Wednesday, May 6, 2015

A Sketch of the Life of One of Our Pioneers

The Marietta Tri-Weekly Register, March 13, 1890

A Remarkable Old Lady Who Celebrates Her Eightieth Birthday.

Since so much has been said of late concerning the aged persons, some of whom dwell in our midst, we wish to give for the benefit of our readers an account of one of Harmar's most esteemed ladies, in the person of Mrs. Mary Edelston-Pugh. While interviewing the subject of this sketch we were surprised at the accuracy of the dates of coincidences, which in every particular corresponded with the record of the family Bible. The lady is as yet possessed of all of her faculties; attends to her household duties, helping milk four cows, and on Sunday, when the weather will permit, attends the Unitarian Church in Marietta, being a member of the same, and seems to feel very little fatigue upon returning home. From appearances, we predict for her quite a number of years yet.

Mrs. Edelston's maiden name was Mary Smith. She was born one mile from what is now Williamstown, W. Va., on the 27th of February, 1810. She remained here until she was five years of age, at which time she moved with her father's family to Plymouth, Ohio, where she remained until she was eighteen years of age. Among her friends who visited her while she lived at Plymouth were the late Nahum Ward, Levi Barber, William Skinner, Daniel Greene, Oliver Cram, Henry Fearing, and David Barber. While there they would find amusement in wolf hunting.

She was married on the 26th of August, 1830, to Jarvis Edelston, who was a carpenter and contractor by occupation. She was the mother of four daughters and three sons. Two of her sons were in the Union Army, and one in the Confederate service.

Jarvis Edelston and his brother-in-law, Joseph Anders, took the contract and put the first dam in the Muskingum River, some portions of which are still standing the rapid current of the water. Mr. Edelston died on September 8, 1850, aged 51 years.

Mrs. Mary Edelston was married the second time to James Pugh, who was a farmer by occupation. After three years of happy married life, Mr. Pugh departed this life in Fairfield Township, Ohio.

Mrs. Edelston has lived since the flood of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers in 1832, in a large two-story brick building on Market Street, Harmar, Ohio, where she has raised her family and relates many pleasant and sad events which have transpired in that period.

On last decoration day, this loyal old lady joined the procession, walked to the City Hall, from there to the two cemeteries, and returned to her home in Harmar, remarking that she thought she had only done her duty.

She has always been known by the name of "Aunt Polly," and to the sick and those in need of assistance, she has always, no matter how much it inconvenienced her, give a cheerful, helping hand, as all who have the pleasure of her acquaintance will attest.

While yet a child she remembers distinctly the old earth works thrown up on the Muskingum as a refuge for the citizens in case of danger.

On Thursday, February 27th, Mrs. Edelston arrived at her eightieth mile stone. A few of her friends gathered in the evening and indulged in some choice selections of vocal and instrumental music. The aged lady is still a good conversationalist and enjoyed the occasion very much. Her numerous friends wish her many such pleasant returns and all hope they may by the hand of Providence be spared to attain her age and wonderful preservation.


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