Biography of George W. Edwards
Northwestern Ohio Biographies


As one of the representative business men of Colgate, Mr. Edwards, our subject, holds prominent position. For almost half a century he has resided in Henry county, and his name is inseparably connected with its agricultural and commercial interests. His thoroughly American spirit and great energy have enabled him to mount from a lowly position to one of affluence. One of his leading characteristics in business affairs is his fine sense of order and complete system, and the habit of giving careful attention to details without which success in any undertaking is never an assured fact.

Mr. Edwards was born near Circleville, Pickaway county, Ohio, June 22, 1835, a son of Samuel and Mary (Aultman) Edwards. His father was the well known author of "The Ohio Hunter," and "The Western Pioneer." In 1850 our subject accompanied his parents on their removal from Hancock county to Henry county, locating in Monroe township near the present site of Malinta, and remaining with them for six years. In that township he was married May 4, 1855, to Miss Epsey Hill, who was born in Perry county, Ohio, in 1836, a daughter of Michael and Sarah (Bost) Hill, early settlers of Monroe township, Henry county, where their deaths occurred. Mr. Edwards' mother died in Hancock county, Ohio, aged thirty six years, his father in Marion township, Henry county, in September, 1895, at the age of eighty six years. Of their eight children our subject was the eldest.

George W. Edwards and his wife have four children living, namely: Mary F., now the wife of Doctor C. M. Overhula; Michael L. Edwards, who married Mertie Merchant, of Green Springs, Ohio (she is now deceased); Rosetta, wife of Joseph Keith; and U. F. Edwards, who married Clara Burr, of Malinta, Ohio. They have lost two: Sarah E., who died at the age of three and one half years; and Lavina R., who married Herbert Hall, and died at the age of thirty four.

For five years after his marriage, Mr. Edwards remained upon the old homestead in Monroe township, and then rented a farm on the Maumee river in Harrison township, which he operated for three years. At the end of that time he purchased a place in Marion township, Henry county, and to its cultivation and improvement devoted his time and attention some twelve years. In the meantime he laid out the village of Edwardsville, and engaged in merchandising in connection with farming until 1877, when he sold both his farm and business and removed to Holgate. Here he has since carried on operations as a dealer in lumber, hay and straw, in which undertaking he has also met with a well deserved success. Since the organization of the Republican party he has been one of its stanch supporters, and he always takes a deep and commendable interest in public affairs. Both he and his wife are prominent members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and take an active part in its work. Today he is not more honored on account of the enviable position which he occupies in business circles than on account of the many kindly deeds of his life, which have ever been quietly and unostentatiously performed.

In earlier life Mr. Edwards was an expert marksman, and spent much enjoyable time in hunting bears and other wild game, then quite plentiful in that region, and he can tell, in his own graphic language, many a thrilling tale of the hunt, and of the trials and experiences of pioneer days. In 1844, then nine years old, he aided his father (who took his hounds along) in capturing a live coon in the woods, put him in a strong sack and carried him to Findlay, a distance of four miles, where they made his "coonship" climb the great liberty pole (raised in honor of Tyler) amid the shouts and cheers of the great crowd assembled. This was during the memorable campaign of Polk and Tyler, and the coon was known as the "Whig coon." In October, 1849, he and his father, accompanied by a couple of great hounds trained for coon hunting, set out on foot for the Maumee Valley (known at that time as the Black Swamp) on a prospecting tour. On the journey they caught a coon at night, and did but little hunting in daytime except securing deer and wild turkeys for their own and the dogs' maintenance. On the third day they arrived at the first dwelling they had seen since starting, a small cabin inhabited by an elderly couple and several children, one of whom was a girl of some fourteen summers, rather shy, not being accustomed to see strangers who was grinding corn in a hand mill. That young girl in after days became Mr. Edwards' wife. In this tramp through the dense forest they continually, at night time, would hear the howlings of voracious wolves, and one morning the father shot and killed a great wild cat that had been perched up on a tree beneath which they had been resting all night. It had been driven there by the hounds the evening before. Mr. Edwards also mentions a celebrated bear hunt, on which occasion he and other hunters had a six days' chase after what they called the "residenter bear of four counties." Before they succeeded in finally capturing this noted bear the brute had killed or crippled fourteen of the hunters' dogs.

Mr. Edwards is a fine exemplification of the rugged pioneer woodsman, and is as hale and hearty a specimen of healthy manhood as can be found in the county. "I am now," says he, "in my sixty fourth year, have never chewed tobacco, was never under the influence of drink, and can today do as much work as most any man, and enjoy a hunt frequently in the wilds of Michigan." These few words are sufficient in themselves to "Point a moral and adorn a tale."

Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois

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