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Woodward Hezekiah Todd of Florence OH
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Woodward Hezekiah Todd8, (Kneeland7, Moses6, Hezekiah5, Caleb4, Samuel3, Samuel2, Christopher1) born May 28, 1837, died Jan. 18, 1900, married May 17, 1877, Sophia C. Kline, who was born March 4, 1855, died Dec. 25, 1905.
Mr. Todd was born in Wakeman, O., and died at his home in Florence, Erie County, O.
Below is Mr. Todd’s obituary:
At the age of eight years he moved with his parents to the home he occupied. This farm has been his residence over 54 years. In his younger days, he was a student in Oberlin College, and about that time he taught school during the winter months. He was a great fancier of poultry and pet stock, and began to gather fine specimens in 1868. His first exhibition was at the State Fair held in Toledo, Ohio, and there he won nearly all the prizes for which he tried. His next exhibit was at the Erie County Fair, at Sandusky, O., and nearly all the premiums he showed for went his way. He took his collection to the first great poultry show in northern O., at Cleveland and met in competition, the largest breeders and fanciers in the United States. While he carried off many prizes, together with the sweepstakes, he was not satisfied, and at that show he began to strengthen his collection by buying the first pair of Toulouse geese ever in Ohio, for which he paid $35. He also made many other valuable additions. I well remember what he said about the time, that certain fanciers in Illinois were receiving 100 letters a day and said, “I believe I can do the same,” and he did do even better than that.
In the ’70’s he was called to Indianapolis, Ind., to a great show for the west, and to deliver an address before the fanciers of Indiana, both of which he did. Just after this, there was to be another poultry show at Buffalo, N. Y. This was open to the world, and he laid his plans to win and carry the banner that had always been kept in the east, back to the west with him, and as an illustration of his ability as a judge of fancy poultry, I will give one little incident. At the Indianapolis show, out of that vast collection, he selected and bought one bird of the Light Brahma variety, and this one he took with his collection, which had by this time grown to be almost a show of itself, to the Buffalo show. This bird won first prize of $15, and sold it to a man in Canada for $100, in gold. He came with many prizes from this show and truly bringing the banner with him for after this, his sales were as great east as west. He imported seven ducks and two geese from England, the charges on this lot being $95, but he often said the mention of this importation in different poultry and other papers paid him well for his expense and trouble. He made an exhibition of his poultry at the Centennial Exposition held at Philadelphia in 1876, and won the prize for the best collection, of $100, given by the State of Pennsylvania, also many medals and prizes from the association. His shipments extended to every state and territory of the United States, Canada and South America. The improvements in poultry that have taken place all over this broad land for the last thirty years from the old common fowl to the fine Braham’s, Plymouth Rocks and many other kinds of both land and water fowls, can be traced largely to the skilful management of this one of the earliest pioneers in the business. He partly discontinued the business about 1880 and took up fancy cattle with which he was successful. He took quite a part in literary work and many of his writings have found their way into the various publications and periodicals. He, with the aid of others, started and edited the “Poultry Nation,” a live poultry paper of the ’70’s. He assisted in making the American Standard of Excellence, a book which, if not, should be in every poultry fanciers home. He was a life member of the American Poultry Association, also a member of many poultry and other societies.
Previous to his first sickness which was more than two years before he died, he was called to many places to deliver addresses at horticultural and institute meetings. He was a strong temperance man and in that cause was never idle. He was ever ready to assist the poor and unfortunate and no one was turned away from his home that came asking for rest and refreshment. His religious views can readily be found in the following lines which he wrote on the death of his mother. “At the dawn of day, mother closed her eyes in death forever to the scenes of this life but awoke to behold the dawn of a fairer morning in the sweet life of the Great Beyond.”
The funeral services were conducted by Rev. J. F. Lewis, at the old home and the remains were laid to rest in the family lot in Maple Grove Cemetery, Vermillion, Ohio.
*1887. Otto Kneeland, b. Feb. 26, 1878.
*1888. Albert Bennett, b. April 15, 1881.
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