AGED ONE HUNDRED YEARS
Sketch of the Life of Hon. Samuel Lutz of Pickaway County, Ohio.
The Courier has already noted the visit of Samuel Lutz, wife and daughters, and Mrs. and Mrs. Nelson Lutz, of this county, to Circleville, Ohio, to celebrate the one hundredth birthday of Hon. Samuel Lutz, of that place. The above is a very good likeness of the venerable gentleman, and in this connection the following facts of his life will be of interest:
Samuel Lutz was born March 13, 1789, amid the foothills of the Lehigh Mountains, in what is now Upper Saneon township, Lehigh county, Pennsylvania. His great-grandfather had landed in New York nearly sixty years before. German was his native language, and the customs of the fatherland were those of his parents and neighbors. His early training was in the Teutonic tongue. Indeed, his second cousin, John Lutz, aged eighty-six, who resides in Hellertown, Pa., converses and reads only in the language their common ancestors employed on the banks of the Neckar. Mr. Lutz came with his parents to the Buffalo Valley, Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, in 1794, where he imbibed the rudiments of a German education. Following the lead of an uncle who made a trip to Ohio in 1799, the father of Samuel Lutz and his family, September 7, 1802, commenced their long journey in two canvas-covered, four-horse vehicles, through Wheeling to Zanesville "on a course not far from the subsequent line of the National road." The boy was then about fourteen, an intelligent, observing lad, reaching Lancaster, October 9, with their two wagons, the father and uncle started next morning to take an advance survey of the country. The same week they attended an election of delegates to the first Ohio Constitutional Convention, "at McCoy's meeting house at Kingston," which is now in Ross County. The father at once purchased the farm of John Shoemaker, and here the youth became a man, married, became the head of a large family. Young Lutz greatly enjoyed his pioneer surroundings, and had a similar experience with "Other lads who live in the times of old."
Game was abundant, their house was builded of logs, and greased paper served for window glass. As he became older he manifested a love of mathematics, and went to Chillicothe as an apprentice to a surveyor. In 1809 he purchased a good compass in Philadelphia-by a Chillicothe merchant-which he has used ever since. It served the purpose in 1810, when David Kinner laid out the town of Circleville; and Mr. Lutz used the same instrument in laying out McArthur, in Vinton county.
Samuel Lutz married Elizabeth Fatherolf October 15, 1811, and his wife survived their golden wedding. Of their fourteen children, nine lived to maturity, and but one has since died.
For the war of 1812 Mr. Lutz enlisted in Colonel James Renick’s mounted militia, which were armed with carbines. The British had been repulsed when the militia reached Upper Sandusky. There, Mr. Lutz’s carbine lock having been displaced, an ensign went with him to General Wm. Henry Harrison, who examined an order for another gun. Nineteen days’ service ended that of the mounted militia.
Mr. Lutz was a pioneer in stall feeding cattle for driving to the Eastern markets, and started February, 1882, on his first trip, taking his bullocks to Baltimore. In 1824, 1825 and 1827 he took cattle to Philadelphia. On each trip he bought books of solid worth with which he increased his store of knowledge during the long winter evening at the old home place.
Samuel Lutz served many years as Justice of the peace, and was elected four times a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. In all his positions he was widely known and esteemed, but he used to say he “took more pride in having been a farmer than he did in being a surveyor, a justice or a member of the Legislature. He always sought to help his neighbors and relatives, and was never charged with having committed a dishonest act. Once, when a witness in court, Judge Bates observed: “Mr. Lutz need not be sworn—his word is sufficient.”
He supported the Union cause in 1861 by financial and tireless personal assistance. His father was a Revolutionary soldier and several of his kindred served in the Mexican war. His old age is singularly pure from the ills of senility. Long ago he provided handsomely for his children, and has since sought his enjoyment in books and travel.
The celebration of his 100th birthday was an event long to be remembered by the residents of that vicinity, over 1,200 people being present. The weather was perfect and the crowd exceeded all expectations. The venerable centenarian is in good health and was delighted to greet his friends. Each guest was given a card containing his autograph in a steady round hand, which would do credit to a youth. His eight children, forty-eight grandchildren, sixty-six great grandchildren and two great great-grandchildren look up to him with loving devotion as a worthy patriarch, a commendable example for all his descendants. His kindred and friends wish him many happy days in his second century.
©2000-2002 Adina Watkins Dyer
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