Dr. Henry Baldwin, a well known physician of Springfield, represents one of the pioneer families of this city, where he was born on the 17th of July, 1860. His paternal grandfather, Jonah Baldwin, was a native of Virginia and in the opening years of the nineteenth century took up his abode in Ohio, establishing his home in Springfield in 1802. After a short time he returned to the Old Dominion and brought his family to Springfield in 1804, settling on what is now the east side of Main street, east of Limestone street. During the pioneer development of the city he proved a potent factor in establishing its policy and in its growth. A leader of public thought and action, his influence was felt in pohtical circles and along lines directing the intellectual and moral progress of the community. After locating here he served as justice of the peace for a number of years, his decisions being strictly fair and impartial. He married Minerva Needham, a daughter of Dr. William A. Needham, who came to Springfiield in 1814, practicing in this city and in Clark county. The conditions which met a physician at that time were very different to tliose of the present day. Hardships and trials knoiwn only to the people of the frontier were to be met and continually faced by him who devoted his attention to the alleviation of human suffering. Streams had to be forded and there were no roads but bridle paths or very often only the old Indian trails. Most of the settlers were widely scattered, and braving the storms of winter and the heat of summer, the pioneer physician made his way to each home in which his services were needed, his calls often demanding great personal sacrifice. For some time Dr. Needham was a resident of what is now known as Lagoaida, but the place was then called Pillville because of the Doctor's residence there. He established the first drug store in Springfield and for many years conducted it, but eventually it was sold to the Ludlow family who carried on the business until 1896 and it was not until 1898 that the old store building was torn down. It was situated on Main street on the southwest corner of the first alley east of Limestone street.


Henry Baldwin, Sr., the father of the Doctor, is a native of Clark county, his birth having occurred upon a farm in Pleasant township in 1830. His boyhood days were spent in the usual manner of farmer lads of that period. On coming to Springfield he entered the employ of his brother Joseph, who was conducting a dry goods store, and remained with him in the capacity of salesman until the death of the brother, after which, he continued the business on his own account until 1880, when he disposed of his interests to other parties and has since been living in retirement. He married Maria Dawson, of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in which place she was born and reared. She was the daughter of John Dawson and granddaughter of Nicholas Dawson, one of the pioneer settlers of Kentucky, who went to that state at a time when most of the population lived in forts on account of the hostilities of the Indians. Nicholas Dawson married Violet Littleton, of Fairfax, Virginia. She was a niece of Lord Fairfax and a daughter of Martha Washington, with whom she often corresponded, many of the letters of the wife of the illustrious father of his country being now in the possession of the Dawson family. Nicholas Dawson and his wife spent their last days in Springfield and were buried in the old Columbia street cemetery.


Dr. Henry Baldwin, both as boy and man, has been a resident of the city which is still his home and in the public schools he began his education which was continued until his graduation on the completion of the high school course. He prepared for his profession as a student in the office of Dr. F. M. Buckingham, of this city, and in the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, where he was graduated with the class of 1883.


The Doctor was married in 1897 to Miss Lucretia Mathers, of Sydney, Shelby county, Ohio, a daughter of John Mathers, a prominent lawyer of that place, and a granddaughter of Judge Hugh Thompson, of Sydney, who was one of the distinguished jurists of Ohio at an early day. Dr. Baldwin and his wife have a little daughter. Elizabeth Mathers.


Fraternally the Doctor is a Mason, his membership being with Clark Lodge, No. 101, F. & A. M., of which he is past master; and Springfield Chapter, No. 48, R. A. M. He is also a member of the young men's Literary Club of Springfield. For one term he was a member of the school board of the city, has also served as city physician and is now a member of the Mitchell Thomas Hospital staff. He belongs to the Clark County Medical Society, the Ohio State Medical Society and the American Medical Association, while in the first named he has served as president.

 

 

From "A Biographical Record of Clark County Ohio," S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1902