George Harter b. 1764

George Harter 6th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree

George Harter, also known as John George, was born June 3, 1764 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His parents Mathias Harter and Anna Schuler were born in Pennsylvania too, their ancestors were from Germany.

George married Elizabeth Bowman around 1790 in Pennsylvania. George and Elizabeth had 9 kids. George farmed and inherited farm land from his dad and from his father in law Abraham Bowman. “Early in the spring of 1806 the family of George Harter started from Beaver [Township, PA] in a six-horse wagon for their new home in Ohio”. They traveled 325 miles west to Stark County, Ohio.

The Harter, Bowman, Bair, Druckenbrod and Miller families moved together from Pennsylvania to Ohio with thousands of other families as the American west opened up. Ohio was a state in 1803, George and family arrived 3 years later. In 1809 the first election was held on the first Monday in April at the house of George Harter in Stark County. George Harter was a Jacksonian Democrat, he wanted equal protection for all [all circa 1809], no ‘moneyed aristocracy’, and supported the community’s goals over an individual’s goals.

George Harter’s inventory 1833

George Harter died June 7, 1833 in Stark County. His wife lived 30 more years. George Harter’s estate was settled Monday August 5, 1833. There’s a five page record with an inventory, debts owed to George Harter and items sold at auction. The inventory included: a mantle clock, a German Bible, an atlas of geography, 1 lot of books, a looking glass, 4 forks, 1 windmill, a black mare and a side saddle.


Elizabeth Harter b. 1795

Elizabeth Harter 5th great grandmother on RootsMagic tree

Elizabeth was born in 1795 in Beaver, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. At age 9 or so Elizabeth and her family set out for Ohio, ‘Early in the spring of 1806 the family of George Harter started from Beaver in a six-horse wagon for their new home in Ohio. A daughter, then in her ninth year, later Mrs. Jehu Grubb, had in after years a very distinct recollection of the journey out; of seeing the men at work digging the race for Slusser’s mill, as they crossed Nimishillen: of her great disappointment at the size of Canton, expecting to see it as large as Pittsburg-, when it contained only three cabins, all told.” Page 43 Old Landmarks of Canton and Stark Ohio at HathiTrust.

Part of Elizabeth’s childhood in Canton was working the family farm. At 15 she’s sent to the town mill with bushels of wheat. On Elizabeth’s horse is the lighter sack, also she’s leading a second horse with the heavier 3 pound sack. It’s a long day riding to the mill, then waiting at the mill. Elizabeth starts home closer to dark than she had hoped. Following the trail through the woods is more difficult without sunlight. She rides on with her milled wheat (flour- but not like 2016 flour) and two horses. At one point she strays from the trail and a tree bough sweeps the bag of flour off the second horse.

“Here was a new difficulty, and she was about at her wits’ ends : but the girls of that time did not readily yield to trifles, and Elizabeth dismounted and used her best endeavors to put the sack back to its place; she did succeed in getting it upon her shoulder, but her strength was not great enough to throw it over the horse ; she worried herself with it, however, a long time, and was about giving up in despair, with the thought of going back to Canton until morning, as she had yet several miles home, when an old settler, Frederick Rodacker, happened to come along, and threw the sack upon the horse.”

The old Mr. Rodacker offers Elizabeth a place to stay till morning, she accepts. Back home her mom Elizabeth Bowman Bair is worried and “she blew a horn for more than half the night, so that her daughter might discern the way to the house”.

Elizabeth Harter was married to Abraham Bair and a mom at 18. After marrying Abraham she wasn’t so much a housewife. She didn’t stay in the house but was outside with her husband clearing land, rolling logs and burning brush. She may have had 10 children total with Abraham and her 2nd husband Jehu Grubb. Elizabeth’s War of 1812 pension application and her record keeping were majorly responsible for 2nd husband Jehu Grubb being recognized as a son in the Grubb Family dynasty, Curtis Grubb was Jehu’s father. Jehu’s story is worth reading, on Wikipedia.

bair-house-jacob-hFirst child Jacob built this house (at Wikipedia, photo by Sanfranman59). It is part of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Stark County, Ohio. The home was probably built in 1869 in Elizabeth’s 73rd year. Jacob inherited land from his stepfather Jehu Grubb’s estate and built this house on that land.