I was born in Mingo, Champagne County, Ohio, July 3, 1872. My parents were Joseph Bowen Brinton and Lydia Ann Pennington Brinton. I had two older sisters – Berta, born March 5, 1868, and Edna, born June 3, 1870. My younger sister, Florence, was born in Ashland, Ohio, November 30, 1879. Between Florence and me there was a boy that did not go full term, and did not live.
Papa’s father and mother were Amos Brinton from England and Elizabeth Jarmin from Wales. He was born in Middletown Ohio, and went in a wagon to Delaware County, Pennsylvania. His father was a cobbler who died when Papa was only four. After his death, his mother taught school, and had to take him with her. When he was seven, his mother died, and his sister Selina took him to raise.
Papa had two older brothers and one sister. Selina was the oldest, then William, then Wayne. Neither brother ever married so far as we knew. William died in a veteran’s hospital. Wayne started to see the world, and was last heard of on his way to Australia.
We don’t know as much about the Brinton line as we do about the Pennington one. Amos, Papa’s father, had two sisters – Sophia Rowen and Hannah Green. Hannah had two children, Brinton Green and Tillie Green, and they lived in Philadelphia.
I remember an Uncle Bowen Jarmin, a bachelor, and an Ann New Jarmin, both of Philadelphia, who were probably Papa’s uncle and aunt, but I don’t know any more about them. Then I recall hearing mentioned a Samuel Jarmin who was a sailor, also the initials “EGJ”, and someone named “Gwynn”, but I don’t know who they were.
Grandmother Elizabeth Gwynn Jarmin made a sampler, and I heard that Will Vermillion, Aunt Selina’s grandson by marriage who was a baggage master on the Erie Railroad at Kenton, had it, but I never saw it. George Brinton McClellan and John A. Logan were other relatives of Papa’s, and there was a James Jarmin of Philadelphia.
A Doctor Smith, who was the administrator of the estate left by Papa’s parents, took nearly all of it, so it was a good thing that Aunt Selina Stinson took him to live with her in Logan County, Ohio.
Mama had two brothers and three sisters. In order, they were: Linvill, Lucretia, Mary, Mama, Margaret, and Heaton. Linvill, who married Matilda Guthridge, had two children, Charles and Lydia, and lived in Cleveland. Lucretia, who married Ezra Dempcy, and lived on a farm ten miles from Urbana, Ohio, and had Ed, Florence, Charles, Gertrude, Emma, and Maggie. Mary married George Satterthwaite of Urbana, and had Lena, Annette, Laura, John and Ethelwyn. Margaret, who in later life married a Mr. George of Bellevue, Pennsylvania, had no children. Heaton was born three months after his father was killed. He married Adelia Willard and they had three children, Grace, Irene and Heaton, Jr.
Mama’s was a Quaker family, living in Champagne County. Uncle Joseph Townsend, a relative of hers, was the leader of the Quaker church there. I remember his son Earnest telling about the time the hogs got out. Uncle Joseph yelled, “Chase ‘em to hell, Ernie….I’ll be there after awhile.”
About three months before Heaton was born, his father was killed by logs rolling off a wagon. Mama was small, and she went to live with Aunt Lucretia Demcy, her oldest sister, in the country. I don’t know what her mother and the other children did. During the Civil War, her mother married Joseph Lamborn and went to live in Salem, Ohio.
After her mother’s marriage, mama lived with Aunt Eliza Linvill in Alliance, Ohio, and attended Mount Union College, Class of 1866, with her sister Maggie who was Class of 1867. Mama took astronomy and art, and made two crayon pictures and gave them to Papa before they were married. Aunt Margaret took music, and later taught music in Urbana. She was my first music teacher when I visited in Urbana with Aunt Mary. Aunt Margaret lived there too.
Sometime before the Civil War, Papa went to live with Jefferson Dempcy and his wife on a farm near Urbana. Jefferson was a cousin of Ezra, the husband of Mama’s oldest sister Lucretia. He was a colonel in the Civil War, but I’m not sure whether it was the Indiana or Ohio regiment. If it was the Indiana one this might be why Papa enlisted there.
Papa was in the War of the Rebellion (Civil War) with the 9th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Company G. He went in as a private and came out a captain. He was Assistant Adjuntant-General to Adjtant-General Gross, in charge of supplies, after he recovered from his wounds. He fought in West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee.
He was in the following battles: Phillippi, Laurel Hill, Carrick’s Ford, Green Brier, Corinth (a siege), Danville, Perrysville, and Stone River where he was badly wounded, possibly the wounds he suffered in his head and his knee. When he returned to his regiment, he was in the battles of Woodbury, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge, Tunnel Hill, Buzzard Roost, Rocky Face, Resaca, Pine Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, Marietta, Chatahoocha River, Reach Tree Creek, Atlanta (a siege), Jonesboro, and last, the Lovejoy Station battle, September 22, 1864, where he was seriously wounded again.
This time, the large bone of his left forearm was shot away. He was in a hospital run by nuns. The doctor was determined to amputate his arm, but both the nuns and Papa were against it. His arm was full of maggots, and that was what really saved it, as they ate up the dead flesh. After it healed, he had the use of his arm, though the elbow was quite stiff, and his ring and little finger were drawn up.
We have a copy of the following: Order from Headquarters, Military Division of the Mississippi. Leave of absence of 20 days on account of wounds received in action in hereby granted Capt. J. B. Brinton, A. A. H(?) G. 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 4th A. C. with permission to proceed beyond the limits of the Military Division. By order of Major General W. T. Sherman.
Papa was also made a prisoner during one of the battles, and confined in Libby Prison, on the second floor about the middle window. When there was an exchange of prisoners, he tore off his officers’ insignia and was exchanged as a private.
He met Mama after he was wounded, when he was home on leave. They were married in 1867, when Papa was 29 and Mama was 22, and went to live in Mingo, Champagne County, Ohio. He and John Guthridge owned a general store – the sign on it was Guthridge and Brinton. When I went to Mingo around 1900, the sign was still there. Papa was also a carpenter at one time, but I don’t know just when.
After the store, Papa was telegraph operator for the A & GW Railroad, (Atlantic and Great Western) at Mingo. This railroad was later called the NYP&O “NippenO” (New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio) and was later bought by the Erie. I think he was made agent there in Mingo, then he was transferred to Marion, Dayton, and finally to Ashland.