Home FAQ Contact Us Information

--Welcome to the Sheldon Family Association website
Village Church

The Life and Works of Rev. Henry O. Sheldon

 Sheldon number – S#5124


Born – Hartford, Connecticut, 15 September 1799
Died – Oberlin, Ohio 21 December 1882

Probably the best known among the Sheldons in early Ohio was Reverend Henry Olcott Sheldon (S#5124). He moved from Genoa, in Cayuga County, New York, in 1819.  He first settled on a 100-acre farm in Peru Township, about six miles south of Norwalk. He moved from his Peru farm to a residence in Norwalk in 1833; to Berea in 1836; to Roscoe Village in Coshocton County in 1853; to Loudonville, in the southern part of Ashland County, in 1854; to Sidney in Shelby County in 1858; and to Oberlin, Ohio in 1867.

He married three times; first to Ruth Bradley, second to Mrs. Eleanor Robinson and third to Mrs. Pamela Hall. He had seven sons and five daughters, all born to his first wife. Two sons and a daughter died young.

Rev. Henry O. Sheldon was a vigorous, driving man who made things happen. He kept a life-time journal, and these leather-bound volumes are now preserved in the Firelands Museum in Norwalk, Ohio

As a Methodist preacher, Sheldon traveled on horseback three to four thousand miles a year covering the Wayne Circuit of Michigan, the North Ohio Conference, and the Central Ohio Conference for the Methodist Church. He was agent for the Norwalk Seminary, traveling and lecturing extensively in the eastern part of the country. He was a leader in an unsuccessful attempt to organize a Christian community and a manual labor school where the property of the individual members became the property of the organization. He was an early advocate and promoter in the founding of Ohio-Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, the Baldwin Institute, forerunner of Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea (a town whose name he suggested), and Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

Rev. Henry Olcott Sheldon has been called the “Tom Paine of Ohio Education.”  He was buried in the College Cemetery in Oberlin, Ohio.

The above article was prepared by Wayne E. Nelson (S#4727×514) from information in The Sheldon Magazine and other Sheldon sources.