ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
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Nye Family of America
PROCEEDINGS OF THE THIRD REUNION
AT MARIETTA, OHIO, AUGUST SIXTEENTH,
SE VENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH
, PRINTED BY
The J. W. Stowell Printing Co.,
MR. AND MRS. S CURTIS SMITH
Committee on Publication
NYE FAMILY OF AMERICA
Mr. GEORGE H. NYE, Auburn, N. Y.
Hox. DAVID J NYE, Elyria, Ohio.
Mrs. S. CURTIS SMITH, Newton, Mass.
Mrs. ANNIE NYE SMITH, Roxbury, Mass.
Wtlliam h. Nye (Chairman) .
Charles H. Nye
William F. Nye
Henry A. Belcher .
James L. Wesson
Everett I. Nye
Harold B. Nye
James W. Nye
Mrs. Rowena Nye Cook
Mrs. Horace K. Nye
~. P H
The third reunion of the Nye Family of America was held at
Marietta, Ohio, August sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth.
Two reunions of the family had been held at Sandwich, Mass.,
as Benjamin Nye of Bedlenden, Kent Co., England, was the
first Nye to come to America and settled there as early as 1037.
His numerous descendents are now found in every state and ter-
ritory of our country.
Among the first pioneers into the Ohio valley after the Revo-
lutionary War were Mr. Ichabod Nye of Tolland, Connecticut,
a soldier of the Revolution, with his family. They settled in
Marietta, Ohio, in 1788 where Mr. Nye resided until his death
From the descendents of this early settler a very cordial invi-
tation was extended to the Nye Family Association to hold the
third reunion in historic Marietta. The eight branches of Ich-
abod Nye's family are scattered from the Mediterranean Sea to
to the Pacific Ocean, and yet not one of these eight branches
failed in showing their loyalty and devotion by contributing in
some way to the entertainment.
Great interest was sustained throughout all the meetings.
The leading citizens of Marietta joined with the family in ex-
tending hospitality to the visiting guests. The press gave
prominent notice of all meetings and social functions relating to
the Family as well as printing many of the addresses in full-
8 The Nye Family of America
A poem, "The good old days of old," written ind dedicated to
the Nye Reunion by Mr. John Henton Carter, was noted among
the many pleasant allusions to the Nye Family Association.
The great success of the formal meetings, as well as of the so-
cial features of the occasion, is due in large measure to Mr.
James W. Nye of Marietta, who was the local chairman, and to
his able committees.
The efficient work of the local corresponding secretary, Miss
Mary C. Nye; the artistically arranged programs by Miss Laura
Virginia Nye and Miss Rebekah D. Nye; the unique and singu-
larly appropriate badges designed by Miss Minerva Tupper Nye;
and the beautiful decorations of the church by Mrs. Henry M.
Dawes, Miss Grace Davis, Mrs. Daniel H Buell, Mrs. John H.
Lindsay, Mrs. Frederic S. McGee and Mr. C. Wheeler Nye; all
combined to produce most admirable results. It should be
gratefully noted that the music committee, Mrs. H. N. Towne
of Chillicothe, Ohio, and Mrs. Emerson H. Brush of Elmhurst,
111., generously furnished at their own expense throughout the
meetings, choice and delightful music, both vocal and instru-
mental. The applause that each number received gave sufficient
evidence that the efforts of the music committee were fully ap-
The weather was fine throughout the convention and thus an
excellent opportunity was given to see the city and visit historic
places of interest. By the evening of August 15th many visit-
ing Nyes had arrived in Marietta and these gathered informally
at the home of Mr. James W. Nye at nine o'clock for greetings.
On the morning of August sixteenth, the members of the Nye
family from far and near gathered at the Unitarian Church to
register and to meet Mrs. H. N. Towne, Miss Minerva Tupper
Nye and Dr H. N Curtis, who were there to receive the guests.
While young lads, members of the family, distributed the pro-
grams, a bevy of the young misses acted as ushers.
Third Reunion 9
The church, most attractive in itself, had been beautifully
decorated. Hardy hydrangeas, scarlet salvia, golden glow and
trailing vines were artistically combined, and a large letter i- N"
of evergreen and flowers was placed in front of the altar.
Owing to the absence of the President, Mr. George H. Nye of
Auburn, N. Y. , Mr. James W. Nye of Marietta, the chairman of
the local committee, by the request of the executive committee,
called the meeting to order and presided through the Wednes-
day session. In his opening remarks he feelingly referred to
the death of Mrs. Nye, the beloved wife of our President, and
suggested that a telegram be sent to Mr. Nye regretting his ab-
sence and expressing our sympathy for him. It was the unani-
mous vote that the secretary send the message at once.
The first number on the program was an organ prelude by
Miss Flora Mason. The invocation hymn composed by Miss
Abbie F. Nye of Sandwich, Mass., was sung by the audience,
after which followed the address of welcome by Mr. James W.
Nye, the chairman. He welcomed his family guests with these
On the walls at the relic room, hangs a banner bearing the fol-
lowing inscription, taken from an address delivered here in
"The path from the heights of Abraham led to Independence
Hall. Indepeunence Hall led finally to Yorktown, and York-
town guided the footsteps of your fathers to Marietta. This,
my countrymen, then, is the lesson which I read here."
This refers to the little band of stalwart men and brave wo-
men, who in 1788, left their New England homes, and turning
their faces westward, journeyed \>y the crude means then in use,
in search of new homes, in the then unknown wilds of the ter-
ritory northwest of the Ohio river, this locality being their ob-
jective point. The men forming the advance guard arrived
April the 7th, 3 788, and their families August the 19th, 1788.
Of this little band of pioneers, Senator John W. Daniel of
Virginia said in an address delivered here July 18, 1888:
10 The Nye Family of America
"The founders of Marietta did not come to the great north-
west as the Spaniards went to the Mississippi, in search of gold.
They taught a lesson of history in the character of their laws.
They taught a lesson of courage in the very nature of their bold
adventure. They taught a lesson of prudence in the sedate and
organic way in which they went about their business. But they
came here as home seekers and home-builders. They remem-
bered that the most sacred altar of the living God is the moth-
er's knee, and that the brighest torch that Liberty lights wehn
she goes to the head of brave battalions, is kindled by the fire-
side of home. They came here bringing with them their house-
hold goods, their wives and their children. And when they
faced the savage toward the west, they could look over their
shoulders and see behind them the sweet face of woman, and
hear the prattle of children around the cabin door. It was this,
as much as anything else, that made them great. For the home
is the cornerstone of earth's greatest temples. And it was an
American poet who sung.
"Through pleasures a^d palaces where ere we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."
I think that we may be pardoned for remembering on this
occasion with just pride, that our family was well represented in
this company of pioneers, and I ask your indulgence for telling
you in a brief way, whom two of these representatives were,
leaving for other and abler minds to relate the record of the
brave women of the party.
First. General Benjamin Tupper; born at Sharon, Mass.,
1738; brought his family to Marietta, Aug. 19, 1788. He died,
June 16, 1792. General in the Revolutionary war. Member of
the Order of Cincinnati. Director of the Ohio Company, and
Master of Masons.
Second. Col. Ichabod Nye; born at Tolland, Conn., 1702.
Soldier in the Revolutionary war, 1779, 1780 and 1781. Came
to Marietta, Aug. 9th, 1788, his family arriving ten days later.
Died Nov. 27, 1840.
Colonel Nye was a man of sterling qualities and strict in hon-
esty and personal habits. Was prominent in all matters of his
day that promised good and progress for the new settlement.
A manufacturer and a merchant, he reared a Roosevelt family of
five sons and four daughters, who have now all passed to the
Third Reunion 11
great beyond. In regard to him, I quote from an article prepared
by Miss Willia Dawson Cotton, in 1900:
Col. Nye had ever the good of the town at heart. He was
intensely interested in preserving the ancient works, and in 1837
called the attention of the citizens to the ''Big Mound," which
had been badly neglected for some years. The sextons had used
the ground as a pasture for their sheep, and the tracks made had
been washed into great holes by the rains. Through Col. Nye's
efforts over $400 were raised and the needed improvements made
in the following year. Stone steps were placed on the north
side of the mound, which was restored to its original shape and
protected by a railing at the smmit."
Thus has our city and its ancient works ever been fostered
by our family, and now to this city that our ancestors have
assisted in making possible, to this city of roomy parks, wide
streets, beautiful trees, handsome lawns, and full of historic in-
terest, I bid you welcome, welcome, thrice welcome to our city,
our homes and our hearthstones, and I repeat to you what I said
at Sandwich, two years ago, that the latch string is out and
hangs so low that all can reach it, and you are not only invited,
but expected to pull it. And when you return to your homes,
may you do so with a realization of having quaffed of a cup
brimful of pleasure and with endnring pleasant recollections of
In the absence of the President, Mr. S. Curtis Smith of New-
ton, Mass., was asked to respond to the address of welcome,
which he did in substantially these words :
Mr. Chairman: —
I deem it an honor to be considered worthy to take the place
of our esteemed President, to respond to your gracious words of
welcome. We all sympathize with him in his great bereave-
ment. It is eminently fitting that we extend to him our sympa-
thy. For there is a bond that binds this family together, that
should cause true friendship to exist.
My acquaintance with the Nye Family of Marietta, which was
begun at the reunions at Sandwich, was so delightful, and the
invitation to hold this reunion at Marietta was so cordial and so
earnest, that it did not require any urging to induce me to come.
We were told thaj; " the latch string would be out, " but I find
the doors have been opened wide to receive us. I certainly feel
that your cordial invitation is to be fully realized.
i2 The Nye Family of America
I think this city is an ideal place for the reunion, not only be-
cause of its historic worth, but also because of its natural beau-
ty, its wide streets, its beautiful elms and maples, and its clean
pavements. I wonder if such cleanliness always exists, or is due
to the copious showers of yesterday, Dame Nature sent to aid
the preparation for our welcome. I am inclined to think it is
the result of your regulations and efforts, for showers, however
abundant, do not accomplish so much, if filth and papers are
allowed to collect.
During the last part of our journey from Cleveland, the show-
ers came down in torrents, but they did not dampen our ardor
in the least, for we were passing through that labyrinth of
windings and our attention was attracted to the scenery with its
gracefully rounded hills rising from undulating dales. Just as
we emerged from this scene the sun broke through the clouds
and revealed to us your city and its charming surroundings. A
more pleasing introduction could not be desired.
As I came into this church, the kind expressions of welcome,
the intelligent and happy faces of all, and the decorations, so
artistically arranged, produced an agreeable sensation and a
lively anticipation of the pleasure awaiting us.
My friends, we meet to renew old and to form new acquaint-
ances — surely, a worth}- object, but, coming as we do from re-
motely separated sections of our country, it seems to me that
our meeting should serve a broader and more significant pur-
pose. It should not only strengthen the family tie, but also it
should exert an influence of a patriotic nature — fostering a sent-
iment that shall discourage prejudice and dispel all antago-
nisms arising from misunderstanding one another. I bespeak
for the visiting Nyes their appreciation of what you have done
to make our reunion a happy one.
One of the most interesting features that followed was a duet,
"Hark, Hark My Soul," by Mrs. Emerson H. Brush of Elm-
hurst, 111., and Miss Muriel Palmer of Marietta, Ohio. It was
most beautifully rendered, Mrs. George Alexander was the
accompanist on the piano, Miss Muriel Palmer sung a solo, en-
titled "The Day is Done," in a very delightful manner. The
audience showed their appreciation of each musical number
rendered by their enthusiastic applause.
Third Reunion 13
Mr. George Nye of Chillicotlie, Ohio, the oldest living mem-
ber of the Ichabod Nye family, seventy-eight next January,
prepared a paper for this occasion, entitled, ' 'The Ohio Comp-
any." but was excused from reading, at his request. It reads as
General Rufus Putnam and General Benjamin Tupper made
the first call to organize it in January, 17815. The organization
and subscriptions were completed in about a year. Influenced
by the Ohio Company, Congress passed the ordinance of 1787 to
govern the " North West Territory," which was then a wilder-
ness but now comprises the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan and Wisconsin.
A company of emigrants left New England in 1787 and 1788.
At Pittsburg, during the winter, boats were built in which forty-
eight men went down the Ohio River and landed at the place
now called Marietta, at noon on the seventh of April, 1788.
The women and children and equipment came in boats during
These men and women knew how to work. A stockade con-
taining Block Houses and dwellings and other houses outside of
the same, were rapidly built and Marietta was surveyed and
started. Governor Arthur St. Clair and Judges and other officers
came in the Summer, and a Territorial government began.
First and most important of all, slaver} 7 and involuntary serv-
itude, were excluded .from the North- West Territory and the
States formed from it.
Second, Religion, Education, Intelligence and Justice went
Third, The result of the Ohio Company's influence upon Con-
gress as to the ordinance of 1787 was such, that the States of
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin did almost half
in the Revolution towards freeing the United States.
Fourth, The Revolution having succeeded, a deserved peace
was declared and officers, soldiers and people of New England
were paid for their military services in the best lands the United
States had. According to the settlement, the Ohio Company
was to have 1,500,000 acres for $1,000,000. They only paid for
and received 964,28") acres.
Ichabod Nye and Minerva Tupper Nye, his wife, and Ebenez-
er Nye, his brother,' came in 1788 to Marietta where they reared
large families. Ichabod Nye died in 1810.
14 The Nye Family of America
Mrs. Theodore D. Dale of Montclair, N. J., had written for
the Association an excellent paper, entitled, " Marietta," but
being unable to be present, it was read by her cousin, Miss
Martha Sproat of Chillicothe, Ohio.
Mrs. Dale's paper follows:
It has fallen to me to speak of Ichabod Nye's home after his
pilgrimage from Connecticut to the great western country,
Marietta, lying at that point where the picturesque Muskingum
joins the mighty Ohio, a place "beautiful for situation," and
prized for its strategic value long years before the white man's
discovery and occupation. Other papers before this gathering
will treat its geographical fitness for a fronteir settlement, to-
gether with those larger associations destined always to shed a
peculiar lustre on Marietta's orderly beginnings. Founded, as
has been said of Sandwich, also, by "brave and intelligent free-
men, who lived in simple ways, pursued homely vocations, com-
bined hard manual labor with good social position, brought
education to the threshold of every child, enjoyed a democratic
church," and whoever strove to pass on to posterity the legacy
of a happy home, its history richly illustrates much that is
common to high endeavor the world over, and much that is
special in American colonization. It is left for this paper to re-
cast a few phases iu Marietta's domestic development, and to
ask how far that development realized the high hopes and
bright ideals of those home- seeking freemen, and of our own
honored ancestor. What of the town they founded to be a home
for their children and then of their grand-children, when they,
in time, had come to man's estate ? It is impossible to answer
critically, even as one can never thus speak about objects close-
ly linked with personal recollection, but unnumbered voices
from later generations have continued passionately to declare
those beautiful dreams and hopes to be more than fulfilled, yes,
a thousand fold ! And Ichabod Nye's descendants have long
swelled that chorus, and fervently blessed the star which led
him to this beautiful valley, the star which today brings Sand-
wich to Marietta for this meeting of cousins. Truly, we believe
he builded better than he knew, and Fate was kind indeed link-
ing him and his with that fine band of western colonists. As a
community of home seekers and home makers from the first
stake driven into its soil, Marietta has borne a highly individual
Third Reunion 15
stamp. Its physical map, marked over by the imprint of two
races of mankind is not more distinctive than the lines of its
social metes and bounds. New England in character at the out-
set, that character long persisted despite its remote location and
the early infusion of elements from other sections, elements
which added strength and grace in happy proportion. Situated
on the border of slave territory, isolated from the great land
highways, shut off from modifying contact with sister commun-
ities, the colony was forced into intense self-development and
out of this environment grew a remarkable solidarity of public
spirit and social unity, endowing the settlement with something
akin to personality. Its high reputation attracted settlers of
the best stamp and offered no encouragement to the adventurous
and lawless— classes ever ready to fix on frontier and river towns
— and for more than half a century its society continued remark-
ably homogenous. It was composed of an unusual number of
large and influential family groups, each cherishing a whole-
some respect for the other ; intimate and united in the greater
and the smaller interests of life and of their town, and wisely
tolerant in those points of difference common to people of inde-
pendent thought and opposite temperaments. This happy rela-
tion between near neighbours was of incalculable value in
branding a superior character upon the town, and few commun-
ities have ever exhibited a higher level of ordinary living or a
keener sense of public responsibility. Its early annals give a
surprising succession of concerted and broadly conceived move
ments toward commercial, educational and social betterment,
faithfully carried out by the next generation of citizens, and, in
turn, passed on to us, as a perpetual charge.
At a time when Marietta still corresponded in size to the old
Greek's measure of what a town should be for good government
— one small enough for each man to know his fellows, — and was
still free from those "twin distempers" of a state, poverty and
riches, it was an ideal place for a home.
Hard conditions of pioneer days had disappeared, and it had
now become possible tor fathers and mothers to revive more of
the social graces and conventions observed in older societies.
Compared with modern ornate styles, the houses of that day
would seem plain to bareness, but they were the dignified and
appropriate expression of the high-caste living within. Each
dwelling, with its formal door-yard and kitchen garden, most
carefully fenced in, bespoke the independence and quality of its
16 The Nye Family of America
occupants, and cousins here today fondly remember those homes
as radiant with love and filled with warm human interest.
Added to currents from these firesides, life in the little town
was permeated by a stimulating flavor from the young college,
and from the liberal spirit of those who had made the college
possible and believed in the high mission awaiting it. It was a
spirit which had always been zealous in support of the Christian
Church, in erecting houses of worship, in generous provision
for pastors, and in whatever else promoted religious welfare.
How well we understand that such standards unfailingly enrich
and enoble the conduct and life of communities ; and our citi-
zens were destined to confirm that old truth in their widening
sense of human rights and man's obligation to his neighbor. As
an illustration : years before the Washingtonian wave reached
this frontier settlement, local public conscience had been awak-
ened to the blighting power of alcoholic beverages then in univer-
sal favor, and under that awakening had risen and declared
against their use and manufacture. The national temperance
uprising was the more significant to us because in spirit and act
it had been anticipated by our forefathers. Some of us are
proud to claim descent from one struggling farmer of that
period, who, rather than profit further from a traffic he now
believed to be destructive and immoral, tore down his stills and
poured his brandy upon the ground. With him, as with many
of his neighbors, to know the right was to do it, at whatever
pecuniary sacrifice. Watching this type of citizen in Ohio were
those Virginians across the river whose enlightened convictions
led them to free their slaves and to reward their past services.
On the justice or injustice of slavery, and its proper mode of
abolishment, on States Rights, on Secession, and on kindred
burning questions, radical and tense differences divided the
town, and sometimes led to excitement bordering on riots, as in
the case of Free Speech Meetings in 1835. But the majority of
citizens advocated the immediate abolition of slavery and be-
lieved in the preservation of the Union. In defense of that be-
lief their sons finally stood ready for the supreme sacrifice — life
itself. What that defense cost is, in part, commemorated by our
In a town so directly an outgrowth of the struggle for Inde-
pendence, it goes without saying that National interests would
always be eagerly followed and ardently discussed, but travel-
lers from the Eastern States, who sounded its public pulse, were
Third Reunion 17
not quite prepared to find it awake to all large questions and
closely in touch with the higher thought of the world, — a mistake
they frequently betrayed by a lack of tact more amusing than
displeasing to the people under observation.
This same progressive and dominant spirit also demanded and
fostered early newspapers, a circulating library, magazine and
reading clubs, and a lecture lyceum. The study of music from
the outset, was regarded as important ; accomplished teachers
came and met enthusiastic support, as no one could question
who heard the church choirs and concerts in parlor and hall.
Oh, were ever such ballads sung elsewhere or by such beautiful
voices? And then the parties, to dinner, to tea, to spend the
evening, and in the summer, the exciting round of Commence-
ment Weeks, — with impressive array of dignitaries as back-
ground for the President's Levee, and the lesser gatherings.
Delightful exchange with delightful people! How can the
charm of it all be recalled ? As soon replace the lily's scattered
petals, and equally futile to attempt to tell of that other perfect
memory, Marietta cookery. The best from New England, the
best from the South, were they not found blended on its bounti-
ful tables ? And could anything short of a separate paper dare
touch on those soul satisfying baskets carried to picnics on the
Hill, or up the river to the Rocks ?
You who do not share these social joys, can never be made to
believe a half of the truth, and for those of you who did share
and now remember them, the truth is something far beyond
mere words, and calls for language made up of smiles and sighs,
of laughter and of tears. Aud any picture of that life would be
sadly incomplete which failed to put into the foreground its fas-
cination for visitors. We doubt if any town ever deserved or
enjoyed a more enviable reputation among its guests, for they
found here a combination of fine social traits and customs suf-
fused with a distinctive local coloring, producing happy and
lasting impressions ; impressions of "contentment" with small
means, of elegance rather than luxury, of refinement rather
than fashion, befitting a people whose sires had founded a state.
But how unsatisfactory, how almost mocking it is to speak of
Marietta as a whole, to analyze its heart and dissect its person-
ality ! So much of what has just been said might quite as
fittingly describe any other than the town of our affections. It
is of the individuals — the men and women, with whom, side by
side, we have walked the streets, into whose eyes we have look
18 The Nye Family of America
ed and whose vanished hands clasped ours in living warmth — it
is of these we think today, and wish to speak, name by name.
Such loving tributes lie outside the scope of this paper, but we
must make just one exception, and that one in honor of the
notable and generous citizen of Marietta who built the beautiful
church in which we meet today, — the Honorable Nathan Ward.
His service for the welfare of this whole region would be difficult
to over-estimate. It felt — it still feels — the influence of his fine
personality, liberal sympathy, business grasp, and his hospital-
ity in a home conducted after most dignified and finished stand-
ards, and the scene of many distinguished gatherings.
As a nucleus for the country neighborhoods, close allies in
blood and tradition, Marietta exerted a central and supreme
influence not only as the official seat and trading point, but be-
cause in its role as host, it dispensed a hospitality enjoyed by
the whole county. In no other way, perhaps, was this influence
so valuable and so far-reaching as in its effect on the young men
and young women of Belpre, Warren, Beverly, Waterford,
Newport, and from towns across the river in Virginia and be-
yond, who came to study in its college and seminary. At that
time it was customary for the best families to receive these
young people as boarders, and a great good fortune for them it
was, for over and above all gains in book knowledge, they
learned a code of good behavior, still quoted to their grandchild-
ren, who associate that old Marietta with the seven Wonders of
the world and the Delphian oracle. Measured by the ecstatic
emotions filling the heart of one little Belpre visitor in that long-
ago, who scarcely breathed for joy and wonder as she skipped
through the enchanted streets and tip-toed into the delightful
homes of her four great-uncles, "the glory that was Greece and
the grandeur that was Rome" would shrink to beggarly insig-
nificance. Nor have time and intimacy entirely altered that
measure, for when she now uses Marietta as a yard stick, she
finds few towns which do not fall short in some important qual-
ity, essential to the satisfying dimensions of her first love. This
in barest outline is the town in which Ichabod Nye lived for
fifty- two years, in which his wife, Minerva Tupper, lived for
forty- eigut years, and in which his nine children grew to matu-
rity, and where his four younger sons spent practically all their
lives ; in all covering a period just one hundred years. They
found great opportunities — they faced great responsibilities.
