Israel Eliphaz Bigelow, retired, Plain City, was born at Adamsburg, Westmoreland Co., Penn., June 7, 1825. He was a son of Dr. Daniel K. and Lydia (Custer) Bigelow the former a native of Saratoga County, N. Y., and the latter of Fayette County, Penn. They were married in Fayette County, and, coming West in 1831, settled on a farm adjoining Plain City, where both died -- he November 10, 1850, and she November 14, 1854. Their family consisted of six boys and five girls, of whom four boys and two girls are living. The father was one of five sons of Dr. Israel Bigelow, who came to Ohio in 1828. These sons were all physicians, and all, with one exception, life practitioners. The town of Plain City was for a time called Bigelow Town, in honor of the senior Dr. Bigelow. The subject of this sketch was the second of his parents' children. He came West with his parents, and remained at home until twenty-two years of age, when he engaged in farming on land adjoining Plain City. He had previously read medicine with a view of adopting the profession, but for reasons satisfactory to himself, decided not to continue his studies in that direction. On June 27, 1847 he married Betsey M. Smith, who was born in Vermont October 31, 1828, and was a daughter of Capt. E. C. and Irena (Doty) Smith, natives of Vermont. The father was Captain of a company of militia, and for a short time served in the war of 1812. Mr. and Mrs. Bigelow have had seven children, viz.: Lydia Irena, born July 31, 1848, and died at the age of twenty-two years: Clarence E., a grocer of Plain City, born November 20, 1851, and, on March 19, 1871, married Mary, daughter of Luther Lane, who died November 26, 1874, and on December 22, 1877, he married Catharine J., daughter of Charles and Mary Ann (Beard) Shipman; an infant son died aged four months; Eliphaz McClellan, born April 16, 1862, and married Elizabeth, daughter of William and Jane (Phillips) Manning; Daniel Crocker, a farmer at home, born September 1, 1864: Emmett Custer, born March 19, 1867, and now engaged in a jewelry store in Plain City; and Charles Smith, who died March 13, 1870, aged one year. Mr. Bigelow followed farming for ten years after marriage. In 1857, he was appointed Postmaster at Plain City, and to his occupation added merchandising. After six years' service, he resigned the office of Postmaster, and became engaged in the warehouse at Plain City, and as agent of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railroad, in which he continued two years and four months, when he again entered the ranks as a merchant, and so continued until 1879, when he retired from active business life. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity of the Royal Arch degree, and of the Universalist Church. In politics, he is a Democrat. He recently visited the Bigelow family in the East. and paid his respects to 100 living descendants of two of his father's brothers, Drs. Lebbeus L. and Eliphaz Bigelow. He also visited over forty descendants of his Grandfather Custer, who was a full cousin to Gen. George Washington. A gold-headed cane and a gold watch, originally owned by his great-great-grandfather, Isaac Bigelow, have been handed down from generation to generation through the name of Isaac, and are now in possession of the ex-Mayor of Newark. Ohio, who represents the fifth generation, and at his death they pass to the next oldest Isaac then living. The subject of this sketch has filled most of the minor offices of the township, including Justice of the Peace from 1870 to 1873. He was also elected Mayor of Plain City at the same time, and served one year, but then resigned the office. He was re-elected in 1881, and served one year more. He was appointed and commissioned Seventieth Census Enumerator of the Fifth Ohio District, and discharged the duties of his office to the entire satisfaction of his superiors. Mr. Bigelow has two grandchildren, viz., Bertha J., born June 30, 1879; and Charles Eber, born March 30, 1882, children of his eldest son.


From HISTORY OF MADISON COUNTY - W. H. Beers [Chicago, 1883]