CAPT. EDMUND ELGIN NUTT
whose death on September 18, 1911, removed one of Sidney's foremost citizens, one whom all delighted to honor was born in Shelby county, O., in 1837, the eldest son of Irwin and Barbara (Persinger) Nutt.
The father of our subject, Irwin Nutt, was born in Montgomery county, near Centerville, O., January 31, 1811, being a son of Aaron Nutt, Jr. In his youth he learned the tanner's trade, which, however, he followed for but a short time. After acquiring a fair, common school education in the district school, he spent six months in the seminary at Xenia, O., where he prepared himself for teaching, which occupation he followed for a time. In 1834 he married Miss Barbara Persinger, of Green county, O., who was born September 27, 1812. In 1836, with his wife and daughter, Louisa M., who was then one year old, he came to Shelby county and bought a piece of timber land one mile north of Sidney, where he built a cabin for himself and family and began to clear the land. His busy axe soon enlarged the clearing and in course of time smiling field's took the place of the dense and gloomy forest, and as the product of his toil he was able to command not only the necessities, but also some of the luxuries of life. In the work of developing the homestead he was greatly aided by his faithful wife, who did her part in spinning and weaving the flax and wool for the family garments, also aiding in the outdoor work, in addition to performing her usual household duties and rearing her family of seven children. This family consisted of four sons and three daughters, as follows: Louisa M., born 1835, married Joseph Wilkinson; Edmund E., the subject of this sketch; Margaret J., born 1840, who became the wife of James Middleton; William A., born 1843, who married Elenor C. Lillie; Mary M, born 1845, who became the wife of Dr. J. C. Lillie of Logan county, O.; J. Newton, born 1848, who married Mae Price and John M., born 1851, who married Ella Smith.
In 1854 Irwin Nutt rented his farm and moved to Pemberton, O., where he engaged in the business of buying and shipping grain, but three, years later he returned to his farm and there remained until 1873. By this time his children had all married and settled in homes of their own and a lonely air pervaded the old homestead as he
expressed it, "the clock ticked too loudly on its shelf." At the earnest solicitation of his children, he again rented out the old farm and he and his wife spent the rest of their lives with their children, residing for a while with one, then with another. He died in Quincy, O., at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. C. Lillie, on March 7, 1880. In 1832, when twenty-one years of age, he had united, with the Methodist Episcopal church, of which for the rest of his life he remained a faithful and useful member, giving freely of his time and money in its behalf, and when his end came the final summons found him prepared to enter into the eternal mansions. His remains were brought to Sidney and lay in state at the M. E. church from Monday until Tuesday afternoon, when interment took place in Graceland cemetery. His funeral procession was one of the largest seen in Sidney up to that time. He was among the first members of Temperance Lodge No. .73, F. & A. M., and during his life held all the offices up to and including that of worshipful master. His wife survived him until April 5, 1905, and was also buried in Graceland cemetery, Sidney.
Edmund E. Nutt was reared on the home farm north of Sidney and was educated in the schools of that city. When eighteen years of age he began teaching school, which occupation he followed for four years. He then entered Delaware College, but his further studies were interrupted by the breaking out of the Civil war, and on April 17, 1861, he enlisted in the Fifteenth regiment, O. V. I., serving three months, the full time of his enlistment. On September 16, 1861, he re-enlisted as a private in Company F, Twentieth regiment, O. V. I., and served until the close of the war, first as private, then sergeant, then second and first lieutenant and later as captain, with which rank he was discharged. He took part in all great battles in which his regiment participated, and for meritorious conduct at the battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864, he was awarded a medal of honor, by order of Maj. F. P. Blair. He was wounded on the skirmish line near Atlanta, August 14,1864.
After his return, from the war Captain Nutt engaged in the grain business, with his brother, William A. Nutt, at Pemberton, but after remaining there for a while, he came to Sidney and entered into the same business here with his brothers, I. Newton and John M. Nutt, purchasing what was known as the old stone bridge warehouse. His brothers subsequently retiring from the business, he continued it alone for some time, after which he sold out his interests to Griffis Brothers.
Although now past middle life he began the study of law and was admitted to the bar, but never practiced law. Instead, he engaged again in the grain business, being thus associated with his brother, William A., at Urbana, O., still, however, continuing to reside at Sidney. Subsequently he repurchased from E. J. Griffis the old stone bridge warehouse, to which Mr. Griffis had added a milling department, and this he owned and managed until his death. He was by this time conspicuous as a useful and public-spirited citizen and in 1897 was nominated on the republican ticket for state senator for the twelfth district.
Captain Nutt was a member of Neal Post, G. A. R., from its organization. He took great interest in the Ohio Department of the G. A. R. from the time also of its organization, and in recognition of his zeal, and of his honorable army record, he was elected department commander of Ohio, at Canton, O., at its twenty-ninth annual meeting in 1894. This position he filled both with credit to himself and satisfaction to his comrades, his administration being a highly successful one. He also served as president of the regimental organization of the Twentieth regiment, being always present at the annual reunions of Companies F, H and K, on the 22d of August, to celebrate the battle of Atlanta. The following circular was issued by Neal Post, G. A. R., at the time Captain Nutt was candidate for the office of department commander.
HEADQUARTERS NEAL POST, No. 62,
DEPARTMENT OF OHIO, G. A. R.
SIDNEY, 0., April 4, 1894
"Comrade: We the undersigned committee, appointed by Neal Post to present the name of Comrade Edmund Elgin Nutt for the position of Department Commander at the encampment to be held at Canton, respectfully and briefly submit their claims as follows:
"Comrade Nutt was a candidate and received a large vote at Hamilton, Ohio. and many pledges of support, and solicitations to remain in the field for the next encampment, to which we confidently respond with a brief review of some of the merits of our candidate. He was a soldier from the first call to 'Lights Out,' from April 17, 1861, to July 15, 1865; carried a gun more than two years and a sword two years in Company F, 15th O. V. I., three months' service; and Company F, 20th Ohio, three years' service; served at the front in all ranks from private to captain, and was skirmish officer on brigade staff; was wounded on skirmish line and awarded a medal for conspicuous bravery in battle.
"As a citizen since the war, his 25 years of successful business has proven excellent executive ability. As a comrade he was a charter member of Neal Post, always present at meeting, takes an active interest, is well posted in Grand Army affairs, attends encampments, and has served Neal Post five years as commander. In addition we desire to remind comrades of their pledges of support which induced us to renew the effort for the place, and further urge our claims for the reason that this part of the state has never been favored with department honors of any office. If this favor is granted we promise to furnish a department commander fully up to the high standard
of former commanders.
"Yours in F. C. & L.
"Signed, T. B. MARSHALL,
"Co. K, 83d O. V. I.
"J. H. CREEGAN,
"Co. C, 2d Iowa. I. V. I.
"H. C. ROBERTS,
"Co. D, 51st O. V. I
In 1867 Captain Nutt married Miss Arvesta Van Demark, who was born in Shelby county, O., October 28, 1844, a daughter of Henry B. and Susannah (Boyer) Van Demark, who were married January 17, 1844. Mrs. Nutt's rather. Henry B. Van Demark, was a native of this county, born near Sidney, September 19, 1815, the youngest member of the family of Daniel and Catherine (Bush) Van Demark. He was brought up on the farm and there remained during the lifetime of his parents, having charge of the farm for a number of years until the death of his father, which took place in 1840. In 1844 he married Susannah Boyer, who was born in Miami county in 1821, a daughter of Jacob Boyer. After their marriage the young couple made their home with his mother, Mrs. Catharine Van Demark, residing with her until her death, which occurred in 1848, at which time Henry B. Van Demark became owner of the homestead in Orange township. In 1855 he traded it for a farm in Washington township, which contained over 400 acres of land. Subsequently he added further to his landed possessions, until at the time of his death he owned over 900 acres, all within three and a half miles of Sidney. In addition to this, he owned considerable real estate in the town of Sidney. He and his wife reared a family of five children, namely: Arvesta; Daniel, who married Margaret A. Brown, a native of Warren county; Clymelia. now deceased, who was the wife of Samuel S. McCready; Jacob N., of Clinton township; and Harry, who died at the age of eleven years. Mr. Van Demark was reared in the Presbyterian faith and his wife in that of the United Brethren. Their burial took place in Graceland cemetery in Sidney, O.
Capt. Edmund E. Nutt and wife were the parents of six children, as follows : Florence Atlanta is the wife of Frank Leslie Shall, secretary of the Portland Flour Mills, at Portland, Ore. They have two children, Martha Arvesta and Frank Leslie, Jr.
Earl Edmund, who is second in order of birth, is engaged in the practice of law in Sidney, married Lillian Esther Patterson, of Nebraska. They have two children, John Edmund and Caroline Arvesta.
Susan Ethylen, is the wife of Henry W. Roberts, a grocer of Tacoma, Wash; She has one child, Anna Catherine.
Barbara Emma is a teacher of domestic science in the Sidney high school.
Ora Marie is a kindergarten teacher in New York City. Jennie Mathers, the remaining member of the family, resides at home with her mother. The family belong to the Methodist,church, taking a useful part in its work and various Christian activities.