Did they contribute their share to building here a strong society
Third Reunion 19
and a beautiful town ? Did they appreciate their obligations
and their inheritance ? Did they love the place as their very
own, and stop at no reasonable sacrifice in its behalf? We,
their descendants, are proud to believe that they did contribute
their full share ; to believe that they were always intensely alive
to their rare opportunities, and that when they themselves did
not lead, they were ready to follow faithfully in every good way
and work. Their history as a family and as individuals is writ-
ten in the history of the town, and while we who meet here,
may well bless the star which brought the Nyes to Marietta, we
do not hesitate to say that for Marietta, as well as for the Nyes,
it was a star of happiest omen.
At the conclusion of this paper the Chairman remarked, I see
no reason why I should not be proud of vay cousins, especially
when one can write so well and another read so well.
As the Trustees of the Unitarian Church had tendered the
free use of their beautiful edifice to the Association for all their
meetings, Mr. William L,. Nye of Sandwich, Mass., the Chair-
man of the Executive Board, moved that a vote of thanks be
extended for their kindness.
It was passed unanimously.
The next musical number was a solo, sung by Miss Muriel
Palmer, "Angus McDonald," which was heartily encored.
The old First Congregationalist Church of Marietta, the
Church of the Pioneers, built nearly one hundred years ago, in
which the family had expected to hold the Association meetings,
was entirely destroyed by fire in the early morning of February
thirteenth, 1905. Among the founders of the church and con-
tributors to the original building in 1807 were Ichabod Nye and
his wife Minerva Nye. To recall this to memory, Mr. James
W. Nye, the local Chairman, had procured from the ruins, wood
from which he had made a gavel. He presented this touching
relic as an historical souvenir, to be used at this and all future
meetings of the Nye Association.
20 Thr Nye Family of America
The Chairman then introduced Hon. David J. Nye of Elyria,
Ohio, the vice-president of the Association, and the orator of
the day. His very able paper, prepared for this occasion, was
entitled, "The Beginnings of Ohio, ' ' which was listened to with
Ladies and Gentlemen and Kindked Friends : —
We stand today on the banks of the river, where in 1788 were
made the Beginnings of Ohio.
A century and a quarter ago this beautiful state was a vast
wilderness, covered with the primeval forests, inhabited only by
wild and savage beasts and more savage human beings. The
native Indians then roamed this fair land and claimed dominion
The forests have given way to fields of growing grass and
golden grain, and our rivers and lakes are now white with the
sails of commerce. Where the hut and wigwam once sheltered
the red man, the school and church now stand to point the way
to intelligence and christian civilization. On the banks of the
rivers and lakes where the indian moored his bark canoe, and
where desolation and gloom prevailed, now stand thriving cities
and villages, and the smoke of industry proclaims the handiwork
of man. The earth and hills give up their minerals, and the
fields yield abuandant products for man's use.
It was at the close of the Revolutionary war. Those officers
and soldiers, who had, for seven eventful years, fought for the
independence of their country, had gained the greatest victory
for mankind the world has ever known The country was im-
poverished and was not able to pay its officers and soldiers the
the debt it owed them. The happy solution was presented of
paying them in public lands, or rather permitting them to set-
tle and build up that portion of the country known as the
Northwest Territory. It was bounded on the east by Pennsyl-
vania, on the south by the Ohio river, on the west by the Mis-
sissippi and on the north by the Great Lakes. This territory
embraced what are now the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Michigan, Wisconsin and a part of Minnesota. It has a vast ex-
tent of about 260,000 square miles, — more than all the territory
of Germany, Switzerland and Denmark, — more than the com-
bined extent of England, Portugal, Italy and Greece. It was a
Third Reunion 21
vast empire in itself. Washington had seen it and knew its
value and the fertility of the soil. His generals and soldiers,
who had been with him in the great struggle against England,
knew of it. He once said if the federal army was defeated by
the British he would go to the Northwest Territory.
The country was ripe for such an opening, and the best and
bravest men of New England, and the east, were ready to take
advantage of the opportunity. A company, known as the Ohio
Company, was formed by men who had taken part in the Revo-
lution. The first meeting held for the purpose of forming this
company was called by Generals Rufus Putnam and Benjamin
Tupper. The former was a brave and daring general under
Washington, and the latter a true and faithful officer in the
The meeting to organize this Company was held on the 3rd of
March 1786 in the ' 'Bunch of Grapes' ' tavern in the city of Bos-
ton and was attended almost entirely by New England officers
who had so recently led the armies to victory. They had fought
at Lexington and Concord, and poured out their blood at Bunker
Hill. They had been with Washington at Brandywine, at Ger-
mantown and Valley Forge. Some of them had fought upon
every battlefield for the independence of their common country.
Two hundred and eighty five of these brave men composed the
Ohio Company which was destined to make an opening in the
Northwest. The purpose of this company was to buy a large
tract of land in the Ohio valley and start a new settlement — a
new state. On its organization men were sent to appear before
the Continental Congress to urge the passage of the Ordinance
of 1787, otherwise known as the Ordinance of Freedom. This
Ordinance, passed July 13th, 1787, was one of the grandest doc-
'uments ever framed for the good of mankind, and for the estab-
lishment of a free and enlightened government, "of the people,
by the people, and for the people." It was next to the Consti-
tution of the United States in its wise and lasting provisions.
Among other things it provides that, "Religion, Morality, and
Knowledge being necessary to good government and the happi-
ness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall be
forever encouraged." This provision was advocated by the
Puritans of New England, who had been schooled in the Acade-
mies and Colleges of the East, and knew the worth of a free ed-
ucation. Many of them had been educated at Yale, Harvard
and Williams universities. Is it any wonder that they should
22 The Nye Family of America
advocate such a provision in the document which was to be one
of the foundation stones of this new empire? Another and the
most important provision of this Ordinance of Freedom, and the
one from which it derived its name is the following: ''There
shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said
territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof
the party shall have been duly convicted." This breathed into
the new document a spirit of freedom and independence, that
was inspiring to the sons and daughters of the Pilgrims, and
gave them confidence that they might have a colony and later a
state, that never should be cursed with slavery or iuvoluntary
servitude. It was an invitation to all lovers of free govern-
ments and free institutions, wherever located, to come to the
Northwest Territory. New England had seen the curse of slav-
ery, and all who breathed its air were free. Many in the slave-
holding states of the South had become dissatisfied with the in-
stitution of slavery, and were desirious of an opportunity for
separating themselves from its evils.
This foundation having been laid for a free and enlightened
government in this Northwest Territory, the Ohio Company
purchased from the General Government about 1,000,000 acres
of land at and near the mouth of the Muskingum River for the
price of sixty six and two thirds cents per acre payable in Gov-
ernment script. In December 1787 the first party of forty eight
men of the Ohio Company led by General Rufus Putnam set out
for their new homes in the Great West. They had been inured
to hardships by a service in the war of the Revolution, that had
prepared them for a winter's journey through forests, over rivers
and mountains, and along trails blocked with snow and ice.
This party arrived at the mouth of the Muskingum river on
April 7th, 1788, and there founded the town of Marietta. Soon
after, on August 19th, 1788, another party headed by General
Benjamin Tupper arrived at the new settlement. In this party
were Ichabod Nye and Minerva Nye. Among those who came
at this time were the first women of this New England Compa-
ny. They were brave and virtuous women, the wives of gallant
soldiers, all of whom had come into a wilderness to lay the
foundation of the new government.
Other settlers came from time to time until there was a large
community gathered on the new purchase. General Rufus Put-
nam was the superintendent of the Ohio Company. Marietta
was located on the easterly side of the Muskingum river, oppo-
Third Reunion 23
site Fort Harmer, where the United States garrison was then
stationed. It became necessary for the new settlers to fortify
and protect themselves against the Indians. They built a fort
which was named by them 'Campus Martius." It may not be
out of place for me to give a brief description of this fort for the
benefit of those who visit Marietta for the first time. The fol-
lowing description is said to have been written by General
Rufus Putnam in 1788: "Campus Martius is the handsomest
pile of buildings on this side of the Alleghany Mountains, and
in a few days will be the strongest fortification in the territory
of the United States. It stands on the margin of the elevated
plain, on which are the remains of the ancient works, mention-
ed in my letter of May last, thirty feet above the high bank of
the Muskingum, twenty nine perches distant from the river and
two hundred and seventy six from the Ohio.
It consists of a regular square having a block house at each
angle eighteen feet square on the ground, and two stories high:
the upper story on the outside or face jutting over the lower one
He further says, ' 'In all the buildings of this square there will
be seventy two rooms of eighteen feet and upwards, inclusive of
the lofts and garrets, which, at twelve persons to a room (a mod-
erate proportion in case of necessity) will lodge eight hundred
and sixty four people * * * The block house intended for the
bell, with a part of the adjacent curtains has a hall appropriate
to public use, where three hundred people may assemble. The
open space within the square of buildings is one hundred and
forty four feet on each side, in the center of which a well is now
This in brief was the condition of Campus Martius in 1788. In
1791 during the Indian troubles it was still further fortified by
placing "a row of palisades sloping outwards * * * Twenty feet
outside of these was a row of very large and strong pickets set
upright in the earth, with gateways for the admission of the in-
habitants. A few feet in advance of the outer pallisades was
placed an additional defense or abatis, made from the tops and
branches of trees sharpened and pointing outwards. So that it
would have been very difficult for an enemy to have penetrated
even within their outworks."
"Campius Martius was the official headquarters of the Gov-
ernor and Secretary of the Northwest Territory, their residences
and the',public offices being situated there. In addition the res-
24 The Nye Family of America
idences of the Superintendent of the Ohio Company's affairs and
other prominent members of the Ohio Company were there."
In a reunion of the Nye Family it may not be inappropriate
to speak more particularly of General Benjamin Tupper and
Colonel Ichabod Nye. It is well known to all the Nyes pres-
ent that Benjamin Nye of Sandwich, Mass., our common ances-
tor, and the first of that name who came to this country, mar-
ried Katharine Tupper. She was a daughter of Thomas Tupper
of Sandwich, Mass., the first of that name who settled in Amer-
General Benjamin Tupper was a direct descendant of Thomas
Tupper of Sandwich, Mass. He was a son of Thomas Tupper,
Jr. On the breaking out of the Revolutionary war he was a
Lieutenant of Militia. He took an active part in that war and
was an able and efficient officer. For meritorious acts in the
service he received the special thanks of Washington. Near
the close he was made a Brigadier General by brevet. He
was instrumental in organizing the Ohio Company and con-
ducted the first party that came with their families to the North-
west Territory. He brought his own among the first families
that came. His services in surveying and laying out the lands
of the Ohio Company were very valuable. He became one of
the judges in the courts of the territory, which office he held
until his death 1792.
Colonel Ichabod Nye was also among the first that came with
their families. His wife was Minerva Tupper Nye, the daugh-
ter of General Benjamin Tnpper. He was a soldier in the war
of the Revolution and still a young man when he came to Mar-
ietta. He was a useful and honorable citizen. This couple
were the ancestors of the Nyes in this part of the state.
It would be impossible in the time allotted to me, to go into
details of the acts of the individuals who first settled in Marietta,
or even to give the names of those most prominent. To name a
few, other than those particularly connecled with this reunion,
would be to omit many equally worthy and honorable.
When General La Fayette visited Marietta in 1825, and the
names of the pioneers were read to him, he said, 'I knew them
all. I saw them at Brandy wine, at Yorktown, at Monmouth,
and at Rhode Island. They were the bravest of the brave."
A walk about this city will reveal to us the places where the
early settlers first landed and a monument erected to their mem
ory; the site of "Campus Martius"; the old laud office; the his-
Third Reiinion 25
toric mounds; the site of Fort Harraar and many other historic
places. Many of the buildings have passed away like the early
inhabitants, but the influence of this people upon society and
the history of the state remains and will remain forever. Mon-
uments and tablets have been erected to commemorate many of
these historic places and events. These monuments have been
erected by the descendents of the pioneers. Loving hands have
clasped the tablets and devoted hearts have contributed to their
usefulness and beauty. Long after the marble and granite, of
which they are constructed, have crumbled to dust the princi-
ples for which these ancestors struggled will survive.
Following the adoption of the Ordinance of 1787 Congress or-'
ganized the first government of the Northwest Territory by the
appointment of General Arthur St. Clair, Governor; Samuel
Holden Parsons, James M. Varnutn and John Cleve Syra ne-;,
Judges. General St. Clair was a Scotchman by birth but at the
time of his appointment was a resident of Pennsylvania. J tdge
Parsons was from Connecticut, Judge Varnum from Rhode
Island and Judge Symmes from New Jersey. Winthrop Sargent
from Massachusetts was made Secretary. The new officers were
installed into office and the new government set in motion on the
15th of July, 1788.
In the meantime the General Government set off a large tract
of 4,200,000 acres of land between the Scioto and Miami rivers
to be distributed among the soldiers of Virginia who had fought
in the Colonial Army. This was in fulfillment of a promise
made to them by the Colony of Virginia. This tract of laud is
known as the Virginia Military District. It was first settled by
Kentuckians who had come from Virginia into Kentucky, then
by men direct from Virginia. They were a strong and hardy
people imbued with the desire of self government and free insti-
tutions. The first capital of the state was located at Chillicothe
in this district.
The little state of Connecticut had laid claim to a large tract
of land in the Northwest Territory, but released it upon condi-
tion that she could have about 4,000,000 acres of land extending
from Pennsylvania 120 miles westward, and from Lake Erie
south to the 41st Parallel of North Latitude. This concession
was made by the General Government and this tract of country
is now called the Connecticut Western Reserve. Owing to the
fact that the southern shore of Lake Erie as it extended wester-
ly approached the south more than was at the time supposed,
26 The Nye Family of America
there was not as much land in the tract as had been estimated and
the state only got a little over 3,000,000 acres. But the Western
Reserve now contains 173,000 acres more territory than the
whole state of Connecticut. About 500,000 acres of the western
portion of the Western Reserve was given to the people of Con-
necticut who had suffered from the destruction of property by
fire at the hands of the British during the Revolutionary war.
This tract of half a million acres which embraces the counties
of Huron and Erie is called the Firelands. The entire Western
Reserve except the Firelands was authorized to be sold by an
act of the legislature of the State of Connecticut passed May,
1705. It was sold to a company known as the Connecticut
Land Company for $1,200,000.
This company was composed of many of the leading men of
Connecticut, New York and other states. They were Puritans
and Revolutionary officers and soldiers. In May, 1796, a party
set out to make surveys and settle the new Connecticut under
the leadership of General Moses Cleveland, a veteran of the
Revolutionary war and a citizen of Canterbury, Connecticut.
His party consisted of fifty men and two women. They made
their way overland to Buffalo and then by water along the
southern shore of Lake Erie and landed in the Western Reserve
at Conneaut, July 4th, 1796. There they celebrated Indepen
dence day. Then they came to the mouth of the Cuyahoga river
and founded the city which bears the name of the leader of that
first party and which is now the metropolis of the State, Cleve
land. This was the advance guard from Connecticut to the
Western Reserve. Others followed in rapid succession.
Another tract of land between the Great and Little Miami
rivers consisting of 1,000,000 acres was contracted for, in 1788,
by John Cleve Symmes and his associates. Within this tract is
the territory now occupied by Cincinnati, long since called the
"Queen City of the West,'' and for many years the largest city
of Ohio. Other tracts were purchased from the Government
and the purchasers began to settle upon them.
Ohio was carved out of this Northwest Territory. It extend-
ed from the Ohio river on the south to the Great Lakes on the
north, and from Pennsylvania westward to what is now the east
line of Indiana. It embraced an extent of 41,000 square miles.
It is larger than the entire area of New Hampshire, Vermont,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Delaware.
Third Reiinion 27
Its soil was rich and productive. Its surface was rolling and
undulating with here and there a plain. It was watered by the
most beautiful creeks and rivers. Its hills were underlaid with
iron, coal, and other minerals. It was covered with the prime-
val forests, whose trees were anchored deep in the virgin soil
and had stood the storms of centuries. What an opportunity to
build a state! But it wanted men and women of ability, energy
and determination. Would they come? Would such men and
women come? Where would they come from? Yes, they would
come. They did come. They came from every New England
state. They came from Virginia, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania and from every source where there were men and
women fired with the spirit of liberty and independence, Christi-
anity and patriotism. The descendents of the Puritans came, the
soldiers of the Revolution came. Some of the best and bravest of
every community came. It was the first state that was settled
They brought with them their sterling characters, their vigor
and their patriotism. They were not wanting in any of the
qualities that go to make a great community and state. Aside
from the Puritans there were stalwart men and women of
English, Irish, German, and French birth and extraction. But
they were also Americans. They were the most cosmopolitan
people that ever gathered in a single state. In the great strug-
gle for Independence Patrick Henry said he was not a Virginian
but an American. So it was with all who came to settle Ohio,
they were Americans.
At first the people from the east gathered in different districts
according to the state or section from which they came. And
for a time they kept separate from each other. But they soon
began to mingle with one another until every community con-
tained citizens of different states, different religions and descend-
ants from different nationalities. Their interests became as
one and they formed as strong a people as had joined in any state.
The culture of the Puritan had been transplanted to the for-
ests of Ohio. The patriotism of the Colonies had been trans-
ferred from the fields of battle and the scenes of carnage to the
fields and woods of the new land. The musket and the bayonet
had been exchanged for the axe and the plow. On the arrival
of the first settlers they lived amid the towering oaks, the lofty
sycamores and the whistling pines. Their first days and nights
were spent under the outstretched arms of the welcoming trees.
28 The Nye Family of America
Then it was that the axe was heard to echo through the forests
and the lofty trees were made to kiss the earth and to make way
for the log cabin. These humble cabins became the mansions
of the freemen, who were in fact the raouarchs of this lovely
land. The sterling qualities of these new settlers could not be
hemmed in by the four walls of a log cabin, or the narrow con-
fines of a clearing in the forest. They looked beyond the im-
mediate present and saw in the near future a great state. The
forests gave way before their axes and in their place came forth
productive fields and farms. This work went on until the entire
country was transformed into a beautiful state.
In the early settlements in the Northwest Territory the In-
dians were troublesome and treacherous. The settlers were
constantly harassed by them, and many times driven from their
farms and clearings. Some settlements suffered from the inhu-
man attacks upon men, women and children. Massacres were
not uncommon. Sometimes a whole community would be driven
within the fort and its enclosures, and compelled to remain
there for weeks and months. The crops of the white people
were destroyed or appropriated by the red men. Their cattle
and horses were killed or driven away. This caused much suf-
fering and hunger among the white people. Although there
were birds and wild animals in the forests nearby, the whites
dared not venture out to shoot and bring them in.
From 1790 to 1795, the state of Ohio was overun with warlike
Indians. In the summer of 1790 General Harmar gathered to
gether an army with which to drive the Indians away. He had
a strong force of brave and patriotic soldiers. He met the
the Indians in battle and was defeated in September of that year.
A year later General St. Clair, having raised an army of over
two thousand soldiers marched against the Indians. November
4th, 1791, he engaged the enemy in battle and suffered a like de-
feat. In these two engagements more men were lost than in any
battle of the Revolutionary war. It caused mourning and suf-
fering throughout the country.
Washington then selected General Anthony Wayne and gave
him command of the troops in the Northwest Territory. He
raised an army of five thousand men and drilled them for ser-
vice. In the summer of 1794, after some maneuvering, he found
the Indians in readiness for him. They had selected an open-
ing where a tornado had blown down the timber. This gave
them an opportunity to hide behind the trees and it was more
Third Reunion 29
difficult for General Wayne's troops to get through the fallen
timber. But the General gave the order to charge. The sol-
diers had confidence in their leader. They soon drove the In-
dians from their ground and in less than two hours had gained
the greatest victory that had been won in the Northwest. This
opened the way for the treaty of Greenville which was conclud-
ed by General Wayne on August 3rd, 1795. Nearly two thirds
of Ohio was then cleared of Indians and left the eastern portion
of the state open to settlement.
During all these troubles with the Indians the British in Can-
ada and the Northwest were inciting them against the Ameri-
cans, and promising them protection. These troubles went on
until the British met Commodore Perry on Lake Erie. There
the Commodore, on vSeptember 10th, 1813, gained a great naval
victory. He sent to General Harrison this significant message:
"We have met the enemy and they are ours." This incident
substantially closed the difficulty between the British and United
States authorities. General Harrison said that the Revolution-
ary war was not ended till after Perry's victory.
The Indians were treated with fairness and honor both in
peace and in war. But when they became the allies of the
British and got within range of the frontiersman's guns they
were, in time, either driven back or left lifeless upon the fields
of battle. I want to assure our Eastern friends that there are no
longer any of the red men lurking in our woods or roaming
over the fields of our state, f hey have long since passed away
and gone to the happy hunting grounds beyond.
During the building up of the state the pioneers endured
many hardships. They lived in a new country without luxu-
ries, or many of the necessaries of life. For many years the
scarcity of food was supplemented by the meats from the wild
birds, and the beasts that roamed through the woods. They
called the state a commonwealth, but the condition of many was
that of common poverty. This was all endured with patience
and fortitude both by men and by women. It was the very kind
of endurance that made them strong. The story can never be
told; one can only allude to their hardships. The struggles
were such as to make patriots. The young were taught in
schools of adversity. But whatever else they were taught, they
were taught the fundamental principles of liberalty and morality.
The early settlers brought with them the schools of the East
and that love for knowledge which they had inherited from the
30 The Nye Family of America
Puritians. At first the common schools were established in log
cabins, under the forest trees and in the open air. These schools
were taught by the women and the mothers. In these duties
the patriotic mothers excelled. From their lips the bright and
growing youth of the state gathered the rudiments of an educa-
tion, which made them useful citizens. Their books were few
but they contained the knowledge which was most adapted to
the new country.
After these schools, came the Academies and Colleges. As
early as 1832 the Western Reserve College was instituted at
Hudson in the present county of Summit.
In the following year Oberlin College was established in the
forests of L,orrain county. This pioneer school advocated and
practiced the co-education of the two sexes and it has always
maintained that principle, which has been adopted by many
other colleges in the country. Oberlin College took an advance
step in the admission of colored students into its halls of learn-
ing. In this College the seeds of abolition were early planted
and it took an active part in the final liberation of the slaves in
Marietta College was chartered in 1835. It is now one of the
leading colleges of the state.
Other colleges have been instituted throughout the state, un-
til it is one of the greatest college states in the Union. Its stu-
dents occupy high and honorable positions in all the walks of
life. Every learned profession throughout the land is repre-
sented by those wdio have been educated in the colleges of Ohio.
We have a good Common School System Every youth has
an opportunity for an education at the expense of the state. All
these educational institutions are largely the growth of a New
The doctrines of the Ordinance of 1787 providing that, 'there
shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said
territory," sank deep into the breasts of the people of Ohio.
They were among the first to advocate the abolition of slavery
throughout the south. Ohio furnished one of the first under-
ground railroads in the country. Its southern terminus was on
the Ohio river and the northern on Eake Erie There may have
been others, but the one crossing our state carried many passen-
gers to freedom. Massachusetts and New England were not
more outspoken in the cause of freedom than were our own peo-
ple. The people of the southern part of the state joined with
Third Reunion 31
the Western Reserve in preaching liberty to all mankind. They
not only preached it but they practiced what they preached.
Joshua R. Giddings and Benjamin F. Wade joined hands with
John Quincy Adams and Charles Sumner in condemning slavery
in the South. These men led the country in the cause of liber-
ty. Their speeches prior r .o 1858 were prophetic of what was to
follow in the sixties. They had much to do with moulding the
country and preparing the people for the struggle which finally
came. Many other Ohioans played a leading part in the agita-
tion. It was a just cause. It finally gave us a country without
a master and without a slave.
