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, if not foremost, among the Sheldons early in Ohio was S#5124 Reverend Henry Olcott Sheldon. He moved from Genoa in Cayuga County, New York in 1819 and first settled on a 100-acre farm in Peru Township in about six miles south of Norwalk. He moved from his Peru farm to a residence in Norwalk in 1833; to Berea in 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 of manuscript diary are now preserved in the Firelands Museum in Norwalk.
A Methodist preacher, he traveled on horseback three and 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 prime mover 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 at Delaware, Ohio, Baldwin Institute, forerunner of Baldwin-Wallace College at Berea (a town whose name he suggested) and Oberlin College at 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 S#4727×514 Wayne E. Nelson from information in The Sheldon Magazine and other Sheldon sources.