Ohio Biographies

Joseph Ashland Baldwin

It is not the wealth that men attain that causes them to be remembered by their fellow travelers upon life'’ journey, but the good deeds which they do, the kindly spirit which they manifest and the honorable principles which they embody in their daily conduct. It was these qualities which have made the memory of Joseph Ashland Baldwin sacred to all with whom he was associated, while his example remains as a potent force for good in the lives of many with whom he came in contact. Cincinnati numbered him among her native sons, his birth having here occurred in June 1848. He was a son of Joseph and Mary Baldwin. The former was born in Branford, Connecticut, in May 1807, and was a son of Mrs. Flora (Woodruff) Baldwin, his father having died before the birth of Joseph Baldwin, so that the ancestral history of the family is lost. After largely devoting his youth to the acquirement of an education Joseph Baldwin learned the carpenter’s trade and eventually became a builder and architect, in which line he won success, leaving many substantial evidences of his skill in workmanship in good buildings of Cincinnati erected at comparatively early period in the development of the city. He continued actively in business up to the time of the Civil War, when he served as one of Cincinnati’s defenders in the approach of the confederate troops in the raid into the north under General Smith.

On the 18th of October 1836, in Cincinnati, Joseph Baldwin, Sr., was married to Miss. Mary Crossman, a daughter of Peter Crossman, of this city, and their children were: Charles Henry, who married Miss. Eleanor Mudd; Mary Louise; Joseph A.; Florence J.; Walter; and Clifford, who wedded Miss. Olive Northup. Joseph Baldwin gave his political support to the Republican Party from the time of its organization until his death. In early life he became a member of the first orthodox Congregational Church at Cincinnati but in 1869 joined the Presbyterian Church of Wyoming, Hamilton County, continuing one of its faithful adherents until called to his final rest.

Joseph Ashland Baldwin spent his youthful days in Cincinnati, where he attended the Ninth District School and the Fourth Intermediate School. When it became incumbent upon him to enter the business world he took up the profession of bookkeeping which he followed as a life work. He never neglected a duty that devolved upon him in this connection and always had the entire confidence of those whom he represented in a business way, yet never allowed business to interfere with the performance of the higher, holier duties of life in relation to his fellowmen and to his Maker. He long held membership in the Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church and at the time of his death was serving as superintendent of the Sunday school.

On the 16th of September 1875, Mr. Baldwin was united in marriage to Miss. Jessie Rathborne, a daughter of G.L. Rathborne, who was an officer of the English army and became a resident of American in 1854. Mrs. Baldwin always shared with her husband in his good work. They were fully one in their interests in the cause of Christianity and Mrs. Baldwin is now a very active and prominent member of the Young Women’s Christian Association, of which she is serving as president. The death of Mr. Baldwin occurred in 1899, and the community which knew him thereby lost a valued citizen, his church one of its most devoted members and his social acquaintances a faithful friend, but to her with whom he had traveled life’s journey for twenty-three years the loss came with greatest force.


From Cincinnati, The Queen City, Volume III by Rev. Charles Frederic Goss, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912