In this great drama of life Ohio played a conspicuous part.
She contributed 320,000 soldiers who did valiant service. This
was one-tenth of all the soldiers who were enlisted. She fur-
nished thirteen Major Generals and thirty Brigadier Generals.
The most distinguished officers who led the armies to victory
were born within her borders and were reared upon her farms
or were residents within the State. They were born of pioneer
ancestry. Grant, Sherman and Sheridan, Garfield, Hayes, and
Harrison are a few of her contributions. Where can you find
their superior ? What single state has contributed more illus-
trious leaders, either in civil or military life ? I will not enter
upon an>* encomium of these men ; they need none. Their
deeds are written in the history of their country. They were
benefactors to mankind. They belonged to the nation. They
united with the generals of every other northern state and led
the matchless armies to victory.
In the civil lists Ohio furnished both in state and national af-
fairs, men of distinguished ability. Her war governors were
Dennison, Todd, and Brough, the latter a native of Marietta and
a man of whom the people of this city have reason to be proud.
When elected in 1863 he received the then unprecedented plural-
ity of more than 100,000 over his opponent, C. L. Valauding-
ham. In the national councils during the war Ohio furnished
as advisors to Lincoln such men as Stanton, Chase, Wade, John
Sherman, and Jay Cook.
We have furnished to the nation six presidents : William
Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James
A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, and William McKinley, all
natives of Ohio except the first. They were all brave generals
in war and able and distinguished citizens and officers in peace.
It was given to Abraham Lincoln, a citizen of the Northwest
32 The Nye Family of America
Territory, to strike the chains from 4,000,000 slaves, but it was
left to William McKinley to carry freedom to Cuba, Porto Rica
and the far off islands of the sea.
On March 4th, 1881, on the east portico of the capitol at
Washington, at the inauguration of the President of the United
States, there was a distinguished gathering of Ohioans. They
were Rutherford B. Hayes, the retiring president ; James A.
Garfield, about to be inaugurated president; Morrison R. Waite,
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who administered the oath
of office ; John Sherman, Secretary of the Treasury ; William
T. Sherman, General of the army; and Philip H. Sheridan,
Lieutenant General of the army and second in command. When
did any other state furnish such a gathering ?
My attention has recently been called to a political incident
that is told of Benjamin Harrison's cabinet. Ohio had been
very much in evidence in the public offices in the years before,
but when Harrison was inaugurated and had selected his cabinet
the country felt relieved. Instead of Ohioans he had appointed
such men to his cabinet as William Windom of Minnesota, W.
H. H. Miller of Indiana, John W. Noble of Missouri, Jeremiah
M. Rusk of Wisconsin, and later Stephen B. Elkins of West
Virginia. But on careful investigation it was found that every
one of them was born in Ohio. Later Charles Foster was ap-
pointed Secretary of the Treasury, making this the strongest
Ohio cabinet of all the years.
I do not name these men in a spirit of boasting. They were
all too great to have their names circumscribed by state lines.
They were Americans. To our Eastern friends we would say
that the great names of New England create no envy in our
Western homes. The names of Hancock and Otis, Adams and
Webster, Phillips and Hoar are as dear to an Ohioau as to the
residents of Massachusetts. These and others are as dear to us
as to you. They too were Americans. We claim them as our
Our population has grown from a few thousand in 1788 till we
now have nearly four and a half million people within our state.
There are now living in other states over one million people
who were born in Ohio. They have gone to other sections to
help build up new communities and new states. Our farming
country is a garden of industry, beauty and fertility. Upon our
fields are raised the products that help to feed the nation.
Our cities are hives of industry, thrift and business. In them
Third Reunion 33
is accumulated untold and uncounted wealth. The residences,
business blocks, and public buildings are models of architect-
ural beauty and utility. The workshops and factories, smelters
and rolling mills are conducted by the most skilled artisans, and
their products are sold in the remotest parts of the world. Upon
the rivers and harbors are yards where the staunchest ships are
built that plow the inland lakes. In these ships are carried the
grain, the minerals, and ihe products of every western state.
They carry the grain and flour to feed New England.
We have nine thousand miles of railroads equipped with the
most modern cars and locomotives. These are handled by the
most skillful servants, engineers and officers.
Do you ask then, what are the products of Ohio ? I will tell
you. They are corn and wheat, cattle and horses, workshops
and factories, ships and railroads, schools and churches, freedom
and independent thought, intellect and great men. These are
I have shown you how Ohio started and of what stock it com-
menced. The seed was excellent, and the Good Book says,
"Whatsoever a man sovveth, that shall he also reap." "By
their fruits shall ye know them." But we are yet only in the
beginning of Ohio. We are only a hundred years old. We are
still in the morning of our life as a state, — as a nation. The
Historian tells us that, "For over four thousand years Damascus
has been a spectator of the events of the World. She takes note
of time not by months and years, but by the kingdoms and
empires she has seen rise, flourish, and pass away." If then we
compare the age of our beloved state with that of the eastern
countries, she is only in her youth. But if her maturity and
old age shall be as prosperous and honorable as her youth, she
will ever be a bright and shining star in the family of states.
After a duet, 'Silent Night," by Mrs. Emerson H. Brush and
Miss Muriel Palmer, which was much appreciated by the audi-
ence, the morning session adjourned until two o'clock.
At the opening of the business meeting at two o'clock, Mr.
James W. Nye, who had taken charge of the exercises of the
morning session, called upon Hon. David J. Nye of Elyria,
34 The Nye Family of America
Ohio, vice-president of the Association, to take the chair and to
preside at all the future meetings.
Judge Nye, upon assuming the position, thanked the Chair-
man, in behalf of the Association, for his courtesy and efficiency
in presiding at the morning meeting. He also expressed his re-
grets for the absence of the President.
There were but few present, for, through some misunderstand-
ing many thought only members of the executive committee
were called, so it was voted that the reports of the Secretary and
Treasurer, as well as the report from the Chairman of the Mem-
orial Building Committee, be postponed until the next morning.
The Chairman asked the committee appointed to decide what
action should be taken in regard to publishing the Nye Geneal-
ogy, if they were ready to report. As the chairman of that
committee, Mr. George H. Nye of Auburn, N. Y., was absent,
the Secretary was asked by the presiding officer to read a letter
on the subject, addressed by him to Hon. David J. N} r e, who
with Mr. Henry A. Belcher of Randolph, Mass., constituted the
members on that committee.
Mrs. Henry A. Belcher said that as the Association last year
accepted as a gift this Genealogical manuscript from Mr. George
H. Nye, something should be done with it.
After some discussion the report of this committee was post-
poned until the next morning.
The next in order was the election of officers for the ensuing
year. As it had been customary at the former gatherings to
appoint a committee of three to report a list of names for officers
at some subsequent business meeting, it was voted that the Chair
appoint this committee.
It was also voted that the Chair appoint a committee of two
on Memorials and Resolutions, to report at the next business
The Secretary read a telegram received from the President,
Third Reunion 35
which Mr. James W. Nye moved should be spread upon the
minutes of the Association. It read as follows : —
To Mrs. S. Curtis Smith,
Secretary of the Nye Family Association,
Thanking my kindred for their sympathy which fully repays
all my past efforts towards the identification of our widely scat-
tered family, let me express the wish that an interest in these
reunions ma} 7 grow until all take an equal concern in their re-
currence. George H. Nye, Auburn, N. Y.
August 16, 1905.
The Chair announced the following committees.
COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS
Mr. Henry A. Belcher, Randolph, Mass.
Mr. James W. Nye, Marietta, Ohio.
Mr. Harold B. Nye, Cleveland, Ohio.
COMMITTEE ON MEMORIALS AND RESOLUTIONS
Mrs. J. R. Holway, Sandwich, Mass.
Mr. Irving Drew, Portsmouth, Ohio.
Upon motion of Mr. William L,. Nye of Sandwich, Mass., the
meeting was adjourned to nine o'clock the next morning.
The main object in holding a meeting of the Nye Family As-
sociation at Marietta, more central than Sandwich, was to bring
about a more intimate acquaintance among the members of the
scattered branches of the Benjamin Nye Family. To this end
the local chairman arranged social gatherings for each evening
during the three days' attendance.
The first of these was on Wednesday the sixteenth, at the
home of Mr. James W. Nye. There, in the later hours of a per-
fect August afternoon, Mr. Nye with his sisters, Mrs. Sarah N.
Lovell, Mrs. Maria N. Buell and Miss Mary C. Nye, and his
:'>('. The Nye Family of America
daughters, Miss Kathrine P. Nye and Miss Rebekah D. Nye,
welcomed all of the Nye connection, not forgetting the children
of all ages. The company passed delightful hours on the lawn
where a bounteous collation was served.
All who assembled there were Nyes by birth or by marriage.
Many of these had never before met face to face, but a feeling
of kinship seemed to be awakened and the cordial hospitality of
the host and hostesses, together with the genial environment
under the shade of the cherry trees, warmed the hearts and
brought all into touch with the occasion and with one another.
The photographs which Mrs. Henry A. Belcher of Randolph,
Mass., had on exhibition at the church, of the old Nye homes at
Sandwich, Mass., attracted much attention. There was one of
the earliest churches, the humble reed-thatched parsonage, the
house where Benjamin Nye and Katherine Tupper were mar-
ried in 1640, still in good preservation, and many others of great
At nine o'clock many members of the family gathered in front
of the church to have a photograph taken. The picture proved
to be a satisfactory one. Mrs. F. J. Cutter of Marietta, who had
generously rendered valuable service to the Nye Family through
out the convention, was asked to permit them to add to their
obligation to her by forwarding the photographs to those who
had subscribed for them, which she kindly consented to do.
The meeting was opened with an organ prelude by Miss Flora
Mason. Rev. Elmer I. Nye of Georgia, Vt., offered a prayer.
After announcements by the President, Mr. William L,. Nye,
Chairman of the Executive Board, moved a suspension of the
rules that an amendment might be made to the Third Article of
the Constitution, which reads : The officers of the Association
shall be a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and
Third Reunion 37
an Executive Committee, substituting for the same, that the
officers of the Association be a President, a First-Vice-President,
a Secretary, an Assistant Secretary, a Treasurer and a Vice-
President from each State and Territory, having a membership
in said Association. It shall be the duty of the President to
preside at all meetings of the Association and to perform such
other duties as are usually performed by such officer. In the
absence of the President, the First Vice President shall perform
the duties of the President. In the absence of the President
and the First Vice-President, the oldest Vice-President, present,
Telegrams of greeting were read from Mr. and Mrs. Augustus
S. Nye of Boston, and from Mr. and Mrs. William L. Nye of
The Secretary's report was read and accepted. It was as fol-
Mr. President and Members of the Nye Family Associa-
It was voted at our last Reunion in Sandwich, Mass., to
accept the very cordial and hospitable invitation of our relatives
in Marietta to meet with them this year.
It was very proper that the First and Second gatherings of our
family should be held in Sandwich, for in that old historic town
by the sea, was established the first Nye Family in America.
In that Nye home were reared noble sons and daughters
whose numerous descendants are now to be found in nearly
every State of ou: Union and some members of our family have
set up their "household gods" on foreign shores. But it is
equally as proper and very agreeable to hold our Third Reunion
here in Ohio.
All cannot go to Sandwich. It is but fair that those living
in the East and the far West meet with the descendants of the
pioneer members of th'is branch of our family, who so long ago
pushed forward into the great West with the same brave and
38 1 he Nye Family of America
indomitable spirit that had controlled their ancestors, who
founded their homes on the wild New England coast in the ear-
ly part of the Seventeenty Century. Here in the Ohio Valley
they established their homes and reared their families amid the
perils and privations attending the early settlers of the East.
It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet so many
members of our family we otherwise should not see. It is the
desire of our Association to make these Reunions occasions of
profit and pleasure ; to bind together in most fraternal and cor-
dial relationship the various branches of our family.
The Report of the last Reunion is incorporated in the printed
proceedings and has been read by man}' in attendance, yet if it
be the desire of this meeting that I read the Secretary's Report,
I shall proceed to do so.
At this point the Association voted to dispense with the read-
ing of the report. The Secretary proceeded to say : —
To those of you who have not enjoyed the privilege of reading
it, let me say, that by your vote you have missed hearing a very
fine report written by our former Secretar5% Mrs. Henry A. Bel-
cher of Randolph, Mass. I have a number of the books con-
taining the report with me, which I shall be glad to have you
purchase, either of our Treasurer or of me, and you will not
only get the report but each paper that was read and all the ad-
dresses given in full, any one of which is worth the price of the
book. I can substantiate this statement by numerous letters
received from those who have read it.
In December, I sent out nine hundred postal cards, announc-
ing its publication, as well as the fact that there were for sale a
few books left of the Second Edition of the Report of the First
Reunion. I think every member of the Nye Family should have
both books, not only for the pleasure and profit derived but also
to help our Association along. If we vote to publish a book of
this kind, we should be interested to buy it.
Through the generosity of Mrs. Emerson H. Brush of Chicago,
the Association at our last Reunion was presented with about
two hundred copies of an old Welsh Ballad, named "Owen,"
which she, having written from memory and set to music, pub-
lished and dedicated to the Nye Family of America.
Third Rezcnion 39
It was sung by Minerva Tupper, daughter of Gen. Benjamin
Tupper of Revolutionary fame, who married Col. Ichabod Nye
in 1785. This quaint and beautiful ballad, which has been
handed down in Mrs. Brush's family, as the Indian legends are,
from generation to generation, was sung by her at our Reunion
to the delight and pleasure of all. I have sold a good many
copies. Of those unsold belonging to our Association I have
brought along some of them with me. I hope all of you who
have not already purchased, will do so, as this will add to our
funds. The ballad is a pleasant reminder of the songs of "ye
olden time," which are so attractive to us all and it will be a
good souvenir to take to your homes.
In February, at a Board meeting, held in Boston, the date of
this Reunion was fixed, subject to the approval of the chairman,
Mr. James W. Nye of Marietta, who had previously been ap-
pointed with power to arrange with committees of his own
choice — all local matters, including program, receptions, lodg-
ings, etc. How very admirably this work has been done, the
guests of our Ohio relatives can attest.
Now one word about the size of our Association. We place
no limit to the numbers, as in many Clubs. All the Nyes are
welcome who can trace descent from Benjamin Nye, who settled
in Sandwich, Mass., in 1637. The wife or the husband, the
widow or the widower of such descendant, may become a mem-
ber by the payment of one dollar per year — you will admit most
liberal terms are accorded, for you see, not only the lineal de-
scendants but their partners are included. I should think all in
attendance, as well as all who are eligible, throughout our
country, would be both proud and happy to avail themselves of
this privilege. If all the Nye descendants joined that I corre-
spond with, and I have reached only one member of each family,
in most cases, we should have funds sufficient to carry on our
Association in a very able and profitable manner. If all the
descendants of Benjamin Nye joined, we should have a goodly
sum to erect and perpetuate a fitting memorial to our common
ancestors, Benjamin Nye and his good wife, Katherine Tupper.
I have faith in the Nyes. We shall find them loyal, earnest
and willing, when sufficient attention has been called to the
aim and the needs of this organization.
40 The Nye Family of America
A lady wrote me, that she believed her family to be the only
one of that name, until she received a notice of the First Nye
Reunion. Only last month I had a letter from a New England-
er, saying in response to my circular letter, he had never before
heard of a Nye Reunion. He expressed his gratitude for re-
ceiving information, ordered two books, and he and his wife
came to Marietta with us. Our family is widely scattered over
our country. Our officers have to consult and advise thorough
correspondence for the most part and to keep the interest and
attention of the members of our family, in affairs of our Associ-
ation, we should send out as many as three or four circular let-
ters during the year. Each is attended with considerable ex-
pense. As we must depend upon the yearly dues to furnish
funds to carry on our work this is one reason fpr my urging an
increase of membership. As there are about eight times as
many names on my mailing list as there are on our Treasurer's
list, it shows to you conclusively, that there is no chance for any
Equitable Assurance business here. The officers and attorneys
are not looking for large salaries — our surplus is not extravagant
— we hope to come out even.
Therefore I urge all in Convention to join the Association
this year. Our Treasurer is present and ready to receive the
dues and will give you a card of membership. I call the atten-
tion of all members of the Nye Family, wherever the} 7 may live,
to join. If not able to attend the Reunions, all the more reason
for joining, for you can learn about your kith and kin, the
On the twenty-third of June, I posted thirteen hundred circu-
lars to members of our family, announcing this Reunion. My
mailing list had been augmented by several hundred names dur-
ing the year, principally by our President, Mr. George H. Nye,
who has done so much to gather genealogical data of the Nye
Family, at great expense to himself. At our last Reunion, Mr.
Nye presented to our Association all his valuable manuscripts
and has made it possible for the Nyes to have a complete genea-
logical record. Its publication has been assigned to a compe-
Third Reunion 41
If the records of the proceedings of this Reunion are to be
published let me suggest that orders for the book be sent to the
Secretary at an early date, and give a reasonable time to the
committee to prepare the book. The importunate demand of
the printer to return all proof-sheets by the next mail, on the
one hand, and the numerous letters from members of the family
that the books be sent to them before Christmas, on the other
hand, your Secretary was extremely anxious lest some errors be
made ; for after collecting the material for the book and after
waiting for the terms of several publishing houses, there was
only a brief time for the work of revision. Some errors did
occur, but I endeavored to correct such, as soon as my attention
was called to them — I regret to say that the name of Mr. Henry
A. Belcher of Randolph, Mass., was omitted from the list of
Executive Officers and not noticed until after many of the books
had been sent out. He has never alluded to this omission, but I
feel his earnestness and helpfulness from first to last deserve
our full recognition.
I have answered three hundred letters, sent out twelve hund-
red postal cards, thirteen hundred circulars besides over seven
hundred notices regarding railroad rates to those living in local-
ities affected by the same.
It has been a great pleasure to correspond with so many of
our family. When I have not been able to answer questions
regarding the intricacies of ancestral lore, I have taken the lib-
erty to refer to Mr. Robert W. Thompson of Middletown.Conn.,
who has always been our willing and helpful friend. He has
been of valuable assistance to many in establishing their descent
from Benjamin the first.
In performing the duties of Secretary of our Association, the
brevity of my family name has appealed to me, — I congratulated
myself that I had not descended from some Russian ancestor
with a long patronymic instead of from one bearing the unique
name of "Nye."
It may interest you to know that the brevity of the word has
been appreciated by the Post Office Department at Washington.
The postmaster of Nye, Oklahoma, wrote me that eleven years
ago, when his mother was appointed postmistress, she was ask-
42 The Nye Family of America
ed to send to the Department a list of names from which a
choice might be made. After she had selected twenty, she asked
him for one. He adds, — "As I was reading at that time Bill
Nye's humorous stories, which interested me very much, I re-
plied, 'Try Nye,' it is short and familiar. My mother added it
and the Department selected it from her list."
For the same reason the postmaster of Nye, West Va., says
that office derived its name.
The postmaster of Nye, Wisconsin, assures me that the pop-
ularity of Frank Nye of Minneapolis was responsible for the
name of that office ; but the old settlers claim that Bill Nye,
brother of Frank Nye, once lived on the banks of a lake near by
and the village was named in his honor.
While with joy and gladness we sojourn with our kindred in
this early pioneer home and enjoy the reunion of old friends and
the acquaintance of new ones, we miss sadly the genial and af-
fectionate wife of our President, who was the light and joy of
our former Reunions. We have been called, also, to mourn
the loss of other valuable members.
It is commonly known, that two instruments tuned to the
same key and placed sufficiently near each other are in such har-
mony that when one is struck, the corresponding key in the
other vibrates in unison.
Our family is harmonious and sympathetic and each and
every one of us feel the deepest sympathy for all of the members
of our family who have suffered bereavement since our last Re-
union. Respectfully submitted,
Mrs. S. Curtis Smith,
The Secretary's report was accepted.
The motion of Mr. Robert W. Thompson to the effect that
Mrs. J. R. Holway of Sandwich act as Treasurer during the
Convention in absence of Mrs. Annie Nye Smith, Treasurer,
The Treasurer's report was read and approved.
Third Reunion 43
Amount on hand $126.03
Total receipts for the year 384.97 $461.00
Total expenses for the year ;i90.01
On hand August 15, 1905 % 70.99
The President then introduced Mrs. Henry A. Belcher of Ran-
dolph, Mass., chairman of the Committee on the Memorial
Building, as the one who had done more than any other person
in organizing the members of the Nye family. Mrs. Belcher's
report was as follows:
Mr. President and Members of the Nye Family:
Last year in my report as secretary of this Association, it was
suggested that we as a family erect in Sandwich a Memorial
building, to be used partly as a public library and also an arch-
ive for the safe deposit of the documents of our family history.
It was voted that I should be a committee of one, with power to
enlarge the committee to carry out the suggestion.
Hon. David J. Nye of Elyria, Ohio, and Mrs. Horace K. Nye
of Fairhaven, Mass., were added to that committee, but we did
not organize. I have written many letters asking for financial
aid to carry on the work, but have not met with a satisfactory
response. I have given the matter much thought during the past
year, and have come to the conclusion, that it is not feasible to
build such a Memorial Library Building unless we could endow
it. I am very certain that the town could not maintain it.
It seems fitting that we, as an Association, should erect a me-
morial to the memory of our ancestor. If we cannot build a
memorial building, let us place a memorial stone in the Old
Burying Ground, or some other suitable place, to Benjamin
Nye and his wife Katharine, who were the founders of our fam-
ily, and who with the settlers of the Plymouth Colony were large-
ly instrumental in making the America which we inherit today.
At the three reunions we have held, we have opened the pages
of our family history, and have learned of the lives and actions
of our ancestors. Honesty and integrity are among the charac-
teristics of our family. And this alone should create in us a
44 The Nye Family of America
glorious pride in our birthright. Let us then erect to their
memory a monument showing that we are grateful for their lives
And it would be my wish that when we gather again around
the family tree at Sandwich, that the most important meeting
will be the dedication of a memorial stone, in memory of Benja-
min Nye and his wife Katharine Tupper.
Hannah B. Nye Belcher,
Chairman of Committee.
The President suggested that it might be well in connection
with this report to appoint a committee to act in reference to
carrying forward the work of erecting a monument.
The report was accepted and the suggestion of the President
was acted upon and it was unanimously voted to refer the mat-
ter back to the same committee.
The report of the Committee upon Genealogical Manuscript
was called for, and the chairman of that committee, Mr. George
H. Nye of Auburn, N. Y., not being present, Mr. Henry A.
Belcher of Randolph, a member of that committee, reported that
he had made inquiries in regard to expense of publishing such a
work but was of the opinion the Committee should ask for more
time and report at some future meeting. A motion was made
by Mr. Belcher to this effect and seconded by Mr. James W. Nye
and unanimously carried.
Mrs. J. R. Holway of Sandwich, Chairman of the Committee
on Memorials and Resolutions, responded as follows:
The Nye Family of America holding their third reunion at
Marietta, Ohio, desiring to express their sympathy for those of
their kindred who have suffered bereavement during the year,
passed the following Resolutions:
Whhreas, Our Father has taken to her Heavenly Home Mrs.
George H. Nye of Auburn, N. Y., the beloved wife of our
President and the dear mother of his children;
Third Reunion 45
Whereas, the family of Mrs. Nannie Nye Jackson of Newark, N.
