Julia Ann Beels Hodgman
Julia Ann (Jane2, John1) was married Sept. 16, 1845, to Robert Hodgman, who was born in Bowdoine, Lincoln Co., Me., May 20, 1810. He was the son of Amos and Thankful Small Hodgman and came with his parents to Parma, Ohio, in 1821. He was a farmer and was respected and loved by the entire community.
We copy an obituary of Mrs. Julia A. Hodgman, printed in the Berea Advertiser of July 5, 1901. It portrays her life and character most fittingly.
"Mrs. Julia A. Hodgman, one of the pioneers of Parma, died on the morning of June 7, 1901. She was the daughter of Abner and Jane Beels, and was born near the center of Royalton, Ohio, May 10, 1823.
When she was three years old her parents moved to Parma, to the farm now occupied by Eli Stevenson. At that time, 1826, there was not another family living in Parma on the state road. The nearest schoolhouse was at Brighton, three miles away. The road led through the woods and there were but two houses between her home and Brighton. For nearly two years she and her brother attended school in Brighton. Early on Sunday morning they would walk to Sunday school at Brooklyn center, over four miles from their home. When Sunday school closed in the fall the superintendent, Mr. Samuel Storer, presented Julia with a book as a reward for punctuality and regularity in attendence.
Water for use in the family was brought from a spring a little distance away. One day she went with her sister to the spring after water. Her kitten followed her. Julia caught the kitten and attempted to shut it in a hollow log near the patch. The kitten resisted her efforts to push it into the log. Peering into the log to discover the reason, she saw a large rattlesnake coiled and ready to spring. Her cries attracted the attention of Mr. Jesse Freeman, at work near by who came and killed the snake. One morning her brothers went to bring home the cow. They were gone so long that their father went in search of the boys. He found them up a tree with a great rattlesnake coiled at the foot of the tree watching them. One morning Mr. Beels went out into the woods near by in search of game. His little son accompanied him. They were in the woods on what is now the Leander Snow farm, when the boy, who was some distance behind the father, called, "O, papa, see the big black hog!" On turning the father saw a bear between himself and son, and near the boy. Anxiety for his son made the father's arm unsteady and the bear escaped among the rocks leaving a trail of blood. Amid such scenes her childhood days were passed.
In the spring of 1832 Mr. Beels purchased a farm in the southeast part of Parma. After a log house had been built, Julia, then 9 years of age, kept house for her father and older brother, while they cleared a piece of land about the house. Then the family took possession of the new home. Mr. Beels remained on the farm until 1863. The summer Julia was 14 years old each Monday morning found her at work beside a little brook which flowed near the house doing the weekly wash for the family of 10 persons. She carried water from the brook and heated it in a large kettle suspended over a fire beside the brook. She had no washing machine, not even a modern washboard to lighten her labors. But each article was rubbed between her hands till cleaned.
She eagerly embraced every opportunity she had of attending school in the little log school house with its rude benches and desks. That she diligently improved her school privileges was shown even in her old age, by the freedom with which she quoted from The English Reader, Webster's Elementary Spelling Book and Deobald's Arithmetic. When she was 16 there came to her an opportunity of attending school at the Brooklyn Academy and of working in a family living near to pay her board.
Her long cherished wish of fitting herself to teach school was gratified. Under the instruction of that faithful teacher, Mr. Merrill, she fitted herself in two terms, and taught her first school in the "Alger District" in Rockport. She received a dollar and a half per week, the highest wages then paid. Teachers in those days "boarded around", going in turn to each family sending pupils to school. She taught in the home school, also at No. 9, and then No. 1 in Parma.
Here she met and loved Mr. Robert Hodgman, who in September, 1845, brought his bride to his home on the pike road. This was ever after her home till her poor, wornout body was tenderly borne by her grandsons to its last resting place in the quiet cemetery near by.
Her husband died May 15, 1863, leaving to her the responsibility of caring for four young children. She met this new trust with the same earnest spirit in which she had so bravely performed the many duties of her earlier life. The four children survive to cherish the memory of a mother of whom it may truly be said, "She hath done what she could." How bravely and patiently her life's work was performed, only those who knew her best can tell.
When 16 years of age she became a christian and long years of service showed the sincerity of the profession then made.
She was interested in every department of christian work. Two classes of young girls grew to womanhood under her instruction in the S.S. For many years she was secretary and treasurer of the W.F.M.S.
She visited the sick and sorrowing, fed the hungry and helped to clothe the poor. A tender, ever increasing love for Christ and his work prompted her in all her work.
The funeral service was held at her late residence at 2 o'clock p.m. on Sunday and was conducted by Rev. J. M. Wylie, her pastor.
The choir of the Presbyterian church sang "Asleep in Jesus," and two other of the old time hymns.
The text was "At evening time it shall be light."
Her casket was nearly hidden in the bank of beautiful flowers sent by loving friends.
A great company of friends gathered to pay their last tribute of respect. No hearse or carriages were employed. The flower covered casket was borne to the cemetery by her sons, B.O. Stroud and C.C. Hodgman, and grandsons Bert E. Stroud, Carl H. Stroud, Harvey H. Hodgman and Kenneth E. Hodgman.
The relatives and friends followed on foot and soon the earthly house of this tabernacle in which the gentle, patient soul had dwelt, was returned to the dust from which it had been taken. To her to die was gain. Her last conscious words had been "I wish I were with the angels in heaven, singing God's praises. How delightful that will be!"
Robert Henry, b. July 10, 1846, d. July 23, 1849.
Roderick Nelson, b. Oct. 13, 1848.
Alice Cecilia, b. April 11, 1850.
Kendrick Kane, b. April 26, 1852.
Robert Reuben, b. April 5, 1854, d. Oct 3, 1854.
Clarence Charles, b. July 13, 1855.
Lucy A. Stroud Ward - foster daughter. b. Dec. 25, 1838.
All the children were born in the old home in Parma.
One week in July, 1849, was ever remembered by Mr. and Mrs. Hodgman as the saddest week of their lives. During that week his mother, his son Robert, sister Thankful, sister Mrs. Minda Emerson, niece Emily Hodgman and brother-in-law, Benejah Fay, all died of cholera. When the father and mother arose in the morning their little son was well. When the sun set that night his little body was buried in the cemetery near them.
Roderick Nelson Hodgman
Roderick N. (Julia3, Jane2, John1) was a healthy, active boy until he was 6 1/2 years old. He was then taken with inflammatory rheumatism from which he suffered for a year. He was then well and active until nearly 9 years of age when he was again taken with the inflammatory rheumatism and suffered greatly for three years, being unable to move or turn himself in bed during that time. The disease left him deformed and dwarfed in body, as he did not grow after he was 12 years old, and so crippled that he has walked on crutches ever since. His early education began under the instruction of his mother. When he was 6 years old he had read the New Testament aloud to her. He attended district school and then the high school at Brooklyn Center. He began teaching April 1, 1867. His first school was in Royalton. He was engaged in teaching until April, 1890. He spent two years in the school at Berea depot, and a year in Brooklyn township. The remainder of the time he taught in the schools of Parma. He taught again 1902-03. When not employed in the public schools he has rarely been without two or three pupils from among his young friends who came to him for help in their high school work.
He completed a course in the Spencerian Business College of Cleveland in 1869. Under the direction of Amos Denison and Anson W. Beman of Cleveland he studied law and was admitted April 21, 1876, to practice as an attorney and counsellor at law. But want of physical strength prevented his carrying out the dream of his boyhood -- the practice of law. In January, 1867, he united with the Parma Congregational church. In 1874 this church changed to Presbyterian. He was ever active in the work of the church and held office in the church nearly all of time. During the later years of his life he was a ruling elder.
When 19 years old he was appointed a teacher in the S. S. and was never without a class from that time. He was superintendent of the S.S. for 20 years. In addition to his work in his church school, from 1871 to 1887, he superintended and taught in a S.S. which met in the afternoon in one of the school houses. From 1899 until the present time he has taught regularly on Sunday p.m. in a school in Brooklyn township.
He served one term as township clerk and was justice of the peace for one term.
Lucy A. Stroud Ward
Lucy Ann Hodgman, (Julia3, Jane2, John1) foster daughter of Robert and Julia A. Hodgman, is a niece of Mr. Hodgman's. She was born in Parma, Ohio, Dec. 25, 1838. At 11 years of age she was left an orphan. Mr. and Mrs. Hodgman reared her as their own daughter and we think she is worthy of a place in the family history.
She was married to Jacob Stroud on Dec. 25, 1855, and assumed the place of mother to his two young boys. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Stroud, Sally, who died at three years of age, and Robert Harvey, born March 6, 1860. Harvey suffered all his life from curvature of the spine. He died April 1, 1898. Jacob Stroud died Oct. 6, 1862.
Mrs. Stroud was married to Daniel W. Ward April 6, 1864. They soon went to live on the farm cleared by Abner S. Beels in the eastern part of Parma. A daughter, Nellie, was born to them in December, 1865. She married Henry J. Schaaf and has two children, Ruby, born May 5, ____, and Ward, born May 1, 1893.
Daniel W. Ward died July 7, 1890.
Ruby married Edgar Thomas of Royalton, Ohio, and has two sons, Glenn Edgar, aged 4 years, and Henry, who is one year old.
Mrs. Lucy A. Ward, her daughter Nellie, and granddaughter, Ruby Thomas, with their families live in the old home. Their husbands are engaged in farming and dairying.
Mrs. Ward united with the Parma Presbyterian church in 1893. She is of a sunny, happy disposition, and is a welcome guest wherever she goes.