Crawford County, Pennsylvania

History & Biography
Part V:  Biographical Sketches


pages 1092-93
      ROBERT G. EDDY, grocer, 311 W. Spring Street, Titusville, was born in Venango County, Penn., in April, 1852; son of Luke and Sarah (Green) Eddy, who came to Venango County, Penn., from New York State, in an early day.  They were parents of eight children, seven now living.  Luke Eddy, who was a farmer and carpenter, is deceased.  Our subject attended the public schools for a time, also the Main Street High School at Titusville, Penn.  He was married in 1872, in Meadville, Penn., to M. Delsenah Proper, born in August, 1853, in Venango Township, this county, daughter of D. D. and Elizabeth (Grove) Proper, of German lineage; former a farmer and oil producer.  They were parents of five children, of whom Mrs. Eddy is the eldest.  She was educated in the seminary at Clarksville, Penn.  Mr. Eddy has carried on a grocery business in Titusville since 1874, and has met with well-merited success.
pages 1098-99
      DR. NELSON SMITH (deceased) was born in Durham, Greene Co., N. Y., June 13, 1791, was a son of Elijah Smith, a native of New York State, and of English parentage.  Our subject was brought up on a farm, and in 1811 he married, in Durham, N. Y., Polly West, a native of Trumbull, N. Y., born February 18, 1792, a daughter of Elijah West, also a native of New York State, and on March 3, 1816, they moved from Durham to Crawford County, Penn. (taking over two months to accomplish the journey), settling on a farm in Hayfield Township, where they spent the remainder of their lives.  That portion of the county was then an almost unbroken wilderness, and for miles around devoid of schools, churches, mills, stores, in fact, remote from business places of any kind, so the early settlers found it indispensable to adapt themselves to several trades and professions.  Dr. Smith took up the shoemaking, carpentering and blacksmithing, and for many years did the doctoring in his own family and for what few neighbors there were in that part of the county.  As the settlers began to increase in numbers a school was opened, and a society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed. There were but few preachers or exhorters in the county, so preaching was held only at long intervals.  Dr. Smith being a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Conference gave him a license as a local preacher, and for more than forty years he preached in all parts of Crawford and adjacent counties.  When the homoeopathic practice was introduced into his section the Doctor became a convert to that system of medicine, and procuring the necessary books, studied under Dr. Owen and others.  He became a good, practical common-sense physician, and enjoyed a large practice as long as he was able to ride.  Mrs. Smith prepared and spun the woolen and linen yarns reading for the loom, and when woven she dyed the cloth, cut and made all the clothes for her large family.  She was the kindest and best of wives and mothers.  No one who knew her ever spoke an unkind word of her.  Dr. and Mrs. Smith were the parents of ten children—two daughters and eight sons—all now living but two:  Emeline, the eldest, first married David Bixby (her second husband was Rev. I. O. Fisher, who is also dead, and Mrs. Fisher is now living with her son near Pontiac, Mich.); John E. was married to Jane Beatty (she is now dead, and he is living with one of his sons in Toledo, Ohio); Nelson J. is living with his second wife on a farm near the old homestead; Jesse married Elizabeth J. Smith, and they now live in the city of Titusville, Penn. (he has been a member of the Legislature and Treasurer of the county, and is now engaged with his son E. N. in the oil business); Dr. Ephraim is now living in Boise City, Idaho, practicing medicine; James is living on the old homestead with his third wife (nee Miss Lydia Rundal); it is a fine home now; Betsey, married John B. McDowel (they are living at Dicksonburg, Penn.); Ensign H. married, for his first wife, Mrs. Maria Conkey, and she dying he married Miss Bell Gilmon (he died in the prime of life, beloved by all); Rev. George W. S. is living with his second wife on a farm at Blue Island, near Chicago; Irus H. died soon after graduating from Allegheny College (he had a bright prospect of a useful life, but was cut off by the hand of death before he had fairly entered manhood; he was a noble boy).  Dr. Smith and his wife lived to see all their large family, with the exception of the two mentioned, settled in life.  They lived to see the county settled up, and took great comfort in visiting among the first settlers, recounting their troubles and joys.  Dr. Smith died November 16, 1868, in his seventy-ninth year.  Polly Smith, his wife, died November 17, 1871, in her eightieth year.  This world was better for this noble couple having lived in it.  They went to their reward in peace.