J., is called to mourn the loss of a faithful and loving mother;
Whereas, the Association misses Mr. Daniel H. Huxford of
Randolph, Mass., who was one of its most earnest workers;
Whereas, Mr. E. Bourne Nye, closely identified with the hist-
ory of Sandwich, Mass.. has passed away, leaving wife and
children to mourn his loss;
Whereas, Miss Ida Hamblin of Sandwich, Mass., whose cheerful
face and hearty welcome were an inspiration, has been called
from her life of usefulness;
Whereas, Dr. Fremont Nye of Westerly, R. I., has been bereft
of his loving companion;
Whereas, Mrs. Mary Nye Fisher of Walpole, Mass., mourns for
her husband, whose pleasant greetings and kindly face at our
former reunions still linger in our memory;
Whereas, Mr. Thomas Nye of Fairhaven, Macs., the intrepid
sailor of many seas, has sailed into the Heavenly Port;
Whekeas, Mrs. Sarah Nye Wesson of Sandwich, Mass., has met
with a great loss in the death of her two sisters, Mrs. Nancy
NyeDe Normandie of Danvers, Mass., and Mrs. Charlotte Nye
Hobbs of Bridgeport, Conn., who have been called to their re-
ward after long lives filled with kind deeds and loving ser-
Resolved, that we express to each and all who have been bereft
our heartfelt sympaty and pray that God.whodoeth all things
well, may send comfort into their lives and make them feel
that each loss is but one more link that binds us to the beau-
tiful home where everlasting spring abides and where we shall
be welcomed into the Eternal Reunion of all the loved ones
who have gone before.
Mrs. Jerome R. Holway,
Mr. Irving Drew,
Committee on Resolutions.
Mr. James W. Nye moved that a copy of the above be sent to
each bereaved family, as well as spread upon the records of the
Association; it was carried.
The Secretary read' the following letter from Mr. Charles H.
Nye of Hyannis, Mass.
46 Tke Nye Family of America
To the Kindred and Friends of the Nye Family Organi-
zation of America, Marietta, Ohio. Greetings:
Another year has rolled away, and our worthy Secretary has
again called us to a reunion of the "Nyes of America."
Since we last met, the year has brought many changes.
While we miss the gracious presence, and kindly greeting, of
some who have been with us in other years, I am very glad there
are those of our kindred who still maintain an interest in our or-
ganization, and I hope each reunion will serve to strengthen
the bond between us.
Many of our members are well advanced in years, and must
soon change from this scene of action to another life — and it is
my most earnest wish and desire of my heart, that as long as
we remain here, and are able, we may continue to sustain our
interest, retain our enthusiasm, and continue our reunions.
May we keep our ancestors, 'Benjamin and Katharine," in
grateful remembrance, and never forget from them we inherit
the name we are proud to honor.
While today all may not appreciate the full value of such an
organization, in years to come it will be valued more and more,
and may many of our descendeuts enjoy the reunions of the dif-
ferent branches of the "Nye family."
While I regret exceedingly I shall not be able to attend in
person, in spirit I shall be with you.
I wish the reunion a succes, and may God be with us, while
we are here, and the blessing of Heaven ever rest upon you all,
in the future, is the wish of yours truly,
Chares H. Nye.
Hyannis, Mass., Aug. 9, 1905.
Mrs. Belcher moved that a telegram of Greetings be sent to
Mr. Nye. He had done a great deal, she said, to advance the
interests of the organization and is deeply interested in its wel-
fare; unanimously carried.
The Secretary read a letter of greeting from Mr. Andrew A.
Nye of North Sewickley, Pa., secretary of the Nye Family of
Pennsylvania, which organization cannot identify itself with
any branch of the Benjamin Nye Family.
Third Reunion 47
Letters of regret were received from the following:
Mrs. Orrie Nye Abbott Chicago, 111.
Mrs. William Bampfield Kingston, Ontario.
Mrs. Josie E. Barker Natick, Mass.
Mrs. George S. Butters Newton, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Crocker Hyannis, Mass.
Mrs. P. C. Eastman Rock, Mass.
Mrs. Addie R. Gibbs Cincinnati, Ohio.
Mrs. Fred Houghton North Anson, Maine.
Mrs. M. P. Jenkins Roxbury, Mass.
Mrs. Helen A. Nye North Falmouth, Mass.
Mrs. Horace K. Nye ■ ■ Fairhaven, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Nye Auburn, Maine.
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. Nye Acworth, N. H.
Mr. Frank M. Nye Minneapolis, Minn.
Mr. Fred A. Nye Kearney, Neb.
Miss Alberta Nye Boston, Mass.
Mr. Ralph Nye Boston, Mass.
Miss Nellie M. Nye ■ • Milford, Mass.
Dr. George E. Nye Wytheville, Va.
Rev. C. E. Nye . • ■ Des Moines, la.
Mr. George H. Nye Auburn, N. Y.
Mrs. Julia Nye Reed Erie, Pa.
Mr. M. M. Nye Crawfordville, Ind.
Mrs. Jane E. Nye Smith North Amherst, Mass.
Mr. George H. Tripp New Bedford, Mass.
Mr. E. G. Nye (88 years old) ....•"■■ Trumbull, Ohio.
Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Wing Newton, Mass.
After announcing the next business meeting for three o'clock
the following day, the President introduced Mr. William E.
Nye of Sandwich, Mass., the first President of the Association,
who read the following interesting paper upon Sandwich:
and Members of the Nye Family of America.
It gives me great pleasure to meet with you again, and parti-
cipate with you in the third reunion of the Nye family. I bring
you greetings from the home of your ancestor: a home made
48 The Nye Family of America
sacred by the trials and privations that attended them every
step through that then wilderness.
In the southeust corner of Massachusetts, a peninsular extends
far out into the ocean, that orators from time to time (and just-
ly too) have called the right arm of the Commonwealth. We
are satisfied with plain Cape Cod. The first town on the Cape
is called Sandwich. In the background of the picture of this
bautiful old town, are the hills, thickly covered with forests of
oak and pine, with their green foliage waving in the sun. In
the front the waters of Cape Cod Bay wash its shores — at times
calm and peaceful, again in storm and tempest, the thunder of
the angry waves may be heard for miles, as they toss and break
upon its sandy shore.
Instead of being a low barren waste, as many have imagined,
the hills are thickly dotted with boulders and granite ledges.
Here have been, and are still, fertile fields. The grass grows
green, and wild flowers of every description bloom in the forests
on hillside and valley, beautifying the whole landscape.
It is of this old town that I have been asked to speak, the
home of those whose names will ever be cherished by the mem-
bers of the family: Benjamin Nye and Katharine Tupper.
I have spoken of the flowers that decorate the highways,
woods and fields. The old English flowers found here, such as
Holly, Canterbury Bells, Lilacs, Aarons Rod, Box, Bouncing
Betty and Pilgrim Rose, were brought and planted by the Pil-
grims, or their wives, and have ever remained a popular flower
by the housewife. It is claimed that the sea has brought us
more flower seed than ever the May Flower or her sister ships,
since the landing at Plymouth. The native flower is the May
Flower, or the Trailing Arbutus. Although found in other
places, to the typical Cape Codder there is no other flower so
sweet as his own May Flower; blooming early in spring, hardly
waiting for the snow and ice to melt away, before it begins to
open its petals.
The area of the town of Sandwich today is 20,950 acres. A
few small rivers wind their way along through upland and
marsh, until lost in the bosom of old ocean.
The ponds here are numerous, and have quaint names: Peters,
176 acres; Spectacle, 157 acres; Triangle, 84 acres; Snake, 76 acres;
Lawrence, 76 acres; and many other smallar ones. The Old Mill
pond, a beautiful sheet of water in the very centre of the village,
has 47 acres. These ponds are the fisherman's heaven, for here
Third Reunio?i 49
are found many species of the finny tribe. Only two of these
ponds have any visible outlet.
When the May Flower landed at Plymouth in 1020, Sandwich,
then called Shaume, was the home of the red man. It would
seem that they cultivated the soil to a considerable extent, for
when the Pilgrims visited the settlement of Pamet, they found
50 acres of corn under cultivation. The labor of tilling the soil
was done by the squaws, for no brave ever demeaned himself with
manual labor. Where they came from is not known. The
tribes that were in and around Sandwich were the Skantou,
Manomet, Cataumets, Pokeset, Shaume and Mashpee, the last
being more numerous and the last to disappear. The tribes
were very friendly to the settlers, as was shown in many acts of
In the war of 1674 with King Phillip, the Indians remained
neutral, and were considered a defense to Sandwich and other
Cape towns. In fact no Cape tribe ever joined Phillip, but
many of the Indians fought with the settlers against him. In
1798 but a remnant of them remained, they were the tribe of
Mashpee. They disappeared before the march of civilization.
They hunted these woods, fished the ponds and brooks, and
their canoes floated on the waters of the bay. Their lives were
filled with romance and legend. Their beautiful legends yet
linger in the written pages of the white man's lore. As the fog
creeps up from Vineyard Sound, who can forget their explana-
tion of the phenomenon?
The Mattachesetts idea was that a great many moons ago a
bird of monstrous size visited the south shore of the Cape,
carrying off papooses and even the larger children to the south
An Indian giant named Maushop, residing in those parts, in
his rage at the havoc, pursued the bird, wading across the
sound to a hitherto unknown island, where he found the bones
of children in heaps around the trunk and under the shade of a
great tree. Wishing to smoke on his way back, and finding he
had no tobacco, he filled his pipe with poke, a weed used after-
wards by the Indians when tobacco failed, — and started across
the sound to his home. From this memorable event, the frequent
fogs in Nantucket, and on and around Vineyard Sound came ;
and when the Indians saw a fog arising they would say in their
own tongue, "There C6mes old Maushop's Smoke "
On April 3, 1637, it was agreed by the Court at Plymouth
60 The Nye Family of America
that ten men of Sangus, Edmund Freeman, Henry Feake,
Thomas Dexter, Edward Dillingham, William Wood, John Car-
men, Richard Chadwell, William Almy, Thomas Tupper and
George Knott shall have liberty to view a place to set down, and
have sufficient lands for three score families, upon the condi-
tions, propounded to them by the Governor and Mr. Wiuslow.
In the same year fifty more families came to Sandwich, and with
them Benjamin Nye. With this begins the White Man's hist-
ory of Sandwich. In imagination we can see them as they,
with their families, wended their way through a wild country
to their future homes. No roads or highways, they followed
the narrow trail of the Indian, resting by the way while the lit-
tle ones played and prattled while they plucked the wild flow-
ees from their mossy beds. They were men of giant wills, ready
to meet the trials and hardships they knew awaited them in the
land they had adopted for their homes.
It is true, at this time Plymouth had been settled for seven-
teen years, and the settlers of Sandwich were able to procure
the necessaries of life, from that settlement ; as Plymouth was
trading now largely with the Dutch as well as the Mother
Country : still their privations were many, and toil they must
from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof.
In 1639 the town was incorporated: but the Indians were not
paid for their land until 1647. The record says that Mr. Brad-
ford purchased Sandwich of the Indians, January 24, 1647,
paying for the same sixteen pounds and nineteen shillings. The
same year Mr. Bradford sold the same for the same price to
Edmund Freeman, who acted as agent for the town. Mr. Free-
man received seventeen pounds for his services. So the town
of Sandwich cost thirty-three pounds nineteen shillings.
From this time the town began to thrive and increase in pop-
ulation. Also at this time there appears a lack on the part of
the Sandwich Authorities to attend to their duties in a manner
pleasing to the Plymouth Court. Persons were coming into the
town, that did not have the stamp of Dutch Discipline on them.
The record reads "When as by complaint, it is very probable
that divers of the Committee of Sandwich, have not faithfully
discharged that trust reposed in them, by receiving into the said
town divers persons, unfit for Church Society, which should
have been their chief care in the first place, and have disposed
of the greater part of the land there already, and to a very few
that are in the Church Society, or fit for the same. So that
Third Relation 51
without speedy remedy our chiefest end will be frustrated. This
is to require such of the Committee as are herein faulty to ap-
pear at the next Court of Assistance to answer this complaint :
and in the meantime not to dispose of any more land there,
without further orders from the Court." Sandwich seemed to
have much trouble with that Plymouth Court.
In 1652 a Committee was appointed to lay out a highway,
from Sandwich to Plymouth. Two years afterwards, the road
not being completed, both Sandwich and Plymouth were pre-
sented at Court for not having the County Highway between
these places cleared so as to be passable to man and horse.
Thus communication between the two towns became easier.
In 1655 a grant was given Thomas Dexter to provide and
maintain a mill, the town to allow him five pints per bushel for
toll. But Dexter's toll increased so fast, that "another mill
was set up at the river, that comes out of the pond at the head
of Benjamin Nye's Marsh." It is supposed that Nye was the
miller, and as the record says no more about unjust tolls, we
feel sure that Father Benjamin was honest and dealt justly with
his fellow men.
The military history of Sandwich is very interesting. I can
only lightly refer to it. That the men of this town were always
patriotic, and the love of home and country strong in them, has
been proven time and again.
The first call for men to take up arms was in the struggle
with King Phillip in 1671. Sandwich furnished seventy- five
men : all boys under sixteen years were required to join the
Town Guards. In the same year a heavy war tax was levied
on the town. In 1675 five men from Sandwich were killed at
Rehobeth : Benjamin Nye, David Berry, Caleb Blake, Joe Gibbs
and Stephen Wing. It had been supposed by many that this
Benjamin Nye was the first settler Benjamin, and at the First
Reunion of the Nye Family, he was buried by the speakers on
the plains of Rehobeth ; and many eulogies were said in praise
of his patriotic death. It has since been proven, that he died
at the comfortable home of his son, Johnathan, in E. Sandwich,
at a ripe old age. The Benjamin, who perished on the battle
field, was no doubt his son.
In the French and Indian War of 1600 Sandwich fusnished
The causes that led to the War of the Revolution are well
known by all. In the acts of the Colony in opposing the claim
52 The Nye Family of America
of Great Britain, the people of Sandwich were most daring. In
September, 1774, the residents of Sandwich, joined by others,
marched to Barnstable to intercept the sitting of the Court of
This was not only accomplished, but they obtained the names
of the judges to a promise, that they would not accept of any
duties, in conformity with the unjust acts of Parliament, and if
required to do any business contrary to the charter of the Prov-
ince, they would refuse.
It is said, this uprising of the citizens of Sandwich was one
of the first overt acts of the Colony, and was followed by re-
quests to military officers to resign their commissions, held
under an authority, which would, if it could, reduce them to
slavery and obedience. Among the names of these bold leaders
were Stephen Joseph, Jr., Ebenezer and Lot Nye. The writer
says many bold deeds were performed in the struggle that fol-
lowed, which are — and ever will be — unrecorded, for no histo-
rian can give the people of the Cape their full mete of praise.
From the year 1775, when the din of the first battle was heard,
the suffering and privations of the people of Sandwich were very
In 1776,250 men were furnished by the county, of which Sand-
wich gave her share. Again the same year Sandwich sent forty
men. On the 10th of July one from every twenty-five men lia-
ble for military duty was taken. The men were ordered to
Rhode Island, and Joseph Nye and others were appointed to
purchase sixty whale boats for their transportation.
The year 1777 opened with with more hardships to the people
of the Cape. The fishing vessels were rotting at their wharves.
Traffic was gone. The farmers might plant, but perhaps the
next draft might not leave them to harvest. The brutality of
the Prison Ships was felt more by the citizens of the Cape than
any other county, for a large part of her men were in the naval
service. This year, 1777, the General Court resolved to draft
every seventh man in the Colony, and make the draft from all
over sixteen, at home and abroad.
In 1778 eight men were required, besides fifty pairs each of
shirts, shoes and stockings. The penalty for refusing was thir-
In 1780 two more demands for men were made, besides 11,120
lbs. Beef. The town was now nearly depleted of men. I have said
enough to show you what the trials and suffering of a patriotic
country loving people must have been. Think of the brave
Third Reunion 53
women who gave their all to their country, — husbands, fathers,
brothers, sons and sweetheaits. They were women for the
times, tried and not found wanting. One mother said: "None
of my children but Abiah is with me. All my sons are living
with the army. I am afraid what I may hear concerning my
sons. I hope i may be prepared, let it be what it will." Oh!
such a faith! A faith that can say amid the darkest trials
"Thy will be done."
War was again declared by President Madison against Eng-
land, June 17, 1812, and lasted until December 24, 1814. In
this war, which was brought to our very doors, the men of
Sandwich took a prominent part. The whole Cape was patrol-
led by the British vessels, but in spite of them the hardy sons
managed to smuggle in many of the necessaries of life. The in-
habitants lived in constant fear. Some towns werebombarbed,
but Sandwich escaped. Few enlisted into the general service,
for all were needed for home protection. Sandwich was the
highway by which contraband goods were taken across the Cape
to Buzzards Bay.
Hemmed in on all sides their hardships were many, but now,
as before, that determined will saved them in the hour of trou-
ble, and their faith in God was not shaken. During the last
year of the war flour sold for *18. UO per barrel, and corn for
$2.50 per bushel. On account of the embargo, it was impossi-
sible for vessels to arrive from the West Indies. Consequently
molasses and sugar were very scarce. It is said that women
improvised a kind of molasses from corn-stalks and pumpkins.
The Privateersman and Navy were manned by the hardy fisher-
men and sailors, and how well they performed their dangerous
task is well known. History has given them the honors that
justly belong to them.
The War of the Rebellion, I need touch but lightly on. Its
history is known by every reader and student. No town re-
sponded more quickly to the call of arms than Sandwich, for
she raised the fourth of the first seven companies, enlisted in
Massachusetts, within four days of the call. This Company was
attached to the 29th Regiment and took part in the battles at
Fair Oaks, Gaines Mill, Peach Orchard, Savage Station, Malvern
Hills, Centreville, South Mountain, Aniietani and Fredericks-
burg. She furnished 29 - J men for the Army, and many for the
Navy. Many of them are buried on the battle fields, many
where the simple tablet reads "To the Unkuovvn Dead." In
the quiet cemetery on the hillside many an honored veteran
54 The Nye Family of America
sleeps his last sleep. They fought the battles of their country
bravely, and now fill honored graves.
They and their deeds of valor will never be forgotten by a
Each year a little band whose ranks are steadily decreasing,
take their way to the silent homes of the dead, and lovingly
place flowers and the stars and stripes over their lowly dead.
The method of travelling and transportation in the olden
times was very slow, — tedious and uncomfortable. The ear-
liest couriers in 1627 were swift running Indians. The first ex-
press or mail on the Cape was in 1654, when the Governor paid
John Smith for carrying letters from Plymouth to Nausett.
For nearly 150 years the dependence of private citizens, for
the remittance of their letters, was upon such casual travelers
as chance happened to throw in their way. The early method
of travelling was on horseback. The first passenger coach to
transport passengers was in 1790 from Plymouth to Sandwich.
Packets also ran from every port to Boston, that being the
principal market for buying and selling. In the early fifties a
steamer called the "Acorn" plied between Boston and Sand-
The stage coach and packet have become a thing of the past
and the iron horse has full control of the way — and none regret
the change. Yet we cannot help looking back and remembering
with what joy we watched the old Yellow Stage and Four, as it
rolled into the village, the driver cracking his whip to make all
the demonstration possible; or, climbing the hills and gazing
across the waters to see if the packet was rounding Old Mano-
met Point, and almost sigh as we say, "They were good old
times." So they were, but we must remember them as the
good old times of the past.
Let us return again to the days of our ancestors and review
some of the laws and customs of that time. And let me say
here, I have found nowhere an instance, where our worthy an
cestor was ever presented to the Court for any misdemeanor.
Should you take the time to scan the records you will find that
the men of that day were not all saints, nor the women all angels.
They were folk like as we are.
The laws of Church and State were very rigid, though I do
not think they were enforced as strictly here, as in other parts
of the Colony. They were generally true to their belief. It is
true Church going was compulsory. Still I believe it was the
principal within that caused them to wend their way on the
Sabbath to the humble meeting-house.
Third Reunion 55
The first meeting-house was a simple affair. A mud-thatched
building, oiled paper windows, with shutters to the same. The
second church was a more commodious building. In this were
the large square pews, with seats all around to accommodate the
large families. The men and women sat separately. There
were seats for aged men and aged women. There were separate
seats for the Indians, then the Negroes, and last the Mulattoes.
This old meeting-house was a solemn place. He who entered
there, must enter with a solemn mien, and eyes cast heaven-
ward. No levity was allowed within its sacred walls.
Mordicai Ellis and Joshua Fish were appointed to take care of
the young people, who were often very rude on the Lord's Day,
and when any do offend return them to a Justice of Peace, to be
dealt with according to law. In 1761 two young misses were
fined for laughing in church. To this old meeting house your
ancestors came. Young and old — in sunshine or storm — heat or
cold, for here were told them the things they thought pertained
to their eternal good. They believed in God. They believed
He was in all and through all. Did Prosperity shine, they saw
a smiling Providence. Did adversity frown, it was the hand of
Jehovah laid heavily upon them: and they meekly bowed to His
will. Their God was an ever-ruling One, and their faith in
The dwelling-houses depended on the wealth of the owners.
The homes of the poorer class were small, with one room, the
fire place in the middle, and the oven built out of doors, except
when the house was built into the bank. They had few win-
dows and few doors. The sill was laid on the ground, which
projected into the room all around, and served as a seat for the
children, as they had little furniture.
Parson Teveridge lived substantially in an unpartitioned barn.
As the town flourished better homes were built.
In 1642 one of the better homes was twenty-two feet front,
twenty feet rear. Front room sixteen feet square. The fire-
place was eight feet wide, four feet deep, five and a half feet high.
There was no plastering until after 1700: clay was used instead.
The Puritans came to this country that they might worship
God according to the dictates of their own conscience. Yet they
were not willing to allow the same privilege to those who came
among them, who differed from them. The Quakers made their
appearance in Sandwich in 1657. and through their teaching
many were drawn from the Mother Church. Yet while the
Plymouth Authorities persecuted them, the Sandwich people
56 The Nye Family of America
were inclined to protect them. They refused to whip them
when so ordered. Sandwich has been called the Cradle of Re-
ligious Liberty. The laws against the Quakers were very
strict. If any one entertained a Quaker for fifteen minutes, he
was fined. Or if one saw a Quaker and did not report him, he
was punished. If there was a Quaker meeting in any man's
house, he was fined forty shillings, the Preacher forty shillings
and every hearer fort}' shillings, though not a word was spoken.
Notwithstanding this the Quakers held their meetings, and
were shielded by the Sandwich authorities as much as possible.
Law in the town was as strict with the members of the Pil-
grim Church. Men were fined for not ringing their swine's
snouts: for over drinking. Yet August 20, 1644, Robert Boat
Fish was licensed to draw wine: and when he was away any
time, it shall be lawful for William Newman, to sell wine to
persons for their need. There was a fine of twelve shillings for
a man smoking on the highway; thirty shillings for Sabbath
breaking and sit one hour in the stocks; working on Sunday,
whipped; selling beer for two pence worth only one, fined.
Elizabeth Eddy was presented to the Court for laboring, that is
to say, wringing and hanging out clothes on the Lord's Day,
during Public Exercises. There were stocks and whipping
posts to stop thieving, to keep a scold's tongue quiet, a lazy fel-
fellow from the work house, and a mean man from beating his
I would not have you think there was no brighter side to the
Pilgrim life. They had their joys and pleasures the same as we.
We honor their memory, and feel that the example of patience
and endurance they manifested, has had its influence on the
generations that have come and gone.
Manufacturing has always been carried on to some extent in
the town. In 1812 a cotton mill was established at the head of
the old Mill Pond, which was afterwards used as a tack factory.
The Boston and Sandwich Glass Co., the largest in the country,
was established in 1825. During the years 1861 to 1864 the
amount of business done was $300,000.00 a year, and employed
500 hands. Other small manufactories have existed from time
to time. Today there are only five small factories in the vil-
lage. The inhabitants number today less than 1,500. There
are five churches and none of these are crowded.
This, the home of the Nyes and Tuppers.
Here Benj. Nye and Katherine Tupper were the first parents
to. the Nyes. In your beautiful city, that honor belongs to Ich-
Third Reunion 57
abod Nye and Minerva Tupper. You are proud of your ances-
tors. We are the same. From this old town have gone forth
the sturdy sons and daughters, who have founded homes in every
nook and corner of the land. Yes, they who have made the
world better by their living in it.
It is said of one of your ancestors, Thomas Tupper, " That
his labors were among the Indians, and that he died in old age
greatly missed." Also standing where the Indian graves are
many, and looking down the Cape and across your bay, then
visible, a statue should be raised to Richard Bourne and Thomas
Tupper (Sandwich men) to tell the travellers as they speed by
its base, how the men of the Pilgrim blood will not cease to
honor their own : who sacrificed themselves for their fellow-
men, in all their generations.
In the old cemetery may be found the names of many of your
ancestors. There are fifty-two stones to mark the last resting
place of as many Nyes, and no doubt many more from whose
silent beds the headstones have long since disappeared. Here,
too, may be found many of the Tupper descendents.
The old Tupper House built in 1637 still stands, occupied
only by the Tupper families, through the yeurs that have inter-
vened, until a few weeks ago, when it passed into the hands of
the stranger. As I looked upon the old oaken frame of this
ancient home, made hoary with the age of 218 years, still firm
and strong, as when taken from the forests at its very door, it
seemed emblematical of the character house, built by the
early settlers, the frame work of which shall last until time
shall be no more.
I stand within its walls, and visions of the past float before
me. I see the Christian Missionary teaching the untutored
savages, who cluster around his hearthstone. I see the fair
Katherine, modest and simple in her home life. I see the sturdy
youth, Benjamin, woo and win her, and hand in hand, pass out
from under the roof tree, going forth to establish a home for
themselves. I see shadowy forms passing by me. They are the
generations who have lived and loved within these walls, and
are steadily passing out through the open door, and when the
last one has stepped over the well-worn threshold the door is
closed. The dream is over, the stranger has indeed come to
Thus I have striven to give you a short but imperfect sketch
of this ancient town. But the half has not been told. I could
speak of the beauty of this country village to-day : its streets
58 The Nye Family of America
shaded by loft}' Elms, Maples and Locusts. But all this I must
leave to your imagination. And when next the Family hold
their reunion there, come and behold the glory of this time hon-
Mrs Emerson H. Brush sung an old Welsh Ballad, playing on
the piano the accompaniment, which she had comp.sed. This
number was one of the most enjoyable rendered during the con-
Mr. James W. Nye read letters of greeting from Mrs. Theo-
dore D. Dale of Montclair, N. J. and from Mr. and Mrs. Alfred
Crocker of West Barnstable, Mass.
Miss Minnie Tupper Nye of New York City read the follow-
ing interesting sketch of Minerva Tupper, wife of Ichabod Nye,
the pioneer, who was her grandmother.
So much has been said of the Pilgrim Fathers that it has
quite overshadowed the lives and heroism of the Pilgrim moth-
ers and it is very much the same with the Pioneer Mothers.
We will take a glimpse into the life of one of these, a worthy
descendant of her Pilgrim ancestors and learn something of the
experiences that tend to develop such characters.
It is just 117 years ago this week that a boat bearing a most
precious freight, one destined to have an important influence not
only upon the immediate region, later called Ohio, but upon the
entire Northwest, was brought to anchor in the Ohio at the
mouth of the Muskingum.
How kind nature has been here, the Muskingum, well called
by the Indians, Elkseye, the Ohio, in the Shawnee tongue, the
Beautiful, the round hills rising in successive ranges covered
with the varied green of many kinds of trees, among them, the
buckeye. And here the voyagers on the second Mayflower
were to find a new home and based on the Ordinance of 1787,
found a new empire whose influence was to encircle the world.
The Adventure Galley, the Second Mayflower consecrated in
story and in song as second only to that first Mayflower to which
all our hearts turn, was built by one of Marietta's Pioneers,
Jonathan Devol, to bring the immortal forty-eight men of the
7th of April to Marietta.
Long, low, the typical flat boat or bateau of the times, it was
ill adapted for comfort though it may have been for safety if
we may judge by its few small windows.
Third Reunion 59
One of the voyagers on this boat was the subject of this
sketch, Minerva Nye Tupper. She was born in Chesterfield,
Mass., in 1764, the daughter of General Benjamin Tupper a
noted soldier of the Revolution and one of the first projectors of
the Ohio Company. With her sisters, Rowena and Sophia, the
twins, she went to school at Lebanon, the best school for girls
of that period. And she received all the advantages of education
that the times afforded. She was married in Chesterfield in
1784 to Ichabod Nye, a young soldier of the Revolution. From
the records in the State House in Boston, we learn that he was
only fifteen years old when he entered the service, yet even at
that early age he is on the records as being five feet eleven inch-
es in height, erect and strong.
This marriage between Ichabod Nye and Minerva Tupper was
the third between the Tupper and Nye families, in each case
the man being the Nye and the woman the Tupper. They were
probably third cousins as Ichabod Nye was a direct descendant
of the first Benjamin and Katherine Tupper, while Minerva
Tupper was also the descendant of the first Thomas Tupper.
When in 1788, Gen. Tupper brought his family to the new
Ohio country, with him as part of his family came Ichabod
Nye, his wife Minerva and their small children, Horace, two
years, and Panthea, six months. We have not many accounts
of that journey to the Ohio but those that we have are interest-
ing. They were ten weeks on the way and now we think the
journey long if it is two days.
Wagon builders were not common in New England in those
days and it took some time to get one, but at last two wagons
were built, one for the family and one for the baggage. General
Tupper's family circle was large, himself, wife, two sons, his
daughter Rowena as well as Ichabod Nye, his wife and child-
ren, and two hired men. There was also Col. Cushing with his
family, Major Goodale and his family.
When they arrived at the Ohio they had to wait at Wellsville
three weeks for Major Cob urn and his family who had been de-
tained in crossing the mountains, and for the Ohio Company's
boat from Marietta to take them down the river. At Wellsville
it was decided .that the worn out horses must be sent down to
Marietta by land and Ichabod Nye was chosen for this perilous
duty. He was a man of great courage and resolution, of cool
head and good judgment, with his faculties well developed by
his years of army service. He took the two hired men and
with the horses made the trip on the Virginia side, arriving in
GO The Nye Family of America
Marietta on the 9th of August. Perhaps it was just as well that
he did not make the trip on the Galley for we have it from his
own testimony that the voyagers were "packed in like slaves on
the middle passage." And certain it is if those were his senti-
ments he was too genuine a Nye not to be more comfortable
sleeping in the forest under the green trees and the stars. The
three weeks of waiting at Wellsville or Buffalo Creek could not
have been very tedious. They left Chesterfield in June and
arrived at Buffalo Creek in July. On the 6th of July, 1788,
Roweua Tupper wrote to her friend Mrs. Stone of Chesterfield.
Buffalo Creek, July 6, 1788.
Dear Friend :
Is it possible that 600 miles separate us ? Yes it is true for
we are now within one day's ride by water carriage and very
unexpectedly we have just heard of an opportunity for convey-
ing a few lines to some of our friends.
The journey has been slow but not so disagreeable as your
ideas suggest to you. For four hundred miles the journey was so
easy that we were never more fatigued at night than we were
about our daily business when at home. The roads were good,
we made but twenty miles a day, therefore we had many leisure
hours. Our company was lively and agreeable, there were cu-
riosities hourly presenting themselves to our view and we have
met with no kind of accident to detain us on our journey. Not
one of the family has had a sick day, the children are health}',
Panthea is one of the sweetest girls you ever saw. The latter
part of our journey has been rather more fatiguing. We have
had several mountains to cross. Some nights we have had to
lodge in the woods and some in houses not calculated for people
to dwell in, but this did not damp our spirits.
We have favorable accounts from Muskingum.
(Then see the tender appeal to her friend when she says)
Mrs. Stone, are we never more to see you? Heaven forbid
that that should be the case. There is scarcely an hour passes
but we think of our old friends and often say between ourselves,
today if we were at home as we call it, we would visit Mrs.
Stone or Mrs. Huntington. But we will think no more of that.
Heaven's blessings rest upon you all.
On the 13th of August they were joined by the Rev. Manasseh
Cutler and from his diary also we get little word pictures of
the journey to the Ohio.
August 8 — Blue Mountain the first we ascend is long, in some
Third Reunion 61
parts steep, the road rocky. It is three miles over, stopped at
Mr. Skinners, who is the principal man in making the new
August 9 — Nine miles from Fort Littleton — we begin to as-
cend Sideling Hill. The hill has very little ascent on the new
road where they are now at work: when finished it must be
called a good road for this country. It is seven miles over the
hills. We found a bit of a town at the foot of the hill. Met a
packer with ten horses loaded principally with ginseng in bar-
rels — two barrels on a horse, price at Fort Pitt two shilling a
pound. Fair day, not excessively hot.
August 10 — Went to meeting six miles out excessively bad
road — meeting house in the woods with no dwelling near, con-
gregation large, not less than three or four hundred horses.
Made a curious appearance.
August 11 — Set out as sun rose. Went on and breakfasted at
Washington. The town is composed of one street of houses
all new, the stumps still in the steets. Some of the houses
handsome. A court house and jail in the center of the city.
August 13 — Capt. Cooper who came up in the Ohio Compa-
ny's large boat went to Charles Well's just over the line be-
tween Pennsylvania and Virginia. This line is cut about 20
feet wide through the woods and makes a singular appearance.
August 14= — This morning went to the Ohio river, about a
quarter of a mile, when we had the first sight of this beautiful
river. It is now very low. We went early to the boat. Gen.
Tupper mentioned to me a mode of constructing a machine to
work in the head or stern of a boat instead of oars. We con-
structed a machine in the form of a screw with short blades and
placed it in the stern of the boat which we turned with a crank.
It succeeded to admiration. Gen. Tupper was thus the inventor
of the first screw propeller.
August 15 — This morning we went to the boat and began to
take on board the wagons. We went down in a boat with Gen.
Tupper to sound as far as Buffalo Creek, one mile below our
landing, the river being very low and fallen since yesterday.
August 16 — After dinner got in our stock. The boat would
not float, the afternoon was spent in attempting to get her into
the channel which was not accomplished until dark.
Sunday August 17 — The people got on board about nine
o'clock. Went past Buffalo Creek before we could get the
cattle on board. W'ent down the river, it is a most delightful
stream, the shores very romantic. Went to Wheeling — 18
62 The Nye Family of America
miles — landed our cattle — lodged with Mr. Zane. Opposite his
house is a very rich and fine island of three hundred acres.
Monday August 18 — Mr. Zane showed me his rice in his gar-
den about a rod square in drills — assured me it would yield two
bushels. He raises cotton also and tobacco. It was nine
o'clock before we got our cattle on board. Proceeded on the
voj'age and divided ourselves into five watches for rowing.
Passed the Longrack in the night.
Tuesday August 19 — Morning cloudy and showery — went on
rapidly, fine view up and down the river, land less mountainous.
Land very fine — the hills begin to retire from the river, many
beautiful islands. It began to rain about two o'clock and con-
tinued very hard until we lauded at Muskingum. The first
appearance was that of Fort Harmer which was very pretty but
the state of the weather injured the prospect very much.
And this tells of their first day in the garrison.
Wednesday August 20 — This day an entertainment was giv-
en to the Governor and officers of the garrison at the hall in the
Northwest Block House in Campus Martius. We had a hand-
some dinner with punch and wine. Gov. St. Clair and the la-
dies from the garrison were very sociable. Miss Rowena Tup-
per and the two Misses Goodale dined and fifty-five gentlemen.
The hall was large to accommodate such a goodly company and
the newcomers could feel that they had not left all the pleas-
ures of civilization behind them.
There has been very little said about Ohio women even when
the remark that Ohio men take everything has been repeated,
and yet it is the mothers who first point out the path to their
afterward distinguished sons.
The strong moral fibre of the New England Puritan suffered
no diminution in their Ohio descendants.
The men, the immortal forty-eight who landed here on the
7th of April, came to blaze the way as it were: the real settle-
ment of the Northwest Territory began when the families, the
women came, and brought with them the home life, that cor-
ner stone of a nation.
This home life began in the Campus Martius, that spot whose
historic value has been said to be unsurpassed, and the first set-
tlement was Marietta, which has been called the Plymouth Rock
of the Northwest.
And with what high courage they came to their new home in
the great wilderness, the true courage of the Pilgrim and the
Third Reunion 03
Yet sometimes even to these brave hearts there must have
come the inevitable homesick longing for the old home with its
In a letter written by Mrs. Nye to her friend Mrs. Stone of
Chesterfield, we see this tender backward thought.
Fair Chesterfield, home of their youth. It was a hill country
— beautiful in its position with a fine view of the valley and the
sweep of the great New England river.
Marietta, September 19, 1788.
Dear Sister, for so let me call you:
An opportunity presents itself of writing to you which I em-
brace with the greatest delight. What a happy circumstance it
is that although we are placed at 800 miles distance we can con-
verse together though not verbally.
I suppose by this time our friends at Chesterfield are anxious
to hear from us. We have all of us enjoyed good health since
we left you. We were a long time on the road, it was ten
weeks before we arrived at our journey's end, three of which
we waited for Major Coburn.
Nothing remarkable happened on our journey. We now live
in the city of Marietta where we expect to end our days.
We find the country much more delightsome than we had any
idea of. We have formed some acquaintances that are very
agreeable. Yesterday we had the honor of drinking tea with
Gen. Harmar and L,ady and Capt. McCurdy and Lady and found
them very sociable, but we did not take the satisfaction that we
should in visiting our old friends, Mrs. Stone or Mrs. Hunting-
ton. Oh! Betsy how do you do? how I would like to see you,
happy should I be if I could make you a visit this afternoon, but
I must think no more of this.
I suppose by this time you have heard that we are all killed
by the Indians but kind Providence hath preserved us from their
savage hands. Mrs. Stone what shall I write next? If I could
see you I could tell you more in one half hour than I could
write in a day.
I suppose you enjoy the company of your sister Pirsis.
I wish you were here but I must bid you adieu for my water
is on for washing.
Rowena presents her compliments. Would have written you
but time would not admit.
Mr. Nye presents his compliments and likewise to Mr. Stone.
I remain your, friend and well wisher,
Minerva Tupper Nye.
Mrs. Stone, Chesterfield.
64 The Nye Family of America
A second letter from Rowena Tupper to this Mrs. Stone tells
lis still more of their new home.
Marietta, November 18, 1788.
You cannot imagine with what eagerness I improve an oppor-
tunity of conveying a line to you although I have nothing of
consequence to write. Yet I cannot think it will be disagreeable
to hear of thehealth and welfare of a friend or friends, in particular
those whose lot is cast hundreds of miles distance from you in a
savage land which might greatly relieve your curiosity. You
doubtless have had various conjectures concerning our situation.
I wish my dear it was possible to give you an exact idea of it,
I am persuaded that we are much happier than you conceive of.
The country has been so often spoken of that it is needless
for me to say more than that it answers every expectation. The
society far exceeds whatever my ideas had formed and I think
should Heaven but spare my life, I shall spend a very sociable
winter. The inhabitants increase very fast — our buildings are
decent and comfortable. The Indians appear to be perfectly
friendly, their encampments are in sight of our buildings, but
notwithstanding their professed friendship we are not unguard-
ed, there is a guard placed every night.
But hark! what do I hear below some voice saying?
Col. Oliver is now landing, is it possible! With what alacri-
ty will I ply to meet them that I may hear from my worthy
friends in New England. You surely have written to me.
With what eagerness will I grasp your letter. Have you not
written everything you know? but I must away.
I have now returned to close my letter but with a heavy de-
jected heart. What do you suppose my feelings must have been
when I was denied a single line from my friends. Is it possible
that you have forgotten Rowena? I cannot persuade myself to
But where are your sisters? Are either of them with you?
Are they in health? Would to Heaven I could be assured to
these and many other questions which you know my feelings
would prompt me to ask. Mrs. Nye has just gone from my
chamber as unhappily disappointed as myself. She together
with our families are in health. Her little children are hearty
and extremely pleasing. Horace is much of a chatterbox, but
I must conclude by wishing you long blessing of that is requi-
site to make you happy and subscribing myself your unalterable
friend Rowena Tupper.
P. S. — Present my compliments to all inquirers. I shall nev-
er more trouble them until I have received some in return.
Third Rewiion 65
As this second Mayflower, so famous in history but so prosa'
ically uncomfortable, came to anchor at the mouth of the Mus-
kingum, Ichabod Nye was waiting on the shore to receive his
family, he having arrived on the 9th of August. We know his
opinion of the loading of this boat and he no doubt was as eager
to remove his wife from its discomforts as she was to go.
He had a horse with him and mounting his wife and children
upon it he took them at once to the garrison, the Campus Mar-
tius. The rest of the passengers remaining on board until the
The next morning the boat was towed around into the Mus-
kingum and landed at the foot of Washington Street, where the
ladies and children were received with the greatest enthusiasm
and escorted to Campus Martius.
Mrs. Nye was thus the first woman to lodge in the Campus
Martius, the principal place of defence upon the border of the
then vast wilderness of Ohio.
She was at this time twenty-four years of age, of medium
height, with soft brown eyes and abundant brown hair, light of
foot, quick of movement, gentle in voice and manner, full of cour-
age for life under the new conditions; she was never known to
falter nor complain of the hardships which she encountered. For
crowded with her family and friends within the barriers of a
small fort she endured the privations and suffered the alarms,
anxieties and dangers of the five years' Indian war encountered
by the first settlers.
It was during this period that her son Arius, afterwards the
most distinguished of her children, was born in the Campus
Martius, the third person born in the entire Northwest Terri-
Mrs. Nye was a good housekeeper and "given to hospitality."
Her tea was famous among her friends.
Her husband always spoke with pride of his wife's ability to
make the best of meals out of next to nothing and when these
meals of next to nothing meant only parched corn, that being
their sole supply during one hard winter, we know she must
have been skilled indeed in that housewifery for which Ohio
women have since become famous.
From her obituary we learn that she lived to witness the wil-
derness to which she came in 1788, flourishing with the arts
and comforts of civilized life.
As the mother of a' family, a goodly family of twelve chil-
dren, as a friend and neighbor whose heart o'er flowed with
kindly affection, she also witnessed the reward of her cares and
66 The Nye Family oj America
anxieties and her rarely surpassed maternal affection in her chil-
dren's children to the third generation of her descendants.
She had the loving heart to feel and the sympathy that taught
her how to express her children's needs.
A lover of flowers, the sweet white violets she planted in the
sheltered nook under her bedroom window have left a fragrant
memory of her for her descendants.
It is a striking and affecting incident of her last days that
upon the anniversary of the first settlement of this state, the 7th
of April, 1836, some hundreds of persons were visitors at the
residence of Col. Nye on the stockade, among them many of her
old friends and neighbors who came to partake of the well
known hospitality of Col. and Mrs. Nye. It was as if they had
come for a last earthly interview with her, for in less than two
weeks after, on the 20th of April, 1836, she died suddenly of
congestion of the brain.
After a residence of forty-eight years upon the spot where she
first found shelter upon her arrival at this place we are told in
the quaint language of the time that "on Friday morning at-
tended by her family and near relatives and a company of her
friends, neighbors and acquaintances, her mortal remains were
committed to the ground."
She had lived seventy-two years and if the highest welfare of
society requires of us that which each one can give, we know
that this mother faithfully did her part and her children and
children's children thank her for the example her life has given
Music by Miss Alice Hamilton of Marietta, accompanied by
Miss Ruth Hamilton, followed, which was well received by the
Mrs. Henry A. Belcher's paper, "The Nye Family Associa-
tion," was listened to with close attention. It was as follows:
I have been asked by the chairman of the committee of ar-
rangements to give an account of the beginning, the object and
the present condition of the Nye Family Association of America.
As to its conception and the means which brought about this
Association, they have already been given to you, and are now
I must again, if I wish to give you the history of its birth, go
back in our family history nearly three hundred years. As I
Third Reunion 67
stand on the hill top in the rear of my summer home in the old
town of Sandwich looking out at sea with a love of it born
with my childhood, my mind reverts back, and I seem to see in
my imagination the curling waves of Massachusetts bay sweep-
ing to the golden sands of the shore, till they are lost in the
mists beyond. Here and there upon the shore are great patches
of timber lands, and again the green marshes, marked with the
silver threads of the streams which at full tide course toward
the sea, at that time as they are now at that season of the year,
fringed with the bright Autumn flowers. And behind this an
unbroken wilderness, stretching way back to the buttresses of the
hills, between which the town stands today. Above is the blue
sky, and through this above the tree tops we seem to see rising and
floating lazily away the smoke from the few cabins, the homes
of the new settlers of this new land. One of these must have
been the home of our ancestor, Benjamin Nye. who was the
original founder, and through him began the Nye Family Asso-
ciation of America, and as I have previously said, and will
repeat upon every occasion, we should at this time and at all
future gatherings, never forget to honor his name and memory,
not only because he is our ancestor, and not only because of his
hardships and trials, but primarily that he was one of the set-
tlers of these Pilgrim towns, of which Sandwich was one, along
the shores of Massachusetts Bay. who brought to this country the
two kindred ideas of civil and religious liberty which controls
this land, and which will eventually control mankind. They
held more tenaciously, and preserved more firmly than any
other set of men of English blood those two root ideas from
which this nation derives its institutions, bringing to these
lonely shores the corn, wine and oil upon which this nation has
fed itself to greatness, yea the greatest upon the face of the
As the years go on, the church shows its spire above the green
of the forest trees, and the school house gathers under its roof
the children of the pilgrim to be taught these same principles, and
also that their destiny was in their own right hands. With these
principles and a common school education, the children and the
grandchildren of our ancestor left the old town and the old
homestead, making homes for themselves and their families,
some near and some far from the old town. Among these was
the immediate ancestor of the tribe of Nye in Ohio. And as we
from the East join with you today in looking with pride upon
this prosperous city which you must feel is the result largely of
68 The Nye Family oj America
the labors, trials, and hardships of your ancestor, so may all the
descendants of Benjamin Nye feel that just pride which is their
due as part of a family tree whose roots came from one of the
settlers of the Plymouth Colony. It was that kinship, or what
to me means the same, that feeling of pride in our family
name which drew together the members of the family in Sand-
wich and the other Cape towns who had strains of this blood in
their veins, that they might keep alive the memories of these
old hearthstones in New England, and thus perpetuate in the
children of the present generation feelings of reverence for those
ancestors of the olden time, and thus has been brought together
from all parts of the broad land the sons and daughters of the
descendants of the originator of the Nye family, to join with the
family on Cape Cod in two very successful reunions, and has
bound them together to cherish and preserve those family ties
and associations which spring from the knowledge and study of
their lives, which are so dear to us all.
In the preliminary call for the formation of our Association
it was stated that the objects of it were these: — To collect fam-
ily history, to promote family pride, and to cultivate a closer
bond of friendship among the kindred. I do not know that
anything I might add would be more comprehensive than these,
as they touch the past, the present and the future of our family
ties. History must necessarily deal with the past, and as I have
seen during my summer sojourn in Sandwich many who had
given very little, if any, attention to it before, poring over the
records of the old town that they, too, might become familiar
with the lives and deeds of their ancestors, I felt that we were
fulfilling at least one of the objects of our association. And as
the record of the lives of our ancestors is brought to light we
give to this generation by their examples this idea, that no man
can serve in a republic without being able to grapple all of its
problems and invest them with high ideals. It was so with
them, and their lives show that they could not have achieved
what they did unless they had had good judgment, and a strong
conception of duty, and one of the duties of this and all of the
old family associations is to bring to posterity a clear vision of
what was the true character of these men and women who were
our ancestors and the founders of this republic. When we do
so we find them mingling together great experiences with great
principles, and thus they become in every Nye household in our
land an inspiration and an influence for good which is inefface-
Third Reunion 69
It has been well said, "that by treasuring up the memorials of
our fathers we best manifest our regard for posterity. ' ' The
story of the men who founded this republic must have a strong
influence upon every home in the land, and we. at least, are do-
ing our part by giving to the young their lives as an example to
help perpetuate the land they helped to establish. We give
them no dross but bright shining gold. Leaving the shores of
old Cape Cod, and the old town of Sandwich, we are today
enjoying the hospitality of the tribe of Nye in Ohio, one of the
great states of the middle West, with its beautiful cities, its
thriving towns, and finely cultivated farms, all filled with the
thousands of men and women contented and happy in your
midst. And if we were looking for a source of family pride we
need go no further. For here upon the shore of your great river
we are holding the third reunion of the Nye Family Associa-
tion in a city which one of the descendants of the Sandwich
Nyes helped to establish, and his descendants who are our hosts
today can certainly have that feeling of family pride that their
ancestor, who builded better than he knew, has left this splen-
did heritage of pride in him for them to enjoy.
As to its present, as I have already said, we have held two
very successful reunions at Sandwich, with, of course, a large
local attendance from New England and the Cape towns, also a
generous response from the Ohio tribe, with representatives
from California and other Western States. And now I trust
that this reunion, held in the Middle West, will broaden out the
membership of our Association, and that branches of the tree,
more distant than yours is from the trunk, may gain strength
and vigor, and that many who have now only a passing interest
in the Association and our family tree, may become not only
members in name, but have a vital interest in the Association
and its affairs.
It was always a source of great surprise to me during the two
years in which I was the secretary of this Association to see
how comparatively small numbers of those who were eligible to
membership, availed themselves of what seemed to me a great
privilege in becoming members of this Association. Many of
these belong to, and are active workers in, the various patriotic
societies, and the causes which hav2 made the existence of these
societies possible are the various epochs in our country's history.
But the cause from which our organization springs antedates all
these, and had not the cause of ours, and other old family associa-
tions existed, there would have been no foundation upon which
they could have builded theirs.
70 The Nye Family of America
We often hear it said, had not the Pilgrim settled this land,
it might have been done by others. We grant this, but in all
human probability, had that happened they would not, at that
date of the world's history, been men of the same vigor, and
their lives governed by the same great principles as their's were,
and they would not have caused the throes which this country
has passed through in making it the independent and powerful
land of our time. And I still believe that the descendants of
those old families, through whose veins flow their blood, ought
first of all to join such an association as this, the cause of whose
existence is the primary one, and the beginning which has made
the others possible by the settlement of this laud by our Pilgrim
ancestors. And I urge again that the pride of having the pri-
vilege of joining such an association, should fill our member-
ship to the full.
We are now in touch with thirteen hundred Nyes, by birth
and marriage, and have a membership of about 180. I hope at
this meeting some means may be devised to add largely to our
membership numerically, which will strenghen it also financial-
ly, and thus put the Association on a solid foundation, not only
for the present but for the future. Many of us already feel that
vital interest in its future; to these I have no word but this: it
has been said that no object can succeed without enthusiasm;
therefore I have this to say to them, let us put more enthusiasm
into our work for the Association, and try by word and deed to
carry it on to future success.
As to its future, what can I say. Nothing positive, but as
one who has given to its birth and youth much thought and
work, I must now look to the future with hope that as bright
as its birth was, may the coming years add much to its influ-
ence and also in binding us together as one family.
A very bright and entertaining paper was read by Miss Mar-
garet Fielding Nye of Cleveland, Ohio. She had visited the
old home town in 1904 and wrote "A child's impressions of
It is not my purpose to tell you how many children the num-
erous Nyes have had, nor give you in detail the dates of their
births, marriages and deaths. I will leave the older members
to pronounce the names which have been known to precede
"Nye" — if they can. I am going to tell you my opinion of
Sandwich. ' 'As if that was worth much' ' some of you may say.
Third Reunion 71
But some day the coming generation will have the control of the
association in their hands. And if they want to make things
hum, they must watch and see how the present managers do
things and profit by their experience.
In the first place, before I went to Sandwich, I wondered how
our ancestors had courage to land on what Mrs. Hemans in
"The Landing of the Pilgrims," has called "a stern and rock-
bound coast." While the early history shows us the stormy
landing amidst the rocks and other great trials and tribulations,
there is one which most historians have missed. It was brought
to light by a minister in New England in an address entitled
"The Pilgrim Fathers." He says: "I have always felt the
deepest sympathy for the Pilgrim Fathers who suffered such
extraordinary hardships in establishing a foot-hold in this coun-
try: But sorry as I have felt for the Pilgrim Fathers, I have
felt still sorrier for the Pilgrim Mothers; for not only were they
obliged to endure the same hardships, but they also had to en-
dure the Pilgrim Fathers."
However, when I reached Sandwich and saw what a flourish-
ing little town it is and what a quaint beauty it possesses, I felt
that, could our fathers revisit the place which they founded
they would feel well repaid for their troubles, which we are
convinced were not few.
Let us follow Katharine Tupper back to her early home.
You have seen it as it is now. The gray old house that it is
not having had the best of housekeeping of late, might not
please Katharine Tupper, could she see it now. But close your
eyes and let you imagination carry you back two centuries.
Then open them again upon those old scenes and you will see
the little home as it stood then. In summer thrifty rows of
flowers grew on either side of the path — perhaps roses, phlox,
hollyhocks, sweet marjory, lavender, garden pinks, and others
arranged in prim rows.
Or winter, with the snow lying heavily on the ground, piled
in drifts about the house. If I had been there, I would have
loved to help the men of the family cut a path through those
drifts, now and then taking advantage of a turned back to pelt
it with snowballs. But dear me! Poor little Katharine must
stay indoors and help with the spinning or work on her sampler
over in the chimney corner. Poor child! Did she ever have a
Now all is changed. We go up the path, bereft of the flow-
72 The Nye Family of America
ers that bloomed in Katharine's time, in the place of which is a
picture of desolation and Katharine will sigh and shudder as she
looks upon her once bright and cheerful home. And in the
winter— but we need not look ai that dreary picture; so let us
drive to the village. Yes, this is the very road over which our
ancestor, Benjamin Nye, ploded every evening with his gun over
his shoulder, to woo his bride. Now we reach the village.
There are many objects of interest in Sandwich. The First
Parrish church stands on the site of the first church ever built
in Sandwich and in it the reunion meetings were held. The
Town Hall, the quaint little house in one side of which a law-
yer had his office, and the other side Katharine Tupper at once
would recognize as the place to which she went when she need-
ed a new bonnet — very different from the milliner's shops of to-
day. Then there is the hotel — long to be remembered — and
last but by no means least, the drug store containing the soda
fountain. Imagine Benjamin Nye's surprise if upon returning
to visit the familiar scenes of his early home, he should go to
look over his mill and found on the old mill site a modern cut-
glass factory! And would he understand the works of Mr.
Wm. L. Nye's tag factory if he could see it now? We ques-
The Nyes without doubt were among the chief inhabitants of
what we might call 'The Nye Sandwich." Of this fact we
have many proofc, among others being the home of Mrs. Hol-
wa> T , in which seven generations of Nyes have been raised, and
the home of Mr. and Mrs. William L- Nye, in which no one but
Nyes have ever lived. The beautiful churchyard overlooking
Shawme Lake is a proof in itself. We might apply the name
of Nye to a line of Bryant's "Thanatopsis, " making it read,
"All the Nyes that tread the globe are but a handful to the
Nyes that slumber in its bosom.'' It is Nye on this stone and
Nye on that.
I am sure that Sandwich scenery is all that an artist would
need to copy to make his fortune. The two picturesque lakes
surrounded by thickly wooded hills, and by the waters of which
Sandwich nestles, and the very village itself with its beautiful
street, call those who have seen it back for another look. And
if you have not seen it, the next chance you get, go to the Nye
reunion at Sandwich.
Margaret Fielding Nye.
Aged 14 years.
Third Reunion 73
A group of songs by Miss Marie Hamilton with violin obligato
by Miss Alice Hamilton, was effectively rendered.
It was voted to postpone the rest of the program until the next
morning. The meeting adjourned.
The afternoon and evening of Thursday were devoted to a trip
thirteen miles down the Ohio river to the famous Blennerhassett
Island on the steamer Sonoma, which afforded ample accommo-
datione for the large party. The weather was fine, and all en-
joyed the beautiful scenery and the visit to one of the most noted
historical points of interest in the country. At the Island Mr.
John Dana of Belpre, Ohio, gave a short address upon the main
features of interest connected with the so-called "Burr and Blen-
nerhassett treason." During the return trip a fine collation was
served on the boat. Music from the band with songs and stories
enlivened the home voyage. All voted that this moonlight boat
ride was one of the most enjoyable occasions accorded by our
Marietta hosts and hostesses.
The meeting was called to order by Hon. David J. Nye, the
presiding officer. An organ prelude by Miss Flora Mason fol-
lowed. A pra3 r er was offered by Rev. Elmer J. Nye of Georgia,
Miss Muriel Palmer rendered two of her most pleasing numb-
ers, after which Mrs. Sarah M. McGirr of Marietta, one of the
oldest members of the Association, was introduced. She read
the following interesting paper which she had prepared concern-
ing her great grandfather, Ebenezer Nye, a pioneer of Marietta,
My great grandfather, Ebenezer Nye, son of George Nye, the
fourth remove from Benjamin Nye, was born in Tolland. Conn.,
in 1750. When twenty four years of age, he removed to Litch-
field County, where he married Desire Sawyer. To them were
74 The Nye Family of America
born five sons (Lewis, Neal, Melsar, George and Nathan) and
one daughter Sarah. His second wife was the widow Gardiner.
In \ 790, Ebenezer Nye, at the suggestion of his brother Icha
bod, who had preceded him to Ohio, exchanged his farm in
Connecticut for a share in the Ohio Company's purchase, located
in Rainbow township, Washington Co. Traveling overland,
he and family reached Robston (name may be changed now) in
harvest time. Here he and Joshua Shipman bought a flat boat,
which was afterward converted into tan vats by Ichabod Nye.
In this boat the two families came to Marietta.
On account of the Indian warfare, he was compelled to live in
the Blockhouse for several years, occupying rooms in the south-
east corner, where the old Nye house now stands.
Tradition says he was a Baptist minister. A number of his
written sermons, also his autobiography, are still in existence.
It is supposed the sermons were delivered in his own home
where religious services were held. These papers are in the
possession of Mrs Gates of Portsmouth, O., a granddaughter of
Mr. Nye. She prizes them so highly they could not be bought,
borrowed nor stolen. The widow Kelly and her children lived
with this family after her husband was shot by the Indians, and
one son little Joseph, seven years old was taken captive. He
was thought to have been dead for four years, when through the
exertions of Col. Meigs, in a treaty with the Indians, he was re-
stored to his mother. Joseph lived to a great age, and his body
now rests in Mound Cemetery. Mrs. Kelly was the mother of
the first child born in Marietta, Arthur St. Clair Kelly, who be-
came a person of note.
After the treaty with the Indians, Ebenezer Nye built a log
cabin on his farm in Rainbow, opposite March Run. Afterward,
a large house was built on the same spot. Ebenezer died in
1823, his first wife having died in 1800. Moss covered slabs, in
Rainbow Cemetery, now mark the resting places of himself and
Sarah the only daughter of Ebenezer Nye was born February
24, 1777. At the age of eighteen, she was engaged to marry
Azariah Pratt, one of the young men among the first settlers,
and was to have been married in the spring of 1795. She had
her web of linen woven ready to convert into her household out-
fit, when, according to the oft repeated tale, (and a true one) her
father's store house in Marietta, containing corn and thehetchel-
ed flax of 1794, was entirely destroyed by fire. On account of
Third Reunion 75
this Sarah was obliged to take her web and make shirts for a
family of six men, and wait another year for a crop of flax to
grow. Many bitter tears were shed by Sarah over the loss.
How many young ladies of the present day would weep over the
loss of a web of home made linen ? The marriage was finally
consumated May 4th, 1797, the bride wearing the gloves she had
spun and knit two years before for the occasion, but which she
had lent to two other brides in the interval.
The Fort in Marietta now became her home, where she show-
ed great bravery in milking the cow outside the inclosure, while
her brothers stood over her with muskets to protect her from
Cows were few in those days and one was a prize.
Azariah Pratt the bridegroom was also of English descent,
being the fifth remove from Iyieut. William Pratt, who came to
this country in 1682. His ancestors were of the nobility of
England. The family crest is illustrated in the "Pratt history,"
showing the name "Pratt" and two lions engraved on an orna-
mented shield. We are happy in supposing this indicated
strength, mentally and physically. However that may be, the
Pratts are a sturdy race and quite long lived. Sarah Nye Pratt
and husband lived in the Block house or Fort several years.
Three children were born there — Elisha, Seth and George. In
1803 Mr. Pratt built the house now standing at 130 Front St.,
everything about it being made by hand. It was considered
quite a mansion at that time although it would be thought plain
and old-fashioned now. It has a very interesting history both
sad and joyous, for four generations of the family have lived in
it. A well, in the rear of this house, dug by Melzar Nye, still
supplies the thirsty with clear ice cold water.
Mr. Pratt was a silversmith by trade and the sets of tea and
table spoons made by him, from coin, are scattered throughout
Marietta among the older inhabitants and their descendants.
Gold beads which he made by hand were in vogue at that time.
These have come down from mother to daughter for several
generations. Old account books show that he also made by
hand gold rings and silver thimbles for the dames, and silver
knee buckles for Blennerhassett and Return Jonathan Meigs.
Besides the three children born in the Fort, seven others were
born in the then new house. These were Lucinda, Lucy, Abi-
gail, Ebenezer, Mary and Lewis. This house mother with her
ten children, when everything was made by hand, spent no idle
76 The Nvc Family of America
time. The midnight candle often lit up the spinning' wheel
where a large family had to be clothed from the wool and flax
of their own raising As an illustration of the urgent push of
those early days, a son, in one of the pioneer families, was one
day called to military duty. He must report at headquarters
within forty-eight hours. Ezras wardrobe was very scanty, and
he must have a new suit made. The father arose early in the
morning and sheared some black sheep. The mother and daugh-
ters washed and dried the same, the big log fireplace being called
into service. Then the wool was "picked," and one took the
hand cards and carded it into rolls ; another spun the rolls into
yarn ; the mother warped and put it into the loom. A web of
woolen cloth was the result. This was cut into trousers and a
"Warmus' ' for Ezra, the women sitting up all night to complete
the suit. In the morning the young man started for headquart
ers equipped in his new suit with a musket over his shoulder,
amid the God-speeds of the whole family.
Sarah Nye Pratt was noted for her great force of character.
After leaving Marietta in 1819 to settle on a farm in Athens Co.,
her husband having ill health, she often took her faithful dog
and went over the farm superintending and advising the hands:
the results showed that her good judgment was not ignored.
Elisha Pratt, son of Sarah Nye Pratt, settled in the house on
Front St. and his descendants of two generations have since
lived there. Three only are now living but the old house still
stands virtually the same as it was when built 102 years ago.
Ichabod and Ebenezer Nye, pioneers of Marietta, who made
for themselves and families homes around this "Plymouth Rock"
of the North West Territory, have for 117 years been sending
westward sous and daughters, who are engaged in all professions
The descendants of Father and Mother (Benjamin and Kathe-
rine Nye) have formed a line from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
The Nyes may eventually span the globe and land again at
All hail to the Nyes !
Mrs. Emerson H. Brush sang "Wood Wanderings" and "Roses
in June" to the delight of the large audience who heartily en-
Mr. Robert W. Thompson of Middletown, Conn., who has
made a careful study of the genealogy of the Nye Family, then
Third Reunion 11
presented an admirably written Paper upon the Tolland, Con-
necticut Nyes. At Mr. Thompson's request, Mrs. J. R. Hol-
way of Sandwich, read the paper.
Caleb 2 Nye, son of Benjamin and Katharine (Tupper) Nye,
lived at Sandwich, Mass., where he was made a freeman in
1681; before 1685 he had married Elizabeth Wood, daughter of
John Wood (or Atwood) and his wife Sarah (Masterson) Wood,
Plymouth, Mass., and grand-daughter of Richard and Mary
of (Goodell) Masterfon. Caleb 2 Nye died at Sandwich in 1701,
leaving his wife Elizabeth, three sons and three daughters.
His will, dated April 17. 1704, bequeathed all his property,
both real and personal, to his wife during her lifetime or wid-
owhood; in the event of her death or remarriage the property
w T as to descend to Timothy, the eldest son; if Timothy died
without issue, then John, the second son, was to succeed; if
both the older sons died without issue, then Ebenezer, the
youngest son, was to inherit the property. John was to be paid
£20 in silver money one year after his father's death. Eben-
ezer was to be put out at some good trade and to receive £1 in
money when he was twenty one years old. The three daugh-
ters were to receive £15 apiece at their marriage or when the}'
were eighteen. Timothy 8 eventually inherited the estate and the
younger sons went away to seek their fortunes. John * , the sec-
ond son, settled in Westerly, R. I., where he died in 1723, leav-
ing four sons, one of whom will appear among the Connecticut
Ebenezer 3 Nye, the youngest son of Caleb, went to Tolland,
Conn.; what particular reasons he had we do not know posi-
tively. Several causes may have contributed to this location;
in 1715 there w r ere only two families in Tolland, but in 1720
there were twenty eight families, among them Ebenezer Nye.
Tradition says that several families who disagreed with older
friends on church matters, removed from Massachusetts and
settled in Tolland about 1717; the party was known as the Rev.
Stephen Steele and his followers; it is certain that Mr. Steele
was the first pastor of that place, where he ministered to the
people until he died of old age. Ebenezer is said to have been
one of his followers; again, Ebenezer's first wife, Susanna, may
have had relatives who went to Tolland, accompanied by Eben-
zer and his wife.
78 The Nve Family of America
In 1702 Ebenezer's cousin, John Nye, conjointly with Edward
Freeman, had purchased a large tract of land in Windam,
Conn., near Tolland. Whatever his reasons were for making
Tolland his home we have failed to learn, but we find in the
records that in January 1721, and in November 1722, land was
allotted to him; he also acquired land by purchase at various
times. His home was in the extreme eastern part of the town,
the eastern boundary of his land being the Willimantic River,
which was crossed at that place by a bridge, still called Nye's
bridge. The land allotted to Ebenezer Nye in 1721 and 1722
has as far as can be ascertained been in the possession of the
Nye descendants ever since, the present owners being the heirs
of the late Judge William Holman, son of Judge William and
Anna (Nye) Holman. One tract of Ebenezer s land is described
as near the Meeting House, being bounded on the north
by Daniel Eaton's land and on the east, south and west by the
common or undivided land; the survey was made by Daniel
Eaton and Ebenezer Nye.
On May 15, 1759, Ebenezer 3 deeded to his son Benjamin 4 fifty
acres of land on the Wellington side of the river; he says ''For
and in consideration of the love, good will and affection which
Ihaveand do bear toward my son Benjamin Nye of Willington,
etc., boundary beginning at a red oak tree marked near the
bridge thence easterly as the highway runs to a stake and heap
of stones near the turn of the road, etc.'' In 1801 Benjamin 4
Nye deeded this land to his son Elijah 5 who describes it as "the
land conveyed to me by my honored father Benjamin Nye."
He died 1818, aged 90 years.
In 1753, Ebenezer Nye and Zebulon West were sent from
Tolland to the House of Representatives, while from 1717 to
1756, Ebenezer was either first, second or third selectman of the
The first Train-band under date of 1722, October, was com-
manded by Lieut. Joseph Hatch and Ensign John Huntington;
in 1725 we find the following notice:
To Major Wolcott, Esquire.
Pursuant to that order from yourself for the drawing of the
first company in Tolland, to a choice of their commissioned
officers, said company accordingly met on the twentieth day of
April, 1725, and orderly chose Lieut Joseph Hatch for captain,
John Huntington for lieutenant and Joseph Peck for ensign.
Ebenezer Nye, Company Clerk.
Third Reunion 79
Ebenezer was chosen ensign in May L736, lieutenant in May
1737, and captain in 1746; after having been in the service
for twenty-nine years, he was succeeded as captain, in 1751, by
He died at Tolland, July 2, 1759, in his 68th year; by his
will, in which all of his living children are mentioned, his wife
and son Meletiah were appointed executors of his estate. There
is a record of Ebenezer's family at Tolland; he married 1st
Susanna — who died January 20, 1718, leaving and infant daugh-
ter Susannah; he then married, January 13, 1719, Sarah Nucum
(Newcomb) by whom he had the following children:
2 Elizabeth 4 , born November 27, 1720, m. Mr. Pierce.
3 John 4 , born December 14, 1722, m. Abigail Fuller.
4 Sarah 4 , born August 9, 1724, died 1732.
5 Ebenezer 4 , born May 14, 1726, died 1727.
6 Benjamin 4 , born May 13, 1728, m. 1st Phebe West; 2nd
7 Eunice 4 , born February 15, 1729, m. Mr. Merrick.
8 Lois 4 , born May 25, 1732, m. Daniel Fuller.
9 Meletiah 4 , born April 21, 1734, m. Hannah Hubbard.
10 Thankful 4 , born August, 1736, m. Oliver West.
11 Samuel 4 , born July 20, 1738, m. Abigail Benton.
12 Silas 4 , born August 21, 1740.
13 Sarah 4 , born May 25, 1643.
14 Ebenezer 4 , born July 26, 1748.
The writer has a record of the different families and will send
a copy to any one who is interested.
Meletiah 4 Nye was schoolmaster at Glastonbury Conn., where
his name is found in the town records from 1764 to 1783, as serving
the town in various offices. "November 4, 1779, at the Annual
Meeting of Glastonbury Township, $32 was voted to Meletiah
Nye for keeping the school in the north district." "Voted
that Meletiah Nye, Philip Conant and Samuel Hill be a commit-
tee to examine treasurer's, collectors^ and committee's books
for several years past, and make a return to the present com-
mittee of their doing forthwith." "Voted that Meletiah Nye
and two others be a committee to look up old arrearages in this
society and sue if need be and collect in and pay out where
there is any debts and make return at next annual meeting."
At the Lexington Alarm Meletiah Nye was sergeant and his
son Daniel was fifer in, the company which marched from Glas-
tonbury, Conn. Solomon 5 and Elijah 5 , two more sons of Mel-
etiah, also served in the War of the Revolution.
8 I The Nye Family of America
After the war was ended, these three brothers, David, Solo-
mon 5 and Elijah 5 settled in Vermont; in the spring of 1794
Meletiah 4 promised that after haying he would visit his boys in
their Vermont homes, but he was killed by lightning in his
hayfield on August 4, 1794. Of the other sons of Ebenezer 3 , two
more, Silas 4 and Samuel 4 , served in the Revolutionary War,
and Buel 6 , Jeduthan 6 and Marvin 6 grandsons of Samuel, were
in the war of 1812.
Daniel 5 Nye, son of John 4 and grandson of Ebenezer 3 , was in
the Sixth Company, Sage's Connecticut Regiment, officers Cap-
tain Parker of Tolland, and Lieut. Ichabod Hinckley; this com
pany was with Washington at the retreat from New York, dur-
which retreat Daniel lost an eye by the accidental discharge of
his flint lock gun. He married Lydia Howe of Sudbury, and
located in Vermont; among his descendants are Mr. Warren
Nye of Vermont and Mrs. George W. Farnham of Buffalo, N.Y.
We have spoken of George 4 Nye, son of John 3 and Sarah
(Cook) Nye and nephew of Ebenezer 3 ; he was born at Wester-
ly, R. I., January 7, 1717; his father died in 1723, leaving five
children, some of whom it is said were sent to live with rela-
tives. When George was eight years old, he went to Tolland,
Conn., to live with his uncle Ebenezer Nye; in time he became
a landholder there, and in 1745 married the widow Thankful
(Hinckley) Hatch, daughter of Ichabod Hinckley, formerly of
Barnstable, Mass. In the French and Indian war in 1751-7,
George Nye was in Captain Stoughton's Company in a Connec-
ticut regiment, which was sent to reinforce Fort William Hen-
ry, but on its arrival at Kinderhook it was sent back as the
French had captured the fort; George was paid for fifteen days
service. He died at Tolland in 1779; his wife Thankful died in
1802 at Wethersfield, Vt., where she was living with her son
Johnathan. The children of George 4 and Thankful (Hinckley)
(Hatch) Nye, were:
1 Mercy 5 , born July 4, 1746, m. 1st Samuel Baldwin, 2nd
2 Mary 5 , born December 10, 1748, m. William Johnson and
lived at Norwich, Vermont.
3 Ebenezer 5 , born October 10, 1750. m. Desire Sawyer and
located at Marietta, Ohio, in 1789.
4 Rebecca 5 , born August 25, 1753, m. Stephen Stimpson.
5 Jonathan 5 , born June 4, 1756, m. Miss Haskell and moved
to Wethersfield, Vermont.
Third Reunion 81
6 Sarah 5 , born October, 1758, m. Timothy Grannis, lived at
Claremont, N. H.
7 Ichabod 5 , born December 21, 1792, m. Minerva Tupper and
locateD at Marietta, Ohio.
8 George 5 , born February 28,1766, m. Lucretia Dart, moved
to Springfield, Vermont.
From this record it appears that all of the descendants of
George Nye, bearing the Nye name, have left Connecticut.
Samuel Baldwin of Tolland, the first husband of Mercy Nye,
was an invalid pensioner of the War of the Revolution; Joshua
Morgan, her second husband, was sergeant in the Tolland com-
pany which marched at the Lexington Alarm. After the war
Joshua and Mercy Morgan settled in Vermont; they are repre-
sented by Mrs. B. F. Severance of Greenfield, Mass.
Ebenezer 5 Nye, son of George 4 , enlisted for six months service
in the Revolutionary army in 1775 or 6. Ichabod 5 Nye, son of
George 4 , was in a Massachusetts regiment in the war of 1776;
his brother Jonathan served in the Fourth Company, Captain
Birge of Tolland, Sage's Connecticut Regiment, Third Battal-
ion, Wadsworth's Brigade. This battalion raised in June.
1776, to reinforce Washington at New York, was with him at
the retreat from that place and suffered some loss at White
Plains were Captain Birge was killed; it was finally discharged
December 26, 1776. Jonathan Nye finally settled at Wethers-
field, Vt., where he became the owner of a large farm and mill;
he died in 1828 and was buried at Browuington, Vt., where his
brother, the Honorable George Nye, is also buried.
Other Nyes resident in ConNecticut are the Lebanon families,
who ere descended from John 8 and Sarah (Cook) Nye of Wester-
ly R. I. At Middletovvn, Conn., there was a Captain Braddock
Nye, who was born at Sandwich, Mass., December 2, 1781; he
married Martha Bourne of Sandwich, and located at Middle-
town about 18.J0; he died there September 6, 1810; his wife
Martha died April 6, 1851, aged 65 years, 4 months and 25 days.
The children of Captain Braddock and Martha (Bourne) Nye
were: Dr. Elisha Bourne Nye; Hannah: Abbie; Martha and
Clarissa. Dr. Nye was a prominent physician at Middletown,
where he died March 7, 1889, aged 76 years; his sister Clarissa
(Nye) Fowler, born September 17, 1824, died August 8, 1891,
and was buried at Middletown.
Again the audience listened to delightful music. Miss Palmer
sang, "Love Me if I Live," in a charming manner. She kindly
responded to an encore with "Joe Anderson My Joe."
82 The Nye Family of America
Mrs. Mary F. Potts of Zanesville, 0. read a sketch she had
written of the life of Major Horace Nye, her father, who came
at the age of two years with his parents to Marietta in 1788.
He and his baby sister were the first white children to dwell in
the Ohio Company's purchase.
Horace Nye, oldest child of Col. Ichabod and Minerva
Tupper Nye, was born in Chesterfield, Mass., June 8th, 1786.
When two years of age the family, with others, arrived at Mar-
ietta, Ohio, the 19th day of August, 1788.
The stockade of this place of 200 feet square, in which the
greater part of the settlers of that day were collected during the
Indian war, made their home, he and a sister being the first
white children who slept in the fort.
In 1806 he moved to Putnan (now Zanesville) to help his
uncle, Gen. Tupper, in his store.
In August, 1812, a brigade of Ohio troops was raised in the
southern part of the state, consisting of three regiments. This
brigade was placed under command of Edward W. Tupper as
Senior Brigadier General. Horace Nye went with him as Bri-
gade Major or Inspector. The early part of the winter they
spent at McArthur's block house. Gen. Hull surrendered at
Detroit on the 16th August, 1812. That winter they were sent
forward to Fort Meigs on the Maumee, which was under the
command of Gen. Harrison, where they remained until their
term of service expired about the first of March, 1813.
August 2nd, 1813, he was married to Fannie Safford. Five
children were born to them; only one, Horace Safford Nye,
lived to maturity. His wife died September 7, 1829. October
7, 1830, he married Lucinda Belknap; two children were born
to them, a son, Samuel B. Nye, who died in 1854 at the age of
27 years, and the daughter Mary F. Nye, now Mrs. Thomas
He was a man of strict and honest business principles and an
iron will. His opinion once formed, it was hard to move him
and no one was allowed to dictate to him.
He was a man of no display, but with sterling qualities of
head and heart, conscientious, economical and just to all. The
word can t never entered into his vocabulary.
A great anti-slavery man, he always helped the black man to
a safe retreat whenever an opportunity offered.
He died February 15, 1859, after a long sickness of paralysis.
Third Reunion 83
(Col. Ichabod Nye was born in Tolland, Conn., on the 21st
day of December, 1762, removed when a youth to the county of
Hampshire, Mass. In the year 1788 he with others arrived in
Marietta in advance of his and the other families on the 10th
day of Angust that year by land, followed by the families by
water the 19th day of August 1788.)
Mrs. Brush, by request, kindly consented to favor the audi-
ence again with the old Welsh ballad "Owen," and was as en-
thusiastically received as on the day before. This ballad was
sung by her great grandmother, daughter of General Benjamin
Tupper, who married Ichabod N)-e in 1785. Mrs. Brush has
composed an accompaniment and dedicated the music to the
Nye Family of America.
Mr. William F. Nye of Fairhaven, Mass., was introduced by
the President as the oldest member of the National Association
of Manufacturers, which had thirty four hundred members. Mr.
Nye, in response said, "It may be well, Mr. Chairman, that
you mention my years, because then there will be little expected
from such a veteran of wars. My paper has one excellent qual-
ity, at least, that of brevity."
Dear Friends and Kindred.
As it appears to me in my ripening years there comes to us
all a stronger — a deeper sentiment and the holiest impulse to pay
tribute to our ancestry, that leads us to link and to blend our-
selves with the well springs from which our lives have flown
and it seems to me to that there is the truest philosophy in this
ripening off of the fruitage of our lives, and I will put the ques-
tion for each to answer for themselves — is there to be a grand
reunion in the sweet bye and bye of kindred souls — of families
and loved ones to greet each other with all the tenderness of
human hearts in other Homes beyond those we make for our-
selves here? And now, dear cousins of Marietta and the great
West, as the senior in years of the Eastern cousins to join you
here at this time, it may be proper that I present you our greet-
ings, as from the gladness that thrills my own breast do I feel
commissioned to extend to you the warm hearts and hands of
each and every member of the New England family of Nyes. On
84 The Nye Family of Atnerica
two occasions as you know we have met at the shrine of Benja-
main and Katharine and exchanged salutations. The Western
sons and daughters came in numbers to old Sandwich to meet
us, and together we mingled our pride of lineage and gathered
up many characteristics of the family that happily link the
past with the present, and entwine about us the tendrills of
As we again exchange greetings on this third reunion of our
wide spread family, I especially desire to speak of one who to-
day is with us in spirit, though confined by the decrepitudes of
his eighty-four years to his Massachusetts home. Charles
Henry Nye has long been interested in bringing about these re-
unions of the Nye Family, and he heartily wished me, as I
called upon him a few days since, to bring to you Western
members of the family a glad heart that he has lived to witness
the culmination of his efforts. Some of you have met him at
Sandwich and have made his acquaintance, and will second my
high estimate of him as a man of pleasing personality and ad-
mirable in character. Together we worked for a considerable
time in arranging the branches of Benjamin and John, sons of
the original Benjamin, in their order, and I took it upon myself
to have 100 copies of this chart lithographed of which a copy
may be seen here.
How no less true than the needle that ever points to the pole
is the passion in the human breast that draws kindred to their
own. However wide our paths ma}' diverge, that magnetic tie
becomes even stronger like the glory of our country's flag, which
wherever seen waving in any far distant land awakens the deep-
est sentiment of love and pride. A thousand times as in my
length of days I have visited quite the four quarters of the globe,
that Star Spangled Banner waving from some masthead has filled
my soul with patriotic emotion, and so has the name "Nye"
ever afforded me a thrill of pleasure in all places where I've met
with it, and I am ever watching out for my namesakes in all
places I visit.
During my three year's sojourn in the East Indies, I met the
name many times among the officers of English shipping and
English residents of Calcutta, and I think they must have been
worthy scions of Sir Edward Nye who established the Nye Coat-
of-Arms in London. In China at that time there was a family
of Nyes that went from my own city of New Bedford some sixty
years ago, and who are still connected with a prosperous mer-
cantile house in Tien Tsin, China.
Third Reunion 85
Somewhere amid my papers I retain a letter written by my
brother Ebenezer, who in 1845 fled with his ship from his whal-
ing grounds to the Golden Gate, where, under the protection of
the U. S. Sloop of War "John Adams" he remained for some
time pending the settlement of the Northwest boundary ques-
tion with England. At that date San Francisco was but a huge
sand hill interspersed with chaparral and sage brush, and bor-
dered by a narrow sand beach along the magnificent bay. I was
then but twenty-one years of age, and had learned the carpen-
ters trade. My brother thought it might be well for me to mi-
grate there as they were laying out a Mexican town into fifty
vara or quarter acre lots at the price of $18.00 per lot. Gold was
discovered there some few years later in 1849. I had at that
date entered upon a three years sojourn in Calcutta to supply
the great province of Bengal with Boston ice.
That contract terminating in 1851 I availed myself of an early
opportunity to seek my fortune on the Pacific shore, and on a
crowded steamship left New York, and arriving at Aspinwall
(now Colon) I performed the feat of walking across the Isthmus
of Panama over the mule paths that are now being obliterated
by the Isthmian Canal. In due time I arrived at the Golden
Gate, and landed in the then rough and tumble town of San
Francisco with just money sufficient in my pocket to become the
proprietor of one of those fifty vara lots had the price not advanced
— but alas, they had gone to #18,000 and it was only left me to ply
my trade at $10.00 per day in erecting buildings upon them. But
just here again I discovered another namesake. Taking my lunch
one day in a Mexican restaurant an elderly gentleman seated
himself at my table, and noticing he was addressed by the pro-
prietor as Mr. Nye I was startled, but with only a moment's
reflection my hand was extended with the salutation "How are
you, Nantucket," when he appeared more startled than myself.
Memory awakened the fact that many years previous Meletiah
Nye sailed away from his island home on a whaling voyage, and
while visiting the Bay of San Francisco, he took French leave
of his ship and as he very frankly told me, a grace abounding
Senoritahad beguiled him into Spanish ways. It proved an in-
teresting meeting for me for he chaperoned me for some time,
enlightening me by his long experience there, and with a
wealth of courtesy introduced me to his friends at the Mission
DeLoreas where he resided. He was eminently one of the few
made use of at the time by the Courts in establishing the alcan-
da or Mexican titles to these same lands that speculators had
86 The Nye Family of America
run up to fabulous prices, and where now is built one of the
most stalwart cities of modern times.
Again in Aberdeen, Scotland, I was pleased to meet a family
of Nyes that most gladly entended their courtesies to a name-
sake from Yankee land, and so wherever I go I take pleasure in
consulting directories and looking up m} r namesakes, and find it
a little star in life's firmament that ever leads me by that true
language of the heart, and surely though silently the heart of
man rules his intellect.
To you kindred throughout the Western States — to you sons
and daughters of the early pioneers that crossed the Alleghanies
and floated down the Ohio, leveling here the forests in Mariet
ta, and settling the magnificent state of Ohio, we bring you
only words of praise. Of your ancestors, tales of heroism, of
patriotism and of lofty courage will be told by generations yet
to be, for civilization has sprung from the faith they had in
themselves, from the sturdy integrity they inherited from these
struggling pioneers that built their homes along New England's
rugged shores. As I have heretofore said that in all my jour-
neying over the world I have been pleased to watch with pecu-
liar interest, the success and development of the tribe of Nyes,
and in all truth I can say, they are a "get up-and get race" —
they manage to "get there" in whatever choice of vocation that
falls to their lot. As a tribe, the Nyes possess a somewhat
jovial and humorous vein — and though it became inimitable in
our Cousin Bill — yet we may notice in them throughout a
cheerful and pleasant expression, and ever as far as my lengthy
observations have been made, I have noticed this trait has helped
them to meet the reverses of fortunes we all more or less meet
I think our cousin, the Honorable Stephen A.Nye of Fairfield,
Maine, (I hope he is here today for he told us he would be, if the
walking should prove good) related at our first reunion at Sand-
wich the most interesting piece of history that was brought out
there— how his great-grandfather and two brothers left Sand-
wich by vessel and were thirteen days reaching the Kennebec
River, taking with them all the requisites for starting homes in
the Maine woods. Not omitting the chief requisites, each took
with them a good wife, and incidentally he relates that he never
knew a Nye but what selected a good wife. Reaching Augusta
they shouldered their bags and travelled twenty miles up and
settled the town of Fairfield. Of these brothers Elisha had
Third Reunion 87
eleven children, Bartlett had twelve and Bryant had thirteen.
Surely Mr. Roosevelt cannot charge race suicide to the Nye
tribe. I am inclined to think that should he stop off at Fair-
field during his hunting excursions in the Maine woods and
make the acquaintance of the descendants of this prolific family,
it would augment his faith in the American people.
"Go West young man," was the earnest advice of Horace
Greely the long time publisher of the New York Tribune. He
had a wonderful comprehension of the wealth of Western soil —
had well investigated — travelled over it — crossed the Mississippi
and followed the great pathfinder Fremont to the Pacific slope
before a railroad was built or even projected across the conti-
nent. Greely's advice was wise and timely, but your ancestors
caught the spirit of prophecy long in advance of Greely's advice,
and wonderful indeed is the result of their unyielding faith in
civil liberty and the equal rights of mankind which have come
down to you, their sons and daughters, to claim your noble her-
itage. That they all still live and are with us leading and
guiding us by the unseen forces of spirit life, we will not doubt,
and let us not forget that these unseen forces are working most
effectually in the upbuilding of our yet young nation that today
by its heart throbs is leading the old, depressed nations up to
better ideals. Let each and every son and daughter of our land
help the progress of civil liberty in throwing out upon every
breeze that loving emblem of patriotism, union and love of
country, and while we listen to the voices of the past may the
angel of the future lend us his bright presence, and each revolv-
ing year come freighted with new aspiration, with fonder hopes
and deeper faith and love for humanity — and may the rainbow
of promise cheer us through the life that now is, and assure us
of bright homes beyond the land of weeping.
Miss Carol Nye, daughter of Mr. George H. Nye of Auburn,
N. Y., read in a charming manner, the instructive paper pre-
pared by her father, the President of the Association. It was
entitled, "A Retrospect on the Nye Coats of Arms."
History usually begins in tradition. This handed down from
generation to generation till it is accepted as truth, loses noth-
ing in detail, but rather expands as the years roll on, like the
story of the three crtows. Those who love to delve in memories
of the past, delight in unravelling the tangled skeins and in
88 The Nye Family of America
sifting the true from the false, even though as the testimony of
the rocks has upset the cherished traditions of centuries, it may
result in the destruction of beliefs that have become dear to us.
Freeman, in his invaluable History of Cape Cod, touches lightly
on local traditions and expresses his disinclination to upset
them, but sooner or later the truth must be told, that tradition
may die and history be established. The following may be con-
sidered as an authentic history of the different coats of arms
purporting to belong to the Nye family.
Following the Revolution there seems to have been a craze
concerning heraldry and it was the proper thing for families of
the early settlers to have their individual coat of arms. Among
those who took up the furnishing of such as a means of liveli-
hood, we find one, John W. Coles, whose name appears in the
Boston directory for 1800, and continues until 1813, his occupa-
tion being given as "Heraldic Painter. " In 1806 and for some
twenty years after, the name of John Coles, Jr., also appears
therein. His occupation is given as a miniature and portrait
painter, but there is very good evidence that he followed in ad-
dition the occupation of his father.
The Cole's paintings are quite readily distinguished by the
form of the shield, the mantlings and particularly by the palm
branches, and, so far as known, are all alike worthless, except
as curiosities. Those who are farther interested may refer to
the standard authority on American Heraldry, Wm. H. Whit-
more, in his book, "The Elements of Heraldry," published at
Boston in 1866. In it he discusses at length the Cole's paint-
ings, beginning on page 75.
Among the prominent men of this period was Col. David Nye
of North Falmouth, who resided on a part of the old Ebenezer
Nye farm. He served in the Revolutionary Army as Sergeant
in Captain Samuel Fish's Company of Colonel Freeman's Regi-
ment. He afterwards served in the 1st Barnstable County Reg-
iment of Militia as Captain from 1790 to 1796 ; as Lieut. Colonel
to 1806 ; as Colonel to 1815. He was Justice of the Peace for
fourteen years and Representative for a like length of time.
His first wife was Deborah Nye. His second, Keziah Eldred,
was a daughter of Joseph Eldred. fellow of New College, Oxford,
a descendant of an old family in County Norfolk which had an
armory granted in 1592.
These are facts. May I be pardoned if I now indulge in a
little flight of imagination.
Third Reunion 89
We must remember that Keziah was David's second wife and
many years his junior. Is it unreasonable to suppose that she
may have told David that he was barely eligible to attend her
pink teas and that he should go way back and sit down ? Or to
conclude that David, wise man that he was, went back and
thought and thought and that as a result the Boston directory
was consulted ? Let us now return to facts.
On the wall hangs a painting which is pointed to with pride,
a coat of arms, half Nye, half Eldred. On the back may be
found the following inscription : "He beareth azure on a bend
enrailed, by the name of Nye, granted and confirmed to Sir Ed-
ward Nye of the Inner Temple, London, Bar't Anno. Dom.
1611, and descended from an ancient family in Norfolk.
He beareth or, on a bend raguly in base a martlet gules,
beaked sable, which is the coat of Joseph Eldred, L.L. B. Fel-
low of New College in Oxford A. D., 1615, Boston, 3d, Feby.,
1796, J.W. Coles, Heraldic Painter. Ine copy from Heraldry."
The deed is done and Coles is at work for others, while Mrs.
David has a more resigned look, but Colonel David looks every
inch a knight and wears his honors well. This, the original of
all, the Cape Cod Coats of Arms, hangs still on the wall in North
Falmouth where I examined it but last summer. The offshoots
of this work are many but differ in detail only. One has sup-
porters in the shape of an animal on each side, another has the
French motto, "Mon esperance est dans ciel." As to the form-
er it is only necessary to say the right to bear supporters applies
only to a peer of the realm and dies with him, unless extended
by special grant. It is too bad to expose Colonel David's deed
although it served him well during his life time and made him
a centre of interest at Mrs. David's functions, but, there never
was any family by the name of Nye in Norfolk, neither was
there ever a Sir Edward Nye Bar't on the Rolls of Inner Tem-
ple ; nor, what is more to the point, was there ever any Nye
coat of arms whatever granted in Great Britain. Randolph Nye,
from whom the American Nyes are descended, settled in Sussex
County, England, in 1527. He was a sou of Bertolf Nye of
Tudse, Holbeck Bailiwick, Sjelland section of Denmark. The
Danish Nyes bore, as armory, the coat of arms described in her-
aldic terms in my address at the first reunion at Sandwich. The
authority for this I can give, but, as it is in Danish, I omit it
here to save linguistic perplexities. Should anyone desire it I
will give it when my notes are accessible, otherwise I could
90 The Nye Family of America
hardly approximate the correct spelling. The shield of this
only authentic Nye coat of arms is what is termed " couche "
and belongs to the period of the 12th and 13th centuries and was
used when the helmet, or helmet and crest, were represented.
When these were omitted the shield stood upright, in flat-iron
shape, the difference in shape of the shield always indicating its
approximate age, as it changed from time to time. The differ-
ent encyclopedias will give concise information on the subject
— if more is needed.
In conclusion let me say, that, in my opinion, the greatest
distinction the family can derive from the past is in its colonial
and revolutionary history, which is equaled by but few of our
old American families.
A quartet consisting of Mrs. Brush, Miss Palmer, Mr. Leon-
ard and Mr. Shad, sang a very pretty selection, "Drink to Me
Only with Thine Eyes," after which Mr. Henry A. Belcher
moved a vote of thanks to our Marietta friends, in these words,—
"To the members of the Family in Ohio we desire to express
our thanks for their generous hospitality, especially to those in
Marietta and to our generous and wholesouled host, Mr. James
W. Nye ; also to Miss Mary C. Nye, whose untiring work at
this time and in the past, has contributed so much towards the
success of our Association ; and to Mrs. Towne and Mrs. Brush
who have so generously given the musical entertainment which
has contributed so largely in making this third Reunion so suc-
cessful ; and again, to all who have in any way contributed
toward our entertainment, we wish to express our sincere
Mr. Belcher's motion was unanimously carried.
Mr. William L,. Nye, followed by addressing the chair, in
these words, —
"Mr. President, I have a great deal to say but I have not time
to say it. We have been here with the Marietta people for the
past three days and we have been so highly entertained, that we
feel as if we were at our own hearth stones. When I speak in
this way I speak feelingly, as I know I speak for all the Nye
Family in this city today. We have had a grand time and the
U .-. IT.
2 5. o
H r— •r~
Third Reunion 91
meetings have been so good that the wish is strong in the heart
of every member of the Family here that these meetings be con-
tinued, whether the next Reunion is next summer or the year
following or at any other time. I am here to extend to the
Family the invitation to hold the next meeting at the home of
their ancestors, at the old town of Sandwich."
Mrs. Isaac Cooke of Chillicothe, O. had the concluding paper
of the morning, the subject being, "Hon. Arius Nye," another
of the early members of the Family who became prominent in
the affairs of his state and city.
Mr. President, Kindred, and Friends of Marietta: —
St. Beuve says "Character is the sum of one's ancestors", and
so important an element in the influences which go to make up
character is this subtile and persistent one of heredity, that the
first question which arises in the mind of the biographer in the
study of any one's life is, "What were his antecedents ? " As
Judge Arius Nye's have been given to you before, it is not nec-
essary to go back to the early history of his ancestors.
Arius Nye, the subject of this sketch, was born in the Fort at
Marietta, December 27th, 1792, in the house occupied at that
time by Mrs. Benjamin Tupper. He was the son of Colonel
Ichabod Nye and Minerva Tupper. For the first five years of
his life the Indian Wars of St. Clair, Harmar, and Wayne raged
around the new settlement. Peace came with Wayne's treaty at
Greenville ; but the little colony struggled with every obstacle ;
his father, Colonel Ichabod Nye, was a man of indomitable
energy, resolution and decision of character; his occupation was
that of a tanner and shoemaker. As soon as he could be of
service to his father, he was put to work in the bark mill of the
tannery ; he soon found his employment very monotonous. The
educational facilities in the early pioneer days of the Northwest
Territory were limited. As the first settlement was here and
all the region around a vast wilderness over which the Indians
roamed at will, the introduction of schools was slow and the
facilities at hand were such only as permitted the acquirement
of elementary knowledge of the common branches.
Arius Nye started to school at the age of five, in the North-
west corner of the block house on the "Stockade." All the sub-
sequent education he received at the various schools merely en-
abled him to master the rudiments of the English branches.
92 The Nye Family of America
Communication with the Eastern States was difficult, and the
establishment of Academies was delayed for some years. Arius
Nye, having a strong desire for learning beyond the advantages
offered in those early pioneer schools, by diligent study and
close application, educated himself liberally in the English lang-
uage and became a fair Latin scholar, with some assissance from
a private tutor Whatever else he acquired was through his own
exertions. He was, in the strict sense of the term, a self taught
man. His whole life was devoted to study ; he was a lover of
books, the first half dollar he could call his own was laid out for
a book ; they were a source of pleasure to him. He was a zeal-
ous student, and his writings show, that he was able to express
himself with elegance and precision. Bacon says, " reading
maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an
While yet a boy he was sent by his father to the town of
Springfield, as it was then called, (afterwards in 1815 named
Putnam and now Zanesville), to engage in mercantile business.
Before he had attained his majority he was elected a director in
the "Muskingum Bank," at Putnam. In July, 1814, Arius Nye
became the partner of his father in the firm of "I. and A. Nye. "
It was while here in Putnam that he made the acquaintance of
Rowena Spencer, daughter of Dr. Joseph Spencer of Vienna,
West Virginia, whom he afterwards married in 1815.
Merchandising was not a congenial pursuit for him at any
time. The loss of a cargo of merchandise by the sinking of a
boat (Jefferson's Embargo Act) afforded a good excuse for aban-
doning the business, as no part of the loss was covered by insu-
rance. This circumstance, together with his indisposition to
make traffic his life work, induced him to leave off at once and
take up the study of law. He read a course of law and was ad-
mitted to the bar at Zanesville about 1818 or 1819. After several
years of practice there, he was induced by his Uncle, General
Edward Tupper, to remove to Gallipolis. At that time (about
1823) the so-called sickly season along the Ohio Valley, carried
off a large percentage of the population, among them General
Edward Tupper. The fever became an epidemic — first his wife,
then his children, and lastly himself, were prostrated. Discour-
aged by so much calamity, he returned to Marietta and opened
a law office in a brick building adjoining the marble yard at
that time. During the entire winter of 1824-25 he never had
o?ie professional call ; he was employed to prepare but a single
Third Retinion 93
brief, and that for another lawyer. Colonel John Mills, acting
for the Trustees of the town and township of Marietta, gave him
a case, in which he had an opportunity to signalize his skill as
a jurist and advocate. There had been cansiderable pecuniary
defalcations, and Arms Nye was retained to secure what was
due the body politic. The matter was decided in favor of the
Trustees. An appeal to the Supreme Court resulted in a re-af-
firmation of the decision of the courts below. This proved of
no small consequence to his future professional success. In 1826
his name was proposed to the Ohio Legislature as a candidate
for President Judge in the Marietta circuit. He failed of elec-
tion by one vote only. in 1827 or 1828 Arius Nye was chosen
a representative in the General Assembly from Washington
County. Three years later he was returned as a State Senator.
While performing these duties, he was, the greater part of the
time, Prosecuting Attorney. His labors were incessant, and
far too arduous for his bodily strength. In 1840 he was named
in the Whig Convention for Congress ; he failed to receive the
nomination. Much against his own wishes, his name was placed
upon the Whig Ticket, during the same year, for Representa-
tive ; he was chosen by a large majority. At the opening of
the session, he called the house to order, an office which, until
then, had always been performed by the Clerk.
It was during this session of the Legislature that he, as Chair-
man of the Appropriate Legislative Committee, framed the bill
for the incorporation of the State Bank of Ohio, and branches.
Owing to a Democratic majority in the Senate, it then failed of
becoming a law, but was subsequently taken up, and after some
amendments, enacted into law by the General Assembly ; the
same measure in nearly every feature, was, some years after,
copied by the State of Iowa. No safer or sounder system of
paper- money banking could have been devised. To him, in a
great measure, belongs the credit of its paternity. When the
party issue of "banks or no banks" was before the people of
Ohio, 41 — 44, John B rough and Samuel Medary used to call the
proposed State Bank by the humorous title of "Nye's Sow and
Pigs." In 1847 Arius Nye was elected President Judge, for the
8th Judicial Circuit, which then embraced the Counties of
Washington, Morgan, Athens, Meigs, Gallia, Lawrence, and
Scioto. It was incumbent on him to hold twenty-one term-; in
a year, and to reackthaCoaaty seats, ne Gascon pilled to ride
h)rse)aeic. Saca laoors vzrz 13) *reat t jr lay n i i, ail :.v>
94 The Nye Family of America
years later the Legislature cut off the counties of Lawrence and
Scioto, and annexed them to the judicial district immediately
adjoining. Judge Nye remained on the bench until July, 1850; his
health, never robust, gave way and he resigned. From this tim e
forth, he never sought nor accepted, public trusts. He was not idle
however. As a lawyer. Judge Nye continued to give attention
to the cases brought to his notice; he was foremost in whatever
he thought would conduce to the public good. As a jurist he
ranked among the first Chancery and Criminal lawyers of the
West. He was deeply read in the learning of the profession,
and thoroughly imbued with the lofty spirit of the Great Mast-
ers. In him, the weak, the unfortunate, and the oppressed,
always found a friend and a counselor ; — the guilty, ?iever.
Judge Nye was always a leading citizen, until the "weight of
years" crept upon him. He was one of the movers in establish-
ing the "Marietta Collegiate Institute" (which preceded the
College proper, Chartered in 1835), drew up its Charter and was
one of its Trustees. He may be said to be the founder of St.
Lukes Episcopal Church in this city ; he was appointed lay-
reader for the Parish by Bishop Chase in January, 1826, con-
tinued to discharge the duties appertaining to the position until
the Parish secured a Rector. In 1835, when the Church was
erected at the corner of 1th and Scammel Streets, (and a fine one
for that day), he was the prime mover in the building and fur-
nishing of the Church and did more for it than any other man.
In the early days of St. Luke's, Judge Nye was leader in the
singing, his seat was near the chancel, and when a chant or
hymn was to be sung he would step forward to the chancel rail
and, in a firm, clear voice, lead the congregation, never failing
to strike the right pitch. Very little Anthem music was at-
tempted in those days ; after a choir was organized Judge Nye
continued to sing ; upon one occasion an Anthem was attempt-
ed beyond the Choir's ability to sing it, Judge Nye took the
principal part and when in the midst of it, first one and then
another dropped out until finally he alone was the only one
singing,— being like the Chorister in Irving's Christmas,
"wrapt up in his own melody," he had not noticed that the
other voices had dropped out and that he alone finished the An-
them. He remarked after the service, "We got through with
that in very good style."
Judge Nye was one of the founders of the Marietta Library.
His home, a part of the old "Stockade, " was for many years the
Third Reiinion 95
abode of hospitality ; I might say "kept open house" ; for here
it was he entertained men of honor and distinction ; the poor
and feeble were accorded the same, all were made to feel the
grasp of his hand, for all were his friends. In this hospitable
home his first wife died, and about five years later he brought
his second wife, Caroline M. Sisson of New Port, R. I.
At the time of his death Judge Nye had obtained a wider
celebrity than any other man living in Marietta at that time.
A friend in his sketch of Judge Nye at the time of his death
used a singularly faithful outline of what he was in the words
of an American Poet, and, with them, I close this sketch.
"A keen perception of the right: —
A lasting hatred of the wrong, —
An arm that failed not in the fight, —
A spirit strong, —
Arrayed him with the weak and low ;
No matter what the opposing power,
And gave terror to his blow
In battle's hour.
He asked no leader in the fight,
No times, nor season sought to know,
But when convinced his cause was right,
He struck the blow.
Man had his sympathies, — not men,
The whole he loved and not a part ;
And to the whole he gave his pen,
His years, his heart. ' '
At this point Mr. James W. Nye read several letter from
friends addressed to the Association. They were from Col.
Reuben L- Nye, Los Angeles, Cal.; Mr. Charles N. Nye, Los
Angeles; Miss Helena M. Nye, Los Angeles; W. F. Dana,
Cooperstown, Pa.; T. D. Dale, Chicago, 111.; Lawrence Nye
Dana, Joplin, Mo.; Edward B. Dana, Muskingum, Mich.; George
Lewis Nye, St. Paul, Minn.; Henry Wood Nye, Cincinnati, O.;
Harry L. Nye, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Simeon Nash Nye,
Colorado Springs, Colo. The family assembled were deeply
96 The Nye Family of America
moved by the fraternal expressions of these absent members, and
it is deeply regretted that these letters cannot appear in this
Mr. Nye, before taking his seat, requested Mrs. Daniel Hand
Buell to come forward as he wished to introduce her little
daughter, two months old, Miss Ellen Lewis Nye Buell, to the
audience as the youngest, wee bit of a Nye, present. She is a
direct descendant from the mother of Washington (through her
daughter Betty, only sister of George.)
Upon the motion of Mrs. Belcher, which was unanimously
carried, the baby was made an honorary member of the Asso-
ciation for this year and presented with a membership card.
The entire audience joined with the quartet in singing the
hymn, "God be with you till we meet again." The meeting
adjourned after this most fitting benediction, until three o'clock
in the afternoon.
The last business meeting of the family began promptly at
the appointed time. The President called for the reports of the
committees. Mr. Henry A. Belcher, chairman of the Nominat-
ing Committee, recommended that the folowing persons be
elected as officers of the Association for the ensuing year :
Hon. David J. Nye, Elyria, Ohio, President.
Mr. James L,. Wesson, Boston, Mass., Vice-President.
Mrs. S. Curtis Smith, Newton, Mass., Secretary.
Mrs. Anna Nye Smith, Roxbury, Mass., Treasurer.
Mr. William L,. Nye, Chairman^ . . . Sandwich, Mass.
Mr. Charles H. Nye Hyannis, Mass.
Mr. William F. Nye Fairhaven, Mass.
Mrs. Henry A. Belcher Randolph, Mass.
Mr. James W. Nye Marietta, Ohio.
Mr. Everett I. Nye ■ • Welfleet, Mass.
Mr. John W. Nye Manchester, N. H.
Third Reunioyi 97
Mrs. J. R. Hoi way Sandwich, Mass.
Mr. Theodore D. Dale Montclair, N. J.
Mr. Harold B. Nye Cleveland, Ohio.
It was voted that the Secretary cast one ballot for the officers
nominated, which she did, and they were declared elected.
The President-elect took the opportunity to express to the
Association his high appreciation of the honor conferred upon
A vote of thanks was extended to the executive officers of
It was voted that the Honorary Vice-Presidents be appointed
by the Executive Committee. The following members of the
Association accepted the office :
Mrs. William J. Bampfield Kingston, Ontario.
Mr. Robert W. Thompson Middletown, Conn.
Col. Reuben L,. Nye Los Angeles, Cal.
Col. Artemus F. Nye Denver, Colo.
Mr. Emerson H. Brush Elmhurst, 111.
Mrs. M. A. Penfield Brunswick, Ga.
Mr. M. M. Nye ■ • . . Crawfordsville, Ind.
Rev. Charles L. Nye Des Moines, Iowa.
Mr. J. E. Nye Auburn, Me.
Mr. Carroll A. Nye Moorhead, Minn.
Mrs. Hershel Bartlett ■ St. Joseph, Mo.
Mr. Ray Nye Fremont, Neb.
Mr. I. Frank Stevens Concord, N. H.
Mr. William Jackson Newark, N. J.
Dr. E. Nye Hutchinson Charlotte, N. C.
Mr. Robett E. Nye Orwell, Ohio.
Dr. Fremont Nye Westerly, R. I.
Rev. Elmer I. Nye Georgia, Vt.
Mr. Benjamin F. Nye Carrollton, Wash.
Mr. F. H. A. Nye West Salem, Wis.
Miss Ellen R. Nye Champlain, N. V.
Mrs. Belcher, chairman of the Committee on the Monument
98 The Nye Family of America
Fund, had no report to make; she said thus far she had received
seventy-five dollars, and should be glad to accept contributions
from every one, no matter how small nor how great. Every
member of the Nye Family should take pride and interest in the
erection of a monument to Benjamin Nye and his wife Katha-
rine. It is the desire of the Committee to dedicate the monu-
ment at the reunion next summer. All contributions to this
fund are to be sent to Mrs. Henry A. Belcher, Randolph, Mass.
The question in regard to the next reunion, and where it
should be held, was then discussed. Three invitations had been
received by the Association: one from Los Angeles, Cal. ; anoth-
er from St. Paul, Minn.; a third from Sandwich, Mass. Upon
motion of Mr. Harold B. Nye of Cleveland, Ohio, it was voted
that the invitation from Mr. William L. Nye of Sandwich, be
accepted with thanks, time of meeting to be arranged by the
Upon motion of Mrs. Belcher, it was voted that the Secretary
write to those who had extended an invitation to the Associa-
tion, and thank them for their hospitality, and express the hope
that we might meet with them at some future time.
Upon motion of Mr. Belcher, it was voted to publish the
proceedings of this meeting in full in pamphlet form and that
the number of copies be limited to two hundred, unless the de-
mand should be sufficient to justify the Secretary in ordering
more. It was unanimously carried.
It was also voted that the matter of publishing the book be
left in the hands of the Secretary and Mr. S. Curtis Smith.
Mrs. Rowena Nye Cooke of Chillicothe moved that the oak
— emblem of strength — should predominate in the decorations
used by the Nye Family Association. After some discussion,
in which its use at the reunions at Sandwich was commended,
it was unanimously passed by a rising vote.
Our local committee, in arranging a program for this reunion,
Third Relation 09
prepared for every emergency. If the afternoons had been
stormy so the guests could not enjoy the pleasure trips planned
for them, Mrs. Theodore F. Davis, Mrs. Marie Nye Buell, Mrs.
Daniel C. McKay, Mrs. Rowena N. Brown, Mrs. Minerva Nye
Nash, Mrs. George Preston, Miss Sella R. Leonard and Mr.
Henry W. Nye, had prepared papers to read.
It was voted that these valuable papers become the property
of the Association, to be read at the next reunion, (with the
consent of the writers) as the Association may determine.
On motion of Mr. James W. Nye, it was voted that all mat-
ters that may be overlooked in this meeting, should be left with
the Executive Committee with full power to act. By vote also
the publishing of the names and addresses of the Association
was left to the discretion of the same Committee.
After much business had been transacted the last meeting of
the reunion was adjourned.
Besides the interesting literary exercises, the fine musical en-
tertainments, and the important business transactions, there
were many hours devoted to social functions. There were teas,
dinner parties, country club luncheons, drives, tally-ho and
launch parties, with visits to historical houses and points of in-
terest; but the most brilliant event was the reception tendered
on the last evening by Hon. and Mrs. Theodore F. Davis, in
honor of the members of the Nye Family, at their beautiful
home. Representatives of the Nye Family from all parts of the
Union were present, together with the local members of the
family and their personal friends, chiefly among the older resi-
dents of Marietta. A bountiful collation was served, the deco-
rations of flowers in all the rooms tastefully arranged, and the
Japanese lanterns on the porches and the lawn, presented a
lovely scene on this ideal evening.
The memory of the third reunion will have an abiding place
in the hearts of all who attended.
MEMBERS OF THE NYE FAMILY
PRESENT AT THE THIRD REUNION
Abbott, J. H.,East Whitman, Mass.
Abbott, Mrs. J. H.,
East Whitman, Mass.
Belcher, Henry A, Randolph, Mass.
Belcher, Mrs. H. A. .Randolph, Mass.
Brown, Mrs. Rowena E. Nye,
Buell, Daniel Hand, Marietta, O.
Buell, Mrs. Daniel Hand, Marietta, O.
Buell, Miss Ellen Lewis, Marietta, O.
Buell, Miss Betty W., Marietta, O.
Buell, Mrs. Maria N., Marietta, O.
Bourne, Ebenezer P., Lowell, Mass.
Brush, Emerson H., Elmhurst, 111.
Brush, Mrs. Emerson H. ,
Cuitis, Dr. H. N. , Marietta, O.
Curtis, Mrs. Helen E., Marietta, O.
Cook, Mrs. Rowena Nye,
Cook, Miss Margaret S. ,
Davis, Hon. Theodore F. , Marietta, O.
Davis, Mrs. Lucy Nye, Marietta, O.
Davis, Mrs. Helen Curtis, Marietta, O.
Davis, Miss Grace Ford, Marietta, O.
Dana, Charles?., Marietta, O.
Dana, Mrs. Charles S. , Marietta. O.
Dana, Miss Frances B. . Marietta, O
Dana, John, Belfre, O.
Dana, Mrs. Anna Lock wood, Belfre, O.
Dana, George, R. , Belfre, O.
Dana, Miss Miriam I., Belfre, O.
Dana, Lockwood Nye, Belfre, O.
Dana, Roderic L. Belfre, O.
Dana, Miss Jeanette P. Belfre, O.
Dana, Edward B. , Belfre, O.
Drew, Irving, Portsmouth, O.
Drew, Mrs. Ella G. , Portsmouth, O.
Derol, Mrs. Grace Dana, Beverly, O.
Derol, Miss Mary Dana, Beverly, O.
Derol, Miss Helen Dale, Beverly, O.
Fesler, Mrs. Almira Nye,
Gates, W W. , Portsmouth, O.
Gates, Mrs. Alvira Nye,
Hay ward, Miss J. A., Waterford, O.
Hoi way, Mrs. Helen Nye,
East Sandwich, Mass.
Hoi way, Mrs. J. R. , Sandwich, Mass.
Hungerford, Nye, Ithaca, N. Y.
Leonard, Mrs. M. S. , Marietta, O.
Lindsay, Mrs. J. N. D. , Pittsburg, Pa.
Lovell, Mrs. Sarah Nye, Marietta, O.
Lucas, Mrs. Marion C. , Columbus, O.
McDaniels, Heman Nye, Oberlin, O.
McGee, Dr. F. S. , Marietta, O.
McGee, Mrs. Mary Nye, Marietta, O.
McGee, Miss Cornelia, Marietta, O.
McGirr, Miss Lucy E. , Marietta, O.
McGirr, Mrs. Sarah M., Marietta, O.
Nash, Mrs. M. Nye, Zanesville, O.
Nash, Simeon, Zanesville, O.
Nye, James W. , Marietta, O.
Nye, Miss Mary C. , Marietta, O.
Nye, Miss Rebecca D. , Marietta, O.
Nye, Miss Katherine P., Marietta, O.
Nye, Miss Laura V., Marietta, O.
Nye, Anslem T. , Marietta, O.
Nye, Mrs. Anslem T. , Marietta, O.
Nye, Miss Calista P., Marietta, O.
Nye, Walker H., Marietta, O.
Nye, Mrs. A. Spencer, Chillicothe, O.
Nye, Miss Eudora, Chillicothe, O.
Nye, Miss Virginia S. , Chillicothe, O.
Nye, Joseph S. , Chillicothe, O.
Nye, Miss Mary P., Columbus, O.
Nye, Mrs. L. C. , Athens, O.
Nye, George, Chillicothe, O.
Nye, Dr. Geo B , Waverly, O.
Nye, Harold B. , Cleveland, O.
Nye, Mrs. Emma Cnrtis, Cleveland, O.
Nye, Miss Margaret F. , Cleveland, O.
Nye, Miss Katherine B., Cleveland, O.
Nye, Harold C, Cleveland, O.
Nye, Judge David J., Elyria, O.
Nye, Mrs. David J., Elyria, O.
Nye, David F., Elyria, O.
Nye, Horace H. , Elyria, O.
Nye, Don C. , Chauncey, O.
Nye, Geo. Harvey, Chauncey, O.
Nye, Frederick A., Chauncey, O.
Nye, Robert E., Orwell, O.
Nye, John G. , Orwell, O.
Nye, Frederick G., Cambridge, O.
Nye, Stewart J., Cambridge, O.
Nye, Kendrick D. , Cambridge, O.
Nye, F. G. , Edenboro, Pa.
Nye, Miss Minerva Tupper,
New York City.
Nye, Benjamin H., Carrol lton, Wash.
Nye, Miss Carol B. , Auburn, N. Y.
Nye, Miss A. Jean, Auburn, N. Y.
Nye, Miss Maud E. , Auburn, N. Y.
Nye, Wm. F. , Fairhaven, Mass.
Nye, Wm. L. , Sandwich, Mass.
Nye, Mrs. Wm. L. , Sandwich, Mass.
Nye, Miss Abbie F. , Sandwich, Mass.
Nye, Miss Elizabeth E. ,
Nye, Rev. Elmer I. Georgia, Vt.
Nye, Mrs. Elmer I. Georgia, Vt.
Oldham, Mrs. Betty Washington,
Washington, D C.
Pattee, Mrs. J. H. , Monmouth, 111.
Potts, Mrs. Fannie Nye Zanesville, O.
Randall, Mrs. D. D., Monmouth, 111.
Rupp, Mrs. Helen Nye,
Smith, S. Curtis, Newton, Mass.
Smith, Mrs. S. Curtis, Newton, Mass.
Smith, Rev. W. W. , Coffey vi lie, Kaus.
Soule, Mrs. N. T. , Middleboro, Mass.
Sproat, Mrs. Martha N. , Chillicothe, O.
Sproat, Miss Martha E., Chillicothe, O.
Stone, A. T. , Belfre, O.
Stone, Mrs. Rowena N. , Belfre, O.
Stone, Mrs. Nina Gates, Belfre, O.
Stone, Vernon, Belfre. O.
Stevenson, Mrs. A. F. , Pittsburg, Pa.
Thompson, R. W., Middletown, Conn.
Towne, Mrs. H. N. , Chillicothe, O.
Webster, Mrs. J. R. , Monmouth, 111.