafter lived retired until his death. He was at one time a member of the Ohio legislature, and during his term of service rode to and from the capital city of Columbus on horseback, this being prior to the era of railroad building."

Mr. Dunbar was a man of fine intellectual gifts and mature judgment and was well fitted for leadership in thought and action. His opinions were always well fortified and he never lacked the courage to defend them, though he was always tolerant and charitable in his judgment of others and his sympathy for those in affliction was instant and helpful. In politics he gave his allegiance to the Democratic Party and was an active worker in its local ranks, while his religious faith was that of the Presbyterian Church. No children were born of his second marriage, and of those of the first union we enter the following brief data: John, who was a talented portrait painter, died in Canton in 1877, and his grandchildren, Paul and Ella Rider, are now the only descendants of the family living in Canton; George died in 1851; William was a representative member of the bar of Mr. Vernon, Ohio; Allison was for a number of years sheriff of Stark county; Horace was a successful and prominent lawyer of the county; Mary became the wife of Eli Sowers; Elizabeth married Hiram Myers; Margaret was the wife of Doctor Sala; and Matilda died unmarried, all of the children being now deceased.

Of the Rider family we may say that it was of stanch German extraction, the name having originally been Von Reuter, while the first representatives in Stark county were Paul and Sarah (Shorb) Rider, who came from Frederick county, Maryland, in 1823, and settled on a section of land in Plain township, where the Plain Center mills now stand, Mr. Rider died shortly after the erection of the mill. The children of their son Louis Dubarth Rider are now the only representatives of the family in Stark County, as are they also of the Dunbar family, as has been previously intimated.


Thanks sooooo very much Mary Jo Dunbar Barton for all the wonderful Dunbar, etc. information :)

File Created: 13 May 2010

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Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the copyright holder(s), for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information. © 2014 by Karen Zach, and licensed to the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb) Project and the USGenWeb Project. May be used in personal research with a citation.

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