Ephraim W. Bidwell, deceased, was born October 28, 1817, and was the fourth son of Elisha Bidwell, one of the earliest settlers of Madison County, having settled here as early as 1814. His mother's maiden name was Dorothy Willy and they came to Ohio from the State of Vermont, and were Yankees, or New Englanders. Ephraim was one of seventeen children -- fifteen sons and two daughters -- fifteen of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. His parents passed through many hardships and privations, known only to the early settlers of Madison County. Ephraim was a farmer, as also were his father and most of his brothers. He received only the limited education to be obtained in the district schools of those days, and was a self-made man, being well informed on all subjects, both political and religious. He held many offices of trust, both township and county offices, and was a member of the State Legislature during the years of 1864 and 1865 and was also a teacher in the district schools both before and after his marriage. He was united in marriage to Miss Laura Lombard, November 4, 1841. Ephraim and wife were the parents of six children -- three daughters and three sons -- all of whom are living. The eldest daughter, Olive, is now the wife of David D. Brooks, and resides in Nuckolls County, Neb. The second daughter, Dorotha Ellen, is now the wife of J. H. McKinnon, and resides in Cass County, Neb. The third daughter. Virginia Ann, now the wife of John D. Crego, resides near Sedalia, Mo. Their husbands are all farmers. The eldest son, Monroe Bidwell, married Miss Martha C. Kreamer and resides on the old home farm in the family homestead, where he was born and raised, and where, his parents lived for thirty-three years. Monroe is a farmer and stock-raiser. The second son, Webster Bidwell, who married Miss Sarah Buswell, also resides on a part of the home farm. and is a farmer. The third and youngest son, Hamilton Bidwell, married Miss Nettie Spink, of Wooster, Ohio, and now resides in Lincoln. Neb. He is by profession a lawyer. Ephraim Bidwell and wife commenced life without means, but, by their united industry and economy they succeeded in securing an ample fortune, consisting of a fine farm of 500 acres, situated between the Big and Little Darby. Ephraim also owned a fine town property and residence near Plain City where he resided at the time of his death, and where his widow now resides. He and wife were firm believers in universal salvation, and members of the Universalist Church. He was very public-spirited, and well-informed on all political and religious topics of his day and ever ready to uphold the right and denounce the wrong. In politics, he was an ardent worker and a thorough Republican. He died July 10, 1881, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, and lies in the family burial-grounds at Foster Chapel, Madison County, Ohio. We will now give a short genealogy of Jesse Lombard and wife, parents of Laura E., wife of Ephraim Bidwell: Jesse was one of the earliest settlers of Madison County, having come here in an early day, from the State of Vermont, and settled on what is known as the Darby Plains, where his children still reside. He was a New Englander. His wife, Olive Carlton, was of German parentage, her mother being a German. Jesse and wife were the parents of six children -- three sons and three daughters -- five of whom are living. Jesse was a farmer, a firm believer in universal salvation, and a Whig politically. He died in 1874, in the eighty-second year of his age. His wife, Olive, died is 1858, in the sixty-fifth year of her age